Dugmaren Brightmantle (pronounced: /ˈdəgmɑːrɛn/ DUHG-mah-ren) was a lesser dwarven deity of learning and innovation, and patron of dwarven scholars and free thinkers. His domain was the gathering of knowledge regardless of its utility and the creation of novel inventions using the various findings. The Errant Explorer embodied the progressive side of the conservative Stout Folk, and the exploratory spirit that led to acts of creativity.
Dugmaren appeared as an elderly, slightly hunched dwarf with twinkling, blue-grey eyes. The height of his avatar was variable, ranging in height from 5 feet (1.5 meters) tall, to 6 feet (1.8 meters) tall, to 8 feet (2.4 meters) tall.
Of all the dwarvish gods, Dugmaren was certainly the most given to chaos, a divine manifestation of the most chaotic principles of dwarven character. He was instinctually creative and adventurous in spirit, with a natural desire to explore. He was also the most open-minded member of his pantheon, and the inquisitive deity was primarily concerned with the discovery of the unknown. Whether or not the knowledge he was searching for had any practical application was irrelevant; he compulsively accumulated trivia and "useless" information, favoring knowledge for knowledge's sake.
Dugmaren was benign, cheerful, and optimistic, but his behavior could cause problems. He had a tendency to drift away from what he was doing to investigate something else that caught his notoriously capricious attention, often abandoning projects before he was done and usually before he found a use for his gathered knowledge. He was an experimenter and meddler whose fiddling had ruined things he was not supposed to touch an inestimable number of times. Despite this attitude, Dugmaren was not in any way to be placed alongside inventors like the tinker gnomes of Krynn, being jolly rather than chirpy to the point of being frightening.
Avatars of the Errant Explorer casted spells like bards, and often did so in an experimental (and even haphazard) way. They could cast blink, dimension door, and teleport without error once every ten minutes. They could only be harmed by enchanted weaponry, and ranged from resistant to immune against mind-affecting abilities.
The Wandering Tinker could avoid several attacks directed at him alone simply by intuiting how they would play out and moving out of the way, although he could not predict if the attack would hit him in the first place and could only do so around three times per minute. He could also determine how any object (magical or mechanical) worked just by handling it for around a minute.
Rarely did Dugmaren manifest in an obvious manner, preferring to guide his followers to new discoveries by the most subtle means possible. This might involve the revelation of something hidden to a determined seeker, such as a book turning to a page of particular interest or a secret door slightly shifting, or cryptic omens in the form of puzzles, riddles, or "impossible" objects. He showed his favor by having his worshipers discover various objects, including king's tears and pearls or random scraps of of unlooked for lore, and by having faint, long-lost melodies play with no apparent point of origin. Conversely, he communicated that he was displeased by temporarily keeping a book shut, causing a device to malfunction or cease working, or by blocking the one or more senses (usually hearing) for a while.
Sometimes Dugmaren found the need to manifest more directly. In these cases, he typically enveloped a worshiper or object in a nimbus of bright, blue-tinted light. What this actually did was dependent on the situation, but normally he gave sentient creatures the ability to use a single divination spell (such as detect magic, ESP, identify, legend lore, or true seeing) or a single defensive spell (such as shield, protection from evil, ironguard, magical vestment, anti-magic shell, or lesser globe of invulnerability). Sometimes he manifested by transforming a mental image in the heads of his followers into a physical object similarly to how a major creation spell work.
Dugmaren always carried a collection of books with him. Brightmantle's avatar wore a bright blue cloak of displacement and wielded a +1 broadsword dubbed Sharptack that could cast feeblemind twice per day.
Dugmaren's realm was on the Outlands, existing as part of the triple realm known as the Dwarven Mountain. He shared this realm with Vergadain, dwarf god of luck and fortune, and Dumathoin, dwarf god of mines and exploration. The gigantic, rocky, barren mountain was covered in random settlements, since the actual realm itself was underground. Anything outside of that was strictly not part of the realm, cared about by none of the three gods, and the slopes were so high, rocky, and cold that anyone wandering them was likely to end up dead.
The realm lacked towns as imagined by humans, instead consisting of nothing but an endless series of interweaving and intersecting tunnels that rose, sunk, coiled, plunged straight down, crossed chasms, and cut through the honeycombed caverns. It was always under construction, and every inch of stone and brace was magnificently carved. Despite all residents being dwarves and considering anything non-dwarf or non-dwarven a waste of time unless strongly proven otherwise, the tunnels were still made so that anything short of a hill giant could wander it easily.
Under the Dwarven Mountain, one would find the various dwarven halls, which to dwarves was the equivalent of one's identity, family, community, and city. The most important halls were the specific domains of the three deities, each specialized in something that made a rough dwarf's life complete. Dugmaren's Soot Hall was between Vergadain's Strongale Hall closest to the peak, which was notorious for gaming halls and rumored treasure vaults, and Dumathoin's Deepshaft Hall far underground, which was filled with mines and ore-rich caverns.
Soot Hall's name was literal, since the caves were coated in chalky black ash from millennia of work, and the light was the ruddy haze of smoky glass. In contrast to the Strongale Hall, Soot Hall was sober and earnest, absent of drinks, decoration, and indulgence. The bright paintings of women were replaced by endless bas-reliefs of industrious activity reflective of the realm's focus, for sobriety was not to be mistaken for inaction. A wild disarray of furnaces, forges, smelters, and workshops (as well as villages) filled out the caverns of Soot Hall.
The noise in the hall was ceaseless, the air filled with constant clattering, on top of the screeching whistles and clanging bells that indicated the time (a useful feature given that there was no day or night underground). Not that the petitioners needed to sleep, since Dugmaren bestowed upon them unlimited endurance, allowing them to complete their tasks with only minimal need for sustenance. Some paused between jobs while most leapt to enacting new ideas just as they had them. The dwarves were always in motion, hurrying to work and hurrying home while doing whatever they were doing, whether singing or working, with unrestrained intensity.
Although the dwarves of Soot Hall created much, their best products being the finely crafted and frequently magical hammers and breastplates that often ended up in Strongale Hall's gaming tables, their home was also a place of learning. Libraries allowed for quiet reflection, and were filled with esoteric tomes on metallurgy and other iron crafts. A fair number of miserable gamblers had come to the towns outside the mountain hoping for a chance to play in Vergadain's fabled halls, but there were also the rare few who sought admission to Brightmantle's libraries.
Dugmaren was on an unending quest for knowledge, and often ventured beyond his home to the Outer Planes of Arborea, Bytopia, and Elysium. He was also constantly tinkering, but this and his exploring had a tendency to get him in trouble. Dugmaren sometimes dispatched avatars to guide dwarven scholars and travelers unseen, often by protecting them and giving them hints on where to go.
Dugmaren was normally believed to be one of the younger children of Moradin and Berronar, a chaotic divergence from his sternly lawful father and nurtured by his mother's favor. Berronar was somewhat cool towards him, patiently humoring his "antics" while waiting for the day she foresaw when he and his followers would set into traditional dwarven life. This wasn't to say that Moradin disliked his son, for in truth he admired his adventurousness and could relate well to his creativity. However, Moradin despaired at his fickle attention and found no end of irritation in his habit of walking away from incomplete projects. It was rumored that Dugmaren did indeed promise his father he would someday settle down and find a use for the knowledge he had accumulated over the eons, but such a day was likely far off.
Dugmaren was unique among his pantheon for his focus on the mystical and arcane. Most of the Morndinsamman were very practical deities, focused on matters of martial prowess, craftsmanship, tradition, and earth, whereas he desired knowledge regardless of its practical purpose. Still, Dugmaren was tolerated by the lawful members of his pantheon (even the duergar deities Laduguer and Duerra) because his inventions and innovations were undoubtedly creative and had provably beneficial uses. None among his pantheon were his enemies, though Vergadain had forged a particularly close, personal friendship with him, for both shared an interest in mischief.
Dugmaren's various pursuits ensured that he was always getting himself in the middle of some exploit, and he had a group of loose, regular associates in these plans. These included the similarly young dwarven deities Haela Brightaxe, demigoddess of luck and battle and Marthammor Duin, god of travelers and guides. Both Marthammor and Dugmaren shared the theme of traveling to gain knowledge and the two were on good terms, with Marthammor always welcome in Dugmaren's Soot Hall. Shaundakul and Gond, human god of travel and innovative craft respectively, and two demihuman deities of rogues, the halfling god of adventure Brandobaris and the elven god mischief Erevan, were also among his accomplices.
Other friends of Dugmaren were various human gods of knowledge, including Deneir, Oghma, and Thoth, the halfling gods Cyrrollalee, Tymora, and Urogalan, the nearly forgotten elven goddess of runic magic Alathrien Druanna, and the leader of the gnome pantheon Garl Glittergold.
In terms of opposition, Dugmaren had few true foes, even if he found the company of some deities (including Abbathor, evil giant gods, and the goblinoid pantheon and duergar pantheon members) trying at best. Urdlen, the tunneling, greedy, and outcast mole deity of the gnome pantheon, was an enemy of his, but Urdlen hated everyone and everything.
Among his most hated foes was Gargauth, a former archdevil and Faerunian god of corruption, albeit one that had eventually gotten himself trapped in a shield. Gargauth was the embodiment of everything malevolent about the search for the unknown, representing the illicit and twisted motives that could lurk behind a quest for knowledge.
Dugmaren also opposed the mind flayer gods, Ilsensine and Maanzecorian (before the latter died at any rate) as they sought to hoard knowledge for themselves. His relation with Ilsensine was a curious one; those in Soot Hall without a skill, trade or other way to prove themselves useful were quickly booted to another realm, and Ilsensine's was not exempt from that list. Ilsensine once possessed one of his petitioners and used him as a spy, and it was unclear if Dugmaren didn't know, didn't care, or if something else was the issue.
Whereas Moradin drew his followers from various craftsfolk, Dugmaren attracted the most creative of tinkers and free-thinkers of a race that, for its traditional leanings, still prided itself on its infrequent innovation. Any dwarf could create a hammer, but Dugmaren's followers wanted to create something entirely new rather than a variation on an old classic. Only a few had the inspiration to turn ideas on their head and invent things like the "Wondrous Spinning Axehead". Gnomes were also allowed to join his orders on rare occasions. Although well-regarded for their inventiveness, his worshipers were partially estranged from common dwarves due to their fear of being caught in one of their spectacular failures and the tiring nature of their exceeding idealism, but humans and other demihumans were often more tolerant of this behavior.
Dugmaren's clerics, especially his specialty priests, were known as xothor (singular xothar), a dwarvish word loosely translated to mean "those who seek knowledge". The vast majority of his clergy (96%), whether dwarf or gnome, was male, and before the Time of Troubles they were entirely so. Novice Dugmarenites were known as the Curious, while full members were known as Seekers of Truth and Mystery. In ascending order of rank, priests were known by the titles of Questing Wanderer, Avid Fiddler, Philosophical Tinker, Seeking Scholar, Searching Sage, and Errant Philosopher, with high old ones of the church having individual titles and being collectively known as High Savants.
Most members of the clergy were either mountain dwarves (53%) or hill dwarves (46%). The hill dwarves of the Great Rift, given their lack of challenges compared to mountain dwarves, had more time to spend on creative and philosophical matters, and individuals with the penchant often venerated Dugmaren, spending their days contemplating the mysteries of life and using their findings to create new magic items. A handful of duergar and wild dwarves, along with the gnomes, made up a small minority of the faith. His clergy was dominated (85%) by specialty priests, the other 15% being regular clerics, and of those around a fifth trained as fighters. Clerics frequently trained loremasters, runecasters, or wizards.
All Dugmaren's followers were non-evil, but his clerics were also non-lawful, and his specialty priests strictly good. Becoming a specialty priest also required at least average intelligence and above average wisdom, as well as engineering skill. Most were mountain or hill dwarves, but all subraces could become one. Xothor combined priestly power with limited wizardry, allowing them to cast various defensive and divining spells through both arcane and divine means. They had the ability to use magical wizard and priest scrolls above their normal capabilities, but due to the incomplete nature of their understanding there was a chance the spell would be read incorrectly and malfunction. The odds increased based on the inexperience of the caster and difficulty of the magic, and the effects were equally likely to be beneficial, neutral, or detrimental.
One knightly order of Dugmaren was known as the Order of the Lost Tome. It was a loosely structured fellowship of errant dwarven scholars on a mission to recover lost dwarven lore for the benefit of dwarves across the realms. The Knights of the Lost Time normally worked independently, either by themselves or with unaffiliated adventurers (dwarven or otherwise). They combined investigative ability, a passion for learning, and the martial skill needed to best occupiers of fallen dwarf strongholds in order to obtain the information they sought.
According to the teachings of the Gleam in the Eye, the secrets of the world were waiting to be uncovered. Their primary task was the recovery of lost and/or arcane knowledge, which was fittingly perceived as intrinsically valuable. A long-lost recipe and a crucial flaw in an enemy's defenses were equally valued, and given their strong preference for creation over destruction, there was a chance many would favor the recipe. They were to travel the world and broaden their minds, particularly when it came to intellectual matters, and often sought new experiences and ideas.
Followers of Dugmaren tried different methods of doing things just for the fun of trying them and learned a little bit of everything in case it came in handy. Not only were they instructed to pursue a scholarly life, but they had to cultivate the spirit of enquiry among young ones, and act as a teacher to all. They sought to advance nearly every field even mildly interesting to the dwarven race, and while some served directly as instructors, others recorded and archived current dwarven ways for the benefit of future generations.
The faithful of Dugmaren were not forbidden from activities like drinking (and indeed an old dwarven joke referred to mead as the source of scholarly insight). Though he demanded much from his devoted, the Wandering Tinker rewarded them with the satisfaction of a job well-done, and the assurance that it truly had been done well.
Dugmaren's followers prayed for their spells in the morning. Priests also whispered a thankful prayer to him when they discovered a piece of forgotten lore or made any kind of significant discovery. His clergy had few official holidays, formal rituals or ceremonies, but did observe regular holy days on Greengrass and Highharvestide. The day was begun with the faithful spending several hours in private meditation and introspection, normally while staring deeply into the flame of a single lit candle. Afterwards, whatever priests were nearby would spend the day presenting, discussing, and defending the discoveries they had made since the last gathering.
Dugmarenite temples could be found both below and above ground, and were usually sprawling complexes filled with the scattered detritus of countless experiments, twice as many open books, and artifacts collected on extended expeditions to distant regions. Altars of Dugmaren consisted of a simple block of hard stone, such as granite, with an ever-burning candle sitting on top, symbolizing the quest for knowledge An the center of any house of worship was a huge library that housed a large collection of rune stones alongside the books and scrolls of other races.
Temples of the Errant Explorer were not always used to venerate Dugmaren alone. For example, The Hall of Runestones (a complex in Iltkazar that held the city's archives and innumerable relics from the golden age of Shanatar) was a temple of Dugmaren where the city's gnomes also venerated Nebelun. There was also the temple of Scholar's Hope in Myth Drannor, one of the first unified temples in Faerun where not just Dugmaren, but also Oghma, Deneir, and Corellon could be worshiped separately at different shrines, and all clergies could share knowledge and learn from each other. Also listed among the known temples of Dugmaren was the Athenaeum of Philosophy, a center of invention, experimentation, public seminars, philosophical debate, and scholarly discussion in Luruar.
Dugmaren's faithful generally eschewed formal religious clothing outside of a plain, homespun white outfit with vibrant sashes as wide as a hand, although High Old Ones donned simple silver circlets that dictated their status. They dressed practically when in dangerous or unexplored territory, mostly favoring light armor and weapons and maneuverability over defense. Many also carried unique weapons, with most also carrying various items of widely varying defensive usefulness and reliability that they had invented and wanted to field-test.
Followers of Dugmaren used a silver locket grafted to look like an open book as their holy symbols, and many kept small bits of lore (such as riddles, puzzles, and command words) inside the locket both in homage to their god and to keep them readily accessible in unexpected situations.
Dugmaren's faith arose along with most of the younger dwarven gods, during the fall of Shanatar.
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Akadi | Amaunator | Asmodeus | Auril | Azuth | Bane | Beshaba | Bhaal | Chauntea | Cyric | Deneir | Eldath | Gond | Grumbar | Gwaeron | Helm | Hoar | Ilmater | Istishia | Jergal | Kelemvor | Kossuth | Lathander | Leira | Lliira | Loviatar | Malar | Mask | Mielikki | Milil | Myrkul | Mystra | Oghma | Red Knight | Savras | Selûne | Shar | Silvanus | Sune | Talona | Talos | Tempus | Torm | Tymora | Tyr | Umberlee | Valkur | Waukeen
Abbathor | Berronar Truesilver | Clangeddin Silverbeard | Deep Duerra | Dugmaren Brightmantle | Dumathoin | Gorm Gulthyn | Haela Brightaxe | Laduguer | Marthammor Duin | Moradin | Sharindlar | Vergadain
Aerdrie Faenya | Angharradh | Corellon | Deep Sashelas | Erevan | Fenmarel Mestarine | Hanali Celanil | Labelas Enoreth | Rillifane Rallathil | Sehanine Moonbow | Shevarash | Solonor Thelandira
The Dark Seldarine
Eilistraee | Kiaransalee | Lolth | Selvetarm | Vhaeraun
Arvoreen | Brandobaris | Cyrrollalee | Sheela Peryroyl | Urogalan | Yondalla
Lords of the Golden Hills
Baervan Wildwanderer | Baravar Cloakshadow | Callarduran Smoothhands | Flandal Steelskin | Gaerdal Ironhand | Garl Glittergold | Nebelun | Segojan Earthcaller | Urdlen
Bahgtru | Gruumsh | Ilneval | Luthic | Shargaas | Yurtrus
Anhur | Bast | Geb | Hathor | Horus | Isis | Nephthys | Osiris | Re | Sebek | Set | Thoth
Other gods of Faerûn
Bahamut | Enlil | Finder Wyvernspur | Ghaunadaur | Gilgeam | Lurue | Moander | Nobanion | Raven Queen | Tiamat
Greater Gods of Faerûn
Amaunator | Asmodeus | Bane | Chauntea | Corellon | Cyric | Ghaunadaur | Gruumsh | Kelemvor | Lolth | Moradin | Oghma | Selûne | Shar | Silvanus | Sune | Tempus | Torm
Gods of Faerûn
Angharradh | Auril | Bahamut | Berronar Truesilver | Beshaba | Garl Glittergold | Gond | Ilmater | Loviatar | Luthic | Malar | Mielikki | Sheela Peryroyl | Sseth | Talona | Tiamat | Tymora | Umberlee | Waukeen | Zehir
Exarchs of Faerûn
Abbathor | Arvoreen | Baervan Wildwanderer | Bahgtru | Baravar Cloakshadow | Brandobaris | Callarduran Smoothhands | Clangeddin Silverbeard | Cyrrollalee | Deep Sashelas | Dugmaren Brightmantle | Erevan Ilesere | Fenmarel Mestarine | Fzoul Chembryl | Garagos | Hoar | Hruggek | Jergal | Labelas Enoreth | Lliira | Maglubiyet | Malar | Marthammor Duin | Milil | Obould | Red Knight | Sharess | Shargaas | Shevarash | Shiallia | Siamorphe | Solonor Thelandira | Thard Harr | Uthgar | Valkur | Vaprak | Vergadain
Greater Deities of Faerûn
Angharradh | Bane | Chauntea | Corellon Larethian | Cyric | Garl Glittergold | Gruumsh | Horus-Re | Kelemvor | Lathander | Moradin | Mystra | Oghma | Shar | Silvanus | Sune | Talos | Tempus | Tyr | Yondalla
Intermediate Deities of Faerûn
Abbathor | Arvoreen | Baervan Wildwanderer | Berronar Truesilver | Beshaba | Callarduran Smoothhands | Clangeddin Silverbeard | Cyrrollalee | Deep Duerra | Deep Sashelas | Dumathoin | Erevan Ilesere | Flandal Steelskin | Gond | Hanali Celanil | Helm | Ilmater | Isis | Labelas Enoreth | Laduguer | Lolth | Mask | Mielikki | Nephthys | Osiris | Rillifane Rallathil | Sehanine Moonbow | Segojan Earthcaller | Selûne | Set | Sharindlar | Sheela Peryroyl | Solonor Thelandira | Thoth | Tymora | Umberlee | Urdlen | Vergadain
Major Deities of Faerûn
Angharradh | Bane | Bhaal | Chauntea | Corellon Larethian | Garl Glittergold | Gruumsh | Horus-Re | Lathander | Moradin | Myrkul | Mystra | Oghma | Shar | Silvanus | Sune | Talos | Tempus | Tyr | Yondalla
Other Deities of Faerûn
Auppenser | Abbathor | Arvoreen | Auril | Baervan Wildwanderer | Berronar Truesilver | Beshaba | Callarduran Smoothhands | Clangeddin Silverbeard | Cyrrollalee | Deep Duerra | Deep Sashelas | Dumathoin | Erevan Ilesere | Flandal Steelskin | Gond | Hanali Celanil | Helm | Ilmater | Isis | Labelas Enoreth | Laduguer | Lolth | Mask | Mielikki | Nephthys | Osiris | Rillifane Rallathil | Sehanine Moonbow | Segojan Earthcaller | Selûne | Set | Sharindlar | Sheela Peryroyl | Solonor Thelandira | Thoth | Tymora | Umberlee | Urdlen | Vergadain