Cykon (3.5e Deity)
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|Symbol:||A red fang|
|Home Plane:||The Material Plane|
|Portfolio:||His own army|
|Favored Weapon:||Fang and claw|
The great red Dragon Cykon is in command of a large realm and a large horde he has been building for some time now. He started small, coercing various goblin and kobold tribes to join him, and working his way up to impressing orcs and hobgoblins into his service. Now, after several decades of growth, Cykon is in charge of a whole large region, stretching across no fewer than seven lands between seven rivers, hence his epithet, lord of the seven rivers. His dominions are only limited to what he can effectively conquer, which as of this moment, is all the land between seven great rivers in a temperate area on a rather large continent. He used to be known as the "lord of the great river", then "lord of the two rivers", the "lord of the three rivers" and so on and so forth.
Cykon is a self-styled deity who is followed by his army with varying degrees of enthusiasm by his followers. The kobolds in his horde treat him as a god, the goblins who are with him worship him because of perceived and actual benefits, the orcs in his forces have added him to their syncretic pantheon, the hobgoblins worship him because of his power, and the bugbears... well, they follow anything with enough force. The few humans in Cykon's service know he isn't a deity.
Legally, Cykon's lands contain several different human, elven, and dwarven realms,. as well as much less well territory that is inhabited by orcs, trolls, goblins, and other monsters, both settled and migratory. The day-to-day operation of these nations and tribes is not usually Cykon's concern, so long as they remember to pay tribute to him and stay out of his way. The forces he commands directly are rather limited, but the forces he controls indirectly are vast. Cykon's personal forces include monsters he has bound to his service (a collection of drakes, demons, and beasts), his large number of personal kobold servants, and some constructs he keeps for added security, mostly golems. As for the forces who are loyal to him but not under his direct command, there are three human kings, several human nobles not under the rule of a royal family (plus many more nobles who ARE loyal to a king), a pair of merchant republics (one human, one elven), several Dwarven clans, over two dozen goblin tribes, nine kobold tribes, five different orc nations, four tribes each of bugbears, hobgoblins, and lizardfolk, and one major settlement of Drow.
Building his army was a difficult work, but a stroke of genius. When Cykon first arrived in the land which was to be his dominion, he was far younger than he is now. After spending many years in his lair marauding civilized areas to build up his treasure, Cykon realized that there was a better way. He made a deal with the local goblin tribe; his power would aid the goblins in their tribal conflicts, and he would get paid tribute in return for it. With a dragon on their side, that tribe of goblins soon prospered, and in time, it became the largest and richest tribe in the region, as it still is today. Many goblin generations have passed in that tribe, and Cykon has been raised to the level of patron deity by that particular group. Repeating the formula was other groups, Cykon was eventually able to get many groups of monster tribes (orcs, goblins, etc) to unite under his banner, and together, they crushed several human and elven states, and forced the remainder into the status of tributary vassals.
Tribute paid to Cykon is in-kind; groups with money to pay him pay in money, herders pay him in animals, miners pay him in minerals, smiths pay him in metal. The annual tribute collection process works by sending out emissaries from his lair six months before collection is due. These emissaries (usually a demon or other dangerous creature under Cykon's command), read out a quota that a certain group has to fill. How it fills that quota is of no consequence, even if it means raising taxes, confiscating property, or causing a famine... although the latter is quite rare. The tribute-paying group has the next six months to send out a caravan to Cykon's lair... these wagon trains come in at various points of the six months, and there is no exact date set for them to arrive, as long as they show up within the time frame. If tribute is NOT paid in time, an emissary is sent out again, warning them to pay in the next three months with interest and a penalty, in addition to the tribute to be paid as regularly scheduled. Failure to comply results in Cykon leading an army in to take the tribute by force.
The civilized groups living under Cykon's rule chafed under his restrictions at first, and they still do, but recently, they have grown more used to it; he made himself more popular with his human subjects when his army fought to protect them against an invading empire's forces. They knew his motives weren't the least bit altruistic, after all, he needed to keep "his" humans alive and under his command if they were to pay him tribute, and he would need to keep the roads clear in order to make sure the humans could make enough money by trading in order to pay him. As a result, the advanced groups under Cykon's rule find themselves in the odd situation of hating their Draconic overlord, and yet they will entreat him when they have a serious problem, like a crime wave or an invading army.
As time went on, Cykon became more bored with his position as overlord of the seven rivers. While he is still in his position to this day, he became tired with how routine it was. He would sit on his giant lair on top of the tallest mountain, looking over his dominion, he would collect tribute once a year, listen to his sycophantic kobolds, patrol his frontiers, eat the herds of cattle given to him as tribute, mate with red dragon females in heat who entered his territory, and on occasion, get involved in a serious fight. Besides that, he would spend time researching magical spells, forging magical items, and adding new defensive measures to protect his lair and treasure. It went on and on like this... monotonous to no end. Everything seemed to become more dull, even his evil streak began to grow dull as he realized that he had accomplished what any one of a hundred evil dragons had ever sought to do... and after several decades... it gets rather boring.
To cure this boredom, Cykon set up an island for himself, located about 200 kilometers off of the coast of the mainland of his dominions. He now spends a couple months a year on average on vacation there, and he spends his time inviting allies and obedient vassals (orc warlords, goblin chiefs, human dukes, etc) to unusually generous parties. Cykon's allies include other dragons, archmages, lords of (other) empires, and even an extraplanar official on occasion. He doesn't trust any of them, but he figures that in addition to breaking the monotony, he can win support from them by other means than just force, fear, and threats.
As Cykon's "godhood" only applies in the loosest sense, he has no true dogma... but if you ever asked him, it would be to pay him tribute, not to stir up trouble, and to leave him alone unless one can offer him something worth his time, which at his level of wealth and power, would be nothing less than a high-powered magic item, a super-powerful spell, or a king's ransom worth of gold.
Clergy and Temples
While Cykon's symbol appears in a number of temple's the great red dragon has none of his own per se. His own lair includes a shrine to various Dragon deities, although he rarely uses it.
Outside of various pantheons his orc followers place him in, Cykon is not consdiered to be part of a pantheon; in truth, he isn't IN a pantheon at all, some of his followers just wish it were so...