|Title(s)||The Beast God|
|Power level||Unknown (probably demigod)|
|Domains||Chaos, Destruction, Bestial|
In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, Karaan is a vile god of savage lust and wanton destruction, representing the dark side of nature. His symbols are gnawed, broken bones and bloody teeth.
Karaan manifests as a hulking humanoid covered in fur, sporting sharp teeth and claws. While certainly bestial and carnivorous, he cannot be said to resemble a specific type of carnivore such as a canine or feline. Rather, he encompasses all such beings.
The Book of Vile Darkness says the deities described in that book are "fairly minor," in comparison to Erythnul (an intermediate god) and Vecna (a very recently ascended lesser god). Because their counterparts in the Book of Exalted Deeds are explicitly of demigod level, it seems likely that Karaan is as well.
Karaan is the enemy of gods of neutral and positive sides of nature such as Obad-Hai and Ehlonna. He is often revered in conjunction with Erythnul, although Karaan's cults are much more obscure. A few believe that Karaan is related in some way to Yeenoghu.
Clerics of Karaan are savage and depraved. They despise civilization and revel in acts of destruction. They particularly seek to destroy crafted items, for anything not found in nature is alien to them. They wear furs, hides, and other natural armors, or nothing at all. Many decorate their bodies with scars and file their teeth into points. They do not groom their hair, and often their speech is reduced to screams and savage grunts. Their favored weapon is the greatclub, although naked claws and teeth are just as favored.
Temples of Karaan are places of natural power, such as secluded glens, rocky outcroppings, and deep pits in the wilderness, filled with gnawed bones and the corpses of sacrificial victims and fallen enemies.
Rob Bricken of Kotaku identified Karaan as one of "The 13 Strangest Deities In Dungeons & Dragons", commenting: "It's the werewolf god! Everybody has to have a god, and since in D&D lycanthropy doesn't have to be a horrible curse — there can be an entire race of werewolves, or there can be noble werewolves — they'd certainly need someone to pray to. Karaan is also the god of wild savagery, which makes a certain amount of sense, and urban decay, I presume because if you're a werewolf you generally prefer nature to cities and want them all to go to hell. Strangely, Karaan is also the god of cannibalism, which seems like a domain that was assigned to him when he missed a meeting or something. I can't imagine the werewolves are particularly happy about this, because it's not like lycanthropy makes them suddenly want to eat humans. Plus, this means somewhere, there's an actual cannibal praying to Karaan to help him be the best cannibal he can be, and that's ridiculous.".
- Cook, Monte. Book of Vile Darkness. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2002
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