Blackmoor's Gods of Evil

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Havard
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Blackmoor's Gods of Evil

Post by Havard »

The D20 edition of Blackmoor introduced a large pantheon of Gods for Blackmoor. Some had appeared in the DA modules or in various Mystara/BECMI sourcebooks while others were new:

Zugzul: Zugzul the God of Fire and Ice or Fire and Darkness is the patron of the Afridhi. I have always seen him as a God of chaos, conquest and war, but the d20 book makes him Lawful Evil. He represents a physical threat to Blackmoor in the form of the invading Afridhi armies led by Toska Rusa.

Thanatos: This is a Mystara favorite big bad, but the d20 Blackmoor line associated him with the Temple of Id, which again gave him an interesting role. In earlier versions of Blackmoor, The Temple of Id was mostly represented as a destroyed temple. I like how the d20 line made them an active, but secret cult.

Brr'b't: I prefer referring to the patron of the Temple of the Frog as Tsathoggua, but this is clearly another key enemy of Blackmoor.

Chamber: Evil Dragons need Gods too. A NE god of Inventions and Secrets, he doesn't seem to be so bad.

Tyrhm: The name invokes the Norse God of Warfare, Tyr, and Tyrhm is the God of the Skandaharians, but closer to the Greek God Ares with a Norse spin INHO. I like how this makes the Skandaharians a much darker version of Vikings than say the peoples of Mystara's Northern Reaches.

Volketh: The God of Murder and Assasins. I have aways associated him with the Assassins Guild led by Skandros the Strangler.

Gorrim: The Dwarven God of destruction. I have considered him a different identity of Thanatos, but who knows?

Dealt: The Elven Goddess of Magic and Darkness is CN, but I have included her here.

The Egg of Coot: Probably not a God, but certainly a source of evil.

Which of these gods do you think would be the most interesting as a premise for a campaign?

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Re: Blackmoor's Gods of Evil

Post by ripvanwormer »

Havard wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:49 am
Tyrhm: The name invokes the Norse God of Warfare, Tyr, and Tyrhm is the God of the Skandaharians, but closer to the Greek God Ares with a Norse spin INHO. I like how this makes the Skandaharians a much darker version of Vikings than say the peoples of Mystara's Northern Reaches.
I assumed he was named after the frost giant Þrymr or Thrym. In this thinking, the Skandaharians are sort of alt-Norse who worship the Jotuns instead of the Aesir.

If Zugzul is the same as Surtr, the role of the Jotuns in Blackmoor might go far beyond the Skandaharians.

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Re: Blackmoor's Gods of Evil

Post by Big Mac »

Havard wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:49 am
Dealt: The Elven Goddess of Magic and Darkness is CN, but I have included her here.
Interesting.

Why do you lump that Chaotic Neutral goddess in with evil, rather than good?
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Re: Blackmoor's Gods of Evil

Post by ripvanwormer »

Big Mac wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 4:29 pm
Why do you lump that Chaotic Neutral goddess in with evil, rather than good?
From Dave Arneson's Blackmoor (3e), page 168: "Dealth (da-alth) is not loved, even by those who follow her... Among the Cumasti, those who worship her usually do so in hopes of avoiding her gaze, of turning her eye elsewhere so that the misfortune she brings does not strike them... Among the Westryn, the Veiled Lady is more often invoked in anger, in hopes of directing her attentions against one who has wronged the petitioner."

She's not evil, but she's a goddess of bad luck and trickery. As with the Greyhawk setting's Ralishaz the Unlooked For, she lacks malign intent, but nonetheless misfortune follows wherever she goes. As a result, it's easier to imagine her as an antagonist than an ally. Just as a natural disaster is something you generally struggle against, even if it's not there to spite you. When people pray to Dealth, they pray she stays away.

That said, she's not an ally of evil deities (though I suppose some may form alliances of convenience with her), and the gods and minions of evil might have just as much cause to avoid Dealth as the forces of good. In an "enemy of my enemies" sense, player characters might conceivably ally with Dealth or her servants in order to cause woe to their foes.

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Re: Blackmoor's Gods of Evil

Post by ripvanwormer »

Havard wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:49 am
Brr'b't: I prefer referring to the patron of the Temple of the Frog as Tsathoggua, but this is clearly another key enemy of Blackmoor.
I imagine the frog deity as a distant one, either sleeping like Monster Mythology's Ramenos or imprisoned like Greyhawk's Wastri was for a time, leaving a vacuum of leadership that Stephen Rocklin was able to exploit in taking over the Order of the Frog.

From DA2: "For a century it had festered in that awful stinking swamp, getting more and more eccentric and being gradually forgotten. And, then, someone came along who had a head for leadership, and suddenly the order got active again."

In the Greyhawk setting, Wastri was imprisoned beneath Castle Greyhawk from 505 CY to 570 CY, leaving his cult without direction—a perfect time for an ambitious green-skinned alien to give them the direction they needed. In Mongoose Publishing's Classic Play: Book of the Planes, the Glorious Toad God got drunk in an inn before passing out in its cellar, and its unconscious power causes the inn to wander the planes ever since—an amusing origin story for the Comeback Inn.

In Monster Mythology, Ramenos "is a sleeping god... Periods of prolonged inactivity and taking refuge and pleasure in intoxication have reduced this god's stature, and it seems certain he will decline to demigod status over the centuries, eventually sleeping himself into extinction."

Of course, if the frog god should wake, or be freed, things might become very different. Stephen Rocklin might rue the day he tried to usurp the god's rightful place.

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Re: Blackmoor's Gods of Evil

Post by Zeromaru X »

I feel the Egg is more like a Lovecraftian god rather than a common god, but that's my idea. If I chose him as the evil god of my campaign, I'd focus on that weird Far Realm stuff.

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Re: Blackmoor's Gods of Evil

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ripvanwormer wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 2:44 pm
Havard wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:49 am
Tyrhm: The name invokes the Norse God of Warfare, Tyr, and Tyrhm is the God of the Skandaharians, but closer to the Greek God Ares with a Norse spin INHO. I like how this makes the Skandaharians a much darker version of Vikings than say the peoples of Mystara's Northern Reaches.
I assumed he was named after the frost giant Þrymr or Thrym. In this thinking, the Skandaharians are sort of alt-Norse who worship the Jotuns instead of the Aesir.

If Zugzul is the same as Surtr, the role of the Jotuns in Blackmoor might go far beyond the Skandaharians.
I think this makes a lot of sense. I have already been operating on the assumption that Zugzul=Surtr and having Tyrhm be Thrym works perfectly!

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Re: Blackmoor's Gods of Evil

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Big Mac wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 4:29 pm
Havard wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:49 am
Dealt: The Elven Goddess of Magic and Darkness is CN, but I have included her here.
Interesting.

Why do you lump that Chaotic Neutral goddess in with evil, rather than good?
It was a last minute addition. But she is the least sympathetic among the Elven pantheon.

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Re: Blackmoor's Gods of Evil

Post by Havard »

Zeromaru X wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 3:48 pm
I feel the Egg is more like a Lovecraftian god rather than a common god, but that's my idea. If I chose him as the evil god of my campaign, I'd focus on that weird Far Realm stuff.
This is very similar to how I portray the Egg. But there are several ways to handle the Egg of Coot. I think Ripvanwormer wrote a great outline summarizing the most popular options somewhere. :)

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Re: Blackmoor's Gods of Evil

Post by Havard »

ripvanwormer wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 2:10 am
Havard wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:49 am
Brr'b't: I prefer referring to the patron of the Temple of the Frog as Tsathoggua, but this is clearly another key enemy of Blackmoor.
I imagine the frog deity as a distant one, either sleeping like Monster Mythology's Ramenos or imprisoned like Greyhawk's Wastri was for a time, leaving a vacuum of leadership that Stephen Rocklin was able to exploit in taking over the Order of the Frog.

From DA2: "For a century it had festered in that awful stinking swamp, getting more and more eccentric and being gradually forgotten. And, then, someone came along who had a head for leadership, and suddenly the order got active again."

In the Greyhawk setting, Wastri was imprisoned beneath Castle Greyhawk from 505 CY to 570 CY, leaving his cult without direction—a perfect time for an ambitious green-skinned alien to give them the direction they needed. In Mongoose Publishing's Classic Play: Book of the Planes, the Glorious Toad God got drunk in an inn before passing out in its cellar, and its unconscious power causes the inn to wander the planes ever since—an amusing origin story for the Comeback Inn.

In Monster Mythology, Ramenos "is a sleeping god... Periods of prolonged inactivity and taking refuge and pleasure in intoxication have reduced this god's stature, and it seems certain he will decline to demigod status over the centuries, eventually sleeping himself into extinction."

Of course, if the frog god should wake, or be freed, things might become very different. Stephen Rocklin might rue the day he tried to usurp the god's rightful place.
I wasn't familiar with the "sleeping god" concept in D&D before, but I think this fits well. It also seems similar to how Clark Asthon-Smith portrayed Tsathoggua.

I have always wondered if Rocklin simply hijacked the Order of the Frog, or if some mysterious voice in the back of his head lead him to that place in the swamps...

If he did offend Tsathoggua, that could explain why Rocklin returns as a Vampire in Return to the Temple of the Frog

-Havard

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