Hilljack Deities of the Goblin Pantheon

A-Z 2015 "H"It’s ‘H Day’ in the A-Z Challenge, and time to start fleshing out the new goblin pantheon. I will start with the Hilljack deities, who are followed by a secretive and really not that bad a tribe… for goblins, at least.

Hilljack Deities

Hilljacks (‘vorubec’ their own tongue) are the least nomadic goblins. The jhesiri are rampaging marauders that invade other lands and the kouzelnik live an itinerant, gypsy-like existence and are constantly seeking… something (called ‘jatemst’, but nobody knows what that is). The vorubec are happy to keep to themselves in the forested hills of the borderlands, moving from time to time as needed to avoid discovery.

Kamenych

  • Domains Rune, Fire, Earth, Community, Magic
  • Alignment Neutral
  • Chosen Weapon Staff
  • Symbol Burning runestone

This goddess of runes is the leader of the hilljack deities. Her will binds them together for their safety, and her uncanny powers provide guidance and protection.

Her shrines are dolmen-like structures, around which the vorubec build their villages. Ceremonies are performed atop the dolmen, and bonfires are typically lit at each ‘leg’, providing an eerie, flickering ‘underlighting’ to the event.

Daily prayers are offered at midnight, far from prying eyes.

Mortal servants of Kamenych are called Nocvolaj, ‘nightcallers’.

She manifests as a rune-covered stone golem, often formed from her dolmen.

Mocny

  • Domains Strength, Chaos, Animal, War
  • Alignment Chaotic Neutral
  • Chosen Weapon Battleaxe if mounted, greataxe if not.
  • Symbol Bear paw

This god of strength is the older brother of Oblazek and Stvoren, and a fierce warrior. He lacks the discipline and patience of his younger brothers, but is quite formidable when he joins the fray.

His shrines are found in bear caves, and when in use are typically smoky and rank with the gamy smell of large animals.

Daily prayers are offered at dawn, the beginning of the typical bear’s waking period.

Mortal servants of Mocny are called Lednived, ‘bears’.

He manifests as a human-sized vorubec barbarian wielding a battleaxe (if mounted on a dire bear) or a greataxe if on foot.

Stetsi

  • Domains Luck, Trickery, Darkness, Water, Magic
  • Alignment Neutral
  • Chosen Weapon Shortspear
  • Symbol An empty cloak

This goddess of luck and trickery is possibly the most popular of the hilljack deities. She lacks the caprice and unpredictable nature of her sibling Mazany, and her cleverness and cunning are sought after by almost all vorubec.

Her shrines are temporary things created at need on ponds and mostly-still pools in moving water. They are crafted of deadfall wood and other materials at hand, and last until they are pulled apart by the motion of the water (usually a matter of hours).

Daily prayers are offered at nightfall, as might be expected.

Her followers are called Nocnistin, ‘night shadows’.

She manifests most often as a darkly-cloaked vorubec rogue seen just in the corner of your eye. How this is true when many are present is a mystery.

Mazany

  • Domains Trickery, Chaos, Luck, Weather
  • Alignment Chaotic Neutral
  • Chosen Weapon Nunchaku (light flail)
  • Symbol Lightning bolt

Mazany is the enigmatic sibling of Stetsi and Kapalin, and represents the fickle nature of life. Where some gods of trickery are malicious, and others are pranksters, Mazany is a force of the universe related to unpredictable (and largely unavoidable) events beyond the control of mortals.

Mazany’s shrines are haphazard collections of objects that form an altar or other focus of power. You are as likely to stumble on such a shrine as you are to discover it through conscious consideration of ‘where it would be’.

Daily prayers are offered whenever the one praying wants to. Or not today, but two or three times yesterday and tomorrow. Whatever.

Mazany’s followers might demand to be called any number of things (and it might change from day to day), but are most often referred to as Prasteny, ‘lunatics’.

Mazany manifests in many ways, almost invariably different from anything seen before and doing something strange indeed… but it works because something happens that no one sane would have predicted. Sometimes the best thing you can do is follow along.

Kapalin

  • Domains Water, Luck, Weather, Law
  • Alignment Lawful Neutral
  • Chosen Weapon Hammer
  • Symbol A sack of tools

Kapalin is the third of the vorubec deities of luck, and unlike his siblings and Stetsi and Mazany represents ‘making your own luck’. Many of the things that appear to be ‘good fortune’ are the result of careful planning and preparation, often ‘just in case’.

His shrines are almost always near water and make use of it in some fashion. There might be a waterwheel to power tools such as a mill or trip hammer, a wharf or boathouse, a weir or two to capture fish or anything that floats by, and so on. These might often be cleverly concealed, such as within a beaver dam or behind a waterfall.

Daily prayers are offered at noon, while taking a break from work well done before going back to work.

His followers are known as Bobri, ‘beavers’.

He manifests as a serious-looking hilljack, constantly looking around and examining his surroundings to find opportunities, threats, and advantages.

Oblazek

  • Domains Earth, Rune, Animal, War
  • Alignment Neutral
  • Chosen Weapon Kukri
  • Symbol Badger paw with the vorubec rune for war engraved

This god of earth is a patient and ruthless protector of the vorubec. Unlike his older brother Mocny, he is quite patient. Unlike his younger brother Stvoren he rarely seeks out threats. He is fond of ambush from underground and can wait until the perfect moment to strike and obliterate his enemies.

His shrines are dens dug into hills, breeding and training grounds for the dire badgers used by his followers.

Daily prayers are offered at dusk, the beginning of the nocturnal badgers’ waking time.

Mortal servants of Oblazek are called Jezevec, ‘badgers’. They are not common, but rarely are more than few needed.

He manifests as a vorubec warrior mounted on a dire badger, often with soil still falling from him after emerging from the ground below.

Stvoren

  • Domains Animal, Strength, Darkness, Earth, Magic
  • Alignment Neutral
  • Chosen Weapon Longbow
  • Symbol A black arrow

Stvoren is the vorubec god of hunting. His brother Mocny will fight for when called upon or for pleasure, Oblazek will pragmatically and viciously protect his people, but Stvoren seeks out threats and dispatches them.

His shrines are shrouded in shadow and contains caches of weapons and other supplies, and always have multiple entrances and exits – both to make it difficult to capture his followers, and to make it difficult to even track their coming and going.

Daily prayers are offered quietly at dusk, while preparing for whatever tasks lie ahead this night.

Mortal servants of Stvoren are called Zimije, ‘vipers’, for their quick and deadly strike.

He manifests as a hilljack druid, darkly-clothed as many vorubec are, and moves in near silence.

Cherna

  • Domains Darkness, Chaos, Luck, Animal
  • Alignment Chaotic Neutral
  • Chosen Weapon Rapier
  • Symbol Bat silhouette

This goddess of the night lives on the fringe of hilljack communities. She has the wanderlust more than other vorubec and spends much of her time exploring the forest and other lands around their homes, and often is the first to discover threats and opportunities.

Her shrines are typically located high in trees or in caves with ready access and egress… at least to those who can fly or climb very well.

Daily prayers are offered at dusk, when her allies the bats awaken and take flight.

Her followers are, of course, known as Netopyr, ‘bats’.

She manifests as a large bat, often bearing an item of importance to the one she manifests for, or as a vorubec ranger mounted on a dire bat.

Closing Comments

GreyKnight makes fun of me for it, but again I didn’t know quite where this was going to go when I started. I didn’t expect the two sets of siblings, nor the heavy animal theme (though I perhaps should have, considering how many have the Animal domain), nor how the pieces of this subpantheon would fit together.

I think I’m picking up speed a bit, averaging about ten minutes per deity. Once I find a theme to work with it becomes a simple matter of fitting the pieces together and filling in blanks. I do still refer to some of my resources when looking for chosen weapons, but much of the rest comes with just a bit of thought.

Polyhedral Pantheons Cover
Polyhedral Pantheons Cover

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4 Comments

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