The Dark Six: The Devourer

This image by Vincentius Matthews doesn’t actually depict the Devourer, but hey, oceans.

In the dawn times, the Sovereigns of the natural world chose to share their gifts with mortals. Arawai taught the first farmers, but she also showed us how to work with wood and heal with herbs. Balinor taught us both how to hunt game, and how to work with the horse and hound. Together these Sovereigns showed us how to harness these gifts of the natural world. Arawai and Balinor sought to lift us up, but there was another who sought to tear us down. The Devourer despised the first people and their civilization, seeing them only as prey. This struggle continues to this day. Arawai showed us how to harness the wind for sail and mill, but the Devourer sends winds that snap masts shatter buildings. Kol Korran taught us to build ships, and the Devourer delights in sinking them. Onatar showed us how to harness fire, but it’s the Devourer who smiles when the uncontrolled flame engulfs a city. The Sovereigns guide us when we work with nature—but we must always be careful and cautious, for the Devourer is ever ready to bring the power of the wilds down upon us.

Phthaso Mogan, High Priest of Sharn

You humans see the wilds as a thing that must be tamed. You fight it, caging it in your fields and binding it with leash and chain. We embrace the storm, running with the wind and dancing through the fire. We know that flame paves the way for new growth, that culling the weak strengthens the pack. You fear the Devourer; we ARE the Devourer.

Khaar’kala of the Great Pack

Arawai and Balinor embody mortal dominion over the natural world. Arawai grants power over flora, while Balinor grants power over fauna—guiding both the hunter and those who domesticate animals. But the Devourer is there to remind us that the wild can never be truly bound. We must never grow too arrogant or complacent; we must never forget to respect the power of nature. Because when we do, the Devourer will be there with wind, with flame, with tooth and with claw.

More than any other Sovereign, the interpretation of the Devourer varies dramatically from culture to culture, driven by the relationship of culture and species to the natural world. The Pyrinean interpretation of the Devourer reflects a fundamental fear of the untamed wild, while the sahuagin Sha’argon is the paragon of a species of carnivores who believe the strong should consume the weak. The Church of the Wyrm Ascendant depicts the Devourer as a dragon turtle while Arawai and Boldrei are traditional dragons; this reflects the fact that the Sovereigns walk among humanoids and guide them, while the Devourer lurks in bitter isolation in the deepest water, sinking ships and lashing the land with hurricanes. Ultimately, it’s a question of whether a civilization fears nature’s wrath, or whether it seeks to embrace primal power.

NATURE’S WRATH: The Pyrinean Creed

As described in the quote from Phthaso Mogan, the Pyrinean Creed asserts that the Sovereigns showed their vassals how to control the natural world. Arawai guides those who harvest, while Balinor guides those who hunt. Both reflect our power to impose our will on nature. In this vision of the world, the Devourer reflects the fact that we can’t ever fully control nature. The Devourer is the explanation for natural disasters and tragedies. It is the Devourer who sink ships and levels villages with wildfires and hurricanes. It’s the Devourer who guides the wolves who prey upon our sheep. The important thing to understand is that under the Pyrinean Creed, there is no benevolent aspect to the Devourer. The Devourer, Arawai, and Balinor are differentiated by the outcome, not by the tool that produces that outcome. It’s common for vassals to associate Arawai with gentle rains and the Devourer with scouring storms. But if gentle rains come in sufficient quantities to cause devastating floods, they are a tool of the Devourer; while if a region relies on monsoons to irrigate land, vassals will see those nuturing storms as gifts of Arawai. A shepherd curses predatory wolves as teeth of the Devourer, but might well have a magebreed wolf that’s been domesticated by House Vadalis guarding their flock; whether a wolf is associated with Balinor or the Devourer is determined by the outcome of interacting with it.

So under this view, there is nothing benevolent about the Devourer… and yet, he is part of everyday life. The farmer thanks Arawai for her guidance but is ever fearful of the Devourer’s wrath. Because of this, Vassals who regularly deal with dangerous natural forces often make placatory offerings to the Devourer. The principle is that the Devourer will have his due. If you benefit from working with the natural world, the Devourer will eventually come to even the scales; but if you make an offer willingly, he may accept it and pass you by. Among Vassals, it’s common to burn a fraction of the yield after a harvest; skeptics simply burn the dross, while devout Vassals base the burn on their own prosperity and what they have to lose. Vassal sailors trust Kol Korran to guide them, but many also cultivate a relationship with the Devourer and make an offering when their vessel reaches deep water. This could be anything from a single crown to a lock of hair, a poem, or something more precious; it depends on the perceived danger of the voyage and where they feel they stand with the Lord of the Depths. Again, there is no thought of benevolence here; it’s much like playing poker with a very dangerous opponent, with the question being how well you know your enemy and what you can get away with on this voyage. While common, this is still a superstition and there are some captains who won’t abide it on their ships, whether they assert that it’s a foolish waste of resources or that making offerings to the Devourer is more likely to draw his attention than to placate him.

The Three Faces of the Wild

The Three Faces of the Wild is a mystery cult within the Five Nations. Much like its counterparts, it honors members of both Sovereigns and Six: in this case, Arawai, Balinor, and Shargon. The Three Faces of the Wild acknowledge Shargon—the Devourer—as the primal force of untamed nature, but don’t depict him as inherently malevolent. Shargon demands people respect nature and maintain the balance between nature and civilization… and should they forget, or disrupt the balance due to greed or ignorance, he will remind them of nature’s might. Followers of the Three Faces of the Wild recognize that many disasters can be avoided—not by making a sacrifice or burning a field, but by understanding the interactions between civilization and nature. When a village suffers severe floods, rather than cursing the Devourer, perhaps don’t build your village in a flood plain. Followers of the Three Faces practice free range grazing and low-impact farming, and oppose techniques that they see as causing lasting harm to the world. This often leads them to oppose industrial advances that they see as threatening the natural world, and there have been clashes between Three Faces sects and House Vadalis or House Cannith enclaves, not to mention mundane damming and logging operations. Outright violence is rare; the sect prefers to solve problems with social engineering. However, this is still a potential source of environmental conflict in the heart of the Five Nations—and dangerous zealots can take root in an otherwise benevolent branch of this sect.

Champions of the Devourer

Beyond the Three Faces and placatory offerings, there’s little worship of the Devourer within the Five Nations; he’s a force to be feared and placated, not idolized. As a result, champions of the Devourer are rare and remarkable—and often dangerous.

  • The Storm Herald is a wandering priest who travels through agricultural regions. When a Storm Herald comes to a community, they will call together the Vassals and have them organize a communal feast. At this feast the Herald calls on people to discuss their profit and loss, the blessings they’ve received from the Sovereigns and what is owed to the Devourer. Sacrifices are made both through the feast itself and through additional burnt offerings at the feast. The principle is that the Storm Herald helps the community buy a period of prosperity, carrying disaster away when they leave. Storm heralds are extremely rare, mainly known through stories; in these stories, some are good people who are truly trying to help the innocents avoid disaster while others are extortionists running supernatural protection rackets—unless I am satisfied, there WILL be a disaster.
  • The Lightning Rod is another figure typically only encountered in stories or plays—someone blessed or cursed by the Devourer, who draws disaster wherever they go. Wherever they go, they are plagued by predators, bad weather, spontaneous fires, and other minor phenomena. The longer they stay in one place, the worse these manifestations will get. In stories, some lightning rods manage to weaponize this effect, becoming storm sorcerers or Ancients paladins—but even these champions need to keep moving, lest the disasters that dog their heels destroy the people they care about.
  • The Zealot is an extremist who despises civilization and industry. A typical zealot becomes infuriated by a particular manifestation of civilization—a new Tharahsk mine, a Vadalis ranch, a lightning rail line driving across their field, or even just a group of local farmers cutting down a tranquil grove—and their intense devotion to its destruction unlocks divine power. Devourer zealots generally have more in common with cults of the Dragon Below than with druidic sects. They typically lack organization or deep tradition—often involving a single divinely inspired individual—and are usually driven by an ever-growing obsession with the destruction of their target. Should a zealot achieve their goal, they could snap out of that obsession and return to normal life, or they could latch on to a new and even greater obsession; having destroyed the Orien ranch near their village, they’re now determined to destroy the house enclave in the nearby city, continually escalating until their finally fall in battle. While zealots can be tied to the Three Faces of the Wild, what characterizes the zealot is their obsession with destroying their target and the degree of supernatural power they wield; a Three Faces sect might try to negotiate with an environmental offender or to otherwise find a peaceful solution, while a zealot sees themselves as the vengeful hand of the wild.

House Lyrandar: The Kraken’s Brood

The basic doctrine of House Lyrandar maintains that the Mark of Storms is a blessing granted by Arawai and Kol Korran, a gift to help the Khoravar prosper. However, these is a sect within the house that claims that holds more sinister beliefs. These cultists say that their mark is a gift of the Devourer, and that it is intended to be used as a weapon—that the Khoravar are meant to assert their dominion over Khorvaire with hurricanes and lightning. This sect maintains that their greatest visionaries have become krakens who dwell in the deepest waters and guide their followers through visions; as such they call themselves the Kraekovar or “Kraken’s Brood.” Kraekovar heirs learn to use their dragonmarks in unusual and destructive ways, specializing in lightning. Other Lyrandar heirs say that this represents a fundamental corruption of the dragonmark—that the mark isn’t meant to be used as a weapon—and that this in turn causes the Kraekovar to become unstable and sociopathic. While the Kraekovar claim that their power ultimately flows from the Devourer, they don’t share any common cause with the Three Faces of the Wild or with zealots; they are loyal to their own elders—whom they believe to be immortal krakens—and to their vision of a nation ruled by Khoravar storm kings.

Nature and Tempest, Druid and Paladin

Champions of the Devourer can take many forms. One zealot might have the gift of wild shape and run with a pack of wolvesdrawing on the Moon druid for inspiration—while another might be more like a Storm sorcerer, wielding shocking grasp and lightning bolts. One of the main potential points of confusion is the difference between a cleric or paladin of the Devourer, and one devoted to Arawai or Balinor. Can a priest of Arawai use the tempest domain? Can a champion of the Devourer have the Oath of the Open Sea? In short, yes. The Nature domain, Tempest Domain, Oath of the Ancients, Oath of the Open Sea—all of these could be suitable for Arawai or the Devourer. Remember that the Devourer isn’t the Sovereign of Storms; he’s the Sovereign of the destructive power of nature, while Arawai is nature harnessed in the service of civilization. So, a few points to keep in mind…

  • A servant of Arawai could be a Tempest cleric or a Storm sorcerer. Their devotion allows them to smite an enemy with lightning, but for them this is no different than the ability to plant a seed or to harness an oxen to a plow; they have been granted dominion over nature as a tool to serve the greater good. An Arawai Storm sorcerer will typically be calm—even serene—when using their powers, and will strive to minimize collateral damage. The same goes for a Paladin of the Open Sea; they may call lightning or unleash a tidal wave, but they will control these forces and seek to use them with precision, avoiding harm to innocents.
  • Where the priest of Arawai harnesses the power of nature for the greater good, the champion of the Devourer teaches us that nature cannot be controlled. They revel in the wild and primal nature of the powers that flow through them and make no effort to avoid collateral damage; they have been granted these powers to make people fear the power of nature.

The point is that even if two clerics are casting the exact same spell, it should feel different if it’s tied to Arawai or to the Devourer. Arawai’s lightning bolt will be focused and precise, while the Devourer’s should feel more wild and intimidating, as if the caster is barely in control of the bolt. Beyond this, especially when dealing with NPCs, keep in mind that the spells wielded by player characters don’t have to reflect the absolute limits of mystical power. It may be that a Storm Herald can curse a community with a promise of a devastating hurricane, or that the death of a champion of the Devourer will trigger a flash flood. Neither of these effects have the precision or speed of control weather or tidal wave… but that very unpredictability is what should make them interesting. This ties to the general ideas present in this article. With this in mind, even a player character who’s tied to the Devourer could be a lightning rod, drawing disasters wherever they go unless they ensure that the people around them make sufficient sacrifices.

PRIMAL POWER: The Cazhaak Faith

In Droaam nature has a single face, and it’s both beautiful and cruel. Ghaal’gantii—the Devourer—speaks through the storms that lash the land, through the fangs of the worg, through the stone beneath the hands of the medusa. This isn’t a tradition of shepherds; it’s the faith of the wolves. There’s no need to split the roles of hunter and predator, and no interest in a deity to bless the harvest; outside of the Gaa’ran, widespread agriculture is all but unknown. The Devourer embodies a view of a world that’s red in tooth and claw. He is the hunger that drives us to survive, but he places deadly obstacles in our way; those that can overcome the challenges of the Devourer grow strong and prosper, while the weak are swept away to make room for the strong.

For most who follow the faith, the Devourer is a force to be endured rather than celebrated. He will test you with a hurricane or a wildfire. He’ll lash you with thorns, and his hand is in the deadly currents of the rapids. You can certainly offer a prayer or a sacrifice, but what he wants is your strength. Survival isn’t something he will give you in exchange for a gift; he has given you tooth and claw, and he wants to see you use them. Because of this, many of the peoples of Droaam rarely invoke the Devourer; they acknowledge him, but they don’t make offerings to him as the Vassals do. The most notable exception to this are the purest predators of the region—the worgs and the lycanthropes of the Great Pack—who call on him to sharpen their senses and their fangs. This isn’t a petition, it’s an offer—join me in my hunt, that you may share my joy in victory. The Cazhaak Devourer has no need of weaklings who require his aid to survive; but a worthy hunter can draw his eye, and his favor with it. The only sacrifice that need be made is the kill itself. The Fury is often closely connected for such devotees. The Devourer is a source of physical strength, while the Fury is the source of instinct; both are important to the hunting worg.

Beyond the predators, the Devourer also draws the prayers of those who work with natural resources. Largescale agriculture may be uncommon, but Medusa stoneworkers and kobold apothecaries thank the Devourer for nature’s bounty. Even here, though, the tone is different than the thanks offered by the Vassal priests of Arawai. The Cazhaak faithful know that the Devourer gives nothing; he only offers you the chance to take it. Essentially, the Devourer puts the “hunt” in “hunter-gatherer.” Whether you’re an apothecary looking for bloodroot or a sculptor seeking the perfect place to strike the stone, you face a challenge; the Devourer will sharpen your eyes and give you the hunger to succeed, but you must still fight for your victory. The people of Droaam don’t sail, but if they did they would scoff at the placatory offerings of Vassal sailors. If the Devourer chooses to challenge you with a storm, he will; you honor him and earn his favor by facing that challenge without fear and surviving it. What the Devourer wants from you is strength and skill, not trinkets tossed in the water.

Cazhaak Champions of the Devourer

Just as Vassal priests can perform services of all of the Sovereigns, a Cazhaak priestess of the Shadow will offer thanks to the Devourer. However, it’s rare to find a singularly devoted priest of the Devourer in a temple in Droaam, because the Devourer has little interest in cities and buildings. His most devoted priests are the worgs running with their pack and the harpies singing high on storm-wreathed peaks. Here’s a few examples of devoted champions of the Devourer.

  • The Huntmaster. The Great Pack is an alliance of worgs, lycanthropes, and other predators. Huntmasters are equal parts bard and priest, inspiring their comrades with wolfsong and guiding them on the hunter’s path.
  • The Stormsinger. While Huntmasters focus on the hunt, the Stormsinger embraces the furious power of hurricane and storm. Most Stormsingers are harpies, devoted equally to the Fury and to the Devourer. They dance through the winds, delighting in the deadly play of lightning. Largely Stormsingers are ecstatic mystics who praise the Six through song and flight, but they can also call down lightning on enemies in battle. If there is reason, they can draw away storms, luring the storm itself with their songs.
  • The Stoneshaper. Medusa architects invoke the Shadow and the Devourer. The Shadow wove stone into the medusa’s blood and shows them the secrets of working it, while they thank the Devourer for the raw gift of stone. Stoneshapers are specialized adepts capable of producing effects like stone shape, mold earth, and meld into stone.
  • The Wolfchild. Goblins and kobolds have long been oppressed in the Barrens of Droaam, being dismissed as small and weak by the ogres, trolls, and their kin. But there have always been those whose fury and determination to bring down their enemies—no matter their size—has drawn the favor of the Devourer and unlocked the predator within them. Known as the Gaa’taarka, these champions develop the gift of wild shape. While they are most often associated with wolf form, they aren’t limited to it; there are Gaa’taarka who can scout as hawks or fight as bears. The Gaa’taarka are broadly similar to Moon druids (and this would be a way to play a Wolfchild as a character) but most don’t possess the full spellcasting abilities of a druid. Those that can cast spells typically possess magic tied to working with beasts—beast sense, speak with animals, and similar spells. In the past, Wolfchildren have often served as champions defending their kin from would-be oppressors. In the present, a number of Gaa’taarka have joined the Great Pack, while others are serving with Maenya’s Fist. Technically, any devoted creature could become a Gaa’taarka; however, it’s still primarily associated with goblins and kobolds, hence their being described as “children.”

This is by no means a complete list—just a handful of examples of Droaamites touched by the Devourer.

OTHER VIEWS OF THE DEVOURER

As with all of the Sovereign and Six, many different interpretations of the Devourer can be found across the world.

  • In Xen’drik, the giants of Rusheme revere the goddess Rowa of the Jungle Leaves, who incorporates aspects of both Arawai, the Fury, and the Devourer; according to City of Stormreach, Rowa is “the goddess of life and nature. Rowa is much beloved, but she is given to fits of passion that can drive her into a rage. As a result, storms, wildfires, and other natural disasters are attributed to ‘Rowa’s wrath.’
  • As mentioned earlier, the Three Faces of the Wild respect Shargon as the untamed power of the wild, but don’t see him as malevolent; they seek to find the balance between Arawai and Shargon.
  • The sahuagin of the Eternal Dominion honor Sha’argon, saying that he began as a mortal hunter who stalked, killed, and devoured their interpretations of Arawai and Balinor, thus claiming dominion over nature. This vision of the Devourer is even more ruthless than their Cazhaak counterpart. The sahuagin razh’ash teach that Sha’argon “sets the laws of the world, and they are cruel. Life is an endless struggle. The weak will perish in the storm or be consumed by the mighty. Those with cunning and courage can conquer the world itself, and the victor has the right to devour their vanquished foe.”  

These are just a few examples; there’s no limit to the number of sects that might be out there, each with their own unique interpretation of the Devourer. This also relates to the relationship between the Devourer, Arawai, and the Fury. There is a Pyrinean myth that suggests that the Fury is the child of Arawai and the Devourer—a metaphorical representation of the concept that a storm destroying a farm causes anguish to the farmer. On the other hand, Rusheme conflates the three into a single deity, while a Droaamite myth asserts that the Fury was born of Eberron’s cry of pain when she brought life into being. Priests create myths about the Sovereigns as a way to teach lessons, and those myths vary based on the culture that creates them and the lessons they’re passing on.

USING THE DEVOURER

One of the simplest ways to bring the Devourer into your campaign is to talk about the weather. It’s an important part of everyday life, but it’s something we often ignore in adventures—and it doesn’t help that the sourcebooks don’t go into much detail about what to expect in different parts of Khorvaire. So to some degree you’re on your own here. But if time after time you mention the gloomy rains of Sharn, you lay the groundwork for the slowly-building threat of a hurricane that somehow resists the power of the Raincaller’s Guild. Is a group of Devourer zealots responsible for this threat? Is it the work of the Kraken’s Brood (in which case the Raincaller’s Guild may have been sabotaged from within)? Can the adventurers find a Storm Herald, and if they do, what will the herald want in return? A storm at sea, a wildfire threatening to sweep over an adventurer’s home village… when these moments come, will the adventurers embrace the superstition and make an offering to the Devourer, or will they spit in the eye of the storm?

Followers of the Devourer can be an easy source of villains. Zealots can always turn up to shatter cities or strike at the Dragonmarked Houses. The Kraken’s Brood uses primal force in their pursuit of power. A Droaamite worg may honor the Devourer by hunting the most dangerous prey—and they’ve set their sights on one of the player characters. On the other hand, champions of the Devourer don’t have to be enemies. A medusa stoneshaper could prove an invaluable ally when adventurers are trying to get into a collapsed mine. The Three Faces of the Wild could draw attention to industrial activities that do threaten a local community. A Droaamite huntmaster could adopt the adventurers as their temporary pack and guide them through a dangerous region. They could also just be mysterious. If the adventurers have business in a small community, a Storm Herald could arrive and call for the Devourer’s Feast. They say that this is an innocent action which will help to protect the village from disaster. Will the adventurers help organize the feast, or will they oppose the Herald—and if so, will disaster indeed strike?

Player characters could follow any of the paths described above. An urban druid could be devoted to the Three Faces of the Wild. A goblin or kobold could play a Moon druid as one of the Gaa’taarka—have they been sent out on a mission from the Daughters of Sora Kell, or are they just following their instincts? A Lyrandar Fathomless warlock could have been raised in the Kraekovar cult… have they turned against the Kraken’s Brood, or are they trying to oppose its corruption from within the system? A Storm sorcerer could be a lightning rod, both cursed and blessed by the Devourer; they have also power over lightning and wind, but if they stay in one place for too long disaster will follow. Can they find a way to lift this curse… and if they do, will they lose their gifts as well?

That’s all for now. Note that this article reflects how I use the Devourer in my campaign and may contradict canon sources! Thanks to my Patreon supporters for choosing this topic and for making these articles possible; follow the link if you want to have a voice in future topics! Because of serious IRL events I will not be able to answer many questions on this topic, but feel free to discuss your experiences and thoughts on the Devourer and to praise his Watery Deepness in the comments.

39 thoughts on “The Dark Six: The Devourer

  1. Excellent! Do you see any active relationship between the Ashbound and the Three Faces of Wild when it comes to anti-technology and/or anti-arcana opinions? Or is that something that’d have to be hashed out on local level in areas like Western Aundair/the Eldeen Reaches?

    • Personally I’d place the Ashbound more in the company of Devourer zealots—willing to take violent action to bring down those things they see as threatening the wild—while the Three Faces of the Wild are more on par with the Wardens of the Wood, respecting both civilization and nature as long as they can be kept in balance. With that said, part of the point of the Three Faces is that they’re a vassal subculture that can be found deep in the Five Nations, far from the Eldeen Reaches. They aren’t as, well, DRUIDIC as the Eldeen sects, but they are a vector for primal characters in the heart of the Five Nations.

      • Would the Ashbound even be willing to accept Devourer priests as channelers of “natural” or “primal” magic, or would Devourer priests be viewed as unnatural magicians?

  2. Apart from Wildnight, Long Shadows, and the Feast of the Traveler the Dark Six seem to generally lack distinct holidays. What sort of celebration and devotional practices would you expect from a holiday observing the Devourer?

    • One of the major holidays for the Devourer is described in this article; it’s called “Whenever the Storm Herald comes to town.” Which incidentally makes it convenient for DMs, since it can occur whenever it’s good for your story. With that said, Frontiers of Eberron includes this in the holiday section…
      Shargon’s Bargain (13 Eyre). There’s no public feast on this day, and it’s a holiday many don’t acknowledge or even know about. For those who do, this is a day to make a sacrifice to the Devourer, placating him so disaster will pass over the farm in the year ahead. Traditionally this involves the burning some part of a field—typically, land the farmer planned to leave fallow, allowing the soil to recover. So there’s no celebration, but if you travel at this time you may notice a number of burning fields.

      • There’s a definite “Thanksgiving” energy to “When the Storm Herald comes to town”. I know we already have Boldrei’s Feast, but so many of the autumn/winter holidays have Dark Six related parallels in Khorvaire, I just had to note the similarity

      • Wait-… Frontier’s of Eberron contains a holiday section? Can I ask how extensive it will be? It’s a point of particular interest for me.

        • Currently about 2,000 words. It’s focused on festivals and holidays that are observed in Threshold.

  3. All I really can say is thank you! You’ve made my table VERY happy. 🙂 His Watery Deepness just can’t keep his business out of our campaign, and the exploration of how he is recognized in the Pyrinean Creed is very interesting…and I wouldn’t mind meeting one of his champions at some point!

  4. Is the Great Pack different from the Dark Pack, or are they the same thing? Are there winter wolves among the Great Pack/Dark Pack?

  5. Is the Great Pack different from the Dark Pack, or are they the same thing? Are there winter wolves among the Great Pack/Dark Pack?

    • It’s the same thing, just a different translation of the name. There are a few winter wolves in the Pack; one appears in my novel The Queen of Stone.

  6. How does the Devourer being represented as a dragon turtle fit into the “Sovereigns and Six as draconic champions who fought against the Overlords” theory? Is the Devourer supposed to be an extremely powerful dragon turtle who had a stormy (no pun intended) relationship with the bronze dragon Arawai (or whatever she was called)? Dragon turtles and bronze dragons are both amphibious, after all.

  7. Loving the Gaa’taarka, they speak to me in the same way as the worghest of Faerun (goblin “planetouched” who are descended from barghest) but from a completely new angle!

    With the halfling worship of Bally Noor are the other two Faces of Nature represented in ancient halfling culture? Did the halflings have a face for Shargon and Arawai or were they, like the Rusheme concept, combined into one “great spirit”?

    • Man, thinking about the Talentan Devourer analogue who is just straight up Indominus Rex. The deadliest apex predator that Bally Noor conquered in his most legendary hunt.

      • I’d be inclined to go in this direction. The original ECS says “Most of the halflings of the Talenta Plains combine ancestral and animal spirit worship with ceremonies devoted to Balinor, God of Beasts and the Hunt.” With Bally Noor we’ve further clarified that they don’t worship him as a GOD the way Vassals do, but rather interpret him as a heroic ancestor who leads by example. The Vassal faith presents the Sovereigns as omnipresent beings who can be invoked in any place; Talenta faith is more driven by local animism, where you need to deal with the specific spirits of the specific place you’re in.

        Given the example of Bally Noor, it’s certainly possible that there are other Talenta heroes scholars could match to other Sovereigns. But based on the line from the ECS, I’d say that they don’t have the IMPORTANCE of Bally Noor; overall, the Talenta aren’t just worshipping the Sovereigns, they are interacting with the host of lesser spirits. So if there’s an Arawai analgoue, she wouldn’t be seen as an ur-goddess of nature, she’d be something like the first maskweaver who taught others to speak to the spirits. Likewise, there could be myth of the Mighty Maw, the Devourer of All, who is just the deadliest apex predator, who Vassal scholars could identify as the Devourer… but that entity isn’t thought by the Talenta to be responsible for ALL NATURAL THREATS. We tell STORIES about the Mighty Maw, but no one PRAYS to him; deal with the spirits at hand.

  8. How does Mika Rockfist of the Cloudrever Principality and her followers fall into worship of the devourer.

  9. I wonder, if the Devourer represents the dark side of nature (nature just [i]acts[/i]), makes me wonder what would happen if Eberron was transformed into a perfect world? If at all?

    I think the Devourer, who I view is an aged black dragon, would diminish if Eberron was transformed into a perfect world. But we are far from that. Mankind has created wonders despite nature. Mankind (and the other humanoids of Eberron) have dominion over Eberron. However, in the case of Sarlona, that has diminished. It would be interesting to see a Bronze Age Eberron.

  10. This is a wonderful capstone to the Dark Six articles. Thank you, Keith.

    As has been mentioned with the Gaa’taarka and the similarity to worghests, I would think true barghests might be seen as heralds of boundless hunger and the ability to consume the essence of your oppressors to grow even stronger (I have a differing theory about how Dhakaani view barghests as vampiric consumers of muut and atcha, feasting on both body and spirit)

  11. “shatter cities ”

    Are earthquakes considered part of the Devourer’s domain, or just winds and precipitation?

    • I’d say is part of his domain, the same way wildfires are too. It’s a destructive and harmful natural event so the outcome is bad.

    • All of the destructive forces of nature are the hand of the Devourer. Wildfires, earthquakes, avalanches. The serpent’s venom. Storms and deep water are the most commonly called out, but he’s not limited to those.

  12. This was an Incredible article Keith, brilliant, thankyou!

    Minor Question: so the Devourer is broadly speaking untamed tempest and wilds. Could a follower of Ghaal’gantii be a storm sorcerer who say, uses their spells and class abilities to endure the storm or help others to? Obviously yes but I ask would this be seen as cowardice or is the gift of the Devourer MEANT to be used to endure his challenge?

    • So first of all, someone blessed by the Devourer can certainly use that power to SMITE others. As a Storm Sorcerer, the Devourer has made you strong, and a basic principle of the Devourer is the strong defeat the weak. Likewise, using the gifts you have been given to allow YOURSELF to endure hardship is entirely justified. The Devourer has given you the gift; he expects you to use it.

      As for shielding others, that requires some gymnastics of faith. Ghaal’gantii frowns on MERCY. Shielding those who couldn’t survive on their own weakens the pack overall. I see two ways to justify it. The simplest is to argue that those you are shielding are, essentially, children. Looking to the basic principles of nature, children are EXPECTED to be weak and you need to protect them so they can grow into their full strength and be fully contributing members of the pack. That’s an easy answer that you could roleplay—”You are like a little child, helpless in the face of the storm.” The other approach would be to argue that your teammates are strong in their own right and valuable members of your pack, just weak in this particular instance. Essentially, the issue is that if you’re constantly protecting them and they are never contributing strength to the scenario, the Devourer would question why you’re wasting the resources and not just allowing nature to take its course.

      • Thanks for the response, that’s definitely enough to justify a Storm Sorcerer working with a party.

  13. Thanks for the article Keith! You’ve mentioned some sects here opposing Vadalis by nature (pun intended), but are there any Vadalis traditions or house individuals who actually view themselves not as parangons of civilization but as predators over other creatures, and more destructive in nature? I know the Mark of Handling may not lend itself as well to a view of “primal nature” but perhaps if flavouring the spells not as gentle cooperation with animals but as a larger animal asserting dominance and intimidating other beasts, or something along this vein like your concept of a Vadalis Monarch?

    • There is the Feral Heart, a cult within House Vadalis dedicated to some messed up evil stuff. From the ECG:

      > It comprises a number of magebreeders who desire to unleash nature’s full potential and breed living weapons, without regard for morality. To this end, they are rediscovering and advancing the banned practices of Vadalis’s Seryan line, which includes making magebred humanoids. Moreover, they have even begun seeking out the tools of the daelkyr.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if this organization included some worshippers of the Devourer.

      • I thought the Feral Heart was more interested in working with tools of the daelkyr so that’s why I didn’t bring it up, but thanks for the reminder!

        • (ie. I meant that I only remembered the daelkyr part and not the rest, sorry, my reply was not super clear!)

    • Vadalis Monarchs and the Feral Heart are the two main forces that have been mentioned that could fall into this camp. But you could certainly create something more specific if you want in your campaign.

      • Thanks for your reply! Yeah I thought the Feral Heart was much narrower in focus that it is in the books, I was misremembering it. Thank you for the reminder!

  14. How might a warlock/cultist of the Lurker in Shadow react to a Devourer counterpart? Or perhaps coming across a shrine to the other?
    In general im not quite sure how to deal with Dark Six-Overlord relations.

    • No. This ties to my other comment about the Talenta Plains. It’s not that there’s a single Qaltiar spirit that equates to the Devourer; it’s that they’ve taken the broad portfolios of Balinor, the Devourer, and Arawai and divided them up among a larger array of lesser spirits.

  15. Would it be in line for devourer sects to have divine spells to make strong wild beasts? Or would be blamed for such? Not true monsters like the children of the shadow but magical beasts such as a winter wolf, a large magic shark or crocodile?

    Perhaps with lyncanthropes it’s a theological debate if it’s devourer or shadow behind them? Rather than ponder if it’s daelkyr or wild heart.

  16. Hi Keith, great work as always!
    I would just wonder if you can see any warforged cult of the devourer. Maybe they think that the Mourning was caused by the Devourer? Does it make sense to you?

    • You don’t need my permission to add something like this to your campaign—if you like the idea, do it! However, it’s not something that seems particularly logical to me. Warforged aren’t products of nature, so it’s odd for them in particular to feel a connection to a Sovereign of nature. And the Mourning is definitely UNnatural; I’d think Vassals would be more likely to attribute it to the Shadow rather than the Devourer.

  17. One of my players plays a Firbolg Tempest Cleric/Ranger from the Reaches; the Storm Herald idea resonates perfectly with the concept of the mythical stranger who comes into town with the clouds darkning in his wake. I’ve had trouble coming up with a solid background suggestion for him – and I think I’ll go with that. ^^ Thanks for the input, Keith!

  18. Has the devourer as a dragonturtle ever been seen as a incarnation of eberron herself? IE the planet is a turtle.

    Would the elemental evil princes be suitable as planar entities of the gods domain? Like a angel of justice being Dol Arrahs?

Comments are closed.