The patron of the kenku is one of the more interesting deities in the AD&D game, because he’s not terribly comfortable having the responsibilities of godhood that have been thrust upon him. This isn’t exactly a rare situation, however; what makes Quorlinn different is that he was never a mortal like most of those who share those feelings. It creates a much more interesting deity, as does the merging of eastern and western elements that kenku represent.
Quorlinn (PDF Version)
(The Filcher, Master of Disguise)
Lesser Power of the Beastlands, N
Portfolio: Trickery, disguise, thievery
Domain Name: Krigala/Filchnest
Allies: Aerdrie Faenya, Akadi, Leira (Dead), Syranita
Symbol: Mask with a large false nose
Wor. Align.: NG, LN, N, CN, NE
Of all the deities, few are as strange as Quorlinn the Filcher. Said to be the result of a botched experiment, he is a reclusive power that is uncomfortable with the mantle of leadership thrust upon him. His feelings and fears have made him a master of disguise and the thieving arts, which he has passed on to his followers, the kenku.
Quorlinn’s exact origins vary with the telling, but typically involve a non-lawful deity of the sky or storms from a major local pantheon. Thus, kenku who live on the edges of a society that worships the Kami attribute his creation to Susanoo or Kura Okami, while those near elves attribute his origins to Aerdrie Faenya; other attributions include such diverse deities as Akadi, the Daghdha, Enlil, Stronmaus, Tefnut, Thor, or Zeus. It is substantially less common for worshipers of these deities to have their own myths about Quorlinn, however. For many sages, it is these myths that they believe point to the Filcher’s true origins, and they have noted that he features most commonly in the myths of the faiths of Susanoo, Akadi, Syranita, and Aerdrie Faenya.
Kenku myths about Quorlinn are remarkably consistent, outside of the specific deity that created him. In these myths, his creator is portrayed as embarrassed by the Filcher’s form, for he did not turn out as expected. Regardless, he was assigned a number of tasks, which he completed successfully in unorthodox ways, utilizing guile and deception. Almost universally, the missions are described as very close affairs, wherein Quorlinn barely escapes with his life, often leaving behind a few tail feathers. In the end, the creator deity rewards the Filcher with a race in his likeness, and grants him responsibility for their welfare. However, this was an unwanted responsibility, and Quorlinn constantly whines about being burdened by this new duty. In response, he teaches his followers magic and thievery, and instills within them a fierce independence that allows them to stand on their own. Kenku myths do not take time to analyze the Filcher’s mental state at this point, but some other myths paint this as a defense mechanism, as he feels himself too weak to adequately protect his new race, and he in fact cares deeply for their welfare. A small minority of external myths in fact describes the creation of the kenku not as a reward, but as a curse for Quorlinn’s irresponsibility and unorthodox actions; these myths are mostly found among the giant eagles. Of important note is the relationship between kenku and tengu; their obvious similarities and the fact that some tribes worship the Master of Disguise has caused many sages to speculate one race or the other to have spawned the other. While some believe kenku are an offshoot of tengu, the more widely accepted view holds that members of the Celestial Bureaucracy altered kenku who migrated into eastern lands into the smaller crow tengu and the humanoid tengu. Tengu legends and myths reveal nothing of the truth, and kenku mythology makes no reference to the tengu, however.
Quorlinn is a loner, which has prevented him from cultivating many alliances, but has also kept him from the notice of too many potential foes. His strongest alliance was with the mysterious goddess of illusions and deceptions, Leira; unfortunately, with her apparent death (or disappearance, as some claim), he is left with only tenuous relations with deities who cultivate wide networks of allies such as Syranita, Akadi, and Aerdrie Faenya. His only current rivalry is with Mask, the Lord of Shadows, who believes the Filcher to be an easy mark for absorption in order to increase his divine power after the Cyrinishad debacle. There are other deities who have made overtures of friendship towards Quorlinn, but he has yet to respond to their invitations.
Quorlinn is fickle, irritable, and irascible, but not cruel or evil. He is an asocial introvert, deeply fearing mistakes he might make where his followers are concerned, and has never been known to aid them with appearances of his avatar or omens. This may be changing after he was forced to appear on Toril in avatar form during the Time of Troubles. His experiences in Zazesspur revealed to him the need to take decisive action, as he worked to avoid notice by other deities and protect his followers from the danger they were in by his very presence. How exactly these experiences will alter his outlook has yet to be seen, however.
Quorlinn’s Avatar (Thief 28, Illusionist 20)
Quorlinn can change his appearance at will, utilizing both magic and disguises. His normal appearance is that of a kenku of average height with plain brown feathers, and nondescript clothing. His eyes are golden and shine with intelligence, although he typically hides them beneath a shadowy cowl and behind a black mask that has an unusually large nose.
AC 0; MV 9, Fl 36 (MC A); HP 106; THAC0 7; #AT 1 or 3
Dmg 1d6+10 (shortsword +3, +7 Str) or 1d8/1d8/1d12 (claw/claw/beak)
MR 15%; SZ M (6 feet tall)
Str 19, Dex 22, Con 15, Int 20, Wis 15, Cha 18
Spells W: 6/6/6/6/6/5/4/4/3*
Saves PPDM 8; RSW 4; PP 7; BW 9; Sp 5
* Numbers assume one extra illusion spell per spell level.
Special Att/Def: Quorlinn dislikes physical confrontation, but if forced to engage in melee, he wields Changeblade, a shortsword of quickness +3 that can morph into a staff of striking +3 instantaneously as desired. The weapon has all the powers of the form it is currently in, although it also has the ability to project the illusion of any other sort of melee weapon if the Filcher so wishes. If necessary, he can engage in battle using his claws and beak, but this is an absolute last resort. He also carries a magical feather fan made of large avian feathers that he can use to create a triple-strength gust of wind once per turn, or can alter a creature’s appearance with no saving throw as the alter self spell.
Twice per day, Quorlinn can cast alter self, change self, dimension door, improved invisibility, rope trick, shadow door, and taunt. He is able to utilize the effects of a hat of disguise and boots of varied tracks once per day for up to two hours at a time, regardless of what equipment he has with him. Finally, he can cast a single magic missile once every two rounds in addition to any other attacks or abilities he uses.
The Filcher is immune to nonmagical weapons. No normal or giant avian of Low intelligence or less will attack him, even if magically compelled. He is unaffected by any illusions specifically intended to trick him, unless created by another deity, at which point he has the normal chance to see through them.
Quorlinn does not manifest his power in aid of his followers, although many of the faithful believe news of captured kenku arrives at the behest of the Filcher. He senses no omens and does not communicate with his followers in any way besides granting spells.
The Filcher is served by a variety of avians, most commonly crows and kites, but also rooks, ravens, hawks, and magpies. He never expresses his approval or disapproval through any discoveries or signs.
Clergy: Clerics, specialty priests, shamans, thieves, wizards
Clergy’s Align.: LN, N, CN
Turn Undead: C: No, SP: No, Sha: No. T: No, W: No
Cmnd. Undead: C: Yes, SP: No, Sha: No. T: No, W: No
All clerics, specialty priests, and shamans of Quorlinn receive religion (kenku) as a bonus nonweapon proficiency. In order to regain their spells, all priests of Quorlinn must whine and beg during their prayers; the chance they do not receive spells is 26%, −1% per level achieved by the priest (so a 6th-level priest would have a 20% chance of not receiving the spells they prayed for). This affects even 1st and 2nd level spells, which are normally not granted by deities, due to the expectations the priests have to not always receive their spells.
Quorlinn’s faith is secretive, often remaining hidden within the shadowy underworld of large cities and among deep forests and vales outside urban environments. Alliances vary with locality and circumstance, with one cult allied to local cults of thieves and shadows, with other cults rivaled to the same sorts of cults. Regardless, all of their outside dealings are handled with deep suspicion, and alliances typically only last as long as the Quorlinnar faith deems it profitable.
Temples and shrines dedicated to the Filcher are always underground, be it in a building’s basement, inside a city’s sewers, or in a mountain cave. Often part of an extended community complex, temples are divided into two sections; the outer room or area is for public worship functions, and the much smaller inner area is devoted to storage of relics, secrets, and other objects that must be hidden from the greater community to preserve their power or significance. This inner sanctum is nearly always filled with decoys and fakes to deter spies and thieves, and may in fact contain nothing of value at all, and all items and information are fake. Quorlinn’s priesthood has no qualms lying to their tribes about the nature of these objects, and the lay followers expect the priests to weave fabrications to protect their secrets.
Novices of Quorlinn are called Beggars, while full priests of the Filcher are known as the Masked Ones. Quorlinn’s priesthood uses no formal titles, but ranking within the clergy is strictly based on age. Specialty priests are known as filchers. The clergy of Quorlinn includes kenku (85%), humanoid tengu (8%), crow tengu (4%), and other avian creatures (including avariel; 3%). The priesthood is dominated by males (82%), with females being quite uncommon (18%), especially among the tengu. Shamans are the most common members of Quorlinn’s priesthood (35%), with clerics (including cleric/thieves; 25%) and specialty priests (25%) following; thieves (10%) and wizards (5%) make up the remainder.
Dogma: Stand on your own; you won’t always have allies or protectors who can save you. Utilize all the tools at you disposal to survive. Disguise can save your life; enemies can’t catch you if they don’t know who you are. Trick and trap those who would do you harm; surprise them with you ingenuity and eliminate their ability to harm before they realize what is happening. In a direct fight, magic can turn the tables on your foes, especially if they do not suspect it of you. Gather secrets, information, and treasure, for the more you know and the more you have, the better prepared you will be to face life’s dangers. Freedom is the most important element of life; never let a member of your community languish in captivity.
Day-to-Day Activities: Quorlinn’s clergy plot and plan devious actions to gain treasure and information, masterminding kidnappings, robberies, ambushes, and traps, nearly always utilizing disguises. Different cultic cells specialize in different activities, and they are just as likely to target rival kenku tribes as that are to target the humans and humanoids they live amongst. They are not murderous, but have compunction against cracking some skulls in order to complete their plans. They hoard secrets and information, but don’t differentiate between secrets that are significant and those that are trivial. Due to their dubious activities, they often act as black marketeers and information brokers, although their goods and information can rarely be trusted; they never work with other cultic cells, however. If the clergy learns of kenku in captivity, they will do anything within their power to rescue them.
Important Ceremonies/Holy Days: Worship of Quorlinn is erratic, with ceremonies occurring more frequently when a tribe wants something from the Filcher, and rare when they are comfortable and have few immediate needs. When they do occur, ceremonies tend to consist of outright begging for aid that rises to whining and pleading; ceremonies of thanks are common if the desired events come to pass, but these tend to be short, and no sacrifices are offered. None of these ceremonies have formal names or titles.
Major Centers of Worship: The clergy of Quorlinn do not hold any particular attachment to locales or relics, seeing such things only in terms of how they gain a benefit from them. They do not undertake pilgrimages, and temples and shrines are constructed for an individual tribe’s usage, and they guard them jealously even against other cultic cells.
Affiliated Orders: The priesthood of the Filcher sponsors no associated orders, but individual cultic cells often specialize in different underworld activities, such as kidnapping, assassination, or brigandry, and they utilize their lay followers in these activities.
Priestly Vestments: Priests of Quorlinn wear double-layered belted robes as their ceremonial garb, with the under robe having sleeves and the outer robe being sleeveless. The robes are usually in somber colors, with the outer robe being a lighter color. The most common colors are brown, grey, black, and tan, with mustard yellow being uncommon; any other colors are fairly rare. Openings are left in the back for the priest’s wings. A thin sash is worn around the neck and falling down the chest in a light color such as beige or white, and adorning this sash are four fist-sized pompoms of varying colors which denote an individual priest’s rank. Finally, priests carry a staff of five to six feet tall topped with an ornate ring; four smaller rings hang off the bottom of the ring, two on either side of the shaft. Ornate short swords may also be worn, but these are not strictly part of the vestments. The holy symbol used by the priesthood is a string of beads with a pendant of a humanoid face mask with a long nose, commonly painted red or blue, although unpainted pendants somewhat less common.
Adventuring Garb: When traveling, priests of Quorlinn wear the normal clothing of their tribe or group, with an emphasis on disguise and stealth. There is little that distinguishes them from their fellows, except their holy symbol.
Specialty Priests (Filchers)
Requirements: Dexterity 15, Intelligence 12, Wisdom 9
Prime Req.: Dexterity, Wisdom
Weapons: Club, dagger, dart, hand crossbow, knife, lasso, short bow, sling, broad sword, long sword, short sword, staff
Armor: Padded, leather, studded leather, or elven chain mail; no shield
Major Spheres: All, chaos, creation, divination, plant, sun, weather
Minor Spheres: Animal, charm, elemental air, healing
Magical Items: Same as clerics and thieves
Req. Profs: Short sword or staff
Bonus Profs: Disguise
- Filchers may be of any avian race capable of becoming priests, including aarakocra and giant eagles, although most are kenku or tengu. In addition, avariel and air genasi are allowed into the ranks, although this is considered especially odd among avariel.
- Filchers are not allowed to multiclass.
- Filchers have limited thieving skills as defined in Demihuman Deities in the Limited Thieving Skills section of “Appendix 1: Demihuman Priests.”
- Filchers may select nonweapon proficiencies from the rogue group without penalty.
- Filchers can cast change self (as the 1st-level wizard spell) or weaponmorph (as the 1st-level priest spell) once per day
- At 3rd level, filchers can cast alter self or ESP (as the 2nd-level wizard spells) once per day.
- At 5th level, filchers can create a single magic missile (as the 1st-level wizard spell) once per day, that they can utilize in addition to any other attacks or spellcasting they perform in a round. They can create an additional missile at 10th level, and another at 15th for a total of three missiles.
- At 7th level, filchers can cast fire trap (as the 2nd-level priest spell) or illusionary script (as the 3rd-level wizard spell) once per day.
- At 9th level, filchers can cast confusion (as the 4th-level wizard spell) once per day.
- At 12th level, filchers can create a magical feather fan that can be used to create a gust of wind (as the 3rd-level wizard spell) three times per day and cosmetically alter a creature’s facial features (comically enlarge a nose, an ear, make the eyes disproportionate or lopsided, etc.) three times per day. These changes cause the creature’s Charisma to drop by three points but has no other effects, and last for one day. The filcher can dispel the changes automatically with the fan, or a dispel magic can automatically revert the change. If another creature tries to use the fan in any way, their facial features are changed randomly, as above; after that it loses its power. The fan gains no bonuses to its saving throws, and saves as cloth. The fan loses all magic if the filcher parts with it for more than two days. A new fan can be created one month after the filcher lost their previous fan.
Mask of Quorlinn (Pr 1; Alteration)
Components: V, S, M
Duration: 1 hr./level
Casting Time: 4
Area of Effect: The caster
Saving Throw: None
This spell hides the facial features of the caster in a mask of shadows. The mask is weightless, doesn’t impair vision, and is totally effective in hiding the individual’s features. It cannot be physically removed. It is especially effective when used in conjunction with a cloak, completely filling the hood with concealing shadows.
The mask also protects the caster from extremes of light and darkness; darkness or light spells cast directly on the caster of a mask of Quorlinn fail. Any such spells simply and quickly fade, the lighting conditions changing to a shadowy grayness for the duration of the light or darkness spell. A dispel magic spell does not immediately remove a mask of Quorlinn. Instead, the shadows slowly fade away over 1d3+1 rounds, possibly giving time for the caster to keep his or her identity secret.
While enjoying the benefits of a mask of Quorlinn, the caster gains a +4 saving throw bonus against any gaze attacks and a +2 bonus against divination spells capable of revealing the caster’s identity.
The material component for this spell is a small square of black cloth and the priest’s holy symbol, the latter of which is not consumed in the casting.
Weaponmorph (Pr 1; Illusion/Phantasm)
Components: V, S
Duration: 1 turn/level
Casting Time: 4
Area of Effect: 1 weapon
Saving Throw: None
With this spell, the caster can make his weapon take on the appearance of any other weapon or similarly shaped object. The weapon doesn’t actually change shape and retains its normal damage, speed, and other characteristics, but the spell is useful for disguising the priest’s weapon as something more suited to the local region, or disguising it as a tool. The caster can dispel the illusion as desired.
All That Glitters (Pr 2; Alteration, Illusion/Phantasm)
Range: 5 yds.
Components: V, S, M
Duration: 1 hr./level
Casting Time: 1 rd.
Area of Effect: Special
Saving Throw: Special
With this spell, the caster can alter the appearance of cheap costume jewelry and paste gems to appear more valuable, similar to the fools’ gold spell. This spell can alter the appearance of one piece of jewelry, regardless of size and composition, or one loose gem per level of the caster. Such objects appear to be more valuable than they really are, with metals becoming gold or platinum, and gems becoming diamonds, emeralds, rubies, or other valuable stones.
Any creature viewing the “jewels” is entitled to a saving throw vs. spell, which can be modified by the creature’s Wisdom; for every level of the priest, the creature must subtract 1 from his dice roll. Thus it is unlikely that the false jewels will be detected if it was created by a high-level caster. If the “jewels” are struck hard by an object of cold-wrought iron, there is a slight chance it will revert to its natural state, depending on the material component used to create the “jewels.” If a 25-gp zircon is powdered and sprinkled over the jewels as this spell is cast, the chance that cold iron will return it to its true nature is 30%; if a 50-gp chrysoberyl stone is powdered and used, there is a 25% chance that iron will dispel the magic; if a 250-gp aquamarine is powdered, the chance drops to 10%; if a 500-gp sapphire is powdered, there is only a 1% chance that the cold iron will reveal that it is worthless paste.