View Full Version : Gnolls seeking a god and an undead...

2007-03-29, 12:08 AM

I am building my own campaign world, and have decided to model a portion of it after the South American rainforest, complete with a society of gnolls modeled loosely on the Aztecs. I am thinking of having them make continual sacrifices to appease an evil god, with an important effect- in this world, the sacrifices become undead that serve the high priests of the gnolls. What I need though, is an evil god for them to worship and a cool type of undead to become a sort of iconic undead for this civilization. I am looking for things that my players are unlikely to have encountered, so Erythnull is not really my first choice, and I'd prefer not to just fall back on some kind of zombie or skeleton. Can you guys think of some cool, Mezoamerican style gods or undead?

2007-03-29, 12:22 AM
Yeenoghu, the self-proclaimed "God of Gnolls" is also a patron of Ghouls, but I'm guessing you wanna throw canon for a loop here.

2007-03-29, 12:22 AM
How's this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Mesoamerican_deities) for starters? I'm working on something similar. 'Cept I have a whole continent. Ner :smalltongue:

2007-03-29, 12:27 AM
Can you guys think of some cool, Mesoamerican style gods or undead?Just make like Huizopochtli: the imperialist, militaristic sun god. Evil, Sun, War, maybe another, I'm not sure.

As for the undead, how about forsaken shells? Sneaky enough to auto-qualify for Lurking Terror, all-terrain, able to spawn, and strong enough that no gnoll would ever dare attack them. (Their ability to spawn lends itself to a sacrifice mechanism: hamstring the sacrifice, sic the forsaken shells on them, and then burn the skinless corpse. Or something.)

Just some ideas.

Variable Arcana
2007-03-29, 12:37 AM
The obvious choice is Quetzalcoatl. The Couatl (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/couatl.htm) is based on his representation -- no reason a winged serpent couldn't be evil.

Pick a few domains: Law, Evil, Death, and Undeath (from Libris Mortis) perhaps?

Picking a cool undead that your players have never heard of... easy: make it up. That, or grab Libris Mortis and pick one you like.

If it doesn't need to be totally unique, mummified gnolls would work. If you want unique, and go with Quetzalcouatl, you might take the Dark Naga, slap on the undead template and describe it as a flying skeletal snake creature...

Meat Shield
2007-03-29, 01:55 PM
What about Anubis? Take Anubis out of an 1st editions Deities and Demigods and rename him into something Aztec. He was the god of undeath in Egypt, and he already looks like a gnoll with the hyena head and all....

2007-03-29, 02:04 PM
The obvious choice is Quetzalcoatl. The Couatl (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/couatl.htm) is based on his representation -- no reason a winged serpent couldn't be evil.
Not really. Quetzalcoatl was always benign. Who you really want is his darker counterpart, Tezcatlipoca (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tezcatlipoca).

If you can get access to Dragon, the past two issues (#353 and #354) have had articles on the Aztec gods - and shall have more in the next several issues. #353 has information on Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca.

2007-03-29, 02:08 PM
Thanks, I'll look into getting a back-issue of Dragon for the stuff about Tezcatlipoca. I'm actually planning to have a resistance movement being led by the coatls themselves, so that works great.

As for the undead, where do I find this forsaken shell? He sounds pretty cool.

2007-03-29, 03:11 PM
My apologies. You want Dragon #352, not 353. I seem to have not received 353, so I miscounted the issues. Dragon #352 has Quetzacoutl and Tezcatlipoca. Dragon #353 has no information on the Aztec Mythos.

2007-03-29, 05:49 PM
Are you willing to deal with the Aztec gods presented in older editions of D&D, and do the update work yourself? Or do you specifically want 3.5 edition Dieties?

2007-03-29, 09:04 PM
Well, I doubt anybody's going to actually be encountering the god itself, so all I really need is a name, a holy symbol to emblazon on temples, maybe some domains for enemy clerics. I'm willing to do some conversion work if there's a cool 1st or 2nd edition deity. Also I think I've found a reasonably cool/creepy undead in one of the Monster Manual supplements, it says it's created by an evil goblin deity but that's fluff that's easy enough to adapt.

2007-03-29, 10:21 PM
As for the undead, where do I find this forsaken shell? He sounds pretty cool.Libris Mortis, can't remember the page.

2007-03-30, 08:31 AM
Okay, out of the 1st Edition's Deities and Demigods book:

Mictlantecuhtli: God of Death, Greater God. Lawful Evil, usually appears in Lich form. No undead can resist his commands. The god *demands* regular sacrifices during the dark of the moon, and these sacrifices must be from the ranks of his worshipers. Symbol: Itzcuintli (which is apparantly a dog totem). Anything that touches him dies. Oh, and he carries a red jade rod that acts like a hammer of thunderbolts. Interesting detail.

Other gods that might work as part of an Aztec-type Gnoll 'pantheon':

Tlazolteotl: Goddess of Vice, Lesser Goddess. Chaotic Evil, usually appears as a beautiful woman, but under stress reverts to a slavering monster. Heavy use of charms and enchantments. Symbol: Ocelotl (an ocelot totem, Aztec-style gods are heavy into animal totems it seems).

Camazotz, lesser bat god. It's a giant bat, big surprise.
Huhueteotl, greater fire god. Looks like a lizardfolk on fire.
Tezcatlipoca, greater sun/moon god. Big jaguar. In the Aztec mythos, this is the god that leads all the evil gods in an effort to overthrow Quetzalcoatl. You could always have it that he *won* in your campaign.
Tlaloc, greater rain god. Giant snake-guy, but for some reason his symbol is a Mazatl (deer totem). Very confusing.

These are all out of the 1st Edition book, so no domain information, sorry.

Meat Shield
2007-03-30, 08:35 AM
Man, I love that old first edition Deities and Demigods. That has founded so much of my gaming since then, to the point that I don't think I have EVER played a cleric of an 'official' Realms deity - all were priests of someone from that book.

2007-03-30, 09:41 AM
For the record, the Aztec information in Dragon is only a page long. Just go with the wiki entry for fluff. As far as domains go, they gave Tezcatlipoca Chaos, Evil, Knowledge, Magic and Trickery. He's not an outright confrontational god. Tlaloc (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tlaloc) might be another good choice. He's also evil, but controls the rain, making him powerful and the sacrifices he demands necessary.

2007-03-30, 10:53 AM
Might not be strictly speaking what you were after, but how about this for an idea...

There is a large chamber inside one of the stereotypical-aztec-ziggurat-type-structure whcih is lined with some kind of material that exudes vast amounts of negative energy (the chamber is supposed to have been created by the dark and evil god, or somesuch). The sacrifices are made by taking the victim to the top of this chamber and throwing them in. The process of having all your life energy drained out of you (probably with one or more broken bones too) is predictably painful and the screams of "The Chosen" that echo from the chamber are supposed to be the victims' soul making its way to [insert name of dark and evil god here], to be devoured (or whatever he does with them). NB- This method of sacrifice takes a rather long time...not particularly pleasant. When the victim is dead, its body is reduced to ash and bones. At every full moon, [evil deities sacred number] creatures arise from this detritus to serve the priesthood. Created from the twisted souls taken by [evil deity] and the mixed remains of the sacrifices, these creatures are blessed with a viscious cunning and supernatural speed and are considered to be the souls of "the Chosen" that have pleased [evil deity] and sent back to do his bidding.

1) The undead creatures are Tomb Motes
2) The method of sacrifice is clearly audible and will inspire dread into any foolish adventurers in the vicinity.
3) The method of sacrifice is potentially survivable (by flying/climbing out of the chamber, being rescued while the priesthood has its back turned, etc.), making for hero invovlement in this particular religious practice.
4) Given that undead do not die unless destroyed, the number of whatever creature it is, is going to be high if every sacrifice is made into an undead. Making it a set, low number risen at a given time of the month will limit the number of them, whilst still being able to be a high number (no tribal wars recently, that sort of thing).
5) Tomb Motes, while not being the weakest undead around, are not all that powerful. If you were to have lots of Entropic Reapers or Vampires, unless the game is Epic based, the PC's may well die rather quickly. Also, Tomb Motes are a good 'swarm' monster (i.e. you can legitimately have lots of them in one encounter), given that they are 'Tiny'.
6) If you wanted a big-bad-sub-boss, you could have [Evil deity] raise a giant Tomb Mote or something similar (which you would admittedly have to stat yourself) from the remains in the chamber when the Heroes threaten his temple.

Anyway, that's my idea for you...hope you like it.

2007-03-30, 11:00 AM
The Demon Lord of Gnolls (Yesh...Yess...whatever) is perfect. While he is not a deity himself, there is no problem with cleric believing he is a god while actually receiving powers from the concepts he embodies (core rules about demon lords). He even has the King of Ghouls (not Orcus) as a vassal. Fiendish Codex has a bit about him. If you aren't going to use him, then there is no real reason why the culture has to be gnolls.

2007-03-31, 12:21 AM
Hey guys!

Okay, I'm using a slightly modified version of Tezcatlipoca, and I might throw in some of the rest of the "pantheon" that Fhaolan reported. I think I've found an undead that works too. Thanks for your help and suggestions.