campaign settings

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.

Clerics

True clerics are servants in the cause of a deity. They fufill many functions. The most common goal for most clerics is to win converts to the cause of their faith. This is usually accomplished by spreading dogma, but is often aided by good works, such as public healing. Some clerics perform great tasks or undergo great quests to bring attention to their faith. Likewise, some spread sickness and death because that is what their faith demands of them.

It is difficult to pin down the average life of a cleric because there are so many potential cults that he could be a member of. Some are educated from a young age and groomed for a position in the church. Others are converts that adopt the faith later in life. A few even claim to have been chosen not so much by their church as by direct intervention of a deity, having had prophetic dreams or having discovered a holy divine focus waiting for them after some trial. These latter are rare and are often treated with extreme skepticism, even by members of their own faith.

Regardless of how one comes to the faith, the spreading of their ideals is what makes a cleric a cleric. This is not to say that all clerics are preachy (though many are). The most successful clerics often look for unorthadox methods to help shepherd people. Demonstrating the nature of their deity by spreading their message to the smallfolk is among the most common. Examples of this might include a cleric who showcases the magnanimous nature of his deity through good deeds and healing. Another example might be a cleric who attacks and subjegates the public in the name of his cruel god of slavery and tyranny. Another common method is for a cleric to undertake a great quest int he name of his deity. When word of his exploits travels, his name and that of his deity will reach the ears of thousands.

Very rarely, a cleric will arise that does not spread the word of a deity, but the word of an ideal. Such clerics do not normally associate themselves with a cult and in fact, they are often times denounced by existing faiths as heritics and pretenders. These philosopher clerics are a breed apart. Their power is as real as that of any other cleric, but they do not claim that it comes from a deity. Instead, they claim that their power stems from their observance to a particular ideal or lifestyle. Philospher clerics are sometimes popular with the smallfolk because their message of power without the attached strings of a deity is well recieved, but they very often find themselves at odds with other clerics --or worse, with established churches-- that do not appreciate the message that a god is not needed.

Faith

The world of Eckor plays host to literally thousands of individual cults of worship. Some are schisms between similar faiths, where a group splinters off from the main body of worship in order to observe their faith differently. Many others are not so much legitimate faiths as they are excuses to justify whatever behavior the so-called faithful want to practice. Still, a very large number of cults are made up of believers, those who practice their faith because they truly believe in the power behind it.

This power is in some cases not just figurative. Some of the larger cults have insinuated themselves upon the civic world and wield considerable political power for it. Other smaller faiths often aspire to mark their footprint on the soil of the political circut as well. This sometimes results in a beneficial outcome for the smallfolk of the region, as one sure way to gain influence is to increase the number of worshippers through good works. Other times, the outcome is less-desirable, as cults compete with each other for worshippers and resources, often times to the exclusion of their good works.

New cults spring into existence all the time. Many fizzle and disappear for lack of a constituency. Others are removed by competing faiths, often violently. Some are exactly what they claim to be... a different path to a good outcome. The vast majority are just covers or excuses for behavior that would be social unacceptable outside of the bounds of religion. Cults dedicated to gods of lust, alcohol and hedonism are many, though they are rarely taken seriously as actual faith.

The World of Eckor

The World of Eckor is a new and unique setting. It incorporates the feel of a traditional contemporary fantasy, but also has a sci-fi-like touch of psionics. Far from being “just another world,” a rehash of the existing settings many of us grew up with, Eckor was designed with a different standpoint in mind. While most settings begin as a small idea and are gradually added to until they can reasonably be called a world, Eckor is the opposite, a setting that has defined borders and the skeleton of a world, but lacks most of the flesh that would allow it to function as a whole setting. The D&D Archive invites you not only to use Eckor, but to help flesh it out by submitting your own additions for publication.

The Setting Basics

Gazetteer

Like people, every region and every nation is different from the next. Some places have long-spanning histories that have been recorded in exacting detail by armies of scribes. Others tell their history only by word of mouth through myth and legend handed down to the next generation. Likewise, some nations are closed and introverted while others explore and even expand. Every different place is a player on the world’s stage.

Al-Amim

Arloji

Altali

Aziz-Kabar

The Borderlands

Blackmoor

Bralda

The Central Waste

The Deep Desert

Free Haven

The Giant Lands

Hlor

Inama

Kobukia

Land

Midon

Mon-Gaar

North Ribonia

Pichu Tah

The Plains of Ice

Rega

Sands of the Dragon

The Savage Lands

South Ribonia

Taj-Alid

Tholldan

Thur

Tiel

Tupu

Tyrus

The Uncivilized Lands

Vastings

Visha

Zymia

Zymia

Proper Name: The Zymian Republic

Ruler: Dictator Raeus Desomous Tydeius [LE Male Human]

Government: Ostensibly a republic. In reality the republic is little more than a means to keep the populace from rioting. The real power is in the hands of whichever general has the military force to back up his claim as Dictator.

Capital City: Naeh

Resources: Amethyst, exotic vegetables, pottery and textiles, quartz

Population: 9,324,000

Law: LN

Allies: Inama

Enemies: None

Visha

Proper Name: The Kingdom of Visha

Ruler: Regent Randan Kilemein [LG Male Human]

Government: A direct Monarchy where the ruler is chosen from a line of royal blood. Currently, no blood heir can be found, so the position of Regent has been filled until such a time as a royal heir can be located. Visha is part of the Empire.

Capital City: l’Valentin

Resources: Arms and armor, chocolate, exotic fruit, lumber

Population: 583,000

Law: NG

Allies: The Empire*

Enemies: Blackmoor

The Uncivilized Lands

Proper Name: None

Ruler: Unknown

Government: Anarchy

Capital City: Unknown

Resources: None

Population: Unknown

Law: CE

Allies: None

Enemies: The Borderlands, Inama, Taj-Alid, Tyrus

Tyrus

Proper Name: The Free Lands of Tyrus Banial

Ruler: Dictator Liam Holstead [LE Male Human]

Government: Facist Dictatorship

Capital City: Draz Noor

Resources: Lumber, oils, seafood

Population: 202,700

Law: LE

Allies: None

Enemies: The Uncivilized Lands

Tiel

Proper Name: The Holy Lands of Tiel

Ruler: The Divine Council of Tiel

Government: A Theocratic Republic where each of the largest churches chooses two representatives to form a council. This council acts as the ruling body.

Capital City: Revance

Resources: Foodstuffs, livestock, fine ale and beer, religious paraphernalia.

Population: 326,339

Law: LN

Allies: The Empire*

Enemies:

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