Originally published in Dragon Magazine #298 for 3rd Edition, Keptolo offered a nice alternative to Vhaeraun and Selvetarm for male drow living within the matriarchal societies of Lolth-worshipping drow, and had some connections with another deity I plan to work on Zinzerena. Further, he had no strong connections or contradictions with other material, so he was a great candidate for writing up as a 2nd Editions deity. Enjoy!
Keptolo (PDF Version)
(The Eager Consort, Lolth’s Trophy)
Demipower of the Abyss, CE
Portfolio: Flattery, intoxication, rumor, opportunism, drow males
Domain Name: 66th Layer/Lolth’s Web (the Demonweb Pits)
Allies: Kanchelsis, Lolth
Foes: Blibdoolpoolp, Darahl Firecloak, Deep Duerra, Diinkarazan, Diirinka, Eilistraee, Ghaunadaur, Great Mother, Gzemnid, Ilsensine, Ilxendren, Laduguer, Laogzed, Maanzecorian, Piscaethces the Blood Queen, Psilofyr, Selvetarm, Vhaeraun, Zinzerena, the Seldarine
Symbol: Stylized mushroom
Wor. Align.: LN, N, CN, LE, NE, CE
The Eager Consort of Lolth, Keptolo (kep-TOE-low) represents the male drow ideal within the context of the Spider Queen’s mandated matriarchal society. He supports and flatters his mistress, and by so doing gains a measure of her power and authority for himself. He is a conniving rumormonger and opportunist, watching for any chance to increase his or Lolth’s power. Finally, he is said to be Lolth’s Trophy, for his charismatic beauty and ability to entertain her in a variety of social and private ways.
Some legends trace Keptolo’s origins to the very beginning of Seldarine, either fathered in the same way by Corellon Larethian as the other elven powers or springing forth from the mingling of Corellon’s blood and Sehanine’s tears and gaining apotheosis later. These tales claim that Keptolo was granted his name by Corellon himself, and for a time he stood with his brethren among the Seldarine. But there was darkness in his heart, and he was drawn to Araushnee’s side, eagerly becoming her secret consort and confidant as she organized the anti-Seldarine attack on Arvandor. Other tales portray him instead as being an early and charismatic leader among the drow during their early banishment, keeping the strongest and wisest members of the dark elves safe on their descent beneath the earth. His beauty and intelligence caught the Spider Queen’s eye, and she elevated him to godhood as her consort after he pledged his undying and everlasting devotion and support. Whatever the story of his origins, they make clear the Eager Consort’s utter loyalty to his mistress.
In his loyalty to Lolth, Keptolo represents the traits considered ideal for males to possess in drow societies dominated by the Spider Queens clergy. He uses his intelligence and skills to aid and protect his mistress, while also gathering power for himself and ensuring he ever retains his position at Lolth’s side. He is an observant power, keeping close watch for dangers to his mistress and himself, but also opportunities to aid her or increase his standing. As a skilled speaker, he is also adept both at flattery and viscous rumors, using the power of words to sooth his mistress and sow discord among his enemies; similarly, he is skilled and quick-witted enough to point out overlooked flaws in Lolth’s plans without raising her ire too greatly. Finally, he is a passionate debauch and entertainer, able to please his mistress and himself in all the varieties drow society offers. He never completely loses his wits to such drink and entertainment, however, for these activities too can present opportunities to entrench his power.
Utterly within Lolth’s shadow, Keptolo maintains few relations with other powers. He has forged an uneasy alliance with Kanchelsis through their shared love of the greatest debauchery drow society has to offer, but the Eager Consort holds no great trust in the Lord of Vampires. In essence, the alliance is purely transactional; Keptolo feeds Kanchelsis’s desires and in return the Eager Consort gains magic and forces he can use against his enemies. Outside of the Lord of Vampires, Keptolo has been keeping an eye out for other depraved powers who he can gain benefit from without great risk or effort on his part but has yet to approach any. He maintains antagonism towards his mistress’s foes as a practical measure, but he holds a genuine dislike for many of them as well. He maintains his focus on those most likely to undercut Lolth among the drow, such as Ghaunadaur, and her children of Eilistraee and Vhaeraun. Vhaeraun the Masked Lord gains special attention, as both lay claim the the ideal of drow maleness, and Keptolo wishes to rid himself of this challenge to his portfolio. In addition, the Eager Consort seeks to undermine Selvetarm in order to ensure Lolth’s Champion cannot usurp Keptolo’s primacy as the Spider Queen’s favored consort. However, Keptolo’s true hate is reserved for one power: Zinzerena the Hunted. The exact reasons for this hatred vary from world to world, but the most common story is that he sponsored her apotheosis, either as a ploy to gain more power or to have his own divine servant and spy. However, the Princess of Outcasts managed to hoodwink Keptolo by gaining a portion of his power but with no binding between them and fled to the Prime Material Plane and out of his reach. He gained a measure of satisfaction when her manifestation in the sphere of Realmspace was slain by Lolth during the Time of Troubles, but it was a fleeting feeling. If he has any real weakness, it is his hatred and desire to destroy the Princess of Outcasts, which may cause him to act rashly and without thought in the future.
As he is unable to send his avatar to the Prime Material Plane himself, Keptolo must rely on Lolth to send him there. He is careful about the way he makes such requests and makes a point to spend as long as he comfortably can on these trips, getting as much pleasure and business done as possible. While on the prime, he recruits spies and assassins, attempts to gain useful magic, and engages in as much debauchery as he can.
Keptolo’s Avatar (Thief 23, Bard 20, Fighter 16)
Keptolo appears as an enchantingly handsome drow male with smoldering violet eyes and soft white hair. He favors silk clothes of high nobility in only the most fashionable cuts and colors, although crimson is a common shade in his ensemble. He wears the cloak of a noble hunter in dark shades and the finest cloth. He favors spells from the schools of divination, enchantment/charm, and illusion/phantasm, although he can cast spells from all schools.
AC −2; MV 12; HP 161; THAC0 5; #AT 7/2
Dmg 1d8+11 (long sword +2, +7 Str, +2 spec. bonus in long sword) and 1d4+9 (dagger +2, +7 Str)
MR 70%; SZ L (6 feet tall)
Str 19, Dex 21, Con 18, Int 19, Wis 19, Cha 22
Spells W: 4/4/4/4/4/3
Saves PPDM 4; RSW 4; PP 5; BW 4; Sp 5
Special Att/Def: Keptolo wields both Flattery, a filigreed long sword +2 and Gossip, a thin-bladed poignard dagger of venom +2, when engaging in melee. Flattery charms any living creature struck by the weapon (as charm monster with a −2 penalty to the saving throw), while Gossip poisons any target on a hit that is 5 better than needed; injecting Type E poison (onset instantaneous, death/20) with a −2 penalty to the saving throw. He also carries a hand crossbow of speed +2 named Rumor and a quiver of 20 bolts +1 on his hip. However, he much prefers to avoid combat, using his honeyed tongue to diffuse a violent situation, or at least redirect it if possible. Often, he will take an opportunity to subtly eliminate those who have threatened him at a later date.
The Eager Consort can cast clairaudience with triple the range and duration three times per day, and at will make a suggestion to any creature he speaks with. Finally, once per day he can cast charm person, charm monster, enthrall, feeblemind, and poison as well.
Keptolo is immune to poison and disease, mind-controlling magic and psionics, and can only be struck by weapons of +1 or better enchantment. His hunting cloak functions as a cloak of displacement that retains its powers even against a true seeing spell.
Keptolo keeps his manifestations on the Prime Material Plane to a minimum, lest he inadvertently disrupt one of his mistress’s plans. When he does choose to exercise his power, it is typically in subtle ways that draw a follower’s attention to some unnoticed fact, action, or item that can benefit them in their scheming or aid their own mistress’s plans. Somewhat more dramatically, the Eager Consort has been known to grant a follower a temporary clairaudience ability, rarely for any longer than an hour, when there is something of import for them to overhear. In addition, a follower may find themselves temporarily immune to the side effects of ingesting intoxicants; such an ability lasts only so long as the follower need keep their wits about them. Some members of the faith who have benefited from this manifestation claim it is a mixed blessing because the full effects of all they took part in is visited upon them when the immunity expires. Finally, Keptolo occasionally works to bring together a member of his faith with one of Lolth’s priestesses by drawing the male’s attention to her and enhancing his Charisma temporarily in a similar manner to the friends spell. The male drow must still prove himself valuable, and The Eager Consort has little patience for those unwilling to do so. This manifestation is typically undertaken at the behest of the Spider Queen herself.
Keptolo is served primarily by cambions and incubi, as well as abyss ants, alu-fiends, deep dragons, fallen and corrupted eladrin, male driders, quasits, shadow hounds, spiderstone golems, succubi, and tanar’ri. He displays his favor through the discovery of fine clothing and jewels, and his displeasure is displayed through the discovery of such items that bear the house insignia of traitors.
Clergy: Clerics, specialty priests, thieves
Clergy’s Align.: CN, LE, NE, CE
Turn Undead: C: No, SP: No, T: No
Cmnd. Undead: C: Yes, SP: No, T: No
All clerics and specialty priests of Keptolo receive religion (drow), religion (elven), and reading/writing (drowic) as bonus nonweapon proficiencies.
Keptolo is only poorly known outside of drow cities dominated by Lolth’s faith. Within such communities, he is widely venerated by male drow who wish to advance their positions within the matriarchal society rather than subverting or destroying it. He is especially popular among the festhalls and taverns where his name is synonymous with drink and debauch; a male drow who is said to have “gained Keptolo’s favor” is one who managed to catch the eye of a female drow of at least middling power, even if only for a night. The Spider Queen’s clergy encourages males to take the Eager Consort’s tenets to heart as a means of keeping them loyal and not rebellious.
Temples dedicated to Keptolo are more like small shrines, typically attached to larger temples of Lolth. They are typically hazy from braziers that burn intoxicating incense constantly, and dominated by an altar shaped like a large, stylized mushroom. Thick curtains hide many small, private chambers off the main temple chamber, and soft comfortable cushions are everywhere. Shrines are found throughout drow cities where his faith is found, as well as the surrounding caverns. Typically, the shrines are simple niches with a carved mushroom on the back surface, with space before it to burn intoxicating incense.
Novices in the service of the Eager Consort are called the Callow. Full priests of Keptolo are called Consorted Lords. The rigid hierarchy of the church is determined by the power and position held by a priest’s mistress; those members of the full priesthood who have yet to attract a mate within one of the houses of their community are relegated to the lowest rank of the priesthood. Advancement within the ranks is primarily accomplished by improving the position of one’s mistress or engineering the downfall of another matron whose consort is higher ranked. Assassination is also used, although the priesthood passively discourages such things. Specialty priests are called voluptuaries. Only males may be a member of the church, with specialty priests (80%) dominating the smaller numbers of clerics (16%) and thieves (4%). Only drow (99%) and a tiny number of half-elves of drowic descent (1%) are found within the clergy.
Dogma: Feed the vanity of your mistress, and all her treasures shall be yours. Be careful who you offend and keep an expendable companion nearby to hold culpable for your crimes. Gossip can be as deadly as the venom on an assassin’s blade. Use the poison of words to destroy your rivals, that you may claim for yourself all they once presumed was theirs.
Day-to-Day Activities: The clergy of Keptolo strive primarily to achieve positions of power and comfort. They believe in the social order dictated by the clergy of Lolth, and work to advance their great house in order to gain the rewards of excellent service that come with their house gaining greater prominence. They are typically averse to physical labor, favoring roles such as advisors, philosophers, or spies. This can often lead others to underestimate them in combat; despite their aversion to physical work, many enjoy exercise and are skilled with weapons. In addition, they work to master the art of rhetoric in order to manipulate those around them with words and gossip, and many are skilled poisoners and assassins. Those priests tied to a specific temple or shrine, rather than allied to a great house, work to ensure the social order is maintained and often work to ferret out traitors, malcontents, and other disruptive elements, especially among the male population. They are sometimes called upon to be arbiters in inter-house disputes as well.
Important Ceremonies/Holy Days: The Keptolar clergy venerate all of Lolth’s holy days alongside followers of Lolth, as is proper for followers of her consort. In addition, midsummer day is venerated as the Courting, when the Spider Queen took Keptolo as her consort. This ceremony is a celebration of the role male drow play in supporting their matriarchs and is used to reinforce the social order of their society. The celebrations start with great extollations of the Spider Queen and the most politically powerful houses within the community, who are often sponsors of the event as well. Following this praise, a raucous revel starts with a wide variety of intoxicating substances available to followers and visitations by paid staff from the local festhalls.
Major Centers of Worship: The largest and most important temple dedicated to the Eager Consort is located in the Vault of the Drow, Erelhei-Cinlu, on the world of Oerth. Located in the center of the great plaza known as the Concourse, the Consort’s Arena has a deep fighting pit located next to the temple structure that features regular duels and combats, and the priesthood restrict viewing in the private seats to those attendees who are politically powerful or have great physical beauty. Passers-by on the streets can still watch the spectacle, but the view is never as good as the private seats.
Affiliated Orders: The Keptolar church sponsors neither martial nor monastic orders, although there are rumors that they maintain a secret sect of spies and assassins known as the Consort’s Blades.
Priestly Vestments: The garments worn by the clergy of Keptolo tend to follow the current trends for male drow fashion and are always made from the most expensive cloth the priest can afford; the more expensive their vestments, the more deference they expect from other priests. These garments are made from black, charcoal grey, or very dark green cloth, with crimson accents or accessories. A hunter’s cloak is always worn as well, black on the outside and deep green or crimson on the inside. Headwear and hairstyles always follow the latest fashion. It is considered especially gauche within the clergy to not keep up with the latest fashion trends. The holy symbol used by the clergy is a silver, gold, or platinum disc (depending on the personal resources of the priest) inscribed with a stylized mushroom. Many male drow outside of the clergy also wear such amulets as it has become a symbol of fertility and virility.
Adventuring Garb: When not performing official duties, Keptolo’s clergy wears fashionable yet comfortable clothing suited for their task. Expensive clothing is expected when attending the matriarch of their house, while a trip to the local tavern for revelry and information gathering will tend to include ruder garb that blends in with the other patrons. If combat is expected, drow mail armor is their favored form of protection, worn under their clothes; most members of the priesthood prefer to arm themselves with sword, dagger, and hand crossbow.
Specialty Priests (Voluptuaries)
Requirements: Wisdom 11, Charisma 14
Prime Req.: Wisdom, Charisma
Armor: Any, no shields
Major Spheres: All, chaos, charm, combat, creation, divination, guardian, healing, thought, wards
Minor Spheres: Necromantic, protection, sun (reversed)
Magical Items: Same as clerics
Req. Profs: Dagger, drinking (PHBR10)
Bonus Profs: Etiquette
- Voluptuaries must be drow or half-elves of drow extraction.
- Voluptuaries are not allowed to multiclass.
- Voluptuaries can select nonweapon proficiencies from the warrior and rogue groups without penalty.
- Voluptuaries can move silently and hide in shadows as a thief of the same level.
- Voluptuaries can select the two-weapon fighting style weapon proficiency.
- When wielding a dagger or similar small, bladed weapon (dagger, dirk, knife, stiletto, etc.) in their off-hand, voluptuaries make normal melee attacks with this weapon with a +1 bonus to hit and damage. The weapon is not treated as magical for the purposes of what creatures it can injure.
- At 2nd level, voluptuaries can cast friends or ventriloquism (as the 1st-level wizard spells) once per day.
- At 4th level, voluptuaries can cast enthrall (as the 2nd-level priest spell) or misdirection (as the 2nd-level wizard spell) once per day.
- At 6th level, voluptuaries can cast clairaudience or suggestion (as the 3rd-level wizard spells) once per day.
- At 9th level, voluptuaries can cast poison (as the reverse of the 4th-level priest spell, neutralize poison) or undetectable lie (as the reverse of the 4th-level priest spell, detect lie) once per day.
- At 12th level, voluptuaries can cast domination or feeblemind (as the 5th level wizard spell) once per day.
Create Intoxicating Food and Drink (Pr 3; Alteration)
Range: 10 yds.
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 turn
Area of Effect: 1 cu. ft./level
Saving Throw: None
Much like the create food and water spell, this spell creates one cubic foot of food or drink per level of the caster, in any combination. However, this food and drink has properties of highly intoxicating substances such as alcohol. While not as bland as the create food and water spell, the material created is far less nutritious, providing only half the sustenance of that spell. In addition, any creature that ingests or imbibes the substances created by this spell will quickly become intoxicated, suffering impaired faculties. Typically, this includes a –2 penalty to Dexterity and all attack rolls, a +2 penalty to initiative as well as Intelligence and Wisdom checks, and a +2 bonus to Morale; the DM may customize these effects to suit an individual creature or as they see fit. If less than a full portion of the food or drink is consumed, creatures may suffer less than the full effects of intoxication, at the DM’s option. This spell cannot create specific foods, nor can it recreate specific types of beverages. The food and drink created with this spell lasts twice as long as that created by create food and water. If purify food and drink is cast on the material created with this spell, it becomes the exact same as that created by create food and water, losing all of its intoxicating properties.
Venom Weakness (Pr 3; Necromancy)
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 6
Area of Effect: 1 container of liquid
Saving Throw: Neg.
With this spell, the caster is able to enchant a container of liquid such that any creature imbibing it will become more vulnerable to poisons and venoms for a period of time. Any liquid so enchanted has a subtle change in flavor; this is easy to detect for mild-flavored liquids like water. In more strongly flavored drinks, such as most alcoholic beverages, this subtle change is virtually undetectable. Upon imbibing the enchanted liquid, the individual must make a saving throw versus spell; failure indicates that the spell takes effect, applying a −4 penalty to all saving throws versus poison for the next 24 hours. A successful saving throw indicates the imbiber detects that something is off with the drink. This spell is frequently used as a prelude to a poisoning, in an attempt to ensure the poison has its intended effect on the victim.
The material component for this spell is a mixture of rare herbs and powdered metals worth no less than 100 gp, which must be sprinkled into the liquid at the time of casting.
Misheard Words (Pr 4; Enchantment/Charm)
Sphere: Chaos, Thought
Range: 30 yds.
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 7
Area of Effect: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Neg.
This spell is similar to the mistaken missive spell but affects spoken words. A priest can cast this spell on an individual and identify a single spoken communication that individual has heard (for example, “the last statement the half-elf Belenth announced in this hall” or “that statement that dwarf whispered a few moments ago”), and it will be altered. A total of one sentence per three levels of the caster can be altered, and the priest need not have heard the statement. The target of this spell is allowed a saving throw versus spell to avoid the effects of the magic and need not hear the priest picking the statement to be affected. The caster receives no indication if the target is affected and must determine on their own if it has worked.
Immediately after this spell is cast, one element of the statement is subtly altered; it still makes complete logical sense, but an object, a name, or a location may be changed. For example, a statement such as “Give 100 gold pieces to the merchant you find at the end of Dock Street and return here with what he gives you” may indicate the location is Canal Street or indicate the money should be given to a beggar. For each day that passes, another element changes and the changes can be more complex, such as changing “here” to “the Sword and Shield Tavern.” Finally, by the seventh day, the statement will have become completely different, and often contradictory. The target of this spell is completely unaware of the change, believing they heard the modified statement exactly as they recall it
The material component for this spell is a thick cloth stretched over the open top of a cup.