Tuesday, August 21, 2018

A few Yoon-Suin Gods

The Yellow City has hundreds of temples devoted to gods terrible and small.  Here are a few of them.

(as my campaign is in 5e, for some of them I will list the granted domain).

Yato, hoarder of secrets.  A small, cunning mole.  Wine red is his sacred color.  He demands the sacrifice of *hands* (any hands will do,  not just yours!).  Grants the domain of knowledge or trickery.  Prayed to by those looking to discover secrets and keep them for themselves.   Shrine on the Red Bank district.  (inspiration from The Gnole by Alan Aldridge)

 Parkij, the Crane of Hunger. Concerned with famine and endurance.  Holy color is this old yellowed bone shade.  She demands sacrifice of food (lots of it).  Stoic.  Temple is not too far from the Great Granary.  Every morning, they ritually curse the building.  Popular with the poor who which to rise above hunger.

Phtol, the lady of the dawn. Crane-aspected. Holy colors are pink and yellow.  Concerned with mornings and dreams. Demands the sacrifice of eels.  Her cultists have an intense dislike of the Crane of hunger,  but the followers of Parkij are merely contemptuous in return.  The two shrines face each other across an arm of the God River, with the shrine to Phtol in is the Old Quarters.   The boatmens who operate the multitudes of water taxis in the Yellow City know better than to ferry someone directly between the two shrines!  Domains granted are light or knowledge (dreams bring insight).  Given prayers by those who hope to wake up with insight or inspiration.

The Cosmic Snail, the God that Gets there in the end.   Followers are obsessed with endings, especially of things that have been going on for some time (such as the world).  Demands sacrifice of sweets.  Grants the domains of death or knowledge.  Their temple is very old and is in a spiral structure, with the inner chamber having the same diameter as the exterior (which is impossible).  Said temple is located in the Old Clay district, facing the Narrows.  The head priest from Sugd and came to the Yellow City seeking end of the world, and is a man of some power (level 9).  Priests are usually men, rarely slugpeople, and frequently stout and ugly.  This is not helped by the choice of holy colors, an unfortunate yellowish green.  While the cultists aren't law enforcers per se, they do not tolerate crap and are willing scrappers.  Frequent spiral motif in their iconography.  PCs involved in anything momentous in the city will often see them in the background, observing.  In fact, their appearance is usually the first sign that something serious is afoot. 

(inspired by this great illustration by Matthew Addams)

The Memory Tree:  This ancient pippala tree's leaves constantly move, even when there is no wind.  It's fruit is said to fortify the memory, allowing one to remember long forgotten facts, but also retain new knowledge.  Demands sacrifice of blood, which is poured directly onto the roots.  In the most holy of ceremony, a supplicant is tied to the tree for three days in in the heat and bled - if they survive, the god will impart a very important memory to them.  The holy men tending to the tree dress in pure white, and the tree is in the great arboretum west of the Granary District.  Grants the domains of Knowledge or Nature.

WoBek Jozefa: A donkey. God of swearing and of urgently telling people to stop before they hurt themselves or cause a scene.  Demands blood.  Gray is their holy color. Shrine in the Old Quarters

Garlok, Lord of Pain, "Towerface".  A demon.  His holy color is deep red and he demands human sacrifice.  Followers are vicious and violent (bullies at best, sadistic psychos at worse).  The temple is a garish and widely mocked mixture of a demon's head and small towers,  and is widely lauded as a masterpiece of architecture - as in it's suspected the architect's goal was to mock the demon *and* please his clients at the same time.  Located in the north edge of the Old Quarters.  Priests of Garlock are *not* clerics, but are warlocks (bladelocks frequently), as Garlock is a powerful fiend and not a true god. 

Concerted efforts by many to limit the Lord of Pain's influence in the Yellow City has been successful.  These efforts are two-fold.  One aspect is gently pulling away youth who are following him as an act of rebellion.  Second is much more muscular and involves limiting access to human sacrifice - most criminals are diverted to Vanek, the lord of Retribution,  most slave sellers will not deal with Garlok, and any kidnapping brings instant suspicion onto Garlok's followers.  Every generation or so things escalate and some kind of fight breaks out - usually nothing more than a bloody brawl but once a century or so can be a serious battle,  as some of the followers of Garlok can be quite powerful.  As the current priest is a man of power and ambition (warlorck level 11), such a conflict is looming.   Despite all of these issues, there still is a place for Garlok in the Yellow City, and his followers will gladly unleash havoc to protect their home.   Credits to Dyson Logos for the original idea 

Va Qabu, the little dog of sleep and clouds. He desires cheese for sacrifices. His followers are expected to paint their dwelling purple. A minor cult, kept alive by the fact it's popular with particularly lazy slugpeople. Shrine in the Golden Triangle district. Kalo Shofi is the high priestess - a rather influential slugwoman, as she runs the Golden Auction house.

Baakoo, the Lord of Light: Despite the imposing title, this is a minor cult of candle and lamp makers – he's the god of light making instruments, not light itself. His holy color is orange yellow (flame), and he takes the form of a 
brightly colored lizard. Sacrifice is fuel (must be plant/animal origin) that is burnt.  The modest temple is located on the Red Bank. Sole slugman follower is the "fireslug", Po Loma, from the Sea Star Company

Dyson, the Hoarder of Maps. An orang-outang, who demands the sacrifice of beer. The holy color is dark grey.  The shrine doubles as an archive, where many maps are collected. Domains granted are knowledge or Nature. Paid tribute to by both cartographers and those who depend on maps for their success/survival. 

From a game perspective, it may seem ... challenging to have so many gods... but it's actually freeing. You don't have to worry about duplications, or "why haven't we heard about this god before?!?".  The pantheon doesn't have to make sense - it's a crazy mish-mash, it's *all* good.  If a player wants a specific god, they can make one up.  They want a specific domain but aren't sure of the god?  Make up half a dozen and let them pick one.  

I have dozens more of these - if anyone *really* wants more let me know :) 

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