Gnome deities

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In many campaign settings for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, the gnome pantheon of gods, also called the Lords of the Golden Hills, consists of the leader, Garl Glittergold, as well as Baervan Wildwanderer, Baravar Cloakshadow, Flandal Steelskin, Gaerdal Ironhand, Nebelun, Segojan Earthcaller, and Urdlen. The Glutton, Gelf Darkhearth, Ril Cleverthrush and Sheyanna Flaxenstrand, being introduced in a supplemental book, are not considered canon to the pantheon, although they are included here for completion.

Baervan Wildwanderer[edit]

Main article: Baervan Wildwanderer
Baervan Wildwanderer
Game background
Title(s) The Masked Leaf, the Forest Gnome, Father of Fish and Fungus
Home plane Twin Paradises of Bytopia
Power level Intermediate
Alignment Neutral Good
Portfolio Forests, travel, nature
Domains Animal, Gnome, Good, Plant, Travel
Superior Garl Glittergold
Design details

In the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game, Baervan Wildwanderer (/ˈb ɜr væn/ BAY-urh-van)[1][2] is the gnome deity of Forests, Travel, and Nature. Baervan lives in the gnomish realm of the Golden Hills on the plane of Bytopia. Baervan's clerics wear wood-brown clothes and green caps. His sacred animal is the raccoon. Baervan's holy days are on the full moon, and he is worshipped in forest clearings. Treasured items are sacrificed to him monthly.

Baervan Wildwanderer was first detailed in Roger E. Moore's article "The Gnomish Point of View," in Dragon #61 (TSR, 1982).[3] In Dragon #92 (December 1984), Gary Gygax indicated this as one of the deities legal for the Greyhawk setting.[4] He also appeared in the original Unearthed Arcana (1985).[5]

Baervan Wildwanderer was detailed in the book Monster Mythology (1992), including details about his priesthood.[6] His role in the cosmology of the Planescape campaign setting was described in On Hallowed Ground (1996).[7] He received a very detailed description for his role in the Forgotten Realms in Demihuman Deities (1998).[1] He is described as one of the good deities that celestials can serve in the supplement Warriors of Heaven (1999).[8] Baervan Wildwanderer's role in the Forgotten Realms is revisited in Faiths and Pantheons (2002).[2]

Baervan owns a raccoon named Chiktika Fastpaws, according to a female avariel (winged elf) cleric/mage character named Aerie in the AD&D computer role-playing game Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn.

Baravar Cloakshadow[edit]

Main article: Baravar Cloakshadow
Baravar Cloakshadow
Game background
Title(s) The Sly One, Master of Illusion, Lord in Disguise, Bane of Goblinkin
Home plane Twin Paradises of Bytopia
Power level Lesser
Alignment Neutral Good (N tendencies)
Portfolio Illusions, protection, deception
Domains Gnome, Good, Illusion, Protection, Trickery
Superior Garl Glittergold
Design details

In the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game, Baravar Cloakshadow (BARE-uh-vahr CLOKE-sha-doh) is the gnomish deity of illusions, protection, and deception. He creates traps and illusions of stunning complexity and cunning. He is somewhat mean-spirited compared to most of the other gnomish gods, and his pranks may cause even his friends real pain, at least emotionally. He genuinely hates the kobold, goblinoid, and orcish races, believing they cannot be expected to reform. His symbol is a cloak and dagger.

Publication history[edit]

Baravar Cloakshadow was first detailed in the book Monster Mythology (1992), including details about his priesthood.[9] His role in the cosmology of the Planescape campaign setting was described in On Hallowed Ground (1996).[10] He received a very detailed description for his role in the Forgotten Realms in Demihuman Deities (1998).[11]

Baravar Cloakshadow's role in the Forgotten Realms is revisited in Faiths and Pantheons (2002).[12]

Description[edit]

Baravar appears as a young, dark-haired gnome with beady eyes. He is very alert and vigilant, and always dressed in dark clothing. He is a thief, though not a terribly competent one, making up for his lack of physical expertise with confounding illusions. He wields a magical poison-dripping dagger called Nightmare, and a magical garment called the Shadowcloak.

In many campaign settings, the gnome pantheon of gods, also called the Lords of the Golden Hills, consists of the leader Garl Glittergold, as well as Baervan Wildwanderer, Baravar Cloakshadow, Flandal Steelskin, Gaerdal Ironhand, Nebelun, Segojan Earthcaller, and Urdlen. Baravar is allied with all of the gods of his pantheon, except Urdlen. Baravar works with the former gnomish god of magic, Segojan Earthcaller, to advance the arcane arts, and with Calladuran Smoothhands, for many svirfneblin are experts in magical deception. Gaerdal disapproves of Baravar's deceptive nature, and sometimes seeks to thwart his schemes.

Baravar's enemies include Abbathor, Kuraulyek, Kurtulmak, Urdlen, and the various goblin gods, but dislikes the deities of all evil humanoid races. He does not restrain himself in expressing this hatred either, visiting all manner of cruel pranks upon them when he can.

Realm[edit]

Baravar lives in the gnomish realm of the Golden Hills on the plane of Bytopia. His domain there is called the Hidden Knoll; it is filled with tricks and nonlethal traps, which Baravar continually changes. Those able enough to avoid these hazards are permitted to freely take the treasures Baravar stows there for that purpose.

Dogma[edit]

Baravar teaches that deception is the only reliable way to find safety in the dangerous world. His followers are encouraged to develop their own abilities of deception and to avoid complete trust in anyone. Followers of Baravar may hope for the best, but they must be prepared for the worst. Harsh practical jokes are encouraged as a means of vengeance. Baravar's followers try to maintain the facade of being law-abiding citizens, though they are taught that laws should be readily discarded if it is more convenient to do so. They devote themselves to their art and to those they love.

Worshippers[edit]

Baravar is the primary gnomish god of magic, and as such he is revered by gnome wizards of all subraces, as well as those gnomes who create magical items and all those who must survive by their wits. Those who often have to battle kobolds and goblins revere him especially. Where evil humanoids are concerned, "Do unto them before they have a chance to do unto you" is both their motto and their god's.

Clergy[edit]

Clerics of Baravar work to further refine illusion magic, and they quest for new illusion magic and magical items. They are researchers and adventurers. They are encouraged to be proficient in camouflage, disguise, and hiding. They are well regarded among gnomes for their efforts against kobolds and goblins. Dwarves often exhibit dislike of Baravar's clerics, who with their deceitful ways embody all that a typical dwarf distrusts about gnomes.

Novice clerics of Baravar are known as the Cloaked. Full priests are given the title of Illusory. Apart from that, they have a wide variety of titles, changing them as suits their purposes in order to disguise exactly who leads whom. Specialty priests are known as Hoodwinkers.

On ceremonial occasions, Baravar's clerics wear black hooded cloaks, gray cloth masks, and carry ornate silver daggers with wavy blades. They used tarnished miniature versions of these daggers as their holy symbols. Adventuring clerics wear the garb of rogues, including dark gray or black cloaks.

Temples[edit]

Baravar's temples are never presented as such, being usually disguised as some unrelated type of building and further cloaked with hidden doors, traps, and illusions.

Holy days[edit]

Baravar's holy nights are when Luna is new.

Rituals[edit]

Once a month, when the Mistress is hidden in the sky, Baravar is honored in a ritual known as the Cloaking. The location and nature of this ceremony is constantly changing. Most often it is performed in public places, with the celebrants challenged to prevent the uninitiated from ever realizing what's going on. For this reason, unexplained gatherings of gnomes are sometimes referred to as "meetings of the Illusory."

Typical offerings to the Sly One are realistic illusions depicting objects the casters have sensed. The more convincing these illusions are, the better the Master of Illusion is pleased.

Callarduran Smoothhands[edit]

Callarduran Smoothhands
Game background
Title(s) Deep Brother, Master of Stone, Lord of Deepearth, the Deep Gnome
Home plane Twin Paradises of Bytopia
Power level Intermediate
Alignment Neutral (NG tendencies)
Portfolio Protection, earth, mining
Domains Cavern, Craft, Earth, Gnome, Good, Healing, Protection
Superior Garl Glittergold
Design details

Callarduran Smoothhands is the gnome god of the earth in the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game.

He is the patron deity of the svirfneblin (deep gnomes), and is not very popular among other gnome subraces. Unlike other gods of the Underdark, he is not an outcast. He voluntarily led his people to the depths as a means of encouraging diversity among the gnomes.

Callarduran Smoothhands is a True Neutral Intermediate Power. His symbol is a golden ring with a ruby star on it.

Publication history[edit]

Callarduran Smoothhands was first detailed in the book Monster Mythology (1992), including details about his priesthood.[13] His role in the cosmology of the Planescape campaign setting was described in On Hallowed Ground (1996).[14] He received a very detailed description for his role in the Forgotten Realms in Demihuman Deities (1998).[11]

Callarduran Smoothhands was described in Defenders of the Faith (2000).[15] Callarduran Smoothhands's role in the Forgotten Realms is revisited in Faiths and Pantheons (2002).[16]

Relationships[edit]

Callarduran Smoothhands remains allied with the rest of the gnome pantheon (with the exception of Urdlen), and has also forged alliances with other deities of the Underdark who share a common interest in working together, such as Eilistraee (the drow elven goddess of good drow), Psilofyr (the patron of myconids), and Shevarash (the elven deity of retribution who holds a profound hatred for drow). His primary enemies are the drow deities, especially Lolth. He also opposes deities venerated by evil humanoids also residing in the Underdark, for instance the orc and goblin pantheon, the deities of illithids, kuo-toa, beholders, etcetera.

Worshippers[edit]

Clergy[edit]

Priests of Callarduran Smoothhands are regarded by their kin as their dedicated protectors and wise councillors. Many also lead small warbands seeking to neutralise drow threats. They are assisted by the Wardens of the Webspinners, an order of warriors and priests dedicated to combating the followers of Lolth the Spider Queen.

The ceremonial garb of the priests of Callarduran Smoothhands is simple grey robes adorned with small (usually red) gems, a steel or mithral circlet worn on the brow, and steel sandals as footwear. The holy symbol a priest carries is a ruby whose size is indicative of the priest's rank in the church. Novice priests are known as "the Unworked". The ranks of the church (in ascending order) are: First Facet, Second Facet, Third Facet, Fourth Facet, Fifth Facet, Sixth Facet, Seventh Facet, Eighth facet, Ruby, and the Smoothed.

Temples and rituals[edit]

When practicing the rites of the god, the priests only communicate in whispers, and their temples are domed, so as to enhance their echoes.

Flandal Steelskin[edit]

Main article: Flandal Steelskin

Flandal Steelskin is the gnome deity of mining, smithing, and fitness. His symbol is a flaming hammer. He appears as a balding, aging gnome with skin the color of blue mithral steel, eyes like flaming coals, and hair of brilliant blue-silver. He wears a leather apron over the rest of his clothes, and carries Rhondang, an intelligent axe-backed hammer made of yellowish metal. He is the strongest of the gnomish pantheon and is able to sniff out veins of any ore with his prodigious nose. As such, he is the patron of gnomish warriors, miners and metalworkers.

Gaerdal Ironhand[edit]

Main article: Gaerdal Ironhand

Gaerdal Ironhand is the gnome deity of protection, vigilance, and combat. He lives in the gnomish realm of the Golden Hills on the plane of Bytopia.

Garl Glittergold[edit]

Further information: Garl Glittergold

Gelf Darkhearth[edit]

Gelf Darkhearth
Game background
Home plane Unknown
Power level Intermediate
Alignment Chaotic Neutral
Portfolio Entropy, revenge
Domains Chaos, Destruction, War
Design details

Gelf Darkhearth is the gnomish deity of entropy and revenge. He was introduced in the Races of Stone supplement book.

Gelf is Garl Glittergold's brother, and rarely have two brothers been more bitter rivals. Gelf, depicted as a gray-skinned dwarf with a black beard, takes obsessive delight in opposing everything his brother attempts. This compulsion puts Gelf in the tragic position of tearing down the gnome society he loves, just to thwart Garl Glittergold. Gelf isn't evil, but he feels compelled to destroy everything Garl holds dear. Gelf is an angry, sorrowful deity, and he attracts followers of similar temperament. The reason for Gelf's attitude and rivalry with Garl is not known, but it is possibly because they both covet the Gnomish goddess of love Sheyanna Flaxenstrand. Gelf's holy symbol is a black anvil that is splt in two, set against a murky purple background. His favored weapon is the warhammer.

Worshipers[edit]

Would-be clerics of Gelf are individually recruited by senior clerics who sense kindred spirits. Those who follow Gelf are rebels so committed to their cause that they would do anything to defeat the authorities they despise.

Gelf's prayers are often wordless ululations—long strings of vowel sounds. To nonbelievers, they sound like gibberish, but the exact order of sounds has meaning to the faithful.

Gelf's temples aren't hidden, but they are out of the way and placed so that Gelf's worshipers aren't seen coming and going. Most gnomes know where to find a temple to Gelf (assuming one is nearby), but few can think of a reason to go there.

Many of Gelf's rites seek to bestow a curse or ill will on a nonbeliever. Few are known outside the fairly insular circle of Gelf's worshipers—with one exception: Almost every gnome warrior knows the Rite of the Adroit, a brief group ceremony that steels the minds of gnomes to the chaos of war.

If someone has hatched a plot against one of Garl Glittergold's temples—or against a thriving gnome community—Gelf Darkhearth is probably behind it. He takes particular glee in using Garl's faithful against him, duping adventurers into doing his bidding.

Heralds and Allies[edit]

The herald of Gelf is a 20th-level fiendish gnome rogue. His allies are succubus demons, green slaadi, and death slaadi.

The Glutton[edit]

The Glutton
Game background
Home plane Abyss
Power level Lesser
Alignment Chaotic Evil
Portfolio Disaster, greed
Domains Chaos, Destruction, Evil, Strength
Design details

The Glutton is the gnomish deity of disaster and greed. He was introduced in the Races of Stone supplemental book.

The Glutton is usually depicted as a massive, ravenous badger or wolverine. The Glutton figures prominently in the bedtime stories gnomes tell naughty children -- "Go to sleep or The Glutton will get you!" The Glutton is blamed whenever a burrow collapses or another misfortune befalls the gnomes. It is said that The Glutton was once a gnome who was cursed with a hideous form and a desire to consume the gnomes and all they hold dear (why is not known). His holy symbol is a gaping, fanged mouth surrounded by what looks like a golden band, and what appears to be a smear of pink blood behind it. His favored weapon is the heavy mace.

Worshipers[edit]

The Glutton's few clerics are all secretive cult leaders, for no gnomes would willingly allow worshipers of The Glutton into their burrows. New clerics are recruited from among the mad and the hopeless.

Cultists of The Glutton take his name literally when they pray, stuffing themselves with food as they make profane utterances to their evil deity.

The Glutton has no temples. His cultists meet wherever they can find a measure of secrecy.

Rites require a level of organization that The Glutton is uninterested in. If his cultists want a ceremony to perform, they have to create it themselves.

The Glutton's goals are straightforward enough that he doesn't send followers on quests. But the cults that act in his name might send adventurers on quests to acquire more evil power

Herald and Allies[edit]

The herald of The Glutton is a mighty balor. Allies are howlers, greater barghests, and nalfeshnee demons.

Nebelun[edit]

Further information: Nebelun

Segojan Earthcaller[edit]

Further information: Segojan Earthcaller

Urdlen[edit]

Main article: Urdlen

Urdlen is the gnome deity of greed and blood. It manifests as an enormous blind mole.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Boyd, Eric L. Demihuman Deities (TSR, 1998)
  2. ^ a b Boyd, Eric L, and Erik Mona. Faiths and Pantheons (Wizards of the Coast, 2002).
  3. ^ Moore, Roger E. "The Gnomish Point of View." Dragon #61 (TSR, May 1982)
  4. ^ Gygax, Gary (December 1984). "From the Sorcerer's Scroll: Clerics live by other rules". Dragon (Lake Geneva WI: TSR) (92): 22. ]
  5. ^ Gygax, Gary. Unearthed Arcana (TSR, 1985)
  6. ^ Sargent, Carl. Monster Mythology (TSR, 1992)
  7. ^ McComb, Colin. On Hallowed Ground (TSR, 1996)
  8. ^ Perkins, Christopher. Warriors of Heaven (TSR, 1999)
  9. ^ Sargent, Carl. Monster Mythology (TSR, 1992)
  10. ^ McComb, Colin. On Hallowed Ground (TSR, 1996)
  11. ^ a b Boyd, Eric L. Demihuman Deities (TSR, 1998)
  12. ^ Boyd, Eric L, and Erik Mona. Faiths and Pantheons (Wizards of the Coast, 2002).
  13. ^ Sargent, Carl. Monster Mythology (TSR, 1992)
  14. ^ McComb, Colin. On Hallowed Ground (TSR, 1996)
  15. ^ Redman, Rich, and James Wyatt. Defenders of the Faith (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
  16. ^ Boyd, Eric L., and Erik Mona. Faiths and Pantheons (Wizards of the Coast, 2002).