Goblinoid deities

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In many campaign settings for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, goblinoids worship a variety of deities. Each of the three main types of goblinoids (goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears) each has its own pantheon of deities (or a single deity in the case of hobgoblins) that they worship.

Goblin deities[edit]

Bargrivyek[edit]

Bargrivyek
Game background
Title(s) The Peacekeeper
Home plane Nine Hells of Baator
Power level Lesser
Alignment Lawful Evil
Portfolio Co-operation, territory
Design details

In many campaign settings for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, Bargrivyek is the goblin deity of cooperation and territory. He is known as the Peacekeeper because he tolerates no war between goblin tribes. However, he is not a gentle god and he desires to see goblins destroy their enemies, particularly orcs.

Publication history[edit]

Bargrivyek was first detailed in the book Monster Mythology (1992), including details about his priesthood.[1] His role in the cosmology of the Planescape campaign setting was described in On Hallowed Ground (1996).[2]

Description[edit]

Bargrivyek appears as a large (8 feet tall) goblin with a high domed forehead. He wears a calm expression and carries a white-tipped flail.

Bargrivyek is on good terms with the goblins' racial god, Khurgorbaeyag, because both desire the rise of goblins to domination of other races. He fears the head of the goblin pantheon, Maglubiyet, as well as the god of the hobgoblins, Nomog-Geaya.

Hruggek urges Maglubiyet to act against Bargrivyek, because Bargrivyek seeks to unite goblins and bugbears, something Hruggek disapproves of.

Bargrivyek's deceptively titled realm of The Peacable Lands can be found on Avernus, the first layer of Baator. Here he trains his goblin armies and leads raids against the realm of Kurtulmak, god of the kobolds.

Shamans of Bargrivyek strive to reduce conflicts amongst the goblins and turn aggression outwards toward external foes. They also advocate the expansion of goblin territory. Their holy weapon is the flail.

Bargrivyek sends omens to his clergy in the form of falling stars, speaking in strange tongues, and speech following violent stuttering.

Khurgorbaeyag[edit]

Khurgorbaeyag
Game background
Title(s) The Overseer
Home plane Infernal Battlefield of Acheron
Power level Lesser
Alignment Lawful Evil
Portfolio Slavery, oppression, morale
Design details

In the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, Khurgorbaeyag is the goblin deity of Slavery, Oppression, and Morale. He acts as a trusted lieutenant of Maglubiyet though he secretly harbors a desire to rule the goblin pantheon himself. His symbol is a whip with red and yellow stripes.

Publication history[edit]

Khurgorbaeyag was first detailed in Roger E. Moore's article "The Humanoids: All About Kobolds, Goblins, Hobgoblins, and Gnolls," in Dragon #63 (TSR, 1982).[3]

Khurgorbaeyag 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]

Description[edit]

Khurgorbaeyag appears as a large (9 feet tall) muscular goblin with flame-red skin, speckled with orange and yellow scales. He wears scale mail and carries a whip.

Khurgorbaeyag communicates with his priests through omens which may manifest as the cracking of a whip, glowing bars of light, or the abrupt onset of depression.

Nomog-Geaya, god of the hobgoblins, is Khurgorbaeyag's chief rival amongst the goblin gods and both try to outdo each other to win favor with Maglubiyet. Khurgorbaeyag once received aid from Hruggek, god of the bugbears, in a fight against the orcish gods and so considers him an ally. One of Khurgorbaeyag's chief proxies is a powerful goblin warrior named Lagdor Blooddrinker.

Khurgorbaeyag lives in Maglubiyet's realm of Clangor on the plane of Acheron, so that Maglubiyet can better keep an eye on him. He makes his home there in the largest goblin city, Shetring, where his greatest temple is located.

Khurgorbaeyag believes his troops in the afterlife, the goblin spirits, must fight all the harder against their orcish rivals in order to compensate for the laziness and clumsiness of the hobgoblins. Khurgorbaeyag devotes his attention to the goblin race in particular (as oppose to goblinoids in general) and teaches that the oppression of humans, dwarves, elves, gnomes, and halflings is the best route to ensure the safety of goblinkind.

Khurgorbaeyag's shamans and priests are strictly regimented. They strive to capture foes in combat rather than kill them in order to acquire more slaves for their tribe. Khurgorbaeyag's shamans work in fair harmony with bugbear priests.

Priests of Khurgorbaeyag wear red scale mail and war helmets. They carry whips, which is their god's holy symbol. The wolf is considered by Khurgorbaeyag's priests to be a holy animal and they often keep them as pets.

Ritual public torture is known as "instruction" among the followers of Khurgorbaeyag, as it is intended to instruct slaves as to their proper place in the world. Joint ceremonies involving both goblins and bugbears are not uncommon.

Temples to Khurgorbaeyag often have bugbear guards.

As with Maglubiyet, Khurgorbaeyag's holy days are the nights of the new moons.

In the Forgotten Realms[edit]

At least one tribe of goblins on the Chultan peninsula in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting worship an aspect of Khurgorbaeyag that manifests as a powerful dinosaur. These goblins (known as batiri) call him Kuro and believe that he owns the jungle.[citation needed]

Reception[edit]

Rob Bricken of Kotaku identified Khurgorbaeyag as one of "The 13 Strangest Deities In Dungeons & Dragons", commenting: "The Goblin god of slavery, oppression and morale, the last of which seems completely incompatible with the first two. It's like being the god of fire, heat, and popsicles — it just doesn't make sense."[6]

Maglubiyet[edit]

Maglubiyet
Maglubiyet 2.gif
Maglubiyet, god of the goblins in D&D
Game background
Title(s) Fiery-Eyes, the Mighty One, the High Chieftain, the Lord of Depths and Darkness, the Battle Lord
Home plane Infernal Battlefield of Acheron
Power level Greater
Alignment Neutral Evil
Portfolio War, rulership
Domains Chaos, Destruction, Evil, Trickery
Superior none
Design details

Maglubiyet is the god of goblins and hobgoblins in the fictional setting of the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. He was first described in the Nonhuman Deities chapter in the first edition of Deities and Demigods, by James Ward and Robert Kuntz published by TSR, Inc. in 1980. According to the chapter introduction, he and the other gods were created to serve as a starting point for Dungeon Masters to expand upon when developing their own pantheons.[7] He was among the first deities created specifically for Dungeons & Dragons; prior to this TSR used gods from mythology and other authors' fictional creations (such as Michael Moorcock's Melnibonéan mythos).

Maglubiyet is called by many titles in the various books he's mentioned in. These include: Fiery-Eyes, the Mighty One, the High Chieftain, and the Lord of Depths and Darkness. As he is supposed to be a god of war and a great general, he is also known as the Battle Lord. It is alluded to in "Into the Dragon's Lair," the first game supplement published for the Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition, another of his aliases may be the Iron One, an aspect worshipped by the Grodd goblins in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting.[8]

Publication history[edit]

Maglubiyet was first fully detailed in Deities and Demigods (1980).[7]

Maglubiyet was 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]

Maglubiyet was described briefly in Defenders of the Faith (2000).[11] His priesthood is detailed for 3rd edition in Complete Divine (2004).[12]

Maglubiyet has been reduced to an exarch of Bane in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting,[13] and an exarch of Gruumsh in the 4th edition default setting.

Description[edit]

Maglubiyet is described as a giant (11 feet tall), black-skinned goblin with flaming eyes, powerfully-muscled arms and sharp talons. He is said to wield a mighty coal-black battleaxe that constantly drips blood.

Maglubiyet is said to be an unpopular deity with the other gods. In the novel, Evermeet: Island of Elves, he is cited as an enemy of the elven gods.[14] In the Dungeons & Dragons game supplement, "Sandstorm: Mastering the Perils of Fire and Sand," Maglubiyet is said to covet the fertility portfolio of Kikanuti, the fictional good-aligned goblinoid goddess of the desert goblins.[15]

The initial entry about Maglubiyet in Deities and Demigods stated he resides in "The Nine Hells" and that he commanded the spirits of goblins in an eternal war in "Hell", but did not elaborate further about his realm.[7] In the 1987 1st Edition Manual of the Planes Maglubiyet's realm is on one of the great blocks of the first layer of Acheron (the same block with the orcish pantheon). In Monster Mythology (1992), he is said to dwell in the Nine Hells again.[9] But with the publication of the Planescape campaign setting it is revealed that his home domain is Clangor, located on the plane of Acheron. His capital is a fortress city called Grashmog, which translated from the goblin tongue means the "Heart of Battle." The mightiest goblin city in Clangor is Shetring, a fortification with five bridges spanning the River Lorfang.

According to the 2001 edition of Manual of the Planes, Maglubiyet lives at the bottom of a waterfall of the river in a cavern of magnificently carved steel dripping with moisture in Clangor. It says that, from his throne of flaming iron, Maglubiyet commands the souls of goblins, hobgoblins, and worgs to wage eternal war against the orcish petitioners of Gruumsh. He also employs baatezu, barghests, and yugoloths as mercenaries and commanders to bolster his armies.[16]

Maglubiyet's clergy are listed as wearing conical hats and gray-green scale mail in 1st Edition Legends and Lore and Deities and Demigods. He has no associated animal and has holy days on the occurrence of the new moon. Hearts of creatures with souls are to be sacrificed to him monthly. His places of worship are cave temples.

Maglubiyet's entry in Monster Mythology details the duties and rites of his shamans. It states that his holy day is the new moon and his holy weapon is the battleaxe.[9]

In the Dungeon magazine adventure, "Tallow's Deep," Maglubiyet's priests wear gray-green scale mail and conical hats and worship him in cave temples where they make sacrifices of hearts to him monthly. In this article his goblin worshipers are referred to as the "sons of Maglubiyet."[17]

According to the Planescape supplement, On Hallowed Ground, Maglubiyet had two sons who served as his lieutenants. However, in the paranoid fashion of D&D goblins, he decided that they were a threat. To get rid of them he sent them on suicide missions against the orcs and dwarves until they were slain.[10]

Campaign settings[edit]

In the Basic D&D setting, Maglubiyet was known as Wogar.[18]

Meriadar[edit]

Meriadar
Game background
Home plane Peaceable Kingdoms of Arcadia
Power level Intermediate
Alignment Lawful Neutral
Portfolio Patience, meditation, tolerance, arts and crafts
Domains Law, Protection, Trickery
Design details

In many campaign settings for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, Meriadar is a deity of patience, tolerance, meditation, and arts and crafts. His symbol is an artistically decorated bowl, which is used for sacramental feasting and sharing food with others.

Publication history[edit]

Meriadar was first detailed in the book Monster Mythology (1992), including details about his priesthood.[19] His role in the cosmology of the Planescape campaign setting was described in On Hallowed Ground (1996).[20]

Description[edit]

Meriadar is a patchwork creature like his chosen race. He is portrayed with an elf's ears, a dwarf's nose, a human chin, an orc's jaw, and a gnome's eyes. Other details of his appearance—height, build, skin tone, and so on—change from moment to moment. He can also appear as a tall figure of any humanoid race. He wears simple brown robes.

Meriadar frequently sends omens in the form of automatic speech and speaking in tongues during philosophical debates, sudden artistic inspiration, automatic drawing and sculpting, strange scents, and smoky, vaporous images emerging from bubbles in bowls of soup.[citation needed]

Meriadar is opposed by many evil humanoid gods, as he seeks to convert their followers to his more gentle philosophy. He is not able to accept help from the good-aligned gods of humans and demihumans, for any sign that he was allied with the gods of the hereditary enemies of his chosen races would hurt his efforts in converting them.

Meriadar, being poorly disposed toward chaos, has a particular antipathy for the gods of the bugbear pantheon.

Meriadar's greatest enemy is Stalker. Stalker, a demigod of death, despises goblin-kin and similar humanoids for driving him from his domain during the time of creation. Meriadar seeks to instill these creatures with a respect for life, and as such has Stalker's eternal enmity.

Meriadar lives in Arcadia in his realm, The Hand of Peace, located on the layer of Buxenus. The Hand of Peace is hidden from those who have not learned to look beyond the appearance of things. Meriadar is also the protector of the hidden Arcadian town known as Ghetto, a refuge of sorts from the often intolerant Arcadian militias.

Meriadar formally lived on the layer of Nemausus before it shifted from Arcadia to Mechanus. His old realm is still there, but abandoned by all of its former inhabitants save one: an orcish woman called Feryli Krenurum who still serves Meriadar's interests in the fallen planar layer.

Meriadar teaches patience and respect to all creatures. He expects open-mindedness and compassion, and expects his followers to attempt to meet and befriend other races. He encourages the mongrelfolk to blend in with other races when they can, remembering that they represent the logical conclusion of a mixed society.

Meriadar teaches that arts and crafts are an important avenue for exploring peacefulness. Those who respect one another's creativity and skill are unlikely to act violently toward one another, he reasons.

Meriadar is mostly pacifistic, though he will send avatars to defend mongrelfolk communities that are in danger of being wiped out completely. He will generally not act to prevent more ordinary suffering, as he believes that suffering can be a road that leads to greater spiritual enlightenment.

Another tenet of Meriadar's dogma is the concept of the "eternal now." This is a complex and subtle philosophical idea that parallels the act of drawing sustenance in a spiritual sense. Hunger, the most basic drive, is also the most immediate one, and is therefore akin to the awareness of the present, which is unchanged by past or future.

Meridar's chief worshippers are mongrelfolk and non-evil humanoids of any type. He seeks to redeem evil humanoids such as orcs and goblinoids, or provide a place of refuge for those of them not drawn toward evil. He particularly prizes bugbear followers, being glad to keep them away from their own chaotic gods. On the plane of Arcadia he is served by a female bugbear who wanders near the realm of Clangeddin, preaching peace to the dwarves there.

Priests of Meriadar teach mongrelfolk the ways of the races they live among, help establish and maintain hidden communities, and see to the welfare of the misshapen ones who cannot pass as other races. Non-mongrelfolk priests of Meriadar are very rare, but they can belong to any humanoid race, including humans and demihumans.

Meriadar's clerics preach peace, though like their god they are not entirely pacifistic. They will defend their communities if they are attacked. They are active in mongrelfolk politics, getting close to chiefs and other community leaders to help determine policy. As the priests of a lawful faith, they support hierarchies, laws, and established leaders who are not grossly unjust. They preach the need for tolerance of goblinoids and other races. They believe all living things have their place. They work to bring about a more ordered society and a more ordered world.

The ritual sharing of food is an important rite in Meriadar's faith. Decorated bowls are passed from person to person, symbolizing the sharing of life itself. The belief is that those who share life are unlikely to share death through violence.

The Hidden God[edit]

"The Ecology of the Mongrelman" in Dragon #242 has a very different take on the god of the mongrelfolk. In that article, the mongrelfolk worship a deity they call the Hidden God, who they believe is testing their patience by granting no spells, sending no omens, and displaying no evidence that he even exists. The mongrelfolk pray that their god will one day return and restore their days of glory. Each community generally has a single priest of the Hidden God (in slave societies, these priests keep themselves nearly as hidden as their deity is said to be). Unfortunately, the tragic truth is that the Hidden God does not exist at all. Rather, he is a distorted memory of the long-dead wizard who originally created the mongrelfolk race.

The worship of the Hidden God is connected to the ritual of "feasting," which is the consumption of the flesh of dead humanoids. As a result of this ritual, future generations of mongrelfolk take on some of the characteristics of all those species their ancestors have consumed. Many mongrelfolk believe that once they have consumed enough different species, the Hidden God will restore their fabled ability to shapechange, while others believe he will restore this ability regardless, but they will only be able to take the forms of those beings their ancestors have consumed.[21]

Stalker[edit]

Stalker
Game background
Home plane Wanders
Power level Demigod
Alignment Neutral Evil
Portfolio Hate, death, cold
Design details

In many campaign settings for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, Stalker is the goblinoid deity of hate, death, and cold. This god has no true worshippers, and is an enemy of all things that live. Its symbol is a creeping shadow.

Stalker was first detailed in the book Monster Mythology (1992), including details about his priesthood.[22]

Stalker takes the form of a slow shadow, its size varying from two to twenty feet in length as the entity desires. It continuously radiates magical fear, and is especially proficient with cold-related spells. Stalker is related to the racial root stock of all goblinoid races (in this context, this includes orcs and other races as well). Stalker hungers for all lives and souls, but it is not powerful enough to oppose Gruumsh, Maglubiyet, or the races under their protection, so for this reason it focuses its hate on bugbears, kobolds, urds, gnolls, and mongrelfolk. It particularly despises Meriadar, who works to bring self-respect to the goblinoid races. Stalker occasionally strikes up an alliance with the bugbear god Skiggaret, with whom it has a mutual tolerance. Stalker is sometimes considered by bugbears to be a member of their pantheon.

Stalker will send its single avatar to prey on weak communities or those damaged by war. Other goblinoid gods will often permit Stalker to take a share of souls after such conflict, for they find its stirring up of violence to be useful. In pre-history, Stalker is said to have dwelled in a dark underground complex before being driven out by the intrusion of a goblinoid race. Ever since then, Stalker has wandered the world, searching for revenge. It is possible that Stalker is responsible for the pools of animated darkness haunting Darkpool; this is credited to an unnamed humanoid deity.

Stalker and its hate are strengthened by the deaths of goblinoids, so it always seeks to inspire war, conflict, and death. Stalker has no worshippers, but many fear it. It has no priests or shamans. Goblinoids usually do not bother to attempt to propitiate Stalker, as it seldom does any good. The only exception that has found to be effective is ritually dancing to death while promising Stalker a battle with deaths and souls to be devoured; this will sometimes satisfy Stalker enough to turn away from the rest of the community.

Bhuka deities[edit]

Kikanuti[edit]

Kikanuti
Game background
Title(s) Mother Deity
Power level Lesser
Alignment Neutral Good
Portfolio Protection, fertility
Domains Earth, Good, Magic, Protection, Plant, Summer[23]
Design details

Kikanuti is the goddess of the desert goblins, known as bhukas, in some campaign settings of the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. She is one of the rare good-aligned deities of the goblinoids. Bhukas believe that Kikanuti brought them forth from the Lower World, a great cavern that they call the Second Womb. She nurtures and protects them in the Upper World from more savage races and against the harsh desert environment.

Kikanuti appears most frequently as a bhuka woman with braids of corn, dressed in a brightly painted tunic. She also takes many other forms. Her symbol is a clay pot painted with a stylized bird.[23]

Priestesses of the bhukas are called Grandmother. Her worshipers participate in ritual dances wearing masks.

Kikanuti and her followers are on unfriendly terms with the head of the goblin pantheon Maglubiyet. They believe that he enslaves his people and keeps them underground, cut off from the light and the joys of life. Kikanuti's holy weapon is a mace.

Hobgoblin deities[edit]

Nomog-Geaya[edit]

Nomog-Geaya
Game background
Title(s) The General
Home plane Infernal Battlefield of Acheron
Power level Lesser
Alignment Lawful Evil
Portfolio War, authority
Design details

In many campaign settings for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, Nomog-Geaya is the hobgoblin deity of War and Authority. He is the patron deity of hobgoblins, but hobgoblins are also known to worship Maglubiyet. His symbol is a crossed longsword and handaxe.

Publication history[edit]

Nomog-Geaya was first detailed in Roger E. Moore's article "The Humanoids: All About Kobolds, Goblins, Hobgoblins, and Gnolls," in Dragon #63 (TSR, 1982).[24]

Nomog-Geaya was detailed in the book Monster Mythology (1992), including details about his priesthood.[25] His role in the cosmology of the Planescape campaign setting was described in On Hallowed Ground (1996).[26]

Description and worship[edit]

Nomog-Geaya appears as a huge, powerful goblin with rough, ash-gray skin, cold orange eyes, and teeth like a shark’s. He almost always has his broadsword in one hand, and his hand axe in the other. He is said to have no expressions other than a grim, tight-lipped look of domineering authority. He is quiet and only speaks when he must.

Nomog-Geaya is subservient to Maglubiyet, and detests Khurgorbaeyag, the patron deity of goblins. Maglubiyet allows Nomog-Geaya and Khurgorbaeyag to live in his realm of Clangor on the plane of Acheron, to better keep an eye on them.

The Five Directives of the Soldiers of the Last Order are:

  • Arm yourself with fire and steel.
  • Rally all hobgoblin tribes under your banner.
  • Hunt elves and goblins and put them to the sword.
  • Burn prisoners alive in sacrifice to Nomog-Geaya. Nomog-Geaya will accept no other sacrifice.
  • Honor no god above Nomog-Geaya.

Nomog-Geaya is the patron deity of hobgoblins, second only to Maglubiyet in hobgoblin religion. The fanatic, heretical cult known as the Soldiers of the Last Order was founded by Galtai, a messianic cleric of Nomog-Geaya. This cult, active in Western Oerik, seeks to follow five directives given to them by their founder. If they do these things, they believe Nomog-Geaya himself will appear on Oerth and bring about a new age. Nomog-Geaya grants members of this cult spells, but he is reluctant to support them too openly for fear that Maglubiyet may deem them a threat to his rule. In Western Oerik, Nomog-Geaya also grants the domain of Fire.

Bugbear deities[edit]

The bugbear pantheon is usually led by Hruggek, the god of violence and combat. The pantheon is primarily worshiped by bugbears, a race of savage humanoids described as goblinoids in the context of the game.

Publication history[edit]

The bugbear pantheon is first mentioned in the first edition sourcebook Deities and Demigods, which states that there are six deities in the bugbear pantheon, including gods of earth, death, fertility, hunting and fear. Despite this, only Hruggek is detailed, and is stated to be a lesser deity.

The second edition sourcebooks On Hallowed Ground and Monster Mythology feature Hruggek, Grankhul and Skiggaret as members of the bugbear pantheon. Hruggek is stated to be an intermediate deity in this edition.

Hruggek is featured in the third edition sourcebooks Defenders of the Faith and Faiths and Pantheons. The revised third edition sourcebook Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss briefly mentions Grankhul and Skiggaret. Hruggek is briefly mentioned in the Complete Divine sourcebook.

Hruggek is featured in the fourth edition Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide, where he is presented as an evil exarch presiding over the sphere of ambush.

Grankhul[edit]

Grankhul
Game background
Home plane Infinite Layers of the Abyss
Power level Lesser
Alignment Chaotic Evil
Portfolio Hunting, senses, surprise, stealth
Domains Celerity, Chaos, Evil, Knowledge, Travel, Trickery
Superior Hruggek
Design details

In many campaign settings for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, Grankhul is the bugbear deity of hunting, senses, and surprise. Grankhul's symbol is two eyes that are ever open in the darkness.

Publication history[edit]

Grankhul 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).[27]

Description[edit]

Grankhul appears as a tall, relatively lean bugbear with large, protruding eyes and very long, thin fingers.

Grankhul is described as being always aware, and prone to violent tantrumns. It is stated that Grankhul was the being that taught the bugbears to be stealthy, allowing them to function effectively in small numbers.[9]

Grankhul's avatars are depicted as tall, lean bugbears with bulging eyes who are incapable of being surprised. It is stated that Grankhul uses his avatar forms to subtly drive away goblinoids and other humanoid races who operate too close to bugbear settlements.

The bugbear pantheon is dominated by Hruggek, though he doesn't really rule it. There is more of an understanding among the bugbear gods that no one acts against Hruggek's interests, and in return Hruggek leaves the others alone. Hruggek's priests often have to keep a wary eye out for the sneakiness of Grankhul's priests, however. Other bugbear deities include Skiggaret; local pantheons often include a god of earth, a god of fertility, and a god of death (often Stalker).

Grankhul shares the realm of Palpitatia on the 241st layer of the Abyss with his fellow bugbear god, Skiggaret.[28] This layer is eternally dark, populated by shadows and spectres, with fear eternally radiating from every inch of the grim terrain.

Grankhul values dexterity, speed, and at least a modicum of wit. Grankhul is said to have been the god who gifted bugbears with their ability to surprise their prey. He is a very violent god, prone to terrible tantrums and swift murder.

Grankhul is worshipped by hunters, assassins, and other bugbears who prize stealth and surprise.

Grankhul's priests are expected to excel in the qualities favored by their deity. They are hunters, scouts, and explorers among their people, charged with helping to provide food for their bands and to harass their enemies with guerrilla assaults. They are arrogant, confident of their intellects and stealthiness. Their favored weapon is the longsword.

Hruggek[edit]

Hruggek
Game background
Home plane Windswept Depths of Pandemonium
Power level Intermediate
Alignment Chaotic Evil
Portfolio Violence, combat
Domains Chaos, Evil, Trickery, War[29]
Superior none
Design details

In many campaign settings for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, Hruggek is the chief deity of bugbears, the deity of violence and combat. His symbol is a morningstar.

Publication history[edit]

Hruggek was created by James M. Ward for the Deities and Demigods cyclopedia (1980).[30]

Hruggek was detailed in the book Monster Mythology (1992), including details about his priesthood.[31] His role in the cosmology of the Planescape campaign setting was described in On Hallowed Ground (1996).[32]

Hruggek was described briefly in Defenders of the Faith (2000),[29] and Evermeet (2012).[33] His priesthood is detailed for 3rd edition in Complete Divine (2004).[34]

In the Basic D&D setting, Hruggek was known as Bartziluth.[35]

Description[edit]

Hruggek appears as a huge, powerful bugbear, twelve feet tall. He has great fangs and clawed hands and feet, and wields a 10-foot-long (3.0 m) morningstar.

Other gods worshiped or feared by the bugbears include Grankhul, the god of hunting, senses, and surprise; Stalker, the god of darkness and death; and Skiggaret the god of fear. Hruggek and the other gods of his pantheon have an understanding - they don't act contrary to his interests, and in return he leaves them alone. He has a slight alliance with the goblin god Khurgorbaeyag, and urges him to work against Maglubiyet, chief of the goblin gods. He doesn't get along with Bargrivyek, who seeks to unite the goblins and hobgoblins, something Hruggek sees as dangerous. He urges Maglubiyet to act against Bargrivyek, and thereby he attempts to keep the goblin pantheon divided, and less of a threat to him.

Meriadar is particularly opposed to the gods of the bugbears, including Hruggek.

Hruggek's cave in Hruggekolohk, his realm in the second layer of Pandemonium, Cocytus, is surrounded by severed heads of various races, which continually cry his praises or beg for mercy, and gift him with powers against their respective peoples. Hruggek didn't make the heads - they were already there when he arrived, remnants of more ancient gods who carved the plane's tunnels.

Hruggekolohk is unusually honeycombed and filled with many standing pools, interspersed with bones and garbage. These pools are magically heated, and various forms of pallid, grublike life grow within them. The petitioners congregate in villages on the banks of these pools, often hunting the sickly pond creatures.

Hruggek delights in savage combat, but he believes his people are too small in numbers to make mass warfare practical. Instead, he urges that stealth and wiles be used to pick off foes in small groups.

Hruggeks' priests dress in black and wear skulls on their heads. They're warriors and leaders, and keep an eye on the priests of other bugbear deities. They cooperate casually with the priests of Khurgorbaeyag. Hruggek will occasionally send his priests omens in the form of gruesome utterances from severed heads.

Temples to Hruggek take the form of halls built in natural caves.

Sacrifices of blood are made to Hruggek once a month, when Luna is full.

Skiggaret[edit]

Skiggaret
Game background
Home plane Infinite Layers of the Abyss
Power level Demigod
Alignment Chaotic Evil
Portfolio Fear
Design details

In many campaign settings for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, Skiggaret is the half-mad bugbear deity of fear. Skiggaret's symbol is a black claw.

Publication history[edit]

Skiggaret 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).[36]

Description[edit]

Skiggaret appears as a bugbear with jet-black fur, red lips, red hands, and red feet. The smile playing around his mouth is at least half insane. Skiggaret prowls the Oerth in avatar form, driving bugbears to acts of destruction and aggression through the terror he inspires.

Hruggek is the dominant member of the bugbear pantheon, though he doesn't really rule the others. Other members of the pantheon include Grankhul, god of hunting, and sometimes Stalker. Local bugbear pantheons often include a god of fertility and a god of earth. Skiggaret is the only deity that Stalker does not hate; they seem to understand one another to some degree.[9]

Skiggaret's position in the bugbear pantheon is described as being that of a messenger, conveying the will of the other gods to their followers. It is noted that this role grants him a great deal of power despite his position as a demigod. Additionally, Skiggaret is described as having an alliance of mutual tolerance with Stalker.[9]

Skiggaret shares the realm of Palpitatia on the 241st layer of the Abyss with his fellow bugbear god, Grankhul.[37] This Abyssal layer is eternally dark, populated with shadows and spectres, where fear radiates from all things.

Bugbears believe that if they survive Skiggaret's fear, they will be strengthened, and that Skiggaret helps protect them by scaring off oppressors who seek to overcome them. In extreme situations, Skiggaret can be appealed to help his people in this manner, if given sufficient sacrifices to bribe him.

Skiggaret is not worshipped by bugbears; rather, they seek to propitiate him by sacrificing the lives and sanity of their captives, torturing them to death to satisfy the terrible deity. Bugbears are ever on the alert for the rare signs and omens that Skiggaret sends, which take the form of the raising of hackles and fur, sudden chills, and magical pools of darkness. These are interpreted as signs that the gods are wrathful, and Skiggaret has been sent to make them afraid. In that sense, Skiggaret is the messenger of the bugbear gods.

Skiggaret is not worshipped by bugbears, and as such has no clergy. He is instead described as using fear to make bugbears act for him.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sargent, Carl. Monster Mythology (TSR, 1992)
  2. ^ McComb, Colin. On Hallowed Ground (TSR, 1996)
  3. ^ Moore, Roger E. "The Humanoids: All About Kobolds, Goblins, Hobgoblins, and Gnolls." Dragon #63 (TSR, July 1982)
  4. ^ Sargent, Carl. Monster Mythology (TSR, 1992)
  5. ^ McComb, Colin. On Hallowed Ground (TSR, 1996)
  6. ^ http://www.kotaku.com.au/2016/03/the-13-strangest-deities-in-dungeons-dragons/
  7. ^ a b c Ward, James, and Robert Kuntz. Deities and Demigods. TSR, 1980
  8. ^ Miller, Steve, and Sean K. Reynolds. Into the Dragon's Lair (Dungeons & Dragons: Forgotten Realms Adventure). Wizards of the Coast, 2000
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h Sargent, Carl. Monster Mythology. TSR, 1992 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "MonMyth" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "MonMyth" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  10. ^ a b McComb, Colin. On Hallowed Ground (TSR, 1996)
  11. ^ Redman, Rich and James Wyatt. Defenders of the Faith (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
  12. ^ Noonan, David. Complete Divine (Wizards of the Coast, 2004)
  13. ^ Cordell, Bruce R., Ed Greenwood and Chris Sims. Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide (Wizards of the Coast, 2008)
  14. ^ Cunningham, Elaine. Evermeet: Island of Elves. Wizards of the Coast, 1999
  15. ^ Cordell, Bruce R., Jennifer Clarke-Wilkes, and J.D. Wiker. Sandstorm: Mastering the Perils of Fire and Sand. Wizards of the Coast, 2005
  16. ^ Grubb, Jeff, Bruce R. Cordell, and David Noonan. Manual of the Planes. Wizards of the Coast, 2001
  17. ^ Gilbert, Steve, and Bill Slavicsek. "Tallow's Deep." Dungeon #18. TSR, 1989
  18. ^ Heard, Bruce. The Orcs of Thar (1988, TSR)
  19. ^ Sargent, Carl. Monster Mythology (TSR, 1992)
  20. ^ McComb, Colin. On Hallowed Ground (TSR, 1996)
  21. ^ Richards, Johnathan M. "The Ecology of the Mongrelman." Dragon #242. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 1997
  22. ^ Sargent, Carl. Monster Mythology (TSR, 1992)
  23. ^ a b Cordell, Bruce R., Jennifer Clarke-Wilkes, and J.D. Wiker. Sandstorm: Mastering the Perils of Fire and Sand (Wizards of the Coast, 2005).
  24. ^ Moore, Roger E. "The Humanoids: All About Kobolds, Goblins, Hobgoblins, and Gnolls." Dragon #63 (TSR, July 1982)
  25. ^ Sargent, Carl. Monster Mythology (TSR, 1992)
  26. ^ McComb, Colin. On Hallowed Ground (TSR, 1996)
  27. ^ McComb, Colin. On Hallowed Ground (TSR, 1996)
  28. ^ Jacobs, James, Erik Mona, and Ed Stark. Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss (Wizards of the Coast, 2006).
  29. ^ a b Redman, Rich and James Wyatt. Defenders of the Faith (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
  30. ^ Ward, James and Robert Kuntz. Deities and Demigods (TSR, 1980)
  31. ^ Sargent, Carl. Monster Mythology (TSR, 1992)
  32. ^ McComb, Colin. On Hallowed Ground (TSR, 1996)
  33. ^ Cunningham, Elaine (2012). Evermeet: Island of the Elves. Renton, Washington: Wizards of the Coast. p. 76. ISBN 9780786962006 – via Google Books (preview). 
  34. ^ Noonan, David. Complete Divine (Wizards of the Coast, 2004)
  35. ^ Heard, Bruce. The Orcs of Thar (1988, TSR)
  36. ^ McComb, Colin. On Hallowed Ground (TSR, 1996)
  37. ^ Jacobs, James, Erik Mona, and Ed Stark. Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss (Wizards of the Coast, 2006).

Additional reading[edit]