Kossuth (Dungeons & Dragons)

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For the Hungarian revolutionist and governor of Hungary during the 1848-49 Liberty War, see Lajos Kossuth.
Kossuth
Game background
Title(s) The Lord of Flames, the Firelord
Home plane The Crimson Pillar (Elemental Plane of Fire)
Power level Greater
Alignment True Neutral
Portfolio Elemental fire, purification through fire
Domains Destruction, Fire, Renewal, Suffering, Wrath
Design details

In the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game, Kossuth (/kɵˈsθ/ ko-SOOTH)[1] is the god of Fire.

Kossuth is symbolized by a twining red flame (his holy symbol). His followers and clerics are often of the Neutral or Lawful Neutral alignment. He is the Fire God, the Lord of Flames, the Firelord, the Elemental God of Fire. His portfolio covers elemental fire, and purification through fire; his domains are destruction, fire, renewal, and suffering. His favored weapon is the spiked chain.

Publication history[edit]

Ed Greenwood created Kossuth for his home Dungeons & Dragons game, inspired by the deity Kakatal, created by Michael Moorcock for his Elric stories.[citation needed]

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977-1988)[edit]

Ed Greenwood initially used Kakatal, one of Moorcock's Elemental gods as found in the original Deities & Demigods, as the elemental lord of fire for his home Dungeons & Dragons campaign set in the Forgotten Realms. As Greenwood indicated in his article "Down-to-earth Divinity" in Dragon #54 (October 1981), Moorcock's elemental gods "may later be replaced in [his] universe by "official" AD&D beings as these are published".[2] Kossuth first appeared in the original Manual of the Planes (1987),[3] and was featured as one of the elemental lords for the Forgotten Realms in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Set's "Cyclopedia of the Realms" booklet (1987).[1]

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989-1999)[edit]

Kossuth was described in the hardback Forgotten Realms Adventures (1990),[4] the revised Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (1993) in the "Running the Realms" booklet,[5] and Faiths & Avatars (1996).[6]

His role in the cosmology of the Planescape campaign setting was described in On Hallowed Ground (1996),[7] and The Inner Planes (1998).[8]

His relationships with the nonhuman deities in the Forgotten Realms was covered in Demihuman Deities (1998).[9]

Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition (2000-2007)[edit]

Kossuth appears as one of the major deities of the Forgotten Realms setting again, in Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (2001),[10] and is further detailed in Faiths and Pantheons (2002).[11]

Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition (2008-Present)[edit]

Kossuth appears in the fourth edition as a primordial.[12]

Dogma[edit]

Those fit to succeed will do so. Kossuth's faith is innately superior to all other faiths, particularly that of Istishia. Fire and purity are one and the same. Smoke is produced by air in its jealousy. The reward of successful ambition is power. Reaching a higher state is inevitably accompanied by difficulty and personal pain of some sort. Kossuth sends his pure fire to temper our souls and allow us to achieve a pure state. Expect to be tested and rise to the challenge no matter what difficulty and pain it brings. Those above you have proven their worth and deserve your service. Guide others to Kossuth's pure light so that he may reforge all life into its essential form.

Worshippers[edit]

Clergy[edit]

Clerics of Kossuth divide themselves into two factions, the Tendrils and the Burning Braziers. The Tendrils make up the bulk of the order and hold most of the ecclesiastical power. They see to the affairs of the temple, officiate at holy days and ceremonies, and preach to local Kossuthan communities. The Braziers represent the adventuring and missionary arm of the church, travelling the wilderness to bring new lands into Kossuth's scalding, purifying light.

Both factions subscribe to a strict hierarchy. A temple's high cleric, called an Eternal Flame, represents the highest possible religious authority. All are subservient to the local Eternal Flame; Braziers tend to follow the lead of the nearest such leader during their travels. Below the Eternal Flame are various terraces holding dominance over the ranks below them. Adherents on the lowest terrace deny themselves all worldly goods and pleasures, donating to the higher terraces all but the minimum needed to remain alive. (In the case of adventuring clerics, this minimum includes armour, weapons, and magic items.) As a cleric advances through the terraces, more and more rights and pleasures are granted to him, but only through great hardship and difficult -often fatal- tests of faith.

Kossuth's adherents tend to be fanatical schemers who wish to "cleanse" the world and rebuild it according to the Firelord's dictates. Highly motivated and easily manipulated, clerics of the lower terraces tend to "burn out" quickly (often literally) in their efforts to advance to the next terrace. Senior clerics use their underlings as pawns, frequently sending them on missions for which they are not properly trained or equipped, so that only those of the highest skill and ambition will advance. All clerics of Kossuth share a fiery temper: They are quick to take offense and use violence to enforce the rigidity of their chosen lifestyle. The primary goal of all clerics is to acquire land, wealth, influence, and power, and few church activities involve anything that does not directly contribute to one of these goals.

Monks[edit]

The church boasts no fewer than three orders of fighting monks, each corresponding to a different lawful alignment—the Disciples of the Phoenix (good), Brothers and Sisters of the Pure Flame (neutral), and the Disciples of the Salamander (evil). The Kossuthan church has held a place of importance in Thay for generations, in part because it is one of the few agencies by which non-Mulan Thayans can raise their stations in life.

Temples[edit]

Temples to Kossuth follow a ziggurat type of architecture that mirrors the structure of the church at large. Often carved from lava, these imposing edifices feature constantly burning braziers and bonfires, with several dozen adherents tasked with keeping the holy flame alive. The largest Faerûnian temple of Kossuth is the Flaming Brazier in Bezantur.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Ed Greenwood, Jeff Grubb and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set. TSR, Inc. ISBN 0-88038-472-7. 
  2. ^ Greenwood, Ed. "Down to Earth Divinity." Dragon #54 (TSR, 1981)
  3. ^ Grubb, Jeff. Manual of the Planes (TSR, 1987)
  4. ^ Grubb, Jeff and Ed Greenwood. Forgotten Realms Adventures (TSR, 1990)
  5. ^ Ed Greenwood (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. ASIN B000K06S2E. 
  6. ^ Martin, Julia, and Eric L. Boyd. Faiths & Avatars (TSR, 1996)
  7. ^ McComb, Colin. On Hallowed Ground (TSR, 1996)
  8. ^ Cook, Monte, with William W. Connors. The Inner Planes. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 1998
  9. ^ Boyd, Eric L. Demihuman Deities (TSR, 1998)
  10. ^ Ed Greenwood et al. (2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. Wizard of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5. 
  11. ^ Boyd, Eric L, and Erik Mona. Faiths and Pantheons (Wizards of the Coast, 2002)
  12. ^ Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims. Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide (Wizards of the Coast, 2008)