|Vergadain, as depicted in Dragon #58 (1982).|
|Title(s)||God of Wealth and Luck, the Merchant King, the Master Merchant, the Trickster, the Laughing Dwarf, the Short Father|
|Home Plane||Concordant Domain of the Outlands|
|Portfolio||Wealth, luck, chance, nonevil thieves, entrepreneurial skills such as suspicion, trickery, negotiation, sly cleverness|
|Domains||Knowledge, Luck, Mind, Pact, Trickery|
Vergadain (VUR-guh-dain) is the dwarf deity of Wealth and Luck. Vergadain's titles "the Trickster" and "the Laughing Dwarf" are not used by his worshippers. His holy symbol is a circular gold coin. These coins must be acquired in payment for goods sold. Worshippers of the Merchant King are expected to exchange this coin for another at least once a month.
Vergadain appears as a tall dwarf dressed in the brown and yellow garb of a merchant; often his clothes are tattered and dusty from his long travels. Underneath this, he wears armor and often carries musical instruments (Vergadain has a great singing voice and is said to be a great poet), disguises, and sacks of treasure protected with poisonous snakes and vermin. His boots contain concealed weapons such as knives or garrotes, or hidden places or both. His eyes sparkle enigmatically, and he smiles more than any other dwarven god.
Not far from the gate-towns of Xaos and Glorium but closer to the infinite Spire at the center of the plane, Dwarven Mountain is a collection of subterranean realms, known as halls to the dwarves. Vergadain's realm is Strongale Hall. Strongale Hall is known far and wide for its gambling and drink; planar lore has it that those who gamble in Strongale Hall can put up anything they own as a stake, even intangible qualities such as their bravery, strength, shadows, or souls. The local beverages are strong, and the dwarven spirits who serve Vergadain are eager to profit from it.
Wealth and good luck are the true blessings, particularly when they are brought by one's own zeal and enterprise. Worshippers of Vergadain are expected to work hard, strive to be clever and to seek the best bargains. They try to live life to the fullest, not just saving but also tithing and spending when appropriate in order to encourage more trade. While they owe respect to others, they have the responsibility to seek the best bargains and try to get the better deal for themselves, so as not to dishonor their deity.
Vergadain's priests dress in the finest golden chain mail and helmets. They favor rich, costly robes studded with gems and trimmed with furs. Gold and deep purple are the preferred colors. Their favored weapon is the longsword. They are expected to be wealthy. They seek to advance dwarven commerce and maintain their god's temples in high style.
Gold is sacrificed to Vergadain during the nights of Luna's full moon, during the Coin Festivals held in Vergadain's honor by placing them on an altar dedicated to the God of Wealth and Luck. This gold is then invested shrewdly by the clergy with the goal of supporting dwarven merchants, bailing them out of debt, or sometimes bribing officials of other races or cultures.
Worshippers of the Merchant King meet in windowless rooms or underground, surrounded by torches, braziers, or other flames, and dance in slow, stately shiftings around the floor while wearing or displaying gold or other objects of great value. Every worshipper throws at least one gold piece into the flame as they dance; as the flame consumes the offerings utterly, the fire rarely dies away to reveal a map, clue, potion, or other omen or boon sent by Vergadain. Extremely rarely, Vergadain may send a weapon; most commonly, the boon will be a key that unlocks a box rightfully owned by a dwarf, but being kept from them for some reason. The dance ends when the flame shoots upwards, signifying the thanks and attention of the Laughing Dwarf. The priests then light candles or other lights and discuss business. Next are monetary transactions between the faithful, and finally the ranking cleric passes a hand through the flame, causing it to slowly diminish. The dwarves kiss a coin as a gesture of fairwell, and depart.
Vergadain's holy days are known as coin festivals to the faithful and as trade moots to more cynical observers. They are held on the days before and after a full moon. This is a time of selling, as worshippers of Vergadain seek to earn as much wealth as they can before the religious rites begin.
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- Cook, David "Zeb" Planescape Campaign Setting. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1994.
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- Gygax, Gary. Unearthed Arcana. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1985.
- McComb, Colin. On Hallowed Ground. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1996.