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Do you want to see the dreams of mad kings come alive? Do you want to labor under the good intentions of the just? Do you want to live in a world where mere mortals can influence creation as they feel the gods should? No? Then destroy that spawning pool!
Kuo-toa are man-size fish-ish & vaguely amphibian/reptilian humanoids. And if bullywugs are a mockery of civilization, kuo-toa make a mockery of religion. Their hard to define nature matches their hard to define origin. Some say they were a city of sea faring people who angered old gods prone to curses. Other say they were the result of foolish wizards. Sages say they are the experiments of Mind Flayers, but sages spend far too much time in dusty rooms with only crows and scrolls as company. Whatever their origin, Kuo-toa are more a natural disaster than a recognized threat because their proximity to civilizations cause individuals to manifest divine and simi-divine power. Often with disastrous results.
Imagine a body roughly human with clawed webbed feet and legs like a frog, scales like a reptile, and the head of a deep sea fish- that would only vaguely describe a kuo-toa. Their thick rubbery skin provides plenty of protection from a wide variety of insults and apparently prevents them from drying out. The wide mouths of kuo-toa accommodate their habit of swallowing things whole much like a giant frog species would. The other notable wide features are their eyes, which seem as big a dinner plates and whose tears are said to provide sight to the farest planes of existence. Despite their hastily assembled appearance, kuo-toa are quite strong and more physical than they appear.
Kuo-toa cabals are composed to two important factions: The High Tide (majority) and The Deep (minority). Roll on the Cabal Worship table to figure out the composition of the two factions- they are never the same. The Deep will constantly seek to undermine and over take The High Tide. The Deep will use PCs to further this goal through acquisition of a weapon or even assassination of The High Tide leader. The High Tide on the other hand will use the PCs to kill The Deep or further The High Tides goals in humanoid communities.
Because the Kuo-toa exist in ecclesiastical frenzy any grand action performed in front of them or in their presence, then that person becomes the object of intense religious obsession. A New Deep will form surrounding that person (or even object). The Kuo-toa who witnessed the even or best knew the person will become the new prophet. This New Deep will then attempt to overtake the old Deep and eventually The High Tide.
Kuo-toa cabals are terrible. Their ecclesiastical and reality warping powers leak into the surrounding lands. First the dreams of the sick and mad come alive at night or in the corners of society. Those who dream of power and wealth find that they become more real, more possible, more alluring no matter how unrealistic or dangerous. Rulers taste it and seek it. And if they find the cabal- they will invite emissaries back to their respective places of power. There a root of sickness takes hold and a co-dependant relationship forms. The rulers and kuo-toa will protect each other. Spawning pools will be set up and even sacrifices will be made for blood, sport, and breeding. Slower the ruler will manifest divine power, the slowly lose ego, and finally transform into the avatar of kuo-toa worship. This is what mind flayers want to study and if looked for hard enough some might be found. Eventually this new godling fails The Hight Tide, The Deep takes over, the godling is killed and maybe the cabal driven back. The cycle starts anew, but not before leaving death, destruction, and hearsay in its wake. After kuo-toa cabals are scrubbed clean, strict rulers follow with strong laws and rigid codes.
The kou-toa are. There is no variation because the kou-toa view themselves at a single concept and due to their power, they are monolytic. They appear physically as they always have. The only difference is that The Hight Tide or The Deep might each take on some aspect of their devoted worship. They might wear a claw on one hand. Or maybe practice lockpicking if they worship the leader of a thieves guild.
DM’s Tool Box
God Makers: Given the Kou-toa’s bizzare power to manifest divinity in humanoids, PCs (and NPCs) run the risk of becoming an object of worship. Anytime a PC in the presence of the Kuo-toa :
- Rolls a natural 20
- Beats a DC of 20+
- Deal enough damage to make someone at the table go “oh, man that’s a ton”
The Kuo-toa will stop what they are doing and begining praying to the PC as the manifestation of a god- this is the beginning of a new faction. The PC must make a WIS save or become inthralled with this new worship. Each day the PC stays with the kuo-toa, a save much be made. If a week passess, the PC will lose a sense of self and start to become a godling.
- Manifest the worst traits of their class. Thieves will want to steal, fighters to battle anything, clerics to convert, wizards to seek power ect.
- In the presence of the kuo-toa, the godling is treated as 1 level higher for every 2 kuo-toa to believe are present.
- Godlings power are only limited by what the kuo-toa believe they can do or what spheres of the influence the godling is under.
- If all the worshipping kuo-toa for the godling are killed, the godling must immediately make saves as if they are at 0 hp.
Roll Twice on the table below for a kuo-toa cabal's High Tide and Deep factions
|The Creator||A lobster-headed Goddess||Kou-toa will attract outcasts/local to swell ranks|
|3-4||The Devourer||A large kou-toa with a hand full of humanoids||Kou-toa will breed monitors and seek to kill and consume all around them|
|5||The Destroyer||A large black pearl||To destroy the area and prepare for the arrival|
|6||NPC Trait||Any icon||Kou-toa are looking for a savior and have taken a local nobel born as their savior. This has created a cult of [trait] with problematic consequences.|