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Bokû And Ailikií – Gods Of The Islands

In the days before time, when U’o, the Sky-Mother, was birthing the world, all was empty.  In her laboring, she cried out in pain, and from her howls was born Bokû, the War God of Fire.  The fire of his anger burned slowly, yet perceptibly.

The world broke forth from U’o’s womb.  Bokû’s anger erupted, and he stabbed at it with longspear.  The piercings became the first volcanos of the newly-born world.  Like their father, they erupted in anger, burning the islands and mountains and plains in their vicinity.  The peoples in their vicinity cowered in fear, for what else can mortals do in the face of an angry god?

But, something unforeseen occurred.  From the afterbirth of the world sprung Ailikií, the Trickster.  The waters of his birth settled in the low lands of the world, and became the swamps.

Seeing his brother, Bokû became enraged.  He thrust his longspear at Ailikií, piercing him on the left side of his chest.  Ailikií let loose a scream of agony, which came from the wound.  His breath swirled around Bokû, confusing him as the image of a great serpent circled around his neck.  Bokû grabbed at his throat, intending to yank the serpent off of him before he passed out.  But when he did, the serpent disappeared, and Bokû knew he had been deceived.

But it was enough to distract Bokû.  Ailikií charged forward, raised his fist, and struck Bokû on the jaw.  Bokû dropped to the ground, and Ailikií withdrew to the swamps.  Bokû awoke, his anger again burning deeply, but slowly.  He plotted his revenge against Ailikií from within his volcanoes.

Bokû’s Worshipers

Worshipers of Bokû live in the surroundings of active and dormant volcanoes.  Fearful of their god, they live to appease his anger.  Bokû demands his followers wage ritual war on one another.  The defeated tribe must supply their most powerful warrior as the sacrifice to Bokû.  The victorious tribe wins the honor of performing the ritual sacrifice.  If Bokû is pleased by the sacrifice, his anger will abate.  If he is unhappy with it, woe be to the tribes, as Bokû’s anger will explode, raining ash and lava down upon all the tribes of the land.

Clerics of Bokû tend to be the leaders of the tribal war-parties.  Like their god, they usually command by fear, and punishment is usually harsh.  Bokû teaches that strength and anger are virtues to extoll, and mastery of them are key to personal perfection.  Bokû is most pleased when his followers hunt down and destroy worshipers of his brother, Ailikií.

Bokû, God of Volcanoes, is also known as the Lord of Anger, the Volcano King, and the War God of Fire.  He is Chaotic Evil, and provides the domains of Evil, Fire, Strength, and War to his clerics.  His favored weapon is the Longspear, and his holy symbol is an erupting volcano, usually carved upon a disk of igneous rock.

Ailikií’s Worshipers

Worshipers of Ailikií live in and around low-lying swamps.  Ailikií teaches his worshipers that to be unseen or unconsidered are the keys to living a good life.  An enemy who can not find you can not harm you.  If you must fight, then appearance is more important than reality.  Appear strong when you are weak, or appear numerous when you are few; strike when the enemy is confused, and withdraw to build up your strength.

Clerics of Ailikií tend to be shamans of the tribes and councilors to the chieftains.  They perform the rituals marking important holidays, births, deaths and weddings.  Like their god, they tend to be quiet and unassuming.  The death ritual usually consists of piercing the deceased’s eyes with a snake’s fang, and dumping the body into slow-running or stagnant water.  Ailiki’i claims the body in his own time.

Ailikií encourages his followers to take chances, for he rewards such audacity, much as happened in his first battle with Boku.  His clerics meditate for days in the swamps.  The gases in the area produce intense hallucinations, through which Ailikií sometimes will reveal his will in these visions.

Undead are of little concern to Ailikií.  The spirits of mortals go on to their final reward, and the bodies will be claimed by Ailikií.  Undead are tools, and his clerics may do with them as they see fit.

Ailikií, God of the Swamps, is also known as the Trickster, the Body-Eater, and the Illusion-Maker.  He is Chaotic Neutral, and claims the domains of Air, Death, Luck, and Trickery.  His favored weapon is the Unarmed Strike, and his holy symbol is a serpent’s skull.

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Posted by on Tuesday, 7 February 2012 in Gaming

 

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RPG Collection (Partial)

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Submitted for your perusal, I give you my entry for Day 2 of Speak Out With Your Geek Out.

A big part of what defines my Geek is my love of RPGs.  You might expect this from a blog called Elf Steaks & Halfling Bacon.  But, to me at least, Geek is more than just collection – it is obsession.  It is not enough to have the most common books, you must have all.  It is not enough to have what you need, you must have what you might need.  No, scratch that – if you see an RPG book that you know you will never, ever play, but you like the artwork, or you heard a friend talk about it once, or maybe you like the designer or the dice mechanics, then you must have it.  And, come hell or high water, you must never, under any circumstances, rid yourself of any book, ever!!!

The picture you see is not my entire collection.  What you see is only the top half of those two bookcases.  And not all of my RPGs are in these two bookcases, either.  (N.B. I admit, there are some non-RPG books here.  Sue me.)  Now, I know that my collection is not the largest by any means.  But I do know that my non-geek friends don’t understand my need to buy, read and keep all of these books.  Other than obsession, I can’t really explain it.

So, to me, part of Geek is the need to collect, and never lose.

 
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Posted by on Tuesday, 13 September 2011 in Gaming, Personal

 

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My 4E Setting Wishlist

Greyhawk Box Set

It seems the setting from Wizards of the Coast for 2011 will be the Neverwinter Campaign Setting.  Other than the minor issue I have that it is actually part of the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, and not a setting in its own right, I look forward to its release and plan to purchase it.  Still, it has me thinking about other settings from the old TSR that I’d really love to see updated to 4E.

Greyhawk How could I start a list of settings without Greyhawk.  It’s the biggie – the setting to end all settings, at least for so many of us who got our start in the early 1980s.  Obviously, E. Gary Gygax’s role in both Dungeons and Dragons and  Greyhawk has a huge influence on so many folks’ feeling of nostalgia for this setting.  Add to that the fact that it was demoted from 3rd Edition’s “Default Campaign Setting” to historical footnote, and you have more than a few folks who really would like to see 4th Edition Greyhawk.  It’s a traditional, generic fantasy RPG setting, too, so updating shouldn’t be too terribly problematic.

Planescape

Planescape This setting set so many standards in atmosphere, concepts, RPG artwork.  Philosophies changed not only worlds, not only planes, but the entire multiverse at times.  Get enough residents in a town on the planes to change their minds on an idea, and that town could pop out of existence on one plane and be transported to another.  New ideas mean serious consequences, to be sure.  The interplay between Factions lead to deep roleplaying and pitched battles, and not necessarily to exclusion.  (OK, they are not diametrically opposed, but you get my drift.)  This is anything but traditional or generic fantasy RPG, so there would have to be a lot of work to update it to 4th Edition, not the least of which is the loss of four alignments.  Despite the difficulty, I think Planescape is a very worthy candidate.

Spelljammer

Spelljammer Back off!  Yes, it is so often derided, but I love this setting.  Its use as a unification of all settings was merely a side-effect – it was a setting in its own right.  Almost all of the supplements focused on locations within wildspace itself.  The image of a warrior standing on the deck of a ship in space is oh-so-evocative.  I would love to see a 3-dimensional ship-to-ship combat system for 4th Edition, as well as a Spelljammer Helm, different racial ships, and the giant space hamster.  OK… forget the giant space hamster.

Council Of Wyrms

Council of Wyrms I’ll admit – I wan’t at all crazy about this setting in 2nd Edition.  You get to play a dragon, a half-dragon or a servant to a dragon?  No, thanks, I’ll pass.  But, that was back then.  Now, however, with 4th Edition, we actually have a dragon-inspired player-character race, the Dragonborn, built into the core rules.  We finally have a good foundation upon which to build Council, rather than tacked-on rules.  I think 4E can make this setting work now, and make it work properly.

What are your thoughts?  Do you have any favorite settings that you would like to see updated to the latest edition?  How about, like Council of Wyrms, any setting that didn’t work for you before, but could benefit from the current ruleset?  Let me know in the comments below.

 
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Posted by on Monday, 1 August 2011 in Gaming

 

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