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 Cult of Camazotz in Katashaka
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7519 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2017 :  20:14:33  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Wow.... sometimes it is spooky weird how much different designers who have never even met traverse similar paths. Ever since a couple months back when I actually reread Ed Greenwood's "Down to Earth Divinity" from Dragon #54, I'd been thinking about including Camazotz since he's listed as an official beast cult "lord of bats" for the forgotten realms (yet nowhere have I seen him used yet). I started looking into both the bainligor and the desmodu, and since the bainligor was the official forgotten realms "bat folk", I figured I'd use them. I figured I'd do a giant bat that is Camazotz that is known as a nyamma-numo (aka Kaiju in Katashaka), which is his actual Torilian presence/manifestation/avatar. I was also thinking about using the Supay gnomes from "TWC2 Lopango Land of the Sacred Sun" as followers as well, until I realized that dates wouldn't match up for that (so then I decided that the Supay would be an enemy of this cult because both worship similar but different gods). However, I wanted it to be more than just bat folk... so I was looking for another race and was playing with darklings, but they burst with light when they die.... and I was playing with the idea of derro, since I can picture them riding on the backs of giant bats and being "bat sh*t" crazy.

So, I recently got kobold press's "demonic cults & secret societies", and in it there's "The Cult of the Demon Bat". I was already looking to have vegepygmies working for some "naturey"/"isle of Dr. Moreau" hags (who also have flying monkeys and apes and girallons) nearby, and this product has these cultists turning people into fungus... like vegepygmies kinda. That sparked some interesting ideas in my head as well to improve that concept. So, I started writing up the below.


The Cult of Camazotz is a group of derro led by warlocks, priests, and sorcerers who live beneath the Black Hills of the Cave Lizards and have several small temples scattered beneath the jungles of western Katashaka. They were attracted to the Black Hills region centuries ago from Manu-Ni-Maloa, land of the Nyamma-Numo, where they worshipped a giant bat like creature known to them as Camazotz, the Lord of Bats (the exact nature of this being is the center of some religious debate). A group of orcs possessing sorcerous talent ruled the Black Hills, including the troglodytes which infested the nearby upperdark caverns. Unbeknownst to these orcs however, these upperdark tunnels connected to the tunnels that lead into Manu-Ni-Maloa. The derro were sent forth to subvert the troglodyte population and begin gathering these magic wielding jungle orcs for sacrifice upon the blood altar of Camazotz.

The derro cultists were successful in their subversion of the troglodytes, who did not care for their orc masters in the first place. They also discovered a weakened population of bat folk in the deeper caverns beneath the black hills, which these derro took to be a sign of favor by their god. Calling themselves the Bainligor, these primitive bat folk had been forced from their homes in the west by lava filling the tunnels of their underdark home several centuries earlier. With the aid of their new troglodyte and bainligor allies, the derro cultists soon were able to quickly gather numerous sorcerous orcs to sacrifice. Though the remaining jungle orcs fled north to the Lopango peninsula, Camazotz was pleased. The Lord of Bats commanded the derro cultists to expand into the surrounding territories, rewarding the most effective leaders over time with the gift of lycanthropy, changing them into derro werebats, or occasionally derro vampires.

The Katashakan Bainligor, unlike their faerunian counterparts, never fully lost the ability to fly in their homeland, and with the coming of the derro, many of their younger tribesmen returned to the surface jungles of western Katashaka. As a result, the Katashakan Bainligor are able to fly for short periods of time before needing to rest. They are great hunters of the giant insects, reptiles, and other humanoids which infest the nearby jungles, but when times are tough, they are known to be able to scavenge from even rotting and diseased corpses with little to no issue. Much like the Faerunian Bainligor, these bat folk continue to grow their entire lives. When they are young, they are size small, growing to medium size in adulthood, and as they become more elderly they grow as large as an ogre. Eventually elder bainligor begin to hear the voice of Camazotz and follow it to his temple in Manu-Ni-Maloa, wherein they undergo a ritual transformation into “Revered Ones”, a form of large undead bat folk the size of a Hill Giant none of which appear to be exactly the same and all of whom possess strange powers or spellcasting ability. At present, there are known to be at least twelve “Revered Ones” within Katashaka, each of which rules a tribe of Katashakan bainligor. While these Revered Ones rule the surface contingent of the cult of Camazotz, it is actually the derro deep beneath the surface which provide them direction, though most surface folk do not even know the derro exist.

Over the past four centuries, the cult of Camazotz has kept its conflicts within the interior of the Katashakan jungles. To their east, they have preyed upon the scattered tribes of froglike grung and sivs amongst ancient ruins of previous civilizations, many of whom they have turned into slaves. To their west, they have come into conflict with lizard folk, serpent men, bird folk resembling parrots and toucans, and the gnolls living on the outer edges of Yithakar. To their north, they have had limited conflicts with the folk of Shimmani, City of the Cat Queens, but find them more useful as trade partners. To their southeast, they found jungles known as the Wilderlands of the Green Empress, filled with vegepygmies, myconids, tree blights, girallons, winged monkeys and apes, and ruled over by a powerful and large group of hags working in cooperation.

It was from the hag culture that they learned of vegepygmy spores, and the derro soon learned that they could prepare vegepygmy flesh, which they call vegepyg meat, in such a way that they could eat it and flavor it in numerous ways as it takes on the flavor of what its cooked with easily. With their regenerative nature, it is not unusual to find derro slicing off pieces of their servants to cook their dinners with. Furthermore, they have learned via experimentation that vegepygmies that are allowed to feast upon the more colorful frog folk known as grung, the resulting vegepygmy flesh takes on a psychotropic reaction capable of producing powerful hallucinations which they believe to be visions. They have learned to trade this hallucinatory plant flesh with the residents of Shimmani for necessary supplies, though they must carefully prepare this into a weaker form than the derro are used to using, for it is toxic in strong doses to most other humanoids. Using special collars to control the primitive minds of the vegepygmies, the derro have learned to turn enemy captives into vegepygmy servants and guardians, and they use this threat to keep their other servants in line.

In the last decade, at least one of the Revered Ones and his tribe of bainligor have been sent north into the Lopango Jungles, along with a contingent of derro, to seek out the jungle orc sorcerers who fled Katashaka. Camazotz requires their hearts on his sacrificial altar. However, in doing so, they have discovered other even more palatable offerings in the forms of the red wizards who have so recently come to their shores, as well as the Supay Gnomes (see the DM's Guild offering of TWC2 Lopango Land of the Sacred Sun). In particular, the Supay gnomes have drawn their attention due to their deities seemingly similar relationship to their own deity, and the focus on vampirism by both cults. However, while most would think this would cause a bond between the two cultures, in fact it is cause for a religious war which is slowly coming to a head. At least one Supay gnome vampire and three derro werebat scouts have been slain in the struggle so far as the two groups test the mettle of one another.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 29 Jun 2017 :  22:21:20  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Nifty stuff.

I'm currently reading Demonic Cults & Secret Societies, myself. I'm really starting to dig Midgard.

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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7519 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2017 :  23:55:52  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Nifty stuff.

I'm currently reading Demonic Cults & Secret Societies, myself. I'm really starting to dig Midgard.



Same. I also bought the Tome of Beasts for 5e, and its very very good, especially given that 5e has not real monster books. Granted, a lot of the creatures I immediately look at them and go "simple copy of monster X".... for instance, an Alseid would be known as a Hybsil in WotC books, but they can't steal the name. I wish I could find somewhere where kobold press says it would be ok to use their monsters in DM's Guild products (that being the problem with buying 3rd party stuff).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7519 Posts

Posted - 02 Jul 2017 :  23:52:56  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmmmm, and I'm thinking I may rework this a little, just because its too similar. Get rid of the derro and replace them with another race that may actually work better.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Delnyn
Seeker

USA
17 Posts

Posted - 25 Oct 2018 :  01:12:25  Show Profile Send Delnyn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Hmmmm, and I'm thinking I may rework this a little, just because its too similar. Get rid of the derro and replace them with another race that may actually work better.


On the other hand, derro are certifiably bat-**** crazy.
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