View Full Version : In need of a deity or higher power...

2008-05-18, 11:53 PM
I've recently decided that my current BBEG is going to end up being a puppet for a high-powered (but very exclusive) doom cult, but I'm not sure what kind of power (if anything) they should be serving. It's basically an alliance of various creatures from the Underdark, each a sort of renegade from its own people, who joined together and came up with this scheme to cast the world into darkness. It's going to include a Drow, a Mind Flayer, a Dark Stalker (from Fiend Folio), a Vampire, a Dread Wraith, and maaaybe a Beholder, each with a small-ish number of elite minions. There is a general darkness theme.

So, does anybody have suggestions on some creature or whatever that they maybe worship or follow? Any major or minor deities with a shadow/darkness motif that want to end the world? Vestiges? Powerful monsters? Whatever, although I'd kind of like to stay away from the Far Plane.

I'm using a completely generic D&D setting, standard Great Wheel cosmology. I'm not opposed to using setting specific material as long as I can change the fluff or the name and have it still make sense. I have access to most books, if that helps.

Also, any suggestions for a name for this group would be greatly welcomed.

2008-05-19, 12:20 AM
Well, Forgotten Realms's Shar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shar_%28goddess%29), the Lady of Loss, might be similar to what you're looking for.

She's one of the primordial deities in that cosmology, formed as a negative side to all that is good and positive. She's fond of darkness, and her dogma is one of nihilism and despair. She slew the god of caverns in the past and took his portfolio, so now she rules over caverns as well. Her followers specialize in using shadow magic, and she also has a sect of monks (the Dark Moon) devoted to her. You can probably develop your own deity based on her to fit your cosmology.

2008-05-19, 12:30 AM
Not exactly sure if this will help, but Lords Of Madness has some deities for underdark creatures.

2008-05-19, 12:44 AM
I'm currently in love with Elder Evils myself,


Atropus is about as undead as it gets.

2008-05-19, 12:44 AM
Sounds like you're in need of Tharizdun (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tharizdun). According to his entry on Wikipedia, "Tharizdun's doctrine is to destroy all and everything encountered (himself included)." His portfolio includes Eternal Darkness, Decay, Entropy, Malign Knowledge, Insanity, and Cold, and his Domains are Destruction, Evil, and Knowledge.

He's currently trapped in a demiplane where the other gods imprisoned him, but your cult could be attempting to free him and thereby end the world. Most of his worshipers are insane, so "Mad Cultist" should be an easy-to-make minion.

As an added benefit, too, this could be a sideways introduction in to the "Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil" module, which is pretty great (but hard to find). Depending on party level, though, I guess you might have to modify it a bit.

EDIT: Drammel is right, too. Elder Evils has some really good stuff for various CRs, and you may be able to find something good there. As a bonus, I believe they're actually going to do 4E update for that whole book, so if you want to switch over, you'll be all set.

2008-05-19, 01:09 AM
The worst possible deity: A non existing one.

The cultists are followers of a false concept, sure that they will be rewarded after casting the world into darkness (whatever that means).
It's the worst possible option since there is nothing to fight, nothing that can be killed and practically nothing that can convince the followers not to act.

2008-05-19, 02:36 AM
Wow, great suggestions! Looks like I need to pick up Elder Evils to see what other great things it has.

While Shar and Tharizdun both have the darkness theme going strong, I really think Atropus might work even better for me. (Even though I hadn't planned on stressing the Undead quite that much, but that part could be cool/creepy, too.) I especially like how he's not imprisoned somewhere. Also, doing one that my (experienced) players maybe haven't heard of always helps. :smallwink:

Unfortunately, I now must resist the urge to do a homebrew of the Silver Surfer. :smallbiggrin:

So any ideas about a name for these guys?

Kol Korran
2008-05-19, 03:49 AM
so we had elder evils, FR, and happy tharizdun. i'll make a case for the Eberron's deities, namely the Dark Six:
the dark six are deities that were exiled/ thrown out of the main panthon (the soverign host). though the common faiths prohibits mentioning them or worshiping them, nearly everyone (including vassals of the host) worship them at least a little, giving token sacrifices, for they fear their influence.
the dark six domains and influences mostly touch the less civilized aspects of creation (The Devourer represents the destructive forces of nature- storms, earhtquakes, and so on. the Shadow represents uncontrolled and wild magic, as well as disobedience and disregard to laws. the fury represents wild emotions, madness, and passion. and so forth...)

my ideas:
1- take one god of these and make it an exile of another pantheon you have. it becoems tha patron of exiles as well as the patron of whatever forces it represents. each of the creatures has some incarnation of the deity in their own culture, and they come together realising it is the same one.
2- take some of the gods (or all of them), each is a god of a different race, but all are outcast. this cult then forms around the "thrown out, but will revenge" idea, uniting beliefs of different races.

for more info, just check Faiths of Eberron. the advantages of a small pantheon are the opportunity to show different aspects, and behaviours, and also have more rounded abilities, capabilities and strateges to challenge the players. the dark six can be easely enough changed to represent your own taste and flavour (the Shadow probably fits the theme of darkness best as is)

hope this helped,

2008-05-19, 06:17 PM
I don't have Faiths of Eberron (or much Eberron in general), so without more information I don't know if that would work for me or not. The three you mentioned sound interesting. I'm curious what the other three are.

I like the exiles aspect of it. Maybe I'll just combine a couple of these ideas and end up with something original.

Still no name ideas? How does The Black Scourge sound?

2008-05-19, 07:25 PM
Since you ask, the other three are the Mockery (god of treachery, deceit, and generally stabbing people in the back, originally the brother of a pair of more honorable gods of battle), the Keeper (god of death and greed, who hoards dead souls), and the Traveller (patron of shapeshifters and wanderers, rather distanced from the other gods; goals, desires, and dogma are pretty enigmatic). It's a rather neat pantheon.

Elder Evils has some fun ones; there was an entity of supernatural cold and dark, who would slowly extinguish the cold to plunge the world into eternal, frozen night, who could be very neat if redone a little. As-written, it involves inexplicably turning people into insect-beings, and the fact that it is, when you actually confront it, a giant bug demon is a little disappointing. I think it might have been associated with the Far Realm, but as long as you're reflavoring, it wouldn't be too hard to make it simply a remnant of the primordial darkness, which was here before the world was and resents light, heat, and this whole "life" dealy.

And Shar can be neat, although she probably won't be new to all your players.

As for a name, you could either go for a traditional cult-name (the Black Scourge works, or something a little more tied to your specific entity), or you could leave them completely unnamed. Anonymous threats can be spooky, and if your players come up with something to call them out of convenience, they're more likely to like the name.

2008-05-19, 09:28 PM
How about the Deity version of Solo, as linked to in my sig?

2008-05-19, 09:34 PM
Howabout the Patient One, from the Book of Vile Darkness?

I can tell you the details, if you don't have it.

Kol Korran
2008-05-20, 05:21 AM
too bad you don't have Eberron. as Snark said- the dark six are a neat pantheon. i suggested them because of the exiled aspect, and their savage aspect, which i thought would fit your theme.
some more general info on the six (and adaptations you could make):

the six were outcasted, each for their own reasons from the Soverign Host (good pantheon). however, each of them is quite happy, not pining to get back to the host. they consider it weak (the six generally represent the untamed world, while the host represent civilization).
each of the gods of the six works alone. it was actually the followers of the host that grouped them together. each of them has followers that worship them, without any special regard to the other gods. however, some cults have tried to untie several of the six under one religion (such as the three, or the four in the last war). adaptation: each of the races has their own powerfull outcast gods. the ofrces of good (and the general underdark pantheons) never worried about these, because they were weak by themsleves. the cult unites the ceremonies and beliefs, into one coherent force, getting increased powers and favours then with each god alone.
i'll sum up the gods a bit. The Devourer: god of natural disasters, and the devestation of nature. also the patron of cruelty, rape, pillagin and so on. an all consuming sort of fellow. amongst his followers are also many druids and barbarians.
The Fury: god of passion, madness, rage, and uncontrolled emotions. said to be the daughter of the Devourer (after he raped his sister godess from the host). she is also the patron of Lycnathropes, and many Barbarians, bards, and so on. her cpriests are usually quite impressive to behold.
The Shadow: the virtual shadow of the god of magic from the Host, and as such has great influence on the magical world. somewhat elusive, his followers usually prefers illusions, enchantment, alterations, but also outright devestating magics. commonly worshiped by wizards, sorcerers, warlocks and the like.
The Mockery: better known as the betrayer (betrayed his siblings in the host). a most cunning and resourcefull god, always fights dirty, always ensuring to fight on it's own terms. he is also the patron of pain and torture, having flayed himself and removed much of it's skin, supposedly to enjoy the pain and gain powers from it. followed by various martial classes and rougish ones. the best known are the Monks of the Flayed Hand, who flay and scar their skin like their lord. the monks have special techniques with the Kama.
The Kepper: said to hold and watch over the gates to the after life, the Keeper snatches souls to it's own hoard. no one knows why (though there are speculations). it is a patient god, greedy god, thieving god. the keeper holds some sway over the undead, who are considered to be ones who were unfortunate enough to be caught by it. the followers worship out of fear, hoping to appease it, and often go to great lengths to kill others, hoping their taken souls might mean their's will be spared.
The Traveler: a god who is all mystery, not even evil. (CN). god of mischief, trickery, pranksters, shapeshifters, but also creation, inginuity, and cleverness. the patron of changlings (an Eberron race) and dopplegangers, but also many others. it is the most detached from the rest, as Snark said. if you use it, use it for a sneaky race (svirfneblin?), and all it's influences should be very subtle, at first.
the followers of the gods you choose/ alter may come together to bring on the said darkness. eahc race/ clergy are specialized in a different field (according to the gods). this could bring greater depth to the cult, as well as mroe individual challanges (tackling a task force focused mroe on one of the gods). also, if the players do it right, they can creat a Schizm between the clergies, weakening the cult as a whole (the followers of the Traveler might be most prone to that)

hope this helped. but as to name, how about the simple "coming/ awaiting darkness?" not all that flashy, but has a sense of forboding, and goes well with the theme.
hope this helped,

2008-05-20, 06:31 AM
I would choose a Great Wyrm Black Dragon Lich (I know it should be humanoid blablabla, just houserule it) with the Evolved Undead template (applied a couple of times). Add some cleric or wizard class levels and you have yourself something sweet :biggrin:

2008-05-20, 06:56 PM
@Kol Korran: Thanks for the info.

@The_Snark: Hmm... I do kinda like the idea of them not having any name at all. It's more mysterious that way. :smallwink:

@Solo: You know how I always love hearing your comments, but I am not nearly cheesy, sarcastic, or awesome enough to pull that off!

So, it looks like I might try to use Atropus and combine it with some characteristics of the Devourer and the Shadow (for added flavor, mostly). I don't want to make it too complicated. Ideally, my players will stop this cult from ever getting the artifact they need, or else this could go into Epic levels. Which reminds me, is there an Epic Spell that can turn off the Sun? (And please don't say it would be easier to use Iron Heart Surge!)

I still need to check out Elder Evils. Is Exemplars of Evil any good?