Bow Before The Great Pumpkin

Linus, one of the cultists from "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" by Charles Schulz
Linus, one of the cultists from “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” by Charles Schulz

My post on mechanics for the gods is still among the best I think I’ve ever written. It is detailed, without becoming complicated. I very much enjoy detailing my deities using the rules presented there, and below is a god appropriate to the season.

The Great Pumpkin

The Grin in the Dark


Lesser Deity (Divine Rank 2)
Holy Symbol An Orange circle with a smile made of of fire at the bottom.
Home Plane 402nd layer of the Abyss
Alignment Chaotic Evil
Major Portfolio Trickery
Minor Portfolio The Season of Fall, Those who Hide
Domains Trickery, Plant
Worshipers Rogues, Rangers, Druids, Squash Farmers
Clerical Alignments CE, NE, CN
Favored Weapons Concealable Blades, and poison.

The Great Pumpkin is a little-known deity whose sphere of influence is limited to agrarian areas which rely heavily upon fall crops. He is rarely seen, because he rarely wishes to be seen. When he does appear, it is as a pumpkin standing upon a dozen vines which serve as both arms and legs. A wicked, grinning faces is carved into the pumpkin, and iluminated from behind by a yellow light. The face appears to be static, but frequently changes when no one is looking.

Dogma The Great Pumpkin admonishes his followers to do whatever they must to ensure that they thrive and their enemies do not. He also teaches that if your enemies know that you are their enemy, thriving will be much more difficult for you. Furthermore, if you focus on thriving only within your family, then your family may falter within your community. If you focus on thriving within your community, enemies from without may surprise you. Be aware of who wishes you ill, and never risk long term survival on a short term goal. Unless you can succeed at both.

Clergy and Temples The Great Pumpkin, being a god of subtlety, prefers that no lasting structure be publicly dedicated to him. Worshipers gather in pumpkin fields in the dead of night to pray and offer sacrifices to their god. Once a year, during the harvest season, a temporary church is built late at night, from dried and bound stalks of corn. Here the most important sacrifices of the year–often children–are offered to the dark god. In exchange for this sacrifice The Great Pumpkin blesses his worshipers with good fortune. Once the structure has served its purpose, it is burned to the ground until next year.

History

Not so long ago as you might think, a small farming community existed far beyond human civilization. The people there rarely traveled away from their small, interconnected villages. They did not need to. Their soil was rich, and they produced ample food to support themselves. Shortly after the founders settled there, the community made an alliance with a coven of elven druids. It is rare that settling humans and druids get along with one another. But these humans were uncommonly happy to adapt themselves to the druid’s viewpoint and in exchange the druids helped them to cultivate the land responsibly. Teaching them to live as part of nature, rather than simply living among nature.

For several human generations this arrangement continued happily, with the druids taking on the role of community leaders. The humans, for their part, were happy to tend their crops, and live simple lives. But then new humans came. They came as humans always come to the edges of civilization: as conquerors. The human drive to expand meant that the lands shared by druids and settlers must be tamed. The inhabitants tried to fight back against the encroaching battalion, but they had no skill for war.

The druids bade their followers gather in a large pumpkin field, where together they would summon a powerful nature’s ally to defend their land. A thousand or more gathered to participate in the summoning, unaware that the evil leader of the druids intended to sacrifice them all so that he might summon a guardian of great power. The ritual began, and the masses prayed whilst the high druid wove his spells. The process continued for an hour, growing louder and more impassioned, until just as it reached its climax–

An arrow flew from the darkness and struck the high druid in the head.

The invading battalion, in full force, charged the field. They seemed prepared the slaughter the innocent villagers and remaining druids. But they had let their arrow fly too late. The ritual was completed. Their shouts of victory turned to confusion and horror as vines leaped up from the field to drag them to the ground, strangling soldiers and horses alike. The entire invading force was left gasping for breath as the life was wrung out of them. But this was not salvation for the settlers, for the vines grasped incandescently. Everyone who stood in the field that night: soldiers, farmers, druids, and generals; all died gasping for air at the culmination of the summoning ritual.

And when the last body ceased twitching, the Great Pumpkin rose up out of his pumpkin patch.

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10 thoughts on “Bow Before The Great Pumpkin”

  1. Well that was an excellent read. Very nice spin on the old Charlie Brown ‘myth’ of the Great Pumpkin.

    So would followers of The Grin in the Dark typically protect their hidden enclaves with pumpkin golems? (I’ve taken to calling them Gourd Guardians but I have a thing for alliteration in naming.) Or would that be perhaps too obvious for this hidden god of trickery?

    1. Gourd Golem is also alliterative, though! =P

      Gourd Golems appear a little similar to The Great Pumpkin, and his followers sometimes craft such Golems because of this. Aside from appearance, however, they do not have much in common.

      The favored servants of the Great Pumpkin would probably be spiders. I dunno.

      1. True, but the disctinction there would be that Gourd Golems were naturally occuring manifestations of the Great Pumpkin’s will on the Prime Material Plane, where Gourd Guardians are specifically constructed to protect an area. Perhaps an unhallowed pumpkin field or some such.

        I’d have thought that creeping plant monsters like Assassin Vines (specialized to be Assassin Pumpkin Vines of course) and other gourd/squash based monsters. Spiders make sense though, given that they’re the natural predator of many things that would harm a pumpkin patch, such as parasitic insects and (in the case of bigger spiders) human children. Plus they’re very sneaky.

        What would this deity’s champion be, LS?

        1. That is precisely why I chose spiders. A+! Assassin Vines are also fantastic idea. I was trying to think of a good plant monster, but none were coming to mind. But Assassin Vines are perfect.

          This deity’s champion would, of course, be a headless horseman with a pumpkin resting on his shoulders.

          1. So, LS. I may have gone a bit overboard and possibly statted out the Great Pumpkin’s favourite champion. How would I go about submitting the document to you, or should I just post him here? I got into a bit of a Halloween groove and my group, while awesome, didn’t want to derail Rise of the Runelords for a one-off goblin game for Halloween fun. >.>

            1. You can find my email address under “Contact Me.” There’s a simple test to check if you’re human.

              I’d give it to you directly, but I’ve already had some significant problems with spam bots trolling the site looking for email addresses.

              1. Yeah that happens. I’m not an idiot I swear! I’m just finishing up its backstory portion then I’ll send it off to you.

                Looking back, it seems that sometimes I take an idea and run away with it, like a child stealing a toy from another one. At least I bring it back with the proper accessories? :p

                1. If I didn’t want other people to take my ideas and use them for their own creative endeavors, I wouldn’t post my ideas on the Internet.

                  Having someone add to the idea and share it with me is always a special treat, though.

                  1. That there is an awesome and healthy way to look at it. But yes, I have returned your toy with an accessory. :D (assuming it didn’t wind up in a spam folder XD)

                    I’ll definitely be sure to keep sharing my thoughts then, ’cause about half of my workday any given day is spent working on autopilot while I think about this sort of stuff.

                    1. I did receive it. I’ll take a look at it as soon as I have some time to spare from my day job. I’m excited to see what you came up with.

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