This time let’s delve into the Bugbear pantheon with the most prominent member outside of Hruggek himself: Grankhul the Hunter. He embodies the goblinoid ideals of the huntsman, taking great pride in stalking and tracking foes, and immense pleasure in making a kill. To a degree, his priests function as anti-rangers, with a focus on hunting and stealth. As always, comments are welcome!
Grankhul (PDF Version)
(The Hunter, the Furtive One)
Lesser Power of the Abyss, CE
Portfolio: Hunting, senses, surprise, intelligence, quick wits
Domain Name: 241st Layer/Palpitatia
Allies: Hruggek, Skiggaret
Foes: Garl Glittergold, Gruumsh, the Seldarine, the gnomish pantheon, the Seelie Court
Symbol: Ever open eyes in darkness
Wor. Align.: N, CN, NE, CE
Grankhul (GRAN-kool) the Hunter is the bugbear god of hunting and stealth. He is a master hunter, one who considers any creature less powerful than himself to be his prey. He is known as the Furtive One, he who stalks his prey with perfect stealth and silence. It was he who granted the bugbear race their preternatural ability to surprise their foes. He never sleeps and can never be surprised, remaining ever vigilant for an opening to attack his enemies. Grankhul also prizes intelligence, but not the sort favored by gods of magic and learning. Instead, he values the ability to craft well-designed plans and think fast. The Furtive One can be very violent, and is prone to temper tantrums when displeased.
Grankhul does not like Hruggek very much, but has an agreement not to act directly against him. There is no altruistic reason for this; he is simply afraid of the Master of Ambush’s power. As the bugbear race is his prime concern, he sets aside his differences and works with Hruggek as necessary if his people are threatened. He maintains a closer relationship with Skiggaret, sharing his realm in the Abyss with the Lord of Madness, and granting a portion of his power to that demipower as well. This is not a close friendship, however, instead being an alliance of convenience against the other powers in the Abyss. He is genuinely afraid of the enigmatic god known as the Stalker, and avoids contact with that god if death whenever possible. He does not directly oppose most of the other goblinoid deities, but he does not respect them either; he will work with them if it is in his interest, but turns on them and strikes from behind the moment his interests diverge. Gruumsh is an exception, as the chief of the orcish pantheon is hostile towards the Hunter for his divine symbol, believing it is an encroachment on his own symbol and portfolios. He has hunted and slain many of the Animal Lords, and has earned the wrath of many of their allies for doing so. In particular, he takes any chance he can get to stalk the Deer Lord, having slain him over a dozen times through the centuries. The Furtive One despises the gods of the Seldarine and the Seelie Court for weakness and over-reliance on magic. He takes great delight in stalking their followers in the deep forests, which happen to be his favorite hunting grounds. However, he reserves his strongest animosity for the gnomes and their gods, all due to an embarrassing trick Garl Glittergold played on him. On one of Grankhul’s hunting trips, Garl dressed himself up as a deer, and slowly lead the Hunter into a trap. Once caught, the chief god of the gnomes trussed him up like a turkey and left him in a forest clearing for all to see.
Grankhul is a wily, secretive god who delights in killing, and is prone to violent outbursts when displeased. He is a very active deity, constantly sending his avatars to the Prime Material plane to stalk and hunt in darkness and shadow. He ambushes hapless creatures, and seeks to displace humanoids and demihumans who live too close to bugbear communities. He occasionally leads hunting parties of bugbears, but never reveals himself, appearing as nothing more than a normal, if skilled, bugbear hunter. He will an avatar to defend embattled bugbear tribes, but will stick to surreptitious actions that benefit the tribe, such as ambushing patrols and slaying isolated leaders.
Grankhul’s Avatar (Ranger 29, Illusionist 18)
Grankhul appears as a tall, relatively lean bugbear with large, protuberant eyes, very long, slender fingers, and dark brown fur. He always wears clothing suited to hiding in the terrain he appears in, usually dark greys and blacks. He prefers to use spells from the schools of alteration and illusion/phantasm.
AC −2; MV 24; HP 168; THAC0 −8; #AT 2
Dmg 2d8 + 10 (longsword +3, Str +7)
MR 20%; SZ L (10 feet tall)
Str 19, Dex 20, Con 16, Int 19, Wis 15, Cha 17
Spells P: 3/3/3, W: 6/6/6/6/6/4/4/3/2*
Saves PPDM 3; RSW 3; PP 4; BW 4; Sp 4
* Numbers assume one extra illusion/phantasm spell per spell level.
Special Att/Def: Grankhul wields a magical longsword +3 named Preyslayer. Any creature struck by this blade must make a successful saving throw vs. spell to avoid being stunned, feebleminded, or silenced (30% chance of each; 10% chance to be affected by all three) for 1d4+2 rounds. He always wears boots of speed with no weight restrictions and carries a rod of alertness.
The Hunter can hide in shadows and move silently with 99% effectiveness in any environment short of direct, bright light in an open space. He can cast silence, 15′ radius and improved invisibility twice per day.
The Furtive One cannot be surprised under any circumstance. He is immune to weapons below +2 enchantment and can see perfectly well in any form of darkness.
Grankhul does not use manifestations often, preferring to send his avatar. When he chooses to manifest himself to his followers, he usually grants a favored hunter an 80% chance to Hide in Shadows and Move Silently (or a +20% bonus if they already exceed that); these numbers may be modified by the environment and armor worn. More rarely, he will cloak a single follower or a group of followers in improved invisibility; the Hunter typically only manifests in this way if his followers are about to attack an enemy party lead by a powerful priest of another god.
Grankhul is served mostly by predatory hunting animals such as great cats and wolves, as well as bar-lgura tanar’ri, bhaergala, boobries, displacer beasts, incarnates of anger, kechs, leucrotta, mimics, owlbears, perytons, shadow hounds, sporebats, su-monsters, tasloi, thylacines, tyrgs, umber hulks, vargouilles, and varrangoin. The most common omens sent by the Hunter are subtle environmental changes designed to test his followers’ intelligence and perceptions. Such omens may include a few snowflakes during summer, a small rock and a single flower swapping positions in a place the follower knows well, quick shifts of the wind, and unusual activities by a prey animal. His displeasure usually manifests as a sudden loss of senses, such as blindness or deafness. However, the Furtive One is a violent deity prone to tantrums and angry outbursts, and as such, his displeasure may cause a sudden rockfall, treefall, lightning strike, or other deadly event to befall a follower. Such events typically do enough damage to cause death, but lucky bugbears may survive, if barely.
Clergy: Clerics, specialty priests, shamans, witch doctors, thieves
Clergy’s Align.: CN, NE, CE
Turn Undead: C: No, SP: No, Sha: No, WD: No, T: No
Cmnd. Undead: C: Yes, SP: No, Sha: No, WD: No, T: No
All clerics (including multiclassed cleric/thieves), specialty priests, shamans, and witch doctors of Grankhul receive religion (bugbear) as a bonus nonweapon proficiency.
Priests of the Hunter are second only to those of Hruggek in influence in bugbear society. In tribes lead by priests of the Decapitator or secular forces, they most often fill roles of scouts and hunters. They are directed to provide food and reconnaissance to their communities, and to make guerilla strikes against settlements of other races. However, they are extremely ambitious, and often strive to displace their tribe’s existing power structure through surreptitious means. Their preferred methods involve eliminating leaders, while causing the blame for the deaths to fall on racial enemies or rival bugbears. They believe they are the most qualified to lead their people, and are arrogantly confident in their superior intelligence and abilities. In tribes where they have positions of leadership, they direct tribal activities much as priests of Hruggek do, but with a greater emphasis on stealthy raids and ambush tactics.
Shrines dedicated to Grankhul are far more common than temples, with the latter generally found only in tribes lead by, or formerly lead by the Furtive One’s priests. All shrines and temples are centered around a sacred firepit; most commonly, they are circular or semicircular chambers located near the entrance of a bugbear cavern complex. Depending on the custom of the tribe, hunters may leave an offering in the fire before going on a hunt, or they may burn an organ, usually the heart or liver, upon their successful return. Offerings are also sometimes left before or after a planned ambush of tribal foes. Decorations in sacred sites usually take the form of hunting trophies, including mounted skeletons, skulls, and skins. The walls of such sites are also painted with murals depicting scenes of hunting and enemy ambushes, usually glorifying actual events in the tribe’s history.
Novices in the service of Grankhul are called Scoutlings and full priests are called Silent Stalkers. Titles in the clergy hierarchy include titles such as Hunter of Deer, Hunter of Goblins, Hunter of Men, and Hunter of Chimerae. The more dangerous or impressive the creature in the title is, the higher the priest is ranked. Clergy do not need to have slain such a creature to achieve said rank, but many make the attempt to prove themselves worthy. Specialty priests are known as furtives. No races other than bugbears are allowed in the clergy, nor are females ever allowed to join either. The priesthood of the Hunter are balanced fairly evenly between specialty priests (24%), shamans (22%), and cleric/thieves (20%), with the remainder comprising clerics (14%), witch doctors (12%), and thieves (8%).
Dogma: Stealth, agility, and intelligence are the best weapons at the disposal of the bugbear race. Take advantage of these abilities to surprise your prey. The skills of the hunt are useful for finding and capturing food as well as slaying the enemies of the tribe. Slow, clumsy, and stupid creatures are fit only for the cookpot. There is no advantage to direct confrontation with foes; take them by surprise and slay them before they can adequately defend themselves. Scout and explore the areas you live in; learn all the secret ways and hidden places. Utilize them to their full advantage when raiding the settlements of lesser races.
Day-to-Day Activities: Grankhul’s clergy spend their days hunting, scouting enemy settlements, and exploring new lands for exploitation by the tribe. They also invoke blessings before hunts and raids and hold feasts of celebration after they are successful. They also plot against other powerful bugbears, especially priests of Hruggek, in order to gain and maintain control of their tribes.
Important Ceremonies/Holy Days: The most important ceremony observed by the priesthood of the Hunter falls on the first new moon after the autumnal equinox, which they call the Feast of the Hunter’s Night. The day prior, the priests lead the community a series of animal hunts, ambushes, and settlement raids in order to gain provisions for the upcoming winter. Following these events, they hold a great feast and make a sacrifice of captured prey animals and enemies to the Furtive One in thanks for the hunts, and to request his favor for the upcoming hunts before winter sets in.
Major Centers of Worship: No major temples dedicated to the Furtive One are known to exist, although rumors persist of secretive temples existing in such places as the Pomarj on Oerth in Greyspace or the Stonelands on Toril in Realmspace.
Affiliated Orders: Outside of the core hierarchy, priests of Grankhul are too individualistic to create organized groups aimed at any specific purpose.
Priestly Vestments: When performing duties in an official capacity, priests of Grankhul wear robes of browns, dark greens, and greys over leather armor. The robes are fringed with small bones and teeth from animals hunted by the priesthood. The holy symbol is a wooden bird whistle or small hunting horn carved from the horn of an animal (cattle, etc.).
Adventuring Garb: When not attending to religious ceremonies, priests of the Furtive One wear clothing typical for their tribe. When on scouting or exploratory missions, they generally wear clothing that allows them to more easily blend into their surroundings, and carry appropriate weaponry and gear for such excursions.
Specialty Priests (Furtives)
Requirements: Dexterity 14, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 9
Prime Req.: Wisdom, Intelligence
Weapons: Blowgun, bola, club, dagger, dart, light crossbow, flail, javelin, knife, lasso, mace, net, short bow, sling, spear, broad sword, long sword, short sword, staff
Armor: All armor types up to and including leather; no shield
Major Spheres: All, animal, charm, combat, elemental earth, elemental water, guardian
Minor Spheres: Chaos, protection, sun (reversed only), travelers, weather
Magical Items: Same as clerics and thieves
Req. Profs: Observation
Bonus Profs: Hunting, Tracking
- Furtives must be bugbears.
- Furtives may be multiclassed furtive/thieves.
- If the DM allows kits from The Complete Book of Thieves, furtives and furtive/thieves may take the scout kit. If using the Player’s Option: Skills & Powers rules, furtives and furtive/thieves may take the explorer and scout kits from that book.
- Furtives can track as a ranger.
- Furtives can move silently and hide in shadows as a ranger of half their level, rounded up.
- Once per day, furtives can cast ambush (as the 2nd-level priest spell).
- At 4th level, furtives gain 120′ infravision.
- At 7th level, furtives can cast invisibility, 10′ radius (as the 3rd-level wizard spell) twice per day.
- At 10th level, furtives can cast improved invisibility (as the 4th-level wizard spell) upon themselves twice per day.
- At 15th level, furtives can cast invisibility (as the 2nd-level wizard spell) upon themselves at will.
In addition to the spell listed below, priests of the Furtive One can cast the 2nd-level priest spell stalk, detailed in Faiths and Avatars in the entry for Mielikki, and detect ambush (although they favor the reverse), detailed in Powers and Pantheons in the entry for Anhur.
Deaden Senses (Pr 1; Charm)
Range: 5 yds.
Components: V, M
Duration: 1 hr./level
Casting Time: 3
Area of Effect: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Neg.
By means of this spell, the caster may dull the senses of an opponent. The victim, failing a save vs. spell, becomes lethargic, slightly unaware of his surroundings, and is slow to react. While thus affected, the victim subtracts 10% (or a −2 penalty on 1d20 rolls) from his chances to detect noise. More importantly, he must make a Constitution check each round or automatically lose initiative in a round of combat. Additionally, he suffers a −2 penalty to surprise rolls.
The material components for this spell are the priest’s holy symbol and a fragrant flower that the caster crushes in his hand during casting.
Ambush (Pr 2; Alteration, Illusion/Phantasm)
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 turn
Area of Effect: 3 creatures/level
Saving Throw: Neg.
This spell allows the priest and other individuals (up to 30 at 10th level) to conceal themselves in any kind of outdoor terrain. The concealed creatures must remain reasonably still and silent, or the spell will be broken, but as long as they do so they will blend in with the landscape—be it trees, short grass, even a flat expanse of sand.
If a party approaches the ambush, the leading character in that party is entitled to a saving throw vs. spell. If successful, this negates the magic and the leading character has the normal chance to discover the ambushing party. Failure means the ambushers will surprise the party unless other factors intervene.
The material component for this spell is the priest’s holy symbol.
Heighten Senses (Pr 2; Charm)
Components: V, M
Duration: 1 hr./level
Casting Time: 4
Area of Effect: 1 creature
Saving Throw: None
With this spell, a priest enhances the senses of a single creature, making it more alert and observant. The creature gains a +1 bonus to surprise checks, initiative, and proficiency checks such as Alertness and Observation. In addition, at the time of casting, the priest may choose one specific sense to be especially heightened. For each sense, they gain a +10% bonus (or a +2 bonus on a 1d20 roll) to relevant checks and abilities, but suffer a −2 penalty to relevant saving throws. For example, if hearing is chosen, the subject gains a +10% bonus to Detect Noise thief skills, but suffers a −2 penalty to saves vs. auditory attacks (such as a dragonne’s roar).
The material components for this spell are the priest’s holy symbol and either an eagle eye or a rabbit ear.
Preysense (Pr 2; Enchantment/Charm)
Sphere: Animal, Plant
Components: V, S, M
Duration: 1 rd./level
Casting Time: 5
Area of Effect: 1 creature
Saving Throw: None
This spell enables the recipient to become fully aware of the markings and trails left by creatures within wilderness and natural environments, including natural caverns in the underdark. A recipient without the Hunting or the Tracking proficiency receives them for the spell’s duration. Nonrangers proficient in tracking can track as a ranger for the duration of the spell (that is, without the –6 penalty), while rangers and those with similar tracking abilities receive a +2 bonus for the duration. This spell also provides the priest with a +2 bonus to surprise rolls (those with a natural surprise bonus, or a bonus granted through some other spell, receive no bonus), a +1 bonus to initiative.
The caster must rub his hands in any sort of animal spoor as the material component.
Surestrike (Pr 4; Necromancy, Conjuration/Summoning)
Components: S, M
Casting Time: 5
Area of Effect: 1 missile weapon
Saving Throw: Special
With this spell, a priest’s deity guides his hand to ensure a kill during a hunt. When using any missile weapon (bow, dart, sling, etc.), the caster gains a +6 bonus to his next attack roll (provided it is made within one turn of casting). If the target is struck and is a normal or giant animal (non-monstrous creature of semi-intelligence or less) of less than 4 HD, it is instantly slain. Any other living creature (monsters, humanoids, giant animals, etc.) struck by the missile is dealt the maximum damage of the weapon, plus 1 additional point per three levels of the caster (+1 at level 4, +2 at level 7, etc.). This spell has no special effect on non-living entities such as undead or golems; other than the attack bonus, the missile does the standard damage for its type. Non-magical missiles are not considered magical under the influence of this spell.
The material components of this spell are the priest’s holy symbol and three drops of blood from the heart of a normal or giant animal that the priest has slain himself.