One of the more interesting and less-developed races in Spelljammer were the stout grav, a race of miners who are able to manipulate gravity. The material presented for them makes no actual mention of a deity or faith that they follow or even priests, but it typically strikes me as unusual when races have no deities in D&D. Since the grav have featured heavily in the current leg of my Spelljammer campaign, it gave me ample opportunity to work on their culture and faith, and so I created the deity Kavor for them. Included with the PDF is the writeup for gravs as a PC or NPC race that I created as well.
Kavor (PDF Version)
(Lord of Gravity, the Weight of the World)
Intermediate Power of Mechanus, LN
Portfolio: Gravity, weight, stone, magnetism, density, Gravs
Domain Name: Mechanus/the Weight of Attraction
Allies: Celestian, Grumbar, Ptah
Foes: The Wise Queen, the beholder pantheon, the illithid pantheon, the neogi pantheon
Symbol: A perfect grey metallic sphere
Wor. Align.: LG, NG, CG, LN, N
The reclusive creator and patron of the gravs is Kavor, the Lord of Gravity. He is a subtle and serious power who focuses on the prosperity of his people while pondering deep philosophies on the nature of the multiverse. He is called the Weight of the World for he stoically takes all problems he encounters onto his own shoulders.
The gravish creation myth shares some similarities with dwarven myths, such that a few scholars of the divine contend that the gravs were in fact once dwarves. Gravs vehemently deny this, of course, and for sure the similarities between the races are little more than superficial, but still the theory persists. In their own telling, the gravs sprang forth from stone as the Lord of Gravity experimented to see how compact and dense, he could form the rocks. In this way the gravs are the children of stone coupled with the very essence of gravity, granting themselves a greater kinship with rock than any other race they have so far encountered. The mythological tradition of the gravish people is rich with stories about the exploits of Kavor, who is a great explorer of both the deep earth and the bast reaches of wildspace despite his reclusiveness. All stories involve lone travels and the problems and creatures the Lord of Gravity must overcome to both discover things about himself and the universe as a whole; the stories always end with him returning to the gravish homeworld of Greater Graviton to teach the nobility the lessons and knowledge he has gained. These stories have a secondary message, entrenching the elite right to govern with their literally god-given knowledge.
In his travels, the Lord of Gravity has made few allies, despite helping many races and peoples. This is in large part because he is often portrayed as having done so in secret; some few stories for example involve the redirection of a comet or asteroid that would have obliterated live on one planet or another. Kavor is simply not interested in thanks or rewards, wishing instead to solve problems that he encounters. Some scholars detect a certain arrogance in this behavior, much to the annoyance of gravish priests. By contrast, this solving of problems has put Kavor at odds with a handful of powers who have instigated the problems. The Lord of Gravity holds little enmity towards these powers, but he does actively oppose them where necessary; he’d much prefer if they just left his people alone and stopped causing problems that he must resolve.
Kavor resides in a realm located at the center of a hollow cog in the remote reaches of Mechanus. Within this ring-shaped gear floats a large featureless steel-grey sphere; the gear itself can be traversed normally but anyone who leaps or falls into the hollow is inexorably drawn to the sphere no matter what they do; flight and even teleportation magic fails in the face of Kavor’s pull. Such individuals always land safely and find an entrance to the sphere mere feet away, regardless of where they touched down. Within they find seemingly endless corridors and caverns of stone, and the Lord of Gravity’s throne at the center. Once within his realm, it is impossible to leave without Kavor’s permission. This is not to say Kavor imprisons or enchants those who visit his cog, however; the real reason is that the pull of the Lord of Gravity is just too great for mundane and magical means to overcome. Visitors to the Weight of Attraction find the inhabitants, and the master himself, generous, but Kavor himself is quite aloof and difficult to meet. So long as visitors have caused no harm or disruption within his realm, the Lord of Gravity will release them with nary a question; however, waits of days are common and can extend to months or even years if Kavor is pondering a weighty issue.
The Lord of Gravity is not very active on the Prime Material Plane, although it is said he was a more common visitor in the past. He rarely visits his followers; instead, his visits tend to be explorative in nature. The grav say he has been to most crystal spheres at least briefly, and they claim Kavor shares knowledge about good mining prospects with them but has never been known to appear and lead his people to any sphere in particular.
Kavor’s Avatar (Fighter 34, Cleric 28, Mage 20)
Kavor appears as a large grav with steel-grey hair and stone-grey skin flecked with mica. His stubby fingers and toes have thick nails that look like black iron, and his dense flesh and bones lend him a weight extraordinary for his size, as he weighs well over 600 pounds. He draws his spells from all schools and spheres, but only rarely uses those of elemental fire and water and prefers to avoid those spells with flashy effects.
AC −3; MV 12; HP 128; THAC0 −10; #AT 5/2
Dmg 2d4+17 (maul +5, +10 Str, +2 spec. bonus in maul)
MR 50%; SZ M (5 feet tall)
Str 22, Dex 13, Con 23, Int 19, Wis 19, Cha 18
Spells P: 12/11/11/10/9/9/6, W: 5/5/5/5/5/4/3/3/2
Saves PPDM 2; RSW 5; PP 4; BW 4; Sp 6
Special Att/Def: If he chooses to engage in melee, Kavor uses a maul +5 known as Gravity Drop. Any creature struck by this weapon must make a save vs. paralyzation or be stunned for 1d2 rounds; if this safe is failed, any item struck with the blow (armor for example) must make a saving throw vs. crushing blow or be destroyed. The Lord of Gravity can use this against objects to destroy them as well; an item saving throw vs. crushing blow determines if they are destroyed.
The Lord of Gravity can reverse gravity at will in addition to any other attacks or spellcasting he performs in a round. He may also cast lessen gravity, lighten load, magnetism, and weighty chest 6 times per day each. Once per day he can cast earthquake, distance distortion, and spacewarp.
Kavor is immune to weapons of less than +3 enchantment, as well as elemental earth attacks. He is unaffected by changes in gravity or magnetism, and his physical size and weight cannot be altered except by the power of another deity. Finally, his physical location cannot be moved by mortal creatures unless he wishes it, except by physical means or magic that would banish him back to Mechanus.
The Lord of Gravity rarely manifests his power to his followers, favoring instead omens and dreams that direct them towards particular goals. On rare occasions he alters gravity in ways that harm foes of his grav followers, including both extreme gravity or a reverse gravity field. Such effects never harm the grav. The omens and dreams he sends require interpretation but tend to still be simple and straightforward. He favors images that illustrate something to look out for, or configurations of stones or stars that carry some meaning or symbology relevant to a quest or mission a follower is undertaking.
Kavor is served primarily by grav einheriar, maruts, translators, as well as astereaters, cobalt dragons, denzelians, earth elementals, earth fundamentals, earth mephits, galeb duhr, gravislayers, horgar, rogue modrons, and sapphire dragons. He displays his favor through the discovery of rare and valuable gems and metals, magnetic metal dust forming unusual patterns and designs, and unusual gravitational fluctuations. His displeasure is displayed through uncomfortable gravitational fluctuations, the creaking of caverns that carry a sound that causes goosebumps, and ferrous items suddenly becoming strongly magnetic.
Clergy: Clerics, specialty priests, monks
Clergy’s Align.: LN
Turn Undead: C: Yes, SP: No, M: No
Cmnd. Undead: C: No, SP: No, M: No
All priests of Kavor receive religion (grav) as a bonus nonweapon proficiency.
Grav priests are fully integrated within the feudal structure of grav society. Powerful lords can count multiple temples as vassals among their various direct holdings, while minor lords will be served by at least one priest who administers to their serfs. The clergy takes a hand in encouraging work by describing how the Lord of Gravity created the gravs to mine endlessly because the order of the universe dictates it to be. Extracting the wealth from the stone is just an added benefit, or so they preach. Along with the wizards of grav society, Kavor’s priests are often called upon to be diplomats with outside races, so they often maintain some contact with other faiths of space. They favor a philosophy of live-and-let-live; those who leave gravs alone will be left alone in turn. As such they are on amicable terms with the faith of Ptah, although they brook no attempts at proselytizing among the Miners. They much prefer the company of followers of Celestian, although they are taciturn when that group’s curiosity turns towards gravish society and lifestyle. They’ve had some dealings with the insectare, and respect that race’s noninterference in gravish life, although they have yet to encounter any priests of Klikral. By contrast, they despise the followers of the beholder, illithid, and neogi pantheons as slavers and predators, and their only contacts with the Wise Queen’s k’r’r’r have been hostile.
Temples dedicated to Kavor are heavy-walled structures combining gothic and brutalist architecture styles. They feature a large stone monolith that acolytes hone their skills on by keeping it aloft constantly, although the largest and wealthiest temples may enchant the stone to permanently defy gravity. This monolith always features an iron or steel sphere embedded in it near the top of the front face. Smaller temples often have to make do with a priest or acolyte levitating a smaller monolith only during ceremonies if they do not have enough acolytes to lift it at all times. These monoliths also have a sphere embedded in them, while small chapels and shrines are similarly designed, on yet an even smaller scale.
Novices in the service of the Lord of Gravity are known as the Unlifted. Full priests of Kavor are known as the Unbounded. In ascending order of rank, titles used by the Kavorite clergy are Pumice, Sandstone, Shale, Slate, Limestone, Marble, Basalt, and Granite. High-ranking priests have unique individual titles. Specialty priests are known as gravitars. The priesthood of the Lord of Gravity is perfectly divided between males (50%) and females (50%). Specialty priests (64%) dominate the clergy, with the remainder consisting of clerics (30%) and monks (6%). Only gravs may be members of the clergy.
Dogma: Gravity is the force of attraction and weight; the Lord of Gravity has granted gravs power over this force as his chosen people. Use the power to more efficiently mine the stones of many worlds, searching for the riches they contain. Maintain order in society the same way the Lord of Gravity’s favored stones are ordered in the earth.
Day-to-Day Activities: Kavor’s clergy work to maintain the proper social order in their lord’s realm. They teach the people of the proper hierarchies as established by the Lord of Gravity and ensure that the Miners work hard in their professions. Most members of the clergy are lesser scions of Elite families, and many often have social duties due to these relations. They are also often diplomatic envoys or oversee negotiations within gravish society and without. Many priests are well-versed in searching for mineral-rich uninhabited planets and asteroids as well, and as such serve as advisors on such expeditions.
Important Ceremonies/Holy Days: The Mass of Mass is a major holy day held at the start of a new year in the gravish calendar, which is the first day of spring on Greater Graviton; the seasonal day varies on other colony worlds. All members of a community gather to hear a lengthy and weighty sermon on the importance of order within society, typically within the temple or shrine or in a large public space if the temple interior isn’t large enough. The sermon starts at noon and ends at sundown, followed by a sumptuous public feast paid for by the lord of the town or community. No work is allowed on this day or the day after in celebration of Kavor’s gifts to the gravish people.
Outside of this day, there are a number of holy days held in honor of ancient heroes, Elites, and Miners who proved significant to the local community or to their overlords or overlord’s overlords. Local priests either hold a ceremony in their temple or pay short visits to small gatherings in the community to remind the gravs about who the heroes were and what they stood for. A typical community has one to two dozen such honorings in each calendar year, and all members are expected to free themselves from work for the day.
Major Centers of Worship: The most significant temples in gravish society are located on their homeworld, but gravs make no pilgrimages to these locations; they are simply the oldest temples located in the densest population centers.
Affiliated Orders: The Order of the Grave Burden is a far-flung monastic order that creates isolated monasteries dedicated to contemplating esoteric philosophies on the nature of the multiverse. Each monastery is sponsored by a full-fledged and wealthy temple, and is nominally subservient to that temple, but they generally act with autonomy. Young acolytes and nobles are often sent to those monasteries that have long histories for educational purposes; as such these monasteries also often become great repositories of knowledge.
Priestly Vestments: Grey robes are worn by priests when conducting services. These robes are made of sturdy leather of the same type used for Miner work outfits, and they are covered with pockets for tools and personal items. Rank is shown by beads or polished stone panels set at the waist or breast of the robes; the stone used for these beads or panels matches the rank title of the individual priest, with high-ranking priests using gemstones or other valuable materials instead. The holy symbol used by the priesthood is a perfect sphere of steel or granite, about two and a half inches in diameter. This sphere may be worn as an amulet or attached to a rod, weapon, or tool.
Adventuring Garb: Members of the clergy wear garments suitable to their personal and familial wealth status. As most members of the clergy come from Elite families, this tends to be clothes of a workman cut, but made of expensive materials and brightly colored. Armor is used on occasion, but rarely better than scale armor. Weapons that have evolved from mining tools are the favored and most common weapons among the grav.
Specialty Priests (Gravitars)
Requirements: Constitution 12, Wisdom 12
Prime Req.: Constitution, Wisdom
Weapons: Club, dagger, mace, mattock, maul, military pick, pellet bow, sledge, sling, spade, staff, staff sling, warhammer, any mining tool
Armor: Any, no shields
Major Spheres: All, creation, divination, elemental, healing, law, numbers, sun, thought, time
Minor Spheres: Guardian, necromantic, travelers, wards
Magical Items: Same as clerics plus special
Req. Profs: Planetology (CGR1)
Bonus Profs: Zero-gravity combat (CGR1)
- Gravitars must be gravs.
- Gravitars are not allowed to multiclass.
- Gravitars receive a +4 bonus to saving throws against any spells that alter their weight, size, or gravity, and are allowed a base saving throw of 20 to avoid any such magic that ordinarily allows no such save. In this latter case, the +4 bonus still applies, as does any other general modifiers the gravitar may be receiving at the time.
- Gravitars can cast strength of stone or weighty chest (as the 1st-level priest spell) once per day.
- At 3rd level, gravitars can cast lighten load (as the 2nd-level priest spell) or soften earth and stone (as the 3rd-level priest spell) once per day.
- At 5th level, gravitars can cast dig (as the 4th-level wizard spell) or magnetism (as the 4th-level priest spell) once per week each.
- At 7th level, gravitars can cast move earth (as the 6th-level wizard spell) and passwall (as the 5th-level wizard spell) once per week each.
- At 9th level, gravitars can cast gravity variation (as the 6th-level priest spell) or reverse gravity (as the 7th-level wizard spell) once per day.
- At 12th level, gravitars can cast spacewarp (as the 7th-level priest spell) once per week.
Gravity Blast (Pr 3; Alteration)
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 6
Area of Effect: 5 x 40 ft. wedge, 60-ft. long
Saving Throw: Special
By means of this spell, the caster unleashes a wave of fluctuating gravity in a fan-shaped area in front of them. All creatures and loose objects caught in the area are wildly tossed about by the fluctuating gravity. Loose objects of less than 10 pounds are tossed in a random direction using the grenade-like missile chart (but they never go in the direction of the caster), traveling 2d10 feet. Heavier objects will topple or shift by a handful of feet, depending on their nature. Creatures are similarly affected; a saving throw versus spell is allowed to avoid being knocked prone. Failure indicates they’ve been tossed to the ground within a few feet of their original position. A second saving throw is necessary to determine if the wildly fluctuating gravity disorients them; a failure indicates that they are unable to do more than stumble about or roughly pick themselves back up for 1d3 rounds. Finally, regardless of the saving throws, all creatures suffer 2d8 points of damage from the mixture of loose objects and having gravity momentarily increase and decrease in rapid succession; no save is allowed to reduce this damage. Gravs and other creatures with natural control over gravity are immune to the effects of this spell.
The material component for this spell is the priest’s holy symbol.
Random Gravitation (Pr 5; Alteration)
Range: 5 yds./level
Components: V, S, M
Duration: 1 rd./level
Casting Time: 8
Area of Effect: 30-ft. cube
Saving Throw: None
When this spell is cast, gravity begins to randomly fluctuate in an area. On any given round, the direction of gravity will be in one of six directions, as determined by a six-sided die roll:
Roll of Gravity
At the beginning of each round after the spell is cast, the d6 is rolled and the chart is consulted; all creatures and loose objects immediately fall in the direction indicated. If any hard surfaces are located in the direction of the fall, creatures suffer 1d6 points of damage for every ten feet they fall; if there is a significant amount of loose debris, stones, or equipment in the area as well, creatures must roll a saving throw versus wands or suffer double damage as they strike against these objects. If a creature falls out of the area of effect in a horizontal direction, total damage is halved, and they are prone for the remainder of the round. If they fall out of the area of effect in an upwardly direction, local gravity reasserts itself and they find themselves floating at the edge of the two directions of gravity; loose objects can still deal damage at the rate of 1d6 points of damage per ten feet fallen by the creature. Any flying creatures in the area of effect are allowed a saving throw versus petrification to reorient themselves; a failure indicates they were unable to do so and they lose control and fall in the direction of the localized gravity.
The material components for this spell are the priest’s holy symbol and top set within three concentric metal rings that can move about it; such an object typically costs 100 gp to manufacture.
Neutralize Gravity (Pr 6; Alteration)
Range: 5 yds./level
Components: V, S, M
Duration: 1 rd./level
Casting Time: 9
Area of Effect: Cube, 5-ft/level to a side
Saving Throw: None
Where the reverse gravity spell reorients gravity in the opposite direction from how it naturally exists, the neutralize gravity spell completely eliminates gravity in the area of effect. All creatures within the area or entering it while it persists become unmoored from the ground and float in the direction of their original inertia. Creatures with the zero-gravity combat proficiency are allowed to make a check to determine if they can control their movements in the area of effect, while most other creatures are limited to flailing about. Floating movement typically has a rate of 3, although those with considerable inertia may float more rapidly at the DM’s option. Any creatures that float out of the area of effect immediately fall to the ground as gravity reasserts itself, suffering normal falling damage. Similarly, all creatures floating when the spell expires suffer the same fate.
The material components for this spell are the priest’s holy symbol and a piece of pumice and an inflated bladder.