Garl Glittergold

<b>Garl Glittergold:</b>
<i>The Joker, the Watchful Protector the Priceless Gem, the Sparkling Wit</i><br>

<b>Symbol:</b> Gold Nugget<br>
<b>Home Plane</b>: Dothion/the Golden Hills (Glitterhome)<br>
<b>Alignment</b>: LG<br>
<b>Portfolio</b>: Humor, Gemcutting, Protection, Smithing, Trickery<br>
<b>Domains</b>: Gnome, Good, Protection, Trickery <br>
<b>Worshipers</b>: Gnomes <br>
<b>Aliases</b>: N/A <br>
<b>Cleric Alignments:</b> LG LN NG<br>
<b>Favored Weapon:</b> "Arumdina" (Battleaxe) <br>

Garl Glittergold (GARL GLIHT-ter'gold) is the Watchful Protector of the Forgotten Folk and the leader of the gnome pantheon. He is said to have discovered the first gnomes while exploring a new cavern and then told them a joke before leading them into the world. All gnomes who embrace the communal life of the Forgotten Folk venerate the Joker, even if they also worship another deity. His name is invoked by gnomes involved in smithcraft (particularly those who work with gold) and gem cutting. Gnomes who wish to play a prank or tell a joke invoke his name, as do those who seek to protect and strengthen gnome communities with the notable exception of Urdlen.

He insists they cooperate in all endeavors, and he shares with them his responsibilities and concerns, thus mining and smithing are also overseen by Flandal Steelskin, illusion is also the province of Baravar Cloakshadow, protection and combat are responsibilities shared with Gaerdal Ironhand, and so on. Garl's boon companion is Arumdina the justifier, a great intelligent two-headed battle axe, commonly referred to as female, who serves him as both weapon and friend. The sight of the gleaming weapon that cleaves through stone as easily as through air and slices through metal armor as if it did not exist has probably encouraged more than one victim of one of Garl's jokes to laugh it off with good humor rather than get too mad.

The Joker is often found in the company of other powers of other pantheons of similar perspective, including Brandobaris, Erevan Ilesere, Tymora, and Vergadain. The various powers worshiped by humanoids and creatures of the Under-dark are often the target of Garl's jests, and he usually leaves them helpless 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 are the story of how he pretended to be caught by Kurtulmak before escaping as he collapsed the kobold god's cavern on top of Kurtulmak, and the story of how Garl dressed up as a deer to lure Grankhul, the bugbear hunter god, out into the open before trapping him with an illusion and leaving him trussed up like a turkey.

Garl is a gentle and approachable power, one who values quick thinking and a clear head more than almost anything. He 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 may send omens, even an avatar, to resolve strife and serious disputes. Garl prefers trickery, illusion, and wiles to direct physical confrontation, although if forced to fight he is hardly weak. The leader of the gnome pantheon often steals evil weapons and magic intended for malefic ends from their owners and then disposes of them. The Joker is also a mischievous trickster, said to have the largest collection of jokes in the multiverse, and he has always got one appropriate to the situation. The Joker usually carries plenty of props for his illusions and practical jokes as he never knows when they might come in handy. There is another side to Garl than that of the witty adventurer who collapsed the kobold god's cavern. 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 will defend his people as needed and appropriate. Although his military prowess is almost always used defensively, when Garl's people are physically threatened, the god is a grim and determined war leader who out-thinks as well as out-fights his opponents. <br>

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 help to lighten hard times and make good ones shine- Those who are in authority should never take themselves too seriously, or they lose touch with those they direct and care for. Teach and preserve the tales and traditions of the Forgotten Folk, so that they are never forgotten among their own kind. Do not fear change or the unorthodox, for therein lies the future. Finally, in all things, do what works. <br>

Garl commonly manifests as an enchanted mouth similar a magic mouth spell. Such manifestations may speak, cast spells (even those that would normally require somatic or material components), or most frequently, tell a joke or a tale. The Joker sometimes manifests as a cloud of glittering, golden particles. Such manifestations may hover in place, equal to a glitter-dust spell, or coalesce on a bladed weapon, equal to an edge of Arumdina spell. Either effect lasts 7 rounds. <br>

Garl is served by aurumvorae, badgers, chipmunks, golden hamsters, moles, raccoons, shrews, ground squirrels, weasels, and a handful of sentient magical weapons. He demonstrates his favor through the discovery of exquisitely carved gemstones of all sorts or by a ghostly chuckle in response to some particularly humorous jest. O ens take the form of gentle proddings through trickery, mischievously telekinetically moved objects bobbing about, or some illusion that makes a gnome appear momentarily foolish. The Joker indicates his displeasure by spoiling some achievement, causing some prized object to break, shattering a gemstone, etc. <br>

<b>The Church of Garl:</b>
The church of Garl is highly regarded throughout gnome society for its role in bringing the community together, and the Joker's priests often serve as both the spiritual and temporal leaders of their communities. In the conscious emulation of the overlapping interests of the god and the other members of the pantheon, the church of Garl works closely with most other gnome churches, engendering a great deal of good will. A significant minority of the church clergy seeks to emulate the adventures of Garl, and it is this subgroup that is primarily visible to members of other races. As such, the other human and demihuman races commonly regard the Joker's faithful as a loosely organized, ebullient, and friendly bunch, forever getting involved in shenanigans of one sort or the other and inveterate practical jokers. The mischievous exploits of both god and clergy are told and retold around the hearths of gnomes throughout the Realms.

Temples of the Joker are typically located in worked caves just below the surface at the heart of gnome communities. The central sanctuary is usually circular with a domed ceiling divided into four quadrants by great soaring arches. Each arch is carved with depictions of gnomes from all walks of life engaged in all of life's activities, a recurring theme in the church of Garl suggesting the contribution of each individual member of the community to the collective prosperity. The walls and ceilings of such temples are typically plated with gold leaf or studded with brightly polished gold nuggets that gleam in the light of flickering torches. Concentric circles of stone pews, split into four quadrants by narrow aisles that run beneath the arches, face inward to the central, slightly raised dais. The church of Garl encourages the use of the Joker's temples for more than just worship services, for this advances the interests of the god. Entertainers of all types, particularly joke tellers and illusionists, hold many concerts and shows in the round that are open to all members of the community.

Novices of Garl are known as the Uncut. Full priests of the Joker are known as Jewels. In ascending order of rank, the titles used by Garlian priests are Amethyst, Topaz, Opal, Jacinth, Diamond, Emerald, Ruby, and Sapphire. High-ranking priests have unique individual titles, but high female priests are known collectively as Star Rubies whereas high male priests are known as Star Sapphires, although neither gender-based group is considered senior to the other. Specialty priests are known as glitterbrights. <br>

<b>Day-to-Day Activities:</b>
Garl's priests serve their communities as craftsmen, 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 interest and subsequent learning heightened. Many also work as smiths (particularly goldsmiths), miners, and gem cutters, and they are expected to contribute to the best of their ability, regardless of their seniority. The priesthood maintains a careful vigilance to protect against hostile races, especially kobolds, and watches over the welfare of the Forgotten Folk. The priesthood must maintain a good archive of jokes, jests, and tales, and priests are expected to be able raconteurs capable of enthralling an audience through a combination of all three.<br>

<b>Holy Days/Important Ceremonies:</b>
The church of Garl holds monthly worship services on the 13th day of each monthan auspicious day in gnome folklore. Known as the Communion of Laughter, the Forgotten Folk venerate the head of the gnome pantheon through a variety of activities that last the entire day. Although the order varies from temple to temple, 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. Individuals are expected to offer a bit of gold (or other precious metals, if gold is not available) to the god, even if it is just a handful of gold dust. The moneys so collected are used by the temple for the collective benefit of the community.<br>

<b>Major Centers of Worship:</b>
At the headwaters of the northwestemmost tributary of the River Murghol, on the eastern slopes of the Sunrise Mountains, midway between the Lake of Mists and the ruins of Delhumide, lies the Hidden Kingdom of Songfarla. Although it is commonly known throughout the region that a few isolated communities of rock gnomes survive in the shadow of Thay, learning of the existence of an entire kingdom of the Forgotten Folk so close to the borders of the land of the Red Wizards would shock even the Zulkir of Divination.

The Hidden Kingdom is largely self-sufficient, although it does trade with its neighbors in ways designed to continue its anonymity and preserve its sanctity and security. The inhabitants of Songfarla have a few representatives in the city of Almorel who trade the Hidden Kingdom's wares with traders traversing the Golden Way, in the city of Murghyr who trade with merchants on the River Rauthenflow, and in the city of Duirtanal who trade with merchants embarking on the Silk Road. Gnome goods are brought into all three cities in small quantities in the wagons of gnome merchants pretending to be itinerant peddlers and are then sold by a handful of gnome merchant families who have dwelt in each city for centuries. The secret of Songfarla's existence has thus been kept secret, even from the fanciful tavern-tales of bards that inspire adventurers.

At the heart of Songfarla is the Gilded Nugget, so named for the giant chunk of gilded granite or iron pyrite (tales vary) with which the lands of the Hidden Kingdom were purchased centuries ago. This vast cavern at the heart of a great vein of gold studded with gems (an unexplained natural phenomenon) and a web of innumerable illusion-cloaked passages connecting the burrows of the Hidden Kingdom, this great amphitheater serves as a center of worship, government, commerce, and the arts for the entire community. Under the able leadership of an aged rock gnome known only as the Laughing Mime, the clergy of the Joker knit this disparate kingdom together in common purpose and harmony.

Although it is hardly the preeminent temple of the leader of the gnome pantheon, the Temple of Wisdom, called the Shrine of the Short by some humans, is one of the few gnome temples that regularly admits human supplicants, having even won a few converts among them, and it is thus the most widely known temple of Garl outside the insular communities of the Forgotten Folk. The Temple of Wisdom, run by the quiet, observant Gellana Mirrorshade, is located in the Friendly Arm, a waystop for caravans passing along the Coast Way between Beregost and Baldur's Gate. Gellana and her husband, Bentley Mirrorshade, run an inn also called the Friendly Arm as a safe, secure place for travelers. Located within the secure walls of the holdfast, the Temple of Wisdom is a low building whose interior walls are studded with gems and gold nuggets and which is guarded by many illusions. <br>

<b>Affiliated Orders:</b>
The Companions of Arumdina are a military order of Garlian fighters, clerics, fighter/clerics, and specialty priests with strong links to the church of Gaerdal Ironhand. Dedicated to the defense of gnome communities across the face of Faerun, members of this order are unusually stern by the standards of the church. Justifiers, as members of this order are sometimes known (not to be confused with the ranger kit of the same name), are skilled in defensive military tactics, particularly in the rolling hills and deep forests where most gnome communities may be found. Individual members often double as marshals, although their duties in this regard are usually light given the general law-abiding character of gnome society. Members of this order are commonly called in to combat ankhegs, bulettes, and other burrowing monsters that pose a threat to gnome settlements and they specialize in tactics to combat such beasts.

The Glittering Jesters are a loosely affiliated band of individuals who seek to relate and/or imitate their god's most outrageous exploits. Many travel from community to community, acting as performers and pranksters to the delight of common folk at the expense of the pretentious and highbrow. An elite minority of Jesters become adventurers in the hopes that their exploits will make their way into the oral tradition of the Forgotten Folk, to be told and retold for generations thereafter. Participation in events worthy of relating as a tale is considered to be an offering to the god. In the gnome oral tradition, the better the tale, the more likely it is to be attributed to a great, legendary hero of the gnomes or even to one of the gnome gods themselves. To the members of this group there can be no greater measure of their deeds than to have a tale relating their actions eventually attributed to Garl himself. It is the quality of the tale a deed inspires, not the accuracy of the tale or even the deed itself, by which their offerings are judged. <br>

<b>Priestly Vestments:</b>
The ceremonial garb of Garl's priests includes a gold-plated war helm, a golden belt, and if possible, a suit of gold-plated chain mail or plate mail. The holy symbol of the faith is a brightly colored gold nugget worth at least 10 gp.<br>

<b>Adventuring Garb:</b>
Garl's clergy employ a wide variety of weapons, including battle axes, crossbows, darts, flails, hand axes, maces, short bows, short swords, slings, spears, picks, and war hammers. Although those who wish to exercise their rogue or illusionist skills often prefer lighter armor or none whatsoever, most priests of the Joker favor the heaviest defensive mail available.<br>

Last updated byDispater