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Kurtulmak symbol.jpg
Aliases The Horned Sorcerer, Steelscale, Stingtail, the Watcher
Alignment Lawful Evil
Divine Rank Intermediate God
Pantheon Kobold
Portfolio Kobolds, Traps, Mining, War
Domains 3E: Earth, Evil, Hatred, Law, Scalykind, War
5E: War
Home Plane Draukari (Baator)
Worshippers Kobolds
Favoured Weapon Spear

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's Deities and Demigods supplement. By default, as of 1980, that'd be Greyhawk.

Per Jeff Grubb's Manual of the Planes, Kurtulmak resides in a twisting warren of tunnels tucked away in a remote corner of Avernus, the first level of Hell. The better to avoid the devils when they find out he's bilked them, which is often; and to hide the rest of the Hells from his followers, who think that Kurtulmak's warren is the one true afterlife.

Also, apparently, receiving godhood basically amounts to eating your Wheaties, so he is the world's largest kobold at an impressive five feet tall. He is possibly the most diverse god in the old-school pantheon, being a Cleric/Fighter/Rogue/Sorcerer.

Per Fiend Factory's parallel humanoid-mythology, their own Winter Kobold subset worship Kr'tollomc (White Dwarf #42). Obviously the same guy with a distorted name because whoever submitted it was lazy.

Original Greyhawk Lore[edit]

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.

Later Lore[edit]

With Greyhawk's descent into ignominy over 3rd edition, Kurtulmak's lore has changed. 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[edit]

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[edit]

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)
Divine Rank Demigod
Pantheon Kobold
Portfolio Protection, stealth, traps, trickery
Domains Dream, Evil, Law, Protection, Trickery
Home Plane Aknuthrak (Gehenna)
Worshippers Kobolds
Favoured Weapon Battleaxe

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
Alignment Neutral Evil
Divine Rank Demigod
Pantheon Kobold
Portfolio Urds
Home Plane Urdsrest (Hades)
Worshippers Urds
Favoured Weapon Dagger

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 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 - Balador - Blibdoolpoolp - Cegilune - Daragor - Diinkarazan - Diirinka - Eadro - Elder Evils - Eshebala
Ferrix - Gaknulak - Great Mother - Gorellik - Gzemnid - Hleid - Iborighu - Ilsensine - Jazirian - Kanchelsis - Kecuala
Kuraulyek - Kurtulmak - Laogzed - Maanzecorian - Mak Thuum Ngatha - Merrshaulk - Parrafaire - Psilofyr
The Patient One - Quorlinn - Ramenos - Raxivort - Refnara - Rhiannon - Sekolah - Semuanya - Sess'innek
Shekinester - Skerrit - Solanil - Squerrik - Ssharstrune - Syranita - Vaprak - Wastri - The Whale Mother - Zehir

The Shining One[edit]

The Shining One
Helm of the Northern Reaches
Aliases Kurtulmak, Kutul
Alignment Chaotic Neutral
Divine Rank Temporal Immortal
Pantheon Mystaran (Energy)
Portfolio Kobolds, cayma, traps, war, fire
Domains Energy, Chaos, War, Fire
Worshippers Kobolds, Cayma
Favoured Weapon Shortsword

In Mystara, Kurtulmak is the real name of The Shining One, the patron Immortal of kobolds and Caymas.


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.

The Immortals of Mystara
Sphere of Thought
Ahmanni Turtlerider - Arnelee - Asterius - Cretia - Diulanna - Frey - Freyja
Halav - Harrow - Karaash - Korotiku - Koryis - Noumena - Odin - Palson
Raven - Saimpt Clébard - Saimpt Loup - Saimpt Malinois - Saimpt Mâtin
Saimpt Ralon - Sinbad - Ssu-Ma - Tiresias - Tourlain - Turmis - Tyche
Sphere of Matter Sphere of Time Sphere of Energy
Atruaghin - Chiron - Crakkak - Diamond - Djaea - The Eternal General
Faunus - Forsetta - The Great One - Garal Glitterlode - Gorrziok
Hattani Stoneclaw - Ka the Preserver - Kagyar - Lokena
Maat - Malafor - Opal - Paarkum - Pearl - Polunius - Terra
The Twelve Watchers - Valerias - Wayland - Wogar
Al-Kalim - Calitha Starbrow - Carnelian - Chardastes
Finidel - Kallala - Khoronus - Liena - Ordana - Petra
Protius - Sharpcrest - Taroyas - Vanya - Verthandi - Yav
Alphatia - Bartziluth - Bemarris - Benekander - Eiryndul
Gorm - Iliric - Ilsundal - Ixion - Kythria - Lornasen - Madarua
Mahmatti Running Elk - Marwdyn - Mealiden Starwatcher
Minroth - Palartarkan - Patura - Pflarr - Rad - Rafiel
Rathanos - Razud - The Shaper - The Shining One - Slizzark
Tahkati Stormtamer - Tarastia - Thor - Usamigaras - Zirchev
Sphere of Entrophy
Alphaks - Arik - Atzanteotl - Bagni Gullymaw - Brissard
Danel Tigerstripes - Demogorgon - Hel - Jammudaru - Leptar
Loki - Masauwu - Nyx - Orcus - Ranivorus - Saasskas - Talitha
Thanatos - Yagrai