term for the item or icon
carried by a Priest
that is representative of his/her faith
. A wood
is considered a holy symbol
(for most of the Christian religion
s) as is an ankh
, a pentagram
, entwined snake
s, or whatever a particular deity's symbol is. Most Priest
s are required by their deities
to carry holy symbols; in some cases, they are even penalized
for not carrying one.
A holy symbol is required as a material component for casting several types of Priest spells. Additionally, turning undead is usually accomplished by presenting one's holy symbol forcefully to the undead creatures. Some holy symbols have intrinsic magical properties, but this is usually on an individual basis. Characters of an alignment or faith opposite or disagreeable to the symbol's patron deity sometimes suffer damage or shocks if they try to handle a holy symbol.