Mordiggian is old and omnipotent as death. He was worshipped in former continents, before the lifting of Zothique from out the sea. Through him, we are saved from corruption and the worm. Even as the people of other places devote their dead to the consuming flame, so we of Zul-Bha-Sair deliver ours to the god. Awful is the fane, a place of terror and obscure shadow untrod by the sun, into which the dead are borne by his priests and are laid on a vast table of stone to await his coming from the nether vault in which he dwells. No living men, other than the priests, have ever beheld him; and the faces of the priests are hidden behind masks of silver, and even their hands are shrouded, that men may not gaze on them that have seen Mordiggian.-The Charnel God by Clark Ashton Smith
My own take on the Charnel God for my campaign world.
Mordiggian’s temples are scattered throughout Zoong. Some are tolerated like in Ularax whiles are hidden in shadow. Ghouls and other eaters of the dead view Mordiggian as the God of the Eternal Harvest. More civilized (and living folks) barely tolerate Mordiggian as a God of Funerary rites. He is not the God of the Dead nor does have anything to do with pass of the soul or spirit into the Afterlife but what happens to the mortal remains. In these areas, the Cult does have a mortal high priest who acts as the public face of the Cult.
Clerics of Mordiggian have a special rapport with low level undead. With a (D)estroy result on a Turn Undead attempt, the cleric may opt to change the attitude of undead to “Friendly”. How the GM determines what a “Friendly” reaction from a horde of zombies, well, that’s up to the GM.
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Yes, it’s been way too long between posts. It’s a culmination of a lot things but mostly lack of inspiration. But some finally popped into my head. I’ve talked about the races of my main campaign world, Zoong, before. Dwarves are basically red necks. Halflings run the Mod. But elves were just sort of there and I didn’t have that much in mind but things did come together in a way that I really liked. Look no further than some old memories.
That’s right Elric. There was old post (maybe on Dragon’s Foot but I’m not sure where) that originally the elves of D&D were more inspired by the Elric saga (Fighter/Magic-User) rather than Lord of the Rings. So why not run with it?
The Elves of Zoong are an ancient, long-lived race who once ruled most of the world and were the originators of serious arcane study. Decadence and shear boredom have caused not only their empire but also their cities and culture to crumble. Once shining cities are deteriorating into ruins. Immaculate gardens are over grown and untended. Any form of art is ignored or macabre and debased. Some elves just sit in their cities and play vicious political games with rivals or whatever group happens to capture their attention at the time. Just something to pass the time and get over the boredom of such along existence. Many go forth adventure but once again, it’s out of boredom.
Elves tend to have extremes of personality and/or morality. What most would normal or rational behavior, the Elves view as boring and uninteresting. Been there done that. Not it’s time for something new and interesting.
So there you a kernel of thought on some elves.
I’m continuing to brainstorm various ideas about Aeturia. That’s the southern desolate continent of Zoong. Then I went down a mental wormhole. Let’s see. Through every edition, there’s always some talk of ancient and forbidden magic. I’ve also notices (or at least IMHO), there talk of necromancy, powerful necromancers and so on but there’s isn’t anything really on the crunchy side. So in my warped mind that one of the primary ancient and forbidden schools of magic is necromancy.
This idea continue to follow through with the concept that Aeturia is The Godless Land. Why? Back in ancient history, it was filled with necromancers and they just went too far and the Gods of Law cursed the land and the people. They also gave their priests the power to turn undead. The Gods of Chaos (being chaotic and all) countered by granting their priests the ability to control undead. And that lead to the desolate godless land.
So thinking the Aeturians again as race. I know last time I posted some random thoughts. What I’m thinking for White Box is this:
They cannot be Clerics, Druids, Paladins or similar classes.
Non-spellcasters gain a +1 to Saves versus Magic.
Spellcasters gain the ability that Saves versus their spells are at -1.
So against each other the abilities are a wash. I know that. But when they come into contact with those from the other lands then….. You get the idea.
Keep those dice a rolling!
Another update on the World of Zoong. Yeah, so I’ve working on redoing the world maps from that hand scrawled thing that I posted a few weeks ago. But then I thought, why not update with all my notes. I made a short mention of this on the podcast. That southern wasteland continent. I had just a single note written down for it. “Post Apocalyptic He-Man/Thundarr” That’s it. So I figured that I’d put a little bit more meat on those bones.
What does the place look like? Pretty much a desert wasteland full of ruins. Sort of a fantasy mix of Ancient Egypt, Mythic Atlantis and so on. Or since a pic is worth a 1,000 words…
Now I haven’t come up with names of any cities yet. I’ll wait till I get further along on drawing the map and fleshing things out more. So why it is the Godless Land? Well, too much hubris. Too much magic. And the gods just abandon the place. This all got me thinking of the best place to start in making this place. And, of course, that’s with Races. So here’s what I thought of.
Aeturian (Human Sub-Race): While basically “human”, Aeturians cannot be Clerics, Druids, Paladins, or similar classes. They are generally Fighters, Magic-Users, or Thieves. Aeturian society is basically broken down into two groups or castes. Spell casters and non-spell casters; with the spell casters being the powerful nobility. They are all wary and untrusting of those who deal with the gods.
Tough & Hardy: The hardships of living in Aeturia means the survivors are tougher than standard human stock. Aeturians gain an additional HP each level.
Wary of Magic: +2 Save vs Magic
Survival Instincts: -1[+1] AC
Powerful Sorcery: Targets are at a -1 penalty to their Saving Throws against the character’s spells.
Magic Most Vile: Aeturian wizards routinely commune with demons, devils, and other outer beings which they may call on in time of need (or want). But there is always a price to pay. This depends on the boon asked and the GM’s discretion.
OK, so I may flesh this out more later on. And I know that this seems more powerful than the standard stock human. But I’m also taking into account my House Rules (posted earlier). Aeturians won’t get the stat boost nor the ability to buy up stats.
With that, I’ll get back to brainstorming.
Yes, I’m still working on my next old-school campaign. And the good thing is that I’ve got some time to plot, plan, and make extra stuff up. That’s another way of saying add some more meat to the world. So I had this idea a while ago and it just struck me to add it to Zoong.
So just what is the Church of 1,000 Saints? Since I’ve been really fast and loose with the pantheon of Zoong, I decided that I needed that good old “generic” good temple. (Hey, I just created a new alignment, Generic Good.) You know that place where the PC’s go to buy potions, maybe get a curse removed, or bring back a fallen comrade from the dead.
The Church of 1,000 Saints is sort of its own pantheon. A thousand (at last count) gods, demi-gods, and powerful good beings with generally the same agenda. The Church itself is also made up of just as many monastic orders devoted to each Saint. While there is some internal strife and debate over the particulars of dogma and so on; the Church publicly stands for what most consider the “good” stuff. While each order within the Church has its own hierarchy, the Church overall has no centralized power structure and each individual temple is autonomous. Once again this occasionally leads to more internal strife.
Yeas, this is only an idea seed so far. Yeah, I’ll probably flesh it out with a list of popular Saints. Also, of course, there will be more gods in the world. Once again, those ideas start to fill my head about hacking clerics and maybe just changing the divine powers of the world a little bit. But then that’s another post. Now back to scribbling notes…