Saint Cuthbert

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Happy St Cuthbert’s Day!
St Cuthbert’s Society, a college of Durham University established in 1888, is named after the saint and on or around each 20 March celebrates with a magnificent feast. “Cuth’s Day”.

*Saint Cuthbert (c. 634 – 20 March 687) was a saint of the early Northumbrian church in the Celtic tradition. He was a monk, bishop and hermit, associated with the monasteries of Melrose and Lindisfarne. After his death he became one of the most important medieval saints of Northern England, with a cult centred on his tomb at Durham Cathedral. Cuthbert is regarded as the patron saint of northern England.

Read more from BBC’s Religion and Ethics

Images: St Cuthbert Gospel

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Holy Island has a recorded history from the 6th century. It was an important center of Celtic Christianity under Saints Aidan of Lindisfarne, Cuthbert, Eadfrith of Lindisfarne and Eadberht of Lindisfarne. After Viking invasions and the Norman conquest of England a priory was reestablished. A small castle was built on the island in 1550. it is isolated, beautiful and a photographer’s dream.

This is Northumberland.

My party is getting ready to introduce a new character to the campaign, and this is a brief, out of context selection of things said between myself, him, and the DM on a day we were working on sheets (because our cleric failed to show. Damn Saint of Saint Cuthbert.)

Rogue: I am not banging the goblin.

Summoner: But what if use disguise.

Rogue: …I am notbanging the goblin. What do I need, a will check against the disguise to see through it?

DM: Perception to see through the disguise, will check to not bang the goblin.

Rogue: …I AM NOT BANGING THE GOBLIN.

Later after a more interesting conversation about spells.

Rogue: No offense, but I’m not sharing a hamster ball with a goblin. No, no wait, full offense.

(I swear we’re usually a normal party.)

Derailed... the campaign

As our first D&D session, we were tasked by a priest of Saint Cuthbert to explore a cave system and retrieve a magic pearl. The party consisted of an Elf Rogue, a Genasi Ranger, Human Wizard, Human Cleric, Half-Elf Monk, and myself a Human Sorcerer all at level 2. When we arrive at the entrance to the cave our ranger attempts a skill check to determine what might be living in the there, he fails spectacularly and our DM tells him, “Rocks, lots and lots of rocks.” With that done we continue in and discover it was actually an old mining system and some brand new miners had moved in, specifically Lizardmen. As we plan what to do we’re discovered a fight breaks out, the Lizardmen bear down on us with the assistance of some Sahuagin. We hunker in to fight when suddenly our DM decides to go killer and sicks a couple rock elementals at us (which were only there because of the Ranger’s failed skill check), blocking our route out of the cave and KO'ing our Wizard. Realizing we’re outmatched and outgunned both the ranger and myself throw up our hands in surrender and start negotiations. We explain that we only came for the magic pearl, we didn’t want to fight and that we would gladly turn around and leave but we can’t do so empty handed. The Lizardman leader wasn’t willing to part with the pearl, so I asked if we have some similar looking rocks that might have absorbed some of the ambient energy of it. He agrees and we’re sent on our way with a bag of fake pearls and left to devise a cover story.

We return to the priest and convince him we didn’t find one large magic pearl, but many small ones. He thanks us and rewards us with shiny new gear but then turns to the Monk and tells her that her grandfather, a retired Paladin, had been kidnapped by the Tiefling empire. She decides this can not stand and we’re off to rescue him. After a very annoying encounter with Tiefling bandits we enter the desert make the trek to the empire’s capital. After asking too many questions we are brought to the Emperor himself who laughs at us and tells us to go back to where we came and if we wish to free the old paladin we’d have to return with a holy sword that the old paladin had hidden away. We decide that there is no way we’re going to let the Emperor have the sword so we plan break grandpa out. So we had the choice to seize the throne room where we last saw the old guy, or take the route to the dungeon. We chose dungeon which turned out to be the harder of the two routes. We slowly fight our way past the guards, as we make a left just before the dungeon itself we’re beset by four archers, my character takes a critical hit to the forehead, killing him instantly.

This is where the shit hits the fan.

Our plan hinged on the fact we had two casters in the party to operate teleport scrolls to get us out of the dungeon an into safety. Disposing of the archers the party had to quickly salvage this FUBAR situation. The Wizard set up a quick teleportation circle and took the Paladin, the Monk, and my body back to the city where we began, specifically his bedroom at home, then took off running to the magic shop to find a third teleport scroll. The ranger, rogue, and Cleric barricade the door to the dungeon when an old friend of the Rogue who led them down the poop chute and right into the claws of an evil Monk and her five cronies. Saying nuts to that the three crawl back up the sewage pipe and block the hole just as the Wizard arrives and teleports them out. After landing in the Wizards bed covered in shit, the Ranger sends the others to the church of Saint Cuthbert and he takes my body to the church of Bahamut since he was a recent convert. When they get there it’s revealed that the priest we had been working for was a supplanter working for the Tiefling emperor the entire time, he had mind controlled the Paladin and the Monk and instructed the Monk to empty her family’s bank account while he held the Paladin. The Ranger arrives and thinks he might get mind controlled too so he writes a distress letter in feces in a book of Bahamut he had while convincing the priest that I needed to be resurrected. The traitor priest tells the Ranger to retrieve my body and the Ranger takes the opportunity to inform all the paladins and clerics of Bahamut about the Priest’s deception and the cavalry comes rolling in but not before the Ranger throws his shit covered book at the Priest nailing him in the head. The Priest flees and I am resurrected using some of the money that the Monk took out. Soon after the Paladin tasked us with moving the holy sword to a new location where it could be guarded since it’s current resting place was at risk.

Skipping forward a bit, we were level 6 by this point, after a rather annoying dungeon crawl we find the holy sword but there’s bad news, the Empire is on it’s way, with the sword out in the open and no time to hide it we prepared for war. A series of quick journeys around the region ensue as we gather allies, involving stuffing two vegetable vampires into a bag of holding (yes this happened our DM was really starting to crowbar in nonsensical crap like this at that point), we return in time as the Empire’s army marches on us, the Emperor himself leading the charge. We figure we’ll draw out the Emperor using the sword as bait, which works. The Emperor engages us and during a hard fought struggle the sword is stolen from us in a bullshit move involving a magically stealthed monk. By this point we were tired of our DM’s crap so the game ended, but we enjoyed the characters and the setting so much that we approached a second DM and told him the story, he saw how invested we were but didn’t want to deal with our old DM’s crap. It was determined in discussions that the pearl we were sent to get at the beginning of our campaign was a reagent for a ritual that would turn the holy sword evil, remembering that I had swapped the pearl for a sack of fakes way back at level 2 our new DM did the logical thing and wiped the slate clean by blowing up the Tiefling Empire in a magically infused nuclear explosion caused by the ritual backfiring.

And that’s the story of how a level 2 Sorcerer blew up an Empire accidentally.