The small kobold pantheon is filled with a number of local deified heroes and minor gods, few of which are genuine powers. Of those that have, Dakarnok is by far the most powerful and widely known. He has become the deity of kobold warriors, focusing on destruction and plunder.
Dakarnok (PDF Version)
(The Raider, the Skirmisher, the Gnomecrusher)
Demipower of Baator, LE
Portfolio: Destruction, havoc, skirmishes, raiding, plundering
Domain Name: Avernus/Draukari
Foes: Flandal Steelskin, Garl Glittergold, Gaerdal Ironhand, Kuralyek the gnome pantheon, the dwarven pantheon, the Seelie Court
Symbol: Black spiked club over a broken skull
Wor. Align.: LN, N, CN, LE, NE, CE
Dakarnok (DACK-ar-nock) the Raider was once a mortal kobold chieftain who forged a kingdom out of neighboring tribes and achieved great military success against neighboring communities of humans and gnomes, the latter of which earned him the epithet Gnomecrusher. Not satisfied with mortal kingship, he began searching for a way to achieve godhood, and apparently found it. In his role as the Skirmisher, he embodies the destructive raids that kobolds so often partake in, striking swiftly, plundering what they can, and then escaping before a serious counter-offensive can be mounted against them. While such tactics often seem random and senseless to their victims, Dakarnok teaches that a cunning strategy must underlie these actions, in order to keep enemies weak and prevent them from slaughtering the smaller and physically weaker kobolds.
Dakarnok is subservient to Kurtulmak entirely, following his commands unconditionally. For his part, Steelscales trusts in the Raider’s skill, and generally lets him use his own initiative to complete his orders. Gaknulak, however, has little to do with the Skirmisher, disdaining his violence and bloodlust, preferring more subtle tactics and a more isolationist view; Dakarnok cares little about the Trapmaker, believing him to be a weakling with gnome-like tendencies, and is more than happy to ignore him. When their followers are equally threatened, however, both gods put aside their differences for the good of the kobold race. Gnomecrusher considers Kuraulyek an enemy, the two have never encountered each other; the Horned Thief parted ways with the rest of the pantheon long before Dakarnok’s apotheosis, and the Raider is simply following Kurtulmak’s lead. Outside of the kobold pantheon, Dakarnok maintains few contacts or allies; his focus is too tied into kobold affairs for him to care anything for gods who do not interact with his followers. His hates the racial enemies of the kobolds, and particularly enjoys slaughtering their followers whenever he has a chance. His favored targets, are, of course, gnomes, although he shies away from direct confrontation; he is always looking for opportunities to increase his personal power and level the playing field with them.
In life, Dakarnok was a warrior and priest of Kurtulmak, and chieftain of a small and downtrodden tribe of kobolds. Where this kingdom was has been lost and confused due to time and the inclination of any given tribe to claim descent from his divine blood. He forged his tribe into a tough fighting force and conquered all the neighboring tribes of kobolds, creating for himself a bona fide kingdom. Once all the local kobolds were under his thumb, he began to focus his forces on the human and gnomish settlements on the periphery of his kingdom, expanding the borders of his kingdom and pushing the populations towards the distant cities through the use of constant harassing attacks and destructive raids. At some point during his reign, he discovered a method to allow him to ascend to the ranks of a true divinity; some legends claim he needed the deaths of thousands of intelligent creatures and it was this need which fueled his kingdom’s expansion, while others claim he used a powerful magical weapon to slay a gnomish avatar in order to gain the power he needed. Whatever the truth, the process worked and upon his death many of his subjects continued to revere him, and found they received spells after prayer dedicated to his memory. His kingdom did not last long after his death, despite the new cult that arose dedicated to his teachings, as his many children descended into bloody infighting for control of his throne, and, sensing the weakness in their enemies, the humans and demihumans who had been retreating for so long assembled into a massive army and shattered the power of Dakarnok’s kingdom and scattered his new followers to many distant lands, from whence his worship spread further still.
Dakarnok is still a fairly young deity, and is often sending his avatar on dangerous missions of combat against the foes of the kobold race. He is careful to avoid confrontations with other avatars, and often keeps his avatar moving, rarely staying very long in any one place.
Dakarnok’s Avatar (Fighter 20, Thief 12, Priest 10)
Dakarnok appears as a heavily muscled kobold with hard, silver-black scale-like skin. He never wears armor, believing his speed, stealth, and thick skin are protection enough. He can only cast spells from the all, combat, healing, and necromantic spheres, the latter two of which he only uses reversed.
AC 2; MV 9; HP 159; THAC0 1; #AT 5/2
Dmg 2d6 + 9 (war club +1, +4 Str, +2 spec. bonus in war club)
MR 15%; SZ S (3 feet 6 inches)
Str 18/80, Dex 17, Con 18, Int 11, Wis 10, Cha 18
Spells P: 4/4/3/3/2
Saves PPDM 3; RSW 5; PP 4; BW 4; Sp 6
Special Att/Def: Dakarnok carries Gnomecrusher, a great black spiked war club +1 that he wields with both hands. Anyone hit by this weapon must make a successful saving throw vs. paralyzation or be knocked prone ten feet away. They may not perform any other action in the next round other than getting to their feet. Gnomes make the save with a −4 penalty.
The Skirmisher is only stuck by weapons of +1 or greater enchantment. He is immune to any spell or spell-like power that would reduce his strength, and is unaffected by any spell that would instill fear or reduce his morale.
Dakarnok sends few omens to his priests. When he does, they appear as patterns in the blood of fallen foes and, more rarely, in the positions of the bodies after combat. When the Skirmisher strongly approves of the direction a raid is taking, but is worried for the outcome, he may manifest as a haste or double strength bless spell, either effect coupled with a strength spell, that affects all of his clergy members in the attack force. If he feels his followers have ignored his directives or are taking particularly stupid actions in a battle, he may afflict them with a slow spell. There is no visible effect from any of the Raider’s manifestations.
Dakarnok is served by baatezu (barbazu and hamatula), fhorges, giant weasels, and wild boars. He demonstrates his favor by the discovery of loot that is of higher quality or greater value than it originally appeared, and he shows his disfavor by the discovery of loot that originally appeared quite valuable or useful but is, in fact, useless junk.
Clergy: Clerics, specialty priests, shamans, fighters
Clergy’s Align.: LE, NE, CE
Turn Undead: C: No, SP: No, Sha: No, F: No
Cmnd. Undead: C: Yes, SP: No, Sha: No, F: No
All clerics (including multiclassed fighter/clerics), specialty priests, and shamans of Dakarnok receive religion (kobold) as a bonus nonweapon proficiency. All priests are required to take proficiency in the war club, and may do so even if normally not allowed to use such a weapon.
The Skirmisher’s followers are the least influential of all the priestly orders in most kobold tribes. They act as front-line warriors and squad leaders, usually directed by the Stings of Kurtulmak, although they also operate independent raiding parties. While they will defend tribal warrens if attacked, they never act as guards and all fit members will join any large scale attacks on enemy settlements. Unlike the priesthood of Steelscales, followers of the Gnomecrusher are more than happy to raid and loot nearby kobold tribes if an opportunity presents itself. They hold little respect for followers of other kobold deities, often provoking or attacking the clergy of Gaknulak or Kuraulyek in order to prove their dominance. Kurtulmak’s priests only involve themselves if it looks likely to turn into widespread internal strife.
Dakarnok’s priests never create temples of their own, as they believe the act of worship is best carried out on the battlefield. They set up simple altars within the communal temples of the tribe, but this is little more than a repository for battle trophies in the eyes of the priesthood. These minor shrines are typically built into an alcove or small side-chamber within the tribe’s warren. The walls will be painted black, and if available, silver accoutrements such as sconces will be used to accent the shrine. Battle trophies will line the wall behind the small altar, with emphasis on heads, shields, and weaponry. They occasionally participate in the religious ceremonies of Kurtulmak’s priesthood, as befits their deity’s subordinate role within the pantheon.
Novices in the service of Dakarnok are known as Disturbers, while full priests are known as Havockers. If the clergy is composed of at least ten members, not including novices, then there will be a chief priest with the title Master of Plunders. Specialty priests are known as havocmasters. The hierarchy of the priesthood is completely vertical, with each priest knowing exactly who is above or below them in status. Advancement through the ranks is not possible except through the direct challenge of a superior to one-on-one combat. Deaths are discouraged in such challenges, however, as the Raider’s teachings say that even the disgraced can be redeemed in his eyes through a glorious or daring battle with outside settlements. As such, those who cannot live with their defeat often lead the forces in the next raid conducted by the priesthood. No urds are known to worship Gnomecrusher, only kobolds. Very few females are ever drawn to the service of the Skirmisher, nor are they particularly desired or respected, so they make up only a small fraction of his following (2%). However, due to the rigid nature of the hierarchy, it is entirely possible one could advance all the way to the topmost position. The bulk of the priesthood is composed of specialty priests (50%) and fighter/clerics (25%), with fighters (15%) and clerics (10%) filling out the balance. Shamans are not part of the clerical hierarchy, although they are considered brothers of the faith.
Dogma: Crush your enemies and pillage their lands. Take what you want from outsiders weaker than yourself. Strike fast and true and instill confusion and fright in your enemies. Keep your foes off-balance so they cannot strike back effectively, and always plan carefully so your enemies cannot surprise you. Always have a swift exit available to you and your escape from foes is assured.
Day-to-Day Activities: Dakarnok’s followers spend most of each day planning and training for attacks on nearby settlements. They take a direct hand in combat training within the tribe, working closely with the Stings of Kurtulmak in this regard. Once a month they are required to carry out an attack on an enemy settlement, with the sole intent of destroying as much as they can in the shortest period of time. Often these raids will coincide with a larger tribal attack, but the clergy of the Skirmisher is more than happy to execute battle on their own.
Important Ceremonies/Holy Days: For followers of the Skirmisher, the act of battle itself is considered worship. As such, they do not maintain any major ceremonies or celebrations. Within large tribes, they participate in Kurtulmak’s Mining the Blood ceremony, where they often play the part of ritually handing over the sacrifice as a bounty of their pillaging. They also play parts in other sorts of tribal ceremonies, but these are never held to specifically propitiate Dakarnok.
Major Centers of Worship: Followers of the Gnomecrusher are not known to carry out pilgrimages, and as they build no temples, there are no known major holy sites dedicated to him. His original homeland could conceivably become such a pilgrimage destination were it ever to be known positively; however, with hundreds of tribes on dozens of worlds claiming him as an ancestor, it is unlikely it will ever be found and confirmed.
Affiliated Orders: No known martial orders exist within the church of the Skirmisher, due to the already-martial makeup of the clergy. However, many kobold bandit bands worship the Gnomecrusher, but only rarely will they have any priests.
Priestly Vestments: Priests of Dakarnok prefer to wear battle gear when performing their religious duties. Whenever possible, they wear scale armor in black and silver. They prefer to wear a skull helmet made from an intelligent creature they have slain. The holy symbol of the priesthood is a war club, or more rarely, a thick fragment of a skull from a humanoid, usually worn on a chain around the neck.
Adventuring Garb: When not performing religious duties, followers of the Raider wear whatever is typical for a warrior of their tribe. When engaged in combat, they prefer the ceremonial armor listed above, but if that is not available, they will use the best equipment on hand.
Specialty Priests (Havocmasters)
Requirements: Strength 12, Dexterity 11, Wisdom 9
Prime Req.: Strength, Wisdom
Major Spheres: All, combat, elemental earth, elemental fire, protection, summoning
Minor Spheres: Charm, healing, necromantic (reversed), sun (reversed)
Magical Items: Same as clerics and fighters
Req. Profs: War club (PO:C&T)
Bonus Profs: Looting (PHBR10)
- Havocmasters must be kobolds.
- Havocmasters are not allowed to multiclass.
- Havocmasters can select nonweapon proficiencies from both the priest and warrior groups with no crossover penalty.
- At 2nd level, havocmasters begin to use the warrior THAC0 progression as if they were one level lower than their priest level. So a 7th level havocmaster would fight as a 6th level warrior, and have a THAC0 of 15.
- At 4th level, havocmasters can cast strength (as the 2nd-level wizard spell) or aid (as the 2nd-level priest spell) upon themselves twice per day.
- At 6th level, havocmasters are immune to Strength-reducing magic such as ray of enfeeblement.
- At 7th level, havocmasters can make three attacks every two rounds.
- At 8th level, havocmasters can cast lance of disruption (as the 3rd-level wizard spell) or earth thrust (as the 4th-level priest spell) once per day.
- At 10th level, havocmasters deal two extra points of damage with any damage-dealing spell from the sphere of combat, and they inflict a −1 penalty to victims’ saving throws.
- At 13th level, havocmasters can make two attacks per round.
- At 15th level, havocmasters can cast disintegrate (as the 6th-level wizard spell) upon non-living objects once per week.
Havocking Club (Pr 3; Enchantment/Charm)
Components: V, S, M
Duration: 1 rd./level
Casting Time: 6
Area of Effect: 1 club
Saving Throw: Special
By means of this spell, a priest can enchant a club to be especially destructive towards structures. Striking the club against a wall, floor, or ceiling forces the structure to make a saving throw vs. crushing blow, or one cubic foot per level of the priest is obliterated. For the purposes of this spell, thin wood saves on a roll of 13 or higher, thick wood saves on a roll of 10 or higher, stone saves on a roll of 8 or higher, and earthen walls save on a roll of 14 or higher. In addition, each saving throw suffers a penalty as follows, to a maximum penalty of −5: earth and turf suffers a −1 penalty per two levels of the caster; thin wood suffers a −1 penalty per three levels of the priest, thick wood suffers a −1 penalty per four levels of the priest, and stone suffers a −1 penalty per five levels of the priest. Against a Spelljamming vessel, such a strike causes 1d2 Hull Points of damage, to a maximum of 5d2, per three levels of the caster. In addition, an automatic Hull Holed critical hit is inflicted. Against creatures, the club functions as a simple club +1. This spell lasts one round per level of the caster, or until the magic is discharged with a successful hit.
The material component for the spell is a non-magical club, which is not consumed in the casting of this spell.
Marauding Image (Pr 3; Illusion/Phantasm)
Components: V, S
Duration: 2 rds./level
Casting Time: 6
Area of Effect: 30 yrds./level
Saving Throw: None
When affected by a marauding image spell, a priest causes between two and eight exact duplicates of himself to come into being in the area around him. Unlike the mirror image spell, these images do not perform the exact same actions as the caster. The images can range away from the caster in a radius of 30 yards per level of the caster, to a maximum of 240 yards. These images move about at random, appearing to be looting, pillaging, and generally being destructive. These images have enough substance to knock over objects (chairs, cook pots, burning braziers, etc.), but cannot attack, although they may appear to do so. During their activities, the images constantly shout war cries and threats at any foes that are in the area; such displays inflict a −1 penalty on opponents’ morale checks.
Unlike the mirror image spell, these images appear from behind cover when the spell is cast, seemingly new foes rather than duplicates of the caster. When an image is struck by a melee or missile attack, magical or otherwise, it appears to fall dead on the ground, disappearing only when foes are not directly looking at them; any other existing images remain intact until struck. To determine the number of images that appear, roll 1d4 and add 1 for every four levels of experience the priest has achieved, to a maximum of eight images. At the end of the spell duration, all surviving images wink out.
Earth Thrust (Pr 4; Alteration)
Sphere: Elemental Earth
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 7
Area of Effect: 10-ft. wide by 10-ft./level path
Saving Throw: ½
With this spell, a priest causes the earth before him to violently and quickly thrust up and sink back down. The spell affects a ten foot wide path that is ten feet long per level of the caster. Those within the effect suffer 1d4+1 points of damage per two levels of the priest, to a maximum of 10d4+10 points of damage, although a successful save vs. spell will reduce the damage by half. If the save is failed, creatures are also knocked prone for 1d3 rounds. This spell is stopped if it encounters stone walls thicker than five feet, as well as trees with a trunk diameter of three feet or greater. The effect cannot pass through solid earth or rock walls (such as below ground or in a cave), although it can traverse earthen ramparts, dealing 2d8 points of structural damage in the process. Stone walls of less than five foot thickness take 1d6 points of structural damage, mud-brick or fired clay brick walls take 1d8+2 points of structural damage, and wooden walls take 3d6 points of structural damage.
The material components for this spell are the priest’s holy symbol and a handful of small pebbles shaken and rolled on the ground before the priest.