Callarduran Smoothhands

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Callarduran Smoothhands
Gold Ring with Star Pattern
Alignment 2E/3E/5E: True Neutral
4E: Unaligned
Divine Rank Great Wheel: Intermediate God
World Axis: Exarch (Presumed)
Pantheon Gnome
Portfolio Earth, Stone, Gems, Mining, Underdark, Svirfneblin
Domains AD&D (Major): All, Charm, Creation, Elemental (Earth), Guardian, Healing, Protection, Summoning, Wards
AD&D (Minor): Divination, Elemental (Air/Water/Fire), Necromantic, Travelers
3E: Cavern, Craft, Earth, Gnome
4E: Earth
5E: Knowledge, Nature
Home Plane Great Wheel: Deephome (Bytopia)
World Tree: Golden Hills
World Axis: Unknown, presumably Celestia
Worshippers Svirfneblin, Gnomes Miners, Stonemasons, Spelunkers, Gemcutters, Hermits, Fighters, Earth Elementalists, Illusionists
Favoured Weapon Spiderbane (Battleaxe)

Callarduran Smoothhands is a member of the gnome racial pantheon of gods in Dungeons & Dragons. He is the gnomish God of the Earth, giving him dominion over all fields connecting to the earth, predominantly mining, but he is most known as the patron deity of the Svirfneblin, the Underdark gnomes. He is known to appear as a handsome, bronze-skinned svirfneblin male with perfectly smooth hands - these stem from his constant hand-based polishing of a giant magical stone that gives him and his followers command over earth elementals.

Great Wheel/World Tree[edit]

Solitary and thoughtful by nature, Callarduran - also known as The Deep Brother, The Master of Stone, The Deep Gnome and Lord of Deepearth - is a quietly reclusive sort of god. Much like his svirfneblin folllowers. Though he is on good terms with the other gnome gods - save for the malevolent Urdlen - he prefers to keep to himself, spending most of his time focusing on protecting his people from the dangers of the Underdark - especially the drow, whom he is known to disdain.

Despite his secretive nature, Callarduran is no fool and knows that his work is easier with allies in the face of so many enemies - at least, in the Forgotten Realms; the setting neutral Monster Mythology version doesn't get a lot of information devoted to him. He is on good terms with all of the non-evil gnome deities, but is closest to Segojan Earthcaller, Flandal Steelskin, and Gaerdal Ironhand, whose respective portfolios (earth, mining, protection) he shares, but who concentrate on the rock gnomes above whilst he focuses on the svirfneblin. He also makes allegiances with the handful of other non-evil gods connected to the Underdark, including Eilistraee, Psilofyr, Shevarash, Dumathoin, and Urogalan.

His enemies, of course, are the multitudinous evil gods of the Underdark - first and foremost being Lolth and the rest of the Dark Seldarine. He battles them constantly.

In Demihuman Deities, it's said that Callarduran voluntarily led the gnomes who would become the svirfneblin into the Underdark, as he believed this would encourage greater diversity amongst the gnomish races.

Callarduran is known to manifest as either a deposit of smoothed stone or as a stone-shaped ring to guide svirfneblin to caches of gems; indeed, his favor is indicated by the sudden discovery of one or more rubies (or, more rarely, star rubies or star gems). His displeasure, in comparison, is indicated by minor localized earth tremors. His presence in the Underdark is, according to his faithful, indicated by a strange humming noise that can be heard through solid rock.

The servants of the Deep Brother are mostly creatures of the Planes of Earth and Minerals; dao genies, earth elementals, Galeb Duhr, Khargra, mineral quasielementals, and xorn.

Callarduran's Faithful[edit]

Callarduran's worship is centered amongst the svirfneblin, who focus on his aspects as their protector and the lord of the earth and all its treasures. In a nutshell, he's basically a combination of what Segojan Earthcaller, Flandal Steelskin, and Gaerdal Ironhand collectively are to the gnomes of the surface. His faith is concentrated amongst the male svirfneblin, who traditionally take up the roles of miners, warriors and mages who are most associated with his teachings.

His dogma is simple: "Callarduran led his chosen people into the deepest depths of the earth so that they might discover the joyous beauty of rubies and other gems. Beware the dangers of Deepearth, and guard against evil races who employ any means necessary to seize what is not rightfully theirs, such as the drow. Protect and serve the interests of your community. Preserve and nurture the depths that give you and your people life, cradling you in their dark safety. Celebrate the intricacies of minerals, especially gems and their many forms, uses, and subtle variations - including their latent magical potentials."

3e slightly rewords this dogma, but preserves the same basic spirit: "Callarduran led his chosen people into the deepest adepts of the earth so that they might discover the joyous beauty of rubies and other gems. Beware the dangers of Deepearth, and guard against evil races such as the drow who employ any means necessary to seize what is not rightfully theirs. Protect and serve your community. Celebrate the beauty of minerals and gems and understand their value in craft, art and magic."

Priests of Callarduran are guardians and protectors of their community; they often lead war bands to strike against nearby threats, particularly the drow. Outside of this role, they are teachers in the arts of magic - especially the fields of the illusionist and the (earth) elementalist - and work to spread knowledge of new spells and magical items amongst svirfneblin communities. They are often multiclassed; in AD&D, Monster Mythology states that at least 50% of them are Cleric/Illusionists (in a typical display of AD&D stupidity, despite their stated affinity for earth elementalism, svirfneblin aren't allowed to become elementalists!), whilst Demihuman Deities states that the priesthood includes Fighter/Clerics and Cleric/Thieves. But, for some insane reason, specialist priests of Callarduran can't multiclass. In 3rd edition, priests of Callarduran are made up of both clerics and druids, although the percentage is not stated, and neither is their propensity for multiclassing.

In Demihuman Deities, mention is made of an elite organization of Callarduran-worshipping priests, warriors, and warrior-priests that exists to battle the drow, known as the Wardens of the Webspinners.

Within the church, novices are known as the Unworked, whilst full priests are known as the Smoothed. In ascending rank, the Smoothed are divided into First Facet, Second Facet, Third Facet, Fourth Facet, Fifth Facet, Sixth Facet, Seventh Facet, Eighth Facet, and Ruby. High ranking priests have unique individual titles, and speciality priests are known as Earthbloods.

Priests of Callarduran Smoothhands wear simple, slat-gray robes adorned with tiny gems (red ones are favored, but any color is permitted), paired with a silver or mithral circlet and steel sandals. In AD&D, at least, they use rubies as holy symbols; the bigger the ruby, the more important the priest (high priests use the rare star rubies instead). When adventuring, they favor leather jackets sewn with mithral rings or scales worn over fine chainmail shirts. The favored weapon of Callarduran is a battleaxe - which makes no sense, because a pick would be a much better fit, and in fact Demihuman Deities states that his priests often do wield picks as their weapon of choice.

Temples to the Deep Brother are constructed in natural caverns, where the priesthood spend centuries using their barehands to rub the stone perfectly smooth. The centerpiece of these subterranean chapels is the altar; a stalagmite raised through the use of stone-shaping magic and inlaid with hundreds of tiny rubies. They reputedly are well-springs for magical energy drawn from the Plane of Earth, and will even animate as a 24HD Earth Elemental in times of need.

The most holy days on the calendar of Callarduran's church are Midsummer Day and Midwinter Night; these are the days of sister ceremonies known respectively as the Festivals of the Ruby and the Star. The Festival of the Ruby marks Callarduran's hiding of rubies and other gems in the depths of the earth for the svirfneblin to find, a story symbolized in their mythology by tales of the Great Red Ruby sinking into the earth (an analogy for the setting sun dipping below the horizon). Faiths and Pantheons for 3e will expand upon this by stating that twilight is the favored time for the Deep Brother's priests to pray for their spells as a result. The Festival of the Star, in comparison, is a celebration of Calalrduran's continued protection. This holy day (or possibly both of them, neither splatbook is clear) is marked by an assembling of the svirfneblin on the shore of a subterranean lake or pool; they gather in this way to observe an annual event where small patches of a specially bred species of phosphorescent fungi cultivated on the cavern roof light up like stars, creating an illusion of the night sky reflected in the waters below. This ceremony reaffirms their ancestral ties to the surface world, and reassures them that they haven't been abandoned in the hostile environment of the Underdark.

There are two major differences between Monster Mythology and Demihuman Deities. Firstly, the Sphere of Combat is listed as a Minor Sphere for Callarduran's priests in Monster Mythology, but as a Major Sphere in Demihuman Deities. Secondly, Demihuman Deities adds the Spheres of Guardian, Summoning, Elemental (Air/Fire/Water) and Travelers to the Spheres that clerics of the Deep Brother can cast.

World Axis[edit]

As a minor god with no real concerns outside of shepherding to a minor race, Callarduran Smoothhands is only mentioned in passing in a single splatbook for Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition. Into The Unknown: The Dungeon Survival Handbook declares he is the primary god of the svirfneblin, but exactly what he is beyond that, nothing is stated, in part because nobody really knows that much about him - even the svirfneblin aren't too sure who or what he really is. Most believe him to be an exarch of Moradin (dwarves instead tend to believe he is a mask that Moradin uses to talk to the svirfneblin). Thusly, he could easily be one of the few benevolent Primordials or one of the Primal Spirits - or even a subterranean Archfey! - instead. Obviously, his clerics would have access to the Earth domain, but there are legitimate arguments to be made for other domains relating to his portfolios of protection and craftsmanship, such as Protection, Strength, Darkness, Creation or Vengeance.

Publication History[edit]

Callarduran is one of the "third generation" gnome gods; unlike Baervan Wildwanderer, Flandal Steelskin, Segojan Earthcaller and Urdlen, he didn't debut in the article "The Gnomish Point of View" in Dragon Magazine #61, which added followers to Garl Glittergold, who had debuted in the Deities and Demigods Cyclopedia two years earlier. Instead, he made his debut in Monster Mythology for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons - where he wasn't even labeled a demihuman deity, but was instead considered a deity of the Underdark.

In this same edition, he was fleshed out greatly beyond the basic fluff that was presented for him in Monster Mythology in the Forgotten Realms splatbook Demihuman Deities. This began a trend for him; in Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition, he was first fleshed out in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, and then expanded upon in Faiths & Pantheons for 3.5. Then, in Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, he wasn't mentioned until the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide.

Only Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition broke the mold; here, he is only mentioned in the svirfneblin racial lore in the splatbook Into The Unknown: The Dungeon Survival Handbook.

The non-human deities of Dungeons and Dragons
Leader Others
Dragons: Io Aasterinian - Astilabor - Bahamut - Chronepsis - Falazure - Garyx - Hlal - Lendys - Null - Sardior - Tamara - Tiamat
Drow: Lolth Eilistraee - Ghaunadaur - Keptolo - Kiaransalee - Malyk - Selvetarm - Vhaeraun - Zinzerena
Dwarves: Moradin Abbathor - Berronar Truesilver - Clangeddin Silverbeard - Deep Duerra - Dugmaren Brightmantle - Dumathoin - Fortubo
Gendwar Argrim - Gorm Gulthyn - Haela Brightaxe - Hanseath - Laduguer - Marthammor Duin - Muamman Duathal
Mya - Roknar - Sharindlar - Thard Harr - Tharmekhûl - Thautam - Ulaa - Valkauna - Vergadain
Elves: Corellon Larethian Aerdrie Faenya - Alathrien Druanna - Alobal Lorfiril - Angharradh - Araleth Letheranil - Darahl Firecloak - Deep Sashelas
Elebrin Liothiel - Erevan Ilesere - Fenmarel Mestarine - Gadhelyn - Hanali Celanil - Kirith Sotheril - Labelas Enoreth
Melira Taralen - Mythrien Sarath - Naralis Analor - Rellavar Danuvien - Rillifane Rallathil - Sarula Iliene - Sehanine Moonbow
Shevarash - Solonor Thelandira - Tethrin Veraldé - Tarsellis Meunniduin - Trishina - Vandria Gilmadrith - Ye'Cind
Giants: Annam Diancastra - Grolantor - Hiatea - Iallanis - Karontor - Memnor - Othea - Skoraeus Stonebones - Stronmaus - Surtr - Thrym
Goliaths: Kavaki Kuliak - Manethak - Naki-Uthai - Theleya - Vanua
Gnomes: Garl Glittergold Baervan Wildwanderer - Baravar Cloakshadow - Bleredd - Callarduran Smoothhands - Flandal Steelskin - Gaerdal Ironhand
Gelf Darkhearth - Nebelun - Rill Cleverthrush - Roykyn - Segojan Earthcaller - Sheyanna Flaxenstrand - The Glutton - Urdlen
Goblinoids: Maglubiyet Bargrivyek - Grankhul - Hruggek - Khurgorbaeyag - Kikanuti - Nomog-Geaya - Skiggaret
Halflings: Yondalla Arvoreen - Brandobaris - Charmalaine - Cyrrollalee - Dallah Thaun - Sheela Peryroyl - Urogalan
Illumian: Tarmuid Aulasha - Glautru - Soorinek - Syeret - Wathaku
Orcs: Gruumsh Bahgtru - Ilneval - Luthic - Shargaas - Yurtrus
Raptorans: Tuilviel Glithien Duthila - Kithin - Lliendil - Nilthina - Ventila
Others: Aventernus - Blibdoolpoolp - Cegilune - Diinkarazan - Diirinka - Eadro - Gaknulak - Great Mother - Gorellik - Gzemnid
Hleid - Iborighu - Ilsensine - Jazirian - Kecuala - Kuraulyek - Kurtulmak - Laogzed - Maanzecorian - Mak Thuum Ngatha
Merrshaulk - Parrafaire - Psilofyr - The Patient One - Quorlinn - Ramenos - Raxivort - Refnara - Sekolah - Semuanya
Sess'innek - Shekinester - Skerrit - Solanil - Ssharstrune - Syranita - Vaprak - Wastri - The Whale Mother - Zehir