Note: It's just coincidence (alphabetism) that Astra and Ashtha (both very powerful and very optional cults) are presented so close together. DMs wanting to use the Specialty Priest of Astra information must keep in mind that she's a very, very hands-on deity. The character should be constantly being expected to attend to some religious rite or holiday. The overpowered nature of the kit is tempered by this constant interference with the deity, and the character's constant need to be doing some form of ritual. For this reason, Specialty Priests of Astra are frequently NPCs. In campaigns where going to the astral plane frequently is a common ability, higher level clerics of Astra should be assumed to be able to do so at will.
Our Lady of the Stars
Lesser Goddess of Creation
Portfolio: Stars, Astral Travel, Space, Laws
Major Spheres: Astral, Charm, Creation, Divination, Elemental (air), Guardian, Law, Sun, Time, Travelers
Minor Spheres: Healing, Necromantic, Numbers, Thought, Weather
Requirements for Specialty Priests: WIS 12, INT 13, Lawful Alignment (any)
Specialty Priest Weapons: Any. Star-headed maces, flails and morning stars, as well as sickles are common.
Armor Allowed: Any
Races Allowed: Any except underground
Proficiencies: (Bonus) Astrology, Astronomy, Navigation.
· Turn Undead as two levels higher
· Uses Fighter THAC0, number of attacks and Weapon proficiency tables, but may not specialize
· See in dark as if a brightly starlit/moonlit night
· Starshine once/day
· Immune to Lycanthropy
· Immune to curses
· Beginning at 10th level, sees Astral
· Beginning at 12th level, Astral Spell 1/day
· Beginning at 18th level, commune with god at will
Signature Spells: Holy Star (2X duration), Speak or Join with Astral Traveler (2X duration), Sever the Silver Cord (Immune to the spell, casts it as if it were 4th level), Create Minor Helm (Creates a Major Helm), Protection from Chaos (acts as a 10ft radius spell,) Haste (When cast, it does not age or tire the recipients. This may be used no more than once a day.)
Specialty Priests of Astra need never worry about being out of contact with their home power. She can be reached from any plane, from any crystal sphere, and from the interstices between realities. Only the holy power blocking abilities of a greater god can block her clerics from getting their powers. This ability also works for the druids and regular clerics who follow her as well. Druids who follow Astra get major access to the Astral sphere in addiction to their normal druid spheres. Astra’s non-druid specialty priests call themselves the star-browed. This is because they all have facial tattoos of stars upon their foreheads. Where following Astra is not allowed, this will be concealed by a headband or ferrionere, but where it is allowed it is not uncommon for them to have highly complex facial tattoos. Some star-browed of particularly high levels have undergone secret rituals to embed metals and gems in these tattoos, or have received them as gifts from their goddess. Followers of Astra who have been acting in a particularly lawful way, and spreading news of her religion, are often granted intercessions directly from their goddess. She is particularly known to appear on moonless, starry nights and on the Astral plane. Her holy symbol is a cluster of stars, or a chain of three or more stars. Often her followers wear black or silver clothing, but there is no ritual robe style common to her followers.
Relationships with Other Priesthoods: Astra’s clerics, including her druids and specialty priests, have a very full calendar of sacred days that they believe should be celebrated regularly. A cleric of Astra should be performing some sort of ceremony every week to honor her goddess. It is both this rigorous schedule and their constant proselytizing that makes them an unwelcome religion in many cities. Worse still, they teach that their rituals should be practiced in fields and dark places, and on the astral plane, rather than in temples, which makes them uncomfortably mysterious in many cities. While some of the underground deities loathe Astra, it is secular authorities, not other priesthoods, that tend to be the problem.