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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Teaching new tricks to old gods

    Edited shiny new op:
    In this thread I will talk about reimagining old school DnD deities. I'm sure it's been done repeatedly before, possibly even here, so I'm gonna do my own too. It's about the fluffy side of things, mechanics are variable by edition and don't really matter. Over time, it basically evolved into a sort of homebrewed DnD cosmology made by yours truly and contains a large number of reskinned DnD deity writeups with hints of a planescapey multiverse going on in the back. I recommend you don't skip any of them because they have a tendency to build up on one another to form a kind of jenga tower.

    So here's number one:


    SHAR (supreme goddess), the Allmother, Ruinous Overmother, Embracing Oblivion, the Naught That Was, Fount of Despair, Queen of Bitter Tears, the Maw of Nothing, Yawning Void
    Domains: oblivion, creation, fertility, forgetfulness, despair, desperation, insanity

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    Shar was the first. She existed for an unfathomable period in the time before time with absolutely nothing else; if the Naught That Was before time or space came to be had a name, it would’ve been Shar. And she was content. But then the idea of "herself" occured to her, along with the name Shar. She'd become aware. But this awareness of self implied the possibility of "something that was not self". As soon as Shar thought that, it spontaneously started to exist. Which was happening inside Shar on account of there being nothing else for it to exist in.

    This other being bothered Shar immensely, she didn't want something else tainting her newfound self. So she strained, exerted, pushed and labored until she finally expelled the impurity from inside herself, along with space and time so this other thing could be outside of Shar. Thus the universe was given birth after Shar had impregnated herself with the idea of self and then expelled her twin from her insides. Overmother Selune came to be along with the universe and she immediately became fond of it.

    Shar, however, hated it. She was omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient, accustomed to being the only thing after an infinite period of solitude. The existence of anything, even empty space without motes of dust in it, even the unnoticeable passage of time, was like a maddening cacophony to Shar's infinitely acute and infinitely many senses. She started thinking about how to erase the universe along with Selune. Luminous Overmother, who was also omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient, immediately heard Shar's thoughts. So they fought.

    Overmothers’ unimaginable fury soon coalesced into the Elder Elemental Evil, which would later be called Tharizdun. The First Son was made of pure malevolence and almost comparable in power to his mothers, he promptly attacked them both. Their three way battle lasted an unknown amount of time and Tharizdun was losing, if ever so slowly. So he solidified his divine power, creating the first elements (and by extension everything material). He had constrained himself to a smaller part of the infinite space that was the universe but his essence was much denser now, Tharizdun’s divine power per unit volume exceeded Overmothers’ divine power per unit volume inside Elemental Chaos. While this made him indestructable even to Overmothers, it allowed them to trap him inside his own solidified power and then amputate that part of universe and divide it up, creating five other universes that came to be known as Elemental Planes and the Elemental Chaos. Tharizdun himself had been stopped but now a multiverse existed, which was even more offensive to Shar, and the two twins immediately went back to fighting.

    But now they were being cautious. They didn’t want to create another Tharizdun, so Overmothers never attacked with their full strength ever again. But even while pulling her punches, Shar had infinite fertility. Their fighting spawned a number of very powerful beings (who’d all become greater gods leading pantheons of their lessers in the future). Shar impregnated herself with her own anger, giving birth to new and terrible universes that would later become the lower planes. Her attempts to trap Selune as they had done to Tharizdun created even more universes, her omniscience telling her these would become the upper planes after order was brought to multiverse. Even sundering time to break the chains of paradox her omniscience created (which guaranteed her inability to win) only caused the creation of fate, trapping Shar and the entire multiverse inside a mobile infinitesimal speck of time that moves only forward called the present, preventing her from moving back and forth along time to influence things as she wished. The harder Shar fought, the more things started to exist. The more things that existed, the madder she got.

    At some point, even the Allmother’s divine mind snapped. She fell to insanity, gave up fighting and curled into a cosmically sobbing ball of despair. Selune took pity on her mothersister and tried to console her, which was the last straw. Shar turned her omnipotence against herself and became the mother of all explosions (she can’t help but be mother of things), a wild and uncontrollable tide of oblivion exploding forth from her form. In an effort to prevent this from destroying most of the multiverse, Selune metaphorically threw herself on the grenade. This halted Shar's power from expanding and consuming most things, ironically creating another couple of planes beyond all the others (Positive and Negative Energy Planes). Shar has never regained control over most of her own self again but is still in there, trapped inside her own ruinous power held in stasis by Selune's light (who needs to devote almost all of her own self to protect the planes from the Maw of Nothing). Shar is still omniscient, knowing every event that happens, sensing everything that can be sensed about everything, hearing every single thought and feeling from all beings everywhere, remembering absolutely everything that’s gone down since day one. She’s been consumed by an incomprehensible fury and madness and desires everything to cease to be.

    Today, the greatly reduced Shar is said to dwell somewhere in Negative Energy Plane and is the reason nobody with the slightest bit of self preservation instinct goes there (actually she’s the whole plane but even most gods aren't aware of it). While she’s either completely unknown or just an obscure myth for most beings of the planes, even knowing that Shar really exists is dangerous, for even a simple thought about her is enough to weaken the protection Selune constantly provides to every being in the multiverse and opens one up to the Allmother’s malevolent influence when in Negative. Calling to her in Negative or trying to deliberately draw her attention by worship outside can result in a horrifying dreamvision and forced conversion to a nihilistic and self destructive mentality, followed by induction into her church. It’s possible to find some beings willing to do this because Shar offers something pretty unique, namely an end. It’s incredibly hard to completely annihilate a soul in the multiverse due to Luminous Overmother’s influence, the very few beings who’re able to do so are usually unwilling to destroy a mortal fully, even death or undeath are simply different states of existence. And there’s always some souls who’ve seen too much and would rather not exist at all than continue on with whatever is in their past. To such sinners, repentants, sufferers, nutjobs and fiends, Shar offers several things, either removal of all their painful memories, a chance at revenge for all who wronged them or the merciful embrace of oblivion.

    But she's very demanding, unless the worshipper serves loyally and does everything in their power to further her cause, they're gonna be stuck in this existence with all those horrible things that happened. She's not a mere goddess of destruction or death either, the mere acts of killing or destroying doesn't sate her. She demands acts of erasure and despair. Destruction of records and memorials so the past is lost, wholesale destruction so nothing will be left to indicate anything was ever there, genocidal slaughters so nobody will be left alive to even remember the victims, inflicting terrible pain before and after death so souls will be broken enough to beg Shar for oblivion (the easiest way for Shar to bypass Selune’s protection), acts of unspeakable evil to drive victims to despair and desperation. Shar worshippers are almost always beings who figure they're already sunk as low as possible, that things can't possibly be any worse and there's no way to go but up (this is actually true in case of some fiendish outsiders). But nobody gets to become a Shar worshipper without her twisting their mind first. Such beings think nothing of committing the atrocities Shar demands, for it doesn’t matter and they won’t remember their sins once they’re rewarded.

    There is a shred of mercy Shar shows to those who're truly suffering in powerlessness with no hope at all. She gives oblivion to those sorts of beings if they beg for it without forcing them into her service, seeing how they couldn't possibly be of use to her anyway. Anyone can pray to Shar for an end and if they'd be completely useless to Shar in any worldly capacity, Shar will instantly kill them and annihilate their soul. This can happen anywhere in the multiverse and is called Allmother's Embrace.

    The “worship” of Shar has another, entirely different aspect. All sorts of fertility rituals and prayers for inspiration and creativity invoking her name always succeed, thanks to Shar's uncontrolled omnifertility. Since Shar usually takes this sort of thing as a challenge, terrible stuff is likely to happen to people who do that. Some of the most famous and touching works of art, especially tragedies, were penned by desperate artists who soon became protagonists of stories worthy of Poe, King or even Lovecraft. The farmer with the starving family desperate enough to invoke Shar’s name for bountiful harvests whose fields grew fabulously fertile and attracted ogre marauders who forced him to eat his own slaughtered family is another famous myth that is (in all likelyhood) true. Invoking Shar never ends well.



    So that's a Shar. It keeps most of her natural Sharness in a refreshed format, I think. There's a lot more where she came from, as you can see below.
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Teaching new tricks to old gods

    After such an overwhelming response, I have no course but to continue on.


    WAUKEEN (lesser goddess), Friendly Merchant, Queen of Coin, Lady In Gold
    Domains: wealth, trade, business, favor, debt

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    The being who'll come to be known as the Goddess of Trade was born under Moradin's hammer. She was supposed to be another spirit of forging and crafting, but Moradin had just finished making some jewellery and some gold dust made its way into Waukeen's essence. As a result, she was a lot more interested in wealth itself than its production.

    It didn't take long before Waukeen had become Moradin's chief treasurer and negotiator. Waukeen was a charming and keen trader and had an eye for value. She worked tirelessly and passionately, not just getting the most out of all who came to God of Crafts, but also going out into the multiverse to actively trade with other gods and powerful beings and advertising the superiority of things crafted by Moradin. As a result, Moradin became far more rich than he used to be. However at some point, Waukeen realized that Moradin didn't really care about wealth and was just indulging her. Far as he cared, he could create anything he could possibly want and wealth was unnecessary. Thus disillusioned with her boss, Waukeen resolved to become her own being.

    So she asked for a cut of profits. Which was unheard of, none of the spirits in Moradin's realm would dream of wanting payment, the work was its own reward for most. Moradin obviously refused but Waukeen kept pushing. She was persistent and Moradin had to spend a lot of time refuting her arguments. He finally gave up on the grounds that in the time he wasted arguing with Waukeen, he could've made stuff worth more than the wage she was asking for. After that, Waukeen worked even harder, making deals and getting contacts all over the place, amassing a large wealth for her own self. This made Moradin the richest god too, which he liked.

    Once she had enough money, Waukeen went to Moradin again and offered to buy herself. Moradin was quite shocked to hear Waukeen wanted to be free of his service, he hemmed and hawed but knew a lost cause when he saw one. Waukeen left Moradin's realm without a dime to her name but that didn't matter at all. Because she'd met most powerful and influential beings in the multiverse as Moradin's envoy and most of gods of good and law liked her. She was now a free spirit and worked only for herself.

    Through charm and wit (and debts with punitive interest from devils), she moved to Sigil, center of everything, and used her divine contacts to create a large trade consortium spread over many planes and worlds. She was still just a planar then so Lady of Pain didn't throw her out. Many beings hungry for wealth flocked to her, from mortals to fey, elementals to devils, and she made them all rich through various methods. And made sure they remembered they owed her. After gaining enough wealth and influence, she went on a grand multiverse spanning quest for godhood. She visited many divine realms and met (also bribed) knowledgeable individuals, bought or traded for a staggering number of divine and arcane items and called in many favors she was owed from influential figures. She then went to Abyss.

    Demon Prince Graz'zt is always hungry for more power and wealth. Knowing him, Waukeen was certain he'd capture her and try to take over her business if she went anywhere near his reach. So she did. When Graz'zt had Waukeen brought before him, she was prepared. Graz'zt couldn't harm her due to all the stuff she'd brought along and had to settle for imprisonment, at least until her protections ran out. What happened next is unclear and whispers abound about dark dealings with Demogorgon or Asmodeus or any number of evil powers who'd benefit from Graz'zt's misfortune. But it was actually Sune (a good greater goddess of beauty and lust who seriously hated Graz'zt) who'd provided Waukeen the tools she was going to use to usurp and purify a part of Graz'zt power. Waukeen absorbed a good part of Graz'zt essence, ascending to demigoddess status and breaking free of Abyss.

    Now she was divine and couldn't enter Sigil, but it was all right. She moved her business out and transformed it into a church and rapidly gained masses of followers on many worlds, becoming the fastest climber to lesser godhood.

    Today, Waukeen's church is one of the most influental in multiverse despite its small size and strictly urban focus. This mostly comes from immense wealth, ironclad trade contracts and most importantly, all the trading of favors with many powerful beings. In fact, it doubles as multiverse's biggest bank and employs some of the most powerful enforcers wealth and nepotism can buy. While Waukeen understands power of both written contract and informal arrangement, she knows there are chaotic and evil beings everywhere who'd take advantage of her and her followers without strict rules and the might needed to enforce them. She demands informal, trust dependent deals be reserved for those who's proven their trustworthiness and reliability.

    Waukeen knows well the value of both regular trading and debts/favors. She advocates her followers to engage others in honest trade (whether in actual trade or personal relations) until they've judged them to be reliable and trustworthy, at which point generously doing favors to foster better relations (incidentally leaving them indebted) is the norm. Be generous but only to those who will pay you back might as well be the church's unofficial motto. She also teaches that wealth is to be used, not hoarded, so her followers are encouraged to invest whatever wealth they have into business ventures or if they don't personally have financial skills, lend their money (with reasonable interest) to people who will (such as clergy of Waukeen).

    OTOH, Waukeen has no mercy for those proven untrustworthy, unreliable, lazy or ungrateful (such as certain demon princes who had it coming). She urges gouging them for all they're worth because there's just no helping some people, so you might as well help yourself at that point. She doesn't approve of taxation either. Debt only happens if somebody has actively done something for you, rulers and governing bodies have no right to sit around lazily doing nothing and then demand regular payment.

    Waukeen's churches are always places of trade and her clergy is required to have good bartering and appraising skills. Personal wealth is seen as a mark of devotion and divine favor, so long as it's gained through trade and investment. Scamming and labor are considered a mark of shame for any priest of Waukeen and looting is frowned upon (unless it was from those who deserved it). Debt plays a prominent role in the faith, it must always be repaid with interest and forms the basic church hierarchy. Getting recruited into the clergy immediately puts one into debt to everyone else and promotions only happen if you tithe enough to clear your debts to everyone at your own level so you're on par with your previous superiors. The ultimate debt is to Waukeen herself and she'll collect your soul when the time comes, becoming a respected employee of multiverse's biggest bank and a comfortable living (with chance of promotion) is Waukeen's promised afterlife. You might even start getting a wage after a few centuries of service, once Waukeen has decided you've paid her for everything she did for you during your mortal life (those pointing out this is quite like taxation is likely to get smote).

    Waukeen has very good relations with most gods of good and law, but the standouts are her old boss Moradin and benefactor Sune. Both of their followers enjoy immense financial benefits when dealing with Waukeen church. Waukeen's followers also get a lot of love from Sune's clergy (inside and outside the bedrooms). Meanwhile, Moradin has a little bit of argument going nowadays about who's the richest. He still doesn't really care though, it's mostly his excuse to occasionally meet with his wayward child (he also knows that most of his own wealth is actually Waukeen's handiwork so it's clear who's really the richest). Waukeen's only real enemy is Graz'zt, who's got far too many other enemies to focus on her. She tries to get along even with gods of destruction, evil, chaos, thievery or greed (because you never know when they might have something of value in need of trading).

    Praying to Waukeen for success in business usually works if you're the reliable type in her estimate. She considers a bit of worship and tithing (after the success) enough payment for such prayers. Competition among merchants usually involves a bidding war for Waukeen's favor, but she never favors hoarders over enterpreneurs. She considers praying for luck (such as gambling or treasure hunting/looting) or dishonest ventures to be a blasphemy and makes her disfavor apparent by making prayer's money disappear in a visible cloud of dust. Despite her good and lawful leanings, Waukeen has nothing against smuggling, tax evasion, setting up and fiercely defending monopolies or indentured servitude bordering slavery (so long as it's not actual slavery). It's all good as long as you're helping people help you help them.



    And here's a Waukeen presiding over basically capitalism. It's pretty hard to make capitalism sound like a good thing and I dunno how well it worked here. But I like mine a lot more than "canon" version, who had to get saved from hell by some mortal schmucks (what kind of lameass deity needs help against a demon?). This is also mostly divorced from all the FR exclusive stuff like Time of Troubles, while keeping a bit of the ensuing story. I think it's still an improvement.

    By all means, keep the debates going. I'll probably post more at some point.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Teaching new tricks to old gods

    I like this version of Waukeen's backstory. Would fit well in 4E where gods like Moradin and Corellan are less tied to species - more "gods who happen to be the most popular gods of dwarves and elves" than "their patrons, creators, and those who made them in their own images".
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Teaching new tricks to old gods

    Next up, I have the solution to the glut of overlapping deities in DnD in the form of a familiar face.


    GRUUMSH (greater god), One Eyed God, the Watcher of Infinities, Lord of Lords, the Godfather, Sire of Gods, Monarch of the Bloody Fields, Thousand Faced King, Emperor on Iron Fortress
    Domains: competition, domination, determination, strength, fury, vengeance, vigilance, adaptability

    Spoiler
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    Gruumsh is one of the oldest gods who was born during the struggle of Twin Mothers. As such, he's one of the mightiest of all deities alongside his other primordial siblings (Corellon, Moradin, Tiamat, Pelor, possibly others). The greater deity siblings all hung out together at far reaches of the multiverse, waiting for Overmothers' battle to end. During this time, they all got to know each other pretty well and were all thoroughly sick of others by the end of it.

    Gruumsh developed a special loathing for Corellon, the God of Glory and Majesty, who he considered to be a self important douche. Corellon hated Gruumsh too, seeing him as little more than a dumb savage unfit to be their brother. And once the multiverse stabilized and Twin Goddesses ceased ravaging everything, Gruumsh and Corellon got into a fight of their own. For all their loathing of the other, they were equals and neither could ever win. And while they were busy, their siblings had gone on to create other gods and mortals to serve themselves and fill the planes. Upon realizing their battle left them both far behind their siblings, they grudgingly stopped because if both had one thing in common, it was a burning desire to never ever be shown up or surpassed. The draw didn’t stop Corellon from loudly proclaiming ever since that he won and put out Gruumsh’s one eye. Gruumsh was mighty but he wasn’t a prettyboy like Corellon, so most beings (except their original siblings who knew Gruumsh has always had one eye) believe the lie.

    To catch up to his other siblings on servants and believers front, Gruumsh decided to go for a creative, foolhardy and pointlessly macho method. He cut pieces of himself off and threw them to various corners of multiverse. In time, those pieces evolved and adapted, gaining a life of their own in entirely different ways, even appearing in pantheons of other greater deities. Thus a really large number of deities were created, most of whom never realized they were actually parts of Gruumsh and all their efforts were ultimately feeding him. These are always male deities venerated by humanoid species with portfolios of destruction, violence, anger, bravery, heroism, rulership, storms, revenge or testesterone. Very few gods who fit this mold is not a piece of Gruumsh. This is also why there’s so many different goddamn flavors of war god in DnD. One day, when he deems the total amount of power all these different gods gathered is enough, Gruumsh is going to drain them all dry and show his true face to the multiverse. And then it’ll be the time for reckoning, Corellon will then rue the day he popped into existence.

    (Meaning Talos, Bane, Tempus, Helm, Torm, Malar, Clanggedin, Kord, Hextor, Heironeous, St Cuthbert, Mars, Ares, Anhur, Thor, Maglubiyet, Kurtulmak... can all be parts of Gruumsh, depending on taste).

    While patiently waiting for his plan to come to fruition, Gruumsh has set up the stereotypical savage orcish god persona, based on the fact that Corellon is looking for any excuse to condescend on him. Corellon’s (and also his pompous believers’) misplaced self confidence will make Gruumsh ultimate victory even sweeter. In order to be able to rub it even more to Corellon’s face that day, Gruumsh has been constantly changing his appearance every time he’s manifested and also spawned the pathetic orc godlings, so he can justify the monikers that imply his true nature and have those be disregarded as a savage’s vanity.

    It rather bothers Gruumsh that far too many other, lesser deities are thinking themselves superior to him merely due to his appearance, but they’ll also bow before him after he demonstrates his superior prowess and cunning.

    Today, what any mortal and most deities know about Gruumsh is the savage god of orcs he wants everyone to see. While some gods of knowledge and secrets and similar say there’s more to Gruumsh than he lets on, it’s not like anyone can really believe a dumb savage like Gruumsh could possibly be some sort of supersecret mastermind.

    As for Gruumsh himself, he spends all his spare time drawing covertly on his splinters' knowledge and influence, trying to figure out what the hell Lady of Pain is and what she's up to (because he also hates not knowing things). He's no closer than when he started but he's happy, this surely beats watching orcs wage their petty wars all day as he waits for the day of reckoning.



    And now we’ve got a solution to the problem I never noticed how badly has been bothering me. This is a neat and elegant solution. Sure, it seems to cut down on number of options but not really, the options are all still there; this simply justifies the frankly stupid number of options there is for this particular thing. There's even a precedent for this in 4e. I just took it to its logical conclusion.
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    Default Re: Teaching new tricks to old gods

    Given Pelor's NG in most cosmologies - I presume he'll be the closest thing to a mediator between Corellon and Moradin?

    They may all be a little "sick of each other" but since the Good deities still tend to work together in a crisis, and generally don't actively sabotage one another even outside of one - someone needs to be the driving force behind that.
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    Default Re: Teaching new tricks to old gods

    I like Gruumsh's background! Makes a lot of sense really, and restores him to his proper place as Big Bad of the universe, rather than just one of many. Who are you thinking of reworking next?

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    Halfling in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Teaching new tricks to old gods

    I like that. Can I borrow it?

    Also

    Spoiler: Asmodeous, Archdevil
    Show

    Asmodeous did not kill a god to become ruler of hell. Asmodeous was always a god, and a good one. However, he is also very devious, and that is why he is an archdevil. By placing himself atop hell's hierarchy, killing a previous ruler, he keeps them to focused on displacing him to truly attack the material plane. And by stealing a fragment of the Abyss, he similarly has distracted the demons. But one cannot sit on the throne of the Nine Hells without making a show of evil, and one cannot hold part of the Abyss without being corrupted. Though Asmodeous tries to fight it, he is slowly falling into evil.


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    Default Re: Teaching new tricks to old gods

    And now for something completely different.


    BLIPDOOLPOOLP (demigoddess), [various bubbly noises all roughly translating as Sea Mother]
    Domains: insanity, chaos, vanity, sea

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    One of the many, many, many aquatic horrors brought kicking and screaming into existance by Tiamat, the frogmonster race of kuo-toa also had a compulsive need to worship a deity, just like all the other watery abominations made by Tiamat. Which caused them a big crisis when they were inevitably abandoned by their maker for her next project, just like all the others. Kuo-toa had a spark of divine power in their collective subconscious waiting to become a racial deity, again just like all other underwater horrors of Tiamat’s making. Unfortunately, they had an actual biological flaw in their design that caused every single kuo-toa to be incurably insane. Thus, they could never collectively decide on what an idealized examplar of their race would be like and failed to spawn their deity like all the other nautical abominations had.

    Kuo-toa sent emissaries, begging other abominational godspawn of Tiamat to be allowed into their worship, offering their whole race as willing slaves and pawns and snacks. They were turned away. Even Dagon, Demon Prince of the Depths didn’t want such pathetic, driveless creatures in his employ. Kuo-toa artists and philosophers spent centuries lamenting their parental abandonment issues and composing long, croaky, epic poems about their abominational angst (that no other being could understand due to insanity on authors’ part). They suffered with their moral crisis on the inside and suffered attacks by all the other aquatic abomination races of Elemental Plane of Water on the outside. Tiamat’s last gift to them was there, they all could feel it bubbling right under their collective minds, but there was no outlet for it.

    Their luck finally changed when one kuo-toa poet (who’d swum to a remote place to properly suffer alone) found a mutilated humanoid woman’s corpse floating in waters. This was the first time any kuo-toa beheld a creature that wasn’t one of Tiamat’s submarine horrors and it’s unknown how the corpse came to be in the depths of Elemental Plane of Water in that condition. In grip of whatever insanity he had going on, he decided that this body must be close to the ideal towards which all kuo-toa should aspire to. The corpse was naked and missing her head and hands. Realizing that kuo-toa people couldn’t actually chop off their heads to get closer to this ideal form, he recognized that it needed a head. Luckily there was a large lobster loitering nearby, it was near the size of the corpse and divine inspiration struck the kuo-toa poet/prophet. He chopped its head and stuck it onto the corpse, then chopped off the claws and rammed those into arm stumps as well, figuring a kuo-toa needs some natural weapons in such a dangerous environment. The end result was clearly the best possible way a kuo-toa could exist and anyone could see that.

    He towed the corpse toward nearest kuo-toa settlement and propped it right in the center, proclaiming that he’d found their god. He got killed for his trouble but the humanoid corpse was left propped up, forgotten and abandoned. Some time later, another kuo-toa, in grip of madness, proclaimed she’d heard the weird propped up creature speak when nobody was near. This one was more lucky since no kuo-toa nearby was currently in a murderous insanity, so the news of amazing weird creature who speaks when nobody is near started to spread. In other settlements, kuo-toa who hadn’t even seen it started talking about it. Soon, the permanently insane collective subconscious of kuo-toa race started to believe in the existence of a giant, scaleless pale creature with lobster head and claws. When the settlement where the original propped up corpse was still sitting got raided and destroyed by sahuagin and news of a sahuagin raider eating the corpse spread, it triggered a strange fury and religious fervor in kuo-toa. They organized on a never before seen massive scale and retaliated on the sahuagin, capturing and executing a large number of them. For the first time, kuo-toa were the ones doing the oppressing and it was clearly thanks to the amazing weird creature, which was dubbed Blipdoolpoolp.

    Thus, the mad goddess of the mad kuo-toa race popped into existence. She considers herself the perfect kuo-toa specimen with the perfect and flawless body, despite not looking anything like an actual kuo-toa. She explains kuo-toa superiority over all other races and teaches it’s their racial duty to bring the same perfection to all beings. This causes kuo-toa much confusion as they don’t know how they could bring other abominations closer to the perfect body shape (especially more divergent ones like beholders or aboleths), but they keep taking captives and chopping off and sewing on bits in an effort to manage it even to this day.

    Later on, kuo-toa managed to get out of Elemental Plane of Water and met actual humanoids. This didn’t go well. They see every airbreathing humanoid as horrifying abominations, a twisted mockery of the perfect form, so close to perfection but still not there. They think airbreathers are suffering a terrible curse by cruel gods and they feel a deep compulsion to fix them. Trying to explain otherwise triggers an immediate homicidal rage in all kuo-toa and nobody has ever managed to get through any kuo-toa’s insanity and make them understand that humanoids are ok. Therefore, the ugly frogmonsters are known to all races outside Elemental Plane of Water as horrifying savage abominations with an insatiable lust for kidnapping, ritual murder and corpse desecration. Whereas what kuo-toa believe chopping off hands and heads (and other bits for males) and sticking lobster parts in the stumps before propping up the result on a stake near the settlements they were taken from for their friends and families to see, is repairing the damage on the unfortunate cursed airbreathers and restoring them to their pure and perfect forms. They never quite get why this doesn’t earn them much gratitude, but working thanklessly to help their lessers is all part of being the better race.



    This deranged post is brought to you by whatever Gygax was smoking when he came up with Blipdoolpoolp.
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    Default Re: Teaching new tricks to old gods

    For hardmode, I wanted to take a stab at the lamest, uncoolest, boringest and unoriginalest DnD deity I can think of.


    SILVANUS (greater god), Oak Father, Lord of the Green, Wilder In Forests, Crowned of Leaves, Moss Covered Old Stone, Deadbeat Grandfather
    Domains: nature, forest, animal, earth, fey

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    Silvanus is one of the second generation of greater gods, created by the firsts and lacking their makers’ power of universal creation. He was one of the three siblings Pelor crafted out of elements to tame them for his grand project called mortals. Made of earth and brought to life by Pelor’s will, Silvanus was told to bring astronomical masses of it from Elemental Plane of Earth into the then empty Material Plane. He did so, often leaving them in shapes that caught his fancy and created many worlds. Flat worlds, sphere worlds, cone worlds, cube worlds, pyramidal worlds, torus worlds, hollow worlds, corkscrew worlds... He left countless masses of earth clusters floating in emptiness of Material Plane, ready to be used for whatever purpose Pelor had for them.

    However Pelor was a boring stick in the mud and didn’t like Silvanus’ fanciful shapes. He broke them and made them all spheres instead, which really upset Silvanus. He swore to never answer Pelor again. Disgruntled Silvanus left Material and went to Ethereal Plane where he could indulge his fancies without boring rubes messing it up. For a time he was content, taking matter from all elemental planes and shaping it into massive structures floating in Ethereal, making his own little arts and crafts gallery. But one day he checked what was going on in Material, remembering about Pelor’s grand project. What he saw was hauntingly beautiful. Pelor had fashioned the spherical earth clumps into planets full of life, covered in green and blue and red and yellow, riddled with countless tiny (tiny to Silvanus that is) creatures. These tiny creatures were fascinating, they had a strange balance where some ate others then got eaten themselves, countless of them dying to give life to countless others. It was all so much better than Silvanus’ shaped matter clumps.

    Silvanus had fallen in love. He decided he needed to have some of that stuff. So he went and caught many mindless spirits of elemental planes and reshaped them (again into many different and strange shapes that took his fancy), making them sentient. Thus the fey was born of primal elementals. However the fey were still elemental sprits and therefore immortal, they had no need of the intricate balance and fascinating life cycle Silvanus saw on Material Plane’s worlds. He tried to show it to them anyway, make them take a stab at it. Some fey liked the hunting and killing part. Other fey liked the part about building nests and warrens. None of the fey liked all of nature like Silvanus did. It was clear he wasn’t going to get what he wanted out of the fey, so left them to mimic the life on Material Plane as they saw fit and travelled back to Material.

    Silvanus’ other siblings, who’d gotten in on the ground floor and stuck with Pelor, were now reigning over the worlds and their inhabitants. Poor Umberlee had dominion over seas and oceans but all the time she spent near Mother of All Abominations in Plane of Elemental Water had twisted her mind and transformed her into a fickle and destructive goddess of chaos. Airheaded Olidammara however, seemed to have gone mad on his own with no outside help and was advocating active destruction of natural wonders and exploitation of all that was beautiful for the crude machinations and petty pleasures of civilization. Pelor himself was at the top, entrenched in Elemental Plane of Fire while keeping his fiery eyes on every world filled with life, worshipped and served by throngs of various beings, growing ever stronger and more secure. Silvanus tried in vain to reason with Umberlee and Olidammara, to make them see the beauty of the natural and dissuade them from the insane paths of destruction they’d chosen. They laughed at him. He tried to get a foothold on their worlds and gain some worshippers. Very few mortals were attracted to Silvanus’ tenets of natural beauty and denouncement of civilization and those were opposed and commonly stopped by other mortals, usually at behest of Olidammara and rarely Umberlee. Still stubborn, Silvanus wasn’t going to talk to Pelor (who’d probably pity him and order his siblings to play nice). Mortal belief was the key to everything, Pelor had definitely been right about that, but most mortals were clearly too short sighted (and short lived) to see the wisdom of Silvanus. He had to become more appealing to them, something had to change.

    Today, the church of Mother Earth Chauntea is one of the most populous and disorganized in the multiverse. Her dominion over agriculture, animal husbandry, fertility and family makes Chauntea the primary deity to farmers and villagers on most mortal worlds. She gets respect from everyone else who’s not a farmer but like to eat as well. So virtually all mortals living on Material Plane reveres Chauntea to some degree, even Pelor’s worship has fallen behind due to its cosmic focus on things that average mortal doesn’t really care about (much to his chagrin). Consequentially, Chauntea has become the mightiest being outside the primordial greater deities.

    Meanwhile, the still unchanged church of Silvanus is tiny, its teachings followed by very few radical druid cults on a handful of worlds. Chauntea and her followers magnanimously say her brash brother does have a point about preserving nature and the natural, which is why any worship of Silvanus is still being allowed to continue. While nobody has seen them both in the same room, it’s generally assumed that Silvanus is ashamed of being overshadowed so hard by his twin and never meets her. Silvanus himself is very happy with today’s multiverse, especially with his crushing victory over Olidammara and having thrown dirt into Pelor’s fiery eyes.

    Regular Chauntea worship is basically everywhere but it’s not hierarchical and almost always limited to working classes. Age (which presumably means wisdom) is respected and senior clerics are shown more respect but every cleric of Chauntea is considered equal to all others. Each cleric advises their flock by the basic tenets of Chauntea according to their personal interpretations. Since it’s unlikely that worshippers of Chauntea will be in positions of great power and authority, the simple tenets of the humble farmstead and traditional family values stuff is enough for all their needs. Chauntea’s worshippers are predominantly peaceful but they know protection against wild animals and raiders are always needed, so they do have some martial traditions (and sometimes they ask for help from good natured clergies of battle and protection) but it’s never a focus.

    Meanwhile, fey creatures of Ethereal Plane who’s cobbled together the massive demiplane of Feywild from Silvanus’ leftovers have conflicting feelings about Deadbeat Grandpa. Some hate him, some worship him, some think he’s silly. Silvanus does answer the odd prayer from Feywild, but otherwise still thinks they're boring and leaves them be.

    Chauntea is well liked by gods of good and feared by the rest, though she insists she’s never given anybody a reason to fear her. Which usually works on mortals but not gods, everyone in the multiverse knows Silvanus is a wild and whimsical god likely to cause massive death and destruction for a bunch of flowers and there’s no telling when his so much stronger twin might feel compelled to help him in an emergency. While Olidammara is well known for his enmity for both and keeps insisting they’re not even twins, the God of Rogues and Roads isn’t the most trustworthy guy around. Olidammara’s church also has fought a losing battle for a long while, they might have a lot more powerful and influential mortals and espousing an elitist spiel against the peasants, but not even kings and wizards want to go hungry. Many gods do know the truth but don’t really care (since it really doesn’t affect anything). Chauntea’s rivalry with Umberlee over coasts is also well known; neither can make any progress on the other’s home turf but many coastal regions on most worlds see regular conflict between their clergies and violence is always on the table when it comes to the Bitch Queen (who has an affinity to and penchant for stirring up the aquatic abominations from Water, who’s colonized many Material Plane oceans). Coastal regions are the only places where Chauntea’s followers are warlike and traditionally vigilant.

    Silvanus’ worshippers are usually considered pests or wild animals and mostly ignored.

    Praying to Chauntea for anything usually doesn’t work. She’s quite busy and receives too many prayers every day. Besides she’s already doing all the agriculture and family stuff, there’s no need to specifically pray for those and prayers about other things don’t concern her. However speaking up against her is a bad idea, she’s known to hold grudges and send family misforune and those who insult her too often and too publicly tend to draw attention from violent Silvanus cultists. In worst cases (such as a general upswing in Umberlee worship), she can send famines and plagues of stillborns to offending regions.



    So that’s that. Neutral forest god of environmentalism? Stolen from Celtic mythology too, for good measure. Can you get any boringer without being NotSauron#387924? I had to mix him up to get anything resembling coolness. I might've thrown the kitchen sink too, this is probably overdone (fey stuff is half baked but fairy connection is the one thing resembling coolness in original Silvanus). It's objectively better than "canon" tho.


    ...I'm seeing a distinct lack of other entries here. It's like nobody else reskins DnD gods.
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  10. - Top - End - #10
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    Default Re: Teaching new tricks to old gods

    Probably more common to invent original deities and cosmology, especially when not using the default or published settings.

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    Default Re: Teaching new tricks to old gods

    Quote Originally Posted by Pronounceable View Post
    Lately, I've been thinking about reimagining classic DnD gods.
    You might like the stuff in my sig.
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  12. - Top - End - #12
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    Default Re: Teaching new tricks to old gods

    Quote Originally Posted by Pronounceable View Post
    And now for something completely different.


    BLIPDOOLPOOLP (demigoddess), [various bubbly noises all roughly translating as Sea Mother]
    Domains: insanity, chaos, vanity, sea

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    One of the many, many, many aquatic horrors brought kicking and screaming into existance by Tiamat, the frogmonster race of kuo-toa also had a compulsive need to worship a deity, just like all the other watery abominations made by Tiamat. Which caused them a big crisis when they were inevitably abandoned by their maker for her next project, just like all the others. Kuo-toa had a spark of divine power in their collective subconscious waiting to become a racial deity, again just like all other underwater horrors of Tiamat’s making. Unfortunately, they had an actual biological flaw in their design that caused every single kuo-toa to be incurably insane. Thus, they could never collectively decide on what an idealized examplar of their race would be like and failed to spawn their deity like all the other nautical abominations had.

    Kuo-toa sent emissaries, begging other abominational godspawn of Tiamat to be allowed into their worship, offering their whole race as willing slaves and pawns and snacks. They were turned away. Even Dagon, Demon Prince of the Depths didn’t want such pathetic, driveless creatures in his employ. Kuo-toa artists and philosophers spent centuries lamenting their parental abandonment issues and composing long, croaky, epic poems about their abominational angst (that no other being could understand due to insanity on authors’ part). They suffered with their moral crisis on the inside and suffered attacks by all the other aquatic abomination races of Elemental Plane of Water on the outside. Tiamat’s last gift to them was there, they all could feel it bubbling right under their collective minds, but there was no outlet for it.

    Their luck finally changed when one kuo-toa poet (who’d swum to a remote place to properly suffer alone) found a mutilated humanoid woman’s corpse floating in waters. This was the first time any kuo-toa beheld a creature that wasn’t one of Tiamat’s submarine horrors and it’s unknown how the corpse came to be in the depths of Elemental Plane of Water in that condition. In grip of whatever insanity he had going on, he decided that this body must be close to the ideal towards which all kuo-toa should aspire to. The corpse was naked and missing her head and hands. Realizing that kuo-toa people couldn’t actually chop off their heads to get closer to this ideal form, he recognized that it needed a head. Luckily there was a large lobster loitering nearby, it was near the size of the corpse and divine inspiration struck the kuo-toa poet/prophet. He chopped its head and stuck it onto the corpse, then chopped off the claws and rammed those into arm stumps as well, figuring a kuo-toa needs some natural weapons in such a dangerous environment. The end result was clearly the best possible way a kuo-toa could exist and anyone could see that.

    He towed the corpse toward nearest kuo-toa settlement and propped it right in the center, proclaiming that he’d found their god. He got killed for his trouble but the humanoid corpse was left propped up, forgotten and abandoned. Some time later, another kuo-toa, in grip of madness, proclaimed she’d heard the weird propped up creature speak when nobody was near. This one was more lucky since no kuo-toa nearby was currently in a murderous insanity, so the news of amazing weird creature who speaks when nobody is near started to spread. In other settlements, kuo-toa who hadn’t even seen it started talking about it. Soon, the permanently insane collective subconscious of kuo-toa race started to believe in the existence of a giant, scaleless pale creature with lobster head and claws. When the settlement where the original propped up corpse was still sitting got raided and destroyed by sahuagin and news of a sahuagin raider eating the corpse spread, it triggered a strange fury and religious fervor in kuo-toa. They organized on a never before seen massive scale and retaliated on the sahuagin, capturing and executing a large number of them. For the first time, kuo-toa were the ones doing the oppressing and it was clearly thanks to the amazing weird creature, which was dubbed Blipdoolpoolp.

    Thus, the mad goddess of the mad kuo-toa race popped into existence. She considers herself the perfect kuo-toa specimen with the perfect and flawless body, despite not looking anything like an actual kuo-toa. She explains kuo-toa superiority over all other races and teaches it’s their racial duty to bring the same perfection to all beings. This causes kuo-toa much confusion as they don’t know how they could bring other abominations closer to the perfect body shape (especially more divergent ones like beholders or aboleths), but they keep taking captives and chopping off and sewing on bits in an effort to manage it even to this day.

    Later on, kuo-toa managed to get out of Elemental Plane of Water and met actual humanoids. This didn’t go well. They see every airbreathing humanoid as horrifying abominations, a twisted mockery of the perfect form, so close to perfection but still not there. They think airbreathers are suffering a terrible curse by cruel gods and they feel a deep compulsion to fix them. Trying to explain otherwise triggers an immediate homicidal rage in all kuo-toa and nobody has ever managed to get through any kuo-toa’s insanity and make them understand that humanoids are ok. Therefore, the ugly frogmonsters are known to all races outside Elemental Plane of Water as horrifying savage abominations with an insatiable lust for kidnapping, ritual murder and corpse desecration. Whereas what kuo-toa believe chopping off hands and heads (and other bits for males) and sticking lobster parts in the stumps before propping up the result on a stake near the settlements they were taken from for their friends and families to see, is repairing the damage on the unfortunate cursed airbreathers and restoring them to their pure and perfect forms. They never quite get why this doesn’t earn them much gratitude, but working thanklessly to help their lessers is all part of being the better race.



    This deranged post is brought to you by whatever Gygax was smoking when he came up with Blipdoolpoolp.
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    Default Re: Teaching new tricks to old gods

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    You might like the stuff in my sig.
    I did. They're cool.
    ....
    And now a bargain: 4 for 1, kinda. A fun for the whole family.


    VHAERAUN (intermediate god), Ungrateful Son, Snatcher of the Lash, Pitiful Shield, Heir Incognito, Moonlit Lover, Friend In Need
    Domains: rebellion, betrayal, romance

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    Vhaeraun was the first god to be conceived in the mortal way. Greater god Corellon had chosen to settle in Elemental Plane of Positive Energy in an effort to be closer to and get inspiration from luminous Overmother Selune (moving to mom’s basement, as Gruumsh would put it), and there used echoes of her ardent powers to fashion a future wife for himself in Araushnee, Goddess of Light and Grace (the oedipal and Freudian implications of which was staggering, as Gruumsh would point out if those words existed). He then spent some time wooing and courting her, a legendary affair that inspired many myths all over the multiverse. Araushnee was dazzled by Corellon’s charm and the couple married with grandest ceremony. The first result of their union was Vhaeraun, God of Romance, shortly followed by Eilistraee, Goddess of Arts and Battle.

    Vhaeraun, following lead of his father in what mortals would call incest (which clearly didn’t apply to deities), spent many ages pursuing his sister whose burning passion for the activities in her portfolio was like godnip to him. Eilistraee wasn’t interested in the least and rebuked him increasingly violently but Vhaeraun kept at it. Araushnee told him to cut it out many times, whereas Corellon refused to interfere. Emboldened by Corellon's attitude, Vhaeraun kept pushing his luck until finally Eilistraee had enough and cut him into ribbons and resewed him back with his head and another part (which was now far smaller because some bits had gotten lost in the shuffle) switched places. Vhaeraun, who was far too ashamed to face mom or dad in this condition, went to ask help from Emperor of Artifice who’d probably be the only being who could fix him. Moradin didn’t even ask him for payment, for spreading the tale all over the multiverse and trumpeting Corellon's failure as a parent was worth far more to him than any trinkets Vhaeraun could get his hands on. The ensuing scandal lost Corellon a lot of face and he exiled Vhaeraun from his court and took the domain of battle away from Eilistraee. In Araushnee’s opinion however, everything was entirely Corellon’s fault; this was the first seed of discontent that would eventually transform her to Lolth, Goddess of Shadows and Schemes.

    Vhaeraun wandered the planes for a long time, dallying with various mortal and immortal beings, looking for something else to enflame his passion like his sister used to (whom he now despised for obvious reasons). He found it on a world in Material Plane, in a place where an elven prince had rebelled against his tyrannical father. Projecting a bit too much into the situation, Vhaeraun took a mortal advisor guise and helped the prince win the civil war. Afterwards, he set up a church on this world as a god of righteousness. Having had a taste for fighting, Vhaeraun could see why Eilistraee liked it so much. He went looking for more and found plenty (greater god Gruumsh and his involuntary puppets might or might not have helped with this part), but random wars didn’t cut it. It had to be a rebellion, a chaotic civil war against the establishment. It took a long time but he transformed himself into a God of Rebellion and Infiltration. By then, he’d given up on romance, conquests of authority was a lot more satisfying than conquests of love.

    As centuries went on and his influence on Material waxed and waned with random uprisings and quellings, Vhaeraun started to miss home and family. So he used his new covert action skills to return in secret and saw that things had deteriorated. Araushnee had long had enough of Corellon and was already plotting against him. Vhaeraun was by then very experienced with this exact situation and offered to help his mother overthrow Corellon. It took a long time but there was a lot of discontent against Corellon in the ranks of Seldarine for his vain and domineering attitude, it definitely wasn’t the united family of deities loyal to the noble cause as Corellon had first envisioned it. When the war broke out, Corellon was surprised. It ravaged his realm in Positive Energy, destroyed many of his servants and divine armies, emptied his coffers, even spilled into mortal worlds that Seldarine had managed to wrest from Pelor and his cronies with great difficulty.

    Corellon obviously won in the end, as he was still a son of the Overmothers and no upstart spawn of his own was going to best him in battle. But he was back to square one: the weakest and least influential among his primordial siblings, on par with Gruumsh! His fury was terrible. He slew all of Seldarine and miscellenous beings who’d joined the rebellion and cast their bodies to Astral. He was impressed with Vhaeraun, for he’d proven to be strong and smart and he was his first born son and heir (however redundant it was). Corellon gave him a choice; take his place next to his father as a good and obedient boy and be forgiven after a period of penance or be destroyed and cast to Astral Plane like the others. Vhaeraun asked about his mother instead, knowing that’s still a weak spot. Corellon was a romantic, and still saw the incarnation of grace and light that he originally created when he looked at Araushnee (which was suspiciously similar to mom, Gruumsh would point out), never noticing the venom in the gaze that answered his. Corellon said she was to be cursed, stripped of her divine portfolio and banished from his court to fend for herself in the multiverse. Vhaeraun then knew he was going to get away with this, for he argued his mother would be defenseless against predators. Demon princes and devil lords and even Gruumsh would love to capture her just as a trophy, she’d become a living insult against Corellon, moving from hand to claw to pincer to tentacle like a coin. This appeal to both his misplaced romanticism and oversensitive pride was too much for Corellon, he banished Vhaeraun along with Araushnee, charging him with his mother’s protection forever.

    Vhaeraun thought things went rather well but Araushnee was furious. She smote her son for his words to Corellon, which were just as insulting to her as Corellon’s attitude that alienated her in the first place. Then she bound him, for even though her portfolios had been taken, her divine power wasn’t. Vhaeraun thus became a captive, a trophy of insult against Corellon just like he’d himself described to him. She cast her old name aside, rebranded herself as Lolth and became an evil matriarchal deity of shadows and schemes. Vhaeraun was dragged along in inescapable webs of deceit, whether he wanted to or not.

    Today, Vhaeraun is known as a servant and enforcer of Lolth. He has no church, no followers and no freedom but is usually revered by Lolth’s worshippers as a champion of the underdog and a saint of mercy. However he managed to form many secret cults, bribe or seduce many of his mothers’ followers into worshipping him as the god of revolution. He’s found that maleness, gender equality and basic, old school, vanilla romance (which has become a forbidden sin and an object of fantasy in an extremely large number Lolth’s ultramatriarchal followers) are domains free for the taking and can be his most powerful weapons against Lolth’s faithful. He’s going to do better this time, the second go against his second parent will end with his victory. Especially as Lolth isn’t nearly as powerful or warlike as Corellon.

    Lolth may appear to rule supreme over her subjects (which come in all the mortal races instead of just drow) but her grip is slack. She prefers to lead subtly, push people to action by dream and coincidence instead of powerful displays of divine origin. This is a weakness Vhaeraun is ready to exploit, as the subtle approach always fails against blunt force in short term. And by the time long term rolls around, Lolth will be done for. Because Vhaeraun is not alone. Eilistraee has been there in the shadows since his exile; after being given her mother’s portfolios (and battle too) by Corellon for rewarding her loyalty during rebellion, she knew her mother would become like this and that her brother would try Uprising 2: The Spider Bogaloo against her. She’s been lending what aid she can to Vhaeraun in his preparations and will fight her mother on the day of rebellion, dragging her into a prison in Negative Energy like Corellon should’ve done when he had the chance. Just like when he refused to stop Vhaeraun’s advances on Eilistraee and triggered the whole mess, Corellon’s decisions after the rebellion was certainly going to be absolutely wrong. Eilistraee is thinking afterwards Corellon might be persuaded to go Negative too to keep their mother company, try to redeem her. That would be really great in Eilistraee’s opinion, both of their parents need to get lost and stay lost because they both suck. The siblings’ distaste for their parents surpasses their distaste for each other and they’re allied until such a time that their parents are removed from the board.

    Vhaeraun is not just a rebel against the establishment, he’s a rebel against traditions too. You don’t pray to Vhaeraun. Vhaeraun comes to you when he’s got something to offer. If you accept his deal and come through with whatever payment he demanded, then you’ll be pals for life. This only happens in Lolth worshipping communities, he’s too busy with his current work to take on any extras. In extremely rare occasions, he might stir some trouble in Corellon controlled regions too but that’s always related to weakening Lolth. His old churches, the ones he set up during his stint as a freeroaming god of rebellion, are long gone. But old legends of his deeds have fueled the ascension of a number of demigods on those mortal worlds. Vhaeraun would spend his spare time thinking about how to absorb those, except he has no spare time.



    I think I seriously don't like Corellon. Not that I'm aiming to hate on him, it's just... he fits into the hole. The douchenozzle shaped hole.

    Also, I think I'm running out of steam at this point. These writeups have almost become a homebrew setting with all the extra stuff.
    Last edited by Pronounceable; 2016-08-22 at 05:46 AM.
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    Default Re: Teaching new tricks to old gods

    Out of steam unfortunately means out of steam, if the time it took to get this one done is any indication.


    LOVIATAR (lesser goddess), Maiden of Pain, Bearer of the Nine Plagues, Scarskin, Ugly Crone of Old, Glutton of Punishment, Fear Eater
    Domains: pain, suffering, disease, age, weakness, bravery

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    Loviatar had started out as one of the younger deities of multiverse, spawned purely by the beliefs of mortals of Material Plane and managed to climb to higher levels of godhood like her fellow siblings Sune, Lathander and a few others. She was a greater goddess of battle and magecraft, proud of her vast power and hungry for glory and victory. She was doing quite well for herself until a deity of rot and decay appeared and started terrorizing a number of mortal worlds, completely disregarding all the pacts and deals most deities and patheons had struck to prevent apocalyptic battle scenarios. Elder gods Pelor, Moradin and Corellon, all sensing something was subtly wrong with this thing, warned the younger deities to steer clear and only fight its minions and plots using mortal worshippers and planar servants. But Loviatar was brash and haughty, declared to all that she’d take on this Moander in direct battle and prove that she’s the strongest and bravest.

    Loviatar faced Moander on an afflicted mortal world, in the exact sort of apocalyptic battle scenario godly compacts were made to avoid, and lost. Moander struck Loviatar down with a curse, unprecedentedly cutting right through a greater deity’s defenses, corrupting her essence, killing every one of her clerics in the multiverse, ruining her divine realm, destroying most of her servants, withering her vaunted magic and extinguishing her inner fire. Her enchanting witch queen form of strength and beauty became a wizened sickly crone covered in countless scars, her divine wand became too heavy to lift, domains and portfolios inexplicably ripped off of her, she was left to contemplate the results of her pride as Moander put its appendage on her throat to choke the last vestiges of life out of her. She was defeated but she wouldn’t go out like a punkass bitch, so she tried to spit on Moander’s nonexistant face in a final act of defiance and curse it with all her remaining might, but she didn’t even have strength for that. It was a pitiful, pathetic display of defiance.

    For some reason, Moander didn’t finish the job. It ground her into dust and destroyed her divinity but left her a barely alive demigoddess. Luckily for the multiverse, the elder gods were watching the battle and they managed to identify Moander as a fragment of an evil predating even them, a tiny piece of the long forgotten Elder Elemental Evil that must’ve somehow gotten loose from its secret prison. Thanks to Loviatar’s foolhardy actions, they eventually engineered Moander’s destruction, making him the second deity after Aoskar who was killed for reals.

    This didn’t particularly matter to Loviatar however. She was left trapped in a post apocalyptic world, full of monsters and corruption, cut off from the rest of multiverse. For centuries she wandered the ruined planet, trying to shelter and protect the few mortals who’d survived the apocalyptic war despite her incredible weakness and neverending pain, bravely fighting (also never ever winning) the beasts and monsters bearing vestiges of Moander’s power to protect them. Which didn’t work. Eventually, the last mortal on the planet died of a horribly painful disease inflicted by a monster as Loviatar failed to help him, much like all the others before him. At that point, all the monsters and corruption remaining on the world disappeared, Moander’s barrier had crumbled after serving its purpose (of complete genocide), Loviatar was free to leave the dead world. Knowing all that suffering (including her own) was her fault, Loviatar would never be the same again.

    Today, Loviatar has managed to crawl her way back up to lesser deityhood. By adopting the view that life is nothing but pain and weakness is the default state of being, Loviatar appeals to the poor, the old, the sick (and the occasional dumb teen). She teaches that power, glory, wealth, health, beauty and youth are all lies and tricks to weaken the soul. Loviatar’s creed is that pain is proof of life and must be cherished, that only the utterly dead feel no pain, that not fearing pain or suffering or weakness is the only way to win, that accepting without giving in to pain and weakness is the greatest good one can possibly achieve. She says that it’s easy being a badass when you’re a manly man armed to teeth wading into scrawny goblins but true badassery is revealed when you’re strapped to the rack and being flayed alive. As far as Loviatar is concerned, strength is for lamers, fear is the only enemy and only the weak are capable of having worth (once they master fear).

    This philosophy earns her enemies by the bucketload but Loviatar has spat in the faces of all deities who challenged her and laughed at their strength by now (she also got her ass kicked every single time but that doesn’t stop her from laughing or spitting). It’s a point of pride to her that she’s never ever won any kind of battle ever since facing Moander and in fact seems to be somehow getting more resilient by being known to be weak. She also gets a surprising amount of support (and pity), even from various battle gods who approve of her making their rival battle gods look like petty bullies for beating up a sickly old crone. While her mortal clergy and planar servants are rather low in number, her newly adopted domains bring her an endless flow of disorganized worship from Material Plane. In fact, most deities are puzzled why she hasn’t ascended to greater goddess once again and suspect the answer is (still) Moander’s curse.

    Church of Loviatar is completely unorganized. Her clerics are usually suffering from some incurable mental or physical ailment, and are expected to do nothing but explain people that they need to deal with their own problems and accept their own pains and can’t go around expecting magical solutions (or any solutions, or an ending to pain or suffering, really, seeing how those are default and eternal). There are no organized flocks of Loviatar worshippers either; pain and suffering are personal and omnipresent, therefore all appeals to the goddess also need to be personal and untied to any ceremony. Loviatar has a shockingly large number of paladin followers, drawn to her primarily through the never fear anything ever, no not even that sentiment. Some Loviatar followers are quick to offer help, always trying to shoulder burdens and pains of others (on account of pain building character and translating to personal worth), displaying a weird mix of samaritanism and greed. Others are completely self absorbed, lost in their own pain and almost completely apathetic to everything else.

    Praying to Loviatar when in great pain usually gets a direct and clear answer. This is usually deal with it, scrub but not always, she’s known to grant incredible resilience and sometimes even miraculous healing and recovery (only for those who’s proven their worth by enduring a lot). Praying to her when not in great pain inevitably gets the prayer a painful and long lasting smiting, so they’ll have a legitimate reason to bother her next time.



    I'm unsure how well this version works. An inverted Loviatar is normally just a regular Ilmater, so I had to go shellshocked vet to make her odder and distinctiver. I like it but she doesn't feel all that fresh.

    Also this is likely the last one. I could fully write others already mentioned but I feel what's been already mentioned is enough to get a usable picture of them: Selune, Tharizdun, Moradin, Corellon, every ultramacho dude, Tiamat, Pelor, Olidammara, Umberlee, Lolth, Eilistraee are all here in some capacity. That's a crapload of deities and I really cannot think of any other notable DnD gods suitable for treatment. Except Garl Glittergold (it's just Moradin hamming it up with a fake nose anyway) and Cyric (no way am I gonna manage to seperate that from Forgotten Realms canon). Unless I'm forgetting something blindingly obvious?


    Maybe I should've put this in homebrew. That could've gotten more balls rolling instead of me being my own boss in here. Oh well. Maybe later.
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    Default Re: Teaching new tricks to old gods

    Hey, I'm enjoying this and reading every single entry! They're all pretty good! And Garl Glittergod as Moradin with fake nose is just one sentence, but also one of the best god reimagining out there.

    Remind me, isn't there a deity who's originally a mortal dude who did something stupid but cool and died, and became the god of doing stupid but cool things? I can't remember what god is that though, or if there is really that god in DnD canon. It might be interesting to see your take on it.
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    Default Re: Teaching new tricks to old gods

    Quote Originally Posted by Fri View Post
    Hey, I'm enjoying this and reading every single entry! They're all pretty good! And Garl Glittergod as Moradin with fake nose is just one sentence, but also one of the best god reimagining out there.

    Remind me, isn't there a deity who's originally a mortal dude who did something stupid but cool and died, and became the god of doing stupid but cool things? I can't remember what god is that though, or if there is really that god in DnD canon. It might be interesting to see your take on it.
    In Pathfinder, there's the god of good times and drink. I forget his name, but he might who you are thinking of. I think I read nobody really knows exactly how he ascended, but it was something he did while really drunk on a dare.

    I think the god of travel in the 3.5 PHB (Fharlarghan or something like that) was a mortal who ascended, but although CG (right?) I don't think he's as much on doing crazy awesome stuff as the Pathfinder deity I'm thinking of.

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    You might like the stuff in my sig.
    I second this. LudicSavant's god write-ups are pretty cool. The cosmology doesn't fit with yours, really, but could be good inspiration.
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    Default Re: Teaching new tricks to old gods

    I'll second that -- Ludic's work makes me want to do as better job writing up the religions and deities of my settings.
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    Default Re: Teaching new tricks to old gods

    Quote Originally Posted by Fri View Post
    ...isn't there a deity who's...
    From a bit of looking around, I found Zuoken and Cailan Calsomething that sound like it. Zuoken was promoted from mortal for being a badass and Cale got drunk and won a god becoming contest thing on a bet. And Fharlaghn isn't an ascended guy far as I checked.


    As for potential continuation of these reskinnings, I got an idea for Auril. She's big enough thanks to Icewind Dale. I also have the urge for queen of WAAAGH Zuggtmoy, which is hilarious but makes %400 sense, however she's sadly not a deity (and would have to have myconids WAAAGHing, except they can't scream). I could try to take a shot at Zuoken as Bruce Lee but he's pretty unremarkable (but Silvanus was a million times worse). Another random urge I have is mad scientist Demogorgon, famed maker of the owlbear and the duckbunny, who's also not a deity.
    In general, real mythology pantheons inside DnD are out (because **** that noise [yes I know Silvanus and Loviatar are already here, don't care]) and 4e+ gods are also out (because they're noobs). That leaves old Greyhawk and FR gods, demihuman deities, plus the odd Planescaper, and old abandoned setting gods (Al-Quadim, Birthright, etc) don't hold enough brand recognition to be called classic (not to mention I don't even know them).

    So there'll most likely be an Auril but afterwards is murky. There's an awful lot of mileage to get out of nondeity powers with big names though.
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    Default Re: Teaching new tricks to old gods

    I made a minor tweak to a major rivalry in a campaign of mine. Kurtulmak and Garl Glittergold's famous "collapsed halls" prank. There was one stray reference to the idea that Asmodeus was present in the halls when it happened. What wasn't told in any of the tales, is that Asmodeus set it up. He knew Garl would be there, that he would take the opportunity to attack him, and that Kurtulmak would be caught in the crossfire. This drove Kurtulmak (and all the Kobolds) into the waiting arms of Lawful Evilness for millennia to come.

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    Default Re: Teaching new tricks to old gods

    Quote Originally Posted by Pronounceable View Post
    So there'll most likely be an Auril but afterwards is murky. There's an awful lot of mileage to get out of nondeity powers with big names though.
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    Default Re: Teaching new tricks to old gods

    Went faster than expected.

    AURIL (intermediate goddess), the Frostmaiden, Crushing Glacier, Icicled Maw, Queen of Air and Darkness, Scourge of the Sun, Winter Crowned Queen
    Domains: winter, cold, ice, evil, chaos, fey

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    Auril is a fey queen who somehow gained power of winter and ascended to actual godhood. Ever since her ascension, she’s been a petty and vindictive plague upon mortal worlds who demands worship and constant sacrifices to stall her divine AND material wrath. Her legions of cruel and cold hearted fey enter Material Plane inside giant hollowed chunks of ice launched from Feywild by Auril’s breath, crashing down onto mortal worlds in a shower of icy comets, flattening settlements and geography alike, eager to hunt down all the mortals that survived their frozen bombardment. They enjoy starving and freezing their captives, mocking them as they’re forced to huddle without shelter or food until they die in merciless winter. Her mortal clergy is no better (and usually worse), sharing the temparement of their goddess and working hard to prove themselves equal to her fey marauders. Appearance of Auril’s clerics on any mortal world is a sign that a fey attack is coming soon and can only be averted by a flurry of sycopanthy and wealth heaped at their feet, and even that’s no guarantee. While Auril’s armies usually don’t fall directly on powerful and militarized lands where they might meet heavy resistance, nowhere is really safe from Auril.

    More usually, mortal worlds being targeted by Auril see a surge of worship in Pelor and other deities of sun, fire or summer as mortals beg them for help against the Frostmaiden. This works too and is cheaper than paying the exacting tributes Auril demands. While she always sends some attackers once her clerics have heralded her, fey forces sent to worlds where opposing gods have been roused to action are never very large and it’s generally accepted that Auril is afraid of the Unblinking Monarch.

    Which is wrong. Auril actually likes her boss who granted her dominion over cold and ice in the depths of Plane of Negative Energy, hidden from eyes of other gods and powerful beings by the Allmother’s cloak. All she had to do in return was to do what she’d have wanted to do with divine power anyway, only slightly limited in choice of targets. Pelor was getting quite displeased that the mortals he created himself kept liking deities made by his siblings’ hands or even raising their own, especially when they were doing this right under his fiery eyes, and decided they needed reminding which god was the most important for their wellbeing. But Pelor was no short sighted tyrant, he needed to be the carrot and not the stick. Eager Auril does her job flawlessly and is liked by her benefactor in return. While she sometimes regrettably targets worlds where Pelor worship is going strong to maintain her image of an unpredictable goddess of evil, the damage is usually minimal in such cases. Such a capable and strong agent is useful in other capacities too, where Pelor's own use of force would look inappropriate.

    Today, Auril mostly commands armies of evil fey going from world to world, killing and looting in her name while her divine wrath manifests as deadly colds and extended winters that help her legions and hinder their enemies. The few mortal clerics she empowers to be her heralds on mortal worlds usually get transformed to fey and come with her armies when they leave (assuming they survived). Auril doesn’t establish lasting churches or keep flocks of mortal worshippers after she’s done with their world. Nobody would have reason to stay loyal to her when she’s not there to bash their face anyway, there’d be no point in attempting to keep permanent mortal worship. She’s become an intermediate goddess due to all the fear and worship she gets from mortals in tribute. She considers herself to be a sun goddess, just with a different approach than most.

    Pretty much every deity followed by mortals hates Auril and she doesn’t lack for enemies. Corellon and all of Seldarine are her sworn enemies for her numerous attacks on their worshippers, Chauntea and Umberlee join forces only when she’s around, Queen Titania of the Seelie Court is her oldest nemesis and a source of constant battling in Feywild and the myriad of war gods all see her invasions as a challenge and insult. However when out in the multiverse and not oppressing and ruining Material worlds, Auril is perfectly well behaved and is quite liked by many planars, deities and beings of power and influence with no interest in Material Plane for her cold beauty, regal demeanor, tendency to generously spend her considerable wealth on trivialities and many exciting stories (of horrible atrocities inflicted on mortals). Auril can have some very strong friends and allies in a pinch, such as Lolth and Gruumsh (who approve of all the trouble she causes to Corellon), Silvanus (who feels responsible for her evils and wants her corrected instead of destroyed), various gods of destruction (both as a kindred soul and as an extension of Gruumsh’s favor), many demon princes (who’d just love to have a piece of that sweet evulz action) or Waukeen (because even Auril needs a place to store her ever increasing ill gotten gains). Any serious effort towards stopping Auril’s marauding is quite likely to spiral into an all consuming divine war that might wreck the multiverse, which is how she gets to keep ravaging Material Plane.



    Apparently the goodness of an idea is proportional to the speed I can whip up these things. Because blackops Auril was a damn good idea and probably the best of the lot.
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    Default Re: Teaching new tricks to old gods

    Since he's more famous than some actual gods, I think we can let this slide.


    DEMOGORGON (demon prince), Demon Prince of Demons
    Domains: science, chaos, evil

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    Self proclaimed Demon Prince of Demons was just a regular demon minding his own business when mortal souls started falling into the Abyss with the great Mechanus coming online and starting to sort dead mortals by alignment. He took a liking to the weird little things. The ephemeral essence of the mortal soul was just like clay but better. For one, it screamed and begged. Fascinated, Demogorgon started shaping them, first into simple objects, then to various creatures and finally, after millenia of practice, into tortured slaves bound to his will. This also had a side effect of continuously feeding him the agony of millions of dead mortals and making him the single most powerful demon in all of the infinite Abyss (but it was the art that mattered most). He built a stronghold made of dead souls, then conquered himself an empire with armies of the damned, the very first force the Abyss had ever seen that was organized and controllable by one demon. Many other demons saw his success, figured out the trick and emulated him, creating countless kingdoms and empires and baronies and princedoms all over the Abyss but Demogorgon has the most experience at fashioning mighty slaves and even today, no demon’s army of the damned is as strong or creative (or dominated) as Demogorgon’s.

    However Demogorgon found all that battling and conquering business boring (and far too samey and repetitive to be proper demonic behavior), he was most happy when he was doing excruiciatingly painful novel procedures on screaming mortal souls on his tables in the basement. No amount of demon face stomping was a match for the thrill of seeing a broken soul entrapped in a mishmash of random animal bodies shed its first tear of despair (assuming Demogorgon had left it any tear ducts) when the realization hits. He tried his hand at demons for a change, captured and tortured a few to try transforming them into new forms. But demons were expiring far too easily under his tentacles and respawning elsewhere before he could make much progress, it was a fruitless waste of time. So he retreated to his stronghold and abandoned his armies, leaving them to run amok and create random destruction. For ages now, Demogorgon hasn’t left his lab but his strength and skill is apparent in the neverending tide of newer and ever stronger monsters streaming forth from his stronghold. He pays many demons to scavenge mortal souls falling into Abyss and most demons not in his employ give his lands a wide berth because you never know when he might decide to restart demon experiments again.

    Giving up on conquering the Abyss allowed Demogorgon’s rivals to establish themselves and grow to match his power. However focusing on his craft let Demogorgon amass power in other ways. As his slaves grew in might, so did his fame and reach. He even started taking and experimenting on live beings from Material Plane, resulting in creatures that could reproduce. News of this breakthrough brought customers to Demogorgon, fierce and powerful guard creatures are always in demand among beings of multiversal power and influence. He’s had many customers unconcerned with morality; any strange creature imaginable could be asked of Demogorgon and he would find a way to make it exist. If it’s particularly novel or painful for the raw materials, he might even give the result away for free. There's some very numerous types of creatures these days (such as werebeasts and azer) that were commissioned by beings of evil and wealth. Many inexplicable creatures such as mimic or rust monster or gelatinous cube exist just because someone paid (or dared) Demogorgon to make it. Things such as owlbear, duckbunny, squark, horspider and many other animal mashups exist because Demogorgon likes encasing dead mortal minds in savage creatures only dimly aware of what they’ve lost.

    As a general rule, if something baffling and horrible exists on land, it was made by Demogorgon. When they say a wizard did it, it's just proof of ignorance (because it was actually a demon prince).



    This took far too long. Is it good? I don't think it's much good. I had a better idea based on actual mythology of Demogorgon but sadly failed to make it something good out of it. I probably should've kept at it.

    Next up, dunno.

    e: Also yes, one head is the Demon Prince, the other is the Prince of Demons. It changes randomly.
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    Default Re: Teaching new tricks to old gods

    Thread strikes back. Because I finally got around to having a new idea. I dub this the strange bedfellows.


    NERULL (greater god), The Grim Reaper
    Domains: death, fear

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    Nerull is a cold god full of scorn and malice. He despises everything and everyone but regular hate is too lively, too emotional for him to ever stoop to, so he sticks with icy detachment and emotionless sarcasm. Nerull would rather everything live in mortal fear and die as soon as possible and isn’t shy about expressing his ill will. Despite his galling and cold manner, he’s among the most respected and feared deities of the planes, in no small part due to his power. The only being who can crack his icy exterior is his kinda sister, kinda wife, definite ally Sune. Only Sune’s presence can get any visible emotion out of Nerull, one of heated fury and vicious hatred.

    When Mechanus came online and emptied Ethereal Plane of the dead souls sucking up all the undirected belief, Sune and Nerull both came to be almost instantly. As manifestations of the endless obsession mortals have with sex and death, no other deity of mortal origin has ever formed as readily as them or reached their widespread influence and power. Considered by many to be the parental figures of all independent deities, Nerull and Sune continue to be the closest allies in the multiverse against the dominion of primordial deities, despite their absolute hatred of one another. Sune’s always been happy to be a walking oedipal complex whereas Nerull is an unwilling but terrifying father figure, but both are united in their desire to not let the ancient greater gods have free reign over existence or completely subjugate mortal races. Various cults and beliefs on numerous worlds paint them as siblings or spouses, which they both hate but are forced to swallow to present a united front. All deities ascended from or born of mortal belief know that the pair are the oldest and wisest among them and will do everything in their power to help against Overmothers' offspring. Nerull is well known for his thirst for divine blood and has performed numerous deicides on flunkies of primordial greater gods for trying to lean on independent deities. While those kills didn’t stick (their daddies keep resurrecting them), all of multiverse has learned to fear the Reaper.

    Nerull is unique as the only god to date to have become more fearsome for losing power and influence. A long time ago, the self proclaimed Perfect Man and his two evil allies came to Nerull’s divine domain to defeat him and take his power. Known far and wide as the Dread Three, the three mortals had already committed deicide on a demigod and gained divinity and were now looking for more. Nerull’s portfolio was much wider back then; he also had claim to strength, fate, tyranny, strife, hatred, the dead, undead, necromancy, murder and assassination. Such a wide sphere of influence was giving Nerull an unparallelled power and this was what had attracted Dread Three. However Nerull wasn’t happy, he thought such a spread was weakening his focus and distracting him from the important basics (aka death and fear). So he offered to give godhood to Dread Three without a fight, surprising them. Bane took the portfolios of strength, tyranny and strife so he’d become the ultimate tyrant. Myrkul took necromancy, fate, the dead and undead so he’d have more followers than Bane. And Bhaal took murder and assassination because he liked killing.

    This left Nerull with just the domains of fear and death, which was just fine. Now that his portfolio had narrowed down, he was focused and sharp, just like his scythe. He was more fearsome and intimidating than he’d ever been. Later on, when Bhaal’s attempt to usurp the Many Mawed Devourer backfired and Erythnul devoured him and took his portfolios instead, Nerull disdainfully shook his head as he dumped Bhaal’s remains to Astral. Then when Myrkul was backstabbed by his mortal consort and all his portfolios were divided among his treacherous lover Raven Queen, the expert betrayer Velsharoon and the upstart Wee Jas, Nerull frowned thinking it had something to do with Sune getting the vengeance she can’t on Nerull from the closest match instead (he was correct). While Black Handed Lord of Tyranny is still going strong, Nerull knows he’s simply one more splinter of Gruumsh and will inevitably fall on Nerull’s scythe at Gruumsh's discretion. The fact that Nerull just smiles and nods when these things happen makes everyone suspect it was all according to the plan (it wasn’t but no point in telling that). The fear Nerull inspires in the multiverse is matched only by the reclusive Tiamat.

    Nerull’s church is small but very well organized. They teach that death comes for all and is very likely to be extremely painful and should be feared. His clergy is well versed in all religions, able to perform any type of funerary service or ceremony for modest prices. Nerull has a tendency to randomly manifest during burials and cremations, staring at the mourners for a few seconds to remind them their turn will come soon enough. His clerics also experts at creating and destroying all forms of undead, willing to lend that expertise at exorbiant prices. Assassination is another staple for the clergy and their temples are havens for both professional assassins and regular murderers. While Nerull prefers killing of sentient beings, he’s contented with plants or animals too so being butchers or farmers are acceptable to Nerull, his temples house skilled laborers who’re of use to societies too. Despite their overly evil and disruptive behavior, no lord or king dares outlaw worship of Nerull since that sort of decree is always followed by death and possibly extinction of their bloodline. Any temple or congregation of Nerull is also likely to have a rival temple to Sune pop up nearby, whose clerics will do their best to snuff and stifle Nerullians’ depravity. Sunites and the services they bring are welcomed almost anywhere, so Nerull worship going on nearby isn’t considered to be a universal catastrophe like Auril’s or Erythnul’s.

    Nerull is also unique in his treatment of mortal worshippers, he alone promises reincarnation to his faithful instead of an afterlife and demonstrably delivers it. Many followers of Nerull are his reincarnated clerics reborn to Nerull worshipping parents who remember their previous lives upon being officially inducted into the church (again). Nerull doesn’t wish to have a massive divine realm full of souls dedicated to him, he wants souls who die over and over and over in his service. This attracts a large number of mortals to his faith, as there are many clerics of Nerull who get to reconnect with their previous friends and families and this sort of news gets around.

    Nobody prays to Nerull, not even his clerics. Nerull ignores all prayers except the ones from ceremonies in his temples and those are never asking anything of him. Instead, his followers go out and try to kill and die. In fact, every follower of Nerull is required to kill something every day. The more squeamish among them rip grass off ground, which is considered lazy and halfhearted but acceptable.


    A lot of things click into place once you realize Nerull is Nergal is Jergal. This is also the most interconnected of all the deities I’ve written up here. He’s still mostly the same old vile Nerull but tying him up with Sune is a stroke of genius. GENIUS I say! But seriously, death and sex are like our whole thing as species, it’s basically “the human condition” summed up in two words. Sune and Nerull, or their counterparts, need to be up there in any sort of polytheist pantheon thing.

    This thread has become almost like “my DnDTM” at this point, it’s practically a homebrew setting. I should tidy it up and post in homebrew for feedback or something. But then it'd be post upon post of giant walls of text from one poster and nobody reads such threads.


    e: Next up, why didn't anyone say Deep Duerra is known as the Axe Princess of Conquest? No way am I gonna let that go to waste...
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    Default Re: Teaching new tricks to old gods

    Judging by the overwhelming response, I'm totes doing something right here.


    DUERRA (intermediate goddess), The Axe Princess of Conquest, Queen of Invisible Art

    Domains: battle, psionics, conquest, duergar

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    One of the many gifts Moradin bestowed upon Berronar as her dowry, proud Duerra was crafted of adamantine to lead Berronar’s legions of valkyries and shieldmaidens in battle. She was an excellent commander and a fierce warrior, served with distinction for millenia in forces of Mount Celestia on countless campaigns against fiends. Duerra was renowned far and wide as the mightiest soldier of Moradin’s armies, celebrated in song and legend.

    But Moradin was unsatisfied, for even though his campaigns against demons of Abyss succeeded more often than they failed, battling inside the Abyss only served to feed and strengthen the demonkind as a whole through violence and fury. He ordered an end to the campaigns against Abyss, armies of Mount Celestia would only besiege it from now on to prevent demons from spreading further into the multiverse. This was too boring, Duerra hadn’t signed up for waiting around twiddling her thumbs. There was the occasional skirmish against fiends from other Lower Planes but Duerra was getting more and more restless. Berronar noticed the turmoil inside her adoptive daughter before Duerra herself did and, fearing she might do something reckless and/or stupid (such as talking to devils), persuaded Moradin to get her out of Lower Planes. Berronar hoped seeing the multiverse outside of battlefields would calm Duerra down, make her recognize there’s more to life than war against evil (she’s regretted this ever since). The concept of holiday was alien to Duerra but she understood orders. So she took Moradin’s words as an order to travel all over the multiverse and serve the greater good at her own discretion for a century. She decided to start with Material Plane, which she’d heard so much about. It was impressive and beautiful, full of mortals whose finite lives and the mindset and behaviors that caused were just as alien to Duerra as the concept of holiday. But watching mortals taught her what holiday meant so, being a good soldier who obeys orders, she tried her hand at it, taking a mortal guise and becoming a barmaid in a small town on one of the very few worlds where Moradin worship was widespread.

    Unfortunately for all involved, this particular world was one of the targets of the illithid deity Ilsensine, mindflayers on this world was abducting dwarves in large numbers and experimenting on them to give them psionic powers in an effort to create an ideal slave race. Dwarves were the best humanoid race for illithids to experiment upon; they were strong and tough and adapted easily to underground life. Duerra thus became the protagonist of an actual DnD campaign, playing the role of the simple peasant girl who rose to the occasion and became the badass heroine who bravely fought against evil. She defeated mindflayers at every turn, freed countless dwarven victims from their labs, most of whom really had gained psionic powers but were unable to control them. After an epic battle of ultimate destiny by mortal standards (which was just daily workout for a demigoddess veteran of Abyssal campaigns), Duerra defeated the largest elder brain of that world. She also found out the terrible secret that this was just one of many worlds where mindflayers were experimenting on dwarves by Ilsensine’s order. Duerra immediately left the world to talk to Sun Father Pelor, who was supposed to be protecting Material Plane (leaving behind the legend of the heroic barmaid who gave her life to save the world). She was informed that Pelor had dominion over all his fiery eyes see (which doesn’t include underdarks that exist on so many planets) and Moradin or his servants weren’t free to act in Material Plane as per divine agreement. Duerra was doing a good thing opposing Ilsensine’s plots so Pelor or his servants wouldn’t hinder her, but that was all the support she was going to get from either primordial father.

    Duerra knew she didn’t have time to figure out which worlds were targeted and save them one by one, saving one world had already taken years and she was supposed to report back for duty after one century, so she decided to fix the problem at its source. That was a battle worthy of the Adamantine Shieldmistress, the Commander of Valkyries. She single handedly entered Plane of Elemental Water, fought through throngs of submarine horrors that could give demons of Abyss a run for their money and finally found and invaded the divine realm of Ilsensine that was far too close to Elemental Chaos for comfort. This took many years of ceaseless fighting under crushing pressure of the lightless depths of Water and even Duerra was growing weaker by the time she confronted Ilsensine. Their battle was epic even by multiversal standards and ended with Duerra cleaving the brain shaped god of illithids in half. One half of it escaped, disgracefully kicked out of its own realm, while other was left squirming in Duerra’s grip. Duerra had no more time to track down the escaped half and put an end to Ilsensine for good, she had to report back for duty very soon. She tried to tow Ilsensine’s half back to Mount Celestia to be destroyed but it was resisting, greatly slowing down Duerra. She would be late at this speed but she couldn’t risk letting the halves rejoin either, so she consumed Ilsensine’s essence with great reluctance.

    When Duerra returned from her “holiday”, all in Mount Celestia saw that her divinity had remarkably increased and she had gained the domain of psionics. Nobody except Moradin could recognize the strange stink upon her however, for neither Tiamat nor her abominational godspawn have a habit of leaving Elemental Water and all planars avoid the place on principle. Fearing that Tiamat’s power would drive her into insanity like Pelor’s daughter Umberlee, Moradin refused to let Duerra rejoin his armies. He assured her she was still his beloved daughter and would always have a place in his court and they’d do everything in their power to help her adjust to a new life but Duerra took this as a dishonorable discharge for standing up for the weak and an attempt to put an end to her fight against evil. The so called “protectors of the planes and patron deities of goodness” might turn a blind eye to evils of the multiverse when it suit them, but she would not. Duerra left Mount Celestia forever, much to grief of Moradin and Berronar, but Tiamat was always the strongest and there was no cure to her warping influence.

    Duerra found and saved another mortal world from ravages of mindflayers. Then another. Then one more. After that she thought to have a holiday, so went back to the world that started everything. She found that the dwarves she’d saved were now ostracized and oppressed, called freaks and monsters for their uncontrolled psionic powers. The inherent unfairness of the multiverse on display here greatly angered Duerra, she manifested among the psionic dwarves and was recognized as their heroine savior returned from the dead. This would do. Duerra organized the psionic dwarves, taught them to control their psionic powers and led them to underdark, where they built a strong kingdom. Thanks to Duerra’s vast experience as a commander, psionic dwarves became masters of physical and mental warfare, conquering large swathes of underdark. They opened up psionic portals to other worlds Duerra saved, getting in touch with and absorbing dwarven survivors of mindflayer experiments, slowly but surely building up to a mighty empire controlling vast territories on numerous underdarks. Duerra continued searching for worlds where mindflayers attacked dwarves, finding and destroying many illithid cities and expanding the influence of psionic dwarves. Over time, their skin turned light gray from living underground and they evolved to a subrace of dwarves with inherent psionic powers. In honor of their twice savior, psionic dwarves named themselves duergar and started to worship her as their patron goddess.

    Worship of a massive, interplanetary empire ascended Duerra further, she became a lesser goddess. By then she was in full conquest mode, looking for ways to increase her empire and punish all who wronged the duergar. She couldn’t be called a goddess of good anymore but she was still a disciplined soldier and was still leading her armies from the front anytime mindflayers were discovered. Ilsensine had long ordered experiments on dwarves to stop, not wanting to make any more potential worshippers for Duerra but duergar’s hatred of illithids was unquenchable and they were breeding true by then. Mindflayers were kicked out of most underdarks to avoid being exterminated, forced to live above under Pelor’s eyes where duergar are loath to go. Pelor and his servants were now forced to take action against mindflayers too in order to protect their own surface dwelling worshippers, which delights Duerra. They still have many powerful enemies like beholders and drow but the dour duergar race is doing very well for themselves as a thriving race of underdark.

    Hatred of illithids is a defining trait of duergar, which had the unforseen benefit of drawing planar attention. Dreaded pirates of Astral and mad monks of Limbo both share the fanatical hatred of the mindflayer, two races well known for their isolationist natures. Duergar are allied to both gith races, an accomplishment shared by nobody else in the planes. Gith races consider Duerra to be ok for a deity, they figure a goddess who’d choose a broken illithid skull for a symbol is as good as it can possibly get and have great respect for her legendary defeat of Ilsensine. Duerra herself is a big fan of the githzerai and their manifestly insane desire to bring order to Limbo and has ordered her followers to get some joint psionics research going with them, she’s hoping to draw them into a permanent alliance with duergar. Rampant raider lifestyle and unorganized nature of githyanki isn’t nearly as appealing to Duerra but she’s managed to convince some very few captains to form semi temporary settlements in Astral atop god corpses to serve as staging grounds for raids against stronger targets. She hopes appealing to greed will eventually make some real conquerors out of githyanki. Duerra dreams of allying with (and integrating) the gith races into the duergar empire for an interplanar empire. Her worshippers among the gith races are very few but they’re fervent and do a good job of spreading her word over the planes. Expanding into the planes through the gith has elevated her even further and she's recently become an intermediate goddess. She’s very far from the spirit of law and good Moradin crafted long ago but is still just as proud of herself.

    Duerra welcomes worship from all mortal races but her clergy is mostly limited to duergar and they’re the ruling caste of duergar empire. They’re all highly trained in both physical and psionic combat, favoring axes just like their mistress. Temples of Duerra are inevitably seats of power because it’s impossible to have any power in duergar society that doesn’t stem from Duerra. Clerics of Duerra must prove to be strong both physically, mentally and psionically if they want to advance, weakness is a luxury commanders can’t afford (and every cleric of Duerra is a commander of all nearby duergar in an emergency). She promises an afterlife of fighting alongside her agaist the enemies of their people, the reward for long and loyal service to your race is to be able to keep at it forever.

    Duerra teaches that discipline and unity is the path to power, that you should stand up for your people and never let anything push you or yours around. She also espouses the virtues of personal strength and importance of hard work but never to the detriment of your community. Duerra’s way of life is a path of struggle and hardship but it promises just reward to honest work. Those who work and fight hard for the good of community are to be rewarded once they’re unable to continue, Duerra commands keeping detailed records of toils and elders and infirm are to be respected and supported proportional to the amount of work or fighting they did for the society. She condemns laziness and selfishness but forbids forcing people to work against their will, for an unwilling soldier is a sloppy and possibly treacherous soldier, let the lazy and the selfish and the cowardly wallow in their vices and starve when hard days fall upon the society, for they’re to be given no charity or support and hard days are always coming.

    But all the niceties Duerra preaches is for her worshippers. Anyone else is just a target to be conquered, converted or subjugated at the drop of a hat. While duergar like to present themselves as hard but fair people who retaliate reasonably for offenses, their definition of reasonable or offense is malleable. They’re known to pillage and burn settlements over reasons such as innkeeper tried to overcharge or think I saw a mindflayer.

    There we go. How an avalance is born of a snowball...

    Also, I know you're reading. There's the view count, you can't fool me.
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    Default Re: Teaching new tricks to old gods

    Interesting take on Duerra. Does she replace Laduguer as primary duergar deity in this cosmology?
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    Default Re: Teaching new tricks to old gods

    I'm getting rid of racial gods as much as possible. Laduguer is the Hard God of Hardassery and Hardwork and Hardcority and Hard Men Making Hard Choices (if I ever get around to writing him up).

    And now for something completely different,


    THAUN (intermediate goddess), Lady of Mystery, Vengeance of the Night, Richfoe

    Domains: vengeance, greed, lies, trickery, secrets, underdogs


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    Thaun is a mystery. As far as anybody has seen, she has zero worshippers, zero clerics and no divine domain anywhere in the multiverse, yet she’s a fairly powerful goddess. She appears suddenly, viciously attacks a seemingly random victim, then vanishes. Her targets are always powerful and usually evil, but the glee with which she employs violence and tendency to steal all the wealth present doesn’t paint a picture of goodness. She’s generally known as a dangerous and chaotic entity, preying upon mortal and immortal alike.

    What Thaun is actually doing with her vicious assaults is getting vengeance for those who can’t. She considers herself to be a champion of the underdog and would argue that every last one of her rampages was deserved, for she only attacks after hearing the pleas of the weak and the oppressed. It’s unknown how she hears those pleas without any sort of followers. Her victims are usually left broke and broken so they’ll learn what it means to be weak, sometimes she even kidnaps and dumps them in bad places where bad things will happen to them. The fact that she never strikes her targets when they’re not close to fabulous amounts of wealth kind of weakens her claims of championing the underdog however and she doesn’t seem to have the slightest bit of interest in helping the weak and the poor themselves either.

    Lord of Tyranny Bane is thus a natural enemy for Thaun and she does target his servants often, weakening his hold on mortal worlds and planes alike. In fact she’s been a thorn on his side so often, Bane sometimes manifests personally to battle her. Those are usually the only occasions when Thaun’s victims have a chance to escape relatively unharmed as she loses herself in battle and her ability to actually fight a greater god like Bane to a standstill speaks volumes about Thaun’s strength. Somewhat disconcerting to the vanishingly small number of beings who witness such events, the deific battles between the two is a bit too up close and personal and too full of witty banter, displaying a strange passion that doesn’t appear to stem from hate.

    Something very similar also happens on the rare occasions Thaun targets mortal worlds that are under power of Gruumsh and the orcish god of night, darkness and thieves Shargaas manifests to stop her rampages. Him being much weaker than Bane, Thaun always beats Shargaas in these also too passionate and bantery fights but he keeps coming back for more punishment in a very unorcly manner.

    There are also rumors of Thaun dallying with mortals and planars of evil and law persuasion but they’re all of the I heard from a guy who knew this other guy variety.

    Nobody, not even various gods of knowledge know where she goes or what she does outside of her vicious attacks upon the rich and the powerful. The only thing that vigilant searchers discovered about her is that she tends to appear in disguise shortly before her attacks and do some trickery and skullduggery to soften her targets, but even then she’s almost undetectable to gods of knowledge and secrets and similar portfolios. It’s a complete mystery where she’s appearing from. Since only the City of Doors is known to be this impervious and unknowable to gods and mortals alike, most widely accepted theory is that Thaun is somehow exempt from the ban of the inscrutable Lady of Pain and lives in Sigil. A more radical theory claims that she is the Lady of Pain.

    Which is completely wrong, of course. The reason nothing and nobody can track or detect Thaun when she’s not on a rampage is because she doesn’t exist then. Because Thaun is a mask, a secret identity another being of great power and fame uses to indulge in her darker and inappropriate urges. A being who’s sitting right there in the open, someone that nobody will suspect...


    Yep, I'm cutting it off there. Not gonna tell the secret. What I will tell however is that BATGOD is canon in DnD. I didn't make this up. There really is a deity who has a secret identity focused on vengeance and the night, who's also indulging her dark urges while nominally doing some good. She was missing a Catwoman however, so I added that in. I believe this writeup is just as cool as Auril above.

    (google knows the secret identity btw if you don't already know and too impatient to wait until I'm done writing it)
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    Default Re: Teaching new tricks to old gods

    You all ready for the answer to the awesome and cool mystery I was building up to here previously? No? It wasn't that awesome!? Meh, that's not what you're getting anyway >_>


    OTHEA (lesser goddess), Giant Mother, First Matron, Queen of Jotunheim, Great Titaness

    Domains: motherhood, giants, deception, secrets, spite


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    Annam and Othea were the unexpected result of the massive influx of elemental matter into Material Plane on Pelor’s order. The unprecedented scale of all the elements getting mixed caused two great titans to awaken. They were elemental beings barely more cognizant than the completely mindless spirits of elemental planes but they held incredible elemental power, their mastery of Material Plane would rival the primordial greater gods themselves. Instinctively, the two near mindless beings were drawn to each other and engaged in an event that later came to be known as the Big Bang (while Swift and Uninterrupted Series of Countless Bangs was a lot more appropriate, it wasn’t as pithy so didn’t catch on). This resulted in Othea getting impregnated a few bajillion times but she was too busy (and mindless) to take a break to give birth to the giant race yet.

    They were at it for centuries (or millenia, it's unclear) before Pelor noticed them in the vast emptiness of interplanetary space of Material Plane. Pelor had just finished making worlds and was now pondering how to proceed with his grand project of mortal races. The main problem he had was devising a way of making his creations increase in number without him having to create more manually. Seeing the two great titans going at it gave him some good ideas (until then the only reproductive beings in the multiverse were Tiamat’s aquatic abominations and their reproduction methods gave Pelor the willies), leading to creation of the human race (and its variants that came to be known as humanoids). The mortal races that mostly dominate Material Plane today are basically copies of giantkind made weaker by Pelor’s hand for easier control and larger populations.

    Meanwhile, Annam and Othea had gained sentience and developed personalities over the ages and before Pelor could finish his grand project, Othea decided to start giving birth and get rid of all these bajillions of small beings crowding inside her body. She’d also found that ever since she’d developed a brain, she wasn’t particularly fond of Annam. However Annam was madly lovestruck and lustful, he didn’t want to stop the Big Bang. After some struggle, Othea broke free of his grasp and fled. She landed on a world and started giving birth to giantkind thousands at a time. When Annam was close, Othea fled that world and found another to continue giving birth. Great titans kept at their hide and seek for a while, seeding dozens of worlds with giantkind which would cause a lot of trouble with Pelor later. When Annam finally caught up to Othea, she’d given birth to last of the giants and purged her insides of Annam's essence. Lovestruck Annam was certain she was just a little coquettish and must’ve missed him and by now she’d be eager to return to Big Banging. She wasn’t, she was bored of Annam and didn’t want to have anything to do with him anymore. But Annam was much stronger than her and it was clear he intended to force her if she tried to refuse him, so Othea needed to invent excuses to keep him away from herself as much as possible. Thus the giant civilizations came to be; Othea demanded Annam to take care of their offspring, protect and strengthen and lead them, Annam tried his hand at being a god and a king for the giants on many worlds and the giantkind built empires and prospered. This was using up a lot of Annam’s time. Annam and Othea settled on the first world where Othea had landed and named it Jotunheim. And once Pelor’s beloved humanity (and assorted hangers on) appeared, she insisted their children had to show these tiny knockoffs who’s the boss around here, starting massive racial wars on many worlds. So Othea had to suffer Annam’s touch only occasionally instead of all day, erryday. Which was much better.

    Othea wasn’t happy however. She still had to pretend to love Annam and occasionally put up with a Little Bang, she had no doubt he’d imprison her and force himself upon her if she didn’t. Othea’s view of Annam is rather biased however and there’s no way to know how right she was about this. Annam, for his part, was (and still is) obsessively in love with her and is butter in her hands, always believing her word over anything else, no matter how obvious and ridiculous the lies. Othea has used this weakness repeatedly over the ages to have numerous affairs, for she’s both as lustful as Annam and loves nothing more than spiting him. Every single other deity in Giantish Pantheon (all of whom are titan demigods who live in Jotunheim and not actual deities in the multiversal sense) is from a different affair Othea had with various beings, yet Annam believes all of them are his own children (because that’s what she said). And there was a method to Othea’s affairs, beyond simple spite and lust. She’s managed to learn many things from her partners (with or without their blessing), used her illicit knowledge to elevate herself to true divinity, master tricks even many gods can’t perform and gain minor power over many portfolios. Many of her spurned lovers and some cheated spouses became her sworn enemies but Othea always managed to get away with her shenanigans. Even when she got busted by greater goddess Araushnee, Othea managed to avoid her wrath by redirecting her curse onto the unborn titan she was in the process of conceiving from Corellon, causing the titan Vaprak to be born stunted, ugly, stupid and nasty (Annam still accepted him as his son). Neither Vaprak’s predicament, nor the grief Araushnee’s curse upon the giantkind caused them (which led to birth of the ogre, the epitome of the absence of all the qualities that Araushnee represented in those days) particularly concerned Othea, for she never really liked any of her children from Annam.

    No matter how uncaring Othea was about it, deformity curse upon giantkind and birth of the ogre race was a big deal. Corellon’s wife exerting her will so strongly upon Material Plane drew ire from the deities born of mortal belief, leading to a divine dustup in Astral that saw a few of the Seldarine dead because Nerull doesn’t **** around (while deaths didn’t stick, it was another of those events that led to Araushnee becoming Lolth). After things calmed down, gods voted that it was time to put those arrogant, troublemaking titans in their place. So a war was declared against the titans and their giant followers. The Giant Father Annam was too strong on Material Plane, even the combined might of Moradin, Pelor and Corellon wasn’t enough, his legendary Chaos Greatsword was unstoppable. However titans and giant civilizations were outnumbered and outgunned, the war didn’t go their way. In midst of battle, Othea saw a chance to finally rid herself of Annam and secretly made a deal with her first fling from long ago: Olidammara the god of rogues and intrigue (who had no idea the titan Stronmaus who'd just kicked his ass all over Material was his son, much like most other fathers of titan demigods).

    When Othea got “captured” and taken to Outer Planes, Annam heedlessly followed. He was ambushed and finally got beaten, leading to complete defeat for titan side. Annam was bound alone in the depths of Carceri where nobody could find him, Jotunheim was removed from Material Plane and became a minor Outer Plane orbiting the Great Wheel like many other divine realms, Araushnee’s curse was lifted, ogres became a true mortal race and rest of the titan demigods were bound inside Jotunheim. When gods were done with everything else and it was time to punish Othea, they saw that she was dead. Somehow Othea had killed herself without anyone noticing and now her divine corpse floated in Astral. Many gods suspected a trick, some blamed Olidammara or Nerull, but after lengthy investigations, everybody had to concede that she really was dead.

    Today, the scattered and broken tribes of giants on the worlds in Material still worship Othea as a part of their pantheon, she’s revered as the mother of all their gods and the goddess of motherhood. Giant couples that want children pray to her, midwives and mothers invoke her name during births and entire tribe praises her every time a healthy giant is born. Like all other giant deities, Othea has no clerics or shamans devoted only to her. Her name is used liberally by giants in daily life, only Annam is revered and respected more than her and she’s regularly invoked and praised for any random thing. All in all, Othea is still an actively worshipped goddess with a large following in Material Plane.

    Except she’s still dead, the corpse still lies lifeless in Astral which should not be possible. It’s one of those strange mysteries that movers and shakers of the planes are always wondering but can’t figure out.


    I noticed that I seriously dislike giants, which is weird since it's the mythological monster from stories of the entire friggin world and I like myths. Since I hate DnD giants on principle, I went looking into their gods to find something of interest. That's how I found Othea of Faerun who was instantly awesome as a cheating wife. That **** never happens. Zeus (and a bunch of other knockoffs) has been doing the cliche skirtchasing henpecked dude and his domineering jealous wife bit for millenia and it's become an all encompassing trite that everyone keeps rehashing. So I decided to polish Othea a bit and also throw in a bunch of other stuff. This is the result. Now the giants are just one more race that's not divided into a bunch of color coded bull**** categories and there's their titan gods to fulfill all the mythical giant of legends stuff when that's needed.
    also, spot the dank meme
    I should do something similar to uncrapify dragons too. But I hate dragons much more than I hate giants, I'm not gonna start being openminded about them at my age.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pronounceable View Post
    I noticed that I seriously dislike giants, which is weird since it's the mythological monster from stories of the entire friggin world and I like myths. Since I hate DnD giants on principle, I went looking into their gods to find something of interest. That's how I found Othea of Faerun who was instantly awesome as a cheating wife. That **** never happens. Zeus (and a bunch of other knockoffs) has been doing the cliche skirtchasing henpecked dude and his domineering jealous wife bit for millenia and it's become an all encompassing trite that everyone keeps rehashing. So I decided to polish Othea a bit and also throw in a bunch of other stuff. This is the result. Now the giants are just one more race that's not divided into a bunch of color coded bull**** categories and there's their titan gods to fulfill all the mythical giant of legends stuff when that's needed.
    also, spot the dank meme
    I should do something similar to uncrapify dragons too. But I hate dragons much more than I hate giants, I'm not gonna start being openminded about them at my age.
    You ever read about Eberron? You should read about Eberron. They actually pose giants and dragons in an interesting light. The giants wielded some of the most powerful magic ever discovered, wound up falling into decadence and slave-race sacrifice (read: elves), they blew up a moon to deal with an extraplanar invasion, then their continent was laid to waste and rendered impossible to civilize by an army of dragons striking without warning, leaving them in the wreckage of their once-grandeur.

    The dragons, for their part, mostly stick to their own continent. Once upon a time, they had to put up with a world ruled by demons. That sucked even for them. After a millennium-long campaign of guerilla warfare to seal the boss demons away so their fell influence would no longer affect the world, they finally got the planet un-crappified. Nowadays they make sure it stays that way, discreetly taking down the rakshasa who plot to spring their bosses from divine jail, and wiping an uppity moon-breaking civilization from existence.

    The dragons that adventurers fight? Feral orphans. Real dragons stay away from humanoids after the first time they taught a civilization magic.
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    Default Re: Teaching new tricks to old gods

    Quote Originally Posted by Fable Wright View Post
    You ever read about Eberron?
    I play DDO. It's like the same thing.
    And yeah, that's where giant civilization predating humanoids idea came from.

    Now, one more to complete the trifecta.


    YONDALLA (greater goddess), the Protector and the Provider, Hearthmother, Mother of Safety, Defender of the Fields, Shieldmatriarch, Wall of Steel, Valkyrie Empress, Lady of the Mountain

    Domains: motherhood, family, fertility, agriculture, tradition, protection, healing, wisdom, creativity, trickery, good, law, halflings


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    Yondalla is an ancient goddess who’s waxed and waned with the ages. She was among the many neutral fertility themed deities who rose to prominence shortly after the rise of humanoids in Material Plane, the first one among them to reach greater deity status due to sheer number of worshippers and was also the only one who managed to survive the massive consolidation of the fertilty/family/agriculture domains in Earthmother Chauntea’s hand intact. While mortals have long forgotten this matter, Yondalla’s official stance is that Chauntea straight up stole her image of the matronly patron of family and farming and exaggerated it to the level of caricature, removing all of Yondalla’s own intricacies and complexities, thus becoming a simpler and more appealing goddess to the unwashed masses. She even stole her moniker. Which is kinda obvious to all beings who know about Chauntea’s little secret and is also the thing that soured Yondalla on the humanoid races.

    Legends of halflings all over the multiverse say Yondalla created them after seeing that all other humanoid races were flawed. They say Yondalla took skill from elves, stability from dwarves, courage from orcs and resourcefulness from humans and, after a lot of work, mixed them all together to create the halfling race. While the mentioned mortal races (and their creator Pelor) tend to scoff at this, there’s no doubt that halfling was created by Yondalla’s hand. Which is strange, as a deity would need to have a lot more power than (then recently deposed) Yondalla had to be able to create a whole new mortal race. Yondalla had suddenly gained a large amount of worshippers somehow. It was nowhere near what was stolen from her but it kept her at intermediate rank instead of atrophying into an errand boy of Chauntea like the others.

    The origin of halflings and Yondalla’s gradual conversion to law and good is one of the most well kept secrets in the planes (on par with Gruumsh’s plans). After faking her death and dumping most of her divinity into Astral as a corpse, Giant Mother Othea fled to Material Plane and started over with what she knew best: fertility cults. Thanks to her experience at mother goddessing that was longer than the entire existence of humanoids, she easily spread her influence and rose in power, swiftly becoming a greater goddess with multiple facets like protection and wisdom. And when she got outmothered by Chauntea, she decided to fall back to another thing she knew: birthing a mortal race. So she went around in disguise, spent centuries on many worlds, had countless of affairs with all the humanoid races and used her old titanic power to mold her accumulated offspring into what she thought would be an ideal worshipper race. She told halflings a story of combining the best parts of humanoid races into them because it sounded a lot better as a creation myth than then I banged two billion guys. But now things were different. Unlike with giants, halflings were the result of affairs that had contained eagerness and sometimes even love. For the first time, Yondalla had children whom she actually loved and desired to be a good mother to. This was what pushed her towards good and law, she slowly became the loving and responsible parent she pretended to be, even giving up on all of her plans of revenge on Chauntea.

    Yondalla’s long and stable reign as a lawful good goddess of halflings lasted peacefully until she got the multiverse’s least romantic proposal from Moradin, a long list of extremely logical arguments detailing how a union between them would be in both of their interests and why they were the best potential mates for each other out of all the other cosmic beings. It was really reasonable and well thought out and Yondalla was impressed. Being probably the richest and most powerful being in the multiverse, Moradin really was a good catch (which was on the list) but Yondalla just wasn’t interested in being bound in marriage and said so. But then greater goddess of beauty and lust came for a visit. Sune had heard of Moradin’s interest in a marriage and was really hoping he’d pick her but Moradin passed over her due to the silly and unfounded “Nerull’s wife” thing, which was a bummer because she was hoping to put the screws on the uppity primordial greaters by marrying one and using it against others. But Yondalla was also good, for she was also a deity of Material Plane and would surely be glad to take one for the team. Yondalla had learned what happened when you ignored divine politics firsthand, so she reluctantly gave Moradin a chance.

    In a few short decades, Yondalla was crowned as Berronar, the Queen of Mount Celestia. She became Moradin’s staunch ally and pioneer on Material Plane, taking special pleasure for spreading his influence all over Material through halflings (whom she was still keeping solely for herself). She even plays the role of negotiatior and peacekeeper between the primordial siblings, making certain they don't conflict too much (especially Corellon and Gruumsh) while there's those unruly younger upstarts of Material to bring in line. All this immensely pissed off Sune and the animosity between them is still strong.

    Berronar actually is happy about being married, she does like Moradin and perks of being his wife are so great she’d be stupid to give it up. Besides, she can still indulge her wilder and inappropriate urges using a certain secret identity* that absolutely nobody knows (and since she’s become a greater goddess thanks to Moradin sharing his own worshippers, she can be in two places now, guaranteeing her secret stays a secret). She may not be in the songs make sense type of crazy love but far as marriages go, it can’t possibly get better than this.

    As Yondalla, her church is mostly limited to halflings but they’re a widespread race on Material and, while not very zealous, they’re all very reverent of her and she covers most aspects of halfling life (including the less scrupulous ones too, which they all try to keep quiet). Some halflings know Yondalla is married to some distant sky god who’s uncaring about affairs of mortals and they don’t much care about him in turn. Other halflings know Moradin as a great ally to Yondalla and revere him and do the occasional missionary work to spread his faith around. As Berronar, her church is mostly spread to Upper Planes and puts more emphasis on her protection, tradition and healing aspects and is quite militarized with plenty of martial and medical traditions, with only small influence on Material Plane. Berronar is revered first as Moradin’s wife and second as a protective deity, but wherever Moradin’s influence goes, so does Berronar’s. Name of Berronar is usually unwelcome on mortal worlds where Material Plane deities are dominant but all those deities’ attempts to discredit Yondalla usually backfire, the normally lukewarm halflings consolidate and rally around their religion when feeling pressured.

    Nowadays, Yondalla is even nominally allied with Chauntea against Sune, Nerull and their buddies. Which just goes to show impossible is a lie.



    *Yup, there we go.



    Bet y'all weren't expecting this much consolidation. I couldn't help but notice all the parallels between classic hobbit pantheon and classic giant pantheon. Iallannis/Sheela are just tiny Venus-huge Venus, Hiatea might as well be named Tall Yondalla, Brandobaris/Diancastra are both the classic trickster deity and Arvoreen/Stronmaus are pretty similar protector guys. Also a protective mother goddess is a protective mother goddess, whether she has a beard or not. The end result is these last three entries. It was me, I had it all planned all along >_>

    I also like that her career can be summed up as surprisebitch.gif
    Founder of the Fanclub of the (Late) Chief of Cliffport Police Department (He shall live forever in our hearts)
    CATNIP FOR THE CAT GOD! MILK FOR THE MILK BOWL!
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  30. - Top - End - #30
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    gkathellar's Avatar

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    Default Re: Teaching new tricks to old gods

    While I like some of the ideas here, and I'll get around to going over them in more detail, I really dislike your take on Lolth (as it appears in Vhaeraun's story and as briefly mentioned up top). I hate the drow, but Lolth is the only good (evil) thing about them - a trolling, tyrannical goddess who screws the universe over for lulz and seems to draw power from irony and what can be interpreted as extraordinarily violent slapstick. Drow aren't matriarchal because Lolth wants men to suffer (honestly, they're barely matriarchal at all, what with women confined to a particular caste), they're matriarchal because Lolth wants everybody to suffer, especially people who worship her.

    Let me put it this way: drow society is a shaggy dog story, and the punchline of a shaggy dog story is that you get some idiot to stand there and listen to the whole thing. Lolth is telling the ultimate shaggy dog story to the entire cosmos. She's not the goddess of matriarchy and spiders, she's the goddess of cruel jokes (and spiders).

    Also, as a secondary issue, I'm not fond of making planar exemplars into gods, especially if you're keeping things like the Great Wheel intact. Demogorgon is the Prince of the Abyss, and the chaos and evil he represents is vaster and more fundamental than any mere Power. If Demogorgon gets deposed, the Abyss will simply find itself a new Prince (presumably whoever deposed him), but there will be no seizing of portfolios or astral corpse or whatever. It's happened before, and it'll happen again. For all the power of the Powers, they are individual actors in a much, much larger brawl between Law and Chaos.
    Last edited by gkathellar; 2016-10-07 at 07:58 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by KKL
    D&D is its own momentum and does its own fantasy. It emulates itself in an incestuous mess.

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