Earth Dragon

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Greyhawk Deity
The Earth Dragon
Title(s) Wyrm of the Hills, Earth Lord, Serpent of Stone
Home Plane Mount Drachenkopf, Oerth (Prime Material Plane)
Power Level Demigod
Gender Unknown
Class(es)
Alignment Lawful evil
Portfolio Earth, weather, hidden treasures
Domains Earth, Evil, Law, Protection, Weather
Alias(es)
Superior None

The Earth Dragon is a Flan spirit of earth, weather, and hidden treasures. It is the spirit of Mount Drachenkopf in the Pomarj. Its symbol is a coiled dragon.

Description

The Earth Dragon may manifest as a mottled serpent or a gargantuan dragon formed of variegated stone laced with precious ores. It may also manifest as an earthquake to indicate its displeasure.

Relationships

The Cult of the Earth Dragon is opposed by the Silent Ones.

Realm

The Earth Dragon is said to live in a large underground lair beneath Mount Drachenkopf avoided by subterranean races. Especially faithful worshippers are brought to their deity's presence to bask in the Earth Dragon's glory.

Dogma

The Earth Dragon is the great provider and the spirit of the earth. Those who worship it and obey it are promised protection. The Earth Dragon is said to know all the secrets of the land, favoring its chosen with power and knowledge. To please their god, the faithful must worship, sacrifice, and spread the faith to others.

Worshippers

Only 30% of the Earth Dragon's worshippers are human. The others are members of evil humanoid races such as orcs, gnolls, goblins, hobgoblins, and ogres. Each congregation is served by several shamans and a witch doctor.

Because any activity involving earth, stone, and the underground is pleasing to the Earth Dragon, the cult is equally popular among farmers, miners, and masons. Warriors focus on the god's destructive side.

The derro know and respect the Earth Dragon, and do not enter its realm without performing ritual sacrifices.

Clergy

Priests of the Earth Dragon wear brown robes embroidered with gold thread and gems. During ceremonies, they wear the bronzed and magically shrunken skulls of young dragons on their heads (Earth Dragon Helms). In battle they favor scalemail and shields bearing their god's coiled dragon symbol. Adventuring priests wear practical garb appropriate for forays into mines and mountains.

Temples

The greatest temple of the Earth Dragon is a complex beneath Mount Drachenkopf. It is built into the side of the mountain, most of it hidden underground. There, a shaft of unknown depth is used to drop sacrifices into the realm of their god. For years, this was the only temple to the god, but Turrosh Mak's forces have established many shrines and small temples to the Earth Dragon throughout the Pomarj and the Wild Coast. New temples are always partly subterranean, their altars underground. Savage humanoid tribes in the Pomarj often have crude shrines to the Earth Dragon in caves. Larger temples have lately received egg-shaped rocks from the Earth Dragon, with instructions to "protect my young."

Holy days and rituals

The holy day of the Earth Dragon is Earthday, when the faithful go to the temples of the god. Important sacrifices are made in the third week of each month. The Earth Dragon is also honored in Growfest, when hundreds of humans are sacrificed at the Drachenkopf Temple.

Relics

The Dragon's Scales

This is a ceremonial suit of scalemail, the personal armor of the high priest of the Earth Dragon Cult. It is rumored to have been made from the scales of the Earth Dragon itself; these scales vary from black to brown to gold in color. The coiled symbol on the armor can be enchanted to become a symbol of persuasion, and can cast a mass suggestion spell once per day. If a nonbeliever touches the armor, the ground trembles. The first time someone dons the armor, the Earth Dragon sucks the wearer into the ground to judge the creature's worthiness. Those who fail are eaten.

Earth Dragon Helm

A 9th level priest of the Earth Dragon must slay a young, good dragon and bring its skull to a temple dedicated to the Earth Dragon or to Mount Drachenkopf itself. The skulls are diminished, bronzed, and crafted into ceremonial items called Earth Dragon Helms. The larger the dragon slain, the more prestigious the priest's new position. Each helm has slightly different powers, usually including an immunity to magical fear and a breath weapon effect appropriate to the type of dragon used.

Smoke of Little Death

This oil was developed by the Earth Dragon Cult for some of its rituals, although it has since been found effective in combat as well. The recipe is a secret jealously guarded by the priesthood. It comes in small vials that shatter when thrown, producing a cloud of noxious gas. Those who fail to save fall asleep, suffering strange and vivid dreams. Priests of the Earth Dragon claim to commune with their god as they sleep, though others report terrible nightmares.

History

The Earth Dragon is an ancient deity dating back to an era in the Flanaess when spirits of nature were worshipped as gods. In the early days, the Earth Dragon was but one of the many spirits worshiped by the primitive people of the Pomarj. In the Drachensgrab Hills, those tribes that propitiated the Earth Dragon prospered, while those who did not perished due to avalanches and earthquakes.

When newer gods of Oerth appeared to supplant primitive spirit-worship, a few spirits stubbornly remained in the new era. The Earth Dragon was one of these. Every new culture that colonized the Pomarj had to deal with it, adding it to their pantheons and propitiating it when they crossed its territory.

During the Great Migrations a band of wicked Suloise slaughtered a tribe of Flan in the Drachensgrab Hills. In retribution, their gods transformed the Suloise into stone, creating the Twisted Forest. Although it is not certain the Earth Dragon was responsible for this, it has been the most significant power in the Drachensgrabs since time immemorial, and it would be strange if the Flan tribe in question did not worship it.

In the mid-400s CY, a young baron called Erkin journeyed alone to Mount Drachenkopf to make a pact with the deity. In exchange for worship and sacrifices from the baron's people, the Earth Dragon aided Erkin's conquests. Within five years, Erkin had claimed all the Drachensgrab Hills and named himself king. His brother Bretwalda and all of his descendants honored the pact. In 574 CY, King Rodric of Suderham was assassinated by Stalman Klim, the High Priest of the Earth Dragon, who claimed the city in the name of the Slave Lords. When Turrosh Mak conquered the Pomarj, he spread the worship of the Earth Dragon as well.

Publishing history

The Earth Dragon was originally mentioned in the Scourge of the Slave Lords series of modules.

Bibliography

  • 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:[1]