Sing muse, lend me your voice, give me the power to speak the tale of that deftest, and perhaps daftest of adventurers.  He whose exploits are beyond compare, whose endangerment of those whom he considers to be allies is among the greatest of his most known achievements.  Give me the will and endurance to sing the somewhat exhausting tale of that asshole that I adventured with that one time, the story of “sir” Gustav the Great!

dark foggy graveyarde

As dusk set over the defunct graveyard, a thick fog, almost viscous in nature, rolled in.  This was not due to any prevailing climatic conditions, but instead due to an arcanophysical constant in the physical and narrative fabric of the plane, requiring large burial sites (professional or amateur) to be coated with fog starting at about twilight regardless of religious blessings or protective magic.  At any rate, and for whatever reason, the effect served to make an already eerie place substantially more haunting.  In this soupy twilight, a solitary figure creeps silently out from the door of one of the mausoleums.  As the figure moves into the near dark, we can see from our omniscient vantage, a crude sack of burlap slung rudely over one of his shoulders.  As our grave liberator jauntily strolls towards the ornate entry gates to the ancient graveyard, quite pleased with his haul but still terrified that some non-existent passersby will catch him and turn him in to the local constabulary, we see a group of thin figures following him and one colossal figure approaching from the gate.

As our grave robber reaches the portal, he spots the looming armored giant.  The man is enormous, easily six foot five, wearing a large suit of dull charcoal full plate dotted with fearsome looking spikes and a full helm, featureless save for the spikes spelling out “GRET” right above the eye slits.  The giant is veritably bristling with weapons of all kinds, a great wicked glaive currently grasped in his gauntleted hands.  The grave robber goes stiff, shocked both at once to see anyone at all, and more specifically to see such an imposingly monstrous figure.
The hulking ironclad figure draws back the wicked pointed glaive and let’s loose with a strike that arches slightly at first, then plunges headlong towards its target somewhere above the smaller man’s shoulders. The grave robber sees his life pass before his eyes:

Growing up on the dingy, garbage filled streets of copper district, clawing and fighting family and enemies alike to survive.

Learning to read while ferrying notes for senators in the civic district, selling the juiciest bits of information to brokers in the thieves guild.

Getting a job archiving maps in the library of The Great University in town and discovering the location of a graveyard forgotten by time, and relieving it of all its loose valuables.

The eyes shut.

The blow connects with a hollow thud and a dry shattering.

The eyes open, only to find themselves still alive, but not yet spared of their nightmare apparition. The poor scribe falls heavily on his backside, releasing all the in his lungs from its fleshy entrapment.

The glaive must have passed just over his shoulder, the only evidence of its passing a small nick on his earlobe. This fact is realized later, as his brain is focused on processing the fact he is not deceased.

The talented behemoth treads forward, mindless of the crumpled form just ahead of him, even as it rolls reflexively to avoid being crushed. The glaive is discarded rudely onto the hood’s head, and a heavy maul is rattled quickly free and swung in one fluid motion into what appears to be an emaciated humanoid.

While pondering this odd behavior for what must be some kind of mechanical construct, the thief places a hand gingerly beside himself and discovers a mostly intact human skeleton (it appears to be shy a skull, and the rib cage has been indelicately trodden through). This brings much into sharp clarity, just as the maul flatters through the last of the undead somewhere nearby in the fog.

Fear sets in quickly, running through his body like wildfire. Why were those skeletons here? They weren’t here before? Where did that armor thing go? Is it done killing them and preparing to move on to killing me? These thoughts rush through his head in a fraction of a second, just before ‘I should get out of here’ and ‘I need to stand up’ stroll by lazily in that order.

Just as he was about to begin action on thought two and one, the dark shadow of the other man looms leisurely out of the fog.

“Ho-ho! You appear to have lost your balance, my dear colleague!” Booms a deep voice, slightly muffled from behind the helmet.

A large gauntleted hand reaches down, hesitates for a split second before clenching around the burglar’s rough-spun tunic and hauling him unceremoniously to his feet.

“Ah! I see you found my long pokie proddy thing. It’s good that you did, I’m always forgetting my weapons when it’s just me.” The titan proclaims while tossing the glaive skyward with a boot and snagging it at its apex.
“Uh…” Blubbers the thief.

The jovial man secures his armaments, and begins to pry his helm from his head. This act exposes a swarthy man of middle age with dusky skin and tightly curled hair and a look of excitement and mirth, tinged slightly with apathy and something more savage.

“Oh yes, you must not recognize me because of this silly hat! The blacksmith charged by the letter, and I had only enough for the first ‘E.’ I am sir Gustav the Great, an adventurer of some repute.”

“Buh?” Asked the thief.

“Well of course I will accompany you to the city gates, my new friend! In fact, I will let you buy me a drink as repayment for my services. This is an excellent deal, as it usually runs a significant portion of the profits.” Gustav advised carefully, with a pointedly absent implied threat.

“Well…” The thief attempts to protest.

“Very good, my man, we shall travel together. These roads are not safe this late at night!” Gustav bellows to the world at large (certainly to the things making the roads unsafe) while clapping the robber on his back and unsubtly shifting him towards the exit.

***       ***       ***       ***

As the pair walk towards town, Gustav regales the grave robber with some tales of his adventures, while the thief struggles to get a word in, or slip off unnoticed.

“I once spelunked with a party of all brothers, let’s see, there was a priest, a wizard and a bard. One of those proper bards, mind you, lute and song not those cut rate drummers, dancers, flute players or mimes you see so much of these days. Well anyways, we were wandering around in a cave they had heard some children had disappeared into, and it turned out to be housing some weird cult. Screamed something about being asleep and waking up while I ripped em up, I never listen to a dying man (my pappy’s dying wish). Well anyways, we get to this door, and I’m gonna open it but they all throw a fit. So I sit down while them brothers fuss over whether or not it’s trapped, I mean as though someone’s gonna trap a door. Eventually they seem to come to the end and tell me to pop it open. So I boot it in, while those three babies are standing twenty feet behind me. And don’t you know it, but it is trapped! I hear a noise, and the clever bastards had put a pit trap twenty feet in front of the door and they had all fallen in! I laughed about that all while tearing those cultists apart. Of course, the three brothers had been skewered to death by the stakes at the bottom, but that’s a risk of the job. Now what were their names again? It was something foreign, I think. I can never remember”

“Talking to yourself again, Gustav?” Shouts out a voice from the approaching city gate.

This visibly snaps the thief out of his horror induced trance. He didn’t want to go to this gate. This was one of the adventurer’s gates, if he went in through there looking like this he might not be able to get home. They didn’t let adventurers through into the main city without paying through the nose for a pass, even if they were born in the city. The smaller man looks around desperate for a way to sneak off, someplace to stash the loot, some kind of wild animal to chew him to pieces and end this nightmare.

No such opportunities arise, and the pair inexorably progress up into view of the gates and the highly trained soldier and his complicated and invincible construct manning it. Panic and fear melts away into resignation, with a tinge of hope: maybe my new friend can help me with this new problem.

“Hey Gustav! And wait, Is this someone you met on the road? I’ve never seen you coming back into the city with anyone. At least not an entire someone!” The guard states with incredulity, part fake part real.

“Why no, this is one of my colleagues whom I met in battle with a few skeletons back a ways” replies unfazed by the ribbing.

“Well, he’ll have to give his name to see if he’s on the list” the guard begins.

“Nonsense” interrupts Gustav “he is most certainly not. I’ve not seen him before this night, he’ll have to be scanned.”

“Perhaps that explains his surprising longevity. Okay then, G67a, scan this fellow here.” The guard spoke cryptically to the world at large, perhaps.

Suddenly, the great metallic humanoid springs into motion so fluidly the brain tries to  convince itself this thing has always been moving, instead of the menacing stillness it just had. Up to the robber it stalks, stopping uncomfortably close, just inches away.

SCANNING ADVENTURER SCUM!

“PRESENT HANDS FOR SCANNING, ADVENTURER SCUM” the mighty golem booms.

“Ack!” Stammers the grave robber, pulling back quickly. Unfortunately for him, his hands suffer from having mass, and remain in place.

Seeing this, the golem shifts forwards seizes the man’s left hand into a cavity in its own hand and does its work. A heated blade comes down, severing cleanly the end joint of his pinky finger.

“Bluh!” He shouts with something of a taper at the end as he begins to feel faint from the pain.

“SCANNING ADVENTURER SCUM NOW!” The horrid thing blasts.

“This’ll just be another minute then.” The guard says, obviously boring of this already.
“I don’t see why it has to take so long, Jerry. I’ve seen those mages hurl flames so hot it can turn a man to glass,”

“Ulp…” Stutters the swooning thief, ending up on his backside for the second time that night.

“Hush now, friend, it’s rude to interrupt.” Gustav chides him.

“You know as well as I do that I’ve got no control over it, I just say scan and it scans. I’m no more wizard than you are, mate.” The man we now know as Jerry says somewhat automatically (as though he processes this request several times per day).

“I’m merely saying that these magic types have too damn much power to be trustworthy.” This last begins to trail off, as though Gustav comes to the realization (uncharacteristically) by the look on the guard’s face that he has perhaps touched a difficult subject. “So how are the wife and kids?” The man booms out unnecessarily loud, as though to recover some lost confidence.

“Fine, fine. The wife keeps bothering me to take a safer post, but I’m confident ol’ G67a could give even you a rough time in a tussle. Then my youngest spontaneously manifested magical abilities, which has lead to all kinds of unfortunate and difficult messes to clean up.”

“Ah, well, that can be tricky to deal with. Do you reckon it came from the wife’s side or yours?”

“Haven’t the foggiest. Though my father’s mother had some odd tendencies. It sure opens up a lot of possibilities for the lass though, with some of them colleges in town and all.”

Just as this gripping expository small talk seems about to kick into high gear (Gustav’s color was rising, and he seems very near to an offensive tirade), the great behemoth’s constant shrieking changes topics.

ADVENTURER SCUM IS UNREGISTERED AS ADVENTURER SCUM, SOME FEES MAY BE REQUIRED, HAVE A GREAT DAY, SCUM

“Ah, first timer eh? Local lad with dreams of adventure maybe, looking to live the high life and see what it’s like to have money? Maybe escape your nagging wife and the concerns of your children, crippling mortgage and dead end job? Trying to make a big change and see what you can do making your way on your own? Without any obligations hanging over your head, just you and your mates fighting for your lives and your livelihoods? Camping out under the stars, and eating whatever you want?” The soldier’s eyes glaze over dreamily as he speaks.

“Uhhhh?” This bizarrely personal seeming diatribe seems to confuse the two onlookers briefly.

“Well, perhaps not all of that, but it certainly seems my mysterious friend has his roots in this very city.” Gustav manages to spit out after a few seconds, almost without thought (or at least with less thought than he put into his normal actions).

“Yeah, I guess so. Well… Uh, the rate for first timers is about 1000 gold, and the rate for the registration is another 500 on top of that, and in addition there are taxes, tariffs and levies to pay, which come out to about 750 gold. If you’d like, we can just pour that nice hefty sack through the tabulator on old G67a while you place your hand on that hand shaped plate and he’ll make sure the city gets its due.”

Our hero is so flabbergasted at the size of this bill that he barely notices as the guard and adventurer seize his lucre and hand respectively, placing each in the place required for the process. A grand rattling sound is made, emanating from deep within the horrendous machine as though there were an avalanche’s worth of rocks in a hurricane encased within (which may well have been the case, these things are made with elemental spirits encased within). The rattling continues for about fifteen seconds, and suddenly the golem dispenses a small, fist-sized sack that jingles as it thuds onto the ground below.

“A decent haul, my friend!” Booms Gustav, earnestly.

The grave robber looks over at the oaf, with his mouth agape in a face of shock that quickly turns to a murderous glare that gives the seasoned adventurer pause.

“One of the benefits of being paid up is being revived when you die, though this costs a nominal fee of course, but most adventurers seem to prefer it to being dead forever.” Jerry says, attempting to give a bright side to the situation.

“I’ll pay with one of these, then Jerry.” Gustav says, hefting a small sack off of a bandolier of identical looking sacks and tossing it to the guard.

“Then you both are free to head on in. I heard that Rick’s is having some kind of shindig tonight, if you’re looking for a drink.” Jerry said, mentioning the tavern in the adventurer’s district (everybody knew Rick’s).

“Thanks for the head’s up, this newly minted adventurer was just off to buy me a drink for assistance rendered!”

And with nary another word, the duo was off in the direction of the greatest cacophony and collection of brightest lights in the outer twelve.

 ***       ***       ***       ***

 At Rick’s, a stout, nondescript dwarven man sits at the crowded bar. The bar is crowded, but each nook and cranny contains as many as the bar clamoring around hooded figures in perpetually darkened corners. The dwarven man looks on with disdain, though he appears similar to many of the dwarves in the joint, his armor is stained more with mud or possibly nightsoil, and he wears a stained mop slung across his back. He carefully takes deep drafts of the beer in his stein, staring at it and considering it as one might consider a baby bird, or some other fragile item of great worth. He seems to be remembering events from his past, drinking as a means of enhancing the memory and blunting it at the same time, as though he was on the verge of desiring their loss, but not quite ready to let them go at the same time.

Suddenly, this placid scene of serenity in an unexpected locale is broken by the bursting open of the outside doors, with an accompanying roar from the giant Gustav and a panicked squeal from the grave robber. As one, the entire bar shifts focus straight to the door and the interlopers who had chosen to disturb the relative peace of this crowded, raucous establishment. The bar’s collective eye examines Gustav, while briefly noting the small man standing beside him, most find a man whose reputation precedes him and turn away. The moment of quiet turns into a grumbling crescendo back to the noise abandoned in shock.

Gustav is unfazed by this lukewarm reaction to his entrance, and eases his way over to the bar with his new friend clutched tightly in a headlock of companionship. Upon noticing the filthy dwarf, his path adjusts to bring them into berth at the bar next to him as he makes the face of a moray eel who is waiting for a nearby rock to notice how cleverly he has sidled up to it.

So what's up? Just sitting here eh? Still a rock? That's cool.
Hey buddy! Eh? Eh?

The dwarf takes a sip gingerly from his drink, ignoring the armored giant next to him who is almost certainly taking up the entirety of his peripheral vision.

“Hey Dougan!” Gustav chirps as the dwarf is mid-drink.

“I told you what to call me, but you never listen.” The dwarf says, sighing.

“Oh, right. Mr Sludgehammer. I’ll never get how you dworfs are called by your last names first and first names not at all.”

“That’s not it, it’s a matter of self-respe… Ah never mind, I know you wouldn’t get it anyways Gustav.”

“I’d prefer ‘Sir’ Gustav.”

“You’re a knight?”

“Yep.”

“Since I know you didn’t join the Order of the Questing Hand, which Lord knighted you pray tell, in a democracy that hasn’t had a royal visitor in two hundred years, since you humans murdered the last one?”

“Nobody, it’s just a fancy title that makes me killing things and taking their stuff more respectable.”

“Well, at least it’s in keeping with the historical traditions.”

“Yeah.” Gustav says in something of an excited query.

“Well, who’s this? Never seen you in the company of anyone but me, an old fool.”

“Oh, this is my new companion, and the man who is about to buy me a drink!” Gustav says while gesturing to the man in the white suit behind the bar, who serves up a pair of frothy overflowing beers seemingly without moving.

“So Rick’s tending the bar tonight?” Gustav asks.

“Ayuh.” Dougan grunts in response.

The three sit in silence for a while, each one seemingly considering the decisions and events that brought them to this stage in their lives over their brew. Each man seems to come to a very different conclusion, as the grave robber slumps, Gustav stares glassy eyed ahead with a grin slowly creeping up the sides of his face, and Dougan grimaces and sighs.

“Well, what have you got this time?” Dougan dejectedly asks.

“Me and my former companions, may the Nameless One shepherd their souls to the next world, were out walking one of the old roads and came across this old cemetery and our priest wondered ‘Where is the church for this cemetery?’ So we wandered around for a while and discovered a church to a dead god, who was buried and forgotten in their own crypts. So we wandered around the church for a while, picking up a few idols and holy symbols made from precious metals and gems, as well as a few minor magic items on the mouldering corpses of long dead priests, when we came across a great gilded mirror set into the wall.

Our wizardess discovered it could be activated to be a portal to some other plane or another, where the god itself was interred with some of it’s possessions. We poked around in there for a while, and they told me not to touch anything, but I kicked what looked like a barrel made of some ethereal silver. Y’know, just out of boredom. All of the sudden, out pops this enormous amorphous wolf-man beast covered in thousands of shifting faces. Well, it just menaces for a few seconds, when our burglar leaps out of nowhere and drives his dagger into it’s back. From there we fought a running battle back to the mirror.

I saw them all fall under it’s slashing claws and biting jaws, but as I made it back to the portal I struck a final killing thrust with my big stabby sword. This blow, and the gods subsequent final death, released a great multitude of screaming ghosts back into the world. As I stepped through the portal back into this plane, the dead rose up to greet me. I hacked my way through them back to the cemetery gate, when I saw a gaggle of skeletons surrounding my friend here, which I promptly dispatched. We then hastened ourselves back here, where I discovered my this young man had completed his first true adventure and that we needed to celebrate this fact.” Gustav explains, long-windedly

“So, ye ticked off an ancient god. Then ye killed aforementioned dead god, releasing the souls of it’s followers. Then ye killed them too, all for a paltry sack of gold coins?” Dougan asks.

“Yeah, I suppose.” Gustav replies somewhat doubtfully.

“Hardly seems worth it.” Dougan says dismissively.

“You’re only saying that because you don’t have the guts to get out there and do it yourself.” Gustav replies, hurt.

“Ach. You’re full of yourself, just like all these other adventurers. You lot just aren’t responsible enough to hold down a steady respectable job, so you go out there and kill people to take their money. I’m heading back to the University.” Dougan spits in disgust, chugs his beer, and gets up to leave, in the span of a few seconds.

“That’s where you’re wrong, mostly we kill things that have killed people and took their stuff and take that stuff for ourselves! It’s one step removed, you mop jockey!” Gustav shouts after him in a feeble self defense.

“Ah, forget that loser. Let’s get down to the business of celebrating your joining the ranks of adventurers.”

 ***       ***       ***       ***

Pain.

Throbbing agonizing pain.

Various other adjectives describing the pain further, perhaps something like stabbing, maybe nauseating.

Slowly the grave robber realizes that there is a head attached to the pain and a body complete with various organs and appendages attached to the head.

Several of these are experiencing pain as well.

More sensations congeal gradually, the cold smooth stone below, speckled with straw and dirt but comfortable in it’s coolness. The sound of footsteps growing and receding rhythmically, like the waves of an ocean slowed down to geologic timescale. The smell of ale and spirits and grave-soil, the smell of the first prom-cum-funeral held for the most nihilistic fraternity. The taste of copper, or iron, or some other transition metal that might be used in a coin (zinc? Nah, probably not zinc).

The eyes are detected, and attempt to open.

They fail.

One more shot, and if we fail again, we’ll just let the body die, right?

With tremendous effort, the eyes splash open with a sticking noise.

There’s the stone and hay, and some blood looks like. Moving upwards, there are some sturdy looking bars.

As though by magic, this sight energizes the grave robber and he leaps up to his feet, grasping the bars and peering out to see his captors.

“Ah, finally awake are you?” a quavery voice asks from somewhere behind him.

The grave robber jerks his head to look, forgetting it is between the bars. His head sticks as his chin strikes the bar, and the grave robber grunts in pain.

“You were out for a full day, friend. Picked you up for adventurer disturbing the peace, adventurer disorderly conduct and adventurer resisting arrest. The boys couldn’t pinch your big mate who was doing the fighting though, he got away. Unfortunate for you, all party members are responsible for any party member’s actions, you’re on the hook for 10 years.” Says an older man with a long salt and pepper mustache and a suit of scale mail under a blue tabard with the symbol of the city.

“But, I was unconscious!” The grave robber yells, uncharacteristically.

“Ayup, made it pretty easy for them to book you. Looked like you’d been knocked out by some kind of bar fight, which Rick said was started by that big buddy of yours.”

“All I did was rob a few graves!” protested the grave robber. “That monster Gustav did everything else!” What a chatterbox.

“Oh, aye, I’m sure you did. Unfortunately for you, the city has cracked down real hard on adventurer crime. That’s why you’re here in this special adventurer prison, guilty of special adventurer crimes.” The old main explains helpfully.

“What? I’m not an adventurer, at worst I’m a grave robber!” This grave robber is just too talkative.

“You’re registered as one; besides, there’s not much of a difference, in this town. Most of the adventurers got their start robbing graves or cleaning up battlefields, then slowly worked their way up to killing rats, kobolds and goblins. You can’t enter into the business all willy-nilly, you have to be careful who you associate with in your early days, build up skill and reputation, as well as money. Now you wind up in prison for a long time, with no adventurer support network on the outside, and that Gustav guy is running around free with no recourse. Seems like a bad deal for you, maybe you should have tried for a steady job like being a scribe for one of those universities in town.”

Port Delta setting building Short stories Writing

Kauai is the goddess of vacations, relaxing, trips to exotic locales and tropical islands. She is another imported deity, since Port Delta is temperate in climate. A group of islanders brought her with them on a trip looking for further trade routes for their kingdom, several sailors heard tell of the place and decided it might be worth it to head over to see what it was all about. Upon arrival, they discovered a tropical island paradise, and the locals discovered an important and nearly inexhaustible source of money. They ratcheted up the price of normal everyday goods, and set up luxury inns on the beach. Some of the sailors realized the goldmine they had found, and started an ocean travel line with the locals, bringing tourists in and charging for passage. The locals set up a block of time for their goddess of vacations (then relaxation and beaches) to have services at the temple of small gods as advertising.

 

The services have a roasted pig served to the congregation and guests, along with various other island delicacies such as island roots, tropical fish and fruits. Flavorful alcohols are served and islanders perform many of their traditional dances, including beautiful young women and grass skirts and muscular young men juggling fire sticks. The music and atmosphere are designed to relax and distract the people of the city, and convince them that they might want to travel out to the island sometime. This is an effective strategy, as the name Kauai has become synonymous with vacationing and has become city shorthand for their island.

 

Her symbol is a pair of crossed palms, heavy with coconuts and jutting happily from the sand of a warm beach. She is depicted as a beautiful woman in the traditional grass skirts of their dancers wearing a garland of flowers around her neck.

 

Now, speaking of the goddess of vacations, this site is going to be going on one (a vacation, not a goddess) until early June, then we’ll open with a fun short story alternating every two weeks with another serial story. I’m also considering other forms of content, and would love some ideas, if you want to toss them at me.

Pantheon RPG stuff setting building small gods

Button is the goddess of orphans and abandoned children. A mother and caretaker to the downtrodden and the forgotten children of the city. Her followers are those who have been left to their own devices as long as they can remember, those who may never have known the comforts of home and the loving embrace of a parent. They are the urchins and ragamuffins who form gangs and roving bands in order to get what they need, food, water, shelter, protection. These gangs are fiercely protective of their deity and their protector, going so far as to damage and destroy the property of other churches that they see as “rivals” to their “mother.”

 

She began life as an orphanage owner, caring for the children of the city and doing her best to feed and protect them. Her children were her life and she was theirs, and they believed her to be a God, and this belief (as strong as a child can believe in a thing) caused her transcendence to divinity. She still owns her orphanage, and many of her followers are there, but she can only provide so much space and there are many children who would rather be on the street.

 

Her services are grand soup kitchens attended by the homeless and orphans in the city. Her earliest wards have become her most trusted priests and helpers, running her church and establishing the logistics of running a soup kitchen for all the homeless and parentless in the city. They use the money earned from the sale of miracles to purchase supplies, and have begun satellite orphanages and care facilities throughout the city.

 

Her symbol is a pair of angelic wings with a halo. This symbol wasn’t her idea, and was instead The design of one of her charges. She is depicted as she is (one of those few odd living gods that cause so many census problems), a matronly woman whose face is careworn with hair in a utilitarian bun.

Pantheon RPG stuff setting building small gods

As’holia is the God of jerks. The deity of dicks, the patron of punks, and the Lord of louts. His followers are those who take pleasure in the pain and suffering of others, and seek actively to create such emotions to feed upon. They steal food from children, ask irritating questions they already know the answer to, park their horses and carts right in the way of traffic and also right in the way of the door to a business. The priests are scions of these acts, the pinnacle of the sport of creating misery where none currently exists and causing as much irritation as possible. They’re more likely to perform a miracle at random, charge you for it, and then pretend they didn’t hear you when you said what you wanted. They’re the kind who show up late to their services, half-ass things, and then knock off for the day early. This fairly accurately describes exactly how the services are run.

 

The content of the services is a complicated ritual of bizarre and uncomfortable motions made in a specific order, as a kind of ritual dance. The effect of watching this dance in its entirety is to become extremely nauseous and need to lie down. The congregation then continue on to chants that alternate between high and low pitched wailing, these make listeners feel as though they have forgotten to stub their toes on something hard (and proceed to kick a nearby object with an intent to hurt themselves). From there They move on to silent prayers for the strength to create the most misery and mayhem they possibly can within their lifespan.

 

His symbol is an unusual shape that is at once impossible to conceal or hold comfortably. It pricks and pokes to remind the bearer to cause irritation and pain to those around them (and provokes them in the wearer). He is depicted differently each time, so nobody knows who the person is in the picture, or what is going on.

Pantheon RPG stuff setting building small gods

Yuck is the God of oozes, spines, jellies, puddings and various other unusual amorphous abominations of nature. These organisms are surprisingly common in the city, especially considering the extent and age of the city sewers. They wander the sewers, eating organic matter and protecting what they perceive as their territory. It is postulated that they live in vast colonies somewhere in the sewers, deep in some warm moist crevice below the earth. To this day, none of these colonies has been discovered, though part of this may be due to the absence of expeditions into the sewer, and poor rate of returns from those who do set off into the darkness.

 

The services are a topic of discussion in the city, mostly since no humanoid has ever been present for them. The sounds heard emanating from the windows of the temple are described by those daring enough to go near as liquidy sloshing or slapping, and a sort of bizarre humming vibration that you don’t hear as much as feel in your bones. There also happen to be odd flashes of light, as though there was some kind of unusual storm going on within. Nobody ever sees any of the things arrive or leave, but most assume they simply goo up through storm drains or the temple basements. Outside the temple stand odd cloaked men, who appear moist and slick even on the sunniest of days. These are the ones who perform miracles for visitors, and they do so quickly and quietly. What noises they do make are very wet and throaty, as though they are struggling to swallow while speaking.

 

Yuck’s symbol is an amorphous, wet blob of unknown origin and composition. It is incredibly disgusting and burns slightly to the touch. He is depicted as an enormous green blob who takes a vaguely humanoid shape, though seems to have disdain for facial features (as he doesn’t have any).

Pantheon RPG stuff setting building small gods

Em-Eye is the God of heart attacks. He is worshiped by very few in the city (in fact he has only one true follower), but is paid tribute to by many of the city’s population, especially the elderly. He is a God who gives little and takes everything is those who he “blesses” possess. He comes with little warning and leaves just as quietly, taking many in their sleep, but just as many with tasks yet left undone.

 

His follower is an ancient man whose name is unknown. He appears in the temple on the days his God has reserved, and sits to receive prayers for protection, offerings and bribes to ply his god’s favor and stave off unexpected death for as long as possible. He gives aid to those who are willing to pay for it, but few are willing to risk owing the God for these miracles so only the brave or ignorant will purchase such services. When the time is through, the man disappears, never followed and not seen untilTyne next scheduled time.

 

This man and his God are the subject of much theological debate, as he does not appear to change appearance at all between services, even though the church has been active for years now. Some posit that he is a powerful wizard, chained into the God of heart attack’s services as part of a deal to save his life. Still others say he is the God of heart attacks, and that he came to exist simply out of fear of sudden death. Others think this is silly conjecture, and that he is simply a private citizens and upstanding member of the theological community.

 

Em-Eye’s symbol is an anatomically correct heart made from rusted iron, Brown with the appearance of decay and still as an unbeating heart. He is never depicted, for fear it will bring his attention to the artist.

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Anathema is the goddess of bad manners. Her followers are those who shun the traditional societal views of how people should behave, and seek to break as many of these rules as they possibly can. They believe that humans should be allowed to behave exactly as they wish, and not force themselves to be held to some ridiculous standards just because rich people say so.

 

Her services are great feasts, with buffet style serving and long tables to seat the entire congregation. The worshipers feast, eating voraciously and a touch bestially. No utensils, no napkins, elbows propped on the table and hands wiped off on shirts. Alcohol is swilled and spilled all down faces, with no regard for how they are viewed by outsiders. Various smells and disgusting human noises are made, a veritable assault on every sense a being might have.

 

Her symbol are a pair of hands, stained with food and gripping a turkey leg tightly. She is depicted as a filthy human, gripping the turkey leg and putting her feet up on the dinner table.

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Moistivus is the God of spitting. No one is quite sure how he became this, but he most certainly is now. His followers are few, but arguably talented? They have been gifted with an ability to spit distances that push the very limits of human ability and inspire aspirations in the hearts of young boys everywhere, who wish to be able to spit even an appreciable fraction of the distance they have achieved. This accomplishment is due to the training regimen contained within the sacred book of Moistivus, adhered to in every free moment of their lives, and a steady intake of water (to keep the mucous membranes wet).

 

His services are gross, but impressive. Each member takes time praying and meditating, trying to attain the zenlike state required for the maximum spitting distance. They empty their minds of all distraction, and fill their mouths with the most cohesive and voluminous loogey they can summon without completely draining their body of moisture. They take turns standing in a ritual circle, preparing themselves for their performance and offerings their final prayers for glory. All are silent now, watching the petitioner with breath held and attention transfixed. The man in the circle, until now perfectly still, becomes a blur of motion. Moving his body in an imitation of the waves of the ocean he flings his head back, and then forward. Once, twice, and on the third time his face contorts into a rictus of pain and concentration, forcing the liquid from his mouth at incredible speeds. All eyes watch as it speeds through the air, landing an unbelievable distance away. The acolytes run to measure the distance, marking it down in the book of great deeds. The next man stands and the cycle begins anew, his prayers going to the God of spitting.

 

His symbol is a drop of water (or spit) small end to the left and larger end to the right, as though speeding in that direction away from a mouth. He is never depicted in polite company.

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Mumbles is the goddess of wrestling, wrestlers and spectacles of physical ability. Her followers believe in strength and physical ability, as well as providing an excellent show and giving the crowd an incredible spectacle and display. Many have pseudonyms and masks, fighting and performing as alter egos both in order to protect their identity and to create an air of mystery to add to the show. Others use their real names and personality as an attempt to have success in the ring catapult them to personal success, fame and wealth.

 

She was brought into the city by a group of large oiled foreigners who wore masks and shorts and nothing else. They began organizing spectacular displays of their abilities, wrestling each other in the streets and putting on a grand show for those who passed. This began to acquire quite a following, and betting on the matches became commonplace. This lead to match fixing, which eventually became so complicated and common that betting ceased entirely. People still watched for the stories, however, and the matches were moved to the temple of small gods.

 

The matches and shows have become the services, with wrestlers fighting and grappling in front of the crowds in a grand elevated ring. The fights have grown in popularity and showmanship, to the degree that it has come to be considered an art form by many city denizens. People will pay a small fee for entry, and then petition services from priests who oversee the matches. The stories have become the main draw of the matches, and attendance has come to rival that of some of the largest plays put on throughout the city, and each wrestler has acquired a following of their own, some actively becoming larger than life.

 

Mumble’s symbol is a mask of black straps and steel, the overall effect being considerably intimidating. She is depicted as a muscular woman wearing the aforementioned mask, and she is always shown surrounded by black robes, hooded druids. No one really knows why this is, and chalks it up to being from a foreign country.

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LaSalle is the God of soldiers, armies, mercenaries, marines, navy and all other organized bands of folks fighting under some kind of leadership. He is something of an older deity, harkening back to when the city and Senate were allowed to raise and hold a standing army, instead of the current system in which the armed forces are raised and organized by the platinum houses. This has lead to a sort of bizarre schism in the followers of LaSalle, where each platinum house’s personal army is untrusting and cold towards the others, sometimes even coming to blows during the services themselves.

 

LaSalle himself was a cavalry officer during one of Port Delta’s many quests towards the acquisition of new lands to add to the nation’s holdings. He was well decorated, and highly respected by his men, seen as a great leader (if not the greatest tactician). During a battle with a group of hobgoblins holding a mountain range rich in metal ores, LaSalle was ordered to perform a holding action to prevent a route and slaughter during a retreat. LaSalle and his men bravely charged directly into the heart of the much larger hobgoblin force, causing panic and disorder in their ranks. Seeing this, a counterattack was ordered to take advantage and support LaSalle, but he was cut in half by a hobgoblin. His men and those who knew his reputation began to venerate the man and prayed to him before battles.

 

The services are ceremonial presentation of arms, and swearing subordination and fealty to their superiors through thick and thin. This gets confused due to the schism, and winds up being a humble of words and oaths. The group’s then set up to recruit new members from the population, competing with each other to provide services and hire on new folks.

 

His symbol is a helm with a plume with a sword in front, blade down. He is pictured as a swarthy man wearing a breastplate and extravagant pantaloons, and a large handlebar moustache.

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