The Church of Geb deals with the mineral needs of Mulhorand, ensuring enough raw materials are available for construction and manufacturing, and enough precious metals are available for the economy.
The Church of Geb is relatively minor compared to most of the other religious institutions in Mulhorand, whose membership is almost exclusively hereditary, yet it is exceptionally rich as it has a virtual monopoly on the acquisition of all raw materials in Mulhorand.
The Church of Geb was once a much larger organization during the First Age of the Empire of Mulhorand (and in the first half of the Second Age), when the empire needed vast quantities of metal and stone to fuel its construction projects and military campaigns in lands as far away as modern day Thesk and Ulgarth.
House Gebth was always prolific in its membership and had already set about monopolizing the control of most mines in Mulhorand by the time Horus-Re reformed the government and offered the Faramut Jabat (Ministry of Mountains) to House Gebth and the Church of Geb.
The Church of Geb has long been obsessed with exploring old mineshafts, ancient ruins, and natural phenomena hidden deep beneath the earth. They have uncovered a large number of strange artefacts of dwarven and other origins. It is believed there are even a few dwarves among the priesthood of the church, although the short stature of most members of House Gebth makes this claim difficult to confirm.
House Gebth has remained neutral and untouched through most of Mulhorand’s history, hiding in the mountains from plagues and natural disasters, only emerging to deliver the monthly quotas of minerals to nearby settlements.
Headquarters: Klondor, The Cavern of Riches
Members: 800 priests, plus 7,000 slaves and affiliated miners
Leader: So-Thamar Gebth (Neutral, Human – Mulan, Expert 6)
Secrecy: Medium. While the Church of Geb is widely known to all those who have dealings with the mining industry, its inner workings are most mysterious, and outsiders are rarely welcomed.
Symbol: A mountain
The Church of Geb is a family affair, its ranks are rarely open to those not of the Gebthant. It has a major temple in the Dragonsword Mountains and in the Mountains of Copper in Murghom, it is strangely absent from the Sunrise Mountains. The Priests of Geb run the church like a secret society, with ranks and titles decided by close family members as nicknames. When dealing with outsiders the priests usually refer to themselves as Miner, Majer, Deepdigger, Earthclaw, or Earthheart (in ascending order of self importance) with another honorific prefixed to add extra importance.
The church is run by the divine incarnation of Geb (usually making him the oldest and most powerful Gebthant in Mulhorand).
Dogma / Motivation / Goals
Officially, the Church of Geb has been charged by Horus-Re; the Divine Pharaoh, to provide for the mineral wealth of Mulhorand. This means that throughout the ages the Church of Geb has been relied upon to supply as much metal, stone, and gems that the empire needed to thrive and expand.
Over time, this divine mandate has been evolved by the family (likely influenced by the more dwarvish members) to require its members to search the earth for its precious wealth while preserving its natural beauty and enhancing it through careful works.
In truth, the church dogma is used only to attract (or deter) new potential recruits, and to guide its junior members in their activities. The elders of the family know that the only goal of any importance is to enrich the House of Gebth and ensure its survival.
Membership / Recruiting
The Church of Geb is populated almost exclusively by members of the House of Gebth. This means that its membership is normally incredibly loyal to the organization, but it also means that the success of the church is tied to the success (and proclivity) of a single noble House, which does not guarantee long term success (as the gradual decline of House Gebth and the Church of Geb proves).
Individual members of House Gebth are incredibly long lived compared to most Mulan (the average Gebthant often lives long enough to celebrate his 100th birthday), but the birthrate among Gebthant is very low (with a birthrate per thousand individuals of 10 per year). This has led to a decreasing membership of the Church of Geb.
The Church of Geb has a special relationship with the Church of Bes that has lasted for over a millennia. The two churches have temples and shrines in similar regions (in and around the mountain ranges of Mulhorand) and there is a kinship in membership between them (both have gold dwarves among their membership from related clans).
So-Thamar Gebth (Neutral, half Human – Mulan, half Dwarf – Gold, Expert 6): So-Thamar is the most recent divine incarnation of Geb. He is an elderly man of a diminutive 5 ft in height, but blessed with the wiry strength of a bull and the endurance to match. So-Thamar spends much of his time delving beneath the earth, but he is worrying of late that his achievements in life do not live up to his divine title. He has begun to dream about finding a mountain of mithril and leading the Church of Geb to glory.
Sphere of Influence
Staff of Geb: This staff was long carried by Geb, a gift from the earth found during one of his forays beneath one of Mulhorand’s many mountain ranges. The 6 ft tall staff is made of solid stone, fused into a single beam, and tapered at one end to form a flattened edge. Stories of Geb and his staff say that the mighty staff was capable of excavating through any substrate, unhindered by stone or ore. It is also said that the staff could be used to find precious metals and gems, vibrating slightly when they are near. The staff belongs to the Divine Incarnation of Geb and remains most often in the deeper chambers of the Cavern of Riches in Klondor
The Fellowship of the Mithril Mountain: This adventuring arm of the Church of Geb is dedicated to rooting out and finding the mythical Mithril Mountain of Geb. The elders of House Gebth say that Geb himself imparted this secret quest to his three sons following the Orcgate Wars. The legend goes that the dwarves of long ago lost this sacred, fiery mountain during wars of their kin, in the heart of the mountain was a great forged that used the power of the earth to smelt the white gold. It was said to lie west of the great nation of Yaehymtar, a nation lost long before the settling of Great Bhaerynden, the tallest mountain amid a sea of peaks.
Those Gebthant filled with wanderlust, or unsuited to life in the mines (a few Gebthant are born each generation who reach nearly 6 ft in height), are often sent out into the world to seek out the Mithril Mountain of Geb. They have searched far and wide, appearing in lands such as Chult, Turmish, Cormyr, and even far off Calimshan.
In times of great need (thus far there have been few needs so dire), the Fellowship of the Mithril Mountain is pledged to help the Church of Geb and Mulhorand. It is able to bring together the abilities, experience, and magical might of 40+ members and their allied adventuring bands.