Segojan Earthcaller

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Segojan Earthcaller
Game background
Title(s) Earthfriend, the Rock Gnome, Lord of the Burrow, Digger of Dens, the Badger, the Wolverine
Home plane Twin Paradises of Bytopia
Power level Intermediate
Alignment Neutral Good
Portfolio Earth, nature
Domains Earth, Good (also Cavern and Gnome in Forgotten Realms)
Superior Garl Glittergold
Design details

In many campaign settings for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, Segojan Earthcaller is the gnome deity of earth and nature. Unlike Baervan Wildwanderer, who is a god of the plants and forests of the surface world, Segojan's area of concern is the deep earth and the life within it. He is said to have given the gnomes their ability to communicate with burrowing mammals. His symbol is a glowing gemstone; usually this is a finely cut gem of any type in which illusion spells have been cast to provide magical light. This can be any gem, but Segojan is associated strongly with diamonds. The god's own power makes these spells permanent as long as they are carried by his priests. His sacred animal is the badger.

Segojan is also the gnomish god of the dead, because gnomes inter their fallen in his domain. Segojan is one of the oldest gods of the gnomes. He was originally the god of nature in general, mining, jewelry-making, and magic, but these roles have become supplanted over time by Baervan Wildwanderer, Flandal Steelskin, Garl Glittergold, and Baravar Cloakshadow, respectively.

Publication history[edit]

Segojan Earthcaller was first detailed in Roger E. Moore's article "The Gnomish Point of View," in Dragon #61 (TSR, 1982).[1] In Dragon #92 (December 1984), Gary Gygax indicated this as one of the deities legal for the Greyhawk setting.[2] He also appeared in the original Unearthed Arcana (1985).[3]

Segojan Earthcaller was detailed in the book Monster Mythology (1992), including details about his priesthood.[4] His role in the cosmology of the Planescape campaign setting was described in On Hallowed Ground (1996).[5] He received a very detailed description for his role in the Forgotten Realms in Demihuman Deities (1998).[6] He is described as one of the good deities that celestials can serve in the supplement Warriors of Heaven (1999).[7]

Segojan Earthcaller's role in the Forgotten Realms is revisited in Faiths and Pantheons (2002).[8]

Description[edit]

Segojan is known to the gnomes as a gray-skinned gnomish man wearing armor or grass and roots. He can burrow easily through earth, clay, and even stone. He is accompanied by an intelligent stone golem, and his avatar can create unintelligent ones with his magical quartz rod.

Relationships[edit]

In many campaign settings, the gnome pantheon of gods consists of the leader Garl Glittergold, as well as Baervan Wildwanderer, Baravar Cloakshadow, Flandal Steelskin, Gaerdal Ironhand, Nebelun, Segojan Earthcaller, and Urdlen. He is on good terms with every member of his pantheon, except for Urdlen. Segojan is on excellent terms with the god of the svirfneblin, Callarduran Smoothhands. He works closely with the younger deity of magic, Baravar, on the development of the arcane arts.

Other allies of Segojan include Clangeddin Silverbeard, Cyrrollalee, Dumathoin, Grumbar, Psilofyr, Sehanine Moonbow, Sheela Peryroyl, Urogalan, and various Animal Lords. Among the human gods, Segojan is most closely linked to other gods of nature, earth, and to a lesser extent death.

Segojan's enemies include Abbathor, Gaknulak, Kuraulyek, Kurtulmak, Laogzed, Urdlen, and Zuggtmoy.

Realm[edit]

Segojan lives in the gnomish realm of the Golden Hills on the plane of Bytopia. His domain there is known as the Gemstone Burrow, which is rumored to host an endless number of crudely tunnels dug by the many animals who serve the Earthfriend. There are rumors of lost treasure hoards as well. Segojan's relationships with burrowing mammals is so close that emissaries of the animal lords of the Beastlands often pay visits to the Gemstone Burrow.

Dogma[edit]

Segojan teaches that the heart and soul of the gnomish race is the substance of the earth. The gnomes spring from its comforting embrace, live much of their lives in its depths, and are buried there when they die. Segojan believes that the treasures of the Oerth are to be preserved, both mineral and living. He encourages exploration and mining, and urges his followers to avoid the destruction and avarice personified by Urdlen. The Earthfriend's priests teach that Segojan will protect those who obey his teachings.

Worshippers[edit]

Segojan is a popular deity among gnomes who dwell in the earth, particularly rock gnomes and deep gnomes, and he is considered to be the patron of the rock gnome subrace. In deep gnome and forest gnome communities, his church occupies a powerful secondary position, working closely with the temples of Calladuran and Baervan, respectively. He is revered by miners, jewelers, illusionists, and artificers.

Clergy[edit]

Segojan's clerics wear gray and dark brown leather armor and fur caps. Segojan is a cooperative, friendly deity, so they work with clerics of Flandal Steelskin to oversee miners and make sure they are safe and protected, and with clerics of Baervan to preserve and protect the natural environment. With Calladuran's clerics they create and reinforce ties with the deep gnomes, sharing rumors and knowledge with them. They actively guard gnomish territories against incursions by creatures of the Underdark, and travel deeper than gnomes generally dare to explore. They preside over most gnomish funeral rites.

On ceremonial occasions, clerics of Segojan wear fur caps and leather armor of gray or brown. They take fur only from animals that have been hunted for food; Segojan does not permit his followers to take animals purely for their furs and leave the rest to waste.

Novice clerics are called the Unearthed, and full priests are called Earthcallers. The titles, in order of ascending rank, are: Shrew, Mole, Vole, Ermine, Groundhog, Wolverine, Badger, and Arumvorax. Specialty priests are known as Earthfriends. Many priests of Segojan are multiclassed fighter/clerics, cleric/illusionists, or cleric/thieves. The highest-ranking priests have titles unique to them.

Temples[edit]

Segojan is worshipped in subterranean temples, which are several caverns excavated from the earth and linked with twisty tunnels. Some also function as museums and zoos, though the animals there are never caged. Segojan's temples are filled with sculptures, gems, and illusions.

Rituals[edit]

Gemstones are sacrificed to Segojan on the Winter Solstice, Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, and Autumnal Equinox. The faithful of the Digger of Dens gather in plainly adorned chambers and drop worked and unworked gems into holes dug in the ground. It is said that the Lord of the Burrow commands small burrowing creatures to bring these gems elsewhere for gnomes to rediscover.

A widely observed funerary ritual known as the Earthen Embrace involves the dead being slathered with a specially prepared mud by Segojan's clerics and left to harden for three days until it becomes like stone. Illusionists use magic to make this earthen mummy appear as the deceased did in life. Then friends and relatives gather about the body, resting on a rug made from the fur of burrowing mammals, and recount stories of his or her life. Finally the mummy is left to rest in an earthen niche. Some groups embed small gems into the mud before it hardens, and as a result graves are unmarked in order to deter grave robbers. Prominent gnomes may be commemorated by permanent illusions that function as public sculptures. Coffins or sarcophagi are rarely used, except among some forest gnome groups who prefer wooden coffins.

Holy days[edit]

Segojan's holy days are the first days of each season.

Myths and legends[edit]

The birth of the gods[edit]

Segojan is said to have been born from a diamond in the heart of the world, before he was released by the erosion of underground waters.

References[edit]

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

Additional reading[edit]

  • Conforti, Steven, ed. Living Greyhawk Official Listing of Deities for Use in the Campaign, version 2.0. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2005. Available online: [1]
  • Living Greyhawk Journal no. 3 - "Gods of Oerth"