Gond (Forgotten Realms)

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Gond
Game background
Title(s) Wonderbringer, Lord of All Smiths
Home plane 2E: Wonderhome (Outlands)
3E: Home of Knowledge
Power level Intermediate
Alignment Neutral
Portfolio Artifice, craft, construction, smithwork
Superior Oghma
Design details

Gond is a fictional deity in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting for the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game. Gond is the deity of invention: he transforms ideas into form and inspires mortals to create new things. He cares only for the act of creation and pays no heed to the consequences of his inventions. While humans know him as Gond, some gnomes who worship him know him as Nebelun. An aspect of Gond is worshipped in Durpar, Estagund, and Var the Golden, where he is called Zionil. Worshippers of Gond are known as Gondar.

Publication history[edit]

Ed Greenwood created Gond for his home Dungeons & Dragons game, inspired by the Greek deity Hephaestus.[1]

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

Gond first appeared within Dungeons & Dragons as one of the deities featured in Ed Greenwood's article "Down-to-earth Divinity" in Dragon #54 (October 1981). Gond is introduced as Wonderbringer, god of blacksmiths, artificers, crafts, and construction, a neutral lesser god from the plane of Concordant Opposition. Gond is described as an inventor and artisan, as well as a smith. Gond's alliances among the gods are also described: "Oghma is served by Gond on one hand, and by Milil and Deneir on the other." Gond is commonly worshipped by characters working as sages, artisans, smiths, alchemists.[1]

Gond later officially appeared as one of the major deities for the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Set's "Cyclopedia of the Realms" booklet (1987).[2]

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

Gond was described in the hardback Forgotten Realms Adventures (1990),[3] the revised Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (1993) in the "Running the Realms" booklet,[4] and Faiths & Avatars (1996).[5] His clergy was further detailed in Warriors and Priests of the Realms (1996),[6] and Prayers from the Faithful (1997).[7]

His role in the cosmology of the Planescape campaign setting was described in On Hallowed Ground (1996).[8]

Her relationships with the nonhuman deities in the Forgotten Realms was covered in Demihuman Deities (1998),[9] where he was described as having assumed the aspect of the Gnome deity Nebelun in Faerûn.

Gond is described as one of the good deities that celestials can serve in the supplement Warriors of Heaven (1999).[10]

Dungeons & Dragons 3.0 edition (2000-2002)[edit]

Gond appears as one of the major deities of the Forgotten Realms setting again, in Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (2001),[11] and is further detailed in Faiths and Pantheons (2002).[12]

Description[edit]

Gond is an enigmatic deity who serves under Oghma and alongside Deneir and Milil as a Deity of Knowledge and Invention. His independence leads many to forget his relationship with his superior, Oghma. Gond is friendly with Lathander, Waukeen and Tempus, for his inventions benefit their portfolios.[vague] His only enemy is Talos, whose indiscriminate destructiveness threatens Gond's dominion over creation and devices of destruction.

Gond sometimes appears as a short, slight man with straw-blond hair, other times as a burly, red-faced smith, and other times as a gnome.[who?] In all his avatars he has sharp, dark eyes, a forge-scarred face, and alert, inquisitive features. He wears a scorched smith's smock over leather clothes. He wields a mighty hammer called Craftmaster, which he uses for smith work and as a weapon. Gond's avatars are rarely seen outside his temple; he prefers to manifest before mortals in a lesser manner.[who?]

Clergy and dogma[edit]

Gond's faith is the state religion of Lantan, the center being at a monastery in the city of Illul called the High Holy Crafthouse of Inspiration. The church of Gond is tolerated across Faerûn. Members are found in both good and evil aligned human populations. He has an increasing following in rock gnome communities. In Durpar, Estagund, and Var the Golden, he is known as Zionil, patron of craftfolk, inventors and creators.[who?] The church of Mystra opposes Gond, believing he holds technology above magic, but in truth he views magic as a tool to further his creativity.[who?] Merchants cultivate relationships with Gond's clergy in the hope of profiting from trading in Gondar inventions. Periodically, an invention of the followers of Gond will have an adverse economic effect, resulting in hostility from other faiths.

The heart of Gond's church is the High Holy Crafthouse of Inspiration in the city of Illul in Lantan. This monastery is run by Danactar the High Artificer, Most Holy Servant of Gond. Danactar is the highest ranking mortal cleric of Gond; he is the supreme voice in ecclesiastical matters and he serves in Lantan's ruling council, the Ayrorch. Lantanese expatriate merchants along the southern seas of Faerûn follow Danactar's rule. They usually receive his edicts from the Lantar (the traveling envoy of Lantan). The current Lantar is the Gondar cleric Bloenin. Gondar of mainland Faerûn nominally acknowledge Danactar, but due to his distance few pay him much heed. The recent destruction of Tilverton, which housed the most prominent Gondar church in mainland Faerûn, has further contributed to their independence from Danactar.

In recent years,[when?] the church of Gond has been the target of hostility across Faerûn because it introduced smokepowder (a magical item equivalent to gunpowder) and firearms. Rulers view such weapons as a threat to their authority because it grants commoners power to rival magic spells.[who?] The church has maintained good relations in most cities by working to preserve their proprietary control of smokepowder.

The church of Gond consists mostly of wandering clerics who travel from settlement to settlement, finding work as artisans and engineers. Settling in one area is only encouraged in centers for innovation that warrant constant observation, such as Zhentil Keep, Waterdeep, Athkatla, and Suzail. The church encourages wealth, as it demonstrates the benefits of following Gond.[who?] As they travel, clerics take samples of any inventions they discover and assist innovators they encounter, filing regular reports to their superiors.

Temples to Gond are imposing, boxy stone structures surrounded by porticoes. The only internal decorations are sprawling exhibits of items, some of historical interest, some representing the latest work of master crafters. The central altar consists of a massive anvil surrounded by spinning cogs in a giant machine. Backrooms consist of workshops.

Followers of Gond believe in actions over words, results over intentions.[who?] They strive to hone their crafting abilities until they can create elegant and useful devices to suit any circumstances. They favor innovation and experimentation, and actively encourage these virtues in others.[who?] They keep records so that other Gondar can follow and improve on their work. They encourage others to think of new ways of doing things, whether by inventing new tools or finding improved ways of using existing tools. They acquire and store safely any new creation they observe, and spread such knowledge throughout the church. They disseminate ideas so that others may see the power of Gond.[original research?]

Rituals to Gond are simple: prayers upon rising and retiring that are often incorporated into dressing and disrobing, and a longer prayer of thanks at the main meal. Clerics offer a special prayer of thanks and dedication before starting work on a new invention. Gond's only holy festival is the Ippensheir, named after Gond's First Servant Ippen. The Ippensheir is celebrated on Mirtul 1 to 12, immediately after Greengrass (the beginning of Spring). Clergy and followers gather at a holy site where an inventor or artisan once worked and share their inventions and innovations with fellow Gondar. It is a time of celebration, with feasting and drinking. The church maintains a network of portals linking major holy houses, and some worshippers use these portals to visit as many gatherings as possible during the Ippensheir.[who?]

Gondar are required to make two copies of any new machine or tool they discover. One is safeguarded against thieves and vandals for later display to the church, and the other is smashed or burned as part of the Sacred Unmaking, a ceremony that reinforces Gond's dominion over the constructive and destructive elements of engineering.[citation needed]

Clerics wear saffron vestments with a crimson collar and stole. They wear huge sunhats and belts constructed from large, linked, metal medallions. They wear Gond's symbol as a pendant. Over one shoulder they wear a leather sash ending in a large pouch, festooned with miscellaneous gear that might prove useful for crafters.[original research?]

Some clerics of Gond multiclass as rogues, but only out of an interest in tools and lock-picking. Many multiclass to the techsmith prestige class.[vague]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Ed Greenwood, Dragon magazine #54 - "Down-to-earth divinity" (October 1981), p. 52: "Gond is Hephaestus renamed."
  2. ^ Ed Greenwood, Jeff Grubb and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set. Wizard of the Coast. ISBN 0-88038-472-7. 
  3. ^ Grubb, Jeff and Ed Greenwood. Forgotten Realms Adventures (TSR, 1990)
  4. ^ Ed Greenwood (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. ASIN B000K06S2E. 
  5. ^ Martin, Julia, and Eric L. Boyd. Faiths & Avatars (TSR, 1996)
  6. ^ Terra, John. Warriors and Priests of the Realms (TSR, 1996)
  7. ^ Greenwood, Ed and Stewart, Doug. Prayers from the Faithful (TSR, 1997)
  8. ^ McComb, Colin. On Hallowed Ground (TSR, 1996)
  9. ^ Boyd, Eric L. Demihuman Deities (TSR, 1998)
  10. ^ Perkins, Christopher. Warriors of Heaven (TSR, 1999)
  11. ^ Ed Greenwood; et al. (2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. Wizard of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5. 
  12. ^ Boyd, Eric L., and Erik Mona. Faiths and Pantheons Wizards of the Coast, 2002 ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.