Kurtulmak

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If you thought Tucker's Kobolds were bad, wait until you meet this guy.

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. He is still only five feet tall.

Original Greyhawk Lore[edit]

He is possibly the most multiclassed god in the Greyhawk pantheon, being a Fighter/Cleric/Rogue/Sorcerer. While not all that synergistic, it still works because he is a god.

Unlike most other racial deities, Kurtulmak did not create the kobold race. He was, however, the first Kobold ever; he was made by the green dragon Caesinsjach after Io gave the true dragons the ability to create life. Supposedly, being made by a Green dragon is what made the kobolds into such insufferable cunts. For some contrived reason he was larger than all the other kobolds, so the dragon who created him ordered her kobolds around through him - that, and the fact he could kick the shit out of every other kobold being twice their height, essentially made him their leader by default.

According to kobold legend, this led to some rather interesting events in Kurtulmak's life. So Caesinsjach, being a Green Dragon, told the kobolds to get some swag from beneath the earth and Kurtulmak invented the pickaxe to mine said swag. When she told them to Pimp Her Cave, Big K minted the first gold draconic coins out of gold in order to pimp said cave easier. When she decided she needed a bunch of pretty rocks, Kurtulmak taught himself sorcery in order to find them.

After he and his entire race of cronies had made her literally the richest dragon in creation, she did what any responsible mother would do and told them to fuck off. Kurtulmak, not one to fix what ain't broke, decided he needed his own lair; the Kobolds just followed him to help, even though he never asked. This is most likely because it was all they had really ever done.

Later Lore[edit]

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 fuck-huge army of mortal 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 o Monsters splatbook; 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 good and lost inside before slipping out and sealing it shut, trapping Kurtulmak underground forever. 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.

The non-human deities of Dungeons and Dragons
Lawful Neutral Chaotic
Good Arvoreen - Bahamut
Cyrrollalee - Jazirian
Moradin - Urogalan
Yondalla
Garl Glittergold Corellon Larethian
Eilistraee
Sehanine Moonbow
Neutral Psilofyr - Wastri Annam - Brandobaris
Io - Sheela Peryroyl
Dallah Thaun
Fenmarel Mestarine
Evil Ilsensine
Kurtulmak
Tiamat
Maglubiyet Blibdoolpoolp - Ghaunadaur
Great Mother - Gruumsh - Gorellik
Lolth - Merrshaulk - Ramenos