“Faith is to believe what you do not yet see; the reward for this faith is to see what you believe.” –Augustine
- Quick Introduction
- All About Religion Within the Game World
- How Does This Page Help In-Game?
- Deities: Good
- Deities: Unaligned
- Deities: Evil
- Church Structure: Good
- Church Structure: Unaligned
- Church Structure: Evil
Below the reader will find all the Core deities included in the “Points of Light” Campaign Setting in which our adventures take place. Basic content was added from the 4E Core Rulebooks, and expanded on via additional research and prior given information on the same deities if they were known in 3.5 D&D.
Additional sources include both Dungeon Magazine and Dragon Magazine, as well as The Plane Above: The Astral Sea, and The Plane Below: The Elemental Chaos, and any other official release that had reasonably noteworthy information (such as The Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 4E and 3.5, Complete Divine 3.5, Complete Champion 3.5, Book of Exalted Deeds 3.5, Defenders of the Faith 3.5, etc.)
(NOTE: “Core” means The Player’s Handbook, The Dungeon Master’s Guide, and The Monster Manual. One can easily fluff other deities into the current setting without much issue, but be aware the extent to which this takes place will vary from DM to DM. There are a few fluff changes we have made specific to our particular Campaign, and they will be detailed as they are come upon below.)
All About Religion Within the Game World
(This info is found and stated in several sources, but is taken primarily from Dragon Magazine Issue #372.)
THE POLYTHEISTIC WORLD: It’s worth reiterating that few folk of the default setting devote themselves to any single god. The D&D World is one that is filled with widely accepted polytheism. Although a believer may profess an attachment to and primarily honor a single god they feel most aligned with, they are by no means restricted from honoring multiple gods, and in fact, it is a very common practice to do so.
No single god encompasses all aspects of the average person’s life, and so average people devote their prayers to whichever god seems most appropriate given the circumstances. That’s not to say that everyone worships every god. A truly good person has little use for Lolth; a law-abiding town-dweller might never have heard of Gruumsh. Rather, every community and individual has a collection of deities to whom they devote their reverence. They occasionally offer a prayer to another god, if circumstances warrant—only a fool goes to sea without invoking Melora, and a village that doesn’t normally venerate Bane might offer him prayers over a makeshift altar if suddenly forced to war—but their “personal pantheon” receives the overwhelming bulk of their attention.
A community’s collection of deities shapes how they see each individual god. A community beset by the dangers of the surrounding wilderness, and which includes Bane and Erathis among their deities, likely views Bane as more of a stabilizing influence, and less actively evil, than a tyrannical city-state whose power-hungry leaders worship Asmodeus alongside the Black Hand (another title for Bane).
Keep this in mind when considering your own character’s choice of deity. Does your character express devotion to only a single god? Do they honor one more than the others? Do they honor all deities? Do they have a small selection of deities that they look up to for their creeds, but don’t necessarily express utter subservience to?
NO UNIVERSAL CHURCHES: Just as the “Points of Light” Campaign Setting presumes individual communities are rarely linked into large kingdoms, so too are the world’s religions made up of autonomous sects, without monolithic governing entities. There are no “churches,” in the sense of worldwide theological authorities that oversee all practitioners of a given faith.
Thus, a temple or sect of Bane in one community is different—at least in the details, and frequently in major practices—from any other. It also means that followers of Bane aren’t necessarily in agreement on religious matters. It’s possible for two or more Bane worshipers to prove competitors, or even downright enemies, spilling blood over matters of theology or as each attempts to conquer territory held by the other.
How Does This Page Help In-Game?
Religion (as a Skill) does not mean Faith or belief in the divine. Religion is the actual factual, textual, and reference knowledge a character possesses, and Training in the skill is representative of the time spent scouring treatises, reading the various holy texts associated with their religion and others, understanding and memorizing sacred rites and rituals, and learning detailed knowledge of the divine creation of the world, including basic knowledge of the Dawn War.
SKILL CHECK: RELIGON: The basic deity info and first paragraph of text on each individual deity can be rightly considered what the average person or everyday-worshiper knows of the gods, or information that is available to someone who lacks Training in Religion (though that is not to say that all the info following the first paragraph is entirely unknown to a layman. Use reasonable judgement in determining this, and if doubt, ask your DM).
SKILL CHECK: RELIGION (TRAINED): Someone who is Trained in Religion easily knows all the basic information on the deities, and has the added benefit of possessing far more detailed knowledge on the stories and beliefs surrounding each deity. That individual can also readily identify divine rituals, divine magic and spells being cast, religious markings, recognize holy items and symbols, knows esoteric information about various theological perspectives, theories, and philosophies and how they relate to the faith, and will also know what sorts of ceremonies and tenets are associated with each particular faith (and thus will know by extension how to offend or curry favor with members of those faiths).
FEAT: ANCIENT LORE OF THE DAWN WAR: This feat represents one’s deeper delvings into the secret and generally unknown lore of the Dawn War, the divine, and the primordials. A character with this feat will have even greater and more detailed knowledge available to them, including knowledge of information considered vague for even a character Trained in Religion, such as knowledge of the dead gods whose names have been erased from history (such as Tuern and He Who Was. as well as knowing why those names are no longer remembered or honored), specific actions taken by specific gods and primordials during the Dawn War, have exact knowledge of how and why the war began and how and why it ended, and will also be able to detail how events that occurred during the Dawn War have resulted in the world being as it is today, etc.
- Amaunator | Pelor | Myrkul
AMAUNATOR|PELOR|MYRKUL – God of Sun, Agriculture, Time, and Summer
Title: The Morninglord, The Dawnbringer (Amaunator) | The Shining One, The Sunfather (Pelor) | The Crown of Dusk, The Burning Hate (Myrkul)
Type: Greater God
Alignment: Lawful Good (Amaunator) | Good (Pelor) | Unaligned (Myrkul)
Dominion: Hestavar, the Bright City
Adjective: Amaunatori (Amaunator) | Pelorian (Pelor) | Myrkulite (Myrkul)
Domain: Civilization, Justice, Sun (Amaunator) | Hope, Life, Sun (Pelor) | Death, Darkness, Sun (Myrkul)
Tenets: Pelor instructs his followers thusly:
- Alleviate suffering wherever you find it.
- Bring Pelor‘s light into places of darkness, showing kindness, mercy, and compassion.
- Be watchful against evil.
God of the sun and summer, Pelor is the keeper of time. He supports those in need and opposes all that is evil. As the lord of agriculture and the bountiful harvest, he is the deity most commonly worshiped by ordinary humans, and his priests are well received wherever they go. Paladins and rangers are found among his worshipers.
Pelorians believe that the life-giving sun is the best cure for all of the world’s ills. Justice and freedom are brought about through charity, modesty, perseverance, and self-sacrifice. Pelor’s priests teach that the truly strong don’t need to prove their power. Pelorians strive to perform so many good acts that evil has no room in which to exist, though they will fight if necessary. Pelor is wrathful against the forces of evil, and is especially opposed to the undead. However, Pelor urges his followers to remember that excessive attention to things of evil can blind one to the truly important things: compassion and goodness. These are what must be emphasized above all.
Pelorian dogma has it that the energy and power of life originates in the sun.
Resides in Palace of Aurosion with Erathis within Hestavar.
AVANDRA – Goddess of Change, Luck and Travel
Title: Lady Luck
Dominion: None, wanders the cosmos
Domain: Change, Freedom, Luck
NOTE: See Dragon Magazine #384 for minor information on Avandra.
Tenets: Avandra’s commandments are few:
- Luck favors the bold. Take your fate into your own hands, and Avandra smiles upon you.
- Strike back against those who would rob you of your freedom and urge others to fight for their own liberty.
- Change is inevitable, but it takes the work of the faithful to ensure that change is for the better.
The god of change, Avandra delights in freedom, trade, travel, adventure, and the frontier. Her temples are few in civilized lands, but her wayside shrines appear throughout the world. Halflings, merchants, and all types of adventurers are drawn to her worship, and many people raise a glass in her honor, viewing her as the god of luck.
Mortals come to Avandra for many reasons, but most adventurers court her because she is Lady Luck. One prays to her for prosperity and good fortune, and they seek her blessing when they need help in finding a positive outcome in the direst circumstances. Given the adventurer’s life of unequaled mayhem, Avandra proves a useful, if sometimes fickle, patron, and through her adventurers can find victory where others would find defeat, treasure where others might find death, and glory where countless others have found only obscurity
The connection between Avandra and the halfling race is as old as the halflings themselves. Legend holds Avandra favored these people, finding much to like in their good natures and friendly dispositions. However, she feared for them, rightly sensing that cruel tyrants would conquer the small and personable folk. Rather than see their bright spirits dimmed by oppression, Avandra gifted the halflings with good fortune to give them an edge they needed to survive. For this reason, many halflings name Avandra as their patron deity, and those who go on to become divine champions frequently choose her over other gods.
BAHAMUT – God of Justice, Protection, Nobility, Honor
Title: The Platinum Dragon
Alignment: Lawful Good
Dominion: Celestia, the Radiant Throne
Domain: Hope, Justice, Protection
Tenets: Bahamut charges his followers to:
- Uphold the highest ideals of honor and justice.
- Be constantly vigilant against evil and oppose it on all fronts.
- Protect the weak, liberate the oppressed, and defend just order.
Called the Platinum Dragon, Bahamut is the god of justice, protection, nobility, and honor. Monarchs are often crowned in Bahamut’s name, and those seeking to abide by the highest ideals of justice and honor often appeal to him and proclaim him their primary patron. He is also one of the two patron deities of the dragonborn, the other being his rival deity Tiamat.
Bahamut resides on Mount Mertion in Celestia.
Bahamut was born during the Dawn War, when the original dragon deity known as Io finally decided to aid the gods in their efforts against the primordials after having previously withheld his strength. At first Io helped turn the tide of war, until he engaged in battle with an unnamed primordial whose axe was “the size of a continent”. During the battle Io was struck and split in half, separating his whole nature into two distinct selves: Bahamut, the god of good dragons, and Tiamat, the multi-headed goddess of evil dragons. With their combined power, Bahamut and Tiamat quickly overwhelmed their primordial adversary. However, the two possessed an entirely incompatible demeanor, and separated shortly after victory. It is because of this split that we find the original unity of dragon-kind no longer exists, separated now into both chromatic and metallic dragons (typically evil and good respectively). Where once was one all-powerful dragon deity, there now exists two, both less than what was before in the eyes of all dragon-kind.
MORADIN – God of Family, Community and Creation
Title: The Soul Forger
Type: Greater God
Alignment: Lawful Good
Dominion: Celestia, the Radiant Throne
Domain: Creation, Earth, Protection
Tenets: Moradin demands of his followers:
- Meet adversity with stoicism and tenacity.
- Demonstrate loyalty to your family, your clan, your leaders, and your people.
- Strive to make a mark on the world, a lasting legacy. To make a beautiful creation that lasts is the highest good, whether you are a smith working at a forge or a ruler building a dynasty.
Moradin is the god of creation and patron of artisans, especially miners and smiths. He carved the mountains from primordial earth and is the guardian and protector of the hearth and the family. Dwarves from all walks of life follow him.
Moradin resides beneath Mount Solarion within the divine mountain range known as Celestia. Kord and Bahamut also reside atop their own mountains within Celestia, and each deity maintains a cordial relationship with one another. Among the residents of Celestia, Moradin is considered first-among-equals.
- The Raven Queen
CORELLON – God of Beauty, Art, Magic, Fey, and Spring
Title: First of the Seldarine
Type: Greater God
Dominion: Arvandor, the Verdant Isles
Domain: Arcana, Skill, Wilderness
NOTE: See Dragon Magazine #394 for a fully-detailed breakdown of Corellon.
Tenets: Corellon urges his followers to:
- Cultivate beauty in all that you do, whether casting a spell, composing a saga, strumming a lute, or practicing the arts of war.
- Seek out lost magic items, forgotten rituals, and ancient works of art. Corellon might have inspired them in the world’s first days.
- Thwart the followers of Lolth at every opportunity.
The god of spring, beauty, and the arts, Corellon is the patron of arcane magic and the fey. He seeded the world with arcane magic and planted the most ancient forests. Artists and musicians worship him, as do those who view their spellcasting as an art, and his shrines can be found throughout the Feywild. He despises Lolth and her priestesses for leading the drow astray.
ERATHIS – Goddess of Civilization, Inventions and Law
Dominion: Hestavar, the Bright City
Domain: Civilization, Creation, Justice
NOTE: See Dragon Magazine #369 and Dragon Magazine #371 for more information on Erathis.
Tenets: Erathis has many laws, but their purpose is straightforward:
- Work with others to achieve your goals. Community and order are always stronger than the disjointed efforts of lone individuals.
- Tame the wilderness to make it fit for habitation and defend the light of civilization against the encroaching darkness.
- Seek out new ideas, new inventions, new lands to inhabit, new wilderness to conquer. Build machines, build cities, build empires.
Erathis is the god of civilization. She is the muse of great invention, founder of cities, and author of laws. Rulers, judges, pioneers, and devoted citizens revere her, and her temples hold prominent places in most of the world’s major cities.
Before the Dawn War, Erathis dwelled in an open city upon an earthmote in the Astral Sea. She worked hard to establish a “lattice of heaven”, a network of Astral Dominions forming a divine community (not unlike the Great Wheel cosmology of previous editions). The unfinished lattice was broken however at the outbreak of the war against the primordials.
When the primordial known as Heur-Ket rampaged through the Astral Sea, Ioun (goddess of prophecy) foresaw her doom as well as that of Erathis and Pelor (god of the sun). Of the three deities, not a single one of them possessed a dominion that was defensible or war-ready, but together they decided to pool their strengths to withstand Heur-Ket’s assault. In a bid for mutual preservation, Erathis fused her dominion with those of Pelor and Ioun, resulting in the formation of the near-perfect Bright City of Hestavar. Through the three gods’ combined might they were able to overpower and destroy Heur-Ket, and to this day his death-throes are responsible for the swirling chaos of wind and lightning that makes up the Salts district of Hestavar.
Erathis herself dwells with Pelor in the magnificent palace of Aurosion. The pair are known as the “King and Queen of Light” and are the nominal diarchs of the city (Ioun takes no interest in governance).
After the defeat of the primordial Baphomet, Erathis claimed the patronship of his former creations, the Minotaurs. Erathis is closely allied to Pelor, Ioun and Moradin, and is perhaps the only god who is on cordial terms with Asmodeus, since tyranny and dystopia are some of the forms that civilization can take. It is also of note that Erathis has worked alongside Bane in the past, in an effort to spread the light of civilization through the power of Bane’s conquest. The rise and fall of Bael-Turath, Arkhosia, and Nerath are sometimes cited by followers of both deities as evidence of their hallowed cooperation.
As the goddess of civilization, Erathis is the antithesis of Melora, the embodiment of wilderness.
IOUN – Goddess of Knowledge, Skill and Prophecy
KORD – God of Storms, Battle and Strength.
Dominion: Celestia, the Radiant Throne
Domain: Storm, Strength, War
Tenets: Kord gives few commands, but all serve a singular purpose:
- Be strong, but do not use your strength for wanton destruction.
- Be brave and scorn cowardice in any form.
- Prove your might in battle to win glory and renown.
Kord is the storm god and the lord of battle. He revels in strength, battlefield prowess, and thunder. Fighters and athletes revere him. He is a mercurial god, unbridled and wild, who summons storms over land and sea; those who hope for better weather appease him with prayers and spirited toasts.
Kord spends the better part of his time roaming Celestia’s mountains and making feast in his hall in the vale below Mount Venya.
MELORA – Goddess of Wilderness, Nature and the Sea
Dominion: None, wanders the cosmos
Domain: Life, Wilderness, Sea
NOTE: See Dragon Magazine #381 for minor information on Melora.
Tenets: Melora’s strictures are as follows:
- Protect the wild places of the world from destruction and overuse. Oppose the rampant spread of cities and empires.
- Hunt aberrant monsters and other abominations of nature.
- Do not fear or condemn the savagery of nature. Live in harmony with the wild.
Melora is the god of the wilderness and the sea. She is both the wild beast and the peaceful forest, the raging whirlpool and the quiet desert. Rangers, hunters, and elves revere her, and sailors make offerings to her before beginning their voyages.
Those who listen for it can hear Melora’s influence in the lilt of birdsong and the gurgle of a brook. One can feel her presence when mountains quake, and when the tide draws the sea back into itself or hurls it ashore. A worshiper of Melora might honor her as a mother to life, propitiate her deadly nature, or pay homage to her beasts, which exemplify the natural struggle between the forces of creation and destruction.
THE RAVEN QUEEN – Goddess of Death, Fate, Doom, and Winter
Title: The Raven Queen
Type: Greater God
Dominion: Letherna, the Frozen Realm
Adjective: One of the Flock
Domain: Death, Fate, Winter
NOTE: See Dungeon Magazine #171 for a fully-detailed breakdown of The Raven Queen.
Tenets: The Raven Queen expects her followers to:
- Hold no pity for those who suffer and die, for death is the natural end of life.
- Bring down the proud who try to cast off the chains of fate. As the instrument of the Raven Queen, you must punish hubris where you find it.
- Watch for the cults of Orcus and stamp them out whenever they arise. The Demon Prince of the Undead seeks to claim the Raven Queen‘s throne.
The name of the god of death is long forgotten, but she is called the Raven Queen. She is the spinner of fate and the patron of winter. She marks the end of each mortal life, and mourners call upon her during funeral rites, in the hope that she will guard the departed from the curse of undeath.
- Sehanine – Unaligned Goddess of Illusion, Love and the Moon. Seasonal God of Autumn and Patron of Elves.
ASMODEUS – God of Tyranny and Domination
Title: Supreme Master of the Nine Hells
Type: Greater God
Dominion: Nine Hells
Domain: Civilization, Tyranny
Tenets: Asmodeus’ rules are strict and his punishments harsh:
- Seek power over others, that you might rule with strength as the Lord of Hell does.
- Repay evil with evil. If others are kind to you, exploit their weakness for your own gain.
- Show neither pity nor mercy to those who are caught underfoot as you climb your way to power. The weak do not deserve compassion.
Asmodeus is the evil god of tyranny and domination.He rules the Nine Hells with an iron fist and a silver tongue. Aside from devils, evil creatures such as rakshasas pay him homage, and evil tieflings and warlocks are drawn to his dark cults.
BANE – God of War and Conquest
Type: Greater God
Dominion: Chernoggar, the Iron Fortress
Domain: Skill, War
NOTE: See Dragon Magazine #372 for all-encompassing information on Bane.
Tenets: Bane commands his followers to:
- Never allow your fear to gain mastery over you, but drive it into the hearts of your foes.
- Punish insubordination and disorder.
- Hone your combat skills to perfection, whether you are a mighty general or a lone mercenary.
Bane dwells in the hearts of conquerors, the minds of officers, and the strong sword-arms of disciplined soldiers. He is the patron of all who would see their neighbors overrun, pacified, or enslaved, and of all who subscribe to the doctrine that to rule, one need be strong enough, smart enough, and skilled enough to take command.
Bane is an evil god who seeks to conquer and rule no matter the cost, but not all his followers come from the same mold. Many turn to Bane seeking the strength to battle the savage wild. The Black Hand’s doctrine of conquest, order, and military might appeals to soldiers, generals, mercenaries, and even rulers of all stripes. Even a good-aligned officer might utter prayers to the Iron General before battle; the sovereign of a city-state might subjugate his neighbors, not out of innate greed, but for the safety of his people. These are slippery slopes, and many a military leader has fallen to evil through the worship of Bane—frequently by “doing what is necessary” or “acting for the greater good.” The fact remains, however, that of all the evil gods, Bane boasts the greatest number of worshipers who are not evil and who are attracted by his doctrines of rigid discipline, strict law, or expansionism.
Bane is most commonly worshiped in larger communities. This is sometimes because the community’s code of laws and military hierarchy inspire worship of rigid, disciplined gods—or the reverse, in which the citizens see a lawless culture or the lack of a standing military as problems in need of correcting. Communities with a history of expansionism are particularly fertile ground for Bane, since the people grant him thanks for prior success and could spread their beliefs through future conquests.
Smaller communities, by contrast, rarely have an organized military hierarchy, and they have neither an interest in conquering surrounding regions, nor the means to do so. Still, a small but growing number of villagers are starting to include Bane in their community practices, in hopes of growing those communities into military powers. The first step, of convincing the town’s leaders to form a standing army, is all too easy given the dangers the world’s wilderness can pose . . .
Most communities in which Bane is one of the dominant gods are strictly regimented. The military has a strong hand in governing—either ruling directly, or functioning at the behest of a leader who has strong militant leanings. The law is likely complex and rigidly structured, without much room for leeway or extenuating circumstances. Where Bane is worshiped alongside gods such as Erathis, Ioun, or Moradin, those laws are strict, maybe even harsh, but ultimately fair. When the Iron General is paired with gods such as Asmodeus or Tiamat (or Erathis again, who is worshiped as frequently in malign communities as benevolent ones), those laws are draconian in their punishments and brutal in their execution. Even minor crimes are punished severely—indentured servitude, torture, and execution are common punishments.
Despite the potential for oppression, many folk prefer communities in which Bane is widely worshiped. Because such communities are militarily powerful and orderly, they are well protected and have relatively little crime. It might be distasteful to watch what one says, keep abreast of the latest changes in the law, and occasionally witness the public torture or execution of an “example,” but for some, safety and order are worth it.
In communities where worship of Bane is not associated with the government, his followers are frequently linked with militant organizations, such as mercenary guilds or officer’s training colleges. These organizations worship a variety of militant gods, frequently pairing Bane with Kord, Moradin, or even—on rare occasions—Bahamut. Sometimes, if Bane-worship is unwelcome in a community (such as a town in which the dominant deities are all good-aligned), followers of Bane might form an underground—planning a coup to overthrow the government with one more favorable to their faith—even if they also worship some of the community’s patron deities.
GRUUMSH – God of Slaughter and Destruction
Title: The One-Eyed God
Type: Greater God
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Dominion: Nishrek, leashed to Chernoggar
Domain: Destruction, Strength
Tenets: Gruumsh gives simple orders to his followers:
- Conquer and destroy.
- Let your strength crush the weak.
- Do as you will, and let no one stop you.
Gruumsh is the chaotic evil god of destruction, lord of marauding barbarian hordes. Where Bane commands conquest, Gruumsh exhorts his followers to slaughter and pillage. Orcs are his fervent followers, and they bear a particular hatred for elves and eladrin because Corellon put out one of Gruumsh‘s eyes.
LOLTH – Goddess of Shadow and Lies
Title: Queen of the Demonweb Pits, Demon Queen of Spiders
Type: Greater God
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Dominion: Demonweb Pits, in the Abyss
Domain: Darkness, Trickery
NOTE: See Dragon Magazine #394 and Underdark Supplement Book for more information on Lolth as well as her betrayal of the Seldarine (elven gods).
Tenets: Lolth demands her followers:
- Do whatever it takes to gain and hold power.
- Rely on stealth and slander in preference to outright confrontation.
- Seek the death of elves and eladrin at every opportunity.
Lolth is the chaotic evil god of shadow, lies, and spiders. Scheming and treachery are her commands, and her priests are a constant force of disruption in the otherwise stable society of the evil drow. Though she is properly a god and not a demon, she is called Demon Queen of Spiders.
- Tharizdun – The Chained God, also known as the Elder Elemental Eye, creator of the Abyss.
TIAMAT – Goddess of Greed and Envy
Title: The Dragon Queen, The Avaricious
Domain: Strife, Vengeance
Tenets: Tiamat commands her followers to:
- Hoard wealth, acquiring much and spending little. Wealth is its own reward.
- Forgive no slight and leave no wrong unpunished.
- Take what you desire from others. Those who lack the strength to defend their possessions are not worthy to own them.
Tiamat is the evil god of wealth, greed, and envy. She is the patron of chromatic dragons and those whose lust for wealth overrides any other goal or concern.
TOROG – God of the Underdark, Jailers, and Torture
Sphere: Underdark, Imprisonment
Domain: Earth, Torment
NOTE: See Underdark Supplement Book for much more detailed information on Torog.
Tenets: Torog teaches his worshipers to:
- Seek out and revere the deep places beneath the earth.
- Delight in the giving of pain, and consider pain you receive as homage to Torog.
- Bind tightly what is in your charge, and restrain those who wander free.
Torog is the evil god of the Underdark, patron of jailers and torturers. Common superstition holds that if his name is spoken, the King that Crawls burrows up from below and drags the hapless speaker underground to an eternity of imprisonment and torture. Jailers and torturers pray to him in deep caves and cellars, and creatures of the Underdark revere him as well.
Torog’s divinity is linked inexorably to his underground realm, and by dwelling there, he maintains his power. Legions of twisted, sadistic creatures swarm out from the darkness at his command, ready to inflict their deity’s will on the world.
Religion DC 10: Torog is the evil god of torture and imprisonment. Speaking Torog’s name aloud is considered to bring bad luck in countless cultures, and most folk refer to him only as “the King that Crawls.” Over long millennia, Torog has pulled vast reaches of the surface world down into the Underdark, and many surface folk fear that invoking the god’s wrath puts their own homes and lands at risk.
Religion DC 15: Torog has great power in the Underdark, where he keeps a number of lairs known as torture dens. The King that Crawls holds dominion over the Underdark, but all but ignores the surface world.
Religion DC 20: Torog keeps his exarchs close in a state of devotional torment, rather than dispatching them as independent agents. Although other deities rely on their exarchs to carry out their bidding among the mortal races, Torog uses lesser servants or takes on such tasks himself.
Religion DC 25: Unlike most deities, Torog does not create lesser aspects that mimic his shape and powers. Many sages assume this choice has something to do with Torog’s reluctance to divide his power in any fashion, but the truth remains unknown.
VECNA – God of the Undead, Necromancy, and Secrets
Title: Lord of Secrets
Sphere: Undeath, Secrets
Domain: Knowledge, Undeath
NOTE: See Dragon Magazine #395 for a fully-detailed breakdown on Vecna.
Tenets: Vecna commands his followers to:
- Never reveal all you know.
- Find the seed of darkness in your heart and nourish it; find it in others and exploit it to your advantage.
- Oppose the followers of all other deities so that Vecna alone can rule the world.
Vecna is the evil god of undead, necromancy, and secrets. He rules that which is not meant to be known and that which people wish to keep secret. Evil spellcasters and conspirators pay him homage.
Title: The Midnight Serpent
Dominion: Towers of Night
Domain: Darkness, Poison
NOTE: See Dragon Magazine #415 for more detailed information on Zehir.
Tenets: Zehir urges his followers to:
- Hide under the cloak of night, that your deeds might be kept in secret.
- Kill in Zehir‘s name and offer each murder as a sacrifice.
- Delight in poison, and surround yourself with snakes.
Zehir is the evil god of darkness, poison, and assassins. Snakes are his favored creation, and the yuan-ti revere him above all other gods, offering sacrifice to him in pits full of writhing serpents.
In public, it is easy to repudiate Zehir’s murderous creed. Alone in the shadows, however, normally good-hearted people sometimes whisper desperate prayers to the god of darkness. As the lord of assassins, Zehir showers his blessings on those who kill; he does not care about a murderer’s motives or dwell on whether a victim’s fate is deserved. Some murmur that killers do not have to beg Zehir for his aid if they want him to take notice, because he knows when thoughts of murder creep into a person’s mind.
Zehir typically uses dreams and portents to encourage prospective murderers to carry out their homicidal impulses. A hissing voice heard only in sleep might urge the unwell to act on their most violent desires, even as poison and weapons unexpectedly find their way into a would-be killer’s hands. Zehir takes such a keen interest in killing because he devours the souls of anyone murdered in his name or with his assistance. No amount of murder or living sacrifice on the part of his followers can satisfy the Midnight Serpent’s insatiable hunger.
Zehir is an unpopular god whose dark portfolio and association with poisonous serpents keep his followers few in number. In the mortal world, his faith reached the zenith of its power during the time of Zannad, the vile empire of the yuan-ti. Today, only the most evil and amoral communities openly tolerate his worship. One of the largest temples to Zehir
outside the deity’s dark realm of Tytherion is the Fane of Night in Gloomwrought. Even there, however, his followers keep their activities shrouded in secrecy.
Zehir has no allies among his fellow gods, who accurately view him and his followers as dangerous and untrustworthy. Indeed, his last divine ally was the goddess Khala, slain by the Raven Queen. Zehir’s loyalty to the gods during the Dawn War was always in question, and many of his fellow deities suspect that he betrayed Io because he coveted that god’s
draconic creations. That was not Zehir’s only act of deicide—his blood was used to slay his own daughter, the goddess of redemption, Nusemnee. Zehir forbids his followers from worshiping other gods, and those who are caught doing so become sacrifices to their erstwhile patron.
The earliest theologians to study Zehir and his cults divided his faithful into three groups known as the Coils. The First Coil consists of people who request Zehir’s aid but do not actively worship him. The Second Coil is made up of mortals who venerate Zehir by forming murderous sects dedicated to the god of darkness. The Third Coil encompasses Zehir’s most fanatical reptilian worshipers, which view themselves as his elite agents. It includes such creatures as yuan-ti and nagas, as well as the snaketongue cultists who serve them.
Dead Gods/Former Gods
- Amoth – God of Justice and Mercy. Killed by the three demon princes Orcus, Demogorgon and Rimmon.
- Aoskar – God of Portals. Killed by the Lady of Pain (the ruler of Sigil, a city that floats between the planes).
- Gorellik – God of Hunting, Beasts, and Gnolls. Killed by the demon lord Yeenoghu.
- Haramathur – God of Protection, Stone, and Patience. In the last years of the Dawn War, Io’s violent death caused a rift between the planes. Haramathur realized the only way to prevent the primordials from using the rift to invade the Astral Sea was to close off the way with his own essence. He sacrificed himself by turning himself and everything around him to stone to seal the rift. Few individuals know Haramathur’s role in these events. The deities try to limit any knowledge of what happened because they fear that someone might seek to restore Haramathur to his original form, and hence restart the war.
- He Who Was – A powerful god of good and possibly peace. Refused to participate in the Dawn War as it would have trampled upon the ideals of his portfolio. He was killed by his archangel and Exarch, Asmodeus, who wanted to join the Dawn War. Implied to be the creator of humans, the devils wiped out all knowledge of his name, which they fear is powerful enough to revive him if it is ever spoken aloud again. Asmodeus has charged his devils to actively continue eradicating knowledge of He Who Was to this very day. The Nine Hells were originally his astral domain, but now serve as a prison for Asmodeus and his devils. A holy chalice belonging to him is mentioned in Divine Power.
- Khala – Goddess of Winter, wife of Zehir, mother of Kord, Khala sought to trap the natural world in an eternal winter to secure power over it. Her plans convinced the primal spirits to expel gods and primordials from the world. She was killed by the other gods in a conflict called the War of Winter, who afterwards made a compact to balance darkness and light (Zehir and Pelor), and the natural seasons (Corellon, Pelor and Sehanine). Her power over winter was taken by The Raven Queen.
- Lakal– God of Healing and Mercy who was also her own Astral Dominion. She was an impersonal deity who communicated with her chosen people, the Quom, through “ecstatic moments of personal communion.” She extolled mercy and urged her followers to dedicate themselves to pursuits that benefitted the whole cosmos. Lakal’s death was accidental: when Bahamut battled Nihil, the Primordial of Nothingness, the pair crashed into Lakal. Bahamut was able to use the distraction to slay Nihil, but the primordial’s death throes also caused Lakal to explode. The surviving quom now roam the planes, retrieving any shards of Lakal that they can find, including those unknowingly consumed by living creatures. Such creatures, including humanoids and player characters, are considered collateral damage in the quom’s quest to restore Lakal. Ironically, even if the quom succeed in their quest, the restored Lakal would be disgusted with their methods.
- Maglubiyet – God of Goblinoids. Defeated and subjugated into the position of Exarch by Bane during the Dawn War.
- Nerull – God of Death and the Dead. Killed by The Raven Queen during the Dawn War, where she used the accumulated power of souls he collected to send them forcefully into his body, destroying him and claiming his divine station as her own.
- Tuern – God of War and brother of Bane. Killed by Bane during the Dawn War.
- Nusemnee – Nusemnee was the daughter of Zehir. When she failed to assassinate a high priest of Pelor, she was abandoned and then mortally wounded by a paladin’s holy blade. Expecting only death, she was surprised when the high priest healed her, showing her compassion and forgiveness. Intrigued, she decided to honor a promise to the high priest and aid him in his holy quest until a time that she could save his life in turn. Nusemnee thus became a symbol of redemption. When she finally died at the end of the high priest’s quest, she rose again, this time as a minor goddess. In this form, she opposed her father by offering redemption to all who would turn away from evil. She was later killed by a poison that could kill anything—even a deity—that was distilled from Zehir’s blood.