Ranoth (3.5e Deity)
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|Symbol:||Rampant Red Dragon|
|Home Plane:||Red Wastes of Nyrokas|
|Portfolio:||Military Power, Dictators, Fire-Wielding Creatures, Warriors|
|Clergy Alignments:||Lawful Evil, Lawful Neutral, Neutral Evil|
|Domains:||Air, Destruction, Evil, Fire, Hunger, Tyrant, War|
|Favored Weapon:||Bastard Sword or Natural Weapons|
Ranoth, called the Mighty, the Endless, and the Tyrant of Tyrants began His existence as a mortal. He was hatched long ago to a she-dragon whose name is forgotten. The mother of the Tyrant was a red dragon and cruel even among her kind. Ranoth, having hatched first, recognized and attached Himself to this cruelty. As each of His nest-mates hatched, He devoured them all. Thus He secured His place in the nest. His mother marveled at the singular brutality of the eldest of this clutch.
As He grew, she taught Him much of the ways of dragons. He hunted with a precision that bordered on an obsession with perfection. He grew faster than any dragon His mother had seen, and in time His secret came to light. Ranoth was a psionic dragon. He honed this gift as He had the natural gifts of all dragons. In time, He grew to a mighty size, larger and more terrible than any dragon in living memory. He hunted in total harmony, attacking with a seamless blend of fang and claw and fire and psionics.
He left His mother and claimed territory of His own, killing and devouring the previous ruler there. In the lair of the now deceased dragon, He found writings detailing the ritual and structure of the Great Game, Xorvintaal. He expanded His influence and power in His territory until it had doubled in size and was totally under His subjugation. This expansion, however, created a heated conflict on the borders of the territories belonging to His mother. He hunted down and routed a great tribe of stone giants dwelling in his territory. To the survivors, the King of Everlasting Wrath offered an ultimatum "Serve me totally, willingly, and without hesitation and I will raise you beyond anything you could have ever achieved." The giants readily agreed. Ranoth seized each of the giants, one by one. He replaced their eyes with rubies and inlaid runes and mystic patterns of electrum, admantine, and silver into their flesh. He then forced His power into the rubies and sigils, imbuing them with it. The tribe was destroyed, but the Scions of the Red Dawn were born, four hundred strong. These mighty warriors could call on psionics and sword-play, and could draw on their Lord to reproduce His terrible roar.
With His new-found army, the Tyrant of Tyrants waged war on His mother and her servants. His Scions routed their meager foes as the Lord of the Burning Dark battled His mother. The fight was brief, but carried a deadly intensity. Flames raged, magic was cast and psionics directed, these two legendary monsters warred for territory and power and single-minded rage. In the end, Ranoth slew and devoured his mother as He had His siblings so many years ago. He stormed what defenses of hers still lingered and claimed her hoard for His own. With the vastness of His new-found wealth gathered into a single great mass, the Mighty One gathered His Scions and together they wove an enormous plane shift out of their world and into our world.
He arrived in what is now known as the Fire Peak. He and His Scions quickly established dominance in the region and formed a monopoly on the rare and magical mineral called Kainum. This material could allow a user to look briefly into the future and gain insight in all possible outcomes for a few moments. He gathered humanoids to Himself to serve as servants and soldiers. They mined the Kainum and formed Ranoth’s economic empire amid the lands of men and their like. In time, He became deeply entrenched and familiar with the practices and rules of Xorvintaal. He sent out a telepathic call and pulled dragons who He deemed worthy to Himself and began the Ritual of Binding. These twenty-one, and Ranoth Himself as the Gamekeeper, formed the vast majority of the world’s pseudo-political structure. Since that time, the exact names of the Xorvintaal dragons have changed, but they have always numbered at twenty-one with Ranoth as the twenty-second and mightiest. Ranoth, however, was called to another path.
The exact nature of the Endless One’s apotheosis is shrouded in mystery. Indeed, He divulged his intentions with only the closest of his exarches and clergy. Regardless, in the culmination of age-old plans and at the peak of rituals older than ash and smoke, He ascended to godhood. He became the Mighty One, the Endless One, the Tyrant of Tyrants, the King of Everlasting Wrath, Lord of the Burning Dark and Master of the Red Dawn.
Ranoth's decrees are simple:
1) Control entirely all that you rule over.
2) Fear neither fire nor foe.
3) Forget no slight and do not believe any slight of yours is forgotten.
4) If you act beyond the law, do not be caught.
5) Respect tyrants and rulers.
6) Be ever ready to rise against those who loosen their grasp on power.
7) Purge weakness from yourself. Inferiority is repugnant.
Clergy and Temples
The followers of Ranoth are warriors. They are members of the Army of the Dragon and will always further its goals. They seek promotion and authority, but respect and adhere to the chain of command. Ranoth's clerics, called Fangs, revere the Scions of the Red Dawn as living saints and conduits of their Master's will. It is known them that Ranoth will claim the souls of only the best after death, sending the rest into the Place Beyond. As such, they seek to be at their physical and mental perfection at all times. They know that Ranoth respects only power, and they act accordingly. To them, race is irrelevant. Elves, goblins, ogres, and humans are all just as welcome in the temples, provided they are willing and able warriors. They are one of the few clergies that will openly accept elves into their ranks.
Ranoth's temples are stalwart fortresses. They are defensible from all sides, including the air, and are often very difficult to reach. Any one fortress-temple plays home to between 100-4,000 devotees. It is likely to see scorpions and catapults to attack would-be invaders. Drakes, huge lizards, and minotaurs are common shock-troops in the temple. They are massive garrisons with enough supplies to withstand a very long siege. Many also have stockpiles of Kainum for later distribution. It is unusual to see a personal shire to Ranoth. Ranoth's Fangs also maintain the Out Posts which are the primary distribution points for Kainum and supplies. The Out Posts, colloquially called "Posts," are better suited to their terrain and are usually larger. The holy site for Ranoth's clergy is His home in the Fire Peak. Few clergy members actually see their master's mountainous home.
Each temple has at least one Scion of the Red Dawn at its heart, the larger temples have as many as three. These knights function as tactical commanders as well as high priests within the temple structure. Ranoth Himself rarely visits a temple, preferring to commune with His servants through the Scions.