That night he snuck into the temple and proceeded to overturn all of the statues therein. As dawn broke and the revelers discovered the saint's work, he boldly declared that all the gods must have become drunk from the quantity of libations offered them and then got into a fight with each other in their drunken confusion.
Enraged at the insult to their gods, a mob began to form in order to take revenge. They were stopped in their tracks by fear, however, when St. Abercius cast out demons from three young men. Upon hearing the Gospel, the crowd and then the city became Christian. St. Abercius reposed in peace near the end of the second century.
I find it remarkable that at the end of a week where I asked the question Is Christianity Compatible With D&D that I get to tell the story of a Christian saint involved in what can only be called a trope of both Sword & Sorcery tales and D&D. The scenario of sneaking into a temple to either steal stuff or do damage plays a significant part in my own formation as an S&S fan and a D&D player.
My introduction to the genre was Lawrence Watt-Evans second installment of his Lords of Dûs series, The Seven Altars of Dûsarra:
The crux of the story has Garth the Overman sneaking into all the temples of the Dark Gods in order to steal whatever is on their altars.
I realize that there is many an REH fan who despises Swarzenegger's Conan the Barbarian (I tentatively place myself among them); however, it was my first "D&D movie" and I still get a kick out of how Conan and company steal the Eye of the Serpent from the Temple of Set.
Speaking of REH, I came late to the creator of Conan. As many before me, I have come to really enjoy his stories. My favorite is The God in the Bowl which sees Conan sneaking into what the locals call Kallian Publico's Temple
Lest we forget, the idea of sneaking into temples are part and parcel to several modules from the early days of the hobby:
- A1 Slave Pits of the Undercity
- C1 Hidden Shrine of Tanoachan
- D2 Shrine of the Kuo-Toa
- T1-4 The Temple of Elemental Evil
- WG 4 The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun
I am sure these are not the last and that I am leaving out others. Needless to say, this just goes to show that even saints have been known to sneak into places to do things we might only expect a D&D PC to do…