|Aliases||Bes, the Laughing Dwarf, the Merchant King, the Short Father, the Trickster|
|Divine Rank||Intermediate God
1E: Greater God
|Portfolio||2E: Wealth, Luck, Chance, Non-Evil Thieves, Entreprenurial Skills, Suspicion, Trickery, Negotion, Sly Cleverness
3E: Wealth, Luck, Chance, Non-Evil Thieves, Suspicion, Trickery, Negotion, Sly Cleverness
5E: Luck, Wealth
|Domains||2E: All, Astral, Charm, Creation, Divination, Guardian, Healing, Numbers, Travelers, Wards, Weather, minor Animal, Combat, Healing, Protection, Sun, Time
3E: Dwarf, Luck, Trade, Trickery
|Home Plane||2E: Dwarven Mountain (Outlands)
|Worshippers||Dwarf Merchants, Non-Evil Dwarf Rogues, Dwarf Bards,|
|Favoured Weapon||Goldseeker (Longsword)|
Vergadain is the Dwarf God of Trade, Wealth, Negotion, Luck, Trickery and Chance in Dungeons & Dragons. He is one of the oldest gods in the pantheon after Moradin himself, having appeared in the first iteration of that pantheon in the hoary pages of Dragon Magazine #58. He shares this honor with Abbathor, Berronar Truesilver, Clangeddin Silverbeard and Dumathoin.
Detailed, as mentioned above, in Dragon Magazine #58, Vergadain is the patron of dwarven merchants, thieves and poets. One of the very few chaotic-inclined members of the Morndinsamman, Vergadain is a trickster who preys shamelessly on members of the other races in order to steal their goods and enrich himself, whilst always wary of being tricked in turn. Always out for his own best advantage, and a shameless liar, Vergadain is not well-respected, and neither is his clergy... still, his courage and cunning do make for comedic story-telling, and so they hearten many a dwarf, in secret.
Vergadain's alignment is given as "Neutral with Chaotic Neutral inclinations" in 1st edition, but changes to Neutral in other editions.
Like most demihuman deities, AD&D 2nd edition saw Vergadain's lore relegated to a Forgotten Realms splatbook, the simply named "Demihuman Deities". For the most part, it reiterates and expands upon that comparatively sparse lore from 1st edition.
Whilst still the same greedy trickster that he was in 1st edition, the 2e Vergadain has grown a light more lighthearted; he genuinely admires someone who manages to perform the difficult task of besting him in a negotation or the art of conning, and is more likely to reward them than try to get even.
Vergadain roams the Prime Material constantly, searching for victims to bilk and fellow tricksters and con-artists to learn from. He delights in showing up at desperate dwarven settlements with exactly the rare, unique, or hard-to-find object or substances they are lacking, which he then provides as a gift. If they aren't in dire straits, though, they'll need to prove they deserve his generosity by deciphering the clues in a song or rhyme to find where he hid it.
Whilst his avatar roams the worlds often enough, he is capable of comparatively subtler manifestations. Firstly, he may manifest as an unseen dwarven bard, whose song, drumming or piping leads dwarves to refuge, safety, an escape route or treasure, whatever the case may be. He may also seize control of a singer, prophet or sage, causing them to spout clues or directions to a great treasure, a manifestation marked by a gold coin orbiting the head of his temporary host. He may send an animated golden coin that will roll continuously in the direction he wants (even uphill), stopping only to mark a hiding place or the route onward that will lead to a treasure. Finally, when a dwarf needs a long rope (such as to escape from a high spot or rescue a fallen climb), Vergadain may manifest in that dwarf's hand, and then disappear once they no longer need him.
Common signs of Vergadain's favor consist of the unexpected discovery of golden dice, jewels, precious metals, rare spices or other prized trade goods. He indicates his displeasure through a run of bad luck, the sudden discovery of a snake in a sack (he likes to guard his own loot by stuffing snakes in the sacks with his treasures), the discovery of pyrite, or a sudden encounter with a lock lurker or a luck eater.
Vergadain is associated favorably with the number 9, and unfavorably with the number 5. Receiving exactly 9 coins during a transaction is a sign of his favor; receiving exactly 5 coins is a bad omen. It doesn't matter what mintage each coin is, only the total number.
As in 1e, Vergadain's faithful are not particularly liked, especially by non-dwarves, so they operate relatively secretly. Their daily activities consist of supporting and promoting dwarven merchants and craftsfolk, and enriching themselves in the bargain; dwarves should always be making the most profit, in their worldview. Their activities range from bailing dwarven merchants out of debt, to blatant acts of bribery to get dwarven merchants preferential treatment; they commonly work with the faithful of Dumathoin and even Abbathor in pursuit of the best profits.
Temples to Vergadain are either windowless vaults deep in the ground, or fortress-like vaults above-ground; they are filled with treasures donated by the faithful, but also guarded with traps and enchanted devices called guardian anators, which can blast trespassers and thieves with lightning bolts and magic missiles. The center of every temple is a huge stone cauldron, which serves as an altar to Vergadain; offerings to the god are tossed inside.
The specialist priests of Vergadain are called the Hurndor ("those who trade"). Novitiates are the Impoverished, whilst full priests are called Gilded Merchants, ascending through the ranks of Alloyn, Copprak, Argentle, Electrol, Aurak and High Aurak. The senior priests are called the Merchant Princes. Like all specialist priests of the Morndinsamman, they cannot turn undead until 7th level, and suffer a -4 level penalty when trying, but gain a +2 bonus to attack & damage rols against the undead.
Holy days in the Vergadain faith are called coin festivals (by the faithful) and trade moots (by everyone else). This is because Vergadain's followers typically seek to earn as much coin as they can before the ceremony-proper starts, and thus they engage in a riot of bargain-rich merchandizing before they enter the temple. Coin festivals are held on the days before and after a full moon, and on any day proclaimed holy by a Merchant Prince.
The ceremony proper is held inside the temple, where the faithful wear ostentatious displays of their wealth and begin a slow, stately dance around torches, braziers or other flames. Ever participant throws at least one gold coin or other valuable into the flames, which are consumed; on rare occasions, the flames may die down and reveal a sending from Vergadain himself. The most common sending is the duplicate key to a strongbox, vault or barrier that prevents dwarves from reaching wealth rightfully belonging to them, or stolen by cheating them over a period of time, but it may also include other sendings, such as maps, clues, scrolls or potions. Weapons are extremely rare gifts.
The dance ends when the flame flares upward, signifying Vergadain's attention and thanks. The priests then light candles or conjure light and proceed first to discuss business, then to transfer fees. Finally, the ranking priest passes his hand through the flame, which slowly diminishes; the faithful then kiss gold coins as gestures of farewell and depart.
All of Vergadain's faithful are called upon to make an offering to him at least once per month, which is usually done by throwing coins or other valuables into the altar-cauldron during a coin festival. The more ostentatious the offering, the more status the faithful can earn.
Clerics of Vergadain favor rich robes of obvious cost studded with gems and trimmed with furs. A string of linked gold coins is draped over the shoulders and around the neck. Gold and deep purple are preferred for colors. Ceremonial armor includes ornate chainmail, a gem-studded gorget bearing Vergadain's symbol, and an elaborately decorated helm. Senion priests are expected to have their ceremonial armor plated in gold - it's quite a dishonor if they can't afford this - and junior priests who can afford to do this as well are considered marked for great status.
In day-to-day life, Vergadain's clerics tend to prefer leather armor worn underneath their normal clothing; when going into danger, they usually wear chain mail with a helm and a gorget. They favor small, easily concealed weapons such as daggers, knives, and short swords.
The holy symbol of Vergadain is a gold coin, and in 2e, it's expected for clerics to use a coin they earned through trade rather than to use specially minted ones.
Vergadain's dogma is simple: The truly blessed are those whose enterprise and zeal brings both wealth and good luck. Dwarves are well suited to earn their fortunes by the efforts of both their hands and their minds; use both to pry wealth out of others. Work hard, be clever, seek the best bargain, and the Merchant King will shower you with gold. Live life to its fullest; save, tith, and spend your riches and thus encourage more trade. Treat others with respect, but shirk not your responsibility to try to strike a deal better for you than for them - to not try would be to leave the gifts that Vergadain gives you idle.
In third edition, Vergadain once again returned as part of the Forgotten Realms line, in "Faiths and Pantheons".
It's mentioned in this sourcebook that Vergadain has a great personal friendship with Dugmaren Brightmantle, due to a shared interest in mischief, and he's also one of the few members of the Morndinsamman to get on with Abbathor.
His dogma is repeated from 2nd edition, but cuts out the more overt lines about dwarf supremacy.
Vergadain was one of the vast majority of racial deities downgraded to Exarches in 4th edition.
Vergadain returned to 5th edition in first the "Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide" and then in "Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes". Unfortunately, other than the bare mechanical knowledge needed to theme your cleric as worshipping him, absolutely no details on him was presented.