Dedicated to no one particular God, members of the High Star religion instead believe that the fates of the more important mortals, and the gods themselves, are written in the stars.
Certain members of the High Star faith believe that not only are the fates of nobles and royalty predestined, but that even the average person’s destinies are inscribed in the night sky, and as such can be determined from astrological readings.
Due to the danger that these beliefs pose to established powers and the threat of reprisal, many with these more unorthodox views keep their faith a secret. Often they may disguise themselves as orthodox believers and it is alleged that their numbers have even infiltrated the highest echelons of the High Star.
St. Yudas (speculation)
(sometimes pronounced St. Yuda, St. Iudas, or St. Uda)
The Restorer, Seeker of Lost Causes, Protector of the Hopeless, The Shielded One, Mover of Stars, He Who Gives Rest to the Undead
Little is known about St. Yudas and his followers, if they even exist at all. Those who claim to worship him are rare and generally have little information to share. Rumors of the mysterious order vary wildly. Some say that the Order of St. Yudas is simply misinformation used to placate and ease worried populaces. Some say that they are a small militant arm of the High Star. Some say that the organization includes hundreds of members working behind the scenes to gain political control.
The Legend of St. Yudas
The most common lore regarding St. Yudas is that he was a low ranking priest of High Star who, while conducting astrological meditation, noticed that some stars had shifted just slightly in relation to each other. After closer examination, Yudas determined that the man whose stars had shifted, a prisoner soon to be executed, was now to be of great importance. Knowing that this information would be considered heresy, he secretly sought out the prisoner and helped to free him. Most versions agree that the prisoner was able to escape, but many disagree over who exactly the prisoner was and what happened to St. Yudas. Common lore suggests that St. Yudas was either exiled to a remote island, burned, or buried alive. Rumors indicated that the body of the deceased St. Yudas has never been reclaimed.
The Shield of St. Yudas.
Bards tell of St. Yudas’ shield and its magical properties. Legend says that the shield was made from the wood of a 101 year old tree that grew in barren soil. The tree was chopped down with a magical axe and soaked in holy water for 1 year. Afterward it was plated by steel forged inside a frozen volcano. Many men have sought out the mythological item, none have found it. It is viewed as destroyed by those who have tried. Most doubt that it ever existed.
Followers are often recruited by hand based on their stars. Often these individuals are rescued from fates worth than death and trained in combat for several years before being given their assignment.
Due to St. Yudas’ death being by fire, followers only deal with flames when necessary.
Often a member’s final assignment to is to rescue a lost cause and train them to be a replacement.
Many members of the order leave after their penance is paid.
Members of the the Order of St. Judas train specifically in the use of shields.
The Order is really just a front for either the thieves guilds, or for an evil group of necromancers.