Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Valt’

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.

Read Full Post »

For the eleventh part of the series, Phil has requested that I do the Harvest King.  Since the Harvest festival is analagous to Halloween, it seemed like a fitting time to do it.  Yes, that’s why I waited three weeks to post this.  It had nothing to do with laziness, and was all for appropriate timing.  As a quick aside, there is eight holiday deities in Valt, one for each month which does not contain a solstice or an equinox.  The holiday deities are less powerful than most.  Their clerics spend the rest of the year masquerading as clerics of other deities.  This is described more fully herein.

As always, if you have a suggestion for a deity (“Hey Jim, who is the god of <blank> in your world?”) or I have mentioned a deity that you want to know more about (“That one ally/enemy/related god sounded cool!  What are they about?”) then by all means let me know!  Suggestions make me more likely to work.  (And, yes, Numaar.  I am still working on the Spotlight on Numbrar.  No relation.)

Harvest King

The Harvester, the Harvest God, the Huntsman, Jack of Lanterns
CN Demipower of the Infernoply

Pantheon: General
Portfolio: Harvest festivals, vendettas
Domain: The Teeth of Vengeance (the Infernoply)
Allies: Wasserl, Hommirell, Kogorak
Enemies: Malarise, Lakalle
Symbol: A scary looking mask
Worshipper Alignment: CG, CN, CE
Favored Weapon: The Impending Evil (Greataxe)
Cleric Domains: Chaos, Luck, Retribution, War

Summary: The Harvester is a fearsome deity.  As a seasonal deity, he is only widely given worship during the various harvest festivals which occur across Valt.  Although the specifics will vary from region to region, the end result is the same: The Harvester is the scourge of the darkness.  The monsters that prey in the darkness fear the single night a year that he is allowed to walk the material plane again.
                Although he is worshipped by members of many races, he is most commonly worshipped by hobgoblins.  His hobgoblish followers worship him not merely during the time of harvest, but year round.
                The Harvest King is a loner deity.  His tower fortress, which rests in the demon-filled Infernopoly, is his home for the majority of the year.  On one night per year, he rides forth, clad in demonic looking armor, greataxe in hand, and hunts his chosen targets.  From sundown to sunrise on that night, he seeks out a short list of intelligent undead and destroys them.
                No one has ever seen beneath his mask.  It is postulated that those who dwell with him in his tower may have done so, but no one who enters the fortress is ever allowed out again.  Despite this, many hobgoblins, half-orcs, and other more martially inclined folks worship the Harvester for the chance to dwell within his fortress, doing eternal combat against the demons which assail it.

History/Relationships: The Harvester is the newest deity on Valt.  Although festivals during harvest time have been common throughout history in Valt, there was no deity associated with the season.  Towards the end of the Third Dark, reports began to emerge of bizarre hobgoblin raids.  During the harvest season, hobgoblins would be seen in demonic looking armor, conducting lightning raids against the undead.  The first followers of the Harvester, these hobgoblins would spread word of his worship to the rest of the world.
                Although the Harvester himself is a loner, who never seeks the support of other deities, his followers do tend to align themselves with the clergies of other gods on occasion.  They respect Wasserl’s loner nature, seeing the two gods as kindred spirits.  Followers of the two deities will often work together during the Harvest festivals. (Usually to hunt an undead encroaching on the cleric of Wasserl’s territory.)  They have a similar feeling towards the clergy of Hommirell, and since the god of rangers is no friend to undead, they often find mutual ground to work on.
                Kogorak’s clerics have neither special love nor antipathy for the Huntsman, but always relish the opportunity to destroy creatures which have evaded their own demise for extraneous lengths of time.  The Stormlord’s clerics will happily assist any followers of the Harvester on their yearly raids, if only for the chance to advance their own dogma.
                Malarise and Lakalle compel their clerics to spread word about the Huntsman, so that their undead followers can properly defend themselves or relocate should they be the target of a Harvest festival attack.  If the two were capable of assaulting the fortress of the Harvester, they certainly would.  Its location deep within the realm of the fiends makes it nigh unassailable, however.

Manifestations: The Harvest King manifests once a year.  At sundown on Harvest night, whichever follower of the Harvester was deemed most worthy based on the supplications of the previous Soul Night festivities is chosen as that year’s vessel.  The Harvester possesses his chosen, manifesting until sunrise.  The Harvest King leads any followers to battle against any undead that the followers have targeted.  If they have time yet remaining, they roam the surrounding area, slaying any undead they can find.
                When the possession occurs, the vessel is transformed to resemble the Harvest King.  Although the details of his armor will be based on the costume and personality of his vessel, he is always adorned in full hobgoblish armor.  (Similar to samurai armor.)  He wears a mask that conceals his upper face.  Forged from infernal iron, the black metal mask resembles a snarling demon, its teeth extending down far enough to cover the Huntsman’s chin.  He never removes this mask.  In battle he wields a great axe, its blade singed and sooty, with a black tassel of hair hanging from the pommel.  He is capable of calling his mount, an advanced 20 HD nightmare from anywhere on the material plane.
                When he departs the following morning, any damage suffered by the vessel is cured, as well as any negative status effects such as nausea, ability damage, negative levels, or spell effects.  If the vessel was alone, imprisoned, or removed from the material plane, they are instantly transported to the nearest temple of a friendly deity.  Any such vessel will be forever marked by their god’s presence.  When outside in the moonlight, their eyes will glow with a hellish green radiance, and tiny tendrils of heatless green flame will trickle upwards from their eyes.

THE CHURCH

Priests: Zugan no kano (Hobgoblish for “Death hunter”)

Alignment: CG, CN (Although worshippers can be chaotic evil, clerics cannot)

Classes: Cleric, sorcerer

Dogma: Don your mask, and sharpen your sword.  Bring to the tyrant his final reward.  So all to arms now, with brave brothers ride.  Make dead men feel fear on this Harvest Night.

Day-to-Day activities: During the rest of the year, the death hunters, like all clerics of seasonal deities, pretend to be clerics of another deity.  For the Huntsman, popular choices include Kogorak, Hommirell, Wasserl, and Eksus, although plenty of them choose other deities.  They live and dwell as members of that clergy, following the doctrine and dictates of the clerics they are impersonating.
                Only during Harvest time do they don their true mantles, organizing and encouraging Harvest festivals.  Once Harvest night is finished, they return to their ‘regular’ lives.  While some of their “fellow” clerics (those of the faith they belong to the rest of the year) may hold their yearly activities against them, the vast majority do not.

Worship Locations: None.

Affiliated Orders: The Hell’s Teeth Witches are an order of spellcasters (arcane or divine) that worship the Harvester.  They take any spellcaster who meets their standards.  While they are typically loners, they occasionally work with small groups who specialize in destroying undead.

Apostasy: None.

Vestments: During Harvest time, the Zugan no kano wear heavy armor, usually shaped to resemble a horrific monster.  They patrol the streets of their communities during the weeks leading up to the Harvest festival, lest some undead they are targeting make a preemptive strike against them.  While on these patrols, they carry lanterns made from pumpkins or other gourds, carved with the most hideous visages they are capable of depicting.
                The holy symbol of the Huntsman is the mask that they wear.  High priests favor masks with lenses that are enchanted with Permanent Torch to flicker with yellow, red, or purple fire (never green).  Although the Harvester wields a great axe, his hobgoblish clerics wield the single edged bastard swords their race is famous for (katana).  They treat the hobgoblish bastard sword as his favored weapon for all intents and purposes, including feats, class features, and spells.

Holy Days/Ceremonies:  Although the specifics of the festivities vary, harvest time (late fall) is always a time of celebrations of plenty and remembrance.  People of all cultures give thanks to their deities for the bounties that they have, while at the same time in some fashion commemorating their past.
                Harvest Night (the sixteenth of Huskyr) is considered the one night of the year when the dead souls who have been consigned to the lower realms can return to the world.  These souls will be gathered up and returned to hell come morning, but during the night they have the chance to trick someone else into taking their place, find some kind of magic to return them to life, or engage in all kinds of other nefarious activities designed to torment the living or escape their fate.
                The Huntsman brought a devious (and cheap) trick with him, which is how he has caught on so quickly: the lanterns that his clerics use, when placed at doors or windows, provide remarkably effective at scaring away returned souls.  The clerics of the Jack of Lanterns happily provide these to any who make a small donation to the church (usually about twice as much as the cost of a pumpkin and a candle).  Although pumpkins are the preferred choice in Numbrar, other alternatives, such as squashes, melons, or coconuts are equally acceptable materials.
                On Soul Night (Huskyr the fifteenth), all the followers of the Harvester gather together for a ceremony, closed to outsiders.  These ceremonies can take the form of a somber ritual or a raucous celebration.  Those in attendance are there to choose the undead target that their group will go after.  The secondary function of the ceremony is to help the Harvester choose his vessel.  Some groups choose to hold competitions of intelligence or strength in order to prove themselves worthy.  Some recite tales of their chosen foe’s villainy, in order to make their cause the most just.  Some choose impossible battles, hoping that their god will realize if he does not choose one of them, then they will surely die.
                On Harvest Day, the clerics of the Jack of Lanterns preside over their local Harvest festivals.  Towards the end of the day, they slip away, gathering together with any militant friends that have gathered to join their cause.  At nightfall, when the sun sinks below the horizon, the hunt begins.  The vessel is chosen.  Those who do not receive the presence of their god fight twice as hard, hoping to curry his favor for the next year.  For the duration of the night, all sentient undead listen with a wary ear for the sound of an approaching war band.
                Many wonder why the Harvest King has never chosen to attack the Scaled Emperor, largely considered the worst undead tyrant in existence.  Certainly there is no lack of those trying to kill the Emperor of Fassett.  In fact, at least one group tries every year.  Thus far, they have all been slain to the last one.

Oath: The Oath of the Certainty.  Unlike most clergies, nearly all clerics of the Harvest King take this oath.  The cleric vows to never retreat from a battle against an undead.  Reasonability is allowed.  Falling back to a more advantageous position is still perfectly fine, but outright fleeing the field of battle is not permitted.  The cleric gains a +2 divine bonus to AC against undead opponents, and a +2 bonus to all saves while in the direct pursuit of an undead foe on Harvest Night.

As a side note, this is the only deity in my game (and in my campaign history as a DM) that used to be a PC.  Special thanks to Phil.  This deity was made in conjunction with him, and I appreciate his work in helping me to flesh out my own little D&D world.

Read Full Post »

Holy crap!  It’s my tenth installment of the Deities of Valt!  Since Spring requested it, I present the deity of Allista Renger.  Honestly, I hadn’t given much thought to which of the many deities of Valt that Allista would worship.  In the end, as I searched it over, this was really the only choice for her.

Lutig (LOO-tigg)
The Cogman, Clockwork King, the Indifferent
LN Lesser Power of the Fathomless Castle
 
Pantheon: General
Portfolio: Constructs, the emotionless, sentient magical items
Domain: Ticking Downs (The Fathomless Castle)
Allies: Parquer, Eksus
Foes: Olthur, Malarise, Kogorak
Symbol: A cogwheel
Worshipper Align: Any neutral
Favored Weapon: The Bronze Spar (club)
Cleric Domains: Law, Metal, Strength, Time
Summary: Lutig is a god of few words.  He is worshipped by artificial beings, or those who seek to emulate their mindset.  Regarded as the divine spark that allows constructs to have a semblance of life, all spellcasters will include entreaties to him when creating constructs.  Spells which create constructs (such as Craft Homunculus or Beget Bogun) include tributes to him, even if the casters themselves do not know it.
                The church of Lutig is probably one of the least evangelical in Valt.  No one feels that they have chosen to worship Lutig.  Those who follow the Indifferent universally feel that he was the only deity to whom they could offer worship.
                Lutig eternally quests to be more like a living being.  Although he is devoid of the things that make living creatures unique, he attempts to understand what it is that drives them, and to that end he emulates them.  Such emulations are never the equal to the real thing, and the Cogman is always left searching for the missing piece of the puzzle.
                He is an interesting study in dichotomy.  Although he is the patron of constructs, and all of those artificial beings that seek to be more human, he is also the deity of the living beings who seek to be more like constructs.  Perhaps it is his intense study of humanoid emotions that drew him to understand just how overwhelming they can be.  Certainly he and his church believe that those unable to cope with them must occasionally shut down, and cut themselves off from the chaotic musings of their own minds.
                Although he despises sentient constructs in servitude, he is fanatically loyal to his friends, and encourages his followers to be likewise, whether human or machine.

History/Relationships: Lutig was originally a construct created by Eksus.  He served the great wizard for time out of memory, until through some circumstance, he obtained sentience.  Eksus, never one to hold another being against his will, gave Lutig his freedom the moment he realized what had happened.  The two have remained close and trusted friends, and the Clockwork King still serves as Eksus’s bodyguard when the need arises.
                Lutig has dealt with most deities, attempting to speak with all (save the followers of Silduggis) at least once.  Only Toben and Ugorcil have refused him an audience, (presumably because he is neither natural nor mortal) although he is on far from friendly terms with most deities.
                Parquer, the god of smiths and forges, feels great respect and empathy for Eksus, since the two of them worked together to create Lutig.  The two of them both feel as though they are Lutig’s parents.  Lutig obeys them for the most part, although his quest to understand mortal thoughts and feelings sometimes extends to rebellious actions.
               Lutig is for the most part a quiet, unassuming god.  He says little and does little, absorbed in his own pursuits of understanding mortals and their lives.  When he does reach out to others, they tend to find him overly inquisitive, to the point of impropriety, as well as keenly observant.  This tends to make him less than trusted by most.  His few enemies dislike him for reasons that have more to do with his nature than with his behavior towards them.
                Olthur and Kogorak would love to destroy Lutig.  Both deities take affront to the Cogman’s patronage of immortal, unchanging creatures.  Lutig bears them no particular ill will, and cannot understand why they want to destroy his worshippers.

Manifestations: Manifestations of Lutig are common (ridiculously so) but most mortals are unaware of them.  Lutig spends the majority of his time possessing the body of a (normally) non-sentient construct.  While in this form, he does nothing that the construct would not normally do.  He merely observes the action around him, attempting to understand mortality from a ground-view perspective.  If the individual in charge of the construct he is possessing abuses the creature, Lutig has been known to erase its compulsions against harming its own creator when he departs.
                In his natural form, he appears as a humanoid shaped construct, with a brass faceplate carved into an expressionless mask.  His body is composed of brass, gold and copper wires wrapped over his metallic frame, giving him the look of a man with no skin, with muscles exposed.  He occasionally wears a brown, gold, or red loincloth or toga.

THE CHURCH
                The clergy of Lutig are primarily sentient constructs.  The pragmatic nature of their deity means that they have little real cohesion, even for a lawful church.

Name: Inspectors
Alignment: LG, LN, N, LE
Classes: Cleric
Dogma: Find your purpose and fulfill it.  Only through rigorous examination of yourself and those around you will you truly know the world and your role within it.  Seek to find the pieces of yourself that you feel are missing.  Discard that which you do not need.  Emotions are as the stars: they inspire your quest, and they are what you always reach for.  Logic is as the ground beneath your feet: it holds you up, it is your foundation, and the day you forsake it is the day you fall.

Day to day activities: Mostly, the clergy of Lutig tries to fit in with those around them.  For constructs, this means trying to socialize, to find a place for themselves in a community, and to understand the mortals scurrying about around them.  For mortals, this means trying to understand what it is about their own emotions they find so abhorrent, and to help heal others who are also emotionally damaged.  The only activity they feel strongly about is freeing intelligent constructs forced to serve against their will.

Worship Locations: None.  The Inspectors do not build churches to their deity.  They find that any temple suitable to their deity is suitable to their needs.  (Any church of a non-chaotic deity, except for Olthur.)

Affiliated Orders: The Brethren of Reason is a monastic order dedicated to purging themselves of emotion altogether.  Although the Brethren accept members of other faiths, the predominant faith is Lutig, and the order itself is aligned with the church.
                The Dutiful Fathers (or Mothers) is a group of mages who utilize the Awaken Construct and Incarnate Construct spells to bring the artificial creations of wizards into sentience and life.  The same order opposes forced enslavement of sentient constructs, violently if necessary.

Apostasy: None

Vestments: There is no uniformity, and the deity makes no demands upon his clergy in this regard.  Humanoid clerics tend to favor metallic colored clothing, or full suits of armor.

Holy Days/ceremonies: None.

Oath: The Source Oath.  The cleric swears to never alter the natural progression of a creature’s emotions, and to never compel a creature against its will.  In return, Lutig grants them imperviousness from attacks on her own emotions.  The cleric may never cast spells with the compulsion, summoning, or mind-affecting descriptors.  In exchange, she is immune to spells with the mind-affecting descriptor.

Honestly not sure if people enjoy this series or not.  If you have a god you want to see detailed, or one I have mentioned a deity you want to find out more about, then please drop a comment, email me, or send up some smoke signals.

Read Full Post »

If anyone wants a specific deity (either one I have mentioned, or one you are sure exists) then holla out!  The biggest roadblock to me posting stuff is not knowing if people are even interested in it.  So if you have something you want to see, lemme know!

Ugorcil (oo-GORE-sill)
The Unmaker, the Patient One, Father Death, Rattlefeet
N Greater Deity of the Fathomless Castle

Pantheon: Death (Head of Pantheon)
Portfolio: Death, the dead
Domain: The Endless Grounds
Allies: Ilsandir, Olthus, Lukal, Abin
Enemies: Horonar
Superior: None
Symbol: A skull with three eyes
Worshipper Alignment: Any
Favored Weapon: Terminus (longsword)
Cleric Domains: Death, Knowledge, Fate, Protection, Destruction

Summary: The god of death is a silent deity.  None have heard him speak, and it is said that to hear a single word from his mouth is to die.  To gaze upon whatever lies beneath his gray cloak and cowl is to be destroyed utterly, annihilated from the cosmos.
                Ugorcil himself promotes the sanctity of death.  Although he does not oppose undead, he opposes pulling creatures from the natural cycle, or removing their energy from the universe entirely.  (Even undead such as liches and vampires can be slain, and to the long viewing eye of Ugorcil, they are barely longer lived than mortals.)
                From his home in the Endless Grounds (an enormous cemetery which stretches for miles in all directions, including into subterranean crypts) the Patient One waits.  What he bides his time with is a mystery.  If he has any long-range plans, then they too are a mystery.  He is seen by his four children only rarely, and visitations to deities beyond the death pantheon are rarer still.
                Like all of the deities of Valt, Ugorcil will take to the field of battle against Silduggis and his minions.  Although this is rare, the sight of the Unmaker bearing down upon his enemies atop an ashen colored steed, his rusted longsword in hand, is often enough to scatter even the most hardened of combatants.

History/Relationships:  The death pantheon of gods was brought to Valt in order to provide an afterlife.  The progenitor of the elves found Ugorcil and his children roaming the endless void between the multiverses and brought them to Valt.  Their background before that is a mystery, and if any of the other ‘immigrant’ gods have prior knowledge of them, they do not speak of it.  The precise relationship of the death deities is also a little hazy.  While their respective clergies claim that the four minor death deities are Ugorcil’s children, there is no mention of a second parent.  Whether they were sired with mortals, extraplanar beings, or some long dead god, none can say.
                Ugorcil and Toben have some kind of arrangement between each other, although the two have never met face to face.  Only by mutual agreement from the two of them can a mortal be elevated to divinity, since to become a god requires knowledge of the secrets of life and death, and only the gods of those things can impart such secrets.
                Ugorcil’s allies are his children.  Although the four of them bicker and squabble between each other, they support their father in all things, and obey his direct orders without question.  Supposedly, he can speak with them without killing them, although this may be idle boasting on their parts.  By and large, the majority of dead souls are harvested by the children of Ugorcil, and he only collects souls in person that are of great import to whatever secret plans he has.
                Ugorcil’s only foe is Horonar, who occasionally opposes him.  Horonar is not known as He Who Would Not Die for no reason, and the god of warriors occasionally tries to protect a soul whose time has come.  On these occasions, the two gods often come to blows for the fate of the soul.  Most of the time, Ugorcil wins, although he has been known to give a mortal under Horonar’s protection an extra measure of time.  Most deities do not doubt that he could overcome Horonar if he wished.  The only soul that Ugorcil has found himself unable to reap is that of Horonar himself.

Manifestations: Manifestations of Ugorcil are rare in the extreme.  When he does appear, it is to collect some soul that is of great importance to him, although the reasons for this are seldom clear.  He is a tall, thin deity of indeterminate sex, completely concealed beneath a long gray cloak and hood.  His hands are gloved, and no being, mortal or otherwise, has ever glimpsed so much as an inch of his true form.
                Ugorcil does not speak.  When he is dealing with other deities, his children speak on his behalf.  To beings of non-divine origin, he does not need to speak.  His communication extends beyond telepathy.  Instead of communicating mentally, his will is merely made known.  Any mortal dealing with Ugorcil instantly knows anything they deity might need to say, as if it had already been said.

THE CHURCH
Priests: Gray Fathers (or ‘Cloaks’ behind their backs)
Alignment: N
Classes: Cleric

Dogma: All you know shall pass away.

Day-to-day activities: The Gray Fathers spend their time ministering to the dead, remembering those who have come before, honoring whatever funerary practices the culture that they belong to holds dear, and counseling the living.  They preach that the Unmaker represents not merely the death of the living, but also the death of thoughts, ideas, and feelings.  All things must pass in their time, and be swept away by Ugorcil.  They are patient and contemplative, spending much of their time in silent meditation, trying to learn the secrets of life and death.
                Those Gray Fathers who live in a populated community, as opposed to an isolated temple, are often detached from the city itself.  They do not seek to help (or harm) people, but instead wait patiently for others to come to them.  When help is asked for, it is given willingly.

Worship Locations: Ugorcil’s temples are often somber affairs.  Although they may be fancy, with carvings and statues and paintings, such decorations will still be tasteful and understated.  Furnishings tend to be gray or brown, with little or no adornment.  They prefer stone buildings with no windows.  They also maintain appropriate land and equipment for whatever funerary traditions are customary in their location.  This means that there is usually a sizeable cemetery attached to the church, and often catacombs beneath it.

Affiliated Orders: None, although many of Ugorcil’s temples host monastic orders unaffiliated with the church.

Apostasy: None.

Vestments: Gray Fathers wear gray, appropriately enough.  The hues vary from ash to charcoal.  Occasionally black or white is used to accent their attire.  Most wear simple robes, usually hooded.  The holy symbol is worn on a pendant around the neck, and is most often carved from stone, although metal and bone are also common.

Holy Days/ceremonies: The Gray Fathers celebrate no holy days.  They are masters of funeral customs, however, and observe any funeral or death related ceremonies that are traditional in their location.

Oath: The Oath of Silence.  The priest vows to never speak again.  This includes vocalizations of any kind, including laughter, snorting, or other non-lingual vocalizations.  In exchange for their commitment, such priests are under the permanent effects of the Deathwatch spell, and gain the Silent Spell feat.

Read Full Post »

I have already received at least one question about the magical glove that Gurdren Whitecowl wears.  So, without further ado, I present to you the first artifact that Spring has seen (used) in a game:

Glaschilde’s Gauntlet
                These gloves were created by a powerful mage named Glaschilde.  Unlike most artifacts, its creator is well documented by history.  Glaschilde was the Wizard of Stone from 1506 SC to 1412 SC.  An arcling raised amongst dwarves, he is most known for crafting the Tectonic Stave.  While the Stave is unique and powerful, the multiple Glaschilde’s Gauntlets he made have enjoyed much more use since his death.
                Glaschilde created the first gauntlet as a wedding present for his daughter-in-law (herself a powerful mage) although many individuals requested individualized versions for themselves in the years to come.  No accurate count has been made of how many of these gloves are in existence.  The Whitecowl clan considers these items to be family heirlooms, and have been known to buy, steal, or kill for these gauntlets.
                These gauntlets appear to be made of snakeskin.  In reality, they are made of dark, supple leather.  The ‘scales’ are found along the back of the gloves and fingers, and are actually made of thin pieces of stone.  The colors vary, although most of them are green or brown.

Powers
                Glaschilde’s Gauntlets are always found singly, never in pairs.  Their first power is that they can be used with another gauntlet on the other hand.  Even if the opposing gauntlet is part of a set (such as Gauntlets of Ogre Power) it will still function as if the Glaschilde’s Gauntlet is its mate.
                The gauntlet also functions as a +2 weapon when used to make unarmed strikes or touch attacks.  In addition, using a successful touch attack with the gauntlet, the wearer may cast a targeted Dispel Magic (caster level 10) at will.  Once per day the glove can cast Dismissal as if they were a 15th level caster.  Furthermore, the glove itself counts as two distasteful items for the purposes of the Dismissal spell.
                If the wearer strikes an opponent with a successful unarmed strike, he may activate a Flesh to Stone effect on the opponent as a free action. (Fortitude DC 20 negates)  In addition, the wearer may use Stone to Flesh at will.

Drawbacks
                The first drawback is not one inherent to the item itself.  The Whitecowl clan of dwarves, to whom Glaschilde belonged, claim that all of these gauntlets were supposed to be returned to the clan after the death of their original owners.  As such, they claim that any of them NOT in the possession of the clan are stolen property.  They will take whatever action is necessary to return them to the clan’s possession.
                In addition, each glove was originally created for a single wearer.  Although none of those original wearers are still alive, the gauntlets were designed not to function when used against their original wearers.  Each time one of the touch attacks with the gloves critically fails, the wearer has a 1% chance to be petrified, with no save.  In this event, the glove is unaffected, and may be removed from its petrified (former) owner.
                Finally, the Dispel Magic ability of this glove fails against any spell cast by a cleric of Moradin.  If the clan patriarch of the Whitecowl clan is ever targeted by the petrification ability, it fails.  (Note that the petrification ability fails whether he was hit with a touch attack or he was wearing the glove and critically failed an attack.)

Read Full Post »

The Unexpected

      Many times, I have heard people comment that I run a good game.  To be honest, I think that’s true.  But I didn’t get that way by being talented.  My first games were terrible.  I got to be a good DM by being a very bad one, and learning from my mistakes.  One of the lessons I have learned over the years is that you have to be prepared for anything.
      I have seen players in a number of games decide not to take a certain course of action because they think “the DM doesn’t want/didn’t plan for them to do that.”  To be honest, I hate that excuse.  A good DM should be able to adapt to anything the players decide to do.
      Any plot I have is nebulous at best.  My plots for my campaigns tend to be a loose if/then arrangement, which tends to work out fairly well.  If you look back over the course of the game, I can point out several examples.  Most of the NPC’s that Natalia opposes or runs around with could have gone either way.
      If Natalia had decided that she liked Virbiene and Vueliss, then the story would have been different.  To be more specific, Vueliss and Virbiene would not have been evil.  They would have been goodly (okay, Vueliss would have been neutral) and some other figure would have been the villains.  I have notebooks full of information the PC’s don’t know.
      What many DM’s don’t seem to realize is that information the players don’t have is information the player’s don’t have!  They can’t call me on it, since they don’t know I changed it.  I’m not saying I make the whole thing up as I go along, but I have multiple different ideas for ways the game could go, and I stat up NPC’s and monsters once it becomes clear that such things are needed (usually one or two weeks before it comes up).
      But sometimes, the players throw a curveball at you.  Now, I never give my players an impossible situation.  Almost every conundrum the players encounter has at least one (and usually three, that’s my benchmark) ways to solve it.  I also try not to force the players down one of those paths if they come up with a different solution.  Which brings us to the Underdark.  Now, escaping Fasset through the Underdark is something I never, never thought that PC’s would do.
      Probably because it’s insane.
      When Phil suggested going through the Underdark, I was shocked.  I took a step back, and threw them a little bit of RP that I could hem and haw through while I mulled the Underdark over.  I also excused myself to grab a soda and hit the bathroom, in order to gain a brief amount of time to figure some necessary details out.
      The first conclusion I came to was that I am awesome.  I wanted Fasset to seem hopeless and scary, but how terrible must it seem to my players when they think that going through the myriad horrors of the Underdark (drow, duergar, illithids, hook horrors, gibbering mouthers, tanaruks, umber hulks, green slimes, grell, drow, earth elementals, deep dragons, aboleths, troglodytes, kuo-toa, drow, cave trolls, kobolds, goblins, and oh did I mention friggin DROW?) seems like a good idea in comparison?
      So, I guess goal achieved on that front.
      The second conclusion I came to was that I could handle this.  So I went back to my old notebooks of ideas I never got to use.  See, with my method of DM’ing, I always wind up with more ideas than ever get used in any given game.  So I am never short on ideas when I need them.  It didn’t take long to find several that could be adapted with minimal effort to be used in an Underdark scenario.
      Once the game was over, I went back to the books, started to refamiliarize myself with the specifics of the Underdark (and all those terrible things I mentioned).  And of course, I filed all the things I had charted as possible plot scenarios away.  Since they didn’t get used in this game, I can always use them in another.

Read Full Post »

My lovely and adoring girlfriend requested that Julium’s deity be written up next.  As always, suggestions for the next god to do are welcome.

Ralorael (rah-LORE-AY-ell)
Her Radiance, the Kingmaker (Queenmaker), the Noble One, Goddess of Kings, Queen of the Gods
LG Greater Power of the Fathomless Castle

Pantheon: General
Portfolio: Rulers, royalty, nobility, magic, leadership
Domain: The Royal Hall (Fathomless Castle)
Allies: Ianor, Presian, Eksus, Lord Osil, Aralor, Kryis
Foes: Malarise, Scorce, Aksan
Symbol: A longsword backlit by either a halo or a glowing crown
Worshipper Alignment: LG, NG, LN
Favored Weapon: “Imperiel” (Longsword)
Cleric Domains: Law, Good, Magic, Nobility, Trade, War
Summary: Ralorael is the deity of kings and leaders. She is the patron deity of Numbrar as a country, although those from beyond the empire’s borders sometimes dispute this. As the goddess of good and just rulers, she promotes strong leadership, encouraging all to gather under the banner of a righteous leader.
As the ruler of the Fathomless Castle, Ralorael has command over most of the deities in the general pantheon. She rules with temperance and wisdom, balancing mercy and strength in equal measures. When she takes to battle, she is a terror to behold, leading her armies of celestial beings from the front lines.
History/Relationships: Ralorael was once called Renael, before her deification. She fought demons and devils along with her solar brethren, spreading light and justice throughout the planes. The people of Valt had no arcane magic at that time, and Renael used her knowledge of other worlds to craft the foundation of the Loom, the plane that makes magic possible. She swiftly became deified as the goddess of magic.
As a demigod, she turned over her duties to the mortal Eksus, elevating him far above her in divine status. It seemed that her divinity would fade, until a mortal named Tanora approached her. Tanora was a wizard, as well as the second Empress of Numbrar. She asked the Queenmaker for guidance, since there were no goodly deities of rulers at that time.
Soon other mortals began to approach Ralorael, and within a century she had become more widely worshipped than she had ever been before. When the deities known as Elffather and Orcfather left Valt, it was Ralorael who stepped in to unite the remaining gods against Silduggis. Thereafter, she took her place in the throne room in the Fathomless Castle as its undisputed ruler.
Scorce and Aksan are her constant foes. Each a deity of evil tyrants, they oppose her doggedly, attempting to usurp her place as the Queen of the Gods as well as her mortal worshippers. Mallarice still bears a bitter grudge against her for imbuing Eksus with divinity, and seeks a way to exact some measure of revenge.
Kryis is her devoted bodyguard, and she is never without him. Even in human guise, he is always nearby. As the queen of the deities, she has many members of her court, although Aralor, Ianor, and Presian are her favored confidants, who promote the sort of society that her Radiance approves of. Lord Osil is her military commander, leading her legions of celestials, although his loyalty to her is circumstantial, and he would happily serve a Lawful Evil deity as well (who would be more likely to use military force). When the Kingmaker feels that she must get away from her duties and responsibilities, Eksus remains the only friend she has who is not connected to her mantle as the queen of the gods.
Manifestations: Ralorael is usually found within the Fathomless Castle, dealing with matters of state, and mediating the day to day disputes of the gods and the outer planes. Her manifestations on the material plane are rare and very specific.
When she does manifest, she only appears to a single person. This person is usually someone who is destined to be a great leader, or who has the potential to be a great leader, and has travelled too far down the wrong path. Her manifestations are awe-inspiring events meant to remove all doubt from the person receiving the visitation in regards to their destiny. Usually, those she appears to keep such a visitation quiet.
Ralorael is depicted as beautiful in every way. (Of course her appearance changes depending on the culture of the artist depicting her.) She is usually clad in armor and wielding a glowing or flaming sword. She is often wearing a glowing corona of light. She is always, however, depicted with radiant wings, either pure white, or a rainbow of scintillating colors.

THE CHURCH
Priests:
Stewards (women are still called stewards, not stewardesses)
Alignment: LG, NG, LN
Classes: Cleric, paladin, monk, wizard
Dogma: All great things begin with one person. Every man is a leader; every person commands the attention of at least one other. It is your duty to do right by those who have placed their faith in your guidance. Lead them true, and they will follow you beyond death. Betray their trust, and you are lower than the foulest worm. If you lead so that you are trustworthy, then you shall be able to trust those who follow you.
Day-to-Day activities: The Stewards occupy themselves in many different (although similar) ways. Most of them seek positions which will allow them to advise those in positions of leadership. Those in areas which are less developed will seek leadership positions themselves. The positions they take often leave them with little time for anything else. When leisure time is available to them, they often take on projects to better their communities, which can range from training town guard to feeding the homeless to crafting magic items to benefit the community.
Worship Locations: Any city with a center of government will have at least one temple to Ralorael, unless the government is evil. Some smaller towns will have a temple to the Radiant One, but the Stewards usually build their churches in larger cities.
Their temples are usually impressive affairs. Vaulted ceilings are common, and stone is the preferred building medium. Stained glass windows are mandatory, and the main altar is always built in front of a large stained glass window depicting Ralorael herself. Temples are built with the main altar facing east.
Affiliated Orders: The Knights Radiant is a paladin order dedicated to Ralorael. The Silver Hands are a monastic order, who may freely multiclass as paladins or clerics. Finally, the Weavers are an order of wizards, whom Ralorael shares with Eksus.
Apostasy: The Disciples of Renael are the only divergent followers of the Radiant One. They worship her in her older guise as the goddess of magic. They tend to be women, and do not regard themselves as heretics. The main branch of the religion does not actively persecute them, although they do not assist them or regard them as fellow clergy. The divergent followers worship Ralorael as LG. They can be LG, NG, CG, or LN. They have access to the domains of Law, Good, Knowledge, Magic, and Spell.
Vestments: The Stewards wear clothes of vibrant colors. Frequently they dress in reds, yellow, white, gold, or purple. Dark colors are discouraged. They holy symbol is often worn on a headband. Men prefer metal headbands, with the holy symbol carved into the front. Women prefer a cloth headband, with the holy symbol attached by a small chain and resting on the forehead.
Holy Days/Ceremonies: They church has no holy days of its own. Instead they preside over state functions, such as coronations, the birthdays of rulers, or celebrations of independence. They frequently pray before meetings of councils of leaders, such as town councils or the Numbraran senate. They do have their own internal ceremonies they conduct. The most frequent of these is conducted every morning in every temple, when the priests pray for their spells at sunrise.
Oath: The Oath of Leadership. The cleric swears to never abandon someone who comes to follow them, and to never turn such an individual away. If they do so, then they receive a free rank of either Diplomacy or Knowledge: Nobility and Royalty at every level. (This is the cleric’s choice.)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »