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Gond

Wonderbringer, Lord of All Smiths

Intermediate Deity

 

Symbol: A toothed metal, bone, or wood cog with four spokes

 

Home Plane: House of Knowledge

 

Alignment: Neutral

 

Portfolio: Artifice, craft, construction, smithwork

 

Worshipers: Blacksmiths, crafters, engineers, gnomes, inventors, Lantanese, woodworkers

 

Cleric Alignments: Any

 

Domains: Craft, Earth, Fire, Knowledge, Metal, Planning

 

Favored Weapon: “Craftmaster” (warhammer)

 

Gond is a burly smith with a mighty hammer, forge, and anvil that allow him to craft the stuff of stars. Venerated by humans and gnomes (who know him as Nebelun) alike, Gond transforms ideas into concrete form and inspires mortals to make new things. He cares only for the act of creation, playing little heed to the consequences of letting loose his inventions into the world. Some in the church of Mystra oppose the Wonderbringer for holding technology over the Art, but in truth Gond views magic as simply another tool by which he can create new devices.

           

     The church of Gond is largely tolerated across Faerūn. Its members are found in human-ruled bastions of evil and strongholds of good alike, as well as in an increasing number or rock gnome communities. Only in the island realm of Lantan is his faith preeminent, anointed as the state religion. In the lands of Durpar, Esagund, and Var the Golden the deity is known as Zionil, patron of inventors, craftfolk, and creators. Most merchants cultivate strong relationships with the local clergy of the Wonderbringer, in hopes of acquiring and selling their latest inventions at great profit. However, at times the followers of Gond inadvertently create something that upsets existing markets, earning them sudden and unexpected hostility from other faiths.

           

    In recent years, the church of Gond has earned the ire of rulers across Faerūn for introducing smokepowder and firearms to the reams. Most view such weapons as a threat to their authority, as they approximate the power of a wizard’s spells yet are useable by commoners who are not invested in supporting the status quo. Only continued efforts by the church of Gond have kept smokepowder in check and, inadvertently, preserved the faith’s untrammeled status in most cities. The church takes whatever steps are necessary to ensure such technology remains proprietary, eliminating rivals with sabotage, diplomacy, and financial influence.

           

    Clerics of Gond pray for their spells in the morning before the morning meal. Daily rituals to Gond are simple: muttered prayers upon rising and retiring, which are often incorporated into dressing or disrobing, and a longer prayer of thanks at the main meal. Clerics offer a special prayer of thanks and dedication of their work before commencing any new creation (as opposed to repair or maintenance). Their only holy festival is the Ippensheir, named for Ippen, Gond’s First Servant, and celebrated during the twelve days immediately following Greengrass. All clergy of Gond and his devout worshipers gather at a temple, abbey, or holy site where a famed inventor or craftsmen once worked. It is a time of feasting, drinking, and revelry, during which they show inventions to and share innovations with their fellow Gondar. Some visit as many gatherings of the faithful as they can during this time, using a network of portals maintained by the church to link major defensible holy houses.

           

    One strange practice of the faith requires that Gondar make two copies of any new machine or tool they discover, if possible. One copy is hidden away against the prying eyes of thieves or vandals for later display to fellow Gondar, and the other is smashed—or preferably, burned—as part of the Sacred Unmaking, a prayer of offering to Gond. This ceremony reinforces Gond’s dominion over both constructive and destructive engineering. Some clerics multiclass as rogues, but only out of an interest in lock picks and other small tools. Many become techsmiths.

           

    History/Relationships: Gond is an enigmatic deity. He serves Oghma in the thirst for knowledge, but is so independent of his superior that many forget their relationship. He is friendly with Lathandar, Waukeen, and Tempus, for his inventions relate to creativity, profit, and war, respectively. His only true foe is Talos, whose unhindered destruction threatens not only Gond’s inventions but also his dominion over devices of destruction.

           

    Dogma: Actions count. Intentions are one thing, but it is the result that is most important. Talk is for others, while those who serve Gond do. Make new things that work. Become skilled at forging or some craft, and practice making things and various means of joining and fastening until you can create devices to suit any situation or space. Question and challenge the unknown with new devices. New inventions should be elegant and useful. Practice experimentation and innovation in the making of tools and the implementation of processes, and encourage these virtues in others through direct aid, sponsorship, and diplomatic support. Keep records of your strivings, ideas, and sample devices so that others may follow your work and improve on what you leave behind and encourage others, such as farmers and hunters, to think of new tools, improved ways of crafting and using their existing gear, and new ways of doing things. Observe, acquire, and store safely the makings of others and spread such knowledge among the Consecrated of Gond. Discuss ideas and spread them so that all may see the divine light that is the Wonderbringer.

           

    Clergy and Temples: Except on the island of Lantan, the church of Gond consists largely of itinerant clerics who move from town to hamlet to city, finding employment as master crafters, builders, smiths, and engineers. Settling in one place is frowned upon unless a cleric can show his or her superiors that the prospective home is a center for innovation that bears constant watching, such as Waterdeep, Athkatla, Suzail, or Zhentil Keep. The church encourages making a handsome living in service to the Wonderbringer, however, for how better to demonstrate the rewards of following the Way of Gond? As they travel, Gondar clergy establish caches, investments, and alliances and grab samples of any new inventions they come across. It is their duty to assist inventors and innovators and to file regular reports with the nearest Master (one who leads a religious community or tends a holy site) by means of messengers of the faith.

           

    Temples of Gond tend to be imposing stone structures, boxy in shape and encircled with stout-pillared porticos. Little decoration adorns the interior aside from sprawling displays of items created by members of the clergy. Some such exhibits are of historical interest, while others represent the latest creative endeavors of master crafters. The central altar of the temple always involves a massive anvil surrounded by endlessly spinning cogs in a great machine. Backrooms serve as workshops, crammed with projects both ongoing and abandoned.

           

    Gondar clergy wear saffron ceremonial vestments with a crimson collar and stole. Over the right or left shoulder, they wear a leather sash ending in a large pouch. The sash is dotted with small metal tools, gears, wire, cord, locks, hooks, hasps, buckles, and bits of steel, tin, and wood—in short, anything that might prove interesting or useful in a pinch (including lock picks, for those skilled at such things). Their vestments also include enormous sunhats and belts of large, linked metal medallions. They wear Gond’s holy symbol as a pendant fashioned of bone, brass, bronze, or ivory.

           

     The heart of the Gondar faith is the High Holy Crafthouse of Inspiration in the city of Illul in Lantan. This large, walled monastery is run by Danactar the High Artificer, Most Holy Servant of Gond, the highest-ranking mortal cleric of the Wonderbringer. Although in theory the High Artificer’s authority extends over all Faerūn, in practice the church of Gond is loosely organized into three major branches. On the isles of Lantan and Suj (Lantan’s southern companion isle), Danactar, reigns supreme in all matters ecclesiastical and is a leading member of the Ayrorch, the council of twelve that rules Lantan. The High Artificer’s word also carries great authority among Lantanese expatriates, itinerant merchants whose maroon-sailed, lateen-rigged ships ply the southern seas of Faerūn. The word of Danactar is typically presented by the Lantar, the chief Lantanese envoy, currently a high-ranking cleric of Gond named Bloenin. Among the rest of the Gondar faith, the High Artificer is known and nominally acknowledged, but few pay great heed to edicts from distant Illul. Such independence among the Gondar of mainland Faerūn can only increase following the recent destruction of Tilverton, home to the House of the Wonderbringer, the most prominent church of Gond in central Faerūn.

           

    Outside the ecclesiastical hierarchy, most members of the church of Gond are members of one or more honorary orders and societies sponsored by the faith. These include the Order of Puissant Stonemasons and Stonecarvers, the Holy Order of Most Skilled Architects and Bridgemakers, the Armorers of the Wonderbringer, the Most Arcane Order of Gearmakers, Clockmakers, and Automationists, the Society of Creative Castle Design and Construction, and the Industrious Brothers and Sisters of Carpentry, Cabinetry, Puppetry, and Toymaking.

 

Gond's Player Statistics