Gorellik


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Gorellik
Demipower
AoC: Gnolls, flind, hyenas, the hunt
Worshippers: Gnolls, Flind
AL: CE WAL: CE, CN, NE
Symbol: White, mottled hyenadon's head
Home r: Wanders
Allies: Hyena Lord
Enemies: Yeenoghu
Favored Weapon: Claws
Domains: Animal, Darkness, Earth, Strength, War
Subdomains: Blood, Caves, Loss, Ferocity, Fur, Night
Known Proxies: None

The ancient god of the gnolls, Gorellik has suffered greatly since being ousted as their central deity by the archdemon Yeenoghu. Barely clinging to life, he is remembered by only a few gnolls that still follow him, individuals whom Yeenoghu would dearly enjoy wiping out entirely.

History

Little is known of the earliest days of Gorellik's existence, as gnolls have little in the way of written records, and though his followers maintain that he did create their kind, even the earliest oral traditions make no mention of a specific creation myth of any sort outside a few hints that one was at one time known to his faith. There are passing mentions of a conflict with an unnamed god of the giants millennia ago alongside the Hyena Lord, a brief war over planar domains ended quickly by Gorellik through overpowering force - various retellings name Vaprak, Grolantor, or a since-slain deity as the subject of the ire. Other early myths detail a grudge against the Seldarine that led to a brief spate of violence towards elvenkind that was forgotten within years. (Though these myths do not mention the source of the grudge, merely a description of the aftermath, some early Seldarine mythologies mention a public humiliation dealt to Hruggek as a result of a battle of wits between he and Erevan Ilesere that, due to lack of reference in other sources, is sometimes thought to be a mistaken recounting of this event.) Most prominent these days, though, is Gorellik's teachings to the gnolls of how to tame, domesticate, and train hyenas as hunting hounds, bringing the gnolls closer to their seeming kin.

Unfortunately, due to his decline, the mythos is quite sparse before the event that all gnolls know today (though not always in the same context). Insinuating himself amongst the gnolls due to his rule over the carrion-eating ghouls and ghasts that many gnoll necromancers preferred to use, Yeenoghu formed a small cult to his name across their number. Offering his followers great power and prestige, his gifts were used by many to take control of a number of major clans across both the planes and the Prime. They imposed worship of Yeenoghu over Gorellik, spreading his worship even further, and as Gorellik's followers slipped in number, he was less and less able to contest Yeenoghu's growing dominance. He fell from lesser power to demipower before even being aware of Yeenoghu's scheme.

Once he did become aware of what was happening, however, it was barely a moment before he attempted to martial his remaining followers and power in order to combat Yeenoghu directly. Unfortunately, he was defeated by the fiend, wounded and forced to retreat to the Hunting Dens, the layer he at the time still held as a divine realm within the Abyss Unwilling to let his opponent have time to recover, Yeenoghu struck at the heart of the Dens, aided by an army of undead under the command of Doresain, the King of Ghouls, vassal of Yeenoghu. Gorellik's realm was devastated, the demigod forced to withdraw from it and leave it fallow; it was soon after technically claimed by the archdemon, but left to rot without purpose as a further humiliation to his former rival. Over the centuries since, Gorellik has been forced to wander the Planes of Chaos with a small retinue of flind, his mind slipping further and further; nowadays, he is little more than a beast with occasional moments of lucidity, keeping to an endless hunt as he now knows little else. Nearly without exception these days, Gorellik remains in his hyenadon form, and any gnolls that draw too near to him are similarly transformed as they become members of his pack.

Priesthood

What few priests of Gorellik remain tend to devote themselves to proselytizing and spreading lore whenever they can safely do so. To the cult of of Yeenoghu, those that follow Gorellik are to be slain on sight, and so they take a great deal of risk in their actions. Still, there are some clans with no true cultists in which the faith, though not thriving, at least maintains. Unfortunately, due to his status as a demipower, and a declining one at that, priests of Gorellik are unable to receive spells beyond 6th level; as such, multiclassing tends to be more common among his faith.

Though the ritual of the totem beast originated from Yeenoghu, it has been adopted by Gorellik's followers as a way of better encouraging their continued survival within a clan. In these clans, group hunts are slightly more accepted, and usually led by a priest of Gorellik (even when their allegiance is not known to the other clanmates). They also tend to care for the hyena packs that many clans keep, passing along the knowledge passed down from their god long ago in how to keep and wield a hyena properly, whether for hunting or for defense.

Dogma

You cannot survive without the hunt. The hunt is life, it sustains you and your kindred. Whether to feed your clan, seek revenge against a wrong, or defend from outside aggressors, you must always fight to prove your worth, or else you have none. It is this that sets you above the scavenging beasts from which you arose.

References

  • Monster Mythology, pg.83
  • Planes of Chaos - Book of Chaos, pg.9
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