Keptolo

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Keptolo
Stylized Mushroom
Alignment Chaotic Evil
Divine Rank Demigod
Pantheon Dark Seldarine
Portfolio 3E: Flattery, Intoxication, Rumor, Opportunism
5E: Beauty, Hedonism, Fertility
Domains 3E: Chaos, Evil, Law, Knowledge, Travel
5E: Nature, Trickery
Home Plane Demonweb Pits (Abyss)
Worshippers Male Drow
Favoured Weapon Longsword

Keptolo, also known as The Eager Consort, is a member of the Dark Seldarine who, as his title suggests, is the consort of Lolth. He is the closest thing that the drow have to a divine patriarch, and is one of the two Dark Seldarine who specifically look after the menfolk of the drow. This god embodies the drow cultural ideal for males; elegant, quick-witted, attentive, and eagerly debauched - which makes him specifically the patron of drow men who choose to work under the limits of how they "should" be, as opposed to Vhaeraun, who embraces the rebellious males.

Basically, he is the God of Drow Gigolos as opposed to Drow Warriors, who worship Selvetarm.

The God[edit]

When he deigns to manifest himself, or is depicted by his faithful, Keptolo takes the form of a handsome young drow nobleman dressed in either well-tailored silks of red, purple, yet and amber, or dressed for the hunt with a velvet cloak. He affects either an ambidextrous two-weapon fighting style, wielding poinard and longsword in both hands, or carries a magnificent repeater crossbow.

His relationship with the other members of the Dark Seldarine is mostly one of insincere amity, although one can suspect he feels a certain amount of mixed admiration, envy and disdain for the rebellious Vhaeraun. He is dotingly obsequious to his deadly spouse, but expresses open hatred for Zinzerena, who ascended to divinity by stealing some of his own divine might.

His holy symbol of a "stylized mushroom" is associated with both strong drink and fertility in drow society. This implies it looks like a dick. Although it's not listed in his "official" portfolio, reading between the lines makes it clear that he's also a drow god of carnality and sexual pleasure.

The Church[edit]

Shrines to Keptolo are found throughout the Underdark, particularly in drow taverns and brothels. Much of his "worship" takes the form of bawdy tales celebrating his sexual prowess and exploits, which are enacted by performers for festivals or private gatherings.

Clerics of Keptolo are found as advisors, critics, philosophers and politicians... basically, any role that gives them a chance at power without requiring actual work. They strive to emulate Keptolo's ideals, making them amongst the most handsome and charming of all drow. However, any unwise enough to write them off as mere hedonistic fops is in for a lethal surprise; even male drow have the ability to bite, and so his clerics and worshippers alike often strive to become lethally skilled poisoners, dirksmen and spies. Whilst the clerics of Keptolo are nothing but deferential and attentive to clerics of Lolth and to House Matrons, they are manipulative and abusive in other relationships, especially those with lower-ranked members of the clergy.

Keptolo's dogma reads thus: "Feed the vanity of your mistress, and all her treasures shall be yours. Be careful whom you offend, and keep an expendable companion nearby to hold culpable for your crimes. Gossip can be as deadly as the venom on an assassin's blade. Use the poison of words to destroy your rivals, that you may claim for yourself all they once presumed was theirs."

Updating Keptolo[edit]

Keptolo only appeared in a single source; the article "Vault of the Drow" in volume 14 of the Living Greyhawk Journal, which first appeared in print for Dragon Magazine #298. This means he only existed early in 3.0's run, and thus his Cleric Domains are rather... lacking. Whilst Chaos and Evil remain appropriate, the following domains from the Spell Compendium and the Book of Vile Darkness are better fits for his portfolio:

  • Charm
  • Drow
  • Envy
  • Gluttony
  • Greed
  • Lust
  • Planning

5e Revival[edit]

Amazingly, Keptolo actually returned and became an official member of the Dark Seldarine, alongside his fellow Oerthian deity Zinzerena and even the long-forgotten and obscure Malyk. Whilst only covered in brief, the basic ideas of him remained intact - although some might argue that, as the closest thing to a fertility god in the Dark Seldarine and very much a god of carnal pleasures, "Life" would be a more fitting domain for his clerics than "Nature".

Keptolo vs. Selvetarm[edit]

As mentioned above, Keptolo only appears in a single source, and is technically unique to the Greyhawk version of the Drow pantheon; in the Forgotten Realms, his role is instead filled by Selvetarm, a very different deity indeed.

One way to reconcile the two, though, is that Lolth keeps two boytoys at the same time, and the two represent the different paths a "behaving" drow male can follow; Selvetarm is the destructive, vicious minion who serves his mistress as an instrument of bloody death, whilst Keptolo is the suave, seductive charmer who serves his mistress in the bedroom. After all, given who Lolth is, the idea that she keeps one "husband" around for his skill at killing things and the other one around because he's good in bed isn't exactly a stretch.

This reconciliation actually became more or less canon in 5th edition's "Tome of Foes" splatbook: Keptolo is Lolth's consort, "more than a plaything, but much less than an equal", whilst Selvetarm is Lolth's champion - he fights on her behalf, but she keeps him bound in magically unbreakable webbing until she needs him to bust some heads, implying she actually fears his rage.

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