The Gnomish Gods
The Gnommish Pantheon is unusual, for though the gods they worship are very different from those followed by the dwarves, they share the principal deity - the Forge Father, Moradin himself. As he is for their dwarvish cousins, Moradin is the head of the gnommish pantheon. However, while the dwarves claim to be Moradin's children made by his own hands, the gnomes see Moradin as a foster father of sorts. Their tales recount that they were wanderers and pilgrims who came up from the deep caverns in ancient times into a world where their own gods could afford them little aid. It was from Moradin and the dwarves that they sought help, and from them they received it. All gnomes owe Moradin for their place in this world, even if they honour the old gods that the first gnomes brought with them from the strange realms they originated in.
Moradin's position as honorary leader of the gnommish pantheon contrasts heavily with the rest of the gnome gods. While he is leader and master of the gnommish gods, Moradin's position is clearly one of respect and homage amongst the gnomes. While they owe Moradin everything and see him as their patron and benefactor, it is not Moradin that most gnomes pray to for protection and guidance, but their own old gods. These gods were brought with them from the strange lands of gnommish yore, and they are bizarre by dwarven standards. They are tied deeply with the otherworldly heritage of the gnomes - the same heritage that gives them their unusual affinity for illusory magics and a reputation far and wide as being odd, bright, curious but suspicious beings.
Though Moradin holds a place of honour amongst gnomes, it is Garl Glittergold who truly heads the gnommish pantheon. He is the god of luck and trickery, mortal enemy to kobolds and their patron deity Kurtulmak. Garl Glittergold presides over much - most of it to do with wealth and cunning - but chiefly of all, his portfolio is the luck and skill of his gnommish servants. When precious rubies are unearthed or gold is struck in the mines, it is to Garl Glittergold that the praise rings out. He is said to be the uncle of Sazir and Gadan, both of whom inherit his association with wealth and treasure. Besides simply being a deity of wealth and fortune, Garl represents that which is inherently gnommish - trade, the pursuit of wealth through cunning, and defeat of enemies through trickery and skill rather than brute strength. The gnommish curiosity for all things unknown, their inherent intelligence, their love of machines and engineering, and their skill with illusion and deception - all of these characteristics he embodies. His priests are most numerous and best-respected in gnommish settlements, and it is his name that is called when the battle is joined.
Taking the form of a female gnome, Sazir is a goddess of much that is close to a gnome's heart - minerals, jewels, wealth and trade. She is seen as the head of her household and a shrewd businesswoman - master administrator, ruthless taskmaster and dangerous enemy. She is harsh but fair, and never errs in her calculations or forgets a debt. She is also the foster-mother of the wolverine god Lurit (detailed below), and as such she is prayed to by troubled mothers and estranged family, for she is a goddess of reconciliation and mending of broken relationships.
One of the stranger gods to come to Morus with the gnomes, Lurit Goldhemmed takes the form of a great male wolverine the size of a gnome, and is the foster son of Sazir. As he is not related by blood to Sazir and takes the form of a lowly animal, Lurit is often mocked and belittled in gnommish folklore. As such, he has a reputation as a moody, troubled deity that does not belong anywhere and never feels at ease in the gnommish pantheon. He is often prayed to by estranged family and gnomes with wanderlust; many of his tales involve Lurit leaving the gnommish pantheon behind in a rage, and going off to find his way in the world - though he always finds his way back home in the end.
Even though he is often a figure of scorn amongst the other gnommish gods, Lurit has a potent portfolio of his own. As the foster son of Sazir, he has dominion over wealth as she does, with a focus on metal, metalsmithing and gold. He is also the god of the deep mountains and mines, which is where his bestial nature shows through; the wolverine is a fierce creature, and his image is carried by those travelling on dangerous journeys into unexplored caverns in search of treasure and gold. Finally, as noted above, he is the patron of delvers, wanderers, traders in strange lands, and all who feel the call of wanderlust dragging them from hearth and home. When depicted, Lurit is depicted as a gnome-sized wolverine clad in black robes trimmed with gold cloth.
Gadan the Joyous
The brother to Sazir, Gadan is the god of luck, success and fortuitous opportunity. He shares a house with his sister, and is quite content to leave the monotony of day-to-day administration to her. Gadan is a god of risks, gambling and new trade, and he is ever at odds with his sister, who desires to quietly consolidate the wealth of her household. Though his antics and schemes often bring his long-suffering sister grief, they occasionally result in great rewards and wondrous treasures. Gadan is by no means a jealous or selfish god, and when his schemes bear fruit the entire pantheon is said to share in his fortune. As such, Gadan is a god of risks and rewards as well as a god of happiness, generosity and family.
Gadan has a close friend in his foster nephew Lurit Goldhemmed. Gadan understands Lurit in a way his sister Sazir often does not, and in many ways sees him as his own responsibility. Gadan is the perfect counterpart to Lurit; where Lurit is moody, Gadan is indomitably cheerful. Where Lurit is brash and vengeful, Gadan is forgiving. Both gods share a love of adventure - though for different reasons. When Lurit imposes self-exile upon himself in anger at his treatment by the other gods, it is always Uncle Gadan who follows him and joins him on his adventures, and in the end it is Uncle Gadan who brings him home safe. They compliment each other perfectly; Lurit keeps Gadan grounded, and Gadan keeps Lurit from being thwarted by the fog of his own melancholy. Many of the favourite tales of gnommish children are those of Lurit Goldhemmed and Uncle Gadan.
Onul of the Misty AuraTrue Neutral
Onul of the Misty Aura is one of the gnommish brothers of mist, deities whose place is in the otherworldly origins of the gnommish race. To gnomes, mist represents the otherworld, death, and uncertainty. Onul conjures mists of the mind to confuse and beguile, and rules chiefly over falsehoods and half-truths. As might be imagined, he is very popular with illusionists, and in his darker aspects he is the god of treachery, chaos and madness. His name is a reference to this, for "to have a misty aura" amongst gnomes is to be inscrutable, easily changed and cunning of thought and schemes.
Onul has few priests, and much of his order is composed of illusionists; those who are masters of the beguiling mist. Few have the wisdom to see into the truth of his doctrine: the mists that beguile and confuse mortals are, at the same time, a veil that hides the deep, secret truths of the universe. These, the Mist-Touched, are almost always dual-classed or multi-classed priest/illusionists. The Mist-Touched perceive many things that others cannot, and Onul demands that they unearth secrets and inter them in the secret chambers of their order - while at the same time, weaving a web of deceit and secrecy that cannot be pierced by any other. To aid and abet this, the servants of Onul record all their secret writings in the language of the Xorn; every Mist-Touched carries a Book of Shadows, which contains every secret they have learned since the last time they returned to their order.
The quest of the Mist-Touched is not a quest for knowledge, such as for the priests of Azuth, but a quest for insight - a strange vocation that they call the pursuit of "Mystery". By striving and struggling to attain the secrets of Onul, they come closer to their god. To share these secrets or reveal them openly would deprive those who come next of the opportunity to gain insight into the nature of Mystery by struggling themselves. This is the only sacrilege possible for the Mist-Touched, and even to do it unintentionally is a great dishonour. The Shadowchambers of the temples of Onul, where Books of Shadows are interred, can only be accessed by Mist-Touched of 9th level or higher - those who have already attained Mystery.
The major spheres of Onul are All, Astral, Chaos, Charm, Divination and Travellers. The minor spheres of Onul are Animal, Elemental Earth and Air, Protection, Summoning and Weather. Furthermore, all Mist-Touched illusionists may learn the following wizard spells, despite the restrictions of the illusionist class: Wall of Fog, Fog Cloud, Stinking Cloud, Solid Fog, Cloudkill, Death Fog and Incendiary Cloud.
At level 1, the Mist-Touched can take advantage of the mist and fog to confuse and beguile their foes. This ability only functions outside when the weather is suitable - mist, fog, drizzle, and any other weather that obscures vision, whether natural or magically conjured. Any friendly thieves gain a +10% bonus to Hide in Shadows. The Mist-Touched takes on an otherworldly, authoritative quality in these conditions that increases their effective Charisma by 2. Furthermore, spells based on mist, fog or smoke cast in these conditions only affect enemies negatively - i.e. friends of the Mist-Touched can see clearly through a Wall of Fog, or easily avoid the choking effects of a Stinking Cloud.
At level 3, the Mist-Touched gain a limited form of clairvoyance and clairaudience to help them in their quest to unearth secrets. This divinatory power allows them to hone in on anything they can see; depending on their environment, this talent may extend for miles. Anything within visual range can be seen as though they looked through a spyglass, or as though they were standing directly before it - even miniscule writing can be read. Likewise, they can hear anything within visual range as though they were standing directly beside it. However, they can only do one at a time, and they must focus constantly to do so.
Oth Whispernight, the Mistwarden
Brother to Onul, Oth Whispernight is patron and guardian of the mists, and the keeper of the secrets that lie within. As noted above, mist has great significance in gnommish folklore - it borders the otherworld and is the portal to the fae lands, and it is through the mist that the gods visit the mortal realm. The gnommish priests hold Oth in high regard, and it is said that visions and prophecy all come from the mists that he sends. Oth is an aloof god, and one that desires little in the way of homage; but nonetheless, most gnomes take care not to anger him, for it is said that those who invoke his wrath will fall victim to the vampiric mists that work his vengeance. As well as being the keeper of the mists themselves, Oth Whispernight also holds great sway over the beings that dwell within; it is said he is furthest from the gnomes than any of the other gods, and that his true subjects are the capricious denizens of the otherworld. Depictions of Oth reflect this; though he is depicted as a gnome, he is shown with garish flowing robes that clash with the gnommish style. His face, too is always rendered as impish and capricious, with tall pointed ears that are unheard of amongst gnomekind.
Rulush, Calmer of the Heavens
Cousin to Onul and Oth, Rulush is the mediator and diplomat of the gnommish pantheon. Though her power is a subtle one, she is the only one who can match the rare anger of Oth Whispernight when his wrath is invoked. The rain is her domain, as is the weather in a more general sense. Though Oth is the marshal of the mist and the fell beings that dwell within, Rulush alone may oppose him and lay the mists of the otherworld to rest. As such, she is known as the Calmer of the Heavens, as well as the Abjurer, and gnomes pray to her for protection - and more specifically, to cleanse evil spirits, the undead and foul otherworldly presences. As noted above, though her domain includes the entirety of the weather, Rulush is most strongly associated with the rain. Gnommish superstition states that evil spirits cannot abide the rain, and that the falling of rain after the death of a gnome means that their spirit has gone peacefully into the afterlife.
Atol is the husband of Rulush, and the patron of art and inspiration. However, art and inspiration have very different connotations to gnomes than they might to a human or an elf, though dwarves may understand. Craftsmanship is the mouthpiece of the gods, and inspiration comes from the same otherwordly source as the divine potency of the gods themselves. In gnommish mythology, inspiration is closely tied with fate and doom, and there are many tragic tales of great craftsmen who were driven by their inspiration to madness. The great work they have been inspired to undertake is always completed when the tale concludes, but in the course of its creation much is lost. Atol sends not only inspiration but also fate, and he is closely linked with Oth Whispernight in the pronouncement of prophecy. It is said that of all the gnommish pantheon, Atol alone knows the doom of the gods.
Rilem the Fair
Young and impetuous, Rilem the Fair is the son of Atol and Rulush. The ever-popular tales of Gadan and Lurit's journeys occasionally include him, but Rilem just as often ventures out alone. Much of what a gnome child learns of the human lands - brutal, ugly and dangerous - comes from the tales of Rilem, for he greatly enjoys walking amongst men when clothed in flesh. Rilem represents everything that a young gnome should be - brash, fearless, and suicidally curious. Rilem's pantheon is not very broad, and he is almost more of a folk hero than a true god. He is patron of adventurers and travellers much as Lurit is, but where Lurit is the protector of those who do not belong and call no place home, Rilem's patronage is far more pleasant. He is the patron of those who travel for joy, those who seek knowledge and wisdom in doing rather than learning, and those who wish to experience all that the wild world has to offer. Rilem is also popularly depicted as the squire and servant of Garl Glittergold, and as such he is prayed to by apprentices, acolytes and students - those who place themselves in a position of subordination to master their craft.