Astonishing ACKS – Skandik Deities

(This post has been brewing for a while – since the PCs were in Brigand’s Bay, in fact. I tend to view the Skandiks of Vikland as “asshole Vikings”, typifying the worst stereotypes from Old Earth history. The reason, I figure, is that their most powerful gods are complete dicks.)

The Skandiks on the whole have abandoned worship of the gods of Old Earth and have turned to the darker deities of Hyperborea. Their new sagas recount the tales of Ragnarök where Ymir and the frost giants (served by the ice-wyrm Yikkorth) stood triumphant over the old gods, with only the “chosen few” (namely, the Skandiks of Hyperborea) worthy to carry on in this age. Their religion is fierce and bloodthirsty, glorifying violence and victory in combat. Only the maligned followers of Türas remain as a throwback to previous days.

In addition to the Clerics described here, Skandik deities are served by Skalds and Valkyries, as well as some Shamans and Witches. Many non-Skandik Berserkers follow Ymir, and Cryomancers of all races oft observe Yikkorth. The snake-cult of Jörmungandr has made some inroads even in Vikland, while Khalk-Xu and Auroros are venerated by scattered cults in mainland Hyperborea.

Hyperborea HR

Cleric of Ymir

Ymir

This deity is the primary god of Hyperborean Skandiks and is associated with mountains, blizzards, snow, ice, mists, and unbridled rage. Ymir is said to manifest as a blue-bearded frost giant with a tremendous axe of ice-blue steel. He is believed to dwell in a castle of crystal and ice in the clouds above Hyperborea’s Spiral Mountain Array.

Non-Skandik religious scholars posit that Ymir is the offspring of Yikkorth, “The Ashen Worm”, but Vikland skalds reject this notion as absurd; in fact, they espouse Ymir as the primeval deity who created the world from which Hyperborea is derived.

Requirements: WIS, STR, & CON 9 or more. Chaotic alignment.
Custom Weapon Selection: Axes; swords/daggers; club, spear, warhammer. (“Narrow” weapon selection, plus one tradeoff for Broad Armour.)
Broad Armour Selection: Chain armour or lighter (including shields).
Two Fighting Styles: Weapon & shield, two-handed weapons.
Proficiencies: As Cleric; minus Loremastery, Magical Engineering, Quiet Magic, and Righteous Turning; plus Berserkergang, Dungeon Bashing, Fighting Style, and Intimidation.

Granted Powers: Clerics of Ymir cannot Turn Undead. Instead, they are granted the following powers:

  • Incite Rage: Clerics of Ymir can cast righteous wrath once per day as a spell-like ability. This affects one ally initially, one additional ally at 6th level, and another at 11th level. The subjects gain a +2 bonus to attack throws and become immune to fear; but suffer a -2 to AC and cannot retreat from combat once it has begun. This effect will last until combat ends or until 1 turn elapses, whichever comes first.
  • Endure Cold: Minor cold (such as exposure to winter weather in light clothing) is ignored by the Cleric. Against more significant cold (such as ice storm), he gains a bonus of +2 on saving throws, and all damage from such attacks is reduced by -1 point per die of damage rolled. Any cold attacks will still inflict at least 1 point of damage per die, however.

Spell List: Clerics of Ymir are Divine 2 casters with the following spell list (which is common to all Skandik Clerics):

Hyperborea HR

Cleric of Ullr

Ullr

This deity is associated with Skandik longships, skies, shields, swordsmanship, bows of yew, rune sorcery, wolves, bears, sabre-tooths, piracy, and raiding. Ullr typically presents as a Skandik sea raider, and has been known to join their most daring assaults. He inhabits an ancient castle on Ullr’s Island, Vikland.

Ullr is reputed to favour Skandiks and those who praise Ymir, for he himself pays tribute to the all-powerful frost giant. (He is the last remaining deity of the Vanir.)

Requirements: WIS & DEX 9 or more. Chaotic or neutral alignment.
Custom Weapon Selection: Bows/crossbows; swords/daggers; battle axe, francisca (hand axe), spear. (“Narrow” weapon selection, plus one tradeoff for Broad Armour.)
Broad Armour Selection: Chain armour or lighter (including shields).
Two Fighting Styles: Weapon & shield, two-handed weapons.
Proficiencies: As Cleric; minus Magical Engineering and Righteous Turning, plus Seafaring and Survival.

Granted Powers: Clerics of Ullr cannot Turn Undead. Instead, they are granted the following powers:

  • Precise Shot: Missile attack penalties against opponents engaged in melee by are reduced by 2. In addition, the Cleric will not hit unintended targets when taking an aimed shot, even on a roll of natural 1. (As per the similarly-named proficiency; note my house rule on missile attacks into melee.)
  • Swashbuckling: The Cleric of Ullr gains a +1 bonus to Armour Class if wearing leather armour or lighter and is able to move freely. At 7th lvl, this bonus increases to +2, and at 13th lvl it increases to +3.

Spell List: Clerics of Ullr are Divine 2 casters with the same spell list as Ymir.

Hyperborea HR

Cleric of Türas

Hammer of Türas

Türas is worshiped by the Skandiks, though unlike Ymir and Ullr he is an Empyrean god. This deity is associated with storms, thunder, and war and he is a ruthless foe of otherworldly creatures. Devotion to him is strongly discouraged in Vikland itself. (Türas is a version of Thor – or perhaps one of his sons. It is said that in Old Earth, he hunted giants.)

Requirements: WIS & STR 9 or more. Lawful alignment.
Custom Weapon Selection: Axes; swords/daggers; club, spear, warhammer. (“Narrow” weapon selection, plus one tradeoff for Broad Armour.)
Broad Armour Selection: Chain armour or lighter (including shields).
Two Fighting Styles: Weapon & shield, two-handed weapons.
Proficiencies: As Cleric; minus Righteous Turning, plus Endurance.

Granted Powers: Clerics of Türas cannot Turn Undead. Instead, they are granted the following powers:

  • Inspire Allies: Inspiring courage requires a few moments of oration before a battle (one round), and grants the Cleric’s allies within a 50′ radius a +1 bonus to attack throws, damage rolls, morale rolls (for monsters or NPCs allied with the Cleric), and saving throws against magical fear. The bonus lasts for 10 minutes (1 turn).
  • Otherworldly Enemies: Türas is said to strive against eldritch horrors. The Cleric receives +1 on attack throws against aboleths, crab-men, elder things, fish-men, the Great Race, mi-go, night-gaunts, spore-men, and tentacular horrors. At level 7, this bonus increases to +2, and at level 13 it increases to +3.

Spell List: Clerics of Türas are Divine 2 casters with the same spell list as Ymir.

Hyperborea HR

Cleric of Jörmungandr (Yig)

Ouroborus

The snake cult of Jörmungandr has spread within Skandik society in recent years like a creeping poison. The Midgard Serpent appeals both to those who seek secret knowledge as well as individuals striving for physical power. Although the ceremonies, rites, and theology of Jörmungandr-worshippers are very different than other servants of Yig, the in-game details of the Cleric class are identical.

Requirements: WIS 9 or more. Lawful or neutral alignment.
Custom Weapon Selection: Swords/daggers; spears/pole arms; mace, staff, whip. (“Narrow” weapon selection, plus one tradeoff for Broad Armour.)
Broad Armour Selection: Chain armour or lighter (no shields).
Two Fighting Styles: Two-handed weapons, two-weapon style.
Proficiencies: As Cleric; minus Righteous Turning, plus Black Lore of Ix.

Granted Powers: Clerics of Jörmungandr cannot Turn Undead. Instead, they gain the following powers:

  • Ambushing: When the Cleric attacks with surprise, he gets a +4 bonus on his attack throws and deals double damage on the attack.
  • Snake Totem: The Cleric of Jörmungandr gains a totem animal which physically represents his relationship with the Midgard Serpent. This ability is identical to the Shaman’s Totem Animal class ability (from the ACKS Players Companion), but the animal must be a snake (typically an cobra, python, or viper).

Spell List: Clerics of Jörmungandr are Divine 2 casters with the following spell list:

Jörmungandr Spell List

Hyperborea HR

Witch of Yikkorth

Yikkorth

This deity is associated with glaciers, icebergs, and cataclysms. The Ashen Worm presents as a pale white, wormlike god who is said to dwell in a great hall of ice within an impossibly massive iceberg. Yikkorth is reputed to exert dominance over other deities, including Boreas, Ymir, and Ythaqqa. Although not strictly of Skandik origin, some sages posit that Yikkorth begot Ymir.

Yikkorth is notorious for spawning the cruellest of winters and instigating the most unforgiving ice ages. The Ashen Worm is served by Cryomancers and Witches who follow the Winter tradition:

Bonus Spells: 1st – slipperiness; 2nd – gust of wind; 3rd – frostbite; 4th – ice storm.
1st lvl – Endure Cold: Minor cold (such as exposure to winter weather in light clothing) is ignored by the Witch. Against more significant cold (such as ice storm), she gains a bonus of +2 on saving throws, and all damage from such attacks is reduced by -1 point per die of damage rolled. Any cold attacks will still inflict at least 1 point of damage per die, however.
3rd lvl – Mastery of Ice: When the Witch casts cold-based spells, the effects are calculated as if she were two levels higher than her actual caster level. Cold-based spells and effects do +1 damage per die and impose a -2 saving throw penalty on the target. She may also conduct cold-related magical research as if she were two caster levels higher than actual.
5th lvl – Hypnotic Pattern: Starting at 5th lvl, the Witch can summon shimmering auroræ to transfix her foes. This takes the form of hypnotic pattern (as the spell), usable 1 per day. Each use takes 1 round.
7th lvl – Summon Ice Worm: Starting at 7th level, the Witch may summon an ice worm (treat as summon fantastic creature), usable 1 per week. Each use takes 1 turn. In addition, the ice worm gains +1 hp per Hit Die.

(Note that Witches use my custom Divine 4 spell progression.)

Hyperborea HR

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About K-Slacker

Gamer and referee for online gameblogs.
This entry was posted in Astonishing ACKS, Campaign Setting, Classes, House Rules and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Astonishing ACKS – Skandik Deities

  1. Pingback: Astonising ACKS – Empyrean Clerics | Mutants & Magic

  2. Pingback: Ysabel of Jörmungandr | Mutants & Magic

  3. K-Slacker says:

    Here are sample snake totem selections for the cleric of Jörmungandr:

    • Cobra (DEX); Combat Reflexes; Move 90′, AC3, HD 2, #AT 1, Dmg 1d3+poison, always has initiative
    • Python (WIS); Laying on Hands; Move 90′, AC3, HD 4, #AT 2, Dmg 1d3/2d6+constriction
    • Viper (INT); Battle Magic; Move 90′, AC3, HD 2, #AT 1, Dmg 1d4+poison, always has initiative
  4. Pingback: Revisionist Theology – Mjölnir | Mutants & Magic

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