|Aliases||The Horned Sorcerer, Steelscale, Stingtail, the Watcher|
|Divine Rank||Intermediate God|
|Portfolio||Kobolds, Traps, Mining, war|
|Domains||3E: Earth, Evil, Hatred, Law, Scalykind, War
|Home Plane||Draukari (Baator)|
Kurtulmak is the patron God of kobolds in the Dungeons & Dragons game. (Yet another word lottery with Turkish dictionary, Kurtulmak (v.) means to "break away" or to "survive" in Turkish.) He first appeared in the first edition, in the campaign setting of Greyhawk. He resides in a twisting warren of tunnels tucked away in a remote corner of Avernus, the first level of Hell. Also, apparently, receiving god-hood amounts to eating your wheaties, so he is the world's largest kobold at an impressive five feet tall.
Original Greyhawk Lore
He is possibly the most diverse god in the Greyhawk pantheon, being a Fighter/Cleric/Rogue/Sorcerer.
Unlike most other racial deities, Kurtulmak did not create the kobold race. He was, however, the first kobold created; he was made by the green dragon Caesinsjach after Io gave the true dragons the ability to create life. He was larger than all the other kobolds that were made after him, so the dragon commanded the others using him as her mouthpiece, essentially making him their de facto leader.
According to kobold legend, Caesinsjach ordered the kobolds to collect her treasure from beneath the earth and Kurtulmak invented the pickaxe to mine. Kurtulmak then reportedly minted the first draconic coins out of gold. When Caesinsjach demanded gems and other valuable ores, Kurtulmak taught himself sorcery in order to find them.
With Greyhawk's descent into ignominy in 3rd edition, Kurtulmak's lore has changed over the years. The most recent lore probably comes from Dragon Magazine #332, where he was described in the Ecology of the Kobold. In essence, Kurtulmak is a sort of unwanted bastard son of Tiamat; when the draconic goddess laid her first clutch of divine-touched eggs, a large band of thieves raided her lair. Though she fought furiously, several of her eggs and a signficant amount of treasure was stolen before the injured deity collapsed her lair in on itself, crushing all the thieves. Weakened but needing to protect and restore her brood, she caused one egg to hatch early, resulting in Kurtulmak, a huge kobold with a powerful stinger for a tail. Kurtulmak fixed up Tiamat's lair, riddling it with the deadliest traps he could invent, and then started re-opening the passageways out of the lair. During his excavations, he dug up eggs stolen from Tiamat, which had cooled too greatly to have a hope of hatching. So he used his powers to make them hatch into the first kobolds. At his side, they learned the arts of digging, mining, trapmaking and cunning, and eventually they dug their way to the material plane, where they have proliferated ever since.
Feud with Garl Glittergold
Kurtulmak's deepest enmity is held for the patron god of the gnomes, Garl Glittergold, and although the difference in their power levels makes this a one-sided rivalry, it is carried out amongst their servitor races.
Why does Kurtulmak hate Garl so much? The long and short of it is that Kurtulmak spent ages laboring to build an immense underground festhall, carefully triggered that it could be collapsed if a single keystone was pulled out. Kurtulmak wanted to play a "trick" on the other gods by inviting them to dinner and then, at the end, dropping the dungeon on their heads. But Garl snuck in and triggered it early, so only Kurtulmak got squashed. When he dug himself out and found out who had set it off, he swore vengeance.
Exactly why Garl did this varies depending on who you ask. Kobolds swear he did it out of jealousy. Gnomes swear with equal fervor that it was simply idle curiosity to see if Kurtulmak's trap would actually work as it was supposed to.
This lore got changed in 5th edition in the Volo's Guide to Monsters; here, Kurtulmak's feud with Garl Glittergold stems from the fact that the gnome god raided Tiamat's treasury and she promptly sent Kurtulmak to chase him down. But Garl lured the kobold god into a maze-like cavern, getting him lost inside before slipping out and sealing it shut, trapping Kurtulmak underground. This is one of the two main reasons why there are very few Kurtulmak priests, as it's hard for him to reach out and grant spells; the other is based on the fact that most clerical magic is "wasted" on a race who tends to die at the first stroke of an adventurer's sword, so dragon-magic sorcerers are simply more valuable and easier to come by.
Lesser Kobold Gods
In Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, Kurtulmak was actually one of three kobold deities. Though he was the most powerful of the three, as an Intermediate God, "Monster Mythology" also covers two demigods; Gaknulak, Kobold God of Trickery, Ambushing and Trap-Crafting, and Kuraulyek, God of Urds. These two minor deities didn't stand the test of time and ultimately faded into obscurity as the editions rolled on.
|Cauldron with whirling ellipses|
|Alignment||Lawful Evil (Neutral Evil tendencies)|
|Portfolio||Protection, stealth, traps, trickery|
|Domains||Dream, Evil, Law, Protection, Trickery|
|Home Plane||Aknuthrak (Gehenna)|
Gaknuklak is the kobold demigod that didn't really make it past AD&D. He was listed in Living Greyhawk's deity listing, giving him the info you see on your right, but fell into obscurity afterwards. He's essentially Kurtulmak's lackey and taught kobolds how to use traps and trickery to protect themselves better.
|Pair of feathered wings|
|Home Plane||Urdsrest (Hades)|
Kuraulyek is the other kobold demigod that faded to obscurity after AD&D, though he did get a brief sidebar mention in Volo's Guide to Monsters in 5th edition. He's the god of urds, winged kobolds, and a massive coward who hides in his realm from Kurtulmak.
The story goes that Kuraulyek was originally a servant of Kurtulmak that managed to steal wings from the aarakocra goddess Syranita, and created urds from kobolds. In Forgotten Realms, Kuralyek's betrayal, mentioned also in Volo's, was that during the first Rage of Dragons he had been ordered to look for the return of Caesinsjach, but ran away with his race.
The Shining One
|The Shining One|
|Helm of the Northern Reaches|
|Divine Rank||Temporal Immortal|
|Portfolio||Kobolds, cayma, traps, war, fire|
|Domains||Energy, Chaos, War, Fire|
Kurtulmak was in life a kobold war-leader and tactician who came across an ancient artifact, a suit of plate mail with various properties, most notably the ability to flare up to blind enemies, from which he earned his moniker. Using this armor he found, he eventually achieved Immortality in the Sphere of Energy.
The Shining One appears as a unnaturally sized kobold clad in glowing, white plate mail, armed with a shining, white shortsword.
The Shining One is the archetypal kobold, sneaky, quick, and adept at setting traps. He's mastered how to never directly confront ones enemies, instead using other means. He has, nor desires, allies, and he hates Halav, and it is mutual.