Chapter Three: Goblinoid Religion

Note: The contents of this chapter have been reduced from that which used to be present. It still contains basic information that could be ferreted out from the same sources I used to compile the Project, but not as much gap-filler, unofficial material as used to be here, such as gods extra to Gork and Mork. The reason for this that a sourcebook that might, just possibly, get published sometime is in development at this time, containing some as yet unofficial information broadly similar to some of that that was presented here. Due to publishing constraints, and to keep open the possibility of publishing that information, I have been forced to remove it from view here.

The Goblinoid Religious Attitude

Spirituality plays a key part in the goblinoid psyche, with the tribes shaman at the centre. The shaman plays the role of the healer and witch doctor, as well as being the intermediary with the gods and immaterial entities of all kinds (the terms 'gods' or 'spirits', while not fully embodying the goblinoid understanding of these entities, are the closest simple human terms of similar meaning) that are central to goblinoid belief.

Shamans generally follow all the Gobbo gods, addressing particular gods when their services are needed, which may or may not be granted (the Gobbo gods do not like being presumed upon). Extremely rarely does a Shaman venerate any one god above all others. Equally important to Shamans as their gods, are an immense number of incorpereal spirits with which they commune when under the influence of their halluncinogenic mushrooms. Much day to day shamanistic magic, aside from the flashy battle spells that Shamans believe come from the power of Gork and Mork, is down to calling on these lesser spirit entities. These entities can take all kinds of forms. They include elementals, the spirits of the dead (especially the great goblinoid heroes and shamans of old), a multitude of Warp entities, a large number of Warp demons (including, rarely, some Chaos ones), many minor totem spirits of animals or of the land, and so on.

The Goblinoid Religious Pantheon

The primary Goblinoid Gods, exempting the lesser spirits and independent demon cults (note, not necessarily Chaos demons - as will be mentioned later, Goblinoids often have perfectly good demons of their own without turning to the Chaos variety...), are Gork and Mork, as mentioned in the Orc and Goblin Army Book and WH40K Ork Codex. Khakkekk gets a paragraph in Empire in Flames but little more is known of this Khorne resembling deity.

I have also included here the complete cult description of Zotan-Lufutatar from Realms of Divine Magick, as an example of a Goblinoid spirit cult, in this case that of the Henninga tribes (possibly including the Doomstones Bloodaxe Alliance).

The Chaos Gods

Like most sensible folk of Human, Elven or Dwarven origin, most Goblinoids are opposed to chaos in all its forms. Even the Goblinoids see the effects of chaos first hand. Goblinoids are no more immune to its malignant effects and temptations than humans, as evidenced by the mutations the Bloodied Nose Goblins of Empire in Flames fame which are marked as the chosen of Khakkekk, to give but one example. However, many Goblinoids take the view they have perfectly good gods and demons of their own and have no particular reason to switch to chaos-style ones. This and the common Gobbo inaptitude with magic make the worship of the chaos gods uncommon among the Goblinoids.

Just like the other Humanoid societies, however, many secret chaos sects are present through Goblinoid society, the larger sects often spanning many different tribes. As much as the Goblinoids do to try to stop this, the Goblinoid worship of chaos grows apace. Some hardy individuals, the Kaoshunters, actively seek out the cancer of chaos and destroy it wherever it may be found, however this does little to stop the inevitable spread of its corruption. Chaotic Goblinoid tribes often wander the darklands making no attempt to hide the hideous corruption their chosen god has marked them with.

The Goblinoids, as might be expected, have their own names for the major chaos gods, which can be found in the appendices. All are worshipped but the most popular are Slaanesh (in his aspects as lord of pain and of sexual pleasures), Khorne (the violent Goblinoid nature) and Khakkekk (followed in the main by Shamans and Priests for his magic). More information on Khakkekk can be found later in this chapter, while further information on the other chaos gods is best found in the WFRP rulebook and Realms of Chaos.

Half Orcs and Religion

Half Orcs, outcasts of Human society and religious activity as they are, turn in large numbers to the Goblinoid side of religion. A large number of those that are equally rejected by the Goblinoids rightly feel abandoned by the decent gods of the Warhammer world and turn to swell the ranks of chaos. Some achieve greatness, others are used and spat out by the gods of Chaos, an unlucky few joining the howling Chaos spawn.

Divine Descriptions

Gork: God of Battle

Gork is the Goblinoid god of war, battle might and the Waaargh. Followers of Gork revel in battle and are willing to go down fighting to the last. Most often portrayed as a large muscular Orc or Savage Orc wearing bloodied armour and with a pair of decidedly nasty looking two handed broadswords each of which he wields one handed, Gork is worshipped especially by the Orc, Savage Orc, Black Orc and Hobgoblin species. Gork expects his followers to enter the fray of the battle without hesitation, except perhaps with some cunning, foresight and planning aided by brother Mork .

Alignment: Neutral, but accepts Evil.

Area of Worship: By almost all (male) Goblinoids, with the possible exception of Snotlings (who worship Yor). Worship of Gork is almost universal over all of Goblindom.

Temples: No temples to Gork are maintained - he is worshipped on the field of battle, although he is also venerated in shrines of Mork.

Friends and Enemies: The cult of Gork is on friendly or neutral terms with those of most other Gobbo gods and the other immaterial entities shamans entreaty. Khakkekk and the other chaos gods are despised.

Holy days: Feasts are held in honour of Gork on days of battle and the days following, especially if the Goblinoid side wins. No days are otherwise set aside for Gork.

Strictures: Never flee from a foe if you have a chance of beating them - Gork expects his followers to be brave but not foolhardy. Orc pride, unfortunately, often makes them behave so.

Spell use: Gork does not grant magic to his followers, a true warrior should not have to resort to such things.

Skills: Any and all combat related skills (Strike Mighty Blow, Disarm, Dodge Blow, Specialist Weapon proficiencies, etc.).

Trials: Trials of Gork always consist of taking on a dangerous opponent one to one, without exception.

Blessings: Gork gives no blessings to followers, expecting them to get through life on their own abilities and merits alone.

Mork: God of Guile and Cunning

Mork is the Goblinoid god of cunning, strategy, guile and sneakiness, "The cunningest sneakiest god in the 'ooniverse". The classical image of Mork, a master of disguise and the other rogue-ish arts, is one of a Hobgoblin dressed in light clothing and a black cloak, standing partway between the shadows and the moonlight. Mork is mostly venerated by Gobbo theives, Sneakin' Gitz, Assassins, etc.

Alignment: Neutral, but takes Evil.

Area of Worship: Wherever Goblinoids roam.

Temples: Temples or shrines to Mork are kept in most fixed location Goblinoid lairs, which also play host to those who venerate his brother Gork.

Friends and Enemies: The cult of Mork has little animosity or otherwise with other gods. Khakkekk and the other chaos gods are hated enemies.

Holy days: Mork holds no holy days special.

Strictures: Consider cunning and guile as the first tools to use in any situation, whether it involves battle, attracting a mate or revenging a perceived crime.

Spell use: Mork allows all Orcish magic of an appropriate level.

Skills: Concealment Rural and Urban, Silent Move Rural and Urban, Pick Lock, Palm Object, Charm, Wit, Seduction, Disguise, Mimic, etc.

Trials: Almost always involve theft, stealth, cunning and trickery of some form or another.

Blessings: Blessings of Mork may take the form of a limited or permanent granting of a skill above, a temporary increase to I, Dex, Int or Fel, etc.

Khakkekk: Goblinoid God of Chaos

Khakkekk is a Goblinoid deity who turned to chaos as a young god. Khakkekk appears, to Old World Scholar eyes, as a cross between Khorne and Khaine, accepting tributes of blood (he doesn't mind which - Human, Gobbo, Wild Boar, it's all the same to him) and granting magic but having other qualities and tendencies very reminiscent of Khorne. Khakkekk appears as a very large grotesque, eight armed, horned goblin carrying a sharp sacrificial knife/cleaver in each hand and with a leering facial expression.
[[From Empire in Flames: "Ratscrote Boggobbler, the tribal Blood Wizard (as he styles himself) has done his best to convert the tribe to the worship of Khakkekk, a fairly bloody goblin deity who resembles Khorne, the chaos blood god. Khakkekk accepts tributes of blood, but does allow his servants some use of magic. Perhaps Ratscrotes prayers and rites have had some effect because the Bloodied Nose Goblins have suffered mutation and are marked out as the favoured of Khakkekk." Ratscrote also has a Chaos blessing in that he has the frenzy ability.]]

Alignment: Evil-Chaotic. Neutral is not accepted.

Area of worship: Parts of the Darklands mainly, scattered other Gobbo communities.

Temples: Temples devoted to Khakkekk are maintained by cultists, the main feature being a large altar, usually red uppermost (whether blood or paint is probably not too clever a question to ask - you'd be a sacrifice quicker than you could say "Hairy Green Tentacle").

Friends and enemies: Khakkekk shares a mutual contempt with the other Gobbo gods. He craves to be the one who will claim the world when chaos finally claims it to the void and maintains no friendly relations, Goblinoid or otherwise. Khakkekks embrace of chaos has left him totally, utterly mad.

Holy days: None special.

Strictures: Kill all other Humanoids whenever and wherever they are encountered, especially other Goblinoids.

Spell use: All Goblinoid and Demonic spells are granted by Khakkekk.

Skills: Torture, Strike Mighty Blow, Strike to Injure, etc.

Trials: Always involve the killing and sacrifice of a fellow Goblinoid - a Wolf or Humie might be sufficient for a common rite but for such a special test nothing less than a fellow Goblinoid at least as big as the subject being tested will do. The larger and more dangerous the sacrifice the more highly favoured it is.

Blessings: Mutations and chaos gifts as in Realms of Chaos. [[Special table of rewards of Khakkekk?]] %%% Mutations can alternatively be rolled on the tables in the Beastman or Chaos Warrior sections of the WFRP Bestiary.


Zotan-Lufutatar (Goblinoid Daemon) Cult [By Ken Rolsten]

This is the complete and unadulterated (albeit slightly edited) version of Zotan- Lufutatar (Zotan for short) from Realms of Divine Magick, intended as an example Goblinoid spirit cult. Kens' original [[double bracket]] comments have been changed to {{double braces}} to differentiate from those of mine. The text of the description following is (almost) exactly as Ken wrote it.

{{Note: I use "Goblinoid" to refer to the race including the Hobgoblin, Orc, Goblin, and Snotling species. I'm not sure, but I think GW uses the word "Goblin" in this context, but I find that pretty confusing, considering that Goblins are rather minor representatives of the race.}}

Description: Independent Lesser Daemon; Ancestral Goblinoid Spirit. {{THAT'S how some independent daemonic forces were created! The Goblinoid departed spirits forms these vortexes in the warp, see, and the living Goblinoids dreamed the forms of the gods they were to worship!}} A feathered, beaked Goblinoid form resembling Tzeentch, though the neck is short and there are no wings - the upper limbs, however, are draped with loose flaps of flesh and long feathers suggesting wings. Zotan represents the immortal principles of barbarian cunning, ruthless domination, and arcane power essential for leaders and heroes in the preservation and enrichment of the Goblinoid tribes. Zotan's divine role is complemented in the worship of two other lesser daemonic spirits: Grumbull, the daemon of cheerful service, sloth, and ecstatic celebration, and Mabrotnosh, the daemon of procreation, nurturing, and loving companionship. Zotan inspires the leaders, heroes, and warriors of the Goblinoid tribe with the courage and will to dominate its enemies and prey. Zotan protects these worthies in battle, and supports them with his magick powers. Zotan also provides guidance to the tribe and its leaders when requested, and is the tribe's intermediary with other divine powers in the spirit world.

Where Worshipped: Black Mountains, lower World's Edge Mts; worshipped by barbarian Henninga {{ehr...Bloodaxe Alliance, maybe??}} Goblinoid tribes.

Alignments: Neutral and Evil are preferred. Good and Law could conceiveably be accepted, though derisively mocked, if Goblinoids could grasp such concepts. Chaos is vigorously prohibited.

Friends and Enemies: Associated but smugly contemptuous of other Goblinoid daemonic spirit cults. Amused contempt for Young Gods, Old Faith, and Elder Race cults. Respect bordering on fear for Dark Children cults. Enemies of Chaos Powers, though covetous of their arcane resources.

Cult Symbols and Dress: Laymen: blood-painted war runes and feathered-and-beaked daemon motifs on standards, shields, weapons, armor, and skin. Acolytes and Priests: feathered cloaks and carved-beak headresses as ceremonial garb; Shaman staves festooned with feather and dried-flesh fetishes decorated with blood runes and daemon motifs; blood rune inscriptions on garments, tools, jewelry, and other objects as a ritual medium to shape and focus magickal forces.

Cult Careers Available: Acolyte, Priest, Shaman

Distinguishing Principles and Doctrines: Upon the weak lies the duty of labor and service, with security and rest its only consolation.
Upon the strong lies the duty of war and leadership, its demands sharp andbitter, but its rewards the labor, service, and honor of the tribe.
Weakness is the curse of the diseased will (a reference to the mythic contamination of the First Goblinoids by Chaos taint). The weak of other races are rightfully our prey; the weak of our race must be chastized to encourage the growth and healing of their will.
Strength is the blessing of honor. The strong of other races are ourrespected enemies, and welcome tests of our virtue. The strong of our race must challenge themselves without stint, ever striving to perfect their strength and honor.
In war, respect the chiefs without question. In peace, challenge the chiefs to prove their fitness to rule.
Defend the tribe at the cost of your life. Conquer our prey to enrich the wealth and security of the tribe.
Zotan and his tribes have driven the Elder Races from the World, as will the whiteskins also will be driven from the World in days to come.

Afterworld: The souls of those who die courageously in battle join Zotan as his houseguard in the afterworld for all eternity, there to fight gloriously all day, with the dead to rise magickally at night and share in the all-night celebrations of Zotan's Hall of the King. Those who die honorable but non-heroic deaths are reincarnated as Goblins to attempt once again to achieve heroism. Those who die cowards are reincarnated as Lesser Goblins to serve as footstools and lackeys for their betters.

Temples and Shrines: Zotan's shrines are ancient portable altars invested with great divine powers, including defensive, warding, alarm, and power-enhancing magicks. The priesthood maintains these altars hidden in their tents until they are revealed for nighttime campfire services, which include blood sacrifice, ritual cannibalism, and other unsavoury but relatively benign primitive practices.

Saints and Heroes: Torgoch, the great warrior-priest who led the Henninga on wide- sweeping, exceptionally successful raids two centuries ago, represents the high-water- mark of the Henninga culture. His legend includes his fearless flirtation with the powers of Chaos, portraying Torgoch as successfully dominating and twisting Chaos forces to serve his own purposes. Gneiss, the current high priest of the Henninga, is attempting to revisit the successes of Torgoch and the Henninga Hordes through his quests for legendary Chaotic artifacts of prodigious arcane power.

Cult Requirements: Requirements for Layman Status: Automatic for offspring of cultists; acceptance of outsiders is only by adoption of cult parents and approval of a priest, and extremely rare. A respected captured enemy may be given the option of joining the cult or being sacrificed to Zotan.
Requirements for Acolyte Status: Granting of gift of tongues or vigilance may be a sign of a Calling. Must be elected by tribal high priest.
Requirements for Priest Status: Election by tribal high priest.

Trials: Trials typically involve being stripped naked and abandoned within the territory of an enemy tribe. Then the aspirant must then return to the tribe despite all obstacles, which may include fighting his way through the chief's bully boys.

Blessings: One-time-use of a bonus or automatic success with WS or BS, silent move rural, sixth sense.

Penances: Shunning (temporary exile), ritual torture and blood sacrifice, challenge trials (hunt and slay a troll, human, dwarf, bear, giant; climb a mountain; retrieve a grave ornament from the ancestral catacombs).

Holy Days: Each full moon is celebrated by feasting. The new moon is celebrated in a ceremony with blood sacrifice, ritual torture and sacrifice of captives and criminals to propitiate Zotan.
All cultists are required to make regular ritual dedications of spirit and flesh to Zotan whenever they kill a beast in hunting or an opponent in combat. The victim's spirit and a portion of the flesh (consumed in ritual fire) is dedicated to Zotan; these spirit and flesh sacrifices are the sources of Zotan's power, and the more sacrifices, the greater the fortunes of the tribe.

Cult Career Skills
Laymen: Strike Mighty Blow*, Very Resilient, Concealment Rural, Silent Move Rural, Wrestling*, Acute Hearing, Excellent Vision
Initiate: Divining, Dowsing, Heal Wounds
Level 1: Prepare Poison, Torture*
Level 2: Public Speaking, Charm Animal
Level 3: Charm
Level 4:

Sub-Cults and Honorary Orders: None

Special Rules:

  1. Second through Fourth Rank Priests of Zotan may use the Gift of Tongues prayer to speak with animals as well as with intelligent creatures. The speech of animals is strong in imagery and sensation, but weak in logic and concepts, rich in things but poor in ideas. They have almost no conscious notion of time, and do not think in terms of general classes of things (like trees or Humans) but in terms of "this thing" or "that thing" (like "this good-climbing-thing with all the thin-climbing-things up high and the green-fluttery-in-the-wind-things here" or "that white-faced, many- skinned-noisy-thing").
  2. The prayer Summon Skeletal Warrior, when used by a Zotan priest, summons a deceased Orc spirit in the form of an Orc skeleton outfitted with appropriate hand weapon, shield, and leather armor in all locations. Any Zotan acolyte or priest may be its controller. Otherwise the skeleton summoned is similar to the skeletal warriors summoned by Khaine cultists; for rules, see Divine Summonings, "Khaine's Undead," page ??.
  3. The prayer Summon Ghost, when used by a Zotan priest, summons a deceased Orc Shaman's spirit in the form of an immaterial, ghostly apparition of its former earthly form. Any Zotan acolyte or priest may be its controller. Otherwise the ghost summoned is similar to the ghosts summoned by Khaine cultists; for rules, see Divine Summonings, "Khaine's Undead," page ??.

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