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 Ancient cultures / empires worshiping devils
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Trumm
Acolyte

6 Posts

Posted - 26 Aug 2023 :  15:37:36  Show Profile Send Trumm a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Hi everybody,

this is my first actual post outside the "Well met"-section and I hope that you knowledgeable sages can give me some advice.

I'm currently running a campaign set in the Vast where my PCs act as agents of the Six Coffers Market Priakos (1370 DR).

I want to convert the Pathfinder adventure "The sixfold trial" to have the party asume the guise of a theater troupe, to gain entrance to the house of a representative
of the Iron Throne in Tantras and steal an item from him. The adventure includes an actual stage play, the PCs can play through, which is set in an devil worshipping society.

Now I'm looking for an ancient culture / society of Faerun that would fit the part of worshipping devils (or at least a lawful evil deity with a similar outlook).
Unfortunately I haven't been successful so far.

The worhsip of Bane in Zhentil Keep would actually fit well, but I want the play to refer to some ancient and fallen culture / empire,
so it can be performed without causeing direct political frictions.

Netheril might be an alternative option as well, as Narfell with it's history of worshipping demons, although this would take a lot more work to convert.

If you could give me a lead here, I'd be very grateful.

Regards
Trumm

Edited by - Trumm on 28 Aug 2023 21:54:09

DoveArrow
Seeker

97 Posts

Posted - 26 Aug 2023 :  17:13:34  Show Profile Send DoveArrow a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There are a few that might fit the bill:

Iyachtu Xvim was the son of Bane and had a cult following that took over Westgate. When Bane died, he took over his father's portfolio until his father resurrected himself from his son's living body, thus killing him.

The Toril Thirteen were a group of warlocks who created their own line of tieflings after forging a pact with Asmodeus.

Kyuss discovered the remains of an ancient island civilization in Maztica that contained metal plates containing dark secrets, including prophecies of something called the Age of Worms.

Jergal is an ancient deity and was the original god of murder, death, and strife. Tired of maintaining these portfolios, he eventually turned them over to Bane, Bhaal, and Myrkul. He is now a minor deity in the Forgotten Realms pantheon. However, it's possible that in the distant past, there was some forgotten civilization who worshipped him that may have also consorted with devils.
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Trumm
Acolyte

6 Posts

Posted - 27 Aug 2023 :  10:49:11  Show Profile Send Trumm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks a lot for your response.

The older incarnation of Jergal seems to fit quite well, as he was part of the Netherese pantheon.
Another option for the neteherese setting could be the worhsip of a very stern, law-focused aspect Amaunator.
The play is meant to include a series of harsh trials in the name of the deity, which is why I am looking for
this certain kind of strict, condemning religious / cultural setting.

This actually got me thininking that it will be probably best to remove the devil-worshiping completely.
Netheril, Amaunator and Jergal have that classic "ancient Realms" vibes im looking for, whereas I never was
a huge fan of the recent lore regarding Asmodeus / asmodean tieflings etc.

As it is only a stage play, the historical facts don't have to be too accurate anyway.
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Delnyn
Senior Scribe

USA
890 Posts

Posted - 27 Aug 2023 :  18:40:34  Show Profile Send Delnyn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Aryvandaar had Malkizid as its secret patron. That will get get you a very ancient empire and a former archdevil to boot.
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sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11719 Posts

Posted - 28 Aug 2023 :  14:19:40  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Haven't seen the adventure, but "The Dark Pit of Maleficence" may work for you. It is down in the Shaar. It served as a focal point for a schism within the church of Bane led by Algashon and a "heretical" sect of the Cult of the Dragon following Tuelhalva Drakewings. To note Algashon is the one who led Sammaster down the path of evil and to the formation of the Cult of the Dragon from being a chosen of Mystra and lover of Alustriel.

https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Dark_Pit_of_Maleficence

https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Tuelhalva_Drakewings

https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Algashon_Nathaire

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Trumm
Acolyte

6 Posts

Posted - 28 Aug 2023 :  21:52:27  Show Profile Send Trumm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thank you very much for your responses and suggestions!
I'll check them out.
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7974 Posts

Posted - 29 Aug 2023 :  08:02:51  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Elder Evils are always an option. Although that's a bit too Cthulhu-ish for traditional Realms settings.

The Cult of the Dragon is the old standby when you need an evil villain/group. But they're about evil dragons and evil liches, they're not about evil demons and evil devils.

The Seven Lost Gods who once bowed before Bane are an excellent choice. A perfect choice.

Maram (of the Great Spear), Haask (the Voice of Hargut), Borem (of the Lake of Boiling Mud), Camnod (the Unseen), and the infamous Tyranthraxus (the Flamed One) were all active in the area for a long time before Bane came along and subjugated them into his service.

They were introduced in the FRC1: Ruins of Adventure (Pool of Radiance) module. Tyranthraxus was described in detail but the others were basically just named (although they received more attention in later sources, especially Monuments of the Ancients).

They are still worshipped by small, primitive, superstitious groups of humans and monsters North of Phlan on the Moonsea: Thar, The Ride, The Tortured Lands, Vaasa, Damara, and beyond. Your PCs might interact with somebody evil from one of these tribes, with an entire evil cult of them, or with wealthy powerful NPCs who are being fooled/manipulated/extorted by their evil cult advisor(s).

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 29 Aug 2023 08:31:37
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36782 Posts

Posted - 29 Aug 2023 :  14:25:04  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

The Cult of the Dragon is the old standby when you need an evil villain/group. But they're about evil dragons and evil liches, they're not about evil demons and evil devils.



Tiamat likes abishai baatezu, per her write-up in Powers & Pantheons -- and was working to gain power within the Cult of the Dragon. It's a bit of a stretch, but there's a potential angle.

Of course, her interest in the Cult is a more recent thing (post-ToT), so it's not the best option for an ancient culture/empire. Modern, yes. Ancient? That would be more of a stretch.

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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7974 Posts

Posted - 29 Aug 2023 :  18:51:56  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
"Ancient" Tiamat - under 1E rules and descriptors - was basically the guard dog of the Nine Hells.

If you stumbled into the first layer of Hell, Avernus, then it was just a matter of time before a "random" encounter with Tiamat occurred.

I don't think she had any influence in worlds beyond that, aside from (probably?) being the mythic template for Takhisis on Krynn.

[/Ayrik]
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Delnyn
Senior Scribe

USA
890 Posts

Posted - 30 Aug 2023 :  18:03:04  Show Profile Send Delnyn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

"Ancient" Tiamat - under 1E rules and descriptors - was basically the guard dog of the Nine Hells.

If you stumbled into the first layer of Hell, Avernus, then it was just a matter of time before a "random" encounter with Tiamat occurred.

I don't think she had any influence in worlds beyond that, aside from (probably?) being the mythic template for Takhisis on Krynn.



Tiamat was (correctly this time) mentioned as battling with Marduk in the Babylonian Mythos section of 1e Deities and Demigods.
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LordofBones
Master of Realmslore

1488 Posts

Posted - 01 Sep 2023 :  07:13:59  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Single and multispheric powers weren't a thing until 2e, IIRC.

EDIT: As for devil worshiping societies, I'd say that most cults to LE powers could work. Bane's the big one, but there's no reason that you couldn't refluff Loviatar's to work, although Pathfinder's kytons aren't exactly devils.

Edited by - LordofBones on 01 Sep 2023 07:30:20
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Trumm
Acolyte

6 Posts

Posted - 01 Sep 2023 :  12:14:44  Show Profile Send Trumm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thank you very much for your kind an helpful responses.
This is not to be taken for granted.
Cheers!
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