EotS Godlings

This was pretty much just a way to amuse myself on a quiet day. It shows how both Tyrzak and the Ancients (considered as one hive mind) are both close to god hood …


Of Gods and Godlings

All the way through this I will be mixing and matching D&D editions to suit myself – and I know that I am interpreting things in a way that suits me. I am also aware that 3e and 3.5 probably treat deity very differently, although I don’t have the books to check for myself. However … That’s the beauty of D&D - DMs interpretation is final!!!

Divine Ascension : As mentioned in the previous section, it is possible for a hero to become a demigod. In order for this to happen, the following conditions must be met: The hero must have advanced to an experience level at least twice as high as the average experience level in the campaign. No matter what the average experience level is in a campaign, however, the hero must be at least 15th level. The hero must have at least one Attribute score that has been raised to 19 or above. The hero must have a charisma of 18, with a body of at least two hundred followers that regard him as virtually a deity already. The hero must be a true and faithful follower of his alignment, having committed no more than one incongruous act during his lifetime. If all of these conditions are met, the DM may, at his option, elect to invest the character with demigod status. Characters granted such status become part of the culture’s pantheon. If they are player characters, they are removed from play and treated as a demigod from that point on. (taken from Legends and Lore, AD&DII)

However, that seems a bit too easy for my liking. Especially as none of our aspiring deities (knowing or unknowing) have a patron pantheon to ease their progress.

Reading a bit further, legends and lore has the following paragraph describing the powers enjoyed by all good – before going on to list the specific powers of the different categories of god.

All Gods
All gods, from Lesser to Demi-, have the powers described this section. Although these are powerful abilities, they are taken for granted by the deities in this book.
Immortality: All gods are immortal. The only way for a god to die is to be destroyed by a god of higher statue in magical or physical combat. Otherwise, any god that suffers an attack that should destroy it simply disperses, then reassembles later (roll percentile dice to determine number of days). So, for example, a god which is seemingly torn apart by a powerful artifact would simply be dispersed, only to reassemble later.
Teleport: All gods possess the innate ability to instantly teleport to any point on the same plane. They can do this at will and without any chance of error.
Initiative: ** When dealing with mortals, all gods automatically receive the initiative. Of course, they can choose to simply wait and see what the mortals opt to do, but they may always act first if they desire.
Comprehend Languages: ** All gods understand and can speak any language. It is assumed that this includes written and spoken languages as well as other, more unusual, forms of communication like the light and color based dialect of the will o’wisp.
**Magic Use: ** All gods may use any spell of any level. This includes the spells of priests or wizards and does not require the use of spell books, prayers, or material, verbal, and somatic components. In short, invoking such powers requires the slightest act of will on the part of these incredible beings.
(taken from Legends and Lore AD&DII)

The AD&D1 article on Clerics and Deities includes an interesting section on how priests get their divine abilities.

As is explained in the DMG, 1st and 2nd level spells are gained through the cleric’s knowledge and faith. All other spells are granted through prayer. 3rd, 4th and 5th level spells are granted by the supernatural servants or minions of the cleric’s deity. These servants range up to demi-god level.
(Legends and Lore, AD&D)

It means that religious rituals can earn low level spells to clerics without direct intervention from a deity, and implies that no deity is actually required for the granting of those spells.

The article then goes on to state that each deity could have a range of supernatural minions or servants, with demi-god ranking the highest. It states that these other supernatural minions have the ability to grant spells, on behalf of their god, to praying PCs. But allows us enough ‘leeway’ to say that, in exceptions circumstances, these servants might be able to grant spells in their own right.

So taking all of those things together - we can start to define the powers and abilities that those lower level supernatural servants and minions have. We know that they have less power than a demi-god - and perhaps the greatest of them has all of the powers described generally for a generic god – without the extra powers and abilities that are associated with a different levels of deity.

From now on , I will call them godlings, and they will represent the same sorts of powers that are represented by the various grades of demons and devils that range below the great princes of evil. And they will provide a series of stepping stones for powerful characters to become deities in their own right.

Some of these godling type creatures have already been defined in the various AD&D books, the Monster Manual has a number of powerful planar beings, as does Legends and Lore and the Manual of the Planes.

The Manual of the Planes (AD&D1) lists Maruts, Mortai and various Archons as the servants of deities. For example, Archon powers range from continual light, Tongues, Infravision, ultra vision and teleport without error - to reforming in a single day if killed, spell casting, shape changing and divination. While Mortai can use all weather spells and Maruts can cause lightening, cause earthquakes and control winds.

An Example from Legends and Lore (AD&D1) is the Thunderbird of the American Indian Mythos - it is not directly linked to any particular deity, comes and goes as it wills and can make thunder and lightening, is never surprised and cannot be permanently killed. Stoneribs, again from the American Indian mythos, but this time from AD&D2 Legends and Lore, is the son of a legendary mother named Volcano Woman. Who is the warrior who slew the great sea monster Qaqwaai, and possesses a magical halibut skin that allows him to assume the form of a man sized halibut and to breathe and move through water as if were he a fish even when in his human form.

Examples from the 2ed monster manual includes the baatezu which have the following inate abilities, once per round, at will: advanced illusion, animate dead, charm person, infravision, know alignment (always active), suggestion, and teleport without error. Genies all have the ability to travel to any of the elemental planes, as well as the Prime Material and Astral planes. Genies speak their own tongue and that of any intelligent beings they meet through a limited form of telepathy. All genies have more powers than this - however these powers differ between different classes of genie.

Many of these powers match up with the generic abilities afforded to all deities …

Immortality: Both the Thunderbird and some Archons have the ability to ‘reform’ after death – and the most famous of this class of creature is probably the phoenix - who’s whole legend in based on the ability to raise from its own ashes.

Teleport: The Baatezu and the Archons have the ability to teleport without error while other examples have the power to travel easily between planes.

Initiative: Of the examples chosen, only the Thunderbird has the ability to never be surprised.

Comprehend Languages: genies have limited telepathy, while Archons have the ‘Tongues’ ability.

Magic Use: Almost everything on that list has the ability to harness magical energy, be it special spell effects or through direct manipulation of magic.

So how do our aspirants stack up against these criteria?

Tyrzak

Tyrzak has immortality already, he has swapped his body for the undead ‘life’ of a construct, and as a mage he also has the ability to teleport so long as he bothers to learn the spells. Initiative - Tyzak has enough protective spells around him that he managed to trap Drad, the almost supernatural assassin - so it is reasonable to assume that Tyzak would have the initiative against any mortal he encountered, while he is a magic user of the highest ability.

Comprehend languages is perhaps the only ability on the list the Tyzak isn’t listed as having. There is no reason why we can’t decide that Tyzak incorporated some sort of Helm of Tongues into his ‘Construct’ body as it was being formed.

The rules for divine ascension also stipulate

“The hero must have advanced to an experience level at least twice as high as the average experience level in the campaign” - We have him as the highest level character/monster in the game by a street.

“ must have at least one Attribute score that has been raised to 19 or above” – that’s your call - but now a days that is so easy..

“must have a charisma of 18” – If we take charisma in the sense of leadership, rather than looks - it would be difficult to see him having less charisma than this.

“with a body of at least two hundred followers that regard him as virtually a deity already” – well he has more than that number of humanoids worshipping him already.

“true and faithful follower of his alignment” – well a true and faithful follower of his goal, having no concern for anything else - I suspect that makes him really strongly True Neutral?

I suspect that Tyrzak has missed a trick here - It could be argued that he has all of the abilities he needs to be a Godling in his own right, rather than just an immortal construct. He has perhaps become so bogged down in his search for the secret of the Ancient’s portal that he hasn’t felt the power grow inside himself. I would suggest Tyrzak is already quite a powerful godling and is just one step away from demigod status ….

I suspect that if Tyrzak should ever be killed in combat, he might find that his body reforms after a short while … resplendent in all the powers of a full blown demi-god :P

The Ancients

While the ancients don’t appear to be immortal they are certainly long lived and none have died for a while - however the Hive Mind of the ancients could be seen as immortal, it will go on for ever so long as there are replacements for any deaths. The ancients have the secrets of teleportation the greatest among them can teleport themselves and others and the hive mind can even create permanent portals at will. Initiative – Its hard to see how any creature can get the initiative on a telepath, and even more difficult to see how they can get the initiative on many of them spread around the place (hive mind). The Ancients already use telepathy, it is but a small step to say that they can communicate telepathetically with any other creature. And the Hive mind is capable of incredible reality altering spells and illusions such as permanent illusions and eternally triggered storms.

As for then Divine ascension rules

The rules for divine ascension also stipulate

“The hero must have advanced to an experience level at least twice as high as the average experience level in the campaign” - Individual minds might not be the highest levels - but between them the hive mind is incredibly powerful.

“ must have at least one Attribute score that has been raised to 19 or above” – I suspect that Int or Wis for then group mind must exceed this.

“must have a charisma of 18” – Well the Old order have been following and supporting them for hundreds of years …

“with a body of at least two hundred followers that regard him as virtually a deity already” – While not as deliberate as Tyzak’s plans - worshippers at the temple of Torin (and perhaps the other halls of the Ancients) say prayers that include the ancients as ‘Protectors of these Isles’

“true and faithful follower of his alignment” – I would imagine that it is quite difficult for a hive mind to stray from its overall philosophy. It can choose completely different options every time - but then that’s chaotic - however, I suspect that this hive mind is closer to Lawful Neutral.

Interesting - I don’t think that any of the individual Ancients are close to godhood (or even godling hood) however the hive mind might be. The only real question is whether there is a body of 200 faithful worshippers.

When this group of ancients came to these islands they were cut off from the hive mind of their home planet – and since then they have been forced to evolve and develop new powers and skills. If they were to return to their native world, I suspect they would find that they have progressed beyond the original hive mind, and are significantly more powerful. In that sense this hive mind of the ancients located on the islands of EotS has become an entity in its own right - and an entity with godlike powers at that.

I wonder if ‘The Spirit’ of a departed ancient would hang around as part of the ‘Hive Mind’? If it did then eventually ‘The Ancients’ would be nothing but a conscious spirit with incredible powers … In that position, full godhood, let alone demi-godhood, would be a possibility!!

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