Segojan Earthcaller is the gnome god of earth and nature whose primary concern is creatures who dwell within the ground and burrow through the earth. Unlike his ally Baervan Wildwanderer, who was a god of the plants and forests of the surface world, Segojan's area of concern was the deep earth and the life within it. Segojan was also seen as the gnomish god of the dead, for the forgotten folk interred their fallen kin into his domain. He is said to have given the gnomes their ability to communicate with burrowing mammals.
Segojan Earthcaller is an earthy and pragmatic deity who always communicates in a direct and straightforward fashion. Although he attempts to defuse and avoid conflicts if possible, the Earthfriend is a fierce opponent if he or his followers are attacked, particularly when he or his followers are threatened in their den. Segojan is seen as the patron of rock gnomes.
The church of Segojan is very prominent in rock gnome communities and acts in a quite organized fashion, working closely with the clergies of other gnome gods. In conjunction with the clergy of Baervan Wildwanderer, particularly the diverse ecology found beneath the surface. In conjunction with the clergy of Flandal Steelskin, Segojan's faithful supervise mining operations and oversee the safety and protection of gnome miners. In conjunction with the followers of Callarduran Smoothhands, they work to forge ties between gnomes who dwell on or directly beneath the surface and the deep gnomes of the Underdark. Segojan's clerics go further than others in actively seeking to watch over boundaries with the territory of Underdark races and tunnels deeper underground than gnomes usually explore. Rock gnome clerics, who form the core of Segojan's clergy, often serve as emissaries on behalf of surface communities of gnomes to their deep kinfolk, and many seek to establish and maintain trading routes between the two subraces.
In accordance with their deity's supervision of the dead, whose mortal forms are interred in his domain, clerics of Segojan preside over most funeral rituals for the Forgotten Folk in addition to their other duties.
Many clerics and druids multiclass as elemental wizards, illusionists, or fighters.
VestmentsThe ceremonial vestments of Segojan's priesthood include a fur cap and a suit of leather armor of gray or dark brown hue. The Lord of Burrows insists that no part of any hunted animal go to waste, and the use of animal furs and skins in the vestments of the church is a way of abiding by this teaching. The holy symbol of the faith is a large and skillfully cut gem into which a light or continual light spell has been cast. The power of the god changes this incantation causing the jewel to glow from within for as long as it serves as a holy symbol of one of Segojan's priests.
In times of potential danger, priests of Segojan are permitted to use any armor or weapon that is a product of the earth. As this command is interpreted by the church to include any item made of wood, metal, or stone, priests of Segojan are essentially unlimited in their choice of armor and weapons (although clerics must still abide by the restriction to use only blunt, bludgeoning weapons). At other times, members of the clergy favor leather armor and usually carry a stone or metal rod as a weapon (treat as a club that inflicts 1d6+1 points of damage), even within the sanctity of their own burrow.
HierarchyNovices of Segojan are known as the Unearthed. Full priests of the Lord of Burrows are known as Earthcallers. In ascending order of rank, the titles used by Segojian priests are Shrew, Mole, Vole, Ermine, Groundhog, Wolverine, Badger, and Aurumvorax. High-ranking priests have unique individual titles. Specialty priests are known as Earthfriends.
TemplesSegojan's temples are always constructed underground in a series of linked caverns connected by twisting passages. Such houses of worship share the traits of both a museum and a zoo. The creations of generations of gnome artisans adorn nearly every surface and include metal sculptures, sparkling jewels, elaborate illusions and others. Running wild amidst the displays of gnome craftsmanship are hundreds of small animals, ranging in size from tiny shrews to giant badgers.
RitualsClerics and druids of Segojan pray for their spells at dawn in preparation for the day to come. Segojan is venerated at quarterly holy days that mark the first day of each new season. His faithful gather in plainly adorned dens and offer forth gemstones, both worked and unworked, in honor of the treasures of the earth that the Lord of Burrows provides. Such treasures are then placed in small holes dug previously by badgers before covering them with dirt. Segojan is said to employ small burrowing animals to move the jewels elsewhere for gnomes to discover anew (those corrupted by the taint of Urdlen have occasionally returned to the burrows where Segojan is worshiped in hopes of stealing the offerings). Despite great amounts of excavation, none of the buried offerings have ever been found again in the immediate vicinity of where they were placed.
Funeral RitualsThe Earthen Embrace is a relatively widespread funerary ritual observed in most gnome communities, particularly among rock gnomes. Gnome customs regarding the interment of the dead are believed to date back to the enslavement of the Forgotten Folk by the Netherese before their emancipation in the latter half of Netheril's Silver Age in 1472 NY. In gnome communities, the bodies of the fallen are rarely placed in any form of coffin or sarcophagus (except for some communities of forest gnomes who employ wood coffins). Instead gnome corpses are slathered with a thick coating of specially prepared mud by priests of Segojan. This coating dries and hardens over a period of three days until it achieves the consistency and strength of stone. During the three days it takes to prepare an earthen mummy, gnome illusionists work small magics into the hardening earthen shell to replicate the image of the deceased as she or he appeared in life. After preparation, an earthen mummy is adorned with lifelike illusions and then carried on a carpet of furs of small burrowing animals to the central gathering spot of the community, or in larger settlements to the temple with which the deceased was most closely associated. Friends and relatives, a group that often encompasses the entire community, then gather around the body to recount favored stories of the deceased and to tell tales of his or her life. Finally, the body is blessed by the assembled clergy and borne off by the priests of Segojan to its final resting place in an earthen burial niche. Burial practices vary slightly from community to community, but generally changes to the basic ritual are performed only for gnomes who have received some measure of renown and thus entered into the rich oral tradition of gnome folklore. A fairly common practice in such cases is the placement of small gemstones and other treasures in the coating of mud before it hardens. This practice has resulted in grave robbers (including avaricious followers of Urdlen) plundering gnome burial sites in search of hidden treasures and the desecration and destruction of mummies thus unearthed. As a result, gnome burial sites are unmarked so as not to betray their location to nongnomes. They are often located deep beneath the surface at the end of narrow winding tunnels that are then completely collapsed. Other prominent gnomes are recognized by permanent illusions that persist long beyond the three-day mourning period that may actually move about as the gnome did in life. In the rarest of ceremonies, gnomes of great renown are honored by wrapping their earthen shell in the hide of an aurumvorax.
OrdersThe Watchers Below are a loosely structured order of gnome fighters, fighter/clerics, clerics, and specialty priests found in most rock gnome communities, as well as among the svirfneblin. The members form semi-autonomous chapters that are affiliated with one or more gnome communities. These groups govern themselves with fairly flat hierarchies. The primary aim of the Watchers Below is to guard gnome homelands against the ever-present threat of Urdlen and depraved Forgotten Folk who follow the Crawler Below. In addition, members of this fellowship defend the subterranean borders of gnome communities against the numerous evil races of the Underdark who seek to extend their reach into gnome-held territories through conquest and raids.
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The earth is the heart and soul of the Forgotten Folk. From its nurturing embrace spring forth the children of Garl, on its surface and amid its tunnels and caves they dwell in life, and beneath its silent shroud they rest in death. Preserve and protect the natural world that lies beneath the roots of those who dwell on the surface. Dig burrows, tunnel, and explore, for the Badger welcomes all gnomes into his domain. Ware the evil that ensnares those blinded by the avarice and destructive impulses of the Crawler Below, and the Lord of the Burrow shall protect those who dwell in his demesne and live in harmony with his teachings.
In keeping with his penchant for plain-speaking, Segojan rarely sends omens to members of his clergy, preferring to either dispatch an avatar or manifest in the form of a magic mouth spell that speaks directly to one or more of his followers. When discretion is required, the Lord or Burrows dispatches a small burrowing animal to communicate in a fashion similar to that of a messenger spell.
On rare occasions, Segojan is described as a gray-skinned gnomish man wearing armor of grass and roots. It's said he can burrow easily through earth, clay, and even stone. He is accompanied by an intelligent stone golem, and legend says his avatar can create unintelligent ones with his magical quartz rod.
With the notable exception of Urdlen, Segojan is closely allied with the rest of the gnome pantheon, for his areas of control overlap with them. He once held other portfolios but has passed them on to the rest of the gnome deities over time as they gained experience. Among other gods, Segojan is most closely allied with other gods of nature and the earth, and, to a lesser extent, death. He is an ardent foe of the kobold gods, and often battles the various other humanoid deities as well. Other enemies include Abbathor and Cyric. The ancient enmity between Urdlen and the gnome pantheon unfolds in large part in the endless battles between Earthfriend and the Crawler Below, for, of all the gnome gods, Segojan’s area of concern is most directly threatened by Urdlen’s campaign of bloody terror and destruction. Much more than the other members of the gnome pantheon, Segojan and Urdlen are engaged in an ongoing and brutal war of attrition.