Tapann the Undying

Originating in The Ecology of the Korred by Ed Greenwood (Dragon #119), Tapann is referenced occasionally in Forgotten Realms material as the god of korreds of the High Forest. Similar to Damh (and merged with him in later material), he is an interesting sylvan power outside of the Seelie Court, and represents an active force in the preservation of korred life and lands.

Tapann (PDF Version)
(The Undying, Father of the Dance, the Horned Dancer, the Horned Leaper, Lord of Korreds)
Lesser Power of Limbo, CN

Portfolio:                 Korreds, dancing
Aliases:                     None
Domain Name:           Limbo\Tapann’s Hill
Superior:                   None
Allies:                       Baervan Wildwanderer, Corellon Larethian, Damh, Erevan Ilesere, Lurue, Mielikki, Muamman Duathal, Nobanion, Oberon, Sharindlar, Shiallia, Silvanus, Skerrit, Titania, Uthgar, the centaur pantheon, the Seelie Court, the Seldarine
Foes:                           Auril, Malar, Moander (dead), the Queen of Air and Darkness, Shar, Talos, the goblinoid and orcish pantheons
Symbol:                     Laughing mouth
Wor. Align.:             NG, CG, N, CN

Little known except by those korreds who worship him, Tapann (ta-PAHN) the Undying can often be found wandering ancient, primeval forests. He is known to many korreds as the Father of the Dance and seen as the origin of their own magical dances. Similarly, he has been called the Horned Dancer and the Horned Leaper by those who have witnessed his own dances deep in verdant woodlands.

The origins of Tapann are murky, not least because korreds maintain no written records. Among those who worship him, he is seen as an immortalized hero figure who became a deity due to his vibrant lifeforce and the respect korreds have for him and his teachings. Some myths describe the very first korred dance as being led by Tapann, who continued dancing even as every other korred collapsed from exhaustion. The channeled power from this endless dance infused Tapann, elevating him to true divine status. The Father of the Dance kept returning to korred communities to lead them in dances, and through this became firmly established in the faith of many korred communities. In this way he is seen more as a patriarchal figure rather than the patron figure of Damh, who is often worshipped alongside Tapann. Not every korred community recognizes Tapann’s existence, however, while there are also some that worship him solely; such divisions are usually quite broad, encompassing whole continents or worlds rather than finding such variance within multiple communities that can be found in large contiguous sylvan lands.

The Horned Leaper is on excellent terms with friendly nature and sylvan deities and is especially close to Damh and Oberon of the Seelie Court. While he doesn’t consider himself a part of that group, Titania treats him much as she does any Outer Circle member, and he is often thought of as such by other powers. He is a staunch ally of the Seldarine and has even forged a friendship with the wandering dwarven god Muamman Duathal. His closest relations, however, are with his two divine children. Shiallia, his daughter by the dwarven goddess Sharindlar the Merciful, is a fertility deity worshipped by many sylvan creatures in the northern forests of the world of Toril, while his other child is the nature spirit from the same region known as Tree Ghost. Tree Ghost’s mother is unknown, and speculation sometimes involves the Oak Princess Verenestra, although there are as many other stories as there are leaves on a tree. Tree Ghost voluntarily serves the warrior demipower Uthgar, and it is through this relationship that Tapann has forged a tentative alliance with the Father of the Uthgardt.

Tapann’s home on Limbo, a hill studded with standing stones, echoes with music and the rhythmic sound of hooves dancing, although he is frequently absent visiting other planes and powers. The Horned Dancer’s avatars are extremely active on the Prime Material Plane, and he often participates in dance and celebration with his followers. He aggressively defends korred communities against major threats by sending an avatar or korred proxy if he is able.

Tapann’s Avatar (Bard 27, Druid 20, Fighter 16)
Tapann appears as a large, muscular male korred with a wide grin and coarse black hair and beard. A pair of goat-like horns sprout from amidst his hair, and he always wears a rough, simple tunic of bearskin or owlbear hide. Belted at his waist is a bulging sack filled with shorn hair and assorted other items. He draws his spells from all spheres and schools, but favors those from the charm sphere and the school of enchantment/charm.

AC −4; MV 15; HP 192; THAC0 5; #AT 5/2 or 2
Dmg 1d12+15 (cudgel +3, +10 Str, +2 spec bonus in cudgel) or 1d8+12 (shears +2, +10 Str) or 2d6+10 (fists, +10 Str)
MR 50%; SZ M (6 feet tall)
Str 22, Dex 19, Con 23, Int 20, Wis 17, Cha 21
Spells P: 11/11/10/8/7/5/2, W: 5/5/5/5/5/5/1
Saves PPDM 2; RSW 4; PP 5; BW 4; Sp 5

Special Att/Def: If he chooses to engage in melee combat, Tapann typically uses Rhythmstick, his cudgel+3. He also carries Strandcutter, a pair of large shears +2 that can sever any rope, vine, chain, or other fibrous binding of less than divine creation with a simple attack roll if he desires. Finally, lacking either of these weapons, he will lay about him with his powerful fists.

The Horned Leaper can laugh in addition to other actions he takes, so long as he did not laugh in a previous round. The laugh affects all foes within 90 feet, with a saving throw versus breath weapons at −6 allowed to avoid the effects. His laughter can have varying effects; there is a 10% chance creatures are affected by reverse gravity for 2 rounds, a 10% chance creatures are feebleminded, a 20% chance creatures are affected by Otto’s irresistible dance for 1d6+2 rounds (creatures affected are unable to move more than 10 feet from their original position), and a 60% chance creatures are stunned for a like amount of time. Tapann can weave any loose hair into a rope and animate it within a single round. Such ropes cause creatures to trip (as the spell), bind, or otherwise hinder creatures, as well as mimic the effects of a rope of constriction, a rope of entanglement, or a Quaal’s feather token: whip. Further, these ropes can also inflict Otto’s irresistible dance on those touched for 1d4+1 rounds unless a save versus spell with a −3 penalty is successful. All animated, enchanted ropes obey his will, even those under the control of other creatures. With a touch, the Horned Dancer can consecrate holy water (up to a half gallon) and cause a creature or object to be enveloped by faerie fire. At will, he can cast stone shape, animate rock, stone door (as plant door, but with unlimited distance and planar destinations are possible; up to a dozen living creatures may accompany him if he desires), shatter rock, vanish rock (up to 7000 lbs., stone is transported to the ethereal plane), transmute rock to mud, and stone tell. Once every two turns, Tapann can heal himself or another creature by touch. Finally, he can transmute any inorganic material (up to 7 pounds per round) into a substance called “alunrum,” which has the appearance and properties of the original material, but becomes pure gold at the touch of holy water.

The Horned Dancer is immune to poison, disease, enchantment/charm spells, and any magic that would affect his emotions or impede his movement (hold person, slow, web, etc.). He can only be struck by weapons of +1 or better enchantment. He regenerates 2 hit points per round.

Other Manifestations
The Horned Dancer uses manifestations of music and laughter to guide or warn his followers when necessary. These manifestations sometimes affect foes as Tasha’s uncontrollable hideous laughter and Otto’s irresistible dance, giving his followers time to escape. Loose hair may become enchanted and weave itself into a rope, mimicking a rope of climbing, rope of constriction, or rope of entanglement, under the command of the last korred to touch it. However, he much prefers sending one of his korred proxies or an avatar if a community of his followers are facing existential danger. His attention may also be drawn by korred dancing a circle dance in order to heal an injured creature or transmute non-organic material into alunrum, which they can turn into gold with holy water. In such cases where he is unable to attend in person, the Horned Dancer may heal (as his avatar) or transmute up to 7 pounds of material to “alunrum.”

Tapann is served by normal wild animals of all sorts, bacchae, bariaurs, cervidal guardinals, feystags, galeb duhr, treants, and tressym. He displays his favor through the ephemeral sounds of joyous laughter and music from drums, harps, and pipes, as well as the discovery of agate, amber, emerald, gold, goldline, rutilated quartz, fallen branches perfectly sized for cudgels, and unattended musical instruments. The Horned Leaper shows his displeasure through ephemeral music that is offkey or has a variable rhythm that would disrupt attempts at dancing.

The Church
Clergy:                      Clerics, druids, shamans
Clergy’s Align.:      CG, N, CN
Turn Undead:           C: Yes, D: No, Sha: No
Cmnd. Undead:         C: No, D: No, Sha: No

All clerics, druids, and shamans of Tapann receive religion (korred) as a bonus nonweapon proficiency.

While Tapann’s followers aren’t as reclusive as many other sylvan communities, neither are they particularly social either. They are very protective of their territories and activities, often acting aggressively towards those who trespass even if this is done accidentally. However, despite their desire for privacy, they are strong allies when threats against a whole sylvan land looms, and act as powerful defenders against invaders, often far exceeding the effectiveness their numbers might otherwise indicate. Communities that worship the Horned Leaper also tend to be on good terms with nearby communities of dwarves and rock gnomes, and it is through the faithful that these races may come to the aid of sylvan creatures they might otherwise not give assistance to.

True temples and shrines are not built by the clergy of Tapann. They worship the Horned Dancer beneath the open sky in woodland clearings or on top of clear hills. In each sort of location, they set up a ring of boulders or raise a ring of standing stones within which their religious practices are held. They make no further decoration or alteration to the land, save to ensure the locations remain clear and open to the sky.

Novices in the service of Tapann are known as Laughlings, while full priests known as Sylvan Dancers. No hierarchy exists within the priesthood of the Horned Leaper, and every full priest who desires a title creates their own. Specialty priests are druids. The faith of Tapann supports somewhat more males (56%) than females (44%). Druids (60%) dominate the clergy of the Horned Dancer, with shamans (25%) and clerics (15%) rounding out the total. Korreds (86%) make up the vast majority of the priesthood, while the remainder consists of satyrs (5%), centaurs (3%), elves (2%), humans (2%), dwarves and gnomes (1%), and other sylvan creatures (1%).

Dogma: Dance and laughter are the purest expressions of joy. Glory in the natural rhythms of living things. Cherish and admire skilled and acrobatic dancing by any creature. Dance under the open sky to express your gratitude for life. Dance for enjoyment with all your might. Let none interfere with these sacred expressions; those that do must show penance by joining in.

Day-to-Day Activities: Like most sylvan creatures, followers of Tapann live their lives by their whims. They enjoy their privacy but are not recluses; they seek out and enjoy companionship and friendship as well. They are quick to play music and engage in dance and are eager to share these passions with other creatures with whom they are friendly with. They have few formal duties that they must uphold, and so it is easy for outsiders to miss priests of the Horned Leaper among others of their kind.

Important Ceremonies/Holy Days: The Horned Dancer’s faithful hold worship ceremonies once every week. The exact day varies by community, as does the time, but they are always held under an open sky on a hilltop or in a forest clearing. These ceremonies consist of a long rhythmic dance accompanied by music from drums, whistles, and non-verbal singing. They celebrate life, and are freeform and vary each time, rather than following specific fixed patterns. Privacy is extremely important for these weekly dances and even close allies are rarely allowed to watch or participate. Those who intrude on the dance are magically compelled to participate until exhaustion overcomes them.

Major Centers of Worship: Korreds are not known for wanderings or pilgrimages, and any locations they hold sacred are kept secret from outsiders. As such, few sacred sites are known even to the wider sylvan community. Rumors sometimes spread about such locations, but rarely is concrete information known. One such rumored location is Tapann’s Leap, said to exist within the High Forest of northern Faerûn on the world of Toril. No adventurers have been able to confirm its existence or location, although it is believed to be a high rock from which Tapann leapt, either while escaping hostile creatures or while performing a dance with other korreds, depending on the story.

Affiliated Orders: The clergy of Tapann sponsors no martial or monastic orders.

Priestly Vestments: Other than an aura of respected authority, little sets the Horned Leaper’s clergy apart from their fellows. They wear the same sorts of outfits as lay followers even during ceremonies, but the faithful can recognize them instantly by the way they carry themselves. The holy symbol used by the priesthood is a small medallion made of the caster’s hair twisted and braided to look like a mouth.

Adventuring Garb: Members of Tapann’s clergy favor staves and cudgels as weapons when traveling or expecting trouble, although they always carry shears that can be used in a pinch. If they wish to keep their distance, throwing stones and slings are preferred over other sorts of weapons, although bolas and throwing sticks aren’t unheard of. They use light armor of natural materials like leather if they wear any armor at all; rarely do they done anything made of metal or heavier than hide, and they only rarely use shields.

Specialty Priests (Druids)
Requirements:          Strength 15, Wisdom 12, Charisma 15
Prime Req.:                Wisdom, Charisma
Alignment:                N
Weapons:                   Bolas, club, cudgel, dagger, dart, knife, shears, sickle, sling, spear, staff, throwing stick
Armor:                       Padded, leather, or hide and wooden, bone, shell or other nonmetallic shield
Major Spheres:         All, animal, charm, combat, creation, elemental, healing, plant, sun, time, weather
Minor Spheres:         Chaos
Magical Items:         Same as druid
Req. Profs:                Dancing
Bonus Profs:             Survival (woodland)

All of Tapann’s specialty priests are druids. Their abilities and restrictions, aside from changes noted above and later in this section, are detailed in full in the Player’s Handbook.

  • Tapann’s druids may be korred, satyrs, centaurs, elves, or humans.
  • Druids of Tapann are not allowed to multiclass.
  • At 2nd level, druids of Tapann can cast Tasha’s uncontrollable hideous laughter (as the 2nd-level wizard spell) once per day.
  • At 10th level, druids of Tapann can cast Otto’s irresistible dance (as the 8th level wizard spell) once per day.

Tapann Spells
In addition to the spell listed below, priests of the Horned Leaper can cast the 6th-level priest spell endless dance, detailed in Powers and Pantheons in the entry for Shiallia.

1st Level
Hair Growth (Pr 1; Alteration)
Sphere:                    Animal, Creation
Range:                     Touch
Components:           V, S
Duration:                 Instantaneous
Casting Time:          4
Area of Effect:         1 creature
Saving Throw:        Neg.

By means of this spell, the caster causes a single creature’s hair or fur to grow. If the caster chooses to make their own hair grow, they have complete control over the length, thickness, and other properties, although they are limited by the normal growth patterns and length for their race. For example, if the caster belongs to a race that grows beards but lacks head hair, they cannot use this spell to grow such hair. Similarly, if the caster’s race can never grow beards longer than six inches, this spell is unable to grow beard hair longer than that. However, this spell does allow hair growth that would not otherwise be possible due to age, injury, or gender.

When cast on a another, willing creature, the caster has the same restrictions as above, but they can only cause growth of a quarter inch per level maximum. However, if this spell is cast on an unwilling creature, the effects are substantially different. In such a case, the spell causes wild and uncontrollable hair growth everywhere a target already has hair, including facial or head hair that has been shaved, although a successful saving throw versus spell stops the growth after a quarter of an inch. Hair growth is 1 foot per caster level, and while the growth itself cannot cause direct harm to the target, it can easily get tangled, cause a trip, etc. the likelihood such a situation arises is 10% per 6 inches of hair growth per round, to a maximum of 95%. A bonus or penalty may be applied to these numbers by the DM based on a creature’s size, the local environment, or other such considerations. Spending 1d10 rounds cutting the hair with shears, a knife, or a dagger allows a creature to function normally; this time is reduced by 1 round for each additional person cutting hair.

Only creatures with hair or hair-like fibers are affected by this spell. Attempting to cast it on other creatures has no effect. Once grown, the newly grown hair cannot be dispelled, although it radiates faint magic for one turn.

3rd Level
Animate Rope (Pr 3; Alteration, Enchantment/Charm)
Sphere:                    Creation
Range:                     Touch
Components:           V, S, M
Duration:                 5 rds. + 1 rd./level
Casting Time:          6
Area of Effect:         1 rope
Saving Throw:        Special

By means of this spell, the caster may animate a length of nonmagical rope to function as either a rope of entanglement or a rope of climbing. The user must touch the rope to be animated, and if it is in the possession or use of another creature that would not wish the animation, that individual is allowed a saving throw versus spell to prevent it. Thus, a saving throw is warranted if the caster attempted to animate a rope while someone was climbing it, or if a creature was carrying a coil of rope over their shoulder.

The type of rope animated is chosen at the time of casting and cannot be altered for the duration unless this spell is cast again. If cast on a magical rope, this spell causes the rope to stop functioning for 1d4 rounds, acting entirely as nonmagical rope. Note this does not cause a magical rope that has been tied to an object to automatically untie itself. Finally, at 15th level, a priest can choose to animate rope as a rope of constriction that will never attack the priest, although it can attack allies.

The material component for this spell is the rope to be animated, which is not consumed in the casting.

6th Level
Tremor Trample (Pr 6; Alteration)
Sphere:                    Elemental Earth
Range:                     0
Components:           S, M
Duration:                 Instantaneous
Casting Time:          1 rd.
Area of Effect:         Special
Saving Throw:        Special

This cooperative spell may be cast by a single priest or in concert with up to four other hoofed worshipers of Tapann, including priests. Those participating in the casting of this spell must either line up behind the caster or fanned out behind in a wedge shape; priests who participate in the casting must also cast a copy of this spell at the same time. This spell transforms the drumming of hooves into a minor, localized earthquake that fans out from the leading spellcaster in a wedge shape that is 10 feet long and 5 feet wide for each level the caster has attained. Each additional spellcaster adds half their level to this total, and non-spellcasting assistants add the number of hooves they possess to the total (i.e., satyrs and korreds add 2, centaurs add 4, etc.). The area extends half as deep into the earth as the wedge is wide and can affect subterranean structures and creatures. Those caught within the area of effect suffer 1d4+1 points of damage per 2 levels of the caster, with the adjusted caster level used if this spell is cast cooperatively. This damage is limited to 10d4+10 if cast singly, but there is no limit if the spell is used cooperatively. Any creatures caught in the area of effect must make a Dexterity check (or a save vs. paralyzation if a creature possess no Dexterity score) or be knocked prone. A successful saving throw versus breath weapons halves the damage. Normal and giant animals, and sylvan creatures are allowed a saving throw vs. spell to completely avoid the damage and harmful effects of this spell.

This spell must be cast on earth or stone to function. It fails if cast on ice, sand, wood, or similar surfaces. It can affect structures as a half-strength earthquake spell, and as the area of effect extends into the earth, this can collapse a building from within, although such casting is likely to have dire consequences for the caster. It never harms animal burrows or the animals within them, nor does it damage or topple normal trees.

The material components for this spell are the priest’s holy symbol and a small drum.

4 Responses to Tapann the Undying

  1. camelotcrusade says:

    Yay, you made him, even though he wasn’t on the master list. Thank you! ^-^

  2. Barastir says:

    Another good one. In the PDF, I’ve noticed that the “-3” in the second paragraph of the Att/Def section is in red and with doubled negative signal (–3).

    Further, these ropes can also inflict Otto’s irresistible dance on those touched for 1d4+1 rounds unless a save versus spell with a –3 penalty is successful.

    • AuldDragon says:

      Thanks, I fixed them on the blog post. I don’t think I’ll reupload the PDF unless I notice some other more critical errors. I always appreciate the fresh eyes on things! :D

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