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Jon_Dahl
2014-07-24, 11:09 AM
This is mostly D&D related, but not necessarily.

Fictional religions have saints, such as Saint Cuthbert of Greyhawk. Saints need not be gods like Saint Cuthbert, but just a part of a religion.

I was thinking about a having an evil temple in my game (D&D) which is named after a saint of the religion and the clergy follows his traditions.
I find it hard to have him called a "saint", since the spells are exclusively named with unholy names. They even use unholy water, which is called just that!
And I know that there's Saint Kargoth, but he was an actual saint before his fall.

Does anyone have a good fantasy counterpart for saints? Or should evil saint be called saints? Or do they all need an invidual moniker?

LunaLovecraft
2014-07-24, 11:20 AM
I wouldn't find it unsurprising for them to be called Saints. I mean, bad guys think they're the good guys, right?

Unless they're specifically trying to mess with people and think that's bad and don't care... in which case Saint is a good name for tricking random passerbys.

Of course, if we're looking for a new name, I suppose we could see where Saints got their name from and go from there. Saint comes from the latin word Sanctus. Doing some googling on the latin word for unholy in the sense we're using it returns the words sceleratus and defanatus as the two better choices it seems, as unholy seems to frequently translate into godless and that's clearly not applicable here. (I by no means speak latin, if I'm messing something up feel free to correct me)

From those two I could say...

Scelerate
Defane
Selerate
Defanat

Something along those lines. Defane sounds nicest in my opinion, I could probably see someone being called Defane Brown or Defane John. Selerate Jane also sounds pretty easy to say and functional.

Erik Vale
2014-07-24, 11:53 AM
Don't go with Defanat, sounds to much like Definite, which will just confuse people.

Mark Hall
2014-07-24, 12:30 PM
I think, in part, you need a definition of what a saint is... what does it MEAN for someone to be a saint, instead of just a priest?

IMO, I think you wind up with something like FRs Chosen... people, not necessarily priests, who embody a fraction of a deity's power. They have powers above and beyond a priest, frequently because the Chosen will have their own skills... they advanced to X level as a whatever, then got their Chosen powers.

If you go that route, you've pretty well got your answer... "Chosen of X". You can have Saint Cadderly of Deneir, or Cadderly, Chosen of Deneir, and they're pretty much interchangeable.

T-Mick
2014-07-24, 01:00 PM
"Interdicient", or some other variant of Interdictus.

Sanctus is ultimately derived from Sanctio, which means "sanction". If you take that to mean "sanction in the sense of approval", then I would consider "interdict" to be the opposite.

"Pest" is another Latin-derived word that works, surprisingly. It comes from Pestis, which is a curse. There are other words for curse that sound cooler, but that's the one I remember. Mosquitoes are curses. They help remember Pestis.

Socksy
2014-07-24, 01:25 PM
St. Cuthbert is Lawful Neutral(sometimes, depending on what book or magazine you're looking at), so I'd assume Saint would work fine for any alignment at a push. Defane and Selerate sound awesome though.

Mark Hall
2014-07-24, 02:46 PM
"Interdicient", or some other variant of Interdictus.

Sanctus is ultimately derived from Sanctio, which means "sanction". If you take that to mean "sanction in the sense of approval", then I would consider "interdict" to be the opposite.

"Pest" is another Latin-derived word that works, surprisingly. It comes from Pestis, which is a curse. There are other words for curse that sound cooler, but that's the one I remember. Mosquitoes are curses. They help remember Pestis.

So.... Tuanta Quiro Miancay?

veti
2014-07-24, 05:43 PM
Blessed?

Master?

Darth?

Edit: although really, I agree that there's no reason to suppose an evil church's terminology would be any different from a good church's.

Larkas
2014-07-24, 08:11 PM
Defanatus (http://glosbe.com/la/en/defanatus).

Defane sounds about right.

Draken
2014-07-24, 09:13 PM
Following T-mic's last line, I would go with something that belongs in the English language (as opposed to importing Latin terms) and holds a similar but opposite meaning to Saint, perhaps Curst (although that is already a creature in Forgotten Realms).

Of course, if you take 'Saint' to merely be 'an individual enshrined by the faith for his or her deeds' then the word works fine in spite of alignment. At least when used by other followers. Enemies would use a different and pejorative word of their choice.

Waker
2014-07-24, 09:56 PM
It might also help if you gave us some details on this evil temple and what are some of the pertinent aspects of the religion. So if you were to have an evil temple of Ur-Priests for instance, they might follow the teachings of an Apostate.

Thrudd
2014-07-24, 10:16 PM
...Taints?

Erik Vale
2014-07-25, 05:09 AM
... No.

Also, you might want to update your tittle, cause right now the correct answer to it should probably be prayer.

BWR
2014-07-25, 06:15 AM
'Saint' works for evil too. Back in 1e days there was a Dragon article about saints, which included some evil ones.

Jon_Dahl
2014-07-25, 06:23 AM
... No.

Also, you might want to update your tittle, cause right now the correct answer to it should probably be prayer.

All right...

BWR
2014-07-25, 09:36 AM
I suppose you could go for 'proxy' as they do in Planescape. Proxies are favored servants of gods. They don't necessarily get any special powers or are even clerics, but they exemplify and serve their patron in a truly exceptional way.

CarpeGuitarrem
2014-07-25, 09:54 AM
"Profanes" could work, if they really wanted to appear as they do. The mindset would be that of rebellion against the Good folks: clearly identifying themselves to people who sympathize with them. Also, edgy teenage rebellion and whatnot.

Millennium
2014-07-25, 10:45 AM
Honestly, I'd keep using "Saint" even for evil faiths because it's uncomfortable. Some evil faiths might even revel in that discomfort.

If I had to pick a different title for an evil faith, though, I'd probably go with "Dread".

Segev
2014-07-25, 01:46 PM
How about "Elect" (as in "those selected as the best") or "Dominus?"

Perhaps "Fane," shortened from "profane."

TeChameleon
2014-07-25, 01:55 PM
Huh. From what I remember, historically, the 'evil' equivalent to a saint would be a heretic (both terms having been somewhat devalued over the years... originally, to be branded a heretic, you had to be actively teaching something that went against mainstream doctrine).

So 'Heretic' could work... 'Gnossos' ('one who knows') might be a way to go as well, since there historically actually was a Gnostic heresy way back in the day.

Oh, and the usual caveat applies- I'm working from memory here and could be wildly, stupidly wrong. If I am, sorry >.O

Mark Hall
2014-07-25, 03:27 PM
Huh. From what I remember, historically, the 'evil' equivalent to a saint would be a heretic (both terms having been somewhat devalued over the years... originally, to be branded a heretic, you had to be actively teaching something that went against mainstream doctrine).

So 'Heretic' could work... 'Gnossos' ('one who knows') might be a way to go as well, since there historically actually was a Gnostic heresy way back in the day.

Oh, and the usual caveat applies- I'm working from memory here and could be wildly, stupidly wrong. If I am, sorry >.O

Not really; as you point out, a heretic is someone who is preaching unauthorized doctrine (such as the devotees of Pelor, the Burning Hate). In a society where there are a lot of different faiths, each with their own doctrine, an evil saint might be preaching the purest form of the doctrine... just of an evil deity.

CarpeGuitarrem
2014-07-25, 03:40 PM
How about "Elect" (as in "those selected as the best") or "Dominus?"

Oooooooooooooooooooooooooh. I really like Elect. It says miles about their mentality.

Tridax
2014-07-26, 01:59 PM
You could also try "Hierophant". It derives from ancient greek and means to be an interpreter of sacred mysteries and stuff.

Mewtarthio
2014-07-26, 05:35 PM
What about Prophet? Prophets communicate directly with their gods, plus they tend to be pretty crazy by laity standards.

veti
2014-07-27, 05:46 PM
What about Prophet? Prophets communicate directly with their gods, plus they tend to be pretty crazy by laity standards.

There's the usual problem with using a word that already has a specific meaning in this context...

A "prophet", pretty much by definition, challenges orthodoxy. I'm pretty sure any church would not want to limit its saints to people who do that. Prophets may be saints, but not all saints would be prophets.

Psyren
2014-07-27, 06:09 PM
"Elect" is too neutral, and also invokes images of a committee (which is admittedly the case for many Saints too, but not all of them.)

I am throwing my vote behind "Fane" as that is pithy and sounds sufficiently evil.

Lord Torath
2014-07-27, 06:38 PM
Problem with "Fane" is that it already means "temple or shrine." TSR adventure D3 had the Great Fane of Lolth, which was a temple. I kind of like Selerate.

Mastikator
2014-07-27, 08:45 PM
Why shouldn't an evil saint just be called a saint? What makes a saint a saint isn't that they're good, it's that they're pious and perform miracles. If you serve an evil god then being pious is evil.

Psyren
2014-07-27, 09:07 PM
Problem with "Fane" is that it already means "temple or shrine." TSR adventure D3 had the Great Fane of Lolth, which was a temple. I kind of like Selerate.

I don't see this as a big deal. Words can have multiple meanings - "temple" for instance also means "flat part of the side of one's head."

Even when "fane" means temple, it's typically used to connote "evil temple" specifically.


Why shouldn't an evil saint just be called a saint? What makes a saint a saint isn't that they're good, it's that they're pious and perform miracles. If you serve an evil god then being pious is evil.

Because saint has become associated with good by connotation. Yes, you can technically have evil saints, or evil religions that consider themselves holy and the good religions unholy, but in a gaming context you'll almost never see those usages applied that way.

Mastikator
2014-07-27, 09:20 PM
All the more reason to just go with the word "saint" then.

Words like "profane" and "unholy" are derogatory words used by "good" religions to describe "evil" religions, if the "evil" religion is the main religion then there's no reason for them to insult themselves, an evil god is still divine and holy. An evil temple is still sacred. An evil priest is still pious.
And an evil religion thinking itself good is extremely common.

Sith_Happens
2014-07-27, 09:21 PM
You're all coming at this the wrong way. If "saint" comes from a Latin root meaning "holy," then obviously the evil equivalent should be from the Germanic root meaning "holy," because everything sounds meaner in German (I dare anyone to try and deny it:smalltongue:).

...Of course, since Google Translate doesn't do Proto-Germanic and I'm too lazy to do actual linguistic research, I'm going to go ahead and assume that modern German is an appropriate shortcut.

"Holy" translates to "heilig," which is the cognate of the English "hail." Ergo, the evil equivalent of "Saint" is "(the) Hailed," or "Hailed One" if you want to get fancy. Which sounds perfect if you ask me, especially since it gives evil churches an excuse to run around yelling "Hail [insert name here]!"

Mark Hall
2014-07-27, 10:41 PM
You're all coming at this the wrong way. If "saint" comes from a Latin root meaning "holy," then obviously the evil equivalent should be from the Germanic root meaning "holy," because everything sounds meaner in German (I dare anyone to try and deny it:smalltongue:).

The word for lightbulb in German is Glühbirne (GLU-bur-ne), which is literally "glowing pear."

deuxhero
2014-07-28, 12:10 AM
Ergo, the evil equivalent of "Saint" is "(the) Hailed," or "Hailed One" if you want to get fancy. Which sounds perfect if you ask me, especially since it gives evil churches an excuse to run around yelling "Hail [insert name here]!"

I like it.

Segev
2014-07-28, 08:46 AM
Gives a whole new meaning to "Hail to the King."

nedz
2014-07-28, 09:31 AM
Favoured of
Ur-Saint

Actually what you really want is a euphemism — which would depend on the deity.
Fang or Poison or Silk for Lolth maybe ?

Psyren
2014-07-28, 10:44 AM
All the more reason to just go with the word "saint" then.

Words like "profane" and "unholy" are derogatory words used by "good" religions to describe "evil" religions, if the "evil" religion is the main religion then there's no reason for them to insult themselves, an evil god is still divine and holy. An evil temple is still sacred. An evil priest is still pious.
And an evil religion thinking itself good is extremely common.

How they think of themselves is irrelevant. The game still calls their stuff unholy, or [evil] subtype, or gives them profane bonuses etc. Whether they think they are doing good or not, the game/cosmos knows the truth. As this is a gaming subforum, we're discussing game terminology, which is generally black-and-white rather than subjective.

123456789blaaa
2014-07-28, 01:37 PM
All the more reason to just go with the word "saint" then.

Words like "profane" and "unholy" are derogatory words used by "good" religions to describe "evil" religions, if the "evil" religion is the main religion then there's no reason for them to insult themselves, an evil god is still divine and holy. An evil temple is still sacred. An evil priest is still pious.
And an evil religion thinking itself good is extremely common.

In our world they're derogatory yes. In DnD land they're just a descriptor though. Unholy water means water infused with Negative Energy and Holy water is water infused with Positive Energy. That's it.

Good and Evil are equally valid cosmic forces in DnD. Good and some Neutral people might think of anything aligned with Evil with disgust and insult it because Evil is opposed to Good. It's not a general thing though.

This is why Evil religions thinking themselves Good are very rare in DnD. It's hard to think of oneself as aligned with Good when you keep pinging Evil on "detect alignment".

CarpeGuitarrem
2014-07-28, 02:23 PM
It would definitely make total sense for an evil faith to be disgusted by terms like "Holy". "Eww. That water is all holy and stuff."

Raimun
2014-07-28, 02:35 PM
Ok. In D&D Saints are people favored by gods. That is, it's still different from being a Cleric. A Saint doesn't need to be a Cleric and not all Clerics are Saints.

Therefore, I think a good title might be Chosen. Anyone who has played Warhammer would associate it with Evil.

Draken
2014-07-28, 08:33 PM
It would definitely make total sense for an evil faith to be disgusted by terms like "Holy". "Eww. That water is all holy and stuff."

Not sure, holy water could be pretty useful to an evil priest. Keeps those demons and not-quite-mindless undead on their toes. It is not like it does anything to the mortal himself.

CarpeGuitarrem
2014-07-29, 09:01 AM
Not sure, holy water could be pretty useful to an evil priest. Keeps those demons and not-quite-mindless undead on their toes. It is not like it does anything to the mortal himself.
Ooooh, I like that. There could certainly be evil faiths like that. Even if they do dislike holy water on principle (being sanctified by the beings which they oppose and whatnot).

Lesson to be learned: whatever the final thing winds up being, think it through.

Marcelinari
2014-07-30, 08:18 AM
I'm a fan of portmanteaus, personally. How about combining profane/defane with another likely attribute of this 'anti-sainthood' - fanaticism? So, the opposite of Saint is Profanatic. Or Defanatic, I suppose.

Also has the amusing side effect of being a pro fanatic, which I like.

Red Fel
2014-07-30, 01:18 PM
In D&D and other tabletop RPGs, Saints are "elevated" in some way. Somehow, being holier than others and being chosen by a deity, growing closer to their celestial patrons, blah blah, elevated.

An Evil Saint, then, would be the other way around, wouldn't he? More profane, more obscene, more vile. Growing closer to his infernal patron. Which for some reason we imagine as being below, just as the nice ones are above, for some silly reason.

Descendant. It's a nice word with a common-use function (i.e. one descended from, such as a child or grandchild), but it also has another meaning. Consider the word Ascendant, Descendant's opposite. It can mean forebear or ancestor. It can also mean "superior" or "rising." Descendant, then, is its opposite - the nadir to its zenith, the falling to its rising. Yet the word is no less impressive-sounding.

For example, meet my LE Cleric, Descendant Keleth, the Glorious Hand of Zarus.

Sounds pretty wicked, huh?

Still don't like Descendant? Shorten it. Descent. That's got a nice dark imagery to it, hasn't it? A Descent, as you may realize, is a downward slope, a decrease or shrinking or lowering over time. It also reminds people of a particular place which, as I've already mentioned, is absurdly visualized as being below. Silly, right? But calling a person a Descent is actually kind of scary - that person represents the act of sinking into Evil. Which is almost as awesome as saying that a person represents the concept of holiness.

Another_Poet
2014-08-01, 01:56 AM
In the Iron Kingdoms setting, they are called Scions.

Unlike some posters above, I personally wouldn't use "saint" since it literally means "sanctified one" which sounds pretty good aligned to me. But the opposite of that could be:

Desecrator
Unsainted, as in Thomas the Unsainted
Fell, as in Fell Thomas

I also think if you could come up with something based on the word "perdition" it would be terrific.

Edit: Based on Sith_Happens' idea, instead of Hail I would use Heil. Sounds instantly way, way more evil.

Gracht Grabmaw
2014-08-04, 05:49 PM
Scourge seems appropriate. It's not exactly a title but it does effectively carry the message.

Also, an ur-priest is not the same thing as an evil priest, they are anti-priests. Instead of worshipping their deity and being granted powers through it they steal their powers from a deity through arcane means so they can fight followers of that deity. Evil priests still serve their gods just as much as good priests do.

Angelalex242
2014-08-04, 06:31 PM
We're essentially looking for a medieval version of 'Darth' right?

Fell would be the most easily recognizable.

If you're not afraid of copyright infringement, you could even call them 'Nazgul' or something like that.