Thrig’ki the Rapacious

Another of the neogi deities from Dragon Magazine #214, Thrig’ki is one of the more interesting deities. It represents the closest thing the spidery neogi have to “love;” their emotion is much closer to envy, jealousy, and covetousness. Due to its purview over these emotions, it has come to also represent trade and commerce as well.

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Thrig’ki (PDF Version)
(The Rapacious, the Covetous)
Lesser Power of the Abyss, NE

Portfolio:                 “Love” (envy/jealousy), commerce, trade
Aliases:                     None
Domain Name:           434th Layer/Karish (the Serpentfields)
Superior:                   Ka’jik’zxi (Dead)
Allies:                       None
Foes:                           Every other power
Symbol:                     Pair of entwined serpents biting each other
Wor. Align.:              LE, NE, CE

The neogi deity that is often hardest for outsiders to understand is Thrig’ki (THRIG-key), for it represents what the neogi call “love.” This emotion is not what most other races recognize as love; instead, Thrig’ki has an overwhelming desire to own anything that it does not or cannot own, and is deeply envious and hateful towards those who possess such items. It is this complex emotional state that the Rapacious Thrig’ki embodies and is said to have instilled in the neogi race as their concept of love.

In the mythology of the neogi, Thrig’ki holds the position of instigator of the plot to overthrow Ka’jik’zxi. It’s jealousy of the power the ancient creator-god of the neogi held was what spurred it to conspire with its fellows, but this jealousy so consumed its heart that in the end, it desired even the power the others possessed, and turned on them. The myths state it will not stop until it possesses all of their powers and owns all other beings and objects in the multiverse.

Thrig’ki values that which it does not possess far more than those things it already owns. Because of this it is possible to bargain or trade with Thrig’ki, especially if something unique is on offer, and neogi have come to worship it as a god of commerce and trade. In its cruelty, it is also said to have seen the greed and envy in other beings, and delivered the objects of their desire in a harmful way, such as selling magical weapons to a creature and then delivered them in the hands of hired mercenaries who attacked the buyer. Neogi have often taken this to heart, have been known to do the same in some of their dealings. One legend about a neogi captain delivering a purchase of Greek fire in the hold of a fire ship inspired the battle tactic of loading the same material into the small urchin ships and dropping them onto attackers.

Thrig’ki wages an endless war against T’zen’kil on a layer of the Abyss said to hold a fragment of the bodily remains of Ka’jik’zxi. While legends also hold that an ancient tattoo of ownership remains on this layer that would grant ownership of the whole pantheon to the one who can claim it, sages also point out that Thrig’ki’s own envious nature easily explains its residence on the plane. Regardless, it has established itself in a vast plain covered in writhing snakes, viper trees, and its own petitioners, from which it sends its forces out to crash against those of T’zen’kil. It keeps an eye on the activities of Kil’lix, but it does not hold that shadowy being to be the prime threat on the plane.

Thrig’ki is active on the Prime Material Plane, but he favors utilizing agents when possible, although he has been known to send avatars to acquire particularly rare goods. He avoids direct confrontations with other powers, and is not averse to offering bribes if he thinks it will save his skin or turn one power against another.

Thrig’ki’s Avatar (Enchanter 26, Cleric 22)
Thrig’ki appears as a horrid dark-green neogi with a dozen legs and brilliant emerald-green eyes. Instead of hair, its body is covered in writhing serpents, which form a mane up its eel-like neck to the top of its head. These serpents constantly hiss, and there are two that stay curled up on top of its head that are far longer than the others. It draws its spells from all spheres and schools save invocation/evocation, although it almost never uses spells that can directly harm an enemy’s equipment.

AC −1; MV 18, Cl 6; HP 111; THAC0 6; #AT 7
Dmg 1d4+1 (×4)/2d4/1d3/1d3 (claw ×4/bite/snake/snake)
MR 35%; SZ M (5 feet tall)
Str 11, Dex 20, Con 15, Int 17, Wis 18, Cha 19
Spells P: 11/11/10/10/9/6/3, W: 7/7/7/7/7/7/7/7/7*
Saves PPDM 2, RSW 3, PP 5, BW 7, Sp 4
* Numbers assume one extra enchantment/charm spell per spell level.

Special Att/Def: Thrig’ki relishes combat, but only against weaker foes. Because of its extra limbs, it can climb non-sheer surfaces effortlessly and bring four of them to bear against a single target. Further, the potent venom it injects with a bite is saved against with a −2 penalty; failure causes slowing (as the spell) for 1d8 rounds, which is cumulative with successive bites. Finally, the pair of long serpents growing from its scalp can strike out at any creature within 10 feet; those struck must make a saving throw versus poison or become confused for 1d8 rounds. It is always accompanied by Ukt, a serpent-headed umber hulk of large size (11+11 HD, 13 feet tall, 99 hp, immune to poison, bite damage of 1d6 damage plus Type E poison), as well as an assortment of other creatures.

Once per day, Thrig’ki can cast command, suggestion, mass suggestion, and antipathy-sympathy. It is always under the protection of undetectable lie, and it can cast detect lie 6 times per day. It can locate object at will. It can conjure animals three times per day, summoning either giant venomous or giant constrictor snakes.

Thrig’ki is immune to enchantment/charm magic, poison, and all forms of mental domination and control. It can only be struck by weapons of +1 or better enchantment. No normal or giant snake will attack Thrig’ki, even if magically compelled.

Other Manifestations
Like all neogi deities, Thrig’ki never manifests its power to aid its followers. The neogi believe this is because of an oversight in the contract forged with their deities.

The neogi pantheon is served primarily by divine servitors in the form of umber hulks and normal spiders of all sorts, but Thrig’ki also calls upon aeserpents, baku dark ones, greater medusas, hordlings, incarnates of covetousness and envy, lesser yugoloths (all mercenaries), venomous serpents of all sorts, and viper trees. It never displays its favor or displeasure through discoveries of any kind.

The Church
Clergy:                      Clerics, specialty priests
Clergy’s Align.:      LE, NE, CE
Turn Undead:           C: No, SP: No
Cmnd. Undead:         C: Yes, SP: Yes, at level −2

All clerics and specialty priests of Thrig’ki receive religion (neogi) and reading/writing (neogi) as bonus nonweapon proficiencies.

Thrig’ki’s faith is the most popular among common neogi, for it represents the desire to acquire that which they don’t have, be it power, property, or slaves. Due to the acquisitive and covetous nature of its faith, Thrig’ki has further become the patron of merchants and trade, and those neogi who follow a mercantile way of life call upon it frequently. Outside of these merchants its dedicated priests, however, Thrig’ki tends towards being the one left out of prayers and entreaties as a neogi gains a position of responsibility or increased property, for they tend to turn their attention towards those deities with a special focus on their new interests. This has led to a bit of snobbery from the other neogi clergies towards the faithful of Thrig’ki. Unlike most of the rest of the pantheon, its faith is never found among umber hulk slaves.

In the rare cases where neogi build settlements, temples or shrines to Thrig’ki are commonly found in the marketplace areas. These temples are squat and spidery in appearance and made of black and dark green stone. They are often positioned to feel everpresent to those in the market, and the priests themselves may operate as merchants directly from the temple confines. The center of the temple structure holds a stone altar carved with dozens of entwined serpents biting each other. If the settlement contains a shrine, it is much smaller, often the size of a single merchant stall, and may in fact double as that. It is built in similar shades as the temples, and often has a pair of pillars carved to look like entwined serpents. Within the shrine rests a carved stone idol depicting a pair of entwined serpents in a vertical position, each biting the other on the neck.

Novices in the service of Thrig’ki are known as Acquisitors, and full priests are known as Rapacious Lovers. The church of Thrig’ki has no religious hierarchy, but any permanent group of priests has a hierarchy of ownership, with one priest at the top, owning lesser priests, who may own lesser priests of their own. The only way to advance through this structure is to acquire ownership of a higher-positioned priest. No titles are used for this ranking beyond common neogi terms for owner and owned. Specialty priests are known as coveters. The priesthood is dominated by specialty priests (88%), with only a small minority of clerics (12%) filling out the ranks. While the vast bulk of the clergy is comprised of neogi (84%), Thrig’ki is relatively popular among their planar cousins, the tso (16%).

Dogma: Property is power; seek to acquire by any means that which you do not have. Every creature knows this, which is why so many want what you have and will not give up what they have easily. Be ruthless in your acquisition, and remember that everything has a price if you find the right currency.

Day-to-Day Activities: Most members of Thrig’ki’s clergy operate as merchants. They are ruthless and cold in their negotiations, and they general have no concern over the sorts of goods they trade. It is this trait that leads to their less savory reputation, rather than any particular penchant for not honoring their deals. In fact they are no more or less likely to uphold their bargains than most other races. A minority of the priesthood, generally those who are especially greedy, take to a life of piracy in order to gain the possessions they desire through direct violence.

Important Ceremonies/Holy Days: The Bargain of Love is held once a year, celebrated throughout the neogi fleets on the fourth intercalary holiday in their calendar. These holidays are spaced 72 days apart, but the specific days they fall on vary from sphere to sphere. Neogi hold that the sacrifices made during this ceremony renew their bargain with their gods in ancient times.

The ceremonial proceedings for the Bargain of Love are relatively simple. After a member of Thrig’ki’s clergy unleashes a length exhortation of the virtues of neogi greed and lust for possessions, each member of a ship’s crew makes a sacrifice of a possession by casting it into the void; such possessions can be anything at all, but exactly what is sacrificed is watched carefully by the rest of the crew. Being stingy can be seen as a sign of weakness, indicating the neogi has little of value personally, while an extravagant sacrifice may be seen as an indication of mental instability or an attempt to gain a special, unfair boon from Thrig’ki. Sacrifices of a slave are rare, and the sacrifice of an owned neogi is rarer still; in the latter case, this is typically seen by the rest of the crew as a dangerous precedent, and may lead to mutiny. Finally, some very unscrupulous neogi may try to recover the sacrifices they or others made, but it is believed this brings down a death curse on the offending creature’s head.

Major Centers of Worship: The only major temples to Thrig’ki are found with the crystal sphere of Clusterspace. These temples can be found on the Arcane-run Highport and Ironport, a large port commissioned from the dwarves by the neogi. These temples cater to the neogi merchant caste at these two ports, but given the closed nature of the Astromundi Cluster, they are completely unknown to neogi outside that sphere.

Affiliated Orders: The church of Thrig’ki sponsors no martial or monastic orders.

Priestly Vestments: When conducting ceremonies, the clergy of Thrig’ki wear robes of dark green fringed with bristly black hair. While these cloaks are typically made of leather, wealthy members of the priesthood prefer to have their cloaks made of snakeskin. Dark red symbols of entwined serpents biting each other decorate these robes; this same symbol is always tattooed in a prominent place on the body of the members of the clergy, serving as their holy symbol.

Adventuring Garb: Clergy of Thrig’ki tend to advertise their positions by wearing their ceremonial robes as often as reasonable. Otherwise there is little to distinguish them from other neogi outside of their tattoos. They use no armor or weapons, as standard for neogi.

Specialty Priests (Coveters)
Requirements:          Intelligence 11, Wisdom 13
Prime Req.:                Wisdom
Alignment:                NE
Weapons:                   None (Any)
Armor:                       None (Any)
Major Spheres:         All, astral, charm, combat, divination, elemental, healing (reversed only), necromantic, thought, travelers, wards
Minor Spheres:         Guardian, protection, summoning, war
Magical Items:         Same as clerics
Req. Profs:                Appraisal
Bonus Profs:             Gaming

  • Coveters must be neogi or tso.
  • Coveters are not allowed to multiclass.
  • Coveters may select nonweapon proficiencies from the rogue group with no crossover penalty.
  • Coveters gain a +1 saving throw bonus versus emotion-affecting spells, including charm spells, but not spells such as command, suggestion, and domination.
  • Coveters can cast command (as the 1st-level priest spell) or friends (as the 1st-level wizard spell) once per day.
  • At 3rd level, coveters can cast fool’s gold (as the 2nd-level wizard spell) or frisky chest (as the 2nd-level priest spell) once per day.
  • At 5th level, coveters can cast locate object (as the 3rd-level priest spell) or suggestion (as the 3rd-level wizard spell) once per day.
  • At 7th level, coveters can cast detect lie or its reverse undetectable lie (as the 4th-level priest spells) once per day.
  • At 9th level, coveters can cast avoidance or its reverse attraction (as the 5th-level wizard spell) twice per week.
  • At 11th level, coveters can cast mass suggestion (as the 6th-level wizard spell) once per week.
  • At 14th level, coveters can cast antipathy-sympathy (as the 8th-level wizard spell) once per week.

Thrig’kian Spells
3rd Level
Covetous Wrath (Pr 3; Enchantment/Charm)
Sphere:                    Charm
Range:                     10 yds.
Components:           S, M
Duration:                 1 rd./level
Casting Time:          6
Area of Effect:         1 creature
Saving Throw:        Neg.

By means of this spell, the caster brings about strong feelings of covetousness in a single individual, directed at an object owned by a companion (75%) or the nearest creature (25%); a successful saving throw versus spell prevents these feelings. The victim of this spell must be aware of an item for it to evoke covetousness; for example, if they are unaware that a companion keeps a hidden dagger in their boot, they cannot covet it. The boots, however, could be the item that they covet. In addition, it must be a singular item or item pair such as armor, gloves, a wand, etc., rather than a collection of items like coinage or a pouch full of gems. The item need not be particularly valuable, but an item that is unique in some way is more likely to be their focus than something mundane. Items in the possession of the caster can never become the focus of a victim’s covetousness.

On the round after this spell is cast, the target will ask for the item. If this is refused, they will insist on the following round. If they still are denied the item, they will fly into a berserk rage, drawing their weapon and attacking the possessor of the item until either they have the item or the spell is ended. While in this rage, they will only attack the possessor of the item they desire and they suffer a −2 penalty to AC, but a +2 penalty to hit and damage. This spell can be ended early with a remove curse or a successful dispel magic.

The material component for this spell is a silver piece, which is consumed in the casting.

Serpent Growth (Pr 3; Alteration)
Sphere:                    Combat
Range:                     30 yds.
Components:           V, S, M
Duration:                 1d3 rds. +1 rd./3 levels
Casting Time:          6
Area of Effect:         1 creature
Saving Throw:        Neg.

This spell causes a pair of snakes to grow from the scalp of a single creature, unless they make a successful saving throw versus spell. The two serpents immediately start biting the creature they have grown from, dealing 1d3 points of damage with each successful bite. These snakes make their attacks as 5 HD creatures, ignoring all bonuses to Armor Class save those offered by magic unless the victim takes no actions other than trying to fend them off. For example, a warrior wearing a suit of scale armor +1 would only receive a +1 bonus to their base AC unless he tries to fend off the biting serpents, in which case he would gain the full benefit from the armor; by contrast, a wizard wearing bracers of defense and a cloak of protection would gain the full benefits of both magical items. Shields of any sort, as well as Dexterity defense adjustments never apply. Spells such as armor and stoneskin also confer their protections, but shield and similar spells do not. Creatures wearing helmets are not immune, as the serpents can easily slither under or within the helmet.

There is a chance these snakes will be of a poisonous variety (Type D) equal to 5% per level of the caster. They can be hacked off of the creature they are growing from if they suffer 1d4 points of damage, plus one per level of the priest; thus an 8th level priest would create serpents that can suffer 9–12 points of damage before being severed. The victim of this spell suffers half of any damage dealt to the serpents in this way. Piecing and bludgeoning weapons cannot sever the serpents, but half of this damage is also suffered by the creature from which the snakes are growing. A successful dispel magic or snakes to sticks spell will cancel this spell and cause the serpents to be reabsorbed into the victim’s scalp, as will severing both serpents.

The material components for this spell are the priest’s holy symbol and a pair of fangs from any snake longer than 5 feet in length.

4th Level
Thrig’ki’s Blessing (Pr 4; Enchantment/Charm)
Sphere:                    Charm
Range:                     10 yds.
Components:           V, S, M
Duration:                 Permanent
Casting Time:          1 rd.
Area of Effect:         1 creature
Saving Throw:        Neg.

With this spell, the caster curses a single creature with cruel greediness and envy unless the victim succeeds in a saving throw versus spell. While under this curse, which can only be removed with a successful remove curse, limited wish, or more powerful spell, the victim feels intense envy towards any other creatures that possess items that they do not. They will seek to acquire such items by any means necessary, be it purchasing for a reasonable price, theft, or murder. They will choose whichever methods they feel will be most successful, but once they desire an item, they must act on the impulse within two days or begin to suffer debilitating physical pain. This pain manifests as a cumulative −1 penalty to Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution for each day that passes; acquiring the item restores one point in each stat per hour until a creature returns to their full ability scores. If any scores are reduced to 1, the target of this curse must make a system shock roll every day or die from exhaustion and pain. While under this curse, a victim suffers a −2 penalty on all reaction checks, as they are unable to totally hide their envy and jealousy.

A victim of this curse only feels greed towards items they do not have that are not common. For example, they would never feel envious over a common cloak, sword, or a gold piece, but they might if they encounter someone with a gold and emerald brooch, a magic sword, or a pouch of gems. Victims will tend to become stingy, but will not hesitate on spending money on necessities such as food or lodging, and they will pay reasonable prices for items they covet unless it would leave them with dangerously little cash. Items coveted are chosen by the DM, unless a victim has previously expressed interest in a particular item. Only one item will be the focus of a creature under the effect of this curse at a time, but once the item has been acquired, the victim will focus on the next eligible item they encounter. Property can become a creature’s focus, but only if there is a reasonable means to acquire it; they are unlikely to focus on a king’s castle, but may focus on a merchant’s ship or cart.

This spell has one further effect on a victim in the event that they encounter someone who desires to purchase or a acquire something that they possess. In such a case, the victim of this curse must make a saving throw versus spell, with a −1 cumulative penalty for each time the request has been made for the item (regardless of who make the request); if the save is successful, they may operate normally. If the save is failed, however, they fly into a rage and attempt to use the desired item on the asker. For example, if they possessed a sword, they may respond to a request to purchase it by running the requester through. Such attacks are immediate and as creative as need be to harm the requester, even if it damages or destroys the item in question.

The material components for this spell are the priest’s holy symbol and an emerald worth 500 gold pieces.

4 Responses to Thrig’ki the Rapacious

  1. Vancy says:

    Hey Auld, I’ve been following you for a while and have been watching your Spelljammer campaign on YouTube and Twitch. I’ve got a question for you as I consider you a kind of an authority on Spelljammer.

    I will be running a Spelljammer campaign and one of my players would like to create a spirit folk character. Now spirit folk are mentioned in the Complete Spacefarer’s Guide as potential spacefaring race, however it seems that only the sea variant can ever enter the Phlogiston, as for river and bamboo spirit folk this results in death. Now, the player would like to play a bamboo spirit folk from Kara-Tur. The beginning of the campaign takes place in Realmspace, so it would be okay, but eventually the problem of the Phlogiston would have to be addressed. I was thinking of making a character arc for him, that would result in “severing” his connection to his grove and to Realmspace. I’m not a fan of changing the rules though. The other solution is just forcing him to play a sea spirit folk, but I know that would make him upset. I would really appreciate your advice on this matter.

    • AuldDragon says:

      I tried to find any relevant information in Planescape or Oriental Adventures/Kara-tur products, but it doesn’t look like they ever addressed plane-hopping Spirit Folk, as that would be the most relevant.

      My first recommendation would be to make the risk of death gradual upon entering the Phlogiston, rather than instantaneous. Maybe they lose some hit points every day, depending on what you feel is appropriate. That way it isn’t a death sentence, but it would be dangerous. That could allow some short trips at lower levels if necessary. My second recommendation would be to allow the PC to find some sort of magic item that would serve to act as the connection needed. It might need to be periodically “recharged” by returning to the grove.

      Alternately, you could always just ignore that element of the rule.

      Hope this helps!

  2. Jon Winter says:

    Hey there! I was browsing your site for information on centaur deities and came across these neogi powers. I wrote the original Dragon article that introduced these horrible powers waaaaaay back in Dragon 214 and I love (but not like Thrig’ki loves) what you’ve done with them. Great job! Cheers, Jon

    • AuldDragon says:

      Oh wow, thanks! That really means a lot to me! That article was excellent and really inspired me a lot for how to work up these deities, beyond just the material you wrote about them. I’m glad I could do them justice! :D

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