Thursday, February 3, 2011

Porandor: Other Deities

Deities other than the Orc pantheon are worshiped in Porandor, with the cults of those beings being allies during the Great War. All of the cults of these deities must pay tribute to the local orc temples and defer to them in rulings of dispute. Despite this rule, squabbling, assassination and outright conflict does occur.
Non-orcish deities tolerated in and around Porandor are those of Boccob, Fharlanghn, Lolth, Tiamat, and the following:


Cegilune (Lesser Deity)
Title(s): Queen of Hags, The Great Crone
Home Plane: Hagsend (Gray Waste of Hades)
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Portfolio: Larvae, Hags, the Moon
Domains: Evil, Knowledge, Magic
Favored Weapon: Quarterstaff
Cegilune is the hag deity of Larvae, Hags, and the Moon. She is the patron goddess of all hags, including Night Hags. Her symbol is an overflowing black cauldron. Cegilune appears as a filthy hag with yellow-brown skin. She may also appear as a young human or elf woman, or as a homely old lady. Very rarely, she'll manifest as a scruffy orc or goblinoid woman. In all of her forms, she carries a small iron pot.
Cegilune has no allies, although she has dealings with some of the evil gods of the giants. She is said to have mated with Grolantor, and as such is considered one of the ancestresses of the hill giant race. Cegilune makes her lair in the realm of Hagsend in Pluton, the third gloom of the Gray Waste of Hades. She is said to dwell in a filthy, bone-strewn cave halfway up a bleak mountain of desolate black rock. There, she endlessly stirs her cauldron; a full moon hovers over it.

Worship
Cegilune is feared by sylvan beings as a dark and bloody stalker, and even hags despise their goddess, hating her for what she has made of them, respecting only her power. They fear her greed, believing she will take from them that which is rightfully theirs. Cegilune rules the night hags with an iron hand, sending them forth to gather larvae for her use.
Cegilune is worshiped in grisly shrines near the cauldrons of her followers. Cegilune is worshiped with praises and curses every night, cumulating in a ceremony held under the full moon nearest the Winter Solstice, when her worshipers compete to inflict the greatest suffering in the blood sacrifices they offer their fell patron.

In Porandor
Cegilune is greatly respected and rightly feared in Porandor. This goddess craves the souls of Neutral Evil persons to make into larvae, a fate even orcs fear. This causes most orcs to cling all the more to the worship of the orc pantheon, and thus the cult of Cegilune is tolerated. The orc deity Yurtrus and Cegilune have an uneasy truce though frequent conflict between the two cults in not unheard of. Female orcs, ogres and goblins often worship this goddess in Porandor, so as to gain greater power in their overtly masculine cultures.


Grolantor (Intermediate Deity)
Title: The Great Glutton
Home plane: Stedding (Tarterian Depths of Carceri)
Symbol: Wooden Club
Alignment: Chaotic Evil (CN Tendencies)
Portfolio: Hunting, combat, feasting
Domains: Chaos, Death, Earth, Evil
Favored Weapon: Dwarfcrusher (Greatclub)
Grolantor is the deity worshiped by the hill giant race, as well as ettins, and some frost giants, ogres and half-ogres. His sacred animal is the dire wolf. Grolantor looks like a 25-foot-tall hill giant, wearing several belts of woven dwarf beards. Grolantor is evil second and stupid first, disowned by his brother giant gods for his foolishness and relative weakness. Some say he created the race of hill giants by collecting and interbreeding the runts of earlier giant broods, then further polluted this stock by mating with various serpents, medusa-like hags, and the goddess Cegilune. The ettins are said to have descended from Grolantor and a monstrous serpent with a head on both ends of her coiled body.
Grolantor's realm in Cathrys, the second layer of Carceri, is called the Steading. The orbs above his realm are ruled by shator demodands, a weak-willed, toadying lot that cede to him their vassalage, more out of fear of the giant petitioners that make up the armies of Grolantor than out of any love for the hill giant god. His realm itself is little more than a wooden house.

Worship
Grolantor is worshiped by hill giants, ettins, and some frost giants and ogres. Grolantor is strong and willfully stupid. He teaches his followers to persecute "lesser races" - that is, those smaller than hill giants. His hill giant shamans stubbornly refuse to admit they are smaller than any other giant breeds. Ettins worship Grolantor in a dual-aspect manner, and their dogma differs from that of the hill giants in many crucial respects, often preventing alliances between the two races. The most important thing for a follower of Grolantor is to never admit weakness, and to crush the weak.
Grolantor's priests wear dark brown armor made from horn, and adorn their heads with skulls. They regularly organize hunting parties and skirmishing warbands, and take it upon themselves to root out what they perceive as weakness among their kind and elsewhere. They are not permitted to ever back down from a challenge. Grolantor's favored weapon is the club. Grolantor has no particular holy days, and is unusual among evil deities in that he demands no sacrifices. The closest thing to formal ritual among his worshipers is eating and drinking contests.

In Porandor
Grolantor is by far the favored deity for Ogres and Trolls over the more traditional Vaprak (see below). This is due mostly to the fact that Grolantor asks very little from his followers save for toasts at meals, feasts in his honor and for his followers to live a giantish life. Menhir are often constructed in honor or Grolantor, acting both as worship sites and to act as markers for the stone throwing competitions to loved by giants of all breeds.


Laduguer
(Intermediate Deity)
Title(s): The Exile, the Gray Protector, Master of Crate, the Slave Driver, the Taskmaster, the Harsh
Home plane: Infernal Battlefield of Acheron
Alignment: Lawful Evil (LN tendencies)
Portfolio: Crafts, magic, protection
Domains: Evil, Law, Magic, Protection
Favored Weapon: Warhammer
Laduguer appears as a tall, gaunt duergar with skin that can change between gray and brown to match the nearby rock. He is bald and perpetually frowning. He is inclined toward evil, but this is mostly turned inward, gloomy and unforgiving over what he feels is his rejection by his kin. He is supremely lawful above all else, despising the other dwarven deities for being lazy, indolent, and feckless.
The priests of Laduguer teach that superiors must be strictly and promptly obeyed. They teach the importance of dedication to one's craft and endless toil to achieve wealth, security, and power. They view life as a harsh existence in which nothing is easy; this is the proper, honorable way to live, as reward without effort is sin. Laduguer teaches his people to suffer stoically and remain aloof from other dwarven peoples, who are lazy and weak. The weak are undeserving, and adversity is Laduguer's forge.

Worship
Laduguer only answers the prayers of dwarves. Prospective clerics of the Gray Protector engage in many hours of repetitive prayer, punctuated by hard labor and other tests of endurance. The accumulation of their trials involves being trapped between two heavy stone blocks and left there for a week. If they manage to obdurately continue to the satisfaction of their superiors, they are initiated into the priesthood in a ceremony involving branding and torture and permitted to subject new prospects to similarly mind-numbing exercises.
Clerics of Laduguer, called thuldors, wear heavy armor and gray, hooded mantles. The symbol of Laduguer is branded on their foreheads. Their favored weapon is the warhammer. They are often the rulers of their people. It is their job to protect (often with traps) and maintain order in their communities. They keep the duergar cities free from other races. They tend to be skilled craftsmen, especially the older and frailer ones.
One day a year, on the Winter Solstice, the duergar observe the ceremony of Grimtidings. They lay down their tools and gather to hear stories of their voluntary exile and the decadence of other dwarves. Laduguer is praised for his great skill, and the duergar swear vengeance against those who have insulted their god and their people.

In Porandor
Early on in the Great Orc/Elf War, the cult of Laduguer saw a grand opportunity for profit at the expense of the Elves of Iroth. Weapons, armor, war machines and mercenaries were supplied to the growing orc war host, and the duergar grew very rich. Now the cult of the Slave Driver is the most influential non-orc religion in the Empire, as duergar craftsmanship and gold are a major force in the Empires economy. They are not loved however, as many orcs chafe at taxed and prices demanded for grey dwarf merchandise.


Maglubiyet (Greater Deity)
Title(s): Fiery-Eyes, the Mighty One, the High Chieftain, the Lord of Depths and Darkness, the Battle Lord
Home Plane: Clangor (Infernal Battlefield of Acheron)
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Portfolio: Goblins, hobgoblins, war, wargs, leadership
Domains: Animal, Chaos, Destruction, Evil, Trickery
Favored Weapon: Axe (any)
Maglubiyet is the chief deity of goblins, bugbears, and hobgoblins. He is a god of war and leadership who rules over the goblin pantheon with an iron fist. Maglubiyet's many titles include: Fiery-Eyes, the Mighty One, the High Chieftain, and the Lord of Depths and Darkness. As a god of war and a great general he is also known as the Battle Lord. Maglubiyet appears as a giant (11 feet tall), black-skinned goblin with flaming eyes, powerfully-muscled arms and sharp talons. He wields a mighty coal-black battle axe that constantly drips blood.
Maglubiyet's divine realm 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. Maglubiyet lives at the bottom of a waterfall of the river in a cavern of magnificently carved steel dripping with moisture. 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.

Worship
Maglubiyet is worshiped by goblins and hobgoblins alike. His goblin worshipers are sometimes referred to as the "sons of Maglubiyet." Maglubiyet revels in conflict and destruction and constantly pushes his followers to wage war, particularly against dwarves and gnomes. He encourages goblins to increase their numbers in order to overrun their enemies. As a paranoid god he is prone to destroy lesser goblin deities when he suspects treachery or he thinks they are becoming too powerful.
The priests and shamans of Maglubiyet are his mouthpieces on the Material Plane. They fulfill his demands for blood sacrifices by dispatching victims with an axe. They believe that these sacrifices strengthen Maglubiyet. His clergy is almost always drawn from the goblin and hobgoblin races. Maglubiyet communes with his priests through omens. Blood flowing from the edge of an axe, abnormal behavior in worgs and wolves, and speaking directly through shamans in a trance are all ways he makes his will known.
Maglubiyet's priests wear gray-green scale mail and conical hats. Maglubiyet is worshiped in cave temples where sacrifices of hearts are made to him monthly. His holy day is the new moon.

In Porandor
For the sake of the Great War with the Elves the Orc Pantheon and Maglubiyet joined forces. And though this alliance was successful, the violent and jealous nature of both Gruumsh and Maglubiyet brought this alliance to a crashing end fairly soon after the war. Now, worship of Maglubiyet is considered a threat to the sovereignty of the Empire and is largely suppressed, though not outlawed. A great many goblins still worship Maglubiyet though they keep this faith a secret and shrines to hidden and remote locales. Outside of the borders of the Empire, the cult of Maglubiyet is strong and growing in number, especially amongst the Hobgoblin tribes of the south...


Vaprak (Lesser Deity)
Title: The Destroyer
Home plane: Infinite Layers of the Abyss
Symbol: Taloned Hand
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Portfolio: Combat, greed
Domains: Chaos, Destruction, Evil, War
Favored Weapon: Grinder (Greatclub)
Vaprak is the deity worshiped by ogres and trolls. Vaprak is also known as "The Destroyer." Vaprak has a humanoid form colored an exceedingly horrid mottled brown and green. He has an elemental, savage quality that endears him to ogres and trolls. Vaprak holds the other giantish gods in awe and respect, however, and fears that his race may abandon him to worship them. He is not a planner or a thinker; he merely destroys, ferociously, as quickly as he can, urging his followers to do the same.
Vaprak himself has three sons: Anori (or Agmori), Hakuni, and Muaj, who are believed to have sired the three races of ogre magi. Vaprak makes his home in Shatterstone, the 524th layer of the Abyss. There, he dwells in a pitiful cave at the base of a great cliff.

Worship
Vaprak is worshipped chiefly by ogres and trolls, though some humans and half-breeds such as half-ogres and ogrillions also worship him. Vaprak urges his followers to combat, aggression, and frenzy; his own fears help fuel his anxiousness that they keep themselves busy. Vaprak's priests wear blood red plate mail and war helms. They must be ferocious and constantly on the look out for opportunities to fight. They must devour all they can, but remain physically fit. They often exercise by ritually bashing one another with clubs, which helps determine rank in their violent society. Vaprak's favored weapon is the greatclub. Vaprak is worshiped in the lairs and dens of ogres and trolls.
One curious rite practiced among the ogres of some tribes is the "Six Day Night," where ambitious tribesmen demonstrate their loyalty to Vaprak and their tribal leader by being placed in a dark cavern for six days with no food and only a small amount of water. If the initiate survives this ordeal, his status is greatly increased.

In Porandor
Vaprak is considered more of a nuisance than anything else by the orc pantheon, and worship of this deity is considerd suitable only for the mentally deficient. Cultists of The Destroyer are frequently troublemakers and drunks, though some make for useful berserkers. Along battle fronts,. acolytes of The Destroyer are used as shock troops and expendable war fodder, but are kept away from vital positions and supplies.


Demon Cults (Not available to PC's)
It may come as a surprise to many D&D players that orcs (ogres, trolls etc) do not normally worship demons, nor are they fans of the rituals that such cults take part in. (The orcs in the Lord of the Rings served Sauron and the Nazgul out of fear rather than choice.) Orcs are traditionally enslaved by demons and powerful magicians, and so they take a dim view of all such beings. Worship of Demons and Devils are strictly outlawed in the Porandor Empire as such beings have often enslaved orc and giant kind. Being found to be a cultist to one of these being results in execution, with cult leaders destroyed in a manner to ensure that they cannot be raised. Some cults in particular are problematic to the Empire, as follows:

Cult of Dagon: Dagon is the Obyrith lord of the sea. Worshiped by kraken, chuuls, sea hags, water nagas, and especially kuo-toa. The orc gods are greatly worried by the activity of this cult. His symbol is a Dagon's symbol is six spiraling tentacles arranged around a fanged mouth, and his favored weapon is the harpoon.

Cult of Kostchtchie: Kostchtchie (pronounced KOSH-chuh-chai) is the Demon Prince of Wrath and is so hateful and hideous that all other demons despise him. Frost Giants, Hill Giants, Ogres and Humans all worship this demon lord. Kostchtchie's cult are for the most part males, and certainly none of his thralls are women. Any women in his cults have marginal roles, as he is misogynistic in the extreme. Frost giant tribes under Kostchtchie's rule often increase their numbers not by reproduction but by raiding other tribes who are not worshipers of the demon lord. His symbol is a hammer rimmed in bloody ice.

Cult of Laogzed: Toad-like demon god of the Troglodyte race with sympathizers amongst the Kobolds. This deity is the child of Tharizdun, and the two cults often work together. Particularly hated by the Bahtru and his cult. Its symbol is an oozing toad-lizard, or a lizard's head. Laogzed's sacred animal is the toad.

Cult of Obox-Ob, Prince of Vermin: Obox-ob is worshiped mostly by evil vermin, and insectoid obyrith, but has a sizable but secret following amongst humanoid races. Even Lolth fears this Obyrith lord. His symbol is a scorpion dangling by its tail from a jawless human skull covered with twisted runes (the scorpion’s tail is threaded through the skull’s eye sockets).

Cult of Tharizdun: A vile and fearsome entity that was imprisoned ages ago by a coalition of deities (good and bad) to prevent the destruction of existence itself. His holy symbols are a dark spiral rune and a two-tiered inverted ziggurat known as an obex.
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I saw Eternity the other night,
Like a great ring of pure and endless light
-- Henry Vaughan