Keptolo (pronounced: /kɛpˈtoʊɛlaʊ/ kep-TOE-low) was the divine sponsor of the Realms deity, Zinzerena. He was also a deity to other drow throughout the multiverse, particularly on Oerth, but it was unknown if he was worshiped on Toril.[note 1] On Oerth, he was a core member of the Dark Seldarine and the deity of many drow males, representing dignity, intelligence and attentiveness, as well as catering to the vanity of the females of drow society.
Keptolo normally appeared as an elegant, handsome young drow noble, dressed in fine silks of amber, red, jet, and purple, with a velvet cloak fit for a hunt. He carried a fine crossbow, a thin but sturdy poniard, and a filigreed longsword; he fought with a traditional two-weapon fighting style.
Keptolo represented the ideal drow male: quick-witted, attentive, and eagerly debauched.
Keptolo was a a loyal servant and consort of Lolth, Queen of the Demonweb Pits, who was the undisputed leader of the drow pantheon. He lived in insincere harmony with the other members of the Dark Seldarine, apart from the deity he once sponsored, Zinzerena. After he was betrayed, Zinzerena became his divine enemy, and he absolutely despised her.
Many drow males worshiped the Eager Consort for his association with drinking and sex. Tales of his exploits in that latter area were quite popular, and performers were known to act them out during festivals or for private gatherings. The Eager Consort was also worshiped by many ambitious and subservient drow males who hoped to imitate him and his dedication to Lolth.
Keptolo's clerics sought to emulate their patron in all ways, and thus were among the most handsome and charming of drow males. They typically became advisors, philosophers, and politicians—positions that required little actual work. They were capricious, untrustworthy, and very dangerous, as most of them were skilled dirksmen, poisoners, or spies. They were deferential to Lolth's priestesses and attentive to the matrons of great houses, but tended to be abusive and manipulative in other relationships (especially with lower-ranking clerics in their hierarchy).
The holy symbol of Keptolo was a stylized mushroom, which in drow culture was associated with both strong drink and fertility. Shrines to him were not uncommon in the Underdark, for many male drow worshiped him as their patron.
According to some legends, Keptolo was born from the blood spilt by Corellon Larethian during their battles against the chief orc deity, Gruumsh One-Eye; and that as one of the first elves, Keptolo was given a name by Corellon themself. Once he attained the name of Keptolo, he underwent apotheosis, becoming an elven god. Lolth was also one of these newly created deities, but she was not happy being a subordinate of Corellon, and told the other deities of her ideals. Keptolo favored her over the good-willed Corellon Larethian, and became a member of the newly formed Dark Seldarine.
Within the crystal sphere of Greyspace, Keptolo decided to sponsor the drow mortal, known as Zinzerena, to divinity. However, in around 1358 DR, she executed a cunning plan and stole a fragment of his power, and then escaped to Menzoberranzan, a grand city in the Underdark of Toril. Although she faced trouble at first and was hunted by the members of the Dark Seldarine, the traitor eventually became revered as a drow goddess of assassins and chaos.
- There is no evidence of the worship of Keptolo in Faerûn, or anywhere else on Toril. Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes provides a quote from a member of House Bhaerynden, but this is an unknown house. As drow houses tend to share house names between different parts of the multiverse, such as House Despana and several others, it is not possible to confirm his worship in any part of Realmspace. The quote found in the same sourcebook is taken from the Living Greyhawk section of Dragon magazine, which clearly distinguishes between the Greyhawk and Forgotten Realms drow pantheon.
- Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (May 29, 2018). Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 53–57. ISBN 978-0786966240.
- Frederick Weining (August 2002). “The Vault of the Drow”. In Jesse Decker ed. Dragon #298 (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 86–87.
- Colin McComb (October 1996). On Hallowed Ground. Edited by Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc.), p. 101. ISBN 0-7869-0430-5.
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