A small, draconic counterpoint to gnomes and goblins, Kobolds are best known as raiders and servants of evil dragons. But while they serve dragons as masters and gods, they are not without deities of their own.
Most often, these are kobolds themselves, whose deeds have caused enough destruction or gained enough land that their chief god has raised them to demigodhood. There are hundreds of these minor demigods, often ancestors of particular kobold tribes that they have elevated. But a few have become well known enough to stand out as proper gods in their own right.
Kurturlmak, The Horned Sorcerer
Known by a truly impressive number of titles (including The Devourer, Steelescale, and Gnomesmasher), Kurturlmak is the patron deity of kobolds. He is a conniving yet aggressive god, working under Tiamat somewhat unwillingly, but happily manipulating the various dukes of the hells into doing his bidding while robbing them blind. His symbol, a gnome skull, represents his place in their never-ending rivalry with the gnomish race, competing for land and resources, but almost always outmaneuvered.
He is an eternal rival of both Garl Glittergold (and all other gnome gods), as well as the god of winged kobolds, Kuraulyek. Kuraulyek, as a mortal, abandoned his post and did not warn the kobolds about the Rage of Dragons, a madness which took many kobold lives.
There are many rumors and legends as to Kurturlmak’s ascent into godhood. In most versions of the story, Kurturlmak was an exceptionally clever kobold who gained freedom and land from his draconic patron, but whose lair was collapsed by the gnomish deity Garl Glittergold, killing him. The dragon god Asgaroth pitied him, and raised him to divinity. In draconic histories, Glittergold did so to free the gnomish slaves that Kurturlmak had been taking, but in Kobold records was usually merely jealous.
Gaknulak, Demigod of Trapsetting
The kobold demigod of traps and trickery, Gaknulak is the somewhat more restrained and pragmatic servant to Kurturlmak, to whom he is kept magically subordinate. When he appears, it is as a tall, dark kobold wearing a cloak with pockets. While his domain is primarily trickery, he acts mostly as a protector to kobolds, whom he teaches to defend themselves with new inventions and creations. His most notable possessions are a magical handaxe and a magical cauldron, from which he can pull items useful to his machinations. His holy symbol is itself this cauldron, surrounded by spinning symbols of magic.
While he is a servant to Kurturlmak, he does not particularly like him. Kurturlmak sees him largely as a threat to his power, and forces Gaknulak to go along with foolish schemes in order to humiliate him whenever he can. This is unfortunate, since Gaknulak’s more pragmatic nature would probably lead the kobolds more effectively in their conflict with gnomes and urds.
Dakarnok, Demigod Warlord
While not a proper god, the onetime kobold warlord Dakarnok was influential enough in life to be venerated after his death, and was found to be able to grant some level of divine power when prayed to. His mortal feats, logically, position him as a demigod of warfare and martial combat, rather than the trickery usually favored by other kobold gods. In life, he was a muscular, silver-black kobold who wielded a spiked club. That style of club is wielded by his clerics, and also used as his holy symbol.
Dakarnok is much more prominent than other deified kobolds, simply due to the domination of his clergy over other demigod cults. While they willingly submit to Kurturlmak and his clerics, they are known to war with and exterminate servants of other demigods that were raised from kobold leaders. Gaknulak may be an exception to this because he does not seem to have been raised in such a manner. Like all other kobold gods, Dakarnok is also opposed to gnomish deities, but also takes particular exception to humans and their gods, who he frequently fought against in his mortal life.
Kuraulyak, Fist of the Urds
The patron god of urds (better known as winged or dragonwrought kobolds), Kuraulyak was raised to divinity by Asgaroth to act as their leader. He is more cowardly and less aggressive than his landed counterpart Kurturlmak, and more associated with elemental and primal power. When he appears (which is almost never, unless the urds are in truly dire straits) it is as a blue kobold with feathered wings, which are also his holy symbol. Otherwise, he sent a giant bat to act in his place on the material plane.
Much of Kuraulyak’s cowardice seems to stem from fear that Kurturlmak will exact revenge on him for some reason or another. Not only did he steal a pair of wings from the kobold’s patron god (either dragon wings, which he used to create the urds, or aarakocra wings which Kurturlmak had stolen from their goddess Syranita), he also abandoned his post during the Rage of Dragons, causing almost the entirety of the species to be wiped out. For both of these reasons, he hides from Kurturlmak.
But he is also unwilling to conflict or even interact with almost any other god, even the gnomish ones that he is known to be a rival of. His clerics, who sometimes ride on giant bats (despite their ability to fly) have feathered wings like his, and can transform plucked feathers into elementals which serve them.
Have you ever played a kobold in a game of Dungeons and Dragons? Did they worship a kobold god? How did the game go? Let us know in the comments below!