In DSR1 and DSE1, we’re given details of Er’thork, a raaig who inhabits the catacombs beneath Othand, the site of the Black Sand Raider camp.
He’s noted as being an undead priest. What do we think his patron element in life was? Given the state of the desert around Othand, I was going to go with Earth. That would make the black sand some sort of curse levied upon or by Er’thork (probably upon…)
The only descriptor in Dragon’s Crown about the catacombs is a sunburst symbol on the armoury doors, which might suggest Sun, or perhaps Fire.
Has anyone homebrewed this or have any thoughts?
I’m thinking Er’thork was more a shaman than a full-on priest per his bio in Slave Tribes. Specifically “still paying homage to dark gods”.
Based on where you stand in the gods-did-or-didn’t-exist argument, Er’thork may have been worshiping a real or false Sun deity.
Alternatively, you could still justify him being a full priest but was instead granted his abilities by some evilly aligned elemental spirit (e.g. Square of Gurdek, the earth-aligned clerics in Yathazor).
he is described as a former priest of a long-vanished city, worshiping ancient dark gods, surrounded by nightmarish winged statues. I see him as a priest whose ambitions are doomed because the god he worships no longer has access to Athas. Maybe it wasn’t even a god but rather a demon from the descriptions in the crypt. was he fooled?
Besides, I like to think that the objects given to Zeburon are cursed remains or that he believes cursed and that he could well use them to achieve his objectives.
Given that later in Dragon’s Crown a golden sunburst appears as the symbol of the Wind Mages at Dasaraches, maybe it was a preserver stronghold? It also has apparently secret correspondence about the psionatrix…
I’ve never liked the idea that Green Age Athasians worshipped false gods. It makes no sense when the elements are there and give divine abilities.
I’ve always figured that (barring a few exceptions), most Green Age gods were either figureheads empowered by the elements or else supremely powerful Elemental Lords.
Mmm I like the idea that of “gods” more being anthropomorphized versions of the very abstract “Elemental Lords.”
Back in the day (almost 30 years ago!) I went with Fire.
I loved the Black Sand Raiders as villains in the West part of the Tyr region and the Silt Stalkers in the East.
As I subscribe to the school of thought that think gods on Athas were a thing, my working theory on this problem is this:
During the Blue Age the conduits required for the existence of gods were in a nascent state or out of whack, while the conduits linked to the elemental planes were already fully formed. The use of the Pristine Tower to kill the brown tide either supercharged them or shifted them into place, and allowed for gods to be formed during the Green Age, only for the third use of the PT by Rajaat/champions to kill the flow of power, either by destroying the less stable divine conduits (as they had to pierce through the gray in order to reach the outer planes) or shifting them out of place once again, where they decayed and were destroyed completely by the Gray.
Depending on the source, if it was Rajaat whose use of the PT to create the champions (as opposed to the champions later using it to turn themselves into 1st level dragons and Borys into a full one) changed the color of the sun, then he may tried (and succeeded) to kill 2 birds with one stone- creating immortal champions and killing the gods of his enemies who might have interfered with his plans.
The living vortices could may well be the last remnants of these divine conduits