Here's the third in a series of 13th Age icons for Parsantium. Click here to see them all.
His Radiance Arcadius is the Archbishop of Parsantium and the head of the Church of Helion, Lord of the Gods and Bathuran god of the harvest, summer and the sun.
“May the light of Helion, Lord of the Gods, continue to shine brightly upon our Basileus, bathing him in its splendid golden glow.”
In the Holy Basilica of Helion in Parsantium’s Civic Ward.
As head of the Church of Helion, the Archbishop is the pinnacle of what is a state religion in all but name. Each week, the Basileus, the royal family and court attend services in the Holy Basilica conducted by Arcadius, and the Archbishop of Parsantium is called upon to preside over coronations, royal weddings and state funerals when these events arise. Arcadius is a 60-year-old man who relishes his influential role and is not shy of reminding ambitious nobles, government officials and politicians that the Basileus rules with his god’s blessing. He is thin and stooped, with gnarled arthritic fingers that no amount of clerical magic seems to be able to fix permanently, and appears weighed down by his ornate red and gold vestments and a fan-shaped mitre so tall and heavy he has trouble keeping it on his balding head.
ADVENTURERS & THE ICON
The Church’s doctrine is to shine the light of civilization onto the world; followers of Helion are expected to guard against evil wherever it might be found, and to show kindness and compassion to others. The Church is eager to recover holy relics plundered 100 years ago by the hobgoblin conqueror of Parsantium, Kalgroth Ironheart, and often hires adventurers to follow any leads to their whereabouts. More powerful (and trusted) characters might be sent by the Archbishop to deal with Laskaris, necromancer of the Bone Catacombs, or one of the sinister cults lurking in the Hidden Quarter.
The Archbishop is a staunch supporter of the Basileus who, in turn, shows proper respect to the Church. Arcadius also maintains good relations with Orthas, the Knight-Commander of the Platinum Knights, as the order’s goals are often aligned with the Church’s. Arcadius courts the favour of the Water Lords and Bishop of Loranto to ensure his status as supreme leader of Helion’s church is maintained.
Despite Helion’s doctrine of kindness and compassion, Arcadius shares many Bathuran nobles’ prejudice and distrust of the citizens of the Old Quarter, and this extends to the Caliph of Aqhran, whom he suspects is plotting to retake Parsantium. Arcadius despises the Cult of the Black Mother, which is corrupting Bathuran noblewomen and turning them away from Helion. He fears the Lady of the Summer Kingdom, who once tricked him into her bed after a state banquet.
The Archbishop of Rezana was once regarded as the supreme head of the Church of Helion, but was superseded by the Archbishop of Parsantium when Corandias the Magnificent built the Holy Basilica. Not all previous Archbishops have been as devout as Arcadius: many were corrupt, taking bribes from nobles and politicians; others regularly took part in debauched orgies or had their rivals murdered. Arcadius strives to live up to the beatific reputation of the legendary Archbishop Bonosus the Peacemaker who, 200 years ago, convinced an orcish warlord not to attack the city. Some say he did this by converting the orc leader to Helion; others that he bribed him with a huge chest of gold from the church’s vaults.
THE TRUE DANGER
Everything will be alright while Helion’s light shines brightly on Parsantium and the lands of the former Empire.