Sham's The Enemy Within
Ranald, the god of Tricksters and Thieves, is the patron deity of thieves, gamblers and other rogues. It is claimed that he was once a human who managed to trick Shallya, goddess of Healing and Mercy, into making him a god.
Although he is associated with crime, he is not evil and forbids violence of any kind except in self defence. To Ranald, the perfect crime is one which is only discovered weeks later. He is driven by his irrepressible sense of humor and his love of thievery, which to him is a means of humiliating pompous and imperious merchants, rather than avarice.
Much like Sigmar, Ranald was not born a god but managed to become one himself. While Sigmar did so by proving himself worthy, Ranald became immortal through lies and trickery. His means of ascension into the pantheon of deities provides his followers with an excellent example of his ideology. He tricked Shallya, the Maiden of Mercy, to let him drink of her tears, thereby deifying himself. Ranald wishes all his followers to lie, trick, and rise against authorities and laws, and what greater authority to circumvent than that of a god? Though generally regarded as impertinent and disrespectful of authority, Ranald is not known to dislike the older gods nor think badly of them.
Ranald loves nothing more than to bring down the mighty and raise the low and is considered to be a giver of good fortune, and many prayers are said to him by those wishing for a change of luck, or to keep the wealth they have gained so far.
Ranald is largely worshipped in the larger towns and cities of the Old World, by gamblers, thieves, rogues, and the lower classes. Ranald and his followers have two basic sets of enemies: the authorities and violent rogues. While the worship of Ranald is not in itself illegal in the Old World, those openly displaying the symbols of the God of Thieves are naturally subject to distrust. Those who are arrested and punished are usually considered guilty of some crime be it either theft or otherwise.
Ranald has four aspects:
- the ‘Night Prowler’, the patron of thieves
- the ‘Deceiver’, the patron of those devoted to deception, such as Illusionist sorcerors, con men, and charlatans
- the ‘Gamester’, the patron of gamblers
- the ‘Protector’, an aspect generally popular with the underclass; protects his worshippers from official tyranny
The cult of Ranald is highly decentralized if it has any organization at all. The few temples that openly exist are careful to emphasize Ranald’s role as a patron of trade. A large temple to Ranald is located in the city of Marienburg, and serves tentatively as the cult’s main temple, but most worship is organized around local shrines. There are small shrines devoted to each of Ranald’s aspects. Shrines are never elaborate and are always hidden and easily concealable. Shrines to Ranald as the Night Prowler can sometimes be found in the dens of Thieves’ Guilds. Priests of Ranald are often mobile, and train initiates on an ad hoc basis. His cult has no formal orders and no formal holy days.
Other cults tend to afford the cult Ranald some measure of respect, despite his illicit nature. Many consider followers of Ranald to be annoying and unsociable, especially those who worship Verena, goddess of law and justice who believe Ranald to be an excuse for unlawful behaviour. Shallya disapproves of Ranald, and it is he that exploited the goddess’s compassion to gain godhood. The god herself has forgiven him, but her followers are somewhat less likely follow her example.