Callarduran Smoothhands is the gnome god of the earth's depths, predominantly mining, but he is most known as the patron deity of the Svirfneblin, the Underdark gnomes. He oversees the deepest mines and provides protection against the horrors of the Underdark.
Unlike the other demihuman powers whose worshipers reside largely in the Underdark, Callarduran is not an outcast; he voluntarily led the ancestors of the svirfneblin deep underground to encourage diversity among the Forgotten Folk. It was Callarduran who taught the deep gnomes how to summon and befriend earth elementals. A svirfneblin legend tells that his hands are worn smooth from his polishing of a massive stone of controlling earth elementals that he hides at the center of the world, granting deep gnomes their summoning abilities. Ignored by the other gnome subraces, the Deep Brother is venerated primarily by svirfneblin as their patron, with a strong emphasis on his protective aspect and his lordship of the all-encompassing earth and the treasures to be found within. Svirfneblin warriors and illusionists who defend and hide the deep gnomes from their numerous enemies form the core of the Deep Brother's faithful.
The Deep Brother is by nature solitary and thoughtful. He rarely consorts with others, even other gnome gods. He is a benign, but secretive deity, caring only for his own people and their defense. He frequently dispatches his avatars to defend his followers from dangers of the Underdark. The avatar's arrival is heralded by the sound of its humming, which can be heard through solid rock.
Callarduran's worship is centered amongst the svirfneblin, who focus on his aspects as their protector and the lord of the earth and all its treasures. His faith is concentrated amongst the male svirfneblin, who traditionally take up the roles of miners, warriors and mages who are most associated with his teachings.
Callarduran's church is little known beyond the Underdark cities of the svirfneblin, even among the other gnome subraces. Among the deep gnomes, the Deep Brother's priests are highly regarded for their wise council and steadfast dedication to protecting their kin. The drow are well aware of this cult's zeal in hunting the minions of the Spider Queen, and they return the favor whenever possible. Other evil-aligned Underdark races mark this church as anathema to their people, an opinion that is a positive measure of the priesthood's effectiveness in safeguarding the communities and mines of the svirfneblin.
Priests of Callarduran are guardians and protectors of their community; they often lead war bands to strike against nearby threats, particularly the drow. Outside of this role, they are teachers in the arts of magic — especially the fields of the illusionist and the (earth) elementalist — and work to spread knowledge of new spells and magical items amongst svirfneblin communities. They are often multiclassed.
VestmentsThe ceremonial garb of Callarduran's priesthood includes simple, slate-gray robes adorned with tiny gems of varying hue (although red is favored). A silver or mithral circlet is worn on the brow and steel sandals on the feet. The holy symbol of the faith is a ruby, with the size of the gem identifying the relative importance of the priest in the church. The highest ranking priests of the faith use star rubies as their holy symbols.
When going to battle, or adventuring, priests of Callarduran favor leather jacks sewn with rings or scales of mithral over fine chain mail shirts. In addition to battle axes, they favor picks, daggers, stun darts as weapons, and crystal caltrops that release a powerful sleep gas when stepped on.
HierarchyThe clergy of Callarduran is predominantly deep gnomes. Novices of Callarduran are known as the Unworked. Full priests of the Deep Brother are known as the Smoothed. In ascending order of rank, the titles used by Callardurian priests are First Facet, Second Facet, Third Facet, Forth Facet, Fifth Facet, Sixth Facet, Seventh Facet, Eighth facet, and high-ranking priests have unique individual titles. Specialty priests are known as Earthbloods.
TemplesTemples of the Deep Brother are constructed in natural caverns worn smooth by a centuries-long process of Callarduran's priests rubbing the rough stone with their bare hands. At the center of such subterranean chapels is a stalagmite altar raised from the stone floor by stone shape spells and inlaid with hundreds of tiny rubies. Suggestive of the Deep Brother's giant stone of controlling earth elementals, such solitary menhirs are said to house a great deal of magical power derived from the Elemental Plane of Earth, including the ability to animate itself as a 24-HD earth elemental should the temple ever come under attack.
RitualsThe followers of Callarduran assemble on Midsummer day and on Midwinter night to venerate the god in sister ceremonies known as The Festivals of the Ruby and the Star, respectively. The Festival of the Ruby marks Callarduran's hiding of rubies and other gems in the depths of the earth for the deep gnomes to find, a story symbolized in svirfneblin mythology by tales of the Great Red Ruby (the setting sun) sinking into the earth (dipping below the horizon). The Festival of the Star celebrates the continued protection the Deep Brother provides to the descendants of the svirfneblin who followed him into the Deepearth. The holy day is marked by deep gnomes who assemble on the shore of a subterranean lake or pool to observe an annual event when small patches of a specially bred species of phosphorescent fungi in the cavern roof light up like stars, creating an illusion of the night sky reflected in the waters below. For deep gnomes this event reaffirms their ancestral ties with the surface world and reassures them that they have not been abandoned in the hostile environment deep beneath the surface of the earth.
OrdersThe Wardens of the Webspinners are a tightly knit order of priests and warriors with chapters in most cities of the Forgotten Folk that must regularly battle drow for control of territory. Members of this group are trained in battle tactics designed for use against the followers of the Spider Queen. Many members of this elite company are deep gnome burrow wardens (6th or greater level fighters), hence the name of the order.
Callarduran led his chosen people into the deepest adepts of the earth so that they might discover the joyous beauty of rubies and other gems. Beware the dangers of Deepearth, and guard against evil races such as the drow who employ any means necessary to seize what is not rightfully theirs. Protect and serve your community. Celebrate the beauty of minerals and gems and understand their value in craft, art and magic.
Callarduran Smoothhands is known to appear as a handsome, bronze-skinned svirfneblin male with perfectly smooth hands — these stem from his constant hand-based polishing of a giant magical stone that gives him and his followers command over earth elementals.
Callarduran was a distant ally of the other non-evil deities of the gnome pantheon. He was also loosely linked to the other patrons of non-evil Underdark deities, such as Eilistraee, Shevarash, Dumathoin, and Geb. His foes were the Dark Seldarine and the other evil Underdark deities.