Tzeentch (3.5e Deity)
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|Home Plane:||The Warp|
|Portfolio:||Hope, Change, Scheming, Manipulation, Power, Sorcery|
|Clergy Alignments:||Any Chaotic|
|Domains:|| Chaos, Knowledge, Magic, Planning, Trickery
(Some of these domains are found in the Spell Compendium)
Tzeentch is one of the four major Chaos gods (the other three being Nurgle, Slaanesh, and Khorne). Like his brother gods, Tzeentch was born from a single survivalist emotion: in his case, the emotion was hope. Tzeentch is the Chaos god of change, sorcery, scheming, and manipulation, earning him nicknames such as the "Changer of Ways" and the "Great Conspirator". As Tzeentch represents change, he has no single material form, although he often takes on the appearance of a cloud of light which constantly changes color. Though Tzeentch is less powerful than Khorne or Nurgle, he is nonetheless the god with the most influence over the others. At time, the Chaos gods must unite and act in concert if their individual plans are to reach fruition, and it is always Tzeentch who brokers these alliances. However, Tzeentch never acts out of altruism, and it can be guaranteed that every time he moves to unite the powers of Chaos he does so ultimately with his own unfathomable goals in mind. While not as numerous or as obvious as the followers of Khorne, Tzeentch nevertheless has a strong and firm hold on the hearts and minds of mortals. In fact, many more mortals serve him than are aware of it, his scheming and many names often obscuring the true force behind events. Tzeentch exerts his influence in the mortal realm through subtle manipulation & devious ploys. His victims include sorcerers drawn by the promise of forbidden knowledge, politicians lured by the power to outmaneuver their opponents, and even ordinary commoners who are searching. The colors used to represent Tzeentch are generally blue, purple, yellow and gold. The correct adjective to indicate individuals and events related to this God is "Tzeentchian".
Tzeentch generally exerts his influence in very subtle ways, but there are those who worship him directly. Tzeentch is the very face of chaos and change, and his clerics teach that in order to achieve one's goals, one must cast aside all the rules, customs, and codes of conduct imposed by family, friends, and society. Thus, Tzeentch worshippers are strong believers in the philosophy of "the ends justify the means", and while they can be good, neutral, or evil, they are always chaotic to the extreme. For instance, Good-aligned cults of Tzeentch teach that if a hundred innocents must be murdered in order to save the lives of two hundred, then so be it. Evil-aligned cults of Tzeentch teach that all power demands sacrifice, and that no sacrifice is too great for the goal of attaining ultimate power. Tzeentch's followers are pragmatists in the strictest sense, assessing each situation on its own merits before deciding the best course of action, rather than relying on any set of rules to tell them what to do. They feel neither fear nor remorse when seeking forbidden knowledge, utilizing underhanded tactics, and performing horrifying rituals all in order to achieve their ultimate goals. None of this is to say that Tzeentchian cults are inherently evil. To them, "good" and "evil" are determined by the desired ends rather than the specific means used to achieve those ends. They would consider raiding a graveyard and summoning hordes of undead to be a "good" act if, for instance, those undead were used to defend an innocent peasant village from invading orc bandits.
Clergy and Temples
As one would expect from a god that represents change and chaos, no two cults, clerics, or temples of Tzeentch are the same. Each cult has different practices, philosophies, and membership heirarchies; each temple has different architecture, layout, and content. Nonetheless, there are a few things that all the cleregies and temples of Tzeentch have in common. Each draws its membership from all walks of life--farmers, artisans, diplomats, noblemen, adventurers, soldiers, career criminals, and slaves can all be of service to the Changer of Ways. Each houses libraries of forbidden knowledge and dark lore that most of society would declare that man was not meant to know, but that Tzeentch's followers are encouraged to learn and understand. While generally not completely hidden from view, temples of Tzeentch are often tucked discreetely away in parts of cities where most of the public wouldn't think to look, such as abandoned barns and dark alleyways. New members are recruited via a slow, gradual, and stealthy induction process. An established member will approach a person who seems distraught with his ordinary life and who seems willing to cast aside society's rules in order to seek true power. The established member will gain the person's trust and friendship over the course of months, eventually exposing him to the Tzeentchian philosophy in gradually larger doses. Often, the person targeted for recruiting won't even know that he has become involved with a cult until long after he has committed himself to the teachings of Tzeentch.