“Send my light unto the farthest corners of the darkness; let it strike as a brutal weapon; let it heal as a gentle hand.”
Symbol: rayed sun
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Portfolio: sunlight, responsibility, slayers
Worshippers: farmers, slayers
Cleric Alignments: CG, NG, LG
Domains: good, sun, healing, protection, retribution
Favored Weapon: great sword
Animal Totems: lions, hawks
The Church of Arpelos is dedicated to stamping out the undead, as well as to bringing the light of its teaching to the world. The church rails against evil in all its forms, and seeks to protect its congregations from evil, wherever it may be. It is the responsibility of the church to heal and care for its peoples, and smite evil-doers. The church does not believe in capital punishment for civil crimes; that everyone is capable of redemption. Because of this, Arpelos is sometimes described as the Redeemer.
Arpelos is sculpted as a man in his fifties, that still retains the vitality of youth. His long mane of hair is tied back in a pony-tail, and his close-cropped beard is trimmed at the jaw line. The god often wears light armor of scale or chain mail, and bears a massive great sword. The one known painting of the god, found in the high temple in Karmen, depicts Arpelos as though made of gold, from golden skin, to golden eyes, to golden hair.
In the distant past, two gods were once one. The God of Light and Justice was split asunder into two separate gods by some schism within the Church of Arpelos. A paladin of one aspect of Arpelos was granted a boon by the God of Knowledge on the greater planes, and the paladin asked how to reunite the two aspects – something that had never been done. The paladin instantly became the Chosen of Arpelos, the Reunited. A powerful enemy of the paladin's used the death of a demigod to undo the boon, causing the greater planes to forget that the two aspects had ever been reunited. Arpelos, sensing himself being sundered for a second time, fled the greater planes to the one place in the multiverse that would escape undoing of that boon: Gaeleth, hidden behind the Shield. Sheer desperation – and perhaps the cooperation of some of Gaeleth's gods – allowed Arpelos to slip through the Shield and acquire a Relic, forever tying him to his new home world.
Armed with little more than a Relic, a Chosen, one Disciple, and three defenders, Arpelos found himself in the midst of the Storm Wars. The Sun God's powerful abilities against undead proved useful against the undead minions of Nathel, and the resourcefulness of his Chosen gained converts at a rapid pace. Arpelos's search for the best in men, no matter their backgrounds, allowed him to accept Simon Luminar, once both the first paladin of Yatindar, and the most powerful antipaladin of Nathel. Barely had construction of the high temple in Karmen been completed, when Arpelos and his followers disappeared. Most thought that the new god – a powerful force against Nathel – had simply been slain, as had several other gods in the course of the Storm Wars. A massive store of funds and a few devout practitioners maintained the high temple in the intervening centuries. Arpelos and all his minions returned, having leapt forward in time – into the War of the Undead.
Against the hordes of undead raised by Demik Coruth, Arpelos's minions served as outstanding advisers to the heads of the nations being invaded. The Disciple Defrom Mallick, and Simon Luminar, proved to have devastating capabilities against the more powerful undead at Coruth's command. Working furiously, Luminar and the Disciple reassembled the remainder of the god-slaying weapon Giran Howel, and turned it over to the Chosen, known as Garalus. With one strike, Garalus slew the resurrected Dark God, and ended forever his threat to Gaeleth. After the war, the Church of Arpelos grew quickly, establishing a second temple in Kur Maeth where the first Disciple would reside. The other churches quickly acknowledged Arpelos as a serious power, and that despite its very small size, wielded considerable influence.
Arpelos and his retinue first punched through the Shield near the city of Giranhad, in time for the annual Games on Trical the 13th, 762 Avard. After Arpelos's minions won the Games in Giranhad, a series of events placed the god's Relic within a massive egg-shaped, faceted crystal. Moving to the religious heart and soul of Gaeleth, the city of Karmen, the Chosen had a high temple constructed with a towering needle. The Relic was placed in the top of the needle, and would be the first object in the city of Karmen to receive the morning's light – scattering it over the city in a thousand shards of light.
The Church of Arpelos is centered around the Chosen in the high temple in Karmen. The temple itself is a sprawling estate, supporting a small army of undead slayers, monks, followers, minions, and the like. The Chosen, Garalus, is attended by two Disciples in Karmen, with another Disciple ministering to affairs in Kur Maeth. Contact between the two seats of power is maintained through a variety of clerical spells, and a permanent Gate built between the two. There are very few bishops available to the Church, because of its relatively small numbers, though converts continue to join.
Just after the high temple in Karmen was completed, in 766 Avard, the antipaladin Simon Luminar sought sanctuary within. The Church of Yatindar demanded that Luminar be turned over to them, for his high crimes against the gods themselves as the antipaladin wielder of the God Slayer and the Slider. Though both churches were fledglings at the time, the Church of Yatindar had a flock numbering in the tens of thousands, and growing daily in the bloody mess of the wars. Yatindar and Arpelos met in near-combat within the very halls of the high temple of Arpelos. The Chosen of Yatindar and the Chosen of Arpelos entered into a radiant circle of dueling blue and golden light, with Luminar at the heart of the contest. The historic meeting was captured by an apprentice of Vyrboth's, and set into a permanent illusion over the archway of the entrance to the high temple of Arpelos. The gods and their Chosen decided that Luminar's penance would be given and dictated by Arpelos, as a follower of Arpelos.
The very circle in which the discussion took place was directly beneath the tower of the needle, and through the entire contest, a broad shaft of light from Arpelos's Relic shone down on the proceedings. Considered very holy ground, followers stand within the hallowed circle at certain times of the day to gain of its powers – the ability to restore damaged bodies and damaged souls even from near nothingness.