The Prankster, The Joker, The Watchful Protector, The Priceless Gem, The Sparkling Wit
Greater Power of the Twin Paradises of Bytopia
Symbol: A nugget of gold
Home Plane: Bytopia/Dothion/the Golden Hills (Glitterhome)
Alignment: Neutral good
Portfolio: Gnomes, humor, wit, illusion, trickery, gemcutting, fine-smithing, lapidary, jewelry-making, protection
Allies: Brandobaris, Clangeddin Silverbeard, Corellon Larethian, Cyrrollalee, Dumathoin, Erevan Ilesere, Gorm Gulthyn, Grumbar, Moradin, Tymora, Vergadain, Yondalla, the gnome pantheon (except Urdlen)
Foes: Abbathor, Gaknulak, Kuraulyek, Kurtulmak, Urdlen, the goblinkin pantheons
Core Worshipers: Gnomes
Worshipers: Adventures, bards, defending soldiers, gem cutters, gnomes, illusionists, jewelers, miners, rogues, smiths
Cleric Alignments: LG, LN, NG
Domains: Community* (CD), Creation* (CD), Earth, Good, Liberation* (CD), Protection, Trickery.
Favored Weapon: Arumdina (+5 ghost touch speed dancing battleaxe)
Description: Garl Glittergold (garl gliht-er-gold) is a gentle and approachable deity, one who values quick thinking and a clear head more than almost anything else and who rarely stays in one location for very long. Though physical prowess and spiritual might are important, nothing is more crucial than keeping it all in perspective. Garl watches over cooperation among gnomes at all times. He prefers trickery, illusion, and wiles to direct physical confrontation, although if forced to fight he is hardly weak. Garl often steals evil weapons and magic intended for malefic ends and then disposes of them. He is also a mischievous trickster, said to have the largest collection of jokes in the multiverse. The Watchful Protector is ever alert to threats to the Forgotten Folk and watches directly over their affairs. If such threats cannot be forestalled, Garl vigorously defends against them as needed and appropriate. Although his military prowess usually emphasizes defense, the deity shows himself as a grim and determined war leader when his people are physically threatened.
Garl appears as a handsome, golden-skinned gnome with glittering gemstones for eyes. He is well dressed, usually in a silk jacket with long tails and silk hose. He always wears a lot of gold jewelry and accoutrements. He is renowned for the jokes and pranks he pulls on other deities, though not all his victims laugh off his jests. Garl once collapsed the cavern of the kobold god Kurtulmak; since then, the two deities are sworn enemies.
Dogma: While life may sometimes be hard, it is important to keep a sense of humor and always welcome opportunities for laughter and delight. Communities are forged through the cooperation and communal spirit of a group of individuals who work and play together. The strength of a community is the cooperation that binds individuals into more than the sum of their contributions. A great prank can lighten hard times and make good ones shine. Never take yourself too seriously, lest you lose touch with those you protect and care for. Do not fear change or the unorthodox—therein lies the future. Above all, do what works.
Garl promotes a doctrine of practicality tempered with humor. Ignorance and complacency are dangerous, warns Garl, and he urges his people to explore not only the world around them but new ways of doing things. Garl also emphasizes brains over brawn.
Clergy and Temples
The church of Garl is quite prominent in gnome society, although fairly loosely organized for a lawfully inclined faith. Garl’s clerics serve their communities as artisans, educators, entertainers, mediators, and protectors. Even those who wander in search of adventure serve this function, for their exploits are incorporated into the oral tradition of the Forgotten Folk and related for generations thereafter. In their teaching of the young, members of the Joker’s clergy combine a very earthy practicality with a streak of humor that keeps their young charges entertained and their learning all the better for that. Many also work as smiths (particularly goldsmiths), miners, gem cutters, and they are expected to contribute to the best of their ability, regardless of their seniority. The clergy maintains a careful vigilance toward hostile races, especially kobolds, and watches over the collective strength of the Forgotten Folk. Finally, the clergy must maintain a good archive of jokes, jests, and tales. Garl’s clerics favor gold jewelry, like their patron.
Individuals offer a bit of gold (or other precious metals, if gold is not available) to the deity, even if it is just a handful of gold dust, and the money so collected is used by the temple in its entirety to the collective benefit of the community. Many clerics multiclass as rogues or illusionists.
Cleric Training: Most of Garl Glittergold’s rituals involve the whole community, so his clerics have plenty of opportunities to recruit those who show a particular combination of duty to community and mischievous humor. An older cleric typically teaches three or four students by example, explaining Garl Glittergold’s ways as he attends to the needs of the gnomes in his care.
Quests: Followers of Garl Glittergold find themselves guarding the welfare of gnome communities, delving deep for gems, and fighting the goblinoid enemies of the race. Typical quests include battling a tribe of kobold raiders, pulling a good-natured prank on an arrogant human king, and seeking the long-lost Ebondark Gem Mine on the Elemental Plane of Earth.
Prayers: Many of Garl Glittergold’s prayers are performed call-and-response style, with the leader posing a riddle and everyone answering it in Unison. “Glittergold asks: What is our joy? To delve for treasures and guard our hearth.” Clerics of Garl pray for their spells early in the morning, shortly after the sun rises.
Temples: Garl Glittergold’s temples take the form of unassuming, often magically hidden shrines and chapels. Many are underground. The temple clergy are usually eager to help a traveling gnome any way they can.
Rites: The ceremonies of Garl Glittergold are flashy affairs full of illusion and mystery, often attracting curious gnomes from miles around. Most rites extol the gnome virtues of cleverness and craftsmanship-blessing a masterwork item, a new gem mine, or the top students in a school are common.
The Communion of Laughter is celebrated on the 13th of each month through a variety of activities that last the entire day. Although the ordering varies from temple to temple and there are many variations thereof, the Joker’s rituals include a period of prayer and quiet contemplation, dancing atop the central dais, the sharing of communal meals, storytelling to the accompaniment of visual displays of magic, and joke-telling contests that last late into the night.
History/Relationships: Garl is on excellent terms with the rest of the gnome pantheon, with the notable exception of Urdlen. Garl’s boon companion is Arumdina the Justifier, a great intelligent two-handed battle-axe, commonly referred to as female, who serves him as both weapon and friend. The Joker is often found in the company of other deities of other pantheons of similar perspective. The various deities worshiped by humanoids and creatures of the Underdark are often the target of Garl’s jests, and he usually leaves them helpless and humbled, a victim of self-inflicted folly. As a result, despite his ever-optimistic hope that they might learn a lesson about overweening pride and pomposity, the Joker has garnered many enemies from among their ranks, particularly among the kobold pantheon. Notable among the Joker’s exploits is the story of how he pretended to be caught by Kurume (the chief kobold deity) before escaping as he collapsed the kobold deity’s cavern upon the scaly rat’s head.
Herald and Allies: The heralds of Garl Glittergold are 20th-level celestial gnome bards. Allies are bralani eladrins, leonal guardinals, and elder xorns.
Relics: Gem of the glitterdepth, hooked hammer of the hearthfire.