Gnomesmasher, The Watcher, Steelscale, The Horned Sorcerer, Stingtail, The Devourer
Intermediate Power of the Nine Hells of Baator
Symbol: A gnome skull
Home Plane: Baator/Avernus/Draukari
Alignment: Lawful evil
Portfolio: Kobolds, Trapmaking, Mining, War
Core Worshipers: Kobolds
Worshipers: Kobolds, miners
Cleric Alignments: NE, LE, LN
Domains: Competition* (CD), Earth, Evil, Law, Madness* (CD), Trickery, War.
Favored Weapon: Foestinger (+5 keen lawful unholy shortspear)
Description: Kurtulmak (kurt-uhk-mak) appears as a particularly large kobold, about 5 feet tall, with scaly skin mottled black and green. His rat-like tail is long and tipped with a wicked stinger. Kurtulmak is a savage deity who teaches the kobolds to defend themselves and assault the unwary by any means necessary, including the traps of which he’s fond. He has a particular hatred for gnomes, especially since Garl Glittergold collapsed Kurtulmak’s cavernous home as a joke.
Kurtulmak taught the kobolds the arts of mining, ambushing, and trapmaking. Anything that enhances the stature of the kobolds is a boon to Kurtulmak. Collapsing a series of gnome burrows, convincing a dragon to live among a kobold tribe, and building a trap-filled set of kobold warrens are all typical quests. Kurtulmak is always attentive to events on the Material Plane and eager to secure any advantage for his people.
History: Kurtulmak was created by the green dragon Caesinsjach as the first of the kobolds and their first leader. When the kobolds began enslaving the newly created gnomes and stealing the gemstones that contained their unborn souls, Garl Glittergold intervened by collapsing the mountain that contained the first kobold nation, Darastrixhurthi. Most of the kobolds died, and most of those who survived the collapse were killed by Caesinsjach himself, who had been driven mad by the first Rage of Dragons. The dragon-wrought kobold Kuraulyek had been ordered to watch for the returning Caesinsjach so that he could warn his people, but instead he escaped with his urds.
Kurtulmak himself had died in the collapse of Darastrixhurthi, but the dragon god Asgorath raised him to divinity. Asgorath also gave divinity to Kurtulmak’s hated enemy, the traitor Kuraulyek, who fled Kurtulmak’s wrath by fleeing to the Barrens of Doom and Despair.
This tale may be somewhat apocryphal, however, since other sources place the First Rage of Dragons five hundred years prior to the creation of the urds.
According to legend, the gnome god Garl Glittergold stole something from Tiamat’s hoard, and Tiamat sent Kurtulmak to retrieve it. unfortunately, Garl Glittergold lured Kurtulmak into a system of caves, which Garl Glittergold escaped from and collapsed, leaving Kurtulmak trapped for eternity.
Realm: His realm in Avernus, Draukari, is a warren of caverns, its tunnels narrow and short-ceilinged. Warped, spectral forests grow on the surface. The twisting tunnels of Draukari are filled with blood and reek of death, and they twist so maddeningly that a body’s sure to get lost in them. Anything larger than a halfling has to crawl through the mud, which is filled with traps and other nasty surprises. Towns in Draukari include Frekstavik, Nibellin, and Snjarll.
Dogma: Kurtulmak tirelessly drives kobolds to make war upon gnomes in retaliation for a prank the gnomish deity Garl Glittergold pulled on him. Kurtulmak has neither a sense of compassion nor a sense of humor.
He teaches the kobolds that notions of “fair play” are for fools or for the unlucky. It is better to flee and live to fight again than to be defeated or die for the sake of “bravery.” No fight is truly over as long as one kobold lives who can plot revenge. Revenge is as sweet cold as it does hot, says Kurtulmak, even if it takes years to arrange. Quick wit and clever traps are more effective than brute strength.
Clergy: Kurtulmak’s priests wear orange scale mail and iron helms. His sacred animal is the rook. Priests of Kurtulmak begin their careers as miners. Those who regularly sustain injuries in their work are trained under rigorous military discipline to become clerics or adepts of the faith.
Cleric Training: Kurtulmak insists that his clerics train under military discipline, learning doctrines for setting ambushes, building defenses, and otherwise defending the kobold people. The final test for a would-be cleric is to survive a run down a corridor filled with deadly traps.
Quests: Anything that enhances the stature of the kobolds is a boon to Kurtulmak. Collapsing a series of gnome burrows, convincing a dragon to live among a kobold tribe, and building a trap-fi lled set of kobold warrens are all typical quests.
Prayers: Many of Kurtulmak’s prayers reference dragons and reptiles, such as “O Watcher, I slither before your scaly majesty.”
Prayers to Kurtulmak have a rhythmic quality to them that can easily be recited while swinging a pickaxe. Prayers can also take the form of battle cries and promises of revenge. “By the point of Kurtulmak’s spear and the tip of his poisonous tail, I will see every member of your family perish.”
Temples: No kobold community is complete without a temple or shrine to Kurtulmak. Kurtulmak’s temples are claustrophobic warrens bristling with traps, but they often have the accumulated wealth of a kobold community in their treasury. Kurtulmak is worshiped at the crescent moon in cave temples. His temples are carved out of earth and used to house adepts, clerics, and the tribes’s most valuable treasures. These temples are protected with small, twisting tunnels and a staggering array of deadly traps.
Rituals: At births, kobolds celebrate the return of the souls of those kobolds who have fallen in the service of their tribe, which they believe return to their original lairs for reincarnation. Those who die as traitors are reincarnated as giant beetles, who are hunted by kobolds for armor. Coming-of-age rituals involve finding and defeating traps.
The enemies of kobolds are sacrificed to Kurtulmak monthly (under the light of Luna’s crescent) in a gory ceremony.
Rites: Kurtulmak blesses births and honors deaths, but his ceremonies often feature a simulated or actual trap. Kobold youths, for example, contend with the Blessing of the Pit as a rite of passage.
Holy Days: Kurtulmak’s holiest times are the nights of the crescent moon.
Relationships: Kurtulmak was the sworn enemy of Garl Glittergold and the other gnome gods. He was also a sworn enemy of the urd god Kuraulyek, and he was elevated to divinity by the dragon god Asgorath.
While he is no great threat to the safety of the Hells, various baatezu archdukes curry his favor as one more ally in the continual power struggle between factions. Kurtulmak smiles graciously, takes any and all aid, and proceeds to rob the archdevils blind while maintaining his front as an ally against other powers.
The goblin god Bargrivyek often leads raids against Draukari.
Herald and Allies: Kurtulmak uses an 18-HD erinyes with reptilian features as a herald. Allies are bearded devils, erinyes, and ice devils.
Relics: Enveloping pit, skewer-of-gnomes.