Thursday, May 16, 2013

Rasoob, Petty God of Bronze

Picture courtesy of Eden Photos

Name:  Rasoob
Symbol: a Statue, often broken or neglected
(formerly a sword)
Alignment: Neutral

Pity the fallen god Rasoob.

For centuries, he reigned supreme as a god of warfare, as everything -- weapons, shields, armor, even chariots -- was made from bronze. From the lowliest knife to the finest sword, if you wanted a metal tool, it was made from bronze.

Bronze meant war. Bronze meant agriculture. Bronze meant tools. Bronze even meant health, for not only were its users able to feed and defend themselves, but "bronzed" also means "to have a tanned appearance that suggests good health."

Rasoob had it all: power, glory, a thriving priesthood, a seat at the head of the table of the gods, even lesser gods who followed along on his coattails -- gods of the forge, and of the hearth, and even a petty goddess of decorative brass, Lytessa, who got in mostly because brass looked like bronze.

Then the inevitable happened:  Just as Rasoob supplanted the gods of flint and obsidian, so too was he supplanted when a mortal discovered the secret of smelting iron.

Overnight (as the gods calculate things), he was worthless. Iron shields turned away bronze swords, but bronze breastplates were no match for iron spear-tips. Iron was stronger and lighter than bronze, and its only weakness -- vulnerability to rust -- was mitigated when the petty god of tin (Rassob's former shieldbearer) alloyed himself with the god of iron. This is how the word "irony" came about.

These days, Rasoob is but a shadow of his former self. Iron has become Steel, and is firmly entrenched within the highest levels of the pantheon, ruling over war, the forge, and tools. All of Rassob underlings have forsaken him -- even Lytessa. Brass is shinier and more decorative than bronze, and is used in the trumpets that kings and generals love so much. Promoted to status of lesser goddess and patron of  bards, she now lords over him the way he used to lord over her, as bronze has been relegated to the portfolio of Things That Once Were Useful But Now Are Mostly Decorative.

He is also the god of statuary:  motionless idols to past glory, left to the mercy of the elements and for birds to foul with their droppings. The irony is not lost upon him.

Rasoob may be summoned easily, for he does not have many duties (nor, in fact, many worshipers.) He is occasionally called upon by sculptors, and more frequently profaned by serfs cleaning bird filth from old statues. He is far more likely to respond to anyone involved in actively destroying pieces of iron or steel than to those working with bronze.

When summoned, his powers are limited. He can turn mortals into bronze (as per Flesh to Stone) and back, although the frequency and scope of this ability is dubious due to his waning power. He can, on rare occasions, induce rust in iron objects. He can also clean and restore bronze objects at will.

Rasoob's main strength is in his skill as a warrior (10th-level Fighter). He appears as an old, grizzled soldier with leathery skin and antique bronze armor and weapons. If called, he will gladly throw his avatar into battle for a glorious, suicidal charge -- assuming the caller isn't using any hated iron. If iron or steel is present, Rasoob has a chance of entering a berserk state and attacking everyone until dead.

(If you're getting the impression of a grouchy, "Get off my porch" god, who nevertheless aches for one last battle, I've done my job.)


  1. My A.C. just crapped out. Does he make house calls?

    Thanks for the always, erudite write ups Erin.

    (I have four days off Woot!!! will drop you a line later)

  2. Brigid, you don't know this because you don't play D&D, but you just made a hilarious pun.

  3. He needs a younger sibling who's the god of brass, who's star has risen (and whom he's now terribly jealous of) since the invention of cartridge style ammo

  4. I specifically mentioned Lytessa, god of brass.

  5. Alas, the petty gods of reading comprehension were not with me this night. Sorry.

    Either way, the shell casings thing probably grinds Rasoob's beans in worlds where firearms exist.

  6. Don't forget though, bronze is used in bearings, without which, engines could not run.

  7. I would like to point out that this is for a fantasy game.


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