Friday, May 19, 2017

Character Crunch. Tuathans and Faiths of Sublanarya: Dagda the Stag Prince

The following is an excerpt from a previous article... Witchcraft Part 4: Morgana La Fey the Terrible and Magnificent 

When an animal dies in Sublanarya, they move onto the afterlife just the same as any other sentient life forms, usually finding an immortal resting place in the Heavens. When animals die in the Feywild, they instead become spirits until they can reincarnate. Being touched by the fey changes these animals and, after many generations, a tribe of these animal spirits became sentient and known as the Yenna-goshi.

Yenna-goshi are one of the most mysterious species of shape-changers since they have a non-corporeal spirit form, an animal form, and a humanoid like form. They are strange primal entities that, in their humanoid form, having a mix of nondescript animal traits obscured by a cloak of animal hides with great glowing eyes looking out from under the hood.They usually watch over special places of nature in the Feywild and material plane. They are the spirits often responsible for the creation of Hengeyokai, sentient animals, born from normal animals, with the ability to transform into a human-like form. They are responsible for other yokai such as giant beasts, "animal gods", that serve as paragons of their kind and protectors of nature. There are also responsible for the Tuath De Yenna or Tuathans.

Thousands of years ago, there was a tribe of humans. They were known to be a peaceful and friendly craftsmen with use of bright colors, ornate patterns and unusual materials that create designs that were somehow both natural and unnatural. They were a simple people, living in harmony with the land, and did not seek war. They once had a homeland but were chased out by invaders. They became lost on a foggy morning and found themselves in a strange land, having crossed over into the Feywild, and it seemed there was no escape.

The tribe was lost in a strange and dangerous place, but they soon found friends. They had found themselves in a secluded forest, deep in the Dawn realm, protected by the yenna-goshi. Usually anyone foolish enough to step into or, much worse, damage the lands of the yenna-goshi would be scared off or meet some misfortune. It is said the yenna-goshi were bewitched by the colorful garments and tents of the people, the aroma of their tea and food, and the songs played by the young and old. Rather than scaring off the tribe, the yenna-goshi helped the humans and befriended them, allowing them to make the woods their home.

And, as the humans spent time in the Feywild, they changed as they were touched by the spirit of the animals. They gained the ability to shape-change into animals, they learned fey magic and knowledge, and helped protect the forests of the yenna-goshi. In time, they became known as the Tuatha de Yenna-goshi or "tribe of the animal spirits" or tuathans ("the tribespeople") for short.

Some tuathans eventually discovered a way to return to the material plane and, with their knowledge of fey magic, shape-shifting, and other gifts they had obtained abroad, they became a powerful small empire that stood for a thousand years. And then, mysteriously, the empire collapsed. Today, descendants of the tuathans can be found in the material plane and it is still believed they live hidden away in the forests of the yenna-goshi. They do not advertise their shape-shifting or heritage to avoid the superstitious fear of humans but also other enemies.

Their blood, their very heritage, is sought after by any number of powerful magic users and fey lords that seek to tap into the power of their mysterious race.

Tuathans are a race scattered to the four winds with small families, clans and communities hiding themselves away in the corners of the wild. They try to preserve their heritage but mostly want peace from the "wild hunt". A few tuathans either seek adventure or, by tragedy, are forced to seek out their own path in the world.

They resemble humans with fey-like features, often being mistaken for half-elfs or having elf blood, but have features resembling their unique animal form. From unique eye color and shape, such as having the eyes of an eagle, to hair the color of their fur or feathers in their animal form, such as tawny brown hair that turns white in the winter and back in the spring. Their closeness to nature, or at least their kindred animals, often leads them to druidism or ranging.

Ability Score Increase. Increase one ability score of your choice increased by 2. 
 It is recommended you base the ability score on your Kindred Animal. EX. A bear would have a +2 to Strength but a Bat would probably have a +2 to Dexterity.
Alignment. While Tuathans were once the ruling class of an ancient kingdom, since their downfall they have returned to their wild heritage. They tend towards neutrality, focusing on the survival and welfare of their kin, but some take their desire for freedom and turn it into an ideal of allowing themselves and others to live free. They tend towards neutral and chaotic alignments.
Size. Your are similarly sized to a human. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Wild Folk. You have proficiency in the Nature skill.
Kindred Speech. You have the ability to comprehend and verbally communicate with beasts similar to your kindred animal as if using the Speak With Animals spell.
The following are the beasts you can choose as your Kindred Animal. If you want to use a different beast, consult with your GM.
Ape, Axe Beak, Baboon, Badger, Bat, Black Bear, Blood Hawk, Boar, Camel, Cat, Constrictor Snake, Crocodile, Deer, Draft Horse, Eagle, Elk, Flying Snake, Frog, Giant Badger, Giant Bat, Giant Frog, Giant Goat, Giant Lizard, Giant Owl, Giant Poisonous Snake, Giant Rat, Giant Weasel, Goat, Hawk, Hyena, Jackal, Lizard, Mastiff, Mule, Owl, Panther, Poisonous Snake, Pony, Pteranodon, Rat, Raven, Riding Horse, War Horse, Weasel, Wolf, Vulture,
You can pick from the following but must be at least Level 4.
Brown Bear, Dire Wolf, Giant Eagle, Giant Hyena, Giant Toad, Giant Vulture, Lion, Tiger
Kindred Animal. You can take an action to magically transform into your specific and unique kindred animal. Pick a creature from the list above. You can perform this action a number of time equal to your level. This ability recharges on long rests.

You can willingly return to your normal form by using a bonus action to do so. If you fall unconscious in this form, you remain in this form until your regain consciousness and can take a bonus action to return to your normal form.

The creature is limited in the actions it can perform by the nature of its new form, and cannot perform spells.

The target’s gear melds into the new form. The target can’t activate, wield, or otherwise benefit from any of its equipment.

Extra Languages. You may speak, read and write Tuathan and Elven.

The racial god of the Tuathans, Dagda, is similar to Sylvanis. In fact, some legends say that he is the son of Silvanus and a powerful Fey lady. While able to take any animal form, as a god of nature, his kindred animal is the stag and his favored form is that of a great and powerful stag. For this reason, he wears a crown of stag horns. He is said to be a capricious personality; wild, untamed and unpredictable. And yet, incredibly cunning and skilled. His guile allowed him to lead the Tuathans to rule an empire that is still spoken of in legend that stretched across many forested lands. And yet, even quicker than he rose to power, Dagda vanished. This was the beginning of the end for the empire and, shortly after his disappearance, it fell to ruin.

Those who still adhere to Dagda see him as a savior who will return to reunite the Tuathans. Some say he is still out there now, helping his people when he can, and punishing the wicked. He is said to take the forms of a beautiful young man or a bearded giant. He is also said to carry a long oak club that could take life or give it with a single swing, a cauldron that never runs empty of whatever drink or elixir he pleases, and a magical harp that can change the seasons as easily as it can change moods.

And yet, if he is still out there, why has he abandoned his throne?

It remains to be seen, but his people still wait for him.

  DAGDA THE STAG PRINCE
Title(s)
King of the Tuathans, The Mighty and Many-Skilled, The King of the Forests, Cernunnos, The Wild-Eyed Lord

Pantheon(s)
New Gods

Power Level
Lesser Deity

Alignment
Chaotic Good

Symbol
A pair of antlers with a star between them
Portfolio
Druids, the forest, tuathans, rangers, talent

Domains
Nature

Worshipers
Druids, foresters (hunters, trappers, loggers), tuathans, fey, wood elves
Favored Weapon
Clubs, mauls

Holy Day(s)
Festivals and rituals for the seasonal equinoxes

Monday, May 15, 2017

Hamutian Pantheon: The Scorpion and the Toad (Serqet and Kek)


Every child in Sublanarya is told the story of the Scorpion and the Frog.

A scorpion asks a frog to carry her across the river on her back. The frog refuses for fear of being stung by the scorpion. The scorpion points out that if she were to sting the frog, they would both drown. The frog considers the offer and agrees to carry the scorpion across the river. About halfway across the river, the scorpion stings the frog. This dooms them both.

When the frog asks the scorpion why she stung him, she replies "It is in my nature to do so."

But the story is more than a lesson to teach children that sometimes things, animals or people are incapable of being anything other than what they are (which fits neatly in the Ptah-Hamutian orderly view of the universe). It is also about the relationship between the beautiful but deadly Scorpion Queen Serqet and her brother The Mad Toad Kek.

Serqet and Kek are twin children of Set and Nephthys.

Serqet inherited powers over the realm of death directly from her mother. Her most famous duty among the guards was to guard Apep when he was imprisoned. Apep traded her the art of poison in exchange for his freedom and her father Set was forced to assert himself by defeating Apep in single combat.

She would proceed to user powerful poison for the arts of deception and murder, being the patron god of assassins and femme fatales, and is considered an enemy of the gods. She is also known to test out her poison on other gods...including the venom from one of the Old Ones.

Kek had been a deity of swamps, nights and rain and was transformed into a deity of chaos, madness and hunger. He is a corrupted god and associated with slaads and bullywugs. Among humankind, his worshippers are known for their disturbing feasts and the use of poisonous toads to induce hallucinations among their kind. His worshippers usually devolve into mad primitives, participating in human sacrifice and cannibalism, and many consider him to be a fused incarnation of the old one Tsathoggua.

His worship is very much forbidden among the populace but his cults pop up from time time to time.

SERQET THE SCORPION QUEEN
Title(s)
The Best Assassin, The Viscera Guardian, The Deadly Dancer, The Traitorous Sting, The Daughter of Grief

Pantheon(s)
Hamutian

Power Level
Lesser Deity

Alignment
Neutral Evil

Symbol
A bronze scorpion

Portfolio
Assassins, poisons, scorpions, deserts, dancing

Domains
Death

Worshipers
Murderers, spies, assassins, temptresses, alchemists
Favored Weapon
Daggers

KEK THE NIGHT CROAKER
Title(s)
The Whisperer, Tsathoggua/Zhothoqqua, The Mad Toad, The Great Slaad, The Corrupted Brother

Pantheon(s)
Hamutian

Power Level
Lesser Deity

Alignment
Chaotic Evil

Symbol
A black frog or toad

Portfolio
Madness, amphibians, darkness, gluttony, bullywugs, slaads,

Domains
Tempest

Worshipers
Cannibals, primitives, gluttons, lazy and slothful criminals, swamp dwellers
Favored Weapon
Whips

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Hamutian Pantheon: The Suryayana (Surya, Tvastar, Saranya, Chaya, Yama, Rakta-Beej, Yami)



Surya is the sun god of the Raj-Hamutian Pantheon. He is often compared to Aurelion the Golden Sun for his beauty and goodness. It is possible the two gods are one in the same even if that interferes with their respective origins.

Surya's most famous legend involves his marriage to the daughter of Tvastar the Golden Spider.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Evolving Timeline of Narya Part II: Modern History of Sublanarya

For Part I: Ancient History of Sublanarya, click HERE.

The 2nd Epoch: Modern Narya (0 CE to 6667 CE (Present))

The first epoch, what Sublnaryan's call the "Ancient Epoch", is a time of great uncertainty, where reality and myth are intertwined, and the gods are locked in a series of brutal battles over the dominion of time and space. The space itself was constantly shifting in reaction to these battles, as gods can raise mountains and raze forests with ease, and time itself was warped by the destructive cosmic power of war on a scale beyond the understanding of mortals. It was a time that chaos reigned supreme and order struggled to gain a foothold. The current epoch is different.

In the current epoch, order has more than gained a foothold. It has put a boot on the jugular of chaos and the "Current Epoch" (CE) is one of some certainty. If the first epoch was defined by the struggle between order and chaos, between the authorities of the universe, the gods, and those who wish to destroy it, then the current epoch is one shaped by the struggle of good and evil. While both of these metaphorical and material struggles are of concern to the gods, the struggle between good and evil, right and wrong, are of much more consequence to mere mortals. After all, mere mortals are rewarded or punished based on their actions. Gods are all but absolute.

It is important to keep in mind when looking at the last seven millennia of Naryan history, told from a Sublanaryan perspective, that while the gods still guide the peoples of the material plane, the people are now, ultimately, the ones who shape the current state of the world. For better or worse, this is a time of civilizations, of kings and queens, of masters and slaves, and of armies and hordes. This is a period defined by the actions of mortals upon mortals.

The Current Epoch is tangible. Time and space can still be contorted but are less pliable. Years are 400 days long (10 moonths of 40 days) and each day is 25 hours long

Epoch II: Modern Narya
 (Summary)
1st Age: The Age of Wonders and Wandering
2rd Age: The First Dark Age: Rise of the Giants
3rd Age: The Age of Restoration
4th Age: The Second Dark Age: The Beastmen Invasion and The Holy Crusades
5th Age: The Tytanyan Age

Here goes:

Sunday, April 30, 2017

SUBLANARYAN CALENDAR (WIP)


Using donjon's awesome tools, I created a simple calendar for Sublanarya.

The moonths ("months") are named after the core family of the Naryan pantheon and the days of the week are named after the nine planes with a tenth day for worship. The moons are each named after one of the moon gods but the discworld of Narya, that completes a complete "turn" 360 degrees in 400 days, has other moons and cosmic bodies. This calendar even includes moon cycles and other cosmic events.

Stay tuned for holidays and other additions.





Friday, April 28, 2017

The Twin Empires of Hamutia: Ptah-Hamut and Raj-Hamut

Today's subject is of two lands. Separated by a sea, each empire claims dominion of the world: in the east, where the sun rises, is the lush tropical mountainous river-princedoms of Raj-Hamut [rahj-ha-moot], also known as the Emerald Empire for its natural riches and, across the sea to the west, is the cradle of human civilization, built along rivers in a harsh desert, the Empire of the Divine Sun, Ptah-Hamut [puh-tah-ha-moot]. These two states have opposed each other for over two millennia, even pitting their gods against each other, in a struggle for power not only in the material but the spiritual spheres. These two empires, the twin empires of Hamutia, or simple the Hamuts, were once one in the same.

Three and a half millennia ago, on a habitable green spot of land along the River Yor, a small settlement grew and flourished in the inundated plains until it became established as the first Sublanaryan human city of Aneb. The peoples of Yor River built their burgeoning empire upon the ruins of civilizations lost to time or record in a place they call the Valley of Dead Kings. Building upon this history, in the land they called Ptah-Hamut which translates to "the divine lands,  they created their own empire with their own god-king, the first "pharaoh", Namor-Ra.

Namor-Ra's descendants would be treated as living gods, directly receiving their authority from Ptah-Horus the Sun-Wielder himself, and protected by their will. To venerate their gods, those of heaven, Hamut and the underworld, they built great monuments to the gods and impressive tombs to house the remains of the pharaoh and his subjects.

To build these wonders, the Ptah-Hamuts used their wealth of resources to feed great armies and enslaved the "lesser peoples" of the continent. Eventually, their conquest spread across the sea to the east and they established the second part of their empire-- Raj-Hamut "land of princes". This was a means to an end:

In the third and a half millennium of the second epoch, the god-king Herezbek had twins: a girl T'Chalthra and a boy Magarda. The former was born first and therefore it seemed her birthright was to be his successor. These twins were not the first royal twins; the god-king's line had seen many twins born to Hamut before and, inevitably, there was conflict. Assassinations, attempted coup de tats, and even small civil wars had been fought over the throne. Herezbek's solution was to create a new kingdom for his son to rule. This prevented civil war and, to further protect the throne of Ptah-Hamut, the eastern continent became a land split between princes, also called rajahs or sultans, with a maharaja or grand sultan at the top. By dividing the roles of leadership, this created more positions and less intense rivalry for the position of god-king among the royal line.

From that point onward, the first born of the god-king was the heir to the throne of Ptah-Hamut. If the god-king had twins, the second born would become the heir of the reining maharaja. The majaraja's firstborn would be his heir, if not supplanted by the pharoah's twin child, and/or his other sons would be rajas of small princedoms of Raj-Hamut. The rajas battle for control of their small kingdoms but all under the command of the maharaja in the capitol of Kuthkuta.

This created a unique balance of power between members of the royal family that would last for several centuries until the god-king Nexret had twin daughters Wadjet and Nekhbet. This was a problem for a variety of reasons.

In six centuries, the religious practices and beliefs of Raj-Hamut created a culture that was much different than the home culture. The rivalry between princes and disdain for the "rule of the foreign god-king" created a rift that was reflected in their religious beliefs and cultural customs. And, in all that time, Raj-Hamut had never had a female ruler and the maharaja Bara, with the backing of the armies of the princedoms of Raj-Hamut rebelled against the ma'at or "divine order" of Ptah-Hamut's reign. The resulting civil war lasted for decades and had many epic battles. By the end,  Bara, Wadjet and Nekhbet were all slain, as well as many other princes and royalty. The result was that the two empires permanently split, bitterly, and remain rivals to this day over dominion of the divine kingdom of Hamut.

From this war sprouted the divine Cult of the Two Ladies. This cult says that Wadjet and Nekhbet ascended to godhood as consorts of Ptah-Horus and that they watch over the royal family of the god-kings. They are represented in the headdresses and iconography of the pharaoh as a vulture and cobra. They are also considered to represent the promise of a reunion of the two kingdoms.

The war also sprouted the first slave rebellion. The slaves that fled during the civil war formed the first wave of colonists of modern Zafaria along the Nadjabadi coast.

It was during the following between the following period, between the 57th and 60th centuries, that the cult evolved so that a serpent, the supposed descendant of the cosmic serpent and Wadjet, calling itself Apep II became the new pharaoh of Ptah-Hamut. Snake cults are a constant in Hamutian history and this one managed to sit itself upon the throne. Apep II was a serpent of gargantuan size, power and intellect. Only through a rebellion led by slaves, who would later become modern Zafarians who settled in Jalatia, was the snake cult overthrown and the pharoah's line properly restored.

But the god-king's empire has been in decline ever since that indignity.

It was during the post-split that came the era known as "classic Raj-Hamut". During this time period, there were many legendary wars fought between demons, gods, and heroes. The most famous heroes was the avatar of Sahasranama the Preserver, Rama the Warrior, who was exiled as a prince, and eventually fought a war to rescue his wife Sita the Devout, who was an avatar of Padma the Lotus-Dweller. There was also Krishna the Beautiful who was a sage prince who overthrew a cruel raja and tutored other princes on appropriate behavior. Such education, via a spiritual awakening from rediscovered history of ancient Hamut, reformed the spiritual lives of Raj Hamut with teachers like the latest avatar of Sahasranama, Prince Siddhartha the Awakened Soul.

This cultural revolution has allowed Raj-Hamut to flourish as an empire of individuals. But have they too began to fall behind the rest of Sublanarya?

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Character Crunch: Vanara (Monkey-Folk)

In southern Raj-Hamut, deep in the Dandaka Forest and between the Ondon Mountains, hidden in mist and legend, is Kishkindha, the kingdom of the vanara: the "forest people". The vanara of Kishkindha resemble monkey-like humanoids. They are mostly known to be clever, curious and playful creatures that might irritate less patient creatures with their constant questioning and almost naive honesty. While vanara often admire the accomplishments of human society, they find human's comparably uptight customs and rules amusing. They prefer to play tricks upon people rather than resorting to violence to expel them from the sacred sites, such as temples and burial grounds, they often make their homes. That doesn't mean they won't defend themselves.

The vanaran patron deity Hamuman the Mighty is famous for the feat of lifting an entire mountain with one hand and leading armies of vanara to assist the 7th Avatar of Sahasranama. They are known for being impressive warriors who use their unmatched agility and bestial ferocity to overcome their foes. And their foes are, usually, evil, which vanara oppose universally. Vanaran heroes prefer martial arts whether they be masters of force like barbarians or fighters or instead prefer the subtlety of rangers or thieves or choose to find a balance with a monk.

The heroism, loyalty and bravery of vanara warriors is legendary.



Vanara are rarely found outside of Kishkindha but they are not unheard of among veteran adventurers who have ventures to the south-eastern continent of Raj-Hamut. They are usually drawn into a life adventure by curiosity and loyalty; many a human adventurer has found themselves Kishkindha on a divine quest and befriended a vanara. Perhaps the human save the vanara's life or better yet their tribe and so, out of devotion, obligation and/but mostly out of the desire to join them on their quest, they join the hero on their adventure and become adventurers in their own right.

Vanara come in two distinct varieties on a spectrum of more monkey-like to more human-like in appearance. They both often intermingle and are more alike than either are with monkeys or humans. There are mountain and valley vanara.

Preferring to live in hills and crags of the Ondon Mountains, the mountain vanara could almost pass for humans or elves at a glance.

They usually are built similarly to elves-- tall with slender builds-- with similar facial structures and even have point ears. Unlike elves, their pointed ears tend to be much more pronounced and bestial. The biggest give away to their vanaran nature are their prehensile simian tails, long fingers and toes, and pronounced canines. They often have lighter hair from blond to brown to red hair that matches the fur on their tail and some even have thick fur-like hair on their bodies as well.They have the same range of eye colors as humans that flash to red when angry or in battle.

Mountain vanara are known to be a little more reserved than their valley kin and tend to build small villages, usually around a sacred tree or spring or in or around an ancient temple, where they can live simply and carefree lives. They tend to be the most pious and most vanaran priests for both the mountain and the valley vanara. This doesn't mean they are not known for their trickery and playfulness but they do tend to be more responsible when it comes to duties.

Valley vanara are noticeably more ape-like than their mountain cousins.

Valley vanara, covered in a coat of white, grey, black, brown or orange fur, with elongated muzzles, large lip-less mouths, big, round ears and facial fur, more closely resemble the "monkey-folk" that are described in popular legends. Some have non-prehensile tails and other have either extremely short or no tails. They tend to have slightly longer limbs than their mountain cousins and their eyes are usually only black or brown in hue that also flash red when enraged.

Valley vanara are hunter-gatherers who live in small family groups usually sharing territory around a central point of interest. They have a more laissez-faire lifestyle, doing as they please, and relaxing away most of their days. Due to their more wild environment, they do have to contend with predators and evil creatures more frequently than mountain vanara. For this reason they have more of a reputation as warriors and hunters than their cousins.

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity increases by 2.
Age. Vanara have lifespans equivalent to humans.
Alignment. Vanara
 Size. Vanara are similar in size and stature to humans, standing between 5 and 6 feet, with slender builds. Your size if medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Tree Climber. Because of your monkey-like hands and feet, you are almost as well acclimated to climbing as walking. You have climbing speed of 3/4 your walking speed rounded down (minimum 20 feet).
Primal Pounce: You may use Dexterity when determining your jump distance.
Extra Language. You can read, write, speak and understand common, Vanaran, and one extra language.
Subraces. There are two subraces of vanara; the mountain vanara and the valley vanara.

Mountain Vanara
Ability Increase. Your Wisdom increases by 1.
Skill Proficiency. You have proficiency in the Acrobatics skill.
Prehensile Tail: Can pick up and carry small objects but not use as weapons. Can use Sleight of Hand with tail.

Mountain Vanara
Ability Increase. Your Strength increases by 1.
Skill Proficiency. You have proficiency in the Athletics skill.
Bite. Your jaw is a strong natural weapon, which can be used to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with it, you deal piercing damage equal to 1d6 + your Strength modifier.




I wanna note, Vanara are found elsewhere and there is more than one "monkey king". I hope you guys enjoy my take on this classic race from hindu mythology and Oriental Adventures.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

A House Divided: The Hamutian Religion

First, let me clarify the nomenclature involved in describing Hamutian subjects:

Hamut means "kingdom" in Hamutian, the Hamuts are the two kingdoms,  Hamutia refers to both kingdoms and all territories they control, and the people and all things from Hamutia, collectively, are described as Hamutians. Hamutia is split into two kingdoms: Ptah-Hamut to the west of the Hamutian Sea and Raj-Hamut to the east of the Hamutian Sea. Peoples from Ptah-Hamut are called Ptah-Hamuts and peoples from Raj-Hamut are called Raj-Hamuts. They speak Hamutian and their gods are collectively part of the Hamutian pantheon.

The Hamutian religion is one that focus on creation, preservation, and destruction of everything from the universe to the individual.


Friday, April 14, 2017

Gnomes Just Wanna Have A Good Time: The Creation of Gnomes & Gnoldo the Mushroom King

The gnome's patron god is not an overbearing or grandiose father like Iaur of the elves or Urd of the dwarves. Gnoldo the Mushroom King, or "Father Mushroom" as he is often affectionately called by his children, does not demand they carry out any crusades or live by a strict code. If anything, Gnoldo just wants his children to have fun.

As the story goes, gnomes are from the Twilight Realm of Dawn, where all feyfolk originate from the silliest pixie to the nobles elf. Gnoldo's creation is rarely a topic of discussion among gnomish priests or scholars but most would say that Gnoldo was born from the smile or laughter of the Mother. It is then postulated that he became trapped under the ground during the cataclysm that destroyed the clay peoples and remained their for eons before the sound of a single drop of water splashed upon a pool in the cavern, that the gnomes call the Cavern of Souls, made the sound of tittering laughter and awoke him.

Gnoldo found the pool, a pool of the mother's tears shining like a rainbow, and saw a reflection of himself. Amused, the god began telling himself jokes and, with each punchline, the pool bubbled up. Each bubble was so beautiful and unique that Gnoldo scooped them up and, to his surprise, they were beautiful gemstones beyond compare. He told jokes until he had so many different colored gems he had to use magic to create a bottomless bag of holding to carry them all.

It is said that these gems, called "Soul Gems", contain the unborn souls of every gnome, born of the Mother's tears and the gnome-father's jokes, and that every newly born gnome is a gift from Gnoldo himself.

Gnoldo was so proud of his gems that he told everyone in the Dawn realm about his treasure and showed them off in the Fey courts. This way a mistake. Several powerful feylords and beings tried to steal the bag away. Eventually, one of Gnoldo's card game partners, a clever kobold named Zomokar Wyrm-Tongue managed to steal away the bag while Gnoldo nodded off during a game of Turnips.

Zomokar stole the gems and took themto his home under Wyrm Hill. There he planted the gems and gnomes grew like mushrooms in the soil. He dug them up and had them slave away in his mines. Zomokar became rich and powerful beyond his wildest dreams. His mines were so impressive that even the gods grew envious. He ignored their requests until Tiamat, the dragon queen herself, asked for a tour of the mines.

Zomokar and his kobolds worked the gnomes into overtime to prepare for the visit, sweeping every bit of dirt from every hall and shining every gemstone until the halls of Wyrm Hill were a divine sight to behold, and prepared a great feast. Tiamat arrived in the form a of a beautiful woman with dark hair wearing a dress of red, blue, black, green and white scales.

The kobold was quick to try and impress the goddess. He gave her a grand tour and many gifts, including the bag of soul gems. She seemed impressed. At the feast, she requested he invited every kobold and gnome into the great hall that the kobold had set up by digging out a large cavern in the middle of the mines. With the room filled with gnomes and kobolds, Tiamat asked to stand and speak a few words.

Tiamat began telling jokes, mocking Zomokar, much to his frustration and confusion. As she did so, the gnomes and kobolds began laughing. The laughter was so great that is shook the very walls of the dining hall. The laughter was so great that it echoed through all the halls of the mine and shook the supports of every tunnel. The laughter was so great that the whole mine came crashing down.

After all, it wasn't Tiamat at all. It was Gnoldo in disguise. Just as the hall fell in around them, Gnoldo revealed himself and Zomokar cursed him. The cave in killed all the kobolds of Wyrm Hall, even Zomokar who's hatred of Gnoldo ascended him to godhood but trapped him in his collapsed mine (leading to the rivalry between kobolds and gnomes to this day), and, with Gnoldo's mercy, the gnomes were returned to gem form. Gnoldo dug each of them out of the collapse hill, scooping them into his bag, and took the bag with him to the material plane to give them a second chance.


The gnomes split into two groups: the gnomes that had been reverted to gems after being slaves became the rock gnomes and those that had remained in the bag became forest gnomes.


Rock gnomes live in burrow settlements built in hillsides. They are known to be more social among gnomes, particularly setting up profitable partnerships with dwarves, and are known for being friendly, inquisitive, and energetic. Rock gnomes embody the inventive nature of Gnoldo, making toys and machines both for their own amusement and profit, and are some of the most clever peoples in the world of Narya. They are usually difficult to differentiate between forest gnomes but rock gnomes are known to have more natural hair and eye colors and are built taller and more solidly than their forest counterparts. They are much more likely to come to conflict with neighboring enemies, especially kobolds, and have a warrior culture.


Forest gnomes live in secluded villages built in forests. They are known for being shyer than rock gnomes and often go so far as to protect the locations of their homes with powerful magic. Indeed, the forest gnomes are just as curious and friendly as rock gnomes, but are usually more cautious than their rock kin. They seek to maintain peace and tranquility, avoiding conflict when they can, and ally themselves with unusual creatures to maintain their peace. Forest gnomes are extremely playful, making games out of their farming and crafting work, and are known for being childlike. They also stand out due to their brightly colored hair, from bubblegum pink to neon green, and matching bright clothing. They avoid conflict by using illusion magic and clever tricks.

There are also Deep Gnomes who, in Sublanarya, are remnants of gnomes who escaped giant slavery by going deeper into the Underdark

Deep gnomes are hardy, secretive, and serious. They are actually at odds with the stereotpical gnome personality. It is believe that their optimism and cheerful demeanor was beat and bred out of them by the giants. They are mostly unheard of but some have made contact with dwarves and gnomes in recent years briefly. While shrewd, sullen and even suspicious, they seemed well-meaning in these meetings, trading well-crafted goods and information about local threats in these exchanges, before disappearing back to their secret cities. They have ashen grey skin and dark eyes. Males are remarkably lacking in hair or beard, while their females wear their white, grey or black hair short to their heads. Svirneblin are used to fighting the many horrors and foes of the Underdark.

Gnomes are often called the "forgotten folk" because of their emphasis to avoid meddling in or being meddle with by other creatures affairs.

If there is a "doctrine" of gnome religion it is pretty simple: have fun.

Gnome priests emphasize that, while life can often be difficult and challenging at time, a good attitude will help you weather any troubles. A good sense of humor and sharp wit will help you overcome obstacles. Friends and family are greater treasures than any gemstone.

Pessimism and negativity should be rejected and over-seriousness and self-importance should be avoided. It is important to promote optimism and positivity.

You should work to keep everyone in good spirits. Everyone in the community should work together to make sure that everybody is happy and healthy. The greater good of the community should always be considered.

Do not fear change, embrace it. Do what works.

If there is any criticism against gnome ideology, particularly by their dwarven friends, it is that gnomes often seem to just ignore their problems rather than confront them directly and that they don't take anything seriously. Gnomes always prefer compromise over conflict. This can often lead to gnomes allowing something to get out of hand because they believe that the problem to just go away.

Despite the criticism, it is clear that have successfully avoided the wars and catastrophes that have devastated Sublanarya in recent history.

An important side aspect of gnome priests, often jokingly called "mushroom farmers", is the importance of the "magic mushroom" to gnome culture. "Non-magic" mushrooms are grown as food by gnomes living in cavern or forest. The mushroom is considered a gift from Gnoldo.

Magic mushrooms, on the other hand, caused those who eat them to hallucinate. Gnome priests believe it is possible to see beyond the material plane and into the ethereal and divine by proper use of these mushrooms. In fact, those that manage to master these "trips" are said to be visited by Gnoldo himself.

Magic mushrooms are grown recreationally and for special religious holidays. In fact, it is considered an important rite of passage for a young gnome to take magic mushrooms on his name day. Usually, they are given as a gift by the gnome priests and the experience is supposed to give the young gnome their first taste of responsibility. That said, magic mushroom abuse is a problem in some gnome communities. Gnome priests are supposed to regulate and oversee the use of the mushrooms to prevent abuse but it still happens.

Furthermore, as the magic mushrooms have made it out of gnomish communities they have become highly prized commodities among intellectuals, spellcasters and nobility wishing to "meet the mushroom king". Magic mushrooms are actually illegal unless by gnomes in special gnome ceremonies in lands controlled by the Iaurdin Empire. That has done little to slow the spread of this popular drug.
It is said there are still gnomes in the fey realm, diminutive as pixies, that live amongst Gnoldo's mushroom fairies. If there are, they've learned to hide over the millennia from the dawn fey and would likely be even harder for those native to the material plane to find their ilk. Especially if they are being guarded by the mushroom fairies.

Mushroom fairies are said to grow wherever Gnoldo goes. They are usually peaceful and easy-going creatures, prone to a little mischief when they are small, but otherwise gentle. That is until someone or something threatens their young or they are riled to protect their homes. Mushroom fairies can grow to incredible sizes and know powerful fey magic that make them a serious threat to any forest or caverns under their protection.

Gnomes consider them to be sacred creatures, some gnomes priests even inviting them into their villages for special festivals, but most marking their territory as sacred places off limits.

As for Father Mushroom, he is said to travel the planes playing pranks, looking after gnomes and growing new mushroom forests. Plus he still has to contend with enemies like Zomokar and Dezmar the White Mole.