I’m taking a break from Polyhedral Pantheons work tomorrow. I spent a big chunk of this last weekend — when I wasn’t at a judo tournament — doing a final review of a monster book for a friend. It starts with ‘L’, it’s gaming related, it’ll likely be my topic for tomorrow.
Goblins are often described as being wary or fearful of magic, viewing it with trepidation at best.
The kouzelnik are probably a large part of the reason. Even the jhesiri, as destructive as they are, realize that anything that is mentally corrosive enough to create the kouzelnik is too dangerous to treat casually.
Like the jhesiri, the kouzelnik are itinerant, wandering the land looking for ‘jatemst’. The kouzelnik claim they will know it when they find it, but have never been able to articulate what it is to anyone else. Most descriptions of jatemst appear to be contradictory.
- Domains Madness, Death, Community, Knowledge, Magic
- Alignment Neutral
- Chosen Weapon Shovel (treat as handaxe)
- Symbol Magic staff (complete with knob on the end) with a shovel blade on the other end.
This deranged god is perhaps the most moderate of the kouzelnik deities, which might explain his position as nominal leader. It is thought that since the other deities cannot find a way to compromise or agree on where to look for jatemst they might as well follow a drunkard’s walk.
Like all kouzelnik shrines, Selinsi’s are portable, at least nominally. Hauling the stone altar full of scrolls typically requires a cart.
Daily prayers are offered at dusk, or when the caravan stops movement for the day.
Selinsi’s followers are called Azyl, ‘seekers’.
He manifests as a grubby kouzelnik with dirt-encrusted nails and muddy streaks on his face.
- Domains Law, Air, Water, Knowledge, Magic
- Alignment Lawful Neutral
- Chosen Weapon Flail
- Symbol Balance with measures of different-colored liquids on each side.
Zakon is Selinsi’s son, and while not as obviously mad as his father is very, very organized and precise in all his works. He would have the kouzelnik seek jatemst by measuring and observing all fluids (including the wind and water), sifting them for their elusive target. And keep records of everything, in case they find a clue and need to go back and check something again, or to hopefully avoid that.
His shrines would be lighter than Selinsi’s because they are made of wood rather than stone, but bound books are rather denser than scrolls. Zakon’s portable shrines are at least as hard to haul as Selinsi’s.
Daily prayers are offered at dawn, while examining a mug of tisane for any clues to what the day may bring.
Zakon’s followers are called Myslitel, ‘thinkers’.
He manifests as a tidy kouzelnik with clean clothing, orderly hair, and a distracted look in his gleaming eyes.
- Domains Air, Evil, Weather, Law
- Alignment Lawful Evil
- Chosen Weapon Javelin
- Symbol Lightning bolt
This goddess of storms can be relied on to follow orders when it means she gets to compel others to obey or suffer. She isn’t particularly interested in jatemst herself, but since that’s what the others are looking for and she gets to compel others to obey or suffer, she’s going along.
Her shrines are much lighter than Selinsi’s or Zakon’s. Each is still carried in a wagon, easily identifiable by the metal rod sticking up and the trailing chains. In severe weather kouzelnik try to keep the other wagons and carts from being too close.
Daily prayers are offered at dusk, in the hopes of a sudden storm overnight.
Panovity’s followers are called Jiskra, ‘sparks’.
She manifests as a kouzelnik with a corona of hair and constantly flickering eyes.
- Domains Death, Evil, Travel, Madness
- Alignment Neutral Evil
- Chosen Weapon Blowgun
- Symbol Dart with a bead of poison on the tip
This goddess of death encourages her followers to embrace covert murder and assassination.
Her shrines are much more portable than most of the others, made of wood with many hollows. Almost all contain secret drawers and the like loaded with tools useful to assassins and thieves.
Daily prayers are offered at dusk, not infrequently before setting out on night missions.
Umiraj’s followers are called Komari, ‘mosquitoes’, for their ability to inflict death and pain while causing only very small wounds. There is a certain enmity between the Zimije, Stvoren’s followers, toward the Komari, because of the indiscriminate nature of Komari assassination. Neither group is really aggressive about this enmity at this point, the Zimije because it is not a particular threat to their people, the Komari because they’re not paid to.
Umiraj manifests as a slender female kouzelnik closely-dressed in dark colors. She has no visible weapons and yet still exudes a sense of subtle threat.
- Domains Community, Rune, Travel, Madness
- Alignment Neutral
- Chosen Weapon Staff
- Symbol Colorful, ribbon-strewn wagon wheel
Osada is another of the mad deities of the kouzelnik, caught between the need to settle and build a community, and the need to travel. This deity seems confused about sexual identity as well, switching back and forth on an irregular basis.
This deity’s shrines are carved wood with rune-carved stone panels. They can be disassembled and used as major components of temporary structures at each camp that will last more than a few days, but even then they rarely stay assembled for more than a week.
Daily prayers are offered at noon, during a rest break in travel or, by preference, a break in the work day while encamped.
Osada’s followers are called Osadnik, ‘settlers’. They would be ideal candidates for establishing permanent settlements if they didn’t feel compelled to wander and seek out jatemst. Instead, the kouzelnik depend on the other goblin tribes – the hilljacks, mostly – to provide those things that require settlements.
Osada manifests as a colorfully-dressed kouzelnik (male or female varying by day), often with a frustrated look caused by the various unresolved dichotomies.
- Domains Knowledge, Evil, Madness, Law
- Alignment Lawful Evil
- Chosen Weapon Dagger
- Symbol Scroll dripping blood
This god of knowledge and madness has delved too deeply into forbidden lore in his quest for jatemst.
His shrines are bloodstained wood and carry scrolls written in blood (often on human skin — goblin skin would be more convenient, but is too irregular and not smooth enough to make a good writing surface… elven would be even better but is much too hard to acquire).
Daily prayers are offered at dusk. Midnight would be better but there are often other things that must done at that time.
Znalost’s followers are called Odpadlik, ‘apostates’, for turning to the darkest powers, away from anything that is holy.
He manifests as a male kouzelnik with ink- and blood-stained fingers, staring into the distance at and reacting to things no mortal was meant to see.
- Domains Magic, Rune, Luck, Animal, Madness, Law
- Alignment Lawful Neutral
- Chosen Weapon Light mace (heavy stone pestle)
- Symbol Crow
This deity of magic has broader interests than the other kouzelnik deities, and under other circumstances might have been their leader, but is so engrossed in study and experimentation that all other matters tend to be ignored or forgotten. Carodej delves into the mysteries as deeply as Znalost, but in a direction that thankfully has not resulted in this deity’s mind being polluted as badly. Damaged perhaps, and probably monomaniacal, but at least not willing to embrace atrocity as a means of reaching goals.
Carodej’s shrines are rune-carved wood and often bear acid and fire scars, consequences of experimental mishap.
The deity’s followers are called Badatel, ‘investigators’.
Carodej manifests as a kouzelnik of indeterminate sex, paying little to no attention to appearance or personal grooming. The only concern regarding ‘male clothing’ vs. ‘female clothing’ is cleanliness and utility, male and female mannerisms are largely ignored, and so on.
This completes the first draft of all twenty-two deities of the goblin pantheon. I still have to finish the halfling pantheon (which is hardly started), and the elemental tetratheon (half drafted), and should look at what I’m doing with the Samoora pantheon created by John Payne.
Then go back to review and revise the process sections, decide what to do with the appendices, and so on. Well, I’m only halfway through this year’s A-Z Challenge, maybe I’ll be able to find ways to wedge enough of the book requirements into the remaining letters.