Abridged History of the 10th Age
(the Lord of Sin, the Black Hand)
Lesser God, LE
Portfolio: Corruption, decay, transgression
Domain Name: Palace of the Black Hand, Valingas
Allies: Talleal, The Necromancer, Dinismayl, Ulagos
Foes: Haeron, Avauna
Symbol: A black hand
Worshipper Alignment: Any evil
Kypselus (KIP-sel-uss) the Black Hand is said to be the son of Ulagos the Potter and Nyxos the Husband-Eater. As one of his natural children, Kypselus is part of the ranks of the so-called Felnumen or Mud Gods.
The Lord of Sin himself is a master of deals, bargains, and creeping corruptions. He represents both physical decay and moral collapse. His followers, while few amongst the demihuman races, are much more numerous amongst the monstrous creatures—goblinoids, ogres, and trolls particularly.
He relishes swamps, sinkholes, and corpses (though not of elves, which are immune to his touch). It’s Kypselus who is said to walk amongst the dead and encourage them to decay. Ghouls and ghasts are supposedly creatures of his own creation and are considered particularly sacred. These undead traditionally serve the priests of corruption and are used as temple servants and warriors.
In appearance, Kypselus resembles a squatting orc with pure black skin and a grotesquely knotty beard extending from his chin. He is frequently shown wearing smoke-black armor as well.
Clergy: Specialty priests, warriors
Clergy’s Alignment: LE, NE, CE
Turn Undead: No
Command Undead: Yes
The so-called church of Kypselus is extremely minor and mostly underground in good aligned lands. Monstrous humanoids worship him in much larger numbers than humans or demi-humans do but the power of the priesthood generally resides in human hands.
Temples of Kypselus are generally small affairs, located in caves and out of the way places. Carrion is frequently piled up in the sanctum and murders are often committed simply for the bodies: carrion crawlers and ghouls are favorites of the cult to keep as servants and pets.
The monstrous humanoids that are part of the cult often work in close tandem with evil demihumans to help provide a fresh source of dead flesh for their god.
Local high priests are known as Black Hierophants and are generally mid-level or higher. These Hierophants each have the same weight within the cult and are chosen by approbation of Kypselus himself, who visits the clergy with nightmarish dreams of the Hierophant’s ascension.
Dogma: That which crumbles is glorious, that which dies sublime.
Day-to-Day Activities: Apart from waylaying travelers disguised as bandits, committing murders in towns, and generally praying in the dark corners of the land, the clergy of Kypselus also ministers to local monstrous humanoids. They get along well with Talltes and love battles between local monstrous powers.
Major Centers of Worship: None, the cult is too scattered to have loci.
Affiliated Orders: None
Priestly Vestments: All priestly clothes are gray, green, or black. Clerics often wear copes with the Black Hand embroidered on them.
Adventuring Garb: Priests on the move and ready for battle tend to wear black-and-green armor, the most common of which is mail. If they can get their hands on plate (which is rare) it is generally because of some minor treaty with a dark power like evil giants.
Priest of the Black Hand
REQUIREMENTS: Con 12, Wis 9
PRIME REQ: Wisdom
ALIGNMENT: Lawful Evil
WEAPONS: All blunt, daggers, whips, scourges
MAJOR SPHERES: All, charm, divination, healing, necromantic, thought
MINOR SPHERES: Astral, elemental earth (non-reversible), protection
MAGICAL ITEMS: Normal priestly
REQ. PROFS: None
BONUS PROFS: None
Kypselians are immune to level draining and mindless undead naturally ignore them unless they attack first. They may also corrupt food and drink three times per day by touch.
At 3rd level, priests of corruption may use the spell friends 3/day.
At 5th level, priests of corruption may enchant any object or weapon they are wielding with an effect similar to the wizard spell enchanted weapon once per day. The spell grants a +1 bonus at level 5, a +2 bonus at level 10, and a +3 bonus at level 15.
At 7th level, the priest of corruption may ghoul touch 3/day as per the spell of the same names.
At 10th level, the priest becomes immune to all forms of death magic.
At 15th level, the priest may throw corruption spells as though under the effects of an eyebite spell. In addition, they gain the ability to cast the wizard spell Contagion 3/day.