05 November 2007

The Uruqua VI

At long last, here is the last entry in my coverage of the pantheon of Anuru – the last of the Uruqua who command significant followings: Morga, Sylgur, Tyl Rouwgor, and Vilyacarkin.

As I’ve mentioned before, these are not ALL of the Uruqua; not by a long shot. I’ve said nothing about Penchriss, Lady of Serpents; Procoach the Dominator; Riadal, Princess of Darkness; Brechaim, Lord of the Cursed Touch; Morduilduin, the Avatar of Venom; Zylurz, the Avatar of Fury (and the brother of Zoraz, one of the Servants of Lagu); Pyrgin Bæle, the Avatar of Flame; Szælyinella, the Avatar of Lust; Lycenellona, the Avatar of Pain; or any of the several dozen other bits of nastiness who only exist to make life difficult for the PCs.

The next step, of course, is to publish my custom-built “Dieties and Demigods of Anuru”. That is a pleasure (or torment) that will exist only for the PCs, however, as in addition to being freakin’ enormous, it includes a lot of first-class artwork that I’d rather not splash all over the internet.

Anyway, more on that later. For now, here are the last of the Uruqua.

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The Destroyer, Master of Armageddon, The Doom In Fire

None of the Uruqua, save only Bardan himself, is half as terrifying in person as Morga, called the Destroyer, or Banamaðrin by the Sons of Esu. His manu is truly awesome – that of a gargantuan demon of fire, thrice the size of the mightiest of giants, with flaming wings, enormous horns, and breath of fire. Of all of the possible ends foretold for Anuru, the End in Fire is the most common – and in the legends and nightmares of the Kindred, it is Morga who brings that end. Because he brings only destruction, he is most adamantly opposed by Hara the maker; although Esu, the patron of courage and resistance to despair, holds a special place of hatred in his black and pitiless heart.
Morga contends with his brothers and sisters for the worship of all of the monsters, including the speaking monsters, who feed off of evil and chaos. For this reason, while he is not (for example) the patron of the Uruks, many Uruk tribes worship Morga – as do the ogres, trolls, orcs, evil giants and other unspeakable, nameless things. The worship of The Doom, as he is known to his followers, is as widespread as any among the Uruqua, and his temples – dark, terrible and burning places – can be found anywhere throughout the savage lands. The rites carried out in these temples are hideous and beyond description; the sacrifice of living beings is the least of the horrors perpetrated in Morga’s name.
Priests of Morga may come from any intelligent race, although he tends to favour fire giants, stone giants, cloud giants, Uruks, ogres and orcs. No Kindred can ever approach one of his temples without being slain (although half-kindred have, on occasion, been accepted). Priests of Morga automatically gain the Power Attack feat, gain Energy Resistance (Fire) equal to their charisma bonus, and cast all fire-based spells at CL+2. Beginning at 3rd level, they gain the ability to spontaneously channel any spell slot into an effect similar to Burning Hands, that does 1d6/spell slot level + cha modifier damage in a 15’ half-circle (reflex save for half); but half of this damage is fire, and the remainder is evil.
Certain of Morga's followers become members of the Eye of Chaos – a special order of barbarians touched by Morga’s crazed lust for destruction, who are able to wield fire as one of their weapons.

Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Sphere(s): Fire creatures, demons
Sigil: A winged red skull, flaming
Preferred hues: Red and black
Preferred weapon: Longsword
Worshippers’ alignment: Any non-lawful, non-good
Domains: Chaos, Destruction, Evil, Madness, War
Church: Major

The Chill Heart-Eater, Lord of Frost Giants

Sylgur’s tale resembles that of many of the Servants and Avatars; once a warrior of the Isgigantmæcg, which is to say the Frost Giants, he was noticed by Morga for his exceptional savagery and hatred of all things peaceful. A minor figure, Sylgur is worshipped only by certain evil Frost Giant tribes who consider Gargarik insufficiently brutal for their taste; and by tribes of Ice Ogres, and other related creatures. He has very few clerics, tending more towards Adepts, Druids and Favoured Souls. Priests of Sylgur gain Energy Resistance (Cold) equal to their level, and add their charisma bonus to the damage of any cold-based spell cast.

Alignment: Neutral Evil
Sphere(s): Frost giants, ice creatures
Sigil: Crossed axes and a skull
Preferred hues: Black and grey
Preferred weapon: Battle axe
Worshippers’ alignment: Any evil
Domains: Air, Cold, Evil, Strength
Church: Minor

Tyl Rouwgor
“Brothers of the Skin”
The Lord of the Skin

The worshippers of Tyl Rouwgor believe in only two things: the permanence of change, and the essential divinity of the animal form. The creation of the Kindred and the Speaking Monsters was a mistake that they seek to correct, by transmitting lycanthropism as widely as possible. Form is not important; only change is. Most of Tyl’s priests are, in fact, Druids or Favoured Souls, and all must, as a precondition for admission to the priesthood, be afflicted with lycanthropism. More extreme sects prevent Kindred from slaying animals, even in self-defence; and retaliate by sacrificing the slayers to the beasts. Priests of Tyl are able to master their affliction, and can change between forms as a move-equivalent action. They gain Weapon Focus with all natural attacks, and Weapon Specialization with their primary attack.

Alignment: Neutral Evil
Sphere(s): Shape-changers, lycanthropes
Sigil: A two-faced human
Preferred hues: Indigo
Preferred weapon: Natural animal weapons
Worshippers’ alignment: Any
Domains: Animal, Liberation, Pact, Strength
Church: Minor

“The Secrecy of the Rod”
The Lady of Lies; The Mistress of the Rod

With the exception of Ekhalra, Vilyacarkin may have more influence and power on Anuru than any of the Uruqua (or for that matter, the Anari). Where others prefer to move by main force, she prefers intricate, detailed plans, working from the shadows, building her forces, and striking when her opponents are weak. Her principal foes are the Keepers of the Queen, with whom she is vying for rulership over Anuru. Plans long in the making are coming to fruition, with her minions, the Secrecy of the Rod, growing in strength, and leading the way. Originally charged with maintaining the worship of Zaman after the Closing of the Dome, Vilyacarkin long ago betrayed her mistress, and now works only for her own glorification and ascendancy. The “Rod” refers to her most prized possession, an ebon staff that allows her to absorb any spell cast at her, and send it back at the caster, Quickened and Maximized, as a free action.
Her followers tend to be divided into two groups: the Arcane and the Profane. Temples of the Secrecy are led by potent clerics or favoured souls, and Covens by powerful Wizards or Sorcerers. Both groups engage and train warriors to defend them.
All members of the Secrecy have the symbol of Vilyacarkin sigil tattooed somewhere on their body, and she vouchsafes her servants great power in working her will. All adepts, clerics and blackguards of Vilyacarkin gain the Craft(Poison) feat, and add their level to all saving throws vs. poison. They are also adept at deceit, gaining Bluff and Gather Information as class skills, and adding their wisdom as well as charisma bonuses to skill checks. All Illusion/Enchantment spells are cast at CL+2, and saves against these spells are made at +2. Clerics can cast Disguise Self once per day per three levels.

Alignment: Neutral Evil
Sphere(s): Lies, deception, magic
Sigil: A red hand and a stormcloud, in an inverted torc
Preferred hues: Red, blue and black
Preferred weapon: Dagger
Worshippers’ alignment: Any evil
Domains: Dream, Luck, Madness, Magic, Mysticism
Church: Minor, but powerful