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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    HalflingPirate

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    Uin
    Father of Fishes, The Master of the Deep

    Uin most commonly appears as a great sperm whale when he chooses an avatar. He also uses the form of a triton, merman, Sea Elf, or Sahaugin when he wishes to communicate with mortals. His domain is the open ocean from the shorelines to the deepest trenches.

    As a Nature deity, Uin's priesthood is dominated by druids, though he does ordain clerics who have a component of neutrality in their alignment. Such clerics have access to the Nature, Elemental Water, Travel, and Knowledge domains. Storm, Air, and similar domains are specifically excluded from his portfolio.

    The health of the oceans is his concern, and his wrath is invoked when polluters and indiscriminate fishers alter the balance of life or threaten an ecosystem or species. When the people of Nordlund, who had hunted whales for subsistence for many generations, began to commercially exploit them for their oil, Uin sent a great white whale to smash their ships and drown their sailors. When the sewers of Rona ran thick with wastes and industrial poisons he lead an army of sehaugin to sack the city and carry away its wealth. Mass swarms of sharks drove the fish away from islands dependent upon fish for survival, and currents that brought nutrients to fishing shoals moved away, leaving the fishers nets empty when they caught more than they needed to thrive.

    Clerics and druids of Uin are commonly shapechangers. Some, like Selkies and Sea Elves, have only two shapes between which they can alternate, while others have multiple shapes. Aquatic shapechangers are commonly worshippers of Uin.

    The Kraken is a demonic entity with whom Uin has been at war from the formation of the first ocean. Their battles have caused islands to slide into the sea, volcanoes to emerge in mid ocean, and great tsunamis to devastate coastlines.

    Clerics of Uin oppose the minions of The Kraken and guide those who rely upon the sea to sustainable harvesting of the ocean's bounty. Porpoises and dolphins are often bards who seek to learn everything that happens in the waters through which they travel. This knowledge is then made into songs which are passed from pod to pod throughout the oceans. Within a year, knowledge gained in one corner of the sea will be known across all the oceans, eventually to be sung to Uin himself.

    Cultures which revere Uin usually consider porpoises and dolphins taboo, but some cultures treat them as spies or exploit them for food. Uin himself seldom interferes in these matters unless one side appears to be disrupting the Balance of the ocean. Indeed, sharks and dolphins, bitter enemies who have waged war on one another since their creation, both serve The Father Of Fishes.

    ***

    In the beginning when the world was being created, it was an ampty ocean without land shoal, or shallows. Uin entered this empty watery realm, and he was alone. He sang a song to fill the deeps with his joy and wonder, and thus the first fishes came to be. A demon of hate and chaos saw the beauty of this creation and was roused by a lust to own it for itself. The Kraken dominated what it could and destroyed what it could not control.

    Thus began the war between them which continues to this day. Their battles raged, and for a time it appeared Uin would win, but The Kraken hid in the sea floor and by perverting the creations of Uin, built an army of malice. Their second battle cracked the sea floor, allowing fire to burst through in places, creating the first volcanos. Again it began to appear Uin would be victorious, but The Kraken attempted to trap him by throwing up massive walls of the sea floor between them. These walls became the first island chains, but Uin's might broke through them and again The Kraken retreated to build up its strength.

    Their third battle almost destroyed the newly forged world, and the new gods of the world banded together to oppose them both. At this time the shape of the world was changed. Great continents were raised, and vast abbyssal plains were sunk into the depths, scarred by trdnches deeper than the tallest continental mountains.

    Uin submitted to the combined will of the gods, and accepted their restrictions of limits to his power. The Kraken hid and the gods stripped him of his powers. Thereafter the pair could continue their fight only through proxies and avatars. Though these battles still unleashed awesome forces they were no longer of a magnitude that would enable them to destroy the world.

    In the relative peace which followed, Uin created all the creatures of the sea. The Kraken, incapable of creation, perverted all of the sea life it could reach. Ignorant land dwellers often attribute the 'evil' aquatic races to The Kraken and the 'good' ones to Uin, but everything which lives in the sea is a creation of Uin, and all are subject to the perversions of The Kraken.

    ***

    Surusus
    The Green-Haired Maid, The Siren

    None know if she is a creation or a daughter of Uin, or if her origins are independent. She resides in the kelp forests and seagrass shallows, nurturing the young creatures of the sea until they can fend for themselves in the deep blue. She is not intentionally cruel, but she is thoughtless and mercurial of temper. Her nature is such that she cradles the sea otters as they sleep, and dashes them against the rocks when roused to anger.

    Uin taught her to sing, and those who live along the shores fear and long to hear her beautiful songs. She has no care for the consequences as sailors crash their ships and drown in the madness her songs evoke in them.

    Her domain is aquatic plants and sessile corals. Terrestrial clerics are not known to venerate her, and she grants no magical powers to animals, though folk tales speak of kelp monsters roused by her wrath.

  2. - Top - End - #32
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    jqavins's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    The Good God Of Thieves...
    The "Good God" of Thieves

    When a thief sets off trap after trap at the worst possible times, Foilus is at work. When he steps on a very loud twig while setting up a sneak attact, again, it is the hand of Foilus. When the ambitious burgeler pulls the job of a lifetime, only to find she has a sack full of chocolate coins, Foilus laughs.

    Wherever thieves are heard to say "Oh good god!" Foilus is there.
    -- Joe
    “Shared pain is diminished. Shared joy is increased.”
    -- Spider Roninson

    Always remember that anything posted on the internet is, in a practical if not a legal sense, in the public domain.
    You are completely welcome to use anything I post here, or I wouldn't post it.

  3. - Top - End - #33
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    The Watcher, Adjudicator of the Gods

    As the gods rose to power - and possibly following a horrific tragedy resulting from an abuse of divine power, though the myths describing this are so old that they are heavily disputed and no deity has been forthcoming about this hypothetical failing - there was concern about how the workings of deities could be moderated. The gods agreed to impose a set of fundamental cosmic laws, now known as the Resolutions of Providence, intended to protect the fabric of reality and limit the actions of all entities in the cosmos to prevent any abuse of forbidden powers (again?). The question of how to enforce these laws was a much more difficult matter to settle. If any deity had power over another, the laws would inevitably be abused by those in the seat of judgement (at least from the perspective of chaotic deities) and if the matter needed to be settled with consensus, then justice would never be served (at least from the perspective of lawful deities). The matter was ultimately settled by a great sacrifice.

    Hyperbolically making a point about how one who desires such power could never be trusted to wield it, the resident expert on such matters - Asmodeus - proclaimed that the only way an offer to take up the mantle of enforcer could be trusted as sincere was if it consigned the enforcer to an eternity of unimaginable torment. A divinity, believed to be a goddess though this is not universally accepted, offered to do exactly this. Shocked into silence, Asmodeus and the other evil deities nodded mutely in acquiescence - and thus the Watcher was chosen, not born. So, the gods set to work crafting a suit of unremovable armor - the Aegis of Resolution. The armor was imbued with the very essence of the laws the wearer is bound to protect, screaming the nature of their duty into their mind with the laws being endlessly seared into their focus. The Aegis causes pain in every manner ever experienced and a few invented for this purpose, the design of which seemed to cheer the evil deities up significantly. This has led to the Watcher being referred to as the Iron Maiden, which some claim is the reason the Watcher is sometimes portrayed as female without any reference to gender in the canonical texts.

    The suit is not merely a binding on the wearer however, but on every single deity who created it, drawing a significant fraction of their power and channeling it into the wearer. Despite their relative lack of followers and resources, the Watcher is unquestionably the most powerful god of all because of this. A part of the Watcher's duties is to hunt down new deities and place them into the same binding as all of the original divinities - willingly or by force. This means that deities like the Mystery God and Dita who keep their identities secret and at times flaunt the Resolutions would be hunted by the Watcher - if the Watcher knew about their existence that is. At any given time, the Watcher has thousands of leads on potential new, rogue deities though almost all of these end up just being the delusions of a handful of mortal "worshipers". Or are they successful ruses? Should the Watcher find an offending deity, the perpetrator would have to contend with the legendary blade they wield, known simply as Judgement. It is generally portrayed as an axe (like a Nzappa zap with a stoic face worked into the design) - the symbol of the Watcher's cult.
    Spoiler: What Nzappa zaps look like
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    Who the Watcher was before donning the armor is unknown. Many speculate that they were once a good deity, considering the nature of their sacrifice. However, the nature of their burden and the design of the Aegis of Resolution has purged every ounce of noble sentiment and kindness from them. They are most definitely a Lawful Neutral deity who has become unrelentingly ruthless in the pursuit of maintaining the cosmic order. The Watcher cares nothing for the day-to-day lives of mortals save that they be able to continue their lives without an existential threat ripping all of reality apart at the seams. There are very few followers of the Watcher, which probably has something to do with the deity's cold indifference and the fact that their religion focuses on ever present but abstract threats of cosmic annihilation. These are not the kinds of things that inspire worship. However, because of the Watcher's unique relationship to the other gods, there is a widely respected tradition where orders dedicated to the Watcher receive a tithe from the established cults of other deities. Part of this tithe can include the service of some of their most gifted paladins and clerics. It's usually part of the fine print of joining a religious order and these transfers are nearly as rare as discussion of their occurrence, but they do happen. Because the Watcher receives a measure of power from every god, these clerics and paladins can continue drawing on their deity's power and their relevant divine domains. Alternatively, one could say that the Watcher has dominion over every divine domain.

    There are not many temples to the Watcher since there are not many followers. Those that do exist are mostly quite small and austere, functioning as lodgings for the clerics and paladins of the Watchers on their travels to root out threats and occasionally as safehouses for dangerous artifacts or prisoners hiding them in hidden, magically shielded chambers. Their entrance halls are the exception. This is the one place where the religion feels free to display a measure of its immense wealth. While still small, the walls, ceilings and floors are all densely decorated with esoteric symbols and depictions of threats abstract and concrete. These halls contain a podium with shelves containing two books and a large, hanging bell which one can ring to call the temple's caretaker. One of the books is a guest book, where those seeking lodgings are recorded and any directions on relaying information or obects are written in a temple-specific code. The other book contains material for preaching and education about the Watcher - should a curious member of the public ever come.
    Spoiler: What I'm thinking of in terms of design
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    The general ornamentation following a pre-Columbian style like this, just because I feel it gets underused outside of jungle pyramids and has a nice mix of abstract and concrete (often disturbing) imagery. On a related note, there's an indie artist who goes by Monarobot online who takes pop culture monsters and turns them into maya glyph inspired designs. They are awesome inspiration for this kind of thing.


    The podium looking like a version of this with the aesthetic above and no flowers:

    I was thinking of a large suzu bell for the bell in the entrance hall. Maybe the rope has additional symbolism/meaning like the rope contained messages like with quipu, so the caretaker can leave secret messages to other followers - even it's just "No reportings about rogue god cults in town recently."


    The primary temple of the Watcher is the Mirador. According to legend, in the Watcher's pursuit of a mad wizard who pursued godhood through unholy powers prohibited by the Resolutions of Providence. They missed their mark, bringing Judgement down on top of a mountain - splitting it in two. A great chasm opened between the now two peaks of the mountain and any who climb down into this rift find themselves bereft of any arcane or divine power, their link to these sources severed by the ages-old remnants of Judgement. The two great crags that made up the mountain now have two sheer, vertical cliff-faces that face each other over the chasm. The cliff-face which was on the same side of Judgement as the face in it's blade now has glowing, shifting, silver glyphs. These massive glyphs are believed to be a written account of the Resolutions of Providence. The cliff-face on the other side, and indeed the entire half-mountain behind it, is now the vast temple, fortress, prison and archive that is the Mirador.

    The Mirador now lies in the center of a dense, bramble-filled forest that distances the cult of the Watcher even further from the rest of the world. The cliff-face is dotted with massive, recessed balconies that can each fit hundreds of ascetic monks who sit in meditative contemplation of the glyphs, each seated alongside their lanterns, incense, holy texts, notebooks of research, blank canvases for drawing their interpretations of the glyphs and any other accouterments they wish. The Mirador contains within itself vast libraries of historical accounts and arcane research, as well as forensic alchemical labs, armories without rival, vault after vault of priceless artifacts of legendary power. Some say that the Jack of Smiles was slain attempting to rescue a cleric of Lishon who had pushed the boundaries of the Resolutions too far (which is to say, at all) from the wrath of the Mirador's forces. Many dismiss this story - though it is likely Foilus was involved if true - but the rumor persists that the Jack of Smiles' red eye lies in the Mirador's vaults. There are prisons there too, designed to hold celestials and fiends alike. Those beings who are too powerful to be imprisoned even by the cells within the Mirador are trapped within the rift before it, held by chains made from ores mined in the chasm itself - creating living (and undead) grotesques to ornament the fortress-temple. The ores from the chasm are believed to be shavings of Judgement itself and have unique, powerful properties. There are whispers that beings of unimaginable power and age reside deep beneath the Mirador not as prisoners but as instructors and consultants to the faith.

    Spoiler: Orders dedicated to the Watcher
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    The orders dedicated to the Watcher are quite diverse. They each play a different role in furthering the perceived goals of their deity with the ultimate goal being the preservation of the universe. Each have their own rights and rituals, which having been established in ages long past keeps the whole faith running fairly smoothly without the need for an explicit leader. The Order of the Iron Inquisitors is probably the largest order in service to the Watcher. The Iron Inquisitors' role is to hunt down any leads about potential violations of the Resolutions and neutralize any threats as necessary. If is best to take a target in alive, they will do so. If it is best to execute a target publicly, they will do so. If it is best to assassinate them quietly and leave no trace, they will do so. This is the order most likely to address the Watcher as the Iron Maiden and style themselves after her image. Their symbol is a woman holding Judgement as an executioner's axe over a hooded figure - representing the unseen threats to reality. They wear very imposing, heavy armor that covers them entirely. Many believe they never remove the armor because they are never seen outside of it. Of course, they do remove the armor, it's just that the Inquisitors' uniforms let them hide their identities so they can move unseen outside of their armor. The Inquisitors are probably the most visible of the orders dedicated to the Watcher and are mostly unpopular with the public. The fact that if a scholar was unknowingly growing too close to unlocking forces prohibited under the Resolution, an Inquisitor would assassinate them and leave their loved ones without closure at the drop of a hat, doesn't help with public perception. When they recruit from other orders, the Iron Inquisitors usually look to worshipers of deities of war, tempests, death and the grave.

    The Iron Slayers are the largest faction within the Order of the Iron Inquisitors and are much more popular with the common folk. They do not specialize in tracking targets, silent assassinations or magically enhanced interrogation. Rather, the "infantry of the Inquisitors" dedicate themselves to slaying aberrations and fighting back incursions of fey, fiends, celestials and undead that have amassed in the mortal realms by impermissible means. This ingratiates them with the public, because even the unrelenting, perfectionist gaze of a deva is a bit much for the average person. Their symbol is like that of the rest of the Iron Inquisitors but with the hooded figure replaced by a many-tentacled abomination. Their activities and increased visibility helps them avoid any assassination-of-academics-inspired negative PR. They rarely need to recruit from other religious orders, instead being one of the only groups of those dedicated to the Watcher who can reliably recruit from the wider populace.

    The Order of Cryptographers, in contrast, is an order that have virtually no visibility at all. Not all that many even know of the Cryptographers' existence. They spend almost all of their time at the Mirador. They are the ones sitting on the balconies for days on end, attempting to glean new insights into the Resolutions of Providence from the silver glyphs. Their symbol is a figure holding Judgement with the handle styled as a writing brush covered in silver ink. The magical glyphs that are at the heart of their duties are in fact the written form of the language of the gods - or at least, what can be projected of this writing into the mortal realm. The slow shifting of the glyphs is in fact a part of the language, part of a pattern that takes a millennium to repeat. This means that virtually none of the Cryptographers will ever read the message in its entirety, yet they must try to understand what they can. So they spend days in quiet observation. They spend even longer writing on their theories and commentating on centuries old theses of others in their rooms within the temple. Very occasionally, a Cryptographer will pronounce a new insight into the nature of the Resolutions. As often as not, these are later dismissed as nonsense by the rest of the Order and those that are accepted are typically the slightest of advancements - barely more than pedantic arguments - but these things matter. They have thus shaped the principles that have guided the Orders since ages long forgotten. The nature of their studies also means that they are uniquely qualified to encrypt messages in a way that people who haven't spent a lifetime slowly descending into madness from deep contemplation of glowing glyphs in a language not meant to be grasped by mortal minds, just can't. The codes and ciphers they devise are the most secure in the world and helps keep the work of other Orders dedicated to the Watcher secure and secret. This is the means by which the Cryptographers serve the faith most often. When they recruit from other religious orders, the Cryptographers take from those who venerate deities of light and trickery.

    The Order of Assessors is dedicated to determining if the Resolutions of Providence are being violated - if the cosmos itself is at risk of destruction. They run the laboratories within the Mirador and elsewhere that the faith uses to assess artifacts that may be threats, identify the perpetrators of the Resolutions or locate encroachments of forbidden powers. Their symbol is a figure holding Judgement in one hand and an alchemical glass in the other (OK, so I'm trying to say "Erlenmeyer flask" without using the term). They are unsurpassed forensic experts with access to techniques and technologies not known outside the faith of the Watcher. They will travel the lands - usually in the company of at least one Iron Inquisitor, to investigate potential crime scenes or provide support in resisting the powerful, reality bending magics their enemies can deploy. To the common folk, and even to the arcane scholars of their world, their work is alien and threatening. People tend to fear what they cannot understand, and when the person you cannot understand may proclaim that you must be executed for esoteric reasons, that fear seems rather rational. When the Assessors recruit from other religious orders they usually judge candidates who are sworn to deities of magic or the forge.

    The Order of Archivists are an order of historians and chroniclers. They are a familiar sight to nobles and elites across the world who are expected to host an Archivist should one ask for it. It is considered a great status symbol to have an Archivist request your hospitality because it indicates they believe you to be integral to the turning of history. Their symbol is a figure holding Judgement with the handle styled as a scroll. The Archivists are careful observers and record in intricate detail the comings and goings of life across the world. The gods are immortal beings and as such any schemes hatched by the divine against the Resolutions of Providence may only be apparent over the span of many mortal generations. The Archivists are the faith's response to such methods. They not only make the records but study their collections to identify patterns over centuries and millennia that may indicate a potential violation. Their chronicles are considered unparalleled in quality. Since the Archivists are much more concerned with maintaining their records than circulating them - and because there may be certain things they don't want others to know they noticed and recorded - a chronicle of the Order of Archivists is a highly sought after, priceless artifact. Their reputation means that many scholars have the utmost respect, even awe for the Archivists. This lets them, more than any other Order dedicated to the Watcher, walk in the halls of the powerful and pursue the faiths interests in the political sphere. As the ones with the knowledge and connections, it is usually the Archivists who act as de facto leaders of the Watcher's faith - not the Iron Inquisitors or the Cryptogtaphers as many speculate. Because their work leads them to spend extended periods abroad and to preferably blend into the background as much as possible, they are rarely accompanied by others. However, one would be foolish to think that a lone Archivist is vulnerable, being skilled in combat is a matter of necessity when you are expected to infiltrate and oversee the activities of kinds and criminals alike. They have a fairly close relationship with religious orders dedicated to gods of knowledge, especially Algos and will recruit from these groups when they need to add to their ranks, but they do recruit from lay scholars as well.

    The Order of Stewards are tasked with keeping reality running. They do not seek out those who violate the Resolutions to exact justice nor do they aid in this endeavor very often. Instead, the Stewards travel the world from the slums of an city to a sandbar in the ocean to do the maintenance work that keeps reality running. Actions from eons past have consequences into the modern day and this requires the attention of those who know what they are doing. This is the task of the Stewards - maintaining seals on ancient rifts and keeping everything just so. They are also responsible for the prisoners the faith takes and the artifacts they have acquired. Their symbol is Judgement crossed with a woodcutter's hatchet in front of a simple round shield. A typically task for a Steward is to travel to some location - often isolated and obscure - and perform rituals (preferably unnoticed) that help heal reality. Keeping track of these locations is also essential to the work of the faith of the Watcher in general, in case someone has decided to try to tap into the forbidden powers made more accessible by the damage already done. The nature of the fabric of reality is too complex for the mortal mind to handle, so it is thought that inside the Mirador there are immensely ancient beings who direct the Stewards towards those places in need of prompt maintenance and tutor them on the proper ritual to enact in that instance. As jailers, the Stewards are not cruel. They have no interest in hurting their charges, but they will not allow them to walk free under any circumstances. While they have a focus on abjuration - it is not wise to anger a Steward lest you witness their wrath. Indeed, they are the mightiest warriors in the faith of the Watcher save for some of the Iron Inquisitors for they must be prepared to complete their tasks regardless of what unholy abomination has risen from the depths of the eldritch rift since it's last sealing. When recruiting from other religious orders, the Stewards look to those who venerate deities of nature, protection and life.
    Last edited by GaelofDarkness; 2018-09-09 at 09:43 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #34
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

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    Aequiteri
    The Judge, The Arbiter, Lawgiver

    Symbol: a three sided pyramid, each face inscribed with a symbol. (Truth, Justice, Fairness, and Symmetry)

    Creed: All are held to the same law.

    Aequiteri was the last of the so-called Gods Of Civilization: The Farmer, The Soldier, The Builder, and The Judge. She appears as a stern, middle-aged woman who wields a two-bladed red battleaxe. In her hand she holds the Foundation Stone, upon which The Law Of Civilization is written. It is a three-sided pyramid which can be held only by the righteous.

    Aequiteri teaches that law absent justice is tyrrany, and justice absent law is vengeance. Her doctrine teaches the Law Of Symmetry, in which the law applies most to those who wield power, and protects most those who are powerless. Her doctrine of fairness requires the law to be applied in the same manner to all, and that laws found to be unjust must be corrected.

    Verit is the name of her battleaxe, which is itself a minor deity which she dominated early in her career. It will allow itself to be wielded only by one who has never been tainted by violations of the law, and it will only injure those who have committed crimes. When Aequiteri passes judgement of death upon a lawbreaker she wields Verit to behead the convict, and if Verit lops off the head of even the greatest god, it dies forever, its soul devoured by the axe. But the axe is also the final appeal of the innocent, through whom it will pass without inflicting injury.

    King Harapthan of the ancient city of My Fon was accused of treason and sentenced to die. He appealed to Aequiteri to carry out his sentence, but Verit spared him. With this proof, the false accusers were overthrown by mobs of citizens who brought them before her to be judged by the same measure as their vindicated king. Eight heads were mounted on the gates of the city to remind its people the price for falsely accusing others in court.

    But Verit would not be hers to wield had she not first created The Foundation Stone. On its four faces the first recorded law was inscribed. Verit had been, until then, an avatar of Death, killing gods and mortals alike. Witb the power of the Foundation Stone Aequiteri fought and defeated Verit, and passed judgement that it should thereafter pay for its crimes through serving justice.

    In ancient times Aequiteri ventured across the world teaching law and justice. Most ancient cities built pyramid temples dedicated to her, but because the bottom of the three sided pyramid could not be seen, they builg four-sided structures. After a time the true origins of the pyramids were forgotten, and their massive scale and labor requirements discouraged their construction, but every civilization around the world has a system of justice which derives from her initial instruction, and in evefy corner of the world the ruins of pyramids can be found.

  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Grylthea, Goddess of Vengeance, Undead and Evil Fey

    Despite being a minor deity, elves speak of this divinity only in hushed tones - fearful of her attention. According to their legends, there was a dryad long, long ago who guarded a beautiful grove of trees. Indeed, this was perhaps the most beautiful grove across all the world. Archfey would cross over from the Feywild to visit the grove. In time the grove became a beautiful forest and the dryad had shaped a living feasting hall at its heart - filled with blossoms, glowing beetles, iridescent butterflies and singing birds. Here she would entertain the forest creatures and archfey alike. Her own tree stood at the head of this hall, and had grown to a size not seen in the prime material plane since. With such a grand tree and forest, the dryad grew strong and soon was matriarch of a court of fey handmaidens.

    The mortals spoke of Grylthea, the Lady of Woods, with awe. They rarely disturbed her woods - most were too wise to dare tread in fey lands - but some would throw themselves on her mercy in the hopes she would grant a miracle. In truth, Grylthea cared for all life and in times of famine, drought or disease she would use her great power to aid them. Legends of the Lady of the Woods and her great tree spread and grew into ever more fantastical retellings. In time, some came to believe that Grylthea's tree held the secret to eternal life and beauty - for surely she must hold such power to perform the miracles she had. In a way, they were correct. Like all dryad's, her beauty and immortality were contingent upon her tree. But this was not the understanding of the mortals who raided her arboreal domain.

    They stormed the trees with axes and swords, with torches and burning pokers, with salt and silver. None agree on who these raiders were. The elves have pointed the finger at virtually everyone - except for themselves of course. What is known, is that the forest was devastated. While mortal blood was spilled, the raiders had burned or felled everything - including Grylthea's tree. The Lady of the Wood had lost her wood and her wailing was heard around the world and from the heavens to the abyss. She lay dying as the last remaining raiders were beginning the monumental task of taking her beloved tree apart in their pointless quest to find life in death.

    Grylthea did not stay dead however. It is not clear who intervened - some deity of the undead now long forgotten - but someone offered her the chance at revenge - the chance to leave life behind and embrace undeath. Grylthea accepted this offer - but the twisted thing that returned to the world in undeath was not the Grylthea of old. She had the Lady of the Wood's intellect, she had her mastery of magic, she had her ambition - but she did not have Grythea's kindness, restraint or temperance. The wood from her tree changed from being a warm brown to a greasy, pitch black. Instead of holding the power of eternal life, people found the pieces of her tree to be filled with necromantic power - drawing on the connection she still has with her tree.

    The Maiden of Rot hunted down every last one of the raiders and all of their kin. She went on to slay the god who raised her and ascend to godhood herself. She rules a realm that appears at first glance to be an infinite version of her old Wood - full of blossoms, glowing beetles, iridescent butterflies and singing birds. But out of the corner of your eye you can see it for what it really is. The trees are rotting stumps and protrusions of bleached ivory torn from beasts. The blossoms are putrefying flesh, the beetles are centipedes feasting on the carrion, the butterflies are plague-ridden gnats and the birds are the Maiden of Rot's fiendish and fey servants nattering about how good you'll taste.

    Her followers cannot be found. Instead they find you. Should you despoil the natural world or wrong another, then one day you will be walking in the wilds and a beautiful woman or a lost child will step out from behind a tree. They will greet you and beg your aid. Against your better judgement you will let your guard down. And just as you come to your senses and see past the illusion, you catch the hateful visage of the agent of Grylthea as they tear open your throat. The cult of Grylthea is composed of largely fey, elves and half-elves, though not exclusively. Most of them are victims of terrible crimes and have come to the Maiden of Rot in their search for vengeance. Of course, once their initial revenge has been claimed, they have developed a taste for it and seek vengeance against the world that allowed the wrong be committed. Their view of nature is deeply twisted. They believe that undeath and rot are not blemishes on nature but rather that it is mortals and their callousness. They dream of a time when the world is rid of heartless humanoids (which they believe to be most humanoids) or at least when they have all been turned into skeletal servants of their order. Nothing is so central to the teachings of Grylthea than the belief that evil and corruption lie at the heart of the common man and that this world is the truly twisted and perverted one, while the one the Maiden of Rot shall bring about will be a more compassionate age of bliss, beauty and benediction where the faithful shall revel in the rotting remnants of the present era.

    Grylthea demands blood from her followers. It is their duty to hunt those who have done wrong as vengeance is at the heart of their creed, but when such a one is not available then anyone will do. After all, they were probably going to do something worthy of the punishment eventually. The cult keeps itself secret and targets people when they are at their most isolated. They enlist the aid of undead and evil fey alike in their endeavors. They may send a meenlock or quickling after a victim as often as they send a specter or a ghast. Their greater schemes have involved cutting the supply lines that a town or city relies on and then waiting for the mortal-wrought blemish to fill with the starved corpse of its makers - killing anyone who attempts to escape though the forests, fields or fells. Those dead rise again as ghoulish servants who will demolish the buildings and see them replaced with decay and tainted growth.

    The pieces of Grylthea's tree are considered immensely sacred artifacts by her cult. While the Maiden of Rot has gathered most of these pieces to build her fetid, oozing throne, there are some pieces still on the prime material plane. These are usually the last few fragments that have been lost to Grylthea since ancient times and to possess one - as an outsider - is the greatest of crimes in the eyes of her faithful. These artifacts are usually wielded by powerful liches - they are staffs of black, petrified wood that leave a cloying, vile residue on anything that touches them and are so brimming with entropic energies that even without direction they raise nearby dead critters as zombies, so it's really just the bad guys who want to hang on to 'em. They are also sometimes wielded by Grylthea's most powerful servants. There are some stories where she takes a piece of her rotting throne to give to her champion. The staffs have come to be known by the rather disturbing title of the Staffs of Putrid Blood. This is a name those who have confronted or cavorted with dark forces know, but its origin is something that not even many elves know - for it is painful to talk about.

    There was a time in elven history when the greatest kingdom of the wood elves fell to a coven of thirteen hags that wielded these staffs in service to the Maiden of Rot. The entire forest became a place of death, undeath and the few kinds of life foul enough to survive that environment. Creatures from this den of monsters would hunt down innocents from the surroundings and bring them back to the coven. The coven and the cult had uprooted the enchanted trees the wood elves's called home and at the heart of the fallen kingdom the great tree that had been the king's palace left a great pit behind. The cult would sacrifice those that were taken by draining their blood into this pit of putrefaction and raising their bodies or spirits as servants - or leave the flesh as food for their other servants. This pit became the seat of authority from which the hag coven ruled for three hundred years before being defeated. The forests have yet to be fully purged of the evil after all this time and nothing at all has grown near the pit. Everyone knows to avoid the Heartless Forest, most do not know that the Forest is indeed "Heartless" and very few know that it was at this desolate clearing on what remained of a fallen people that the Staffs of Putrid Blood were so christened.

    ~~~

    Grylthea is a Chaotic Evil deity with the domains of nature, trickery and death. If you've ever seen (or just want to google image search it real quick) the Last Witch Hunter, the Witch Queen would 100% be one of the hags serving as high priestess to the Maiden of Rot.
    According to easydamus, I'm a 4th level CG elf wizard. Str 9 - Dex 11 - Con 9 - Int 18 - Wis 14 - Cha 16.

    Homebrew setting (or part thereof): Phaunia and the Twilit Between

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    One Thousand Three-Hundred and Thirty-Seven Times Greatest

    1337megistus is a deity in a schizotech urban fantasy setting. He is primarily the tutelary deity of telecommunications, filesharing, research, atomic technology, electronic utilities (ie the power grid, phone system, cable tv, and internet), and general technology and knowledge, but also is associated with startup companies, ecommerce, rocketry, long distance travel, hackers, spitit mediumship, and divination. While several deities technically rank higher than him, he is the de facto most influential. He is responsible for catapulting his world from the copper age to the information age in the space of a few hundred years. He gifted mortals with the basics of most fields of study. He would then occasionally grant mortals with magical or technological solutions he had devised to their various problems. Often these revealed solutions would upend society, as he would provide near-mature technologies, and the specific intermeduate tools and technologies needed to produce them, where there was often not an inkling before. Technology would leap far ahead in a handful of very specific fields. Human ingenuity would quickly find additional uses for the intermediate tools but development remained lopsided and social convention remained upended. This angered some of the other gods, including several higher ranking than he, as well as his former wife, the goddess of convention, systemization, and standardization. Attempts were made by the other gods to put a halt to his constant disarranging of the social order of the mortals that served them. Rather than comply he quietly gifted a prophet with the secret of how to transmute uranium into krypton and barium and bade them to conquer the world in his name. From this came weapons that quickly subjugated the other gods' forces, as well as means of steadily generating large amounts of electricity. The storm god darkened the sky in retaliation, but 1337megistus provided the people with technological and magical means of producing heat and light, until eventually the storm god broke the siege. From there 1337megistus poured himself into means of maintaining and administering his new empire, first creating a corps of messengers equipped with various experimental means of transport (includig some that were only half thought out and somewhat dangerous because they were devised on such short notice, like rocket boots (which he is now often depicted wearing)) and running wires to connect and power various communication and calculation devices. This has allowed innovation and culture to flourish explosively. The grid and the net are part of him now, and he a part of them, and in this form he active subverts anyone who would prevent information from being shared freely and promotes those spreading new technologies. He recently extended web connectivity into the underworld, allowing the living to chat with the dead.

    In place of standard cult images many of the temples centermost to his military regime have live atomic bombs in place of cult images

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    Durdura

    The master of the black fog and progenitor of all darklurking things, Durdura was the master of all that lived in the days before the sun shone. When the first Elven King, Flam of Flame struck him down at the battle of the Shimmering Basin, he was cast back into the gloom from which he spawned, deep below the surface.

    Now it is said that old Durdura creeps out on the nights where the fog is thickest, and releases his children to filch infants from their cradles.
    Last edited by Trask; 2018-09-23 at 05:02 PM.

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    The King of Thursdays

    The King of Thursday is an overdeity of creation, destruction, and renewal. Every thursday he destroys the cosmos, then sets to work rebuilding a new exactly identical cosmos in its place. His task isn't really noticable since the old universe is immediately replaced with one just like it. But occasionally he misses a detail and that's how we get plot holes.

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    The Sons Of The Dragon

    Illandre The Great Mother Dragon forged herself in the chaos before time. She spawned many children in many realms, and her children themselves forged realms and kingdoms in the realms of others, but in this realm she left three sons.

    The eldest is Drauphinier, The Plutarch. His domains are greed and wealth, and he is an avatar of Lawful Neutrality.

    The middle brother is Seralin, The Autarch. His domains are power and political corruption, and he is an avatar of Lawful Evil.

    The youngest brother is Vaimornin, The Justicar. His domains are justice and defense, and he is an avatar of Lawful Good.

    The three brothers sired the dragons of the realm, and the dragons owe them allegiance. Any chaotic dragons owe their tendencies to their mothers, of whom there are many.

    Members of non-draconic races who worship them usually do so for their military prowess. Cavaliers worship Drauphinier as The Emperor, Blackguards worship Seralin as The Despot, and Paladins worship Vaimornin as The Wise King.

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    Elore
    The God of the Sun, Fertility, Serenity, and Authority. Elorre, in some dialects, watches as the Sun rises and falls, and is the god of law and order. During the night, Elorre is the god of Serenity. He has lesser aspects of knowledge and wisdom. Of learning and what knowing what do with whatever learning you have. Elorre gives fertility to the world and to some of the people, and some of his lesser aspects are gods of marriage and fatherhood.
    Eons ago, Elore is rumored by some sects to have been mortal who was a priest of the Light. Discovering immortality, he became a demi god and opposed the Lord of the Vampires. Eventually he killed the Lord of the Vampires, and the next two heirs after that. Centuries passed until he was naturally elevated to a form of godhood. Elore's war with vampires and other undead are legendary.


    Now that he is considered a true deity, he is said to be the world's foremost sponsor for both undead hunters and cures for undead, including vampirism, are highly sought after. Elore also acts as guardian over married couples and young lovers.

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    Cults of Elore

    The Temple Of The Sun is popular in communities which rely upon farming. These temples are built around a central sundial, the complexity of which is determined by the age and the wealth of the temple. Their clergy are called Sunspeakers, and their role is to guide farmers to bountiful harvests, to guide fathers to prosperous households, and to ensure the keeping of the calander.

    They divide the year into 360 days of 12 months of 30 days. They also have five annual holidays which are not counted as a part of any month: The Spring Equinox, the Summer Solstice, the Autumn Equinox, and the Winter Solstice.

    The first/last holiday is in winter, and the day after is the first day of the first month. Every three months thereafter is the next Cardinal Holiday. The fifth annual holiday rotates around the calander in a progression dictated by the priests, but it is never part of the other four holidays. It's place on the calander is determined during the Winter Solstice Holiday observances, and it is named for the month it comes before.

    A sixth holiday occurs every four years, and it always occurs the day before the Summer Solstice. Father's Day is a day for children to celebrate their father and to visit and tend graves.

    Monks of the Temple Of The Sun are called Sun Seers, and their role is to guard the temple and to maintain and improve the sundial. They often incorporate the structure of the temple into their complex sundial-calenders.

    A militant sect of this church are the Shadow Watchers. Adventuring clerics of The Temple Of The Sun are most likely to be of this sect, as would be most paladins and adventuring monks. Their role is to seek out and destroy vampires and other undead, and their secret libraries are rumored to have records dating back thousands of years detailing the many kinds of undead they have faced.

    A female-only cult known as The Guardians Of The Night openly guard the temples, but they also record secrets and deal in fortune-telling. Some say they are heretics who worship the moon, but their faith claims the moon is but an aspect of the sun. Sorcerers and wizards tend to follow this aspect of veneration of the sun, and priestesses tend to be multiclass arcanists. Clerics of this faith occasionally specialize in defense against lycanthropy, and are believed to have spells which can reveal a lycanthrope or force it to revert back to humanoid form. Of course, these beliefs are tales told second or third hand, and no one seems ever to have directly witnessed this in action.

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    Kheperatlas

    Kheperatlas is an enormous planet-sized dung beetle that rolls the planet around the sun, creating the days and years. There is an uninhabitable patch near the arctic cricles where the planet has been worn down to the mantle from being constantly touched and where anything passing through is in danger of being crushed if it styas for more than a few hours

  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Dripiscob, the Gilded Spider

    Dripiscob is a good-aligned spider-headed god who protects the world from disease carrying insects and against insect themed fiends like Obox-Ob. He is also the tutelary deity of wrapping things up to eat later (and, by extension, the god of butcher paper and cellophane).

  14. - Top - End - #44
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    Purifiers (of the Putrid Blood)

    This is part a cult and part a secret society. Its existence is known, but most of its members keep their involvement secret, and their meetings, their bases of operation, and their extent are secret. They consist mainly of clerics (and druids) of various good aligned gods, though others are welcome.

    The Purifiers believe that Grylthea is a victim, first of the raiders who destroyed her tree and her forest, and then of the dead god who tricked her into an existence of evil and rot. To seek vengeance for the destruction, they believe, was not an evil desire and would never have led to her present form if not for the others who wronged her. To call her "more sinned against than sinner", they realize, would not be right, due to the mass of evil she and her followers have wrought, but they still believe she is ultimately not to blame, at least not entirely. Her story, to them, is less the the disastrous rise of evil than the tragic fall of good.

    The goal of the Purifiers is to redeem Grylthea, believing that she can be restored to the state she held for so long before the destruction of her tree, or perhaps even become a beneficent goddess of the fey. And they have a plan, the Great Plan.

    They hope to obtain a Staff of the Putrid Blood and use it to restore the goddess. Their plan is to, in effect, resurrect her tree using a Staff as the required remains. They would first cleanse the staff of its evil, and then employ life giving, restorative magic to give a spark of life to the cleansed wood. The wood would then be planted in consecrated ground like a cutting, and powerful spells akin to Plant Growth used to make it take root and thrive. They believe that, if they can succeed in this, Grylthea's restored tree will call her inexorably to itself, and that contact with her restored tree will restore her in turn.

    There is no knowing if the Great Plan has any hope of succeeding. Over their many decades of work, they have obtained two Staves. The first staff rebuffed the Dispel Evil spell used upon it, amplifying, twisting, and projecting the energy to kill the caster. A force of ghouls soon arrived to take the staff, killing many Purifier members present and suffering losses of their own before retreating with their precious artifact.

    The second they thought they had cleansed, but its evil began to return before they could give it life. When they saw their failure in progress, they were able to burn the staff before its power became too great.

    While searching for another Staff to use in the Great Plan, the members also work to prevent, mitigate, or repair the damage done by Grylthea's evil servants. Indeed, many undead hunters, including no small number of Elorite Shadow Watchers, are counted among their members.

    To Grylthea and her servants, the Purifiers are blasphemers and enemies of the highest order. By other deities and their followers, the Purifiers are seen as anything from odd to heretics to virtuous dreamers.
    -- Joe
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    You are completely welcome to use anything I post here, or I wouldn't post it.

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    How Lolth Got Her Spider Form

    During the dime when Lolth was a mere demon princess, shortly after her fall from her initial divine state, but before her reascencency, she got into a contest with a god of vampires and the undeath about which of them could drink more fluid out of a victim's body. When the time came, the vampire god immediately tore open his victim's spine, drinking not only every drop of the man's blood, but also his spinal fluid. Lolth, on the other hand, brought syringes full of powerful acid to inject into her victim and dissolve him, and was eventually able to drink the man's entire body and win the contest. Enraged at the use of such tawdry unagreed-upon means to beat him, the vampire god shouted "if you're going to be like that, than be like that" and turned her into a spider.

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    Scamhotep

    Scamhotep was an ancient grifter who in an antique time in an antique land devised the world's first pyramid scheme. He collected so many wealh from recruitment fees and brainwashed so many people with his "training" seminars that by the time the scheme reached the point where there were not enough people left in the world to sustain it he had already been propelled to demigodhood. He is now the god of tricksters, conmen, and dubious business plans.

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    Demeicro
    King of the Manes, The Prince of Dimness

    Portfolio: Manes demons, stupidity

    Similar to how Malcanthet is the Queen of Succubi and Kardum is the Lord of Balors, Demeicro is the King of the Manes (the most basic type of demon, Fiendish Codex 1, Pg 45). As lord of the weakest demon type he is one of the weakest demon lords possibly the weakest. This is one of the demon prince positions with the highest rate of turnover; He isn't the first to hold this position, he won't be the last, and he may not even be the only one (similar to how Malcanthet and Shami-Amourae are both Queen of the Succubi). He is also one of the dumbest of the demon lords and the demonic patron of stupidity, earning hin the derisive title "The Prince of Dimness". He seems to think that this has to do with literal dimness and has developed some magical abilities to match

    He appears as a giant manes demon and is usually surrounded by a retinue of manes, In combat he has a tendency to throw these minions at people, using their acidic cloud death throes as a bomb. Sometimes he will go through several before realizing that an enemy is resistant or immune to acid. He dwells in a shoddily constructed fortress and rules his minions from a makeshift throne made of chicken bones and dead animals

    CE Large outsider (chaotic, evil, extraplanar, tanar’ri)
    Init: +2
    Senses: darkvision 90 ft.; Listen +0, Spot –1
    Languages: Abyssal; telepathy 100 ft.
    AC: 15, touch 7, flat-footed 15 (-1 size, -2 dex, +8 natural)
    HP: 95 (10 HD; 10d8+50); DR 5/cold iron and good
    Immune: electricity, poison
    Resist: acid 10, cold 10, fire 10
    Saves: Fort +12, Ref +6, Will +6
    Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares)
    Melee: 2 claws +15 (1d6+6 Plus 1 Vile) and bite +13 (1d8+3 Plus 1 Vile)
    Base Atk: +10; Grp: +20
    Abilities: Str 22, Dex 6, Con 20, Int 9, Wis 9, Cha 9
    SQ: acidic cloud, tanar’ri traits
    Feats: Gruesome Finish (Exemplars of Evil), Improved Initiative, Multiattack, Vile Natural Attack (BOVD/Elder Evils)
    Skills: Balance +4, Climb +19, Escape Artist +4, Hide +7, Intimidate +1, Jump +19, Knowledge (Arcane) +0, Knowledge (Planes) +0, Listen +0, Move Silently +9, Spellcraft +0, Survival +12, Use Magic Device +6

    Acidic Cloud (Su):
    When the prince of dimness is wounded for 5 or more HP with a slashing or piercing weapon acidic vapor sprays out in the direction the attack came from. Anybody standing in that square must make DC 15 Reflex save or take 1d6 points of acid damage
    If the Prince of Dimness is killed, it dissolves into a cloud of noxious vapor. Anyone within 20 feet who fails a DC 15 Reflex save takes 2d6 points of acid damage

    Charm Manes (sp)
    Three times per day Demeicro can attempt to charm a manes demon. This works like the spell charm person except that it works on manes and only on manes.

    Summon Manes (Sp)
    Once per day the Lord of Dimness can attempt to summon 4d8 manes with a 60% chance of success. Alternately he can automatically summon 2d4 manes. This ability is the equivalent of a 6th-level spell.

    Spell-Like Abilities
    cl 10
    At Will- Acid Splash, Daze (DC9), Greater Teleport (self plus 50 pounds of objects only), Mage Hand, No Light (BOVD)
    3/day- Darkness, Delusions of Grandeur (Dragon #324) (DC11), Doom (DC10), Magic Stone, Obscuring Mist, Ray of Stupidity (SC)
    1/day- Cone of Dimness (SC) (DC12), Desecrate, Feeblemind (DC14), Mind Fog(DC14), Stinking Cloud (DC12), Touch of Idiocy

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    The Origin of Toil

    In the beginning the king of the gloomy underworld, the lord of gloom, he invited the first man to dine with him in the underworld. He called up his servants and a fabulous seven course meal was set before them. Not knowing the rules of the dead, the first man partook of the first five courses.

    Sudeenly the creator burst in warning "Stop! Do not finish that meal or he will own you forever"

    "It is too late" replied the lord of the underworld, "he has already consumed the food of the underworld, so in the underworld he must stay."

    "But two sevenths remain uneaten, so you may only hold him five sevenths of the time"

    "One one dies they stay dead, so with me in the underworld he stays"

    "Then you cannot make him die, he must come to the underworld by other means"

    And so from then on mankind has had to work for five days out of every seven, their bodies and minds toiling while their spirits descend to the underworld

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    The Origin of Toil...
    And so from then on mankind has had to work for five days out of every seven, their bodies and minds toiling while their spirits descend to the underworld
    Job=Hell. I like it.

    Begging forgiveness, I'll post an unfinished idea. Anybody may pick this up and run with it, or maybe I will after I sleep (on it) for a while.
    -----------------------------------------
    Extremus, the God of Extremes

    "Please, my mortal followers, give me a new name."

    Extremus never does anything by halves. This is not to say that he does everything to excess, for there are things that he - and his followers - practice to the pinnacle of skill or abstain from completely. Be it drinking, crafting, or chastity, the followers of Extremus never do anything without committing to do it in the biggest, most radical, and permanent way possible.

    And no, the irony of posting such an idea unfinished is not lost on me. I've been at work for 27 hours; cut me some slack.
    Last edited by jqavins; 2019-02-12 at 11:57 AM.
    -- Joe
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    You are completely welcome to use anything I post here, or I wouldn't post it.

  20. - Top - End - #50
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    Procrastinus

    "They'll give me a new name some day."

    This god never worries. What's the point? There's always something better to do. When any job goes unfinished it is dedicated to procrastinus. When any job is done in a shoddy manner, Procrastinus benefits. When anyone promises to do a thing and never gets around to actually doing it, it counts as a prayer to Procrastinus.

    There is a dogma of Procrastinus, promulgated by priests. They plan to write it down. One day. Maybe at next week's prayer meeting. If I'm late, start without me.

    The spells provided by Procrastinus to his divine followers are potent and... well, they can't always count on getting them all. Or even some. Depends. Procrastinus may be busy that day.

    It is presumed the god is Chaotic Neutral in outlook, but his clergy are of many alignments. Indeed, some who profess to worship even Lawful deities receive their spells from Procrastinus when their regular prayers are late, or forgotten, or when it's past time for a sacrifice and they have yet to shave the goat.

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    God the Bro and Death the Narc

    [edda-knockoff frame story]
    King Lofte traveled and sought the wisdom of ages. He came to a campus so large he could not find the end of it, and stopped in a house so tall he could not see the top and covered in runes all about. In the house there were three sofas and in each sat a man. He asked what the names of these were. The name of the first was Highest, the name of the second was Just-As-High, and the name of the third was Baked.

    Said Heita, "How came the world into existence, or how did it rise?"

    Made answer to him Highest, "It is said:

    [main text]
    In the beginning God the Bro was alone and had no one to party with, so he created the first man [and other sentient beings as appropriate to setting]. And the first man said "dude, that was cool, you'be gotta show me how you did that". And so God the Bro created the beasts and animals. And the first man toked and drank with God the Bro for many years until finally they had run out of weed and beer. And so God the Bro created the plants and foliage and every kind of mushroom so that there might be more weed and beer and the party could go on.

    All still was not perfect however. "Hey this party's a sausagefest" said the first man" and so God the Bro created women. And for ages all was chill.

    However, all of the partying and animals and sentient beings angered God the Bro's downstairs neighbor, the Lord of Gloom, the Gloomy King of the Underworld, and he schemed to bring the partying to an end, and sought to entrap the first man.

    The King of the Gloomy Underworld, the Lord of Gloom, he invited the first man [and other sapient beings; season to taste] to dine with him at a formal function in the Underworld. He ordered his flunky, the Lord of Flunkies, the King of Flunkies, to prepare a seven course meal. Five coirses of a seven course meal were served. Not knowing the rules of the dead, the first man partook of the first five courses.

    Sudeenly God the Bro burst in warning "Dude! Bro! Dude! He's trying to trick you! Don't finish that meal or he shallll own you forever"

    "It is too late" replied the lord of the underworld, "he has already consumed the food of the underworld, so in the underworld he must stay."

    "But two sevenths remain uneaten, so you may only hold him five sevenths of the time"

    And so from then on mankind has had to work for five days out of every seven, their bodies and minds toiling while their spirits descend to the underworld.

    But the Lord of Gloom still schemed to entrap mankind as they multiplied, by making up new rules that all would have to follow.

    One day, as the first man was drinking vodka, the Lord of Gloom came to take him away.
    God the Bro protested "Hey, where are you taking my bro!?"
    "He has transgressed the unwritten law: No drinking more than half a kilogram of ethanol in one sitting. For this he will be imprisoned in the underworld for all time. From now on there will be order"

    And so the Lord of Gloom, The Gloomy King of the Underworld, added more and more rules.

    He took people for eating too much, so they stopped eating. Then he took people for not eating at all. He took people for colliding with things too quickly, and for not getting out of the way of other things. And finally he started taking people just for being around too long. Thus death came into the world.

    [need to add some kind of good afterlife that God the Bro takes people off to to let them avoid the Lord of Gloom's clutches. And a reason why he doesn't just take them all there. His uncle's house which has many rooms? A frat house in the sky (perhaps even the one from the frame story?)]

  22. - Top - End - #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    The idea of this thread is to brew up deities and legendary heros for anyone to use. They will not comprise a single pantheon, but it is allowed to springboard ideas from other posters. Be as vague or as detailed as you like concerning game mechanics.

    To start the ball rolling, I offer:

    The Good God Of Thieves
    Some good stuff in this thread.

    I need to come up with a contribution.
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    Kyrpech the Graverobber

    (keer-pech, not pek.)

    The temples and churches teach that life is a cycle, a journey, of which birth and death are natural parts. After death there is justice, every soul to the fate it deserves from acting in accord with the divine laws, or not. Each soul sheds its mortal pain and limits and needs, and goes on to serve a greater purpose in the cosmos. Souls who ignored the law, who broke faith with the gods, who didn't conduct the proper rites in life and didn't in turn receive the proper rites in death are damned to the River Oblivion. Only through proper faith and worship can the living and the dead find their place.

    There are a myriad of entities that hate the law, and the gods, and everything proper and right and good in the world. One of the worst is the Kyrpech, a despoiler of graves and violator of funeral rites, a liar and thief, a harbinger of damnation. Sardonic and charming, always grinning a lopsided grin at a joke only she heard, the Kyrpech might be encountered by the unlucky or the unfaithful along a lost road at night, seeking to play on their inner doubts and ply them with temptations to ignore the proper rites and rules.

    The Kyrpech must be properly warded against, lest she violate the resting places of the dead, seeking to undo the rites of the dead and condemn the soul to oblivion. Crossroads and graveyards and mausoleums often have markers and signs to keep her at bay.



    Kyrpech's hidden followers tell a different story. Death is a racket, and they're ain't no justice. The afterlife works as it does because the gods set it up that way -- it's literally a setup -- and the absolutes of the divine law just exist to keep mortals from asking hard questions. All those souls just get divided up among the gods based on an obtuse system of contest over worship and allocation quotas. The "higher purpose" is just service to the gods, and the rites are just a way to bind the soul to servitude. A free soul keeps its full identity, and all its memories and predilections, though perhaps with a fresher perspective on existence, and goes on to whatever fate it wishes. Paradise, reincarnation, whatever they want... only the truly evil and depraved need worry about the horrors of damnation. The River is just one of many pathways through the afterlife.

    Kyrpech has always taught that the divine law and all the rites and rules and propriety were just a sick joke on mortals. No one even should have to die, most suffering is a sham, and everyone can make their own path (as long as they act with respect for others and real inner dignity). If you can manage to pull off undeath without hurting anyone or losing your own self, more power to you, one less soul for the gods' grinders.

    It's even whispered that the god of the underworld, the high and mighty judge of the dead, uses souls he deems unworthy and unfairthful as bricks in a "living wall", trying to dam the River (there's another of those jokes Kyrpech is grinning about, even if it's not as funny as all that... damn, dam, get it?) and capture those departing free souls for his own ends, but Kyrpech's "spirits" make raids on the construction to keep it from ever finishing, so the River continues to flow.

    The only rites her followers keep to universally are rites of secrecy and quiet, so that the gods or the temples don't catch them.

    Like their patron, they go out to secretly interfere with the rites of the dead, and work to strategically violate the rites themselves so that they will be free of the gods after death.



    Symbol: Crossed shovel and prybar.

    Imagery: Always depicted as a woman, with ashen skin and heterochromia and whatever hair color is considered inauspicious or strange (red hair, or grey/white on a young woman, or whatever), usually dressed in an ironic and expensive take on the local culture's mourning or undertaker's clothing. Often this will be big boots, trousers, formal shirt, and a fancy black coat. Usually wearing an assortment of jewelry and trinkets and pouches as well. Always shown with a shovel and/or prybar. Sometimes it seems that the more anachronism and norm-violation in the way way she's depicted, the better, especially in areas where "a woman's place" is most strictly enforced by the society.

    Spoiler: Kyrpech's Coat
    Show






    Spoiler: Kyrpech's name
    Show

    Kyrpech roughly translates as "brick thief", as this was originally going to be a more direct and blatant dig on that horrid little aspect of Forgotten Realms cosmology...
    Last edited by Max_Killjoy; 2019-03-12 at 10:45 PM.
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    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

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  24. - Top - End - #54
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    If anyone has any feedback or thoughts on Kyrpech, let me know.

    I have trouble coming up with "open source" deities... I tend to create them in the context of a setting, where the cosmology I want and the mortal-focused setting I want converge.


    EDIT: So I start searching for other images for this for the heck of it, and almost immediately I hit on the fact that, unbeknownst to me, the primary "imagery" I had in my head for this character, has already been done about 80% the same for an existing character with a vaguely similar shtick.

    The Graverobber from Darkest Dungeon.



    Spoiler
    Show



    Spoiler
    Show


    Last edited by Max_Killjoy; 2019-03-08 at 12:48 AM.
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    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

    The Worldbuilding Forum -- where realities are born.

  25. - Top - End - #55
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    You all know the story of how Aka'ahi took fire from the mountain and brought it down to the people, right? You don't? Huh. Well, he did.

    This story is about something that happened later.

    Aka'ahi's campfire...

    Aka'ahi was wandering about, as he very often does, and found himself far from any village as the sun set. His fish, which he'd caught with his line and hook, which is better than your bare hands (which is another story) weren't cooked, and the night was going to be cold, and there were bugs, so he made a campfire. He gathered fallen branches, and cut them with his chopping blade, which is better than trying to chew through wood (which is another story). He used his firebox to light the wood, which is a better way to take fire with you than falling down a mountain with your hair on fire (which is another story). He settled in to cook his fish under the very very dark sky.

    Soon, though, he felt a rumble in the ground, and heard it over the sizzling and popping of the fish and fire. Something was crashing through the trees towards him, making the fronds whip about. A very big man, the third biggest Aka'ahi had ever seen, rushed into the clearing and bellowed so loud it hurt Aka'ahi's ears. He was at least two normal people tall -- or maybe three -- and horribly pale, and had a head more like a boar than a man. Maybe he wasn't a man.

    "It's dark time! What is this light!" the very big not-a-man bellowed, and stomped toward the fire.

    "Don't step on that, you'll..." Aka'ahi tried to warn him, but it was too late. The very big not-a-man stomped on the fire with his very big bare feet, and put the fire out. He bellowed twice as loud as before, like thunder, and ran off, smoke trailing his feet.

    Aka'ahi felt a bit of sympathy, as being on fire is much less fun than having a fire (which is, as I said, another story), but mainly he was annoyed that his fire was gone, and his fish wasn't quite done the way he liked it. He ate his fish, and tried to go to sleep, but it was cold, and the bugs came back.

    He woke the next morning with his stomach not happy (because his fish wasn't just right), and sore, and grumpy. He didn't feel like walking at all, and he only got a little way before stopping again. He caught more fish, and gathered more wood, and this time put some stones around his fire, so it would be harder to step on. Just in case.

    Not long after it got dark, he heard the rumbling and crashing again, and the very big not-a-man came stomping out of the woods. "It's dark time! Why is there light!" he bellowed, and this time hit the fire over and over with his club until it went out. He turned to smash Aka'ahi, but Aka'ahi was already hiding in the trees, so he stomped off yelling at no one about dark time.

    Aka'ahi was so bothered and so hungry and so cold that he barely slept. He was determined to make a fire that the very big not-a-man could not put out, so that he could get eat some good fish, and get some good sleep, with the cold and the bugs kept away, and resume his walking to wherever it took him.

    So he spent all day gathering all the wood he could, and stacked it up very high, and put a lot of rocks around three sides, and when the sunset came, he lit the biggest fire he'd ever seen, at least since bringing fire down from the mountain.

    It wasn't long before the very big not-a-man, who was also very predictable at this point, came stomping and roaring out of the trees. He looked angrier than before, which did not seem possible to Aka'ahi, and ran at the fire with his very big club raised over his head. The club smashed down over and over so hard on Aka'ahi's giant fire that burning bits shot into the sky so fast that they just kept going up, and up, until they stuck. Little burning lights covered the whole sky. But the very big not-a-man just kept smashing until he couldn't smash any more, all his anger spent on the smashing and bellowing and smashing.

    "Well so much for dark time, huh, big guy?" Aka'ahi said as he looked up at all the little burning lights in the sky. The very big not-a-man dropped down on his backside and sat there, looking up too.

    The lights are still stuck up there, burning every night. And that is how Aka'ahii's campfire became the stars in the night sky.


    ...


    And that's my attempt at writing one of these in a single go, freeform, with no editing or drafts.

    Let me know what you think.


    E: Forgot to add the out-of-story part. Aka'ahi is a sort of accidental trickster god -- rather than being deliberately tricky and sneaky, he ends up doing remarkable things accidentally out of supernaturally great luck, good-natured hedonism and wanderlust, and stubborn determination. In Aka'ahi story, trick plays on you!
    Last edited by Max_Killjoy; 2019-03-12 at 11:30 AM.
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    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

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    Guild Of The Undertakers

    Everywhere they can the followers of Kyrpech attempt to infiltrate and take over the local undertakers' business. When they are few and in a group of honest undertakers they remain silent and clandestine, acting in all ways like a member of their guild or trade.

    While they are the minority they will only act when they can get away with it, but when they can they will defile graves, rob corpses, otherwise work to disrupt the normal rites associated with disposal of the dead. But their real goal is to take over and replace all of the undertakers with their own, and that's when the fun begins.

    Once the guild has been taken over these groups form the Silent Temples, in which Kyrpech is worshiped. They stay below the radar and do not openly declare themselves, all the while defiling and preparing corpses for later use as raw materials for necromantic magic. Each guildmaster aims to achieve lichdom, and they establish funeral chapels, catacombs, and other constructions to turn their graveyards into fortresses.

    Each desecrated corpse in such a place can be animated as skeletons and zombies under the control of the high priest, and when he no longer needs them they will return to their graves. Of course, other, more powerful, undead can be created to serve the High Priest.


    Kyrpech's Kiss Cleric Ritual/Spell

    Those who voluntarily accept Kyrpech's Kiss, upon the sixth day after dying, rise as Curst (Blest) Undead, retaining 1/2 of their character levels plus 4 levels as Curst Undead. Kyrpech's Kiss is a Level 5 Cleric Spell unique to the faithful. Those who receive Kyrpech's Kiss do not have the chaotic liability of normal Curst undead.

    There is a Greater version of this spell, cast at level 8, which endows the voluntary subject with 3/4 of their character levels plus 6 levels as Curst undead. The ritual for either version requires 8 hours to complete and 1 gp per experience point the character requires to achieve the total character levels he will have as a Curst Undead.

    Those who accept Kyrpech's Kiss may never gain another level, but they can 'spend' experience and regain them up to the maximum their total character levels allow, after which any experience earned is not recorded or usable in any fashion.


    Resurrection Man

    In locales where graveyards and mortuaries are actively protected by clergy, the secret world of Necromancers still require material components. Thus is born the Resurrection Man.

    He is a professional graverobber who seeks to obtain corpses for the necromancers who pay him well for his services. Thieves who worship Kyrpech often fill this role, but in hard times even otherwise honest tradesmen may fall to the lowest trade.

    Contacting a Resurrection Man is often challenging. They are naturally suspicious of new clients.

    Catching one in the act of graverobbing or selling corpses and their artifacts is dangerous. Few societies tolerate the disturbance of the honored dead, and often invoke stiff penalties or even death upon those graverobbers who are caught, so Resurrection Men might just find it better to have a two-for-one sale rather than let a witness go, possibly to blab about what they saw.


    Character: Lem Wordsworth

    Lem is a tall, grim man who dresses in dark leather clothing. The only article of color on his body is a dirty red and white striped scarf. He wears an old, battered top-hat which may be silk, a long, shapeless double-breasted coat, a filthy, once-white, now bone-colored blouse, and farmer's clod-hopper boots into which are tucked a pair of grey woolen breeches.

    Lem is thin and emaciated, with rotting teeth and jaundiced skin and eyes. He is also exceedingly tall, being a span taller than almost everyone else. He speaks with a wheeze in a deep bass voice. His fingernails are always blackened with dirt, split and cracked, and of uneven length. He is universally found with a brown jug of cheap homemade whiskey.

    Lem is exceptionally strong, in spite of his appearance. He is seldom drunk. He consumes his whiskey slowly, taking small sips while appearing to guzzle it

    Everyone thinks of Lem as a lazy and somewhat mean-spirited farmer who earns his meager keep by selling moonshine. He lets them. If asked, he will produce an extra jug, which he will sell for a silver piece. (1 quart or liter of cheap alcohol.)

    His real business is as a Resurrection Man. The basement of his dilapidated farmhouse is filled with components which he will eventually sell to necromancers, and he seldom misses an opportunity to unearth a fresh corpse for sale to one of his several clients, often having sold the body before it is even interred. Few of the local graves contain more than an empty coffin, into which he places a holy symbol to Kyrpech.

    Beneath his basement is a shrine to Kyrpech. Its altar is made of bone, draped with preserved human skin. There are candles of human tallow set in lamps made of human skulls. Around the walls are macabre drawings made of dried, brown, human blood, which depict scenes relevant to the faithful of Kyrpech. One such scene depicts creatures liberating stones from a wall.

    Anyone who approaches the altar without presenting a Holy Symbol of Kyrpech will discover the eight piles of bones around the room are actually skeletons as they animate and reassemble in 1-3 rounds and attack. If presented with a Holy Symbol of Kyrpech they will fall apart where they are, forming a new pile of bones which will animate again when another person enters without a holy symbol in hand. Of course, they can be turned normally, but after 1d12 turns they are eligible to animate again.

  27. - Top - End - #57
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    +1 for each of those.

    Regardless of how right or wrong Kyrpech's claims are, her adherents aren't going to be popular in many places.

    I'd be interested to know what other people think of the idea of a rogue goddess and her allies* who claim that they're fighting a clandestine battle against an oppressive divine bureaucracy/hierarchy -- and claim that they're forced to use methods such as breaking consecration rites, violating graves, and sometimes necromancy.

    In 5e, the Clerics would, I think, lean heavily toward the Grave domain -- but in the standard 5e cosmology, it's hard to make heroes out of unrepentant necromancers, so this definitely isn't for every setting.

    I will say that the necromancy was meant to be just one aspect -- doing something to ruin the rites, bonds, wards, rituals, etc and "free the soul from bondage" is their main goal.


    * Clearly, given the assertions she's making, she's not going to call her mortal adherents "worshipers".

    Last edited by Max_Killjoy; 2019-03-08 at 05:06 PM.
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    The "downside" of this thread is that for every deity or legend I come up with, I'm sorely tempted to spin it out into an entire setting.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

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    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    +1 for each of those.

    Regardless of how right or wrong Kyrpech's claims are, her adherents aren't going to be popular in many places.

    I'd be interested to know what other people think of the idea of a rogue goddess and her allies* who claim that they're fighting a clandestine battle against an oppressive divine bureaucracy/hierarchy -- and claim that they're forced to use methods such as breaking consecration rites, violating graves, and sometimes necromancy.

    In 5e, the Clerics would, I think, lean heavily toward the Grave domain -- but in the standard 5e cosmology, it's hard to make heroes out of unrepentant necromancers, so this definitely isn't for every setting.
    They're explicitly right in Planescape/Spelljammer though

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    They're explicitly right in Planescape/Spelljammer though
    I'll have to look into that.
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    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

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