Cayden Cailean

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Cayden Cailean
Chaotic good
Cleric alignment(s)
Chaos, Charm, Good, Strength, Travel
Favored weapon

Cayden Cailean is one of Pathfinder deities.

Background[edit | edit source]

Cayden Cailean is one of the Ascended, a mortal man who became a god after passing the grueling tests of the magical Starstone. Three days after entering the Cathedral of the Starstone on a drunken dare, the good-natured sellsword emerged a living god, baffled and amused. His behavior changed little after his ascension: he continued to fight for just causes, sample various drinks, and avoid things he didn't want to do. Thus, Cayden Cailean became the patron of brave souls, alcoholic spirits, and the freedom to choose your own path in life. He expects his followers to be brave in the face of danger, though there is no shame in necessary retreat — he's the god of bravery, not reckless stupidity. Although many assume his faithful will accept any dare, the god's focus on freedom keeps his heroes from being manipulated so easily, and even the dullest hero of Cayden Cailean has the sense not to accept an impossible or suicidal challenge — though it is not uncommon to accept a risky one after a swig or two of "liquid courage."

Cayden Cailean is outgoing, friendly, boisterous, unashamed, and flirtatious, even more so when he indulges in fermented delights. He loves good-spirited toasts, friendly bar brawls, bawdy songs, and standing up for the underdog. He loathes slavery, mean-spiritedness, bullying, teetotalers, and restrictive laws and customs. He believes that everyone would get along better if they could all just sit down and have a drink, preferably in the company of attractive companions. A former mercenary, he believes in fair pay for a job well done, whether in coin, drink, or a tumble in the hay with an enthusiastic paramour.

Cayden Cailean's direct intervention in the mortal world isn't frequent, but he has been known to prevent a keg from emptying (often to help good folk survive a siege or convince them to congregate a little longer in a place of safety) or to push someone especially meek to show courage at a key moment. Having had his share of hard times as a mortal, he's not above helping someone for free now and then, or leaving an extra-generous tip for someone in need. This simple and welcoming philosophy makes him popular with adventurers, philanthropists, revelers, and those who fight for good, and it is traditional among his adherents to toast his name with the first drink of the evening.

As the god of wine, Cayden's interest is in the merriment and socialization alcohol can facilitate rather than attempting to drown or forget sorrows, and he despises mean drunks or those who allow their drunkenness to hurt innocents. He has been known to inspire tipsy revelers to confess secrets better aired than left to fester, and he encourages his worshipers to push each other to greatness via friendly dares. A "Cayden's dare" is any foolish-seeming thing that turns out to have beneficial consequences, and at Caydenite weddings, it's common to tell jokes and stories explaining how the bride or groom is only present because of a drunken dare (especially if they're true).

Although his other divine concerns are flexible in interpretation, Cayden is as hard as nails when it comes to a person's right to freedom. Coupled with his love of drink, his refusal in his mortal days to go against his own beliefs for the sake of mere coin gave him a somewhat unreliable reputation. He believes there is no justice in a law that oppresses one person to benefit another, and over the centuries he has worked to counter slavery and the plots of deities who see human misery as a fair price to pay in pursuit of their goals. In places where the peasantry suffers from harsh taxes or demoralizing practices, he helps them topple their oppressors or at least aids them in escaping to more friendly lands. Though often seen as a god of righteous rebellion, he doesn't believe in vengeance or coups for their own sake, and is not a god of destructive chaos or madcap frivolity — his followers must take responsibility for the consequences of their actions.

Those who go against Cayden's simple tenets may find themselves ill the next time they drink, intoxicated when clarity is needed, or frightened by common animals or shadows. When he is happy, drinks are more delicious, the night air feels brisker and smells sweeter, and courage burns white-hot. An unexpected windfall of alcohol is a common sign of favor, yet can just as easily turn to vinegar or sewage in the mouths of the unworthy.

When Cayden Cailean appears to his followers, he usually looks much as he did in life: an average-looking bronze-skinned human with a tankard in one hand, often wearing chainmail. In grander art, he is sometimes shown fending off a swarm of devils with his well-worn rapier, all while holding his tankard high. Some artists portray the Drunken Hero with broken shackles hanging loosely from his wrists or fallen at his feet, representing breaking free of mortal concerns — though in areas where his faith has brought freedom from oppression or slavery, the shackles have a more literal interpretation.

Cayden Cailean is the only major god who uses a surname. In his early years as a god, he insisted that his last name be included in all forms of address, an unusual habit for someone normally so relaxed about formalities. The prevalent opinions on the matter are that he wished to distance himself from another mortal named Cayden (perhaps someone of evil intent) or to honor his parents, said to have died when he was young. This second theory is corroborated by his interest in sponsoring orphanages, perhaps as a thank-you to the long-gone orphanage that raised him. He ignores questions about the matter, insisting that it was decided long ago and there are more important things to talk about.

Cayden's holy symbol is a tankard of ale, with or without a rich head of foam on it. He is called the Drunken Hero, the Lucky Drunk, and many other affectionate nicknames. He's amused rather than offended by those who use his name as part of colorful oaths, and thus many of his clergy can be creative and prolific in their swearing. Most of his true "clergy" are clerics, but he is also honored by hordes of good-natured rogues, barbarians, and fighters who — despite not receiving any direct boons from the god — seek to spread his faith and emulate his relaxed attitude toward a mercenary or adventuring life. His priesthood also includes some inquisitors, mainly those questing to free slaves and overturn tyrants, as well as a handful of druids who attend to sacred vineyards and the other agricultural aspects of brewing.