|Delleb, as depicted in Dragon #263. Art by Rebecca Guay.|
|Title(s)||The Scholar, the Scribe, The God Scholar, Sage of the Gods, The Good Savant|
|Home Plane||Seven Heavens of Mount Celestia|
|Class(es)||Wizard 20, Cleric 15 (avatar)|
|Portfolio||Reason, Intellect, Study|
|Domains||Good, Knowledge, Law, Magic|
Delleb is the Oeridian god of Reason, Intellect, and Study. His symbol is a phoenix-feather quill, or an open book.
Delleb is depicted as a tall, thin Oeridian man with olive skin. His features are elderly, and the top of his head is balding but for some short white tufts of hair, primarily on the back and sides. He is usually shown with spectacles in modern portrayals, and dressed as a noble scribe or finely attired scholar.
More rarely, Delleb is portrayed as a fully armored warrior riding a warhorse and carrying a sabre (Delente-Vinnos, "That which strikes down ignorance") and a strange projectile weapon of metal and wood. Delleb believes that the pen is mightier than the sword, however, and he once drove away a young, murderous Hextor using nothing but his quill.
He is always accompanied by a large black war dog called Shadow.
According to rumors whispered by those knowledgeable in such arcane matters, Delleb was the deity who sponsored Daern, hero-goddess of defenses and fortifications, to her present exalted state.
Delleb hates lies and dislikes fiction; as a result, he and Syrul have battled one other intermittently since long before the Invoked Devastation. He has been at odds with Hextor since the quill incident. He is allied with Boccob, St. Cuthbert, Lirr, Heironeous, and Zuoken, and friendly to all but those who are evil or who oppose knowledge.
Delleb's realm, the Great Library, is in Solania, the fourth of the Seven Heavens. Solania is a place with many scholarly hermitages and monasteries hidden atop high, steep peaks.
Delleb's order teaches that the purpose of existence is the accumulation of knowledge, although they are careful to remind others that this does not supersede the sanctity of life. Ideally, this is knowledge that must be passed from teacher to student. What cannot be learned from teachers may be learned in personal research through books. What cannot be learned from books may be learned through experimentation.
Delleb warns of the dangers in letting emotion cloud one's reason. He teaches the importance of educating others. Secrets that contain true knowledge are seen as blasphemous, for knowledge belongs to everyone. Even evil knowledge is sacred to the church, though they try to keep it out of the hands of those who would use it for evil ends. This may seem to be a double standard, but goes hand in hand with Delleb's desire to preserve life first. Debates about the nature of good and evil, and what constitutes "evil knowledge," are frequent among all of Delleb's sects.
The church teaches its clergy and followers to hone their intellects. Riddle and pun contests are common and important. The winners are often rewarded with higher status within the church or access to some of the more "sensitive" books.
An honorary order within the church for those who sages and philosophers who are not clergy is the Silver Savants. Membership in the order is awarded to those who have made great discoveries or unearthed long-lost knowledge, and they are held in high esteem by members of the church.
Delleb's clerics (sometimes known as Tomesages) are devoted to learning and to using their knowledge to help and teach others. They ask questions of bards and sages, pore over old books, help engineers plan and invent, and travel in search of forgotten lore.
Clergy of Delleb's church generally wear the black robes of a scholar. On ceremonial occasions they wear black mortarboards with tassels of gold, silver, or white. The tassels denote scholars, librarians, or members of the Silver Savants respectively.
- The scholars of Delleb are the largest group and contain among them the best thinkiers, philosophers, mathematicians, scholars, historians, and sages in the church. They are divided into learners and teachers.
- The learners revere learning for its own sake; some are inventors. A scholar of Delleb is credited with the invention of the crossbow.
- Teachers are a smaller sect, running the various church schools and spreading knowledge as widely as possible. Teachers are divided into assistance, acolytes, mentors, and savants.
- The librarians of Delleb are dedicated to repairing, copying, illuminating, and indexing the books in the libraries of the temples. The lower-ranking librarians are called scripters, while the higher ranking ones are called bookkeepers. The bookkeepers answer to the Chief Librarian.
- The knights of Delleb are an order of warriors dedicated to defending the church and spreading knowledge as far as possible. The group has grown considerably since the Greyhawk Wars.
- The church is also known for its doctors and healers. A few temples of Delleb are dedicated solely to knowledge of the healing arts.
The Knights of the Book are paladins dedicated to Delleb. They protect temples, serve as military advisors and leaders of troops levied to protect the church and the lands around it. They also act as teachers of military strategy and history.
The largest of Delleb's temples is the Savant Hospital in Chendl. Before the siege of the city it was called simply the Library Temple, but the library has since been moved south to Littleberg. The Savant Hospital has been rededicated to the healing order of the clerics of Delleb, and they concentrate on medical texts and teaching others about the healer's arts. They defer to the priests of Rao.
The University Temple in Rel Mord is closely connected to the Royal University there, and its priests often teach at the school. This building is built of white marble, its walls inscribed in Old Oeridian, the classical language spoken by all inhabitants of the temple. The inner shrine features a copper statue of Delleb, represented as an old man in simple robes, carrying books and scrolls. The priests at the University Temple are widely held to be among the most knowledgeable and intelligent men in the land.
Holy Days and Rituals
- The Mass of Knowledge. The Mass of Knowledge is performed each Godsday. The ceremonies last the better part of a day, which is spent speaking of new learnings in an elaborately ceremonial fashion. The rest of the day is spent in free-form discussion among the clergy.
- On the eve of Freeday, scholars of the Church of Delleb visit inns and taverns, listening and committing to memory local gossip and news. Freeday morning is spent writing notes on what is heard. The following week, the scholars try to determine what is true and what is false.
Delleb was created by Gary Gygax and first fleshed out by Andy Miller in Dragon (magazine) #263. He was later fleshed out in a slightly different way by Sean K. Reynolds in the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer.
- Conforti, Steven, ed. Living Greyhawk Official Listing of Deities for Use in the Campaign, version 2.0. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2005. Available online:
- Findley, Nigel, Dan Salas, Stephen Inniss, and Robert J. Kuntz. Fate of Istus. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1989.
- Holian, Gary, Erik Mona, Sean K. Reynolds, and Frederick Weining. Living Greyhawk Gazetteer. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2000.
- Noonan, David. Complete Divine. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2004.
- Perkins, Christopher. Warriors of Heaven. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 1999.