The Dragonlance Nexus

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Sisters of Mercy

D&D 3e (3.0/3.5) Rules

by KenderBryant


Entry in the 2006 Nexus Organizations Contest.

Dating back to the time of the Second Dragon War, the Sisters of Mercy have stood for peace, protection, and the health of the world. They never had a very large following at first, but as Istar rose to prominence, the services provided by the Sisters were expanded to various parts of the world. Missionaries, guarded by Solamnic Knights and later, Knights of the Divine Hammer, set up hospices in even the most inhospitable locales. Originally run by women, more and more were men joining the hospices as healers, though the number of women healers was still substantial enough to keep the name the Sisters of Mercy.

After the fall of Istar and the Cataclysm, the organization faced its greatest trials. Divine magic was gone from the world and plague was rampant. The members of the order found that they could only ease the suffering of the plague victims, but soon, even that was not enough. The group's ranks dwindled yearly until only a handful could be found worldwide, and these were the most devout followers of Mishakal. They believed that this absence was merely a test of their faith, and so they persevered, passing their techniques and knowledge down through the family. Most former members, though disillusioned with the organization, became medicine men and women and midwives, but the practices weren't kept, as they developed their own methods.

Centuries later, during the Seeker movement, a few of the true believers were discovered and accused of false faith and were burned at the stake or hung as false prophets. This was soon to be a time of rediscovery for the faithful when the War of the Lance occurred and Mishakal's chosen prophet, Goldmoon, brought knowledge of the true gods back to the world. After the first war and the Blue Lady's War, the records of the original Sisters of Mercy were brought out of the Library of Palanthas and the group, reorganizing themselves, was soon restored to the world.

All was well until the Summer of Chaos, when the gods left Krynn once more, this time, it seemed, for good. For years, they despaired that history was going to repeat itself, until Goldmoon discovered the power of the heart, mysticism. There was a rush of members to Schallsea Island to learn to heal through magic once again. This time, the Sisters of Mercy were able to survive the loss of the gods. This went on for forty years until, finally, the War of Souls and the return of the true gods once more. Now, the ranks include mystics, clerics, and others who aspire to help the world heal itself of the atrocities committed by the Dragon Overlords and Takhisis' manipulations. Their most recent self-appointed task is the concern of the afflicted kender. These poor folks have lost their innocence, a most distressing ailment of the mind. A special branch of the Sisters is dedicated to the restoration of the kender to their rightful state of mind.

Goals/Motivations

The Sisters of Mercy are dedicated to the well-being of the world. To this extent, they set up hospices where even the most critically wounded patient can be brought for treatment. They ask for no money, but services to the group would be greatly appreciated, whether granting food for the members and patients, time spent tending the sick in the hospice, or another donation of whatever the family or friends of the patient can provide. In recent years, druids have been joining the Sisterhood seeking aid in restoring life to the lands ravaged by the Overlords. Seeing that healing the land is as important as seeing to the sick and injured, the druids have been welcomed with open arms.

Headquarters/Areas of Influence

The Sisters of Mercy are headquartered on Schallsea Island, the location of the new Temple of Mishakal. From there they organize the establishment of new hospices, train people in the art of healing, and coordinate the land restoration effort. All major cities have a large hospice (capable of quartering roughly 200 patients) within city limits. There are smaller establishments located near smaller settlements, as close to as many such places as possible.

Leadership/Organization

As an adjutant branch of Mishakal's church, the Sisters of Mercy are run by a cleric (currently Surgeon General Danielle Daystar; female civilized human, Cleric 12/Healing Hand 4 of Mishakal) who has been selected for skill in dealing with others and in the healing arts. Each hospice has its own hierarchy within the building with each head surgeon reporting to the Surgeon General.

Allies

The Sisters of Mercy are allied with all good and neutral faiths, along with the Knights of Solamnia and the Legion of Steel. The Orders of High Sorcery do not come into conflict with them very often (mostly from the Black robes). It is not uncommon to find a White Robe on the grounds as they provide powerful wards for the hospices.

Enemies

The enemies of the Sisters of Mercy are organizations dedicated to evil. However, two organizations stand out in particular: The churches of Morgion and Chemosh. Dedicated to spreading undeath and disease, these two churches have earned the special enmity of the Sisterhood, who are dedicated to preserving the natural life and death cycle and defeating illness. They occasionally come into conflict with Black-robed wizards, but such occurrences are rare.

Membership

Members of the Sisterhood get to be a part of something greater than themselves. They get to meet people of all kinds and explore different methods of tending to the sick, whether through divine magic or more mundane means. Members are expected to spend at least one month in a hospice and are free to do whatever they want to beyond that, provided that they keep their services available when able to. Members are indicated by the Dove and Infinity symbol. Clerics are given special medallions of faith that display this symbol along with their own faith's symbol (unnecessary if a cleric of Mishakal).

Joining the Organization

Membership is earned through sponsorship. A current member must sponsor all newcomers to the group. The one exception to this rule is when any cleric of Mishakal decides to induct a new member, regardless of whether or not this cleric is an actual member of the Sisterhood. As members of a clergy dedicated to healing, it is considered rather redundant, as most priests of Mishakal are considered members by the general public anyways.

Costs and Benefits of Membership

The only requirement of members is that they spend at least one month in a hospice tending to the wounded or ill. They are not required to stick around in case of emergency, but it is considered good form when they do so, unless on a special mission. Such missions must be cleared with a superior before being conducted. Benefits of membership include a 20% discount on all items of a healing or protective nature when purchased from a hospice. This discount also applies to any shop associated with the organization and to such items when purchased from a church of Mishakal.

The Sisters of Mercy as an Affiliation (from PHB2)

Symbol: Dove carrying the Infinity (the holy symbol of Mishakal) symbol in its beak.
Background, Goals, and Dreams: The Sisters of Mercy is an long-standing organization of healers (Miniatures Handbook), clerics, mystics (in more recent years), and hospitalers (Complete Divine). Dedicated to healing the sick and the perseverance of life, they set up hospices for various patients, including mental patients. They raise money by selling magical items, those of a protective or healing nature, as well as more mundane healing supplies, such as salves, healer's kits, and antitoxins. Most members venerate Mishakal, though worshippers of any good-aligned deity are welcomed with open arms. Those with a neutral bend are also welcomed as members, provided that they first and foremost tend to the ill. They turn away no patient, no matter their ethical outlook. The Sister will, however, remove any and all equipment from those who can't hand it over themselves, and the gear is placed in a marked bin and placed in a heavily warded vault. The Sisters stand fast against the forces of evil, protecting their charges at even the expense of their own lives. Their primary foes are the followers of Chemosh and Morgion, since as the gods of undeath and disease, they are the antithesis of the healer's creed. If such followers are brought in for medical attention, they will receive it, but will be heavily guarded. A squad of clerics is on watch at all times to deal with any undead threat.
Type: Religious
Scale: 16 (Multicontinental)
Affiliation Score Criteria: Must be a healer (usually with ranks in Heal) dedicated to a good or neutral deity.

Table 1-1
Criterion Affiliation Score Modifier
Character Level +½ PCs level
5 or more ranks in Heal +1
10 or more ranks in Heal +2
Can cast divine spells +1
Can cast 3rd- to 4th- level spells +2
Can cast 5th- or higher-level spells +3
Member of the Hospitalers +2
Recruit's a new member +1
Destroys an artifact of Death or Disease +4
Has been undead -6
Evil alignment -8
Member of opposing affiliation -8

Titles, Benefits, and Duties: As members of the Sisters of Mercy advance within the order, their duties increase. More and more will higher-echelon members be called upon for special cases. Other times, a ranking member may be called upon for special services, such as tending to a sick nobleman.

Table 1-2
Affiliation Score Title: Benefits and Duties
3 or lower No affiliation
4 - 10 Nurse: The Sisters of Mercy welcomes you as a member and fellow healer
11 - 20 Doctor: +2 competence bonus on Heal checks when working with another member of the Sisters of Mercy.
21 - 29 Surgeon: 10% discount on experience point or gp cost when crafting protection or healing items.
30 or higher Head Surgeon: Form friendship with head of allied-affiliation (such as Knights of Solamnia).

Executive Powers: Beatify, craft, gift

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