Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Silduggis’

Crumbs

Sorry everyone.  Due to weddings, funerals, birthdays, illnesses, and hospitilizations, my game has been spotty for several weeks now.  Even as we speak I labor under some terrible illness.  Also breathing down my neck is the threat of NaNoWriMo, which I agreed to compete in.  (But not to say.  It sounds too anime.)

Since I haven’t updated this in quite a while, I offer the following tidbit of background information for the campaign whores out there.  (You know who you are)  Nursery rhymes of Valt!

Nursery Rhymes of Valt

The ancient lich with a face of bone,
he plays his ribs like a xylophone,
he’ll steal away another if one of his breaks.
What scary music that dead man makes.

Thickery knickery knack
I have a kobold in a sack.
Give it a swing, give it a thwack
now we’ve a pudding in our sack.

Isn’t it hot
in an ogre’s pot?
Stewing with carrots
or whatever he’s got.
He loves to eat children,
and they say he’s a villain.
But he’s just hungry a lot.

Each of the above three rhymes are silly little ditties that are all about monsters that children may have to fear.  They are usually used to take some of the fear away, by making the monster the object of ridicule.  Occasionally the first one is sung by bards to warn each other of the possibility of an actual lich in the vicinity.

A man from the Islands loves to drink gin
and a man from the Empire is a paladin.
An man from Cadram has a towel on his head
and a man from Jheira would be better off dead.
A man from Shotan eats seaweed and rice.
A man from the sea has a beard filled with lice.
A Fassetian man is dark and tall,
and a man with no eyes is no man at all.

Note that in the one above, children from the Jade Islands replace the second line with ‘A Numbraran man does one in’.  This is a racist little song that reminds children to be wary for those possessed by Silduggis.

Tiny Tansee, what a nancy.
Can’t even fight an orc.
He got wounded in the war,
when he bit down on a fork.

Sellie the belly was seldom seen,
without his friends all decked in green.
But when the fashions changed to white,
Sellie ran away in fright.

Glister the blister, but we call him Gus.
He’s a nasty black canker all filled with pus.
Take you care, when the other shoe drops,
or Glister the Blister just might go pop.

All three of these are little rhymes which were originally intended to taunt a public figure of the time.  (General Tancer of Numbrar, a noted coward; Selice Hewarsh, a wizard known for consorting with orcs, and Glistus Maxin, a Numbraran officer of Fassetian origin, known for his temper, respectively.)  These little songs are common throughout the world, although some catch on and become popular children’s ditties long after everyone has forgotten who they were about.

One little goblin makes me laugh,
ten little goblins can cause a scrap.
A hundred goblins make me cry.
A thousand goblins means time to die.

A single giant is more than enough
A pair of ogres are very tough.
Three green hags will cause me trouble.
If you have four ettins, you’ll soon see double.
You must run away if the ghouls number five,
if you fight six shadows you won’t be alive.
Against seven trolls you’ll always lose.
Eight hobgoblins must be given their dues.
If you have nine orcs, then you won’t be the winner.
If you have ten rabbits, then you have dinner.

The last two nursery rhymes are counting rhymes.  The first teaches the children the higher base values in a base ten counting system, while the second rhyme is a more traditional one to ten version.  Note that rabbits are lumped in with monsters like orcs and trolls in the second rhyme.  As an animal associated with the Silduggan deities, rabbits are thought to be an ill omen.

Well, that’s all I have for today.  Hopefully once I am through writing at the end of the month I can get back to this blog and provide some more serious updates.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

As a quick introduction, Tantori is a dark horse deity for me.  I created him to kind of fill out the Silduggan pantheon, and was surprised at the reaction he got.  Not only did the back story I created for him fit, every time his clergy has shown up in my games, my players have reacted with extreme fear and outrage.  Due to this, he rapidly became one of my favorite gods in the game.

Tantori (tan-TORE-ee)

The Betrayer, Lord of Machinations, the Traitor Priest

NE Lesser Deity of the Soulvoid

 

Pantheon: Silduggan

Portfolio: Betrayal, treachery, nihilism

Domain: None

Allies: Silduggis

Foes: Any non-Silduggan deity

Superior: Silduggis

Symbol: Special (see Vestments, below)

Worshipper Alignment: LE, NE, CE

Favored Weapon: “Nihil” (Quarterstaff)

Cleric Domains: Evil, Destruction, Planning, Trickery

Summary: Tantori is the god of treason, traitors, and betrayers.  In the hierarchy of Silduggis’s three part plan, Tantori is the divine embodiment of division.  He focuses his attentions on dividing the sentient races against each other, fomenting war and conflict wherever he goes.  He is a phenomenal liar, and one of the greatest orators in creation, which makes him doubly dangerous.  The mere existence of his clerics is enough to plant doubt in the minds of normal clerics as to the loyalties of their fellow clergy members.

History/Relationships: Tantori was once a mortal man, a cleric of Lolmoro.  He journeyed across the face of Valt, spreading the faith of his god behind him.  In his youth he fought against evil and protected the weak.  Later, he ministered to the sick and injured, educated the ignorant, and made himself available as a guide, both social and spiritual.  His advice was highly sought after by heads of state as well as religious figures.  He believed that in devotion to goodness before any specific deity, and gave aid to many religions besides his own.  Even today, many holy texts from a variety of religions contain scriptures originally penned by Tantori.

                In his later years, his wisdom was so great that even the gods sent minions to him to receive his counsel, or to test that this man was indeed as wise as his reputation stated.  There was no philosophical question he could not answer, no conundrum so great that he could not make peace with it.

                Silduggis came to Tantori, possessing a mortal peddler.  At first the people of the church were afraid, but Tantori calmly told them that any being could be made to see reason, to understand the power and the light of good.  He took the Nothing Eyes into his temple, to converse with as he would any other seeker.  He never emerged.

                No one knows what Silduggis said or showed to Tantori.  Whatever it was was so terrible, so mind-shattering, that Tantori abandoned everything in his life.  He appeared to the most pure of the priests on Valt, so that none would think his conversion a deceit.  He claimed that all he had been living for was a lie.  His new path was one of nihilism.  Truly, a man who had once seemed to understand everything had now turned to nothing.

                Tantori’s elevation to divinity followed soon after.  Alone among the Silduggan deities, he serves the Nothing Eyes in order to see the Dark One’s plans for no personal gain.  Once Silduggis destroys everything, Tantori would happily submit to his own destruction.

                The Betrayer has very little in the way of relationships with other deities.  He is devoted to Silduggis, but has no particular loyalty to Silduggis’s other followers.  Boneburn was once his friend, when Tantori was a mortal, and the Mongrel has made many attempts to persuade his friend back to peace and reason.  Thus far these attempts have been ignored.

Manifestations: A manifestation of the Betrayer is rare.  Like his clerics, Tantori spends his time infiltrating other divine hierarchies and betraying them from within, convincing them to turn on other groups or on themselves in futile conflicts.  Devils and archangels alike fear his influence, and are ever on their guard for him.

                Rarely he will appear to a particularly wise or spiritual mortal.  He inevitably attempts to influence them to turn from their path and embrace nihilism.  Very few of these meetings result in conversion, however, lending credence to the beliefs of the Inevitable Turn.  (See below)

                When he does appear, it is always as he looked in life: a human male in his late forties.  His hair is gray, and he is clean shaven.  His face is always knowing and sad at the same time, as if he knows that all mortal actions are futile, but he is powerless to stop them.

THE CHURCH

                The Tantorites are an oddity in Valt.  They do not accept clerics who are merely worshippers of Tantori.  To be a member of their clergy, one must have formerly been a cleric of a non-Silduggan deity who converted.

Priests: Tantorites

Alignment: CE, NE, LE

Classes: Cleric, blackguard (former paladins only), druid (blighter, former druids only)

Dogma: All that you know shall pass away.

Day-to-Day activities: Clerics of Tantori insinuate themselves into normal clergies.  (Usually ones that they were former members of.)  From there, they subtly manipulate things in small ways, in order to bring about the largest destruction.  Although they are very well coordinated, and stay in regular contact with one another, each member is largely autonomous.  They frequently use adventurers or lay members of the church as cat’s-paws.

                One nearly unifying trait is the spread of the rumor of the Osperi.  According to myth, the Osperi are relics from before mortals came to Valt.  Items of ancient magic or powerful lore, these artifacts are capable of inflicting great harm to the minions or agenda of Silduggis.  Rumor of their existence continues to circulate throughout Valt, despite there being no confirmed proof of the existence of a single one.  The Osperi are almost certainly a lie created by the Tantorites, but many believe in them anyway.

Worship Locations: None.  The church does not meet as a single entity.  Each of their members is a lone agent.

Affiliated Orders: None.

Apostasy: The Inevitable Turn is a movement within the Tantorite religion with no real organization.  About five percent of Tantorites are members, however.  Believers in the Inevitable Turn believe that as the god of betrayal and lies, when the last moment comes, Tantori will destroy Silduggis before destroying himself.  They may be of CN alignment if they wish, and have access to the Retribution domain.  Other than this, they have no major divergence from the practices and beliefs of other Tantorites.  Unlike other apostasies, there is no resentment between those of the mainstream religion and those of the Inevitable Turn.

Vestments: Tantorites wear the same thing as whatever kind of priest they are pretending to be.  Their holy symbol is the same as whatever god they previously worshipped, but blackened, scarred, and mutilated.  They frequently wear double sided holy symbols, with the regular one in front and the secret, defaced one on the hidden side.

Holy Days/Ceremonies: None.

Oath: The Oath of Conviction.  If a cleric with this oath is slain, he or she is consumed by the Soulvoid.  They may never be raised or resurrected by any means.  In exchange, their alignment is always treated as being the same as whatever deity they worshipped before converting to Tantori’s church.  The ability to mask their alignment in this way is a supernatural ability that can be suppressed at will.

Read Full Post »

For this installment of the Deities of Valt series, I chose to detail Silduggis.  As the monolithic evil within my campaign, I thought it was high time I illustrated why he is so feared and hated.  When creating him, I set out to make a being that was more evil than evil, someone that even the highest celestial and lowest demon could join forces to fight.  Although Natalia lives in a time when Silduggis and his allies are banished or in seclusion, he is still a pivotal force in the world.

Silduggis (sill-DEW-giss)

The Nothing Eyes, Father of Darkness, Bringer of Ruin, the Soulless, Architect of Fear

NE Greater deity of the Soulvoid

 

Pantheon: Silduggan

Portfolio: Destruction, nothingness, fear, evil

Domain: The Soulvoid

Allies: Tantori, Hesta, Isnirine

Foes: Every deity not an ally

Superior: None

Symbol: A pair of eyes, all black with no pupils or irises

Worshipper Alignment: LE, NE, CE

Favored Weapon: “End” (Longsword)

Cleric Domains: Evil, Death, Destruction, War, Hatred

Summary: Silduggis is the sum of all evil.  More hateful than the most rancorous drow and more insidious than all the devils of the outer planes combined, he is the oldest resident of the Valt cosmology by far.

                Silduggis is no mere deity, that much is certain.  He grants spells as if he were a divine power, but he is in no way defined or limited by the belief of his worshippers.  He is just as powerful without them, and existed for thousands of years before deigning to allow mortal worship of himself.

                His goal is a simple one: to expunge Valt of all creation.  All of his many schemes and machinations revolve around that single end.  If he had his way, no living creature would remain, no natural formation would exist, and no remnant of civilization would stand.  He would be alone, drifting in a void where no concept had any meaning save for those of his own mind.

                What Silduggis can do is also a matter of conjecture.  In some historical accounts, he can breach the walls of planar existence and travel to other universes, bringing whole armies with him.  Yet he himself seems to be unable to dwell in any other universe.  Something about Valt is uniquely tied to him, and he to it.

                His exact nature is debated hotly amongst some scholars.  Some say that he is a god of unfathomable power, who is still worshipped after millennia of his absence in whatever world he came from, who seeks to be forgotten and thus die.  Another theory claims that there is a class of being even higher than gods, and that Silduggis was once one of that number, cast down and imprisoned in Valt for some unimaginable crime against reality.  Still another theory states that Valt was once, eons ago, a vibrant and living place, and that Silduggis is the only being to survive whatever catastrophe befell it, through unknown means.

                Whatever he is, he cannot be swayed from his ultimate goal.  Valt was once his, and over the course of his long history, he has fought mortals and gods for it.  He saw it expunged of all life once, and it is only a matter of time before he does it again.

History/Relationships: The Bringer of Ruin was the only resident of Valt long before the forebears of the elves and orcs brought their war to this world.  He dwelt in darkness, and would do so again.  Since the arrival of mortals and their tumultuous baggage of light, thought, and life, he has waged an endless war against every living being in creation.

                From the beginning, his battles were waged with three tools.  The first tool is fear.  Silduggis feels no need to kill his foes, their absence is all that is required, and if it is accomplished via their retreat rather than their death, then so be it.  The second tool is division.  Silduggis subtly encouraged war and opposition in the mortal races, to weaken and destroy them.  The third tool is destruction.  If the first two tools do not work, the Nothing Eyes will not hesitate to attack with brute force.

                At first he did his work alone, but as time went on and the mortal races began to dominate the world, Silduggis sought out allies, the first and greatest of which were the Tutuen-Nietwe, or the Thousand Horrors.  An army, each collected from a different universe, each the most terrifying thing that Silduggis could find in that universe, they are a diverse group.  Working independently, they can sow more fear than any mortal army.

                His second group of allies were the deities he recruited to aid him.  Hesta/Isnirine came to him, a deity dispossessed from her world.  She and the Father of Darkness forged an alliance.  If she aided him in his goal, when the Tutuen-Nietwe were all that remained on Valt, she would take command of the Horrors and return to her world, to retake that which was once hers.  Silduggis also appeared to the mortal cleric Tantori, once the most virtuous and pure mortal in the world, and in one moment plunged him into darkness.  Tantori now serves him as a deity, and the three of them embody Silduggis’s arsenal perfectly.  Isnirine represents destruction; Tantori subversion; and Hesta fear.

                Although each of the historical periods known as Darks have ended with the Tutuen-Nietwe being imprisoned within the Soulvoid, at the conclusion of the last Dark, Silduggis remains loose within the world.

Manifestations: Popular lore holds that Silduggis does not manifest, he possesses.  Any mortal, be it man or animal, can be a vessel for him.  Folklore holds that signs of Silduggan possession include the following: refusal to speak under any circumstances, the ability to command, summon or be immune to the powers of the Tutuen-Nietwe, and the eyes changing color to completely black.

                Rabbits, screech owls, and eclipses are signs of Silduggis’s influence, and are commonly associated with him even in civilized lands.  In more barbaric cultures, other elements may be viewed as tainted by the Soulless.

                Scholars say that Silduggis possesses a person in order to learn about the creatures who infest the mortal planes, who are so far beneath him that it takes concentrated study on his part to understand their motivations and drives.  After the possession ends, the person is irrevocably evil, and will carry out any instructions left by the Nothing Eyes.  As such, any suspected victims of possession are swiftly executed.

                When Silduggis is depicted in mortal form, it is often as a man with wavy black hair and a thick black beard.  Usually he is depicted as wearing black, stylish clothing, or being clothed in darkness.  Always his eyes are shown as blank pits.

THE CHURCH

                The church of Silduggis has no structure or order.  Although priests may establish cells or cults, there is no greater organization that they follow.

Priests: Destroyers, Dividers, or Terrors, depending on the tool of Silduggis they prefer most.

Alignment: LE, NE, CE

Classes: Cleric, Blackguard, Assassin

Dogma:  Drive them away.  Every living creature, every permanent construction, must be driven away or destroyed utterly.  The method matters not.  Only the result.  The outer planes are of no consequence.  Once the world is void of all, the Father of Darkness will sever their connections and cast them adrift in planar space.  There is no master save for the Soulless, and he will give you no loyalty.  You are as abominable to him as any of the creatures you oppose.

Day-to-Day activities: Priests of Silduggis go about their business, opposing mortals and all their works in a variety of ways.  Each is left to his own devices to pursue the destruction or banishment of all life on Valt in whatever method he deems appropriate.  One priest might blight food crops, while another seeks to cause a war between two rival nations.  Any priest will seize upon an opportunity to release the seal on the Soulvoid if they can do so, and during the historical periods known as Lights, this is their top priority.

Worship Locations: None.  The idea of having a permanent building to the Nothing Eyes, or even an emotional connection to a single location, is anathema to the church.

Affiliated Orders: The Inevitable Brethren is a group of monks who have dedicated themselves to the destruction of the world, and they worship the Silduggan pantheon equally.  The Edge of Nowhere is a group of blackguards and evil cavaliers who have dedicated themselves to the bloodshed and death that service to Silduggis will bring, reasoning that they will be dead long before his plans come to fruition.

Apostasy: None.

Vestments: None.  The Silduggan clergy do not wear distinctive garb, or have any unity with regards to their holy symbols.  Frequently they will wear black on the rare occasion when they wish to reveal what they really are.

Holy Days/Ceremonies: None.

Oath: Betrothed to the Void.  If a priest with this oath dies, she can never be resurrected or contacted by any means.  In exchange, she can use the Silent Spell feat or the Still spell feat even if she does not have them.  This ability can be used 1/day per point of Charisma bonus, and two uses can be combined to use both feats.  When used in this fashion, the level of the spell does not increase.

Read Full Post »