Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Cleric Encounters: Marduk

5th in the series on gods and goddesses from the upcoming Divinities and Cults: Volume III, we have Marduk, Mesopotamian god of usurpation, empire, storms, & growth. Writing and unique interior art for Volume III is done, just waiting for the cover to be completed. Until then, here are a number of events related to Marduk.

Marduk Encounters
1. A green being with bird wings, bull legs, and an extra mouth, pair of eyes, and ears approaches the party about fighting a monster. He is actually a priest of Marduk, but unless the party members are familiar with his cult, there’s a 100% chance they’ll assume that he is the monster to fight.

2.  A man, cursed by the Gods, is discovered. Helping him will incur a random divine test unless the party prays for Marduk’s intervention. Doing so might lead to further problems with one’s deity though (unless it’s already Marduk) or if Marduk actually was the one who had cursed the man in the first place (a base 25% chance)!

3.  A random cleric, either in the party or one they know of, is attacked and dishonored. Investigation reveals that a follower of Marduk did it. How does the party respond? Would they like to dishonor the cleric too?

4. A 1d3 x 10’ area has been terraced via supernatural means. Non-Mesopotamians don’t do well there, taking a -2 to all rolls. There’s also a base 50% chance of the cleric of Marduk who caused it still being around.

5.  A vicious beast leaps out to attack. It has 1d4 of the following features: [1] long neck, [2] gore attack for 2d8 damage, [3] claws attack for 1d6 damage, [4] bite attack for 1d6 damage. It also has a 50% chance of being poisonous and a 100% chance of being able to see invisible foes. It is a sirrush!

6. An individual is being pilloried outside a temple of Marduk. The reason is (roll 1d4): [1] he violated the Code of Hammurabi, [2] he followed another god or goddess, [3] he associated with monsters, 
[4] he violated a sacred garden. There’s also a 50% chance of 1d4 monks of Marduk monitoring his punishment each hour in order to make sure it’s severe enough.

7.  The party runs into another adventuring group who is hauling a life-sized idol of a Mesopotamian god around with them. It is of course a Marduk idol. They treat it like a member of the party and it even has a 50% chance of being animate. In any case, if the party has clerics of other gods or goddesses amongst them, then the other group has a 75% chance of being hostile, 100% chance if any follow Enlil or Tiamat.

8. 3d100 Greek warriors guard a mountain pass. They turn out to be Spartans who barely wear any torso protection (or garments), though they’re quite good at defense. They are currently holding off a wave of 1d20 x 100 Mesopotamian warriors, and will slay any followers of Marduk on sight.

9. The cursed children of Tiamat roam the land! Roll to see what they are, though a paladin of Marduk will likely (a 75% chance)  be available to assist in the slaughter (roll 1d6): [1] 1 Musmahhu (7-headed hydra), [2] 1d3 Kusarikku (bull men), [3] 2d3 Ugallu (lion men), [4] 3d3 Uridimmu (dog men), [5] 5d3 Girtablilu (scorpion men), [6] 4d3 Kulullu (fish men).

10. A great tower rises in the distance. Exploration shows that it is sacred to Marduk and use of the Tongues spell is encouraged there. Followers of Enlil wish to destroy it and all its ‘babbling’.

11. A random, lucky party member is visited by a disguised Avatar of Marduk. He or she is shown how to defy Enlil’s domination of the sky with his or her own 2nd wind. In any case, the party member is repeatedly reminded that they’re only human! At the end of the encounter, they are given a small, metal musical object that works via the breath and the Avatar vanishes.

12. Stunning, hanging gardens can be seen ahead. Those who explore might find a/an (roll 1d12): 
[1] amazing plant, [2] apkallu interloper, [3] Avatar of Marduk, [4] cleric of Marduk, [5] concubine of Marduk, [6] incredible water, [7] Mesopotamian warrior, [8] monk of Marduk, [9] paladin of Marduk, 
[10] priest of Marduk, [11] sirrush (see also #5 above), [12] windstorm. Otherwise, see Ziggurat Encounters in the upcoming Divinities and Cults: Volume III (coming soon!)

Sample 5th Level Cleric of Marduk
Align: L
MV: 40’
AC: 3
HD: 5
Atk: 1
Dmg: 1d6+2 (scepter) or 1d6+1 (short bow) or net
SP: Marduk turn ability, mysteries, Bull legs divine test
Spells prepared:
1st level: Create Water, Cure Light Wounds, Detect Evil, 
Divine WeatherD, Burning Hands*
2nd level: Bless, Delay Poison, Hold Person, Spiritual Weapon
3rd level: Dispel Magic, Gust of Wind*
SV: C5
Mor: 10
Possessions: +2 Scale mail, holy symbol, +1 scepter (treat as mace), +1 bow, pet young sirrush (1 HD), 75 gold pieces

Next week- Cleric Encounters: Nanna!

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