Urdlen, a neutered and sexless being, is the epitome of the evil impulse that rules some gnomes and is feared by the rest. A mindless force of malicious evil and destruction, Urdlen serves as a warning for every gnome to beware the taint of greed that lies within the gnomish delight in gems and jewelry. It is telling that gnomes have no myths of how this evil arose, but that they simply fear Urdlen's vicious, life-hating evil and bloodlust. Just as the Crawler Below can burrow into the earth of the Abyss, so it hopes evil will burrow into the hearts and souls of gnomes everywhere. Urdlen thrives on trickery that harms the innocent and the good. It is commonly venerated by evil thieves and fighters, although gnomes from all walks of life have succumbed to its evil taint. Spriggans are said to be the twisted offspring of gnomes who succumbed to Urdlen's taint early in the history of the Forgotten Folk, and they honor their god and patron by perpetuating its reign of terror.
The Crawler Below crushes all life without regard. It wants to spoil or destroy everything. Urdlen is a half-mad, blindly destructive impulse; the blindness of its chosen avatar form is very tellingly symbolic. No one can predict where it will strike or what its plans are to further the cause of evil among the Forgotten Folk. The nature of its plans to bring evil into the hearts of gnomes is not understood even by the other gnome deities. It is said that Urdlen lusts for precious metals, jewels, and the blood of any human, humanoid, or demihuman.
Those who follow Urdlen are despised and feared by the Forgotten Folk. Its cult is a particular threat to rock gnomes and deep gnomes, but even forest gnomes suffer from its followers' depredations. Spriggans both venerate and fear the Crawler Below, and most are members of its cult. Urdlen's cult is opposed by good-aligned dwarves, gnomes, and halflings, and tales of the god's hunger for blood and destruction are a growing part of the mythology of the Small Folk. Other surface races have little knowledge of this obscure cult, typically merging tales of the god's rampages into stories of a wide range of horrors from below. Subterranean races are more likely to have been assaulted by Urdlen's avatar or that of its followers, and as such, its cult is a more credible threat.
The church of Urdlen is secretive in the extreme, a murderous cult within the communities it infiltrates or a lurking threat outside the margins of society. From their subterranean warrens, Urdlen's clerics wage an unending war on communities of the Forgotten Folk, particularly the clergies of the other gnome deities. When not hunting other creatures, members of the clergy work to steal objects of value, particularly gems and works of art, and then destroy or deface them. They generally share their lord's love for evil and deadly pranks directed against all creatures, including gnomes. Many clerics multiclass as assassins, or rogues.
VestmentsDuring depraved ceremonies, priests of the Crawler Below wear blood-stained white cloaks made from the pelts of animals such as polar bears, winter wolves, and the like. The holy symbol of the faith is a blood-soaked skull, although most of Urdlen's priests keep a bloodfed white mole as both a pet and a symbol of their god.
When adventuring, members of Urdlen's clergy employ the best armor and weapons available. Specialty priests of Urdlen prefer edged weapons to maximize the amount of blood shed, and all priests favor weapons that inflict a great deal of pain on their victims. Some members of the priesthood employ magical steel claws similar to that employed by the cult of the Beastlord. Claws of Urdlen are metal gauntlets with a row of large, curved knives affixed atop the knuckles. A priest trained in their use can strike once per round with each hand without disadvantage. Claws of Urdlen weigh 4 pounds total (2 pounds each), have a speed factor of 6, are size S, and inflict ld6+2 points of piercing and slashing damage. In addition, due to their enchantment, it is possible to burrow through soft earth once a day with a Movement Rate of 1 for as many rounds as the priest has points of Strength or Constitution (pick the minimum) using the Claws of Urdlen as crude tools.
HierarchyNovices of Urdlen are known as the Unblooded. Full priests of the Crawler Below are known as Deep Crawlers. Individual priests have their own unique titles. Specialty priests are known as Bloodstalkers.
TemplesTemples of the Crawler Below are few and far between, for rarely do its followers set aside their proclivities for destruction long enough to build a house of worship. Those few temples that do exist are typically little more than blood-spattered shrines, always located underground in lightless natural caverns dominated by a crude stone altar stained with the lifeblood of countless sacrifices.
RitualsClerics of Urdlen pray for their spells at midnight, when the world is buried in darkness. In a regular ritual known as the Feeding, Urdlen's clerics appease their deity by pouring the blood of creatures they kill into the ground and burying it. Jewels and valuable metal goods are also sacrificed to him by ruining them (breaking, tarnishing, melting) and then burying them. On Midwinter Night, followers of the Crawler Below gather in subterranean caverns to offer blood sacrifices to the deity in an effort to appease its wrath. If Urdlen is displeased by the volume of blood or the value of the despoiled goods offered on the Night of Blood, it may appear and slay all the assembled worshipers in an orgy of unbridled destruction.
OrdersUrdlen's followers are too chaotic and consumed with bloodlust to organize into long-lasting bands, let alone militant orders. At most they gather together in small groups to maximize their opportunity for destruction, but such a band rarely stay together for more than a few raids.
Succumb to the bloodlust. Hate, covet, crush, despoil, and kill. Revel and exult in orgies of death and destruction. That which is living or created by life must be murdered or destroyed. The strong survive and the weak are their cattle. Propitiate the Crawler Below so it does not come for you.
Urdlen took the form of a white mole, blind, hairless, sexless, but with claws of steel.
Urdlen hated all the other gnomish deities, and they had no particular love for him as well. Its actions also earned the wrath of the gods of halflings, dwarves, and kobolds, as well as Grumbar.