Saturday, May 18, 2013

Saintly Saturday: St. David the Martyr of Georgia

Today is the feast of St. David the Martyr of Georgia, who was born to a noble Christian family. His father died when he was still young and his uncle, a pagan, seized all of the family’s possessions. The true heir, however, was St. David. Fearing this claim, the uncle first tried to win over his sister Tagine, David’s mother. This proved to be futile. Therefore, he tried to convince David and his brother Tarichan that he was now their father and that his was a better way than Christianity. Both refused, boldly declaring that were willing to endure anything for their Lord and their true Father in Heaven.

St. David’s uncle feared reprisals from the Christians, therefore he did not immediately kill his nephews. Rather, he plotted their murder in secret. Tagine, sensing danger, smuggled herself and her sons to lands in the south. There, they lived in hiding as shepherds for many years.

Spies, however, eventually discovered their whereabouts and St. David’s uncle ambushed them in the mountains. Rather than defend himself, St. David ran to his uncle to embrace him in love. His uncle ran him through with a sword and was immediately struck blind. The staff held by St. David was transformed into a tree. Soldiers also chased down and killed St. David’s brother.

When their mother discovered that her sons were murdered, she at first was filled with sorrow and denounced her brother; however, he repented. Taking soil soaked in St. David’s blood, she covered her brother’s eyes and his sight returned.

He went on to repent before the bishop, got baptized and built a church in honor of his nephew.


This is a great story, which suggests two periods within a campaign world:

  1. The period where spies search the land for St. David
  2. The period where the story of David’s martyrdom and church built in his honor are freshly known.

I realize I mention it a lot, but this story marries very well with T1:The Village of Hommlet and would make one of my favorite modules even better.

In the first case, Lareth the Beautiful could be the leader of a cell of spies in search of the nephews of a noble of the Old Faith. Rather than leading the characters to the Temple of Elemental Evil, it could lead characters into the political intrigue between the followers of St. Cuthbert’s God (Christ) and those who still hold to the Old Faith (paganism).

In the second, one could replace the Church of St. Cuthbert with the church built by the uncle in honor of the nephew he martyred. Thus, both the local Christian Church and the Old Faith would have a very rich local history. In addition, the tree that miraculously appeared could be a place of both pilgrimage and a place of safety for PCs on wilderness adventures (no wandering monster checks and double the hit points regained with rest).

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Very nice marriage of the story of St. David with the best of the "old school" modules