Moander – The Darkbringer, the Jawed God, the Rotting God, the Great Dread God

Moander’s Titles: The Darkbringer, the Jawed God, the Rotting God, the Great Dread God
Moander’s Symbol: An upright male human right hand, fingers outstretched, with a open human female fanged mouth, lips parted as though speaking, set in its palm

Background

Moander was an ancient god of rot, corruption, and decay who had been banished from the Realms on more than one occasion. Although the ranks of its faithful were never large, Moander had been venerated by a variety of cults since before the rise of Netheril. Alternately represented in the ancient texts as he, she, or it, the Darkbringer is an excellent example of how even dead and forgotten gods can sleep lightly.

The Darkbringer was a cruel and petty tyrant who enjoyed tormenting lesser beings and making them destroy that which they held most dear. Moander frequently lied, particularly when such prevarications would cause great emotional distress in its victims. The Darkbringer sought to control every aspect of its worshipers’ lives, viewing them only as puppets. It sought to corrupt and destroy all who would not bow down before it. Over a thousand years ago, during the time of Myth Drannor, the Darkbringer’s sole remaining major temple in the Realms was a huge complex on the site of present-day Yulash whose inhabitants were a continual menace to the forest peoples. The elves eventually burned the complex to the ground, slew all the priests, banished the Jawed God from the Realms, and imprisoned his avatar beneath the ruined temple where it could only be freed by a nonborn child. They hoped Moander would shrink to nothing, starved of worship, but many of its worshipers survived and fled south where they resurrected the priesthood. Over the next millennia, bands of cultists periodically tried to free the Abomination of Moander—without success. Stones inscribed with its symbol are still discovered on a fairly regular basis in ruined Yulash.

Moander was inadvertently released in recent years by the sell-sword Alias and her companions through the manipulations of the Cult of Moander which still sought to restore the Darkbringer to the Realms. Moander’s physical presence in the Realms was then destroyed in a battle in the skies above Myth Drannor and Westgate by Alias and her allies with the aid of the red dragon Mistinarperadnacles Hai Draco, also known as “Mist.” The destruction wrought by the Abomination before its destruction resulted in the creation of Moander’s Road in Cormanthor, the elven forest. The Rotting God, now reduced to a demipower, again returned briefly to the Realms with the aid of a tribe of saurials it enslaved, but it was driven back and ultimately defeated by a combination of brave warriors, exiles from another world, and the Harpers. Moander was then slain on its home plane in the Abyss by a powerful human bard, Finder Wyvernspur, who then seized its divine power. Sages speculate that the Nameless Bard was aided by his patron deity, Lady Luck (explaining, in their opinions, how a mortal could permanently slay a divine power). Finder has since become a deity in his own right, representing, among other things, the need for art to change to avoid the corruption that befalls it when it does not evolve.

If any former power of the Realms is truly utterly destroyed, it is the Darkbringer. However, an infinitesimal fraction of his essence does remain on the Astral Plane, so theoretically it could be revived, given sufficient worship, and could return to haunt the Realms or some other world again. Scheming individuals might have tried to reform the Cult of Moander for their own purposes, but a scheming deity beat them to it — Lolth. To the nature-focused elves of Myth Drannor, Moander epitomized the decay and rotting evil that could corrupt individual elves and destroy the forests the elves held so dear. In a sense, the Darkbringer was a more comprehensible (and tempting) force of evil to the surface elves than distant Lolth, queen of their exiled, dark elf kin. With the Darkbringer’s death, Lolth has taken Moander’s name as an alias of her own. The Spider Queen realized in the aftermath of the Fall of the Gods that, like other gods of the Realms, she, too, was vulnerable to the vagaries of the strength and number of her worshipers. Lolth seeks to add surface-dwelling humans, elves, and half-elves to the ranks of her faithful through her guise as the Darkbringer.

Moander’s Avatar

Moander’s most common form in the Realms was known as the Abomination. This god-thing as its body used a mass of rotting vegetation and carrion as large as a hill that rumbled along the ground, scouring it clean of vegetation, topsoil, and all living things and leaving a putrid, brown slime in its wake. It cast no spells.

Special Attacks and Defenses: The Abomination could easily scale vertical surfaces or float across bodies of water. It could emit tendrils at will from any part of its bulk, including internally, that ended in fanged maws that babbled in an endless cacophony of a thousand disparate voices chanting the god’s name, or in swirling gray-and-white eyes that stared blindly. Although the Abomination was easy to make contact with in combat, its high Armor Class was a result of the difficulty of actually causing it any noticeable physical damage.

For Moander to possess an avatar form constructed by his cultists, the mound of rotting material had to be at least 30 feet in diameter. For each mile of forest the Abomination plowed through, it regenerated 10 hit points and grew an extra 10 feet in diameter, up to a maximum of 100 feet.

Unless rejuvenated by additional compost, the body of the Abomination always collapsed into dust and putrid slime in 1d4 months and a new one had to be found or built, requiring cultists to continually build it new bodies in the Realms.

The Abomination could confine its essence to a small piece of its rotting mass and spring forth as a small egg-shaped pod in a single round. This pod could then merge with another hill-sized pile of corruption or slowly grow in size again by absorbing more vegetation if the Darkbringer so desired.

While less than 30 feet in diameter (because it was compressed into pod form or growing from a pod form), the Abomination could swell up with swamp gas and attack with a giant maw that inflicted 4d10 points of damage on a successful hit. However, this form was extremely susceptible to fire — any sizable flame that was not snuffed out by the wet rot of its body would ignite the gas in a fiery explosion, destroying the Abomination.

For every 10 feet in diameter in size it was, the Abomination could attack with 2d8 large tendrils (AC 0, 20 hit points each) each of which ended in a lipless, many-fanged maw that could speak with its voice. Such large tendrils were half the Abomination’s diameter in length and several inches in diameter. They could either bite and rend flesh 2d4+4 points of piercing damage or enter any body orifice of an immobilized, living mammal or reptile and possess the creature’s body and mind. Alternatively, a tendril could disgorge a seed of Moander within the body and then withdraw.

The seed then burst, releasing its spores. Tendrils could also hurl large trees and boulders with a maximum range of 300 yards doing 3d10 points of damage with each massive spear or stone. If two or more large tendrils made a successful attack, they could also entangle opponents and over the next two rounds drag them toward the Abomination’s rotting mass where it could manifest a gaping mouth and bite for 4d10 points of damage per round (no saving throw or attack roll permitted or needed).

Beings overrun and swallowed up by the Abomination were crushed and pierced for 5d6 points of damage per round for 1d6+4 rounds before being thrown up to the top of its body. Once there, wounded captives found themselves under attack by countless tiny tendrils that rotted away their clothing and nonmetallic parts of their armor in another 1d4+2 rounds. Once a victim’s clothing and armor were destroyed, the small tendrils began to rot away flesh and transform it into compost, causing 3d4 points of damage per round.

The Abomination automatically succeeded at attacking with its small tendrils each round, and no saving throw was allowed to avoid them. There was a 15% chance per round that a seed of Moander is implanted in the body of a being on top of Moander and deprived of clothing or armor.

Attempts by captives to tear free from the Abomination’s embrace and to move were hampered by the many grasping tendrils (both tiny and large), slowing movement to half rate (and to a maximum of 2 in any round in which the captive failed a Strength ability check) and preventing any form of flight, magical or otherwise. A captive had to successfully traverse the Abomination’s bulk and leap free to escape the rotting attacks, and then such a being still faced a 15% chance per round that a seed of Moander had been planted in them during their escape.

Twice per day, the Abomination could vomit forth a shambling mound, and once every three days, a gibbering mouther. Both of these sorts of spawn of Moander would do its bidding for 1d12 days and thereafter wander off to take up their own, independent lives. (Mouthers have no effect on the plant bulk that is the Abomination.) The Abomination could quench fires with its bulk if it was composed primarily of wet, rotting material. It took no harm from heat or flame unless it was composed primarily of dry kindling. In general it liked warmth, which was more conducive to decay, and always suffered double damage from all cold magics.

The Abomination could learn anything contained within a possessed being’s mind at will. Doing so gave the possessed being a glimpse into the Darkbringer’s mind as well, which often drove them mad (as adjudicated by the DM). Although the Abomination could not cast spells directly, it could have a possessed being cast any spells the possessed being knew. Likewise, the Abomination’s Intelligence and Wisdom rose (but did not fall) to match that of the currently possessed puppet (Minion) of greatest intelligence. Finally, the Abomination could create a gate for itself or fly for up to six hours (by burning swamp gas) at will, but doing so required a tremendous expenditure of energy, consuming one month of the Abomination’s existence in its current avatar form in the process.

Other Manifestations

Moander could manifest as the intangible image of a rotting hulk that resembled a giant, floating, disembodied human male head, with 20-foot-long, prehensile tendrils as hair, a many-fanged mouth, and two maliciously glittering red eyes. In this form, the god could speak, point and gesture with its tendrils, and establish a mental link with any creature it “touched” with those intangible tendrils—so that it could whisper to them later in their dreams by voice or visions. (The link could be broken by use of a remove curse or cure disease spell.)

Moander could also manifest in any decaying matter in Toril, growing out of it as a 20-foot-long, vine-like tendril identical to those originating from the Abomination. If the tendril’s movements brought it to any decaying matter (leaf mold, which is present on the ground anywhere in a forest, is enough), it could transfer its “base” to that new decaying mass, leapfrogging away from its initial location.

In addition to their normal attacks, such tendrils could also possess immobilized, living creatures as described above. Often a tendril’s victims were sleeping, but sometimes they were bound by the Darkbringer’s Minions. If a tendril devoured (not possessed) a cumulative total of warm-blooded (mammalian) victims that had more than 77 hit points when alive, it grew a bud that in 1d4 days split into a second, separate vine or tendril that could operate independent of its parent. Tendrils lacking food or decaying matter within reach could go dormant for 1d8 months, but shrivelled and died if no sustenance came to them after that time.

Moander was served by a variety of plant creatures and peculiar abominations including Algoids, Tree Blight, Gibbering Mouthers, Shambling Mounds, Vegepygmy, Thorny, Vegepygmy-Chief and a Corpse Flower. It sometimes sent Black Dragons or Green Dragons to serve as a steed for the Mouth of Moander (the head of its church). The Darkbringer also manifested through a variety of possessed beings including animals, humans, treants, and various monsters, who were recognizable as being sent from or controlled by it by the vines growing from their bodies. The Great Dread God particularly enjoyed corrupting beholders and their kin to serve its will, probably as the result of some ancient feud with Bane. Those that were slain while resisting possession by the Darkbringer are transformed into rotting Death Tyrants (undead beholders) upon their demises.

The Church

All clerics and specialty priests of Moander receive religion (Faerunian) as a bonus nonweapon proficiency.

Servants of Moander had to undergo a ceremony upon their initiation into the cult in which a seed of Moander was absorbed into the initiate. This seed slowly grew throughout the body until the recipient’s entire internal structure was composed of rotting plant material. The only outward manifestation was a small flowered tendril emerging from one ear and winding through the hair. At all times the recipient was under the direct mental and physical control of Moander, whenever it so desired, and would always act according to the instructions of Moander and the cult.

Moander’s priests tended to be lonely, directionless folk who had found in the god’s mind visions firm direction in life. Once Moander possessed a body directly, the god’s control over that being became absolute, but the process of eating them away from within also began. In the case of extremely capable servants, the Darkbringer guaranteed their loyalty by its power to speedily slay them from within if they proved treacherous, but kept them alive for years by granting them spells that inhibited the inner rotting (such as slow rot).

Prior to Moander’s death at the hands of Finder Wyvernspur, his clergy included both specialty priests, known as darkbringers, and clerics. After the Darkbringer’s destruction and the death of his remaining clerics, new cults included only specialty priests and lay members in the priesthood. All priests were known as Minions of Moander. Senior clergy of a temple were High Minions, and the leader or high priest of a temple was the Master Minion.

The supreme Faerunian priest of the Darkbringer was known as the Mouth of Moander. The clergy members of Moander used no other titles as they were all simply slaves and puppets of the Darkbringer. There was a 1% chance that any high priest of Moander would be transformed into a skuz upon death. Such undead were known as Undying Minions.

The Mouth of Moander was its supreme servant in Faerun and was usually (though not always) a human female priestess. Since the death of Mogion in ruined Yulash, the Mouth has been the shrewd mistress of intrigues Dalchatha Maereegh, a once strikingly beautiful crone who dwells in the Hidden Glades temple somewhere in the Chondalwood near Torsch. She administers a network of capable spies and task forces that capture or slay creatures destined to feed Great Moander and then teleport them to her or establish new bodies for the god in remote areas. In return, Moander grants her youthful, lush beauty whenever she grows restless, and she can then venture into nearby human cities to enjoy satisfying (if fleeting) human companionship.

Any newly formed Cult of Moander that includes true priests must be backed by some other dark power than Moander (such as the cult backed by Lolth). Assuming the cultists do not realize that their divine sponsor is other than Moander, it is likely that such a cult will continue as before (albeit with increased visitations by dark elf emissaries in the case of Lolth’s cult).

Temples of Moander tended to be located on stark hills in wilderness settings or in subterranean complexes in urban settings. Those in wilderness settings were marked by hilltop circles of red, fang-shaped plinths arranged to resemble a bloody, fanged mouth from above and typically contained an altar in the center of the circle. Those temples located in subterranean complexes were often constructed from forgotten sewer tunnels and saw much of the garbage and sewage of the city overhead pass through their halls. The walls of such temples were carved with tiny, intricate, flowing designs resembling tree sculptures grown and shaped by elves, but which depicted horrific images of heroes suffering deadly tortures at the hands of leering humanoids, being torn apart by chaotic beasts, and being fried, frozen, dissolved, and poisoned by dragons, beholders, and other deadly creatures. Tempora: shrines to the Darkbringer were constructed in fetid swamps, verdant jungles, and rank sewers and consisted of massive compost piles meant to house the Abomination.

Dogma: Minions of the Darkbringer were charged to feed Great Moander with fresh corpses of their own making. They were to hew down strong plants and trees to feed It. Moander’s priests were charged to keep the Abomination and the lands through which it would pass as warm as possible. When a novice was first initiated into the priesthood and possessed by a seed of Moander, the Darkbringer instructed him or her through horrific dreams as follows: “Seek not to question the ways and words of Moander, lest you be stricken by the Eating From Within. Go forth and possess beings of power and influence for me. Slay, and let the rot cover all. Fight against cold with fire and magic. Fear me, and obey.”

Day-to-Day Activities: Moander’s Minions were a secretive, proud clergy that scoured the land for malformed life (such as mongrelmen and diseased plants and beasts) and brutish, destructive beings (ores and the like) to feed to Moander. Cultists of Moander strove to spread intelligent vegetable life throughout the Realms, including algoids, shambling mounds, gibbering mouthers, and vegepygmies (russet mold).

Minions of Moander existed to feed the god, whose decaying powers quickly destroyed any body it animated (always a tangled mass of carrion, dead or diseased plants, and the like). Minions were thus always kept busy building new bodies, leading the old ones to fresh food, or infecting other mortals to become new Minions. In rituals and spell-weavings in secluded wilderness ravines and caves, they built the Great Dread God endless new bodies to possess as the Abomination: triangular pyramids of decaying vegetation, dung, and rotting corpses. Moander animated a “body” as the Abomination in a sacred ritual requiring but a single drop of blood from a living seed that granted the casting priest instant favor and promotion. To begin the ritual, the priest brought one of Moander’s living seeds to the new body. Living seeds were sentient mammals or reptiles of high intelligence and good alignment who had been possessed by a seed of Moander and who had (at least temporarily) survived the process.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: The church of Moander had no calendar-related high holy days except the Balefire. Always held on the first of Hammer, the Balefire celebrated the will of Moander’s servants to hold back the cold by building huge bonfires in its honor—fires at which the god always manifested to thank them, to deliver inspirational sermons, and to charge them with missions to further its power during the cold months when the Darkbringer retreated to deep, lava-warmed caverns in the Underdark (and had to be guarded by select faithful Minions against drow, deep dragons, and other dangers of the World Below).

On a daily basis, faithful of Moander had to slay something or gather vegetable matter in the name of the god and render up their gatherings either to build a body for the god or to encourage rot and decay. Each month Moander’s Minions had to seek to extend the influence of the god by spreading rumors of its power and by bringing a seed of Moander into contact with at least one new being (while whispering Moander’s name).

Rituals were simple, and Moander did benefit its priests in one special way: Minions of Moander never caught a disease (including mummy rot and lycanthropy) nor suffered from poisoning no matter what they did. They could eat all manner of rotting food, mold, and the like, and drink water that had been deliberately poisoned or contaminated by decaying things and take no harm.

Major Centers of Worship: The Abyss of the Abomination, a subterranean temple of the Darkbringer located deep beneath Yulash, survived Moander’s destruction and is still being run by Moanderite cultists (unknowingly backed by Lolth). Tolerated by the Red Plumes of Hillsfar, cultists of the Darkbringer are permitted to travel to and from the temple in exchange for regular, hefty bribes to the local commanders. The temple is entered via a deep shaft hidden in a newly constructed warehouse owned by the cult. Surrounded by a ring of fanglike red marble stones, the pit is used as a garbage midden by the city’s inhabitants for a modest annual fee. The cultists serve as an informal dungsweeper’s guild for the slowly rebuilding city. The temple itself is entered via a recently rebuilt stair that spirals down the pit wall to a platform halfway down the stair, and the complex is undergoing a significant expansion.

Numerous sacred sites of the Darkbringer’s cult survive throughout the Realms and are the site of pilgrimages by Moander’s cultists. West of the city of Westgate is a ring of seven hills, each the site of a temple to one of the Seven Lost Gods and topped with a ring of standing stones. The southernmost hill, known as the Hill of Fangs, is the site of a simple shrine to the Darkbringer. The standing stones are not mere pillars but huge red plinths of stone shaped like fangs that point inward. At the center of the ring, meant to suggest the Jawed God, is a bloodstained stone altar. Although the Darkbringer’s cult is no longer active in the region, cultists gather annually at midnight on the sixth of Kythorn, the anniversary of Moander’s defeat, to plead for the return of the Jawed God to the area.

Affiliated Orders: Moander is served by a secret brotherhood of rogues known as the Eyes of the Darkbringer. This secretive fellowship has placed one or two members in most of Faerun’s major cities. The Darkeyes, as they are known among the faithful, serve as spies and occasionally as assassins and warn the cult of any brewing threats to their fell rituals.

Priestly Vestments: Moander’s priests tended to dress in everyday garb to conceal their faith when they were “reaping” (gathering material for the god’s latest body), but within their hidden cave and subterranean cellar temples, they wore cowled robes of mottled green and brown trimmed with natural vines, symbolizing Moander’s growth from decay, and faceless masks of white with a single eye painted in the forehead and surrounded by teeth.

All senior clergy wore copper-hued robes enchanted so as to afford food for a creeping fungus growth that moved slowly and continuously over them; only the Master Minion had a “bare” copper robe. The Mouth of Moander wore a clean white robe bearing the red-embroidered device of an eye surrounded by an open fanged mouth on his or her breast. As puppets of the Darkbringer, all of Moander’s Minions sported a flowered tendril emerging from one ear and wrapped throughout their hair.

Adventuring Garb: When adventuring, Minions of Moander dressed practically in the best armor they could find. Most wore as much of their ceremonial garb as possible without drawing attention to themselves. Some enjoyed pretending to be druids and dressed appropriately, wielding scimitars.

Others favored nondescript brown and green clothing and wielded cudgels inlaid with shards shaped to resemble fangs. (Sharded cudgels inflict 1d8+2 points of damage against small and size medium creatures, and 1d6+2 points of damage against larger creatures. They are otherwise treated as clubs.) If possible, Minions carried a small colony of russet mold with them in order to seed new areas with the spawn of Moander.

Specialty Priests (Darkbringers)

  • Darkbringers cast all spells from the Druid spell list with double the normal area of effect and duration.
  • When darkbringers cast plant growth either as spell-like power or normal spell, the spell varies from its normal effect. If the first form of plant growth is cast by a darkbringer, the normal riotous growth of vegetation results, but all affected plants immediately begin to rot and die after a ten-day unless a successful dispel magic spell is cast before the tenday is up. If the second form of plant growth is cast and the initial saving throw is successful, any effect of the spell is negated. If the saving throw is failed, all plants within the one-mile-square area become rotten and diseased and die within a month unless a bless spell followed by a successful dispel magic spell is cast on part of the one-mile-square area in the interim in the name of blessing the entire area affected. If such a combination of spells are cast, the detrimental effects in the entire area are negated.
  • Darkbringers are able to cast entangle (as the 1st-level priest spell) or, if the DM allows it, puffball (as the 1st-level priest spell described in the Complete Druid’s Handbook) once per day.
  • At 3rd level, darkbringers are able to cast handfang (as the 2nd-level priest spell) once per day.
  • At 5th level, darkbringers are able to cast speed rot (as the 3rd-level priest spell) or plant growth (as the above variant of the 3rd-level priest spell) once per day.
  • At 9th level, darkbringers are able to cast rising rot or spirit trap of the Darkbringer (as the 5th-level priest spells) once per day.
  • At 11th level, darkbringers are able to cast roots of the assassin or tentacle of withering (as the 6th-level priest spells) once per day.

Moanderite Spells

Handfang

  • Level: 2
  • Casting Time: 1 Action
  • Range/Area: Touch
  • Components: V, S
  • Duration: 1 Minute
  • School: Transmutation
  • Attack/Save: WIS Save
  • Damage/Effect: Paralyzed

This spell creates a fanged, biting mouth in the palm of the caster’s hand. It can readily be concealed by curling the hand into a fist or by placing the palm of the hand against something. Its bite is under the control of the caster; it does not automatically snap at anything it touches. The caster can only deliver the hand’s attack by slapping his or her palm against a target, requiring a successful attack roll; it can bite once per round. The bite of a handfang does 1d4 piercing damage and 3d4 necrotic damage the target must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be paralyzed.

Speed Rot

  • Level: 3
  • Casting Time: 1 Action
  • Range/Area: 150 ft (20 ft radius )
  • Components: V, S, M
  • Duration: Instantaneous
  • School: Abjuration
  • Attack/Save: None
  • Damage/Effect:

This spell causes fruits, vegetables, and grains to immediately ripen and then rot into a putrid slime. It has no effect upon meat of any kind. Plants and plant-based creatures within the area of effect suffer 8d6 necrotic damage. The caster can affect as much as a 20-foot-radius sphere centered on a point within range. Thus, even a low-level Minion of Moander could effectively ruin a farmer’s stored grain or rot all the fruit on the trees in his orchard. The material component of this spell is a bit of mold.

When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, the damage increases by 1d6 for each slot level above 3rd.

Rising Rot

  • Level: 5
  • Casting Time: 1 Action
  • Range/Area: 30 ft, 5 ft Sqaure
  • Components: V, S, M
  • Duration:
  • School: Evocation
  • Attack/Save: CON Save
  • Damage/Effect: Diseased

This spell generates a glowing brown or green beam of light that stabs out from the caster to unerringly strike a chosen target creature, who must be visible to the caster and within range when spellcasting begins. The beam fades from existence the moment the victim has been struck. The beam infects the victim with a mold that sucks moisture and nutrients from living flesh, causing it to shrivel and turn brown. The target must make a Constitution saving throw. The target takes 8d8 necrotic damage on a failed save and is inflicted by the mold, or half as much damage and is not inflicted on a successful one. This spell has no effect on undead or constructs. On every round thereafter the victim must make another Constitution saving throw. The same spell damage (8d8 necrotic damages) continues until the victim has successfully saved. The Heal spell or anthing that removes diseases ends this spell instantly, as does any magic that kills molds or prevents damage done by them. Sages believe that the Darkbringer’s cult has fashioned numerous wands, known as wands of rotting, which can cast rising rot upon command. The material component of this spell is a handful of mold spores from any source and of any type.

Seed of Moander

  • Level: 5
  • Casting Time: 1 Action
  • Range/Area: 20/60 ft, 10 ft Sphere
  • Components: V, S, M
  • Duration: Permanent
  • School: Transformation
  • Attack/Save: WIS Save
  • Damage/Effect: Charmed

This spell was developed by priests of Moander centuries ago as a method of enslaving sentient beings to the will of Moander. The spell itself results in the creation of a seed of Moander, which can then transform a victim into a servant of Moander.

To create a seed of Moander, a priest wraps an emerald fragment in a ball of rotting plant material. The resulting spherical proto-seed is soaked in unholy water for 24 hours and then cursed in the name of Moander. The priest then casts this spell while touching the proto-seed, transforming the sphere into a green, spine-covered burr about the size and shape of a Cocklebur. The seed is sticky, and the spines end in tiny hooks.

A seed of Moander attaches itself to the skin of any living, sentient creature it comes into contact with who is not already a Minion of Moander. The seed bursts on the round following its attachment and releases a 10-foot-radius sphere cloud of spores. Seeds may be thrown (range 20/60); however, they do not break open unless they strike living beings. (Treat such seeds that miss their targets as grenade-like missiles.) Any living, sentient creature within the area of effect of the spores (who is not already a Minion of Moander) that creature must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or become cursed. If it fails the saving throw, the spores are inhaled and begin transforming the host. If it succeeds, the spores are not inhaled, and the transformational effects of the seed of Moander are negated. Unburst seeds of Moander burst when they contact living flesh. They are destroyed by being drenched in holy water and the Remove Curse spell.

If a victim is not treated, the spores grow, making the creature into a puppet of Moander (one of Moander’s mind-controlled servants) in 4d4 days and also turning his or her entrails into a festering mass of rotting, mold-encrusted tendrils that eventually (in 5d6 + 30 days) reduce their host to a dried-out husk, killing the creature. Externally the host appears unchanged until death except for the faint odor of pollen and a small flowered vine wrapped around one ear. A victim who shares body fluids with another creature – as little as a kiss is sufficient – can transfer the spores of a seed of Moander to that creature, spreading the Darkbringer’s influence. The potential new host must make a Wisdom saving throw for each instance of exposure to avoid infestation.

Only if Moander is completely absent from the Realms (in other words, all of the god’s avatars and manifestations in the Realms have been destroyed) is the original host able to express its free will after it would have normally become a mind-controlled being. However, without the stabilizing effect of Moander’s power, the body decays at an accelerated rate once the initial 4d4-day period is passed and becomes a rotting mass of plant material in a ten-day.

If a victim infested with the spores of a seed of Moander drinks holy water within 1 hour of the spores affecting it, the spores dissolve and the victim is cured. If holy water is drunk within 2 days of the spores’ entry, their growth is slowed to half rate (in other words, the possession and rotting take twice as long). A Heal spell used within 30 days of initial corruption by the spores stops the possession and the corruption process, allowing the victim to live and slowly heal inwardly. Cold magic that deals the infested body more than 20 points of damage also slays the spores’ growth, allowing the victim to slowly recover. Typically, victims cured by heal, or cold damage who do not receive a (second) heal, a restoration spell have their Strength and Constitution reduced to half for 1dl2 + 20 days. At the end of that time, they slip into a coma, lose 4d4 hit points, and a day later, if they survived the damage, awaken fully cured.

A newly created puppet of Moander retains all of its previous abilities and skills, but all of its thoughts are known to Moander, and it is under the complete control of the Rotting God. In addition, the newly created minion can sprout one or two 10-foot-long tentacles at will from any orifice or directly through its skin. Each tendril (AC 10; 12 hp each; 2d8 bludgeoning damage per successful attack) can attack once per round until destroyed. If a tendril is destroyed, the minion can sprout another tentacle the following round. If both tendrils hit a small or medium sized creature in the same round, the victim is restrained (as the spell of Entangle) until the creature is released or escapes.

The material components of this spell are an emerald fragment ( value 100 gp) and Moander’s holy symbol.

Spirit Trap of the Darkbringer

  • Level: 5
  • Casting Time: 1 Action
  • Range/Area: 20 ft
  • Components: V, S, M
  • Duration: 1 Hour
  • School: Abjuration
  • Attack/Save: None
  • Damage/Effect:

This spell creates an innocuous-appearing false walnut. Once the spell is cast to create it, it can be activated at will by any possessed Minion of Moander by clenching it in a special way. When activated, the round nut radiates a sphere of darkness that expands to the size of a pumpkin to encompass the bearer’s hand and forearm in an inky black ball. The sphere then shimmers like hot tar and emits a vine-like tendril of glassy black up to 20 feet in length that touches the target being. If the target fails a Dexterity saving throw, the creature is enveloped in darkness and transformed into a silhouette. The silhouette then constricts and squeezes into a tiny, black, marble-size sphere that is pulled by the tendril into the Minion’s hand. The darkness then dissipates, leaving a clear, crystal walnut in the Minion’s hand surrounding the marble-size black sphere that is the imprisoned being. Victims who succeed at their saving throw are unaffected by the vinelike tendril, and the spell dissipates immediately.

The clear spirit prison lasts for 1d12 days. When the crystal nut is shattered or when the spell duration expires, the marble-size sphere of darkness reforms into the shape of the imprisoned creature and then the darkness dissipates, leaving the victim unharmed.

The material component of this spell is a black sapphire of at least 5,000 gp value which is transformed into the false walnut.

Roots of the Assassin

  • Level: 6
  • Casting Time: 1 Action
  • Range/Area: 30 ft, 10 ft Square
  • Components: V, S, M
  • Duration: 2 Round
  • School: Conjuration
  • Attack/Save: None
  • Damage/Effect:

Long, slimy, black roots of foul look and manner fill a 10-foot square on any surface that you can see within range. For the duration, these roots turn the ground in the area into difficult terrain. These plant things grow with astonishing speed and attempts to strangle the poor creature who triggered the spell; they wrap themselves around the neck of their victim. The caster of this spell chooses exactly what condition triggers it. The condition can be of any complexity—for example “Kill only halflings wearing magical black leather armor with a red rose painted on their left shoulders.” However, the spell cannot know the name or alignment of a being, nor can it be set off by undead or plantlike creatures.

This spell creates 1d100 tiny roots per 5 ft, any of which is sufficient to strangle a medium-sized creature. Each of them can project itself up to 15 feet in order to attack. Potential victims thus have to fight several hundred roots originating from several square feet of surface. When called forth by being activated, the roots make no more noise than a leaf falling from a tree, so only individuals with an exceptional sense of hearing (DC 19 Perception check) would deny the roots a surprise attack. On a hit, the is restrained by the roots until the spell ends.

Restrained victims can hold its breath for a number of minutes equal to 1 + its Constitution modifier (minimum of 30 seconds). Beyond that time the creature must succeed on a Constitution saving throw every round or perish. Characters with the Swimming Speed gain an additional round before they begin making Constitution ability checks.

Victims ensnared by this spell can attempt to sever the roots that strangle them. The mass of roots is AC 10, but only slashing weapons have any effect against the roots. If trapped victims use any weapon larger than a dagger, they disadvantage their attack rolls against the roots. Slashing weapons sever five times their damage roll in roots, and area-of-effect damaging spells also destroy that many roots. A total of 2dl00 roots and tendrils holds a victim. If all of them are destroyed and a victim succeeds at a Strength ability check, then the creature is able to escape the spell’s area of effect. The material component of this spell is a rotting leaf or a rotting piece of wood and the holy symbol of the caster.

Tentacle of Withering

  • Level: 6
  • Casting Time: 1 Action
  • Range/Area: 30 ft
  • Components: V, S, M
  • Duration: 6 Round
  • School: Transformation
  • Attack/Save: None
  • Damage/Effect: Bludgeoning

This spell transforms one of the caster’s arms into a wriggling, eel-like gray tentacle, which is rubbery, flexible, can readily adhere to surfaces or grasp things (and release them whenever desired) and is retractable and extensible from the length of the original arm to 30 feet long. The tentacle can grasp or manipulate objects, wield weapons, constrict for 9 (1d6 + 6) bludgeoning damage, or enact its withering power (if the caster wills it to): sucking life energy from a living body it is touching. To wither, the tentacle must make a successful attack roll. A successful withering attack causes the victim 1d8 + 3 necrotic damage and the loss of sensory or motive use of the struck body part for one round with no saving throw. (Determine which body part is struck through random dice roll between possible targets.) If the head is struck, a round of blindness and deafness inescapably results. If a leg is struck, that leg cannot move for one round. A struck arm cannot move or hold things and drops anything already in its grasp. The tentacle can repeatedly affect a victim, inflicting another 1d8 + 3 necrotic damage each round and disabling a new limb or the same limb if it can maintain contact with the being.

The caster can end this spell early at any time by silent act of will, causing the tentacle to melt slowly away. While the tentacle is disappearing, the caster does not have any use of the tentacle/limb for one round.

The material components of this spell are a fragment of bone or small complete bone and a piece of rubber or eel flesh.

In category: Uncategorized