Desert Pantheon

Deities of the Desert Nations

The various nations of the Great Desert worship their own varied deities. Like the Imperial nations, many faiths, both legitimately felt and otherwise, can be found in the desert nations. The most influential deities are detailed below.

 

Shi’al (She al)
The Light, The One God
Symbol: A book with an open hand on the cover
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Portfolio: Everyday life
Domains: Law, Sun, War
Favored Weapon: Khopesh

 

Shi’al is the god of the faithful of Al-Amim. Faith in him is absolute, and many holy wars have been fought in his name over the centuries.

Dogma
As it is written in the Septuagaina, Shi’al is the one and only true god. All other gods are pretender demons or fictions made up by the weak. Shi’al’s word is law, and must be followed under penalty of death. Those who are ignorant of Shi’al’s word must be taught. Those who ignore Shi’al’s word must be put to death. If any man should raise a god above Shi’al, he must be put to death. If any land or nation should raise a god above Shi’al, the faithful must rise up in crusade and free the people of that land from those who would deny Shi’al’s word.

Temples and Clergy
Temples dedicated to Shi’al are as commonplace as the stars in the nation of Al-Amim. Every town and city will have more than one, and almost every home is likely to have some small shrine inside. Outside of Al-Amim, temples dedicated to Shi’al are few and far between. A few exist in Taj-Alid, and a few missionaries sent to Altali have been allowed to evangelize, though their teachings are not usually heeded. Over the centuries, Zymia has staved off more than one holy crusade aimed at them from Al-Amim for their obvious rebuff of the teachings of the Septuagaina.

 

Clerics dedicated to Shi’al are easily distinguished by the small tattoos they carry on their cheeks. There is no specific wardrobe worn by the priesthood, but no cleric of Shi’al would ever be caught without a copy of the Septuagaina and his holy ring, which acts as a divine focus for his spellcasting. Missionaries often teach their faith like any other cleric, but in Al-Amim it’s assumed that one knows the lessons written down in the Septuagaina, so clerics often teach their lessons in the form of questions or stories that relate to the Septuagaina and have a moral.

 

Shi’al’s clergy is split between two types of clerics that cooperate fully. Those without the War domain act as community leaders, teachers and missionaries. Those with the War domain act as warriors, fighting with the armies of Al-Amim and acting as leaders and officers in battle, especially against heretic non-believers.

 

Khebel Ra (Kay bel Ra)
The Dunemaster, Ra of the Sun
Symbol: The sun rising over a sand dune
Alignment: Neutral
Portfolio: The desert, wind, the sun
Domains: Air, Earth, Sun, Travel
Favored Weapon: Quarterstaff

 

Khebel Ra is the breeze that cools your parched skin and the sandstorm that destroys your camp. He is the path that shows you the way and the sand dune that sucks you down to your death. He is the sun that both lights the way and beats down on you until death.

Dogma
The shifting sands of the desert are as perfect as they are unforgiving. The desert is a clean and clear place, a quiet place for ultimate contemplation, and a roaring cacophony of hidden life. The desert makes no distinctions and does not judge, it is both supremely ordered and wildly chaotic at the same time. Those who respect the desert can learn from it. Those who try to enforce their will upon the desert are destined to lie beneath it.

Temples and Clergy
There are few true temples dedicated to Khebel Ra, but many roadside shrines dot the roads that travel through the desert. Many worried travelers and superstitious people stop at every shrine along the way to pour an offering of water onto the parched sand. The few temples that do exist are small pyramids in out of the way desert locations.

 

Clerics of Khebel Ra tend to seem somewhat aloof, as though the everyday worries of others don’t concern them. Generally, they are not popular people with the smallfolk, since they seem as though they don’t care about the common person. However, they are tolerated with a wide berth, since many believe that if a cleric of Khebel Ra is wronged, the desert itself will rise to seek vengeance. Clerics of Khebel Ra rarely involve themselves in most affairs, except those that involve travel through the desert. In this case, people that usually avoid him will flock to a cleric of Khebel Ra with offerings intended to buy the indulgence of his god. Many enterprising caravan drivers will hire on a cleric of Khebel Ra in the hopes that his presence will keep the caravan from harm on the long journey across the desert.

 

Kull (Kuh ool)
High Slavemaster, The Conqueror of Cattle, He Of The Lash
Symbol: A locked shackle
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Portfolio: Slavery, subjugation
Domains: Law, Slavery*, Strength
Favored Weapon: Whip

* new domain; see below

Kull is the slavemaster of all, and all do his bidding. He represents oppression and the subjugation of the weak. Homage is paid to Kull every time a slave is punished as an example to others, every time a spirit is broken and every time the strong subjugate those weaker than themselves.

Dogma
The strong rule over the weak with an iron hand. This is the natural order. Equal coexistence drags the strong down to the same level as the weak, which makes them weak as well. The weak exist to serve the desires of the strong.

Temples and Clergy
There are no temples dedicated to Kull. Even in the desert nations, where slavery has been quite possibly perfected as an art, Kull is not an exceptionally popular deity. This does not bother the few clerics who have devoted themselves to his service. They see every slave trader as a disciple, every marketplace as a temple. In the aftermath of a battle, they evangelize the rightness of subjugating the captured enemy under the strong lash of their conquerors. Clerics dedicated to Kull wear no common uniform to mark them, but almost all of them proudly carry fine whips and generally have several slaves serving their every whim.

 

Slavery Domain
Granted Power:
You gain the Exotic Weapon Proficiency (whip) feat. Additionally, you may rebuke or command slaves* as you would undead. This granted power is a supernatural ability.

Add Intimidate to your list of cleric class skills.

Slavery Domain Spells
1 Cause Fear:
One creature of 5 HD or less flees for 1d4 rounds.
2 Enthrall:
Captivates all within 100 ft. + 10 ft./level.
3 Hold Person:
Paralyzes one humanoid for 1 round/level.
4 Dominate Person:
Controls humanoid telepathically.
5 Mass Subjection:
As suggestion, plus one subject/level.
6 Mass Charm Monster:
As charm monster, but all within 30 ft.
7 Forcecage:
Cube or cage of force imprisons all inside.
8 Trap The Soul:
Imprisons subject within gem.
9 Dominate Monster:
As dominate person, but any creature.

*The slave must either be in captivity or must be in the process of escaping or rebelling. Once escaped, a slave is free and many not be rebuked or commanded.