The Traveler, titled "The Sovereign of Chaos and Change" and in some lands known as the Giver of Gifts, is a chaotic neutral or unaligned deity of the Dark Six. The Traveler presides over the portfolios of chaos, deception, evolution, invention, and transformation; or influences the areas of change, cunning, deception, and innovation; or oversees the provinces of change and chaos. It has an aspect as a god of artifice and artificers.
The most mysterious of all the gods, the Traveler is believed to be a supreme shapeshifter and trickster, a virtuoso of deceit and craftiness, a creator of things and a bringer of knowledge. However, it is also said to be impulsive and unpredictable. The Traveler is thought to look favorably on those who use their wits or are resourceful, and to disapprove of those who begged for safety and care or for unearned gifts.
Legends say that, alone among the gods, the Traveler walks the land with a thousand faces, in body and in spirit, but no mortal will pierce its perfect disguise. The Traveler's true nature is one of the great mysteries, and even its gender is unknown: it's referred to as "it", not "he" or "she", but "he" has sometimes been used. Either way, it has been depicted with a laughing face.
The Traveler is unique in that it is not related, by family or any other means, to any of the other members of the Sovereign Host or the Dark Six, despite being treated as a member of the latter group. In fact, the Traveler appears to be defiantly independent of these other gods, even happily oblivious of their presence. While definitely the least malign of the Dark Six, the Traveler is not especially benign either. Nevertheless, with regards to the Dark Six, the Traveler was almost always the exception.
Many things folk cannot easily understand or explain have been readily attributed to the Traveler. Often, it is said to be the creator of one thing or another, from certain creatures to geographical features. For example, canyons and lakes in many places bear names like "The Traveler's Footprint" or similar in the local tongue.
The Traveler is even said by believers to have created the whole world itself. In two myths commonly told by doppelgangers, the Traveler created the world from pieces scavenged from another world. In one, this world was an earlier creation that had fallen into ruin, and in the other, it was a parallel creation the Traveler desired to copy. In another myth, the Traveler drew the world from out of a dragon's gut.
Changelings, such as the priest Chance, tell the story that in olden times there was a woman called Jes who had one hundred children. When enemies plotted to slay them, Jes appealed to the Sovereign Host, but got no answer but rain and wind. When Jes despaired, a lone traveler came and took her hand, promising "I will protect your children if they follow my path. Let them wander the world. They may be shunned and feared, but they will never be destroyed." Accepting this, Jes was given the traveler's cloak and she spread it over her hundred children. Though their former faces melted away, they could whoever they wished, becoming the changeling race, shunned by all but shielded by the Traveler's gift. Another, somewhat bland, changeling legend tells that the Traveler chose to create a new race, for reasons unknown and unknowable but much speculated about. The Traveler channeled his (in this version, it is masculine) will and desires through doppelgangers and gave them temporary extra powers and had them go out into the world and breed with humans and other humanoids, and their progeny were the first changelings.
It is said that when the gods of the Host and the Six laid curses on Xen'drik, the Traveler twisted the land so no path could be walked the same way twice. The Traveler's Curse, as it is known, means explorers can take a path twice and end up at different destinations.
There are few holy texts for the faith, so the Traveler's commandments usually need to be deduced. However, some known common tenets are:
- Revealing one's true self is weakness. Instead, followers should cover themselves in disguise and deception, until not they knew the truth of themselves.
- Nothing is permanent. Thus, followers should make sure that change helps them and hinders their rivals.
- Cunning plans and intricate deceptions are the most effective weapons, for mortal minds can be predicted and easily manipulated.
- Change strengthens people and chaos pushes evolution.
The Traveler is the patron of all those who welcome change, in body and in philosophy. Its worshipers include changelings, shifters, doppelgangers, and lycanthropes, who saw it as the greatest of gods, but only doppelgangers and lycanthropes routinely revered it. The majority of doppelgangers venerate the Traveler and try to imitate it.
Most changelings, especially of nomadic clans, follow the Traveler's path wherever it takes them. In particular, changeling Becomers especially admire the Traveler's deceptiveness, finding it ideal. While changeling Passers will venerate any convenient god, they turn quietly to the Traveler when threatened or stressed. Even those few Reality Seekers who take up religion generally prefer the Traveler.
Many adventuring shifters similarly follow the Traveler.
Of other races, the Traveler is also worshiped by rogues, thieves, wanderers and some artificers who appreciated its focus on cleverness and innovation. While they will on occasion beseech the Traveler's blessing on their efforts, they only rarely expect a response, and rarer still actually get something.
The Cabinet of Faces comprises acolytes of the Traveler. According to secret lore of the group, the Traveler or its envoy has in centuries past possessed one of the leaders to speak a message, have a task performed, or even prophesy the future.
On the Dragonmarked Houses, members of the Cannith South faction of House Cannith have gradually taken up worship of the Traveler, owing to its governance over artifice. Cannith West is concerned by their following of one of the Dark Six. In fact, quite a few in Cannith are of the faith, but this is kept quiet. The early Cannith tinkers revered the Traveler, and the Forgehold in Sharn held a secret shrine. A number of blades of Orien are rumored to follow the Traveler, and even to have a secret society within House Orien.
The faithful make sacrifices to the Traveler by making something and destroying it. This demonstrated their acceptance of change and transformation.
Most Vassals of the Dark Six or Sovereign Host make prayers to the Traveler before they commence a long or hazardous journey.
The Feast of the Traveler, a holiday observed by both changelings and non-changelings, honors the deity but focuses on giving kindness to strangers—one of whom might well be the Traveler—and on sharing and celebrating. It's often a big street party where all participants bring and share food and drink, people relax, business is set aside for the day, and gifts are given with nothing expected in exchange. Recipients quote "Beware the gifts of the Traveler" and raise a toast to the Dark Six.
Priests of the Traveler are often former craftsmen or inventors who chose a change in career.
They regularly embark on lengthy journeys, whether to wander with no actual intent or perhaps to deliver messages or items that might shake up social order somehow and thereby trigger change. To help along their subversions, they might create new identities for themselves, usually maintaining them for years.
There is no consistent design or construction in shrines dedicated to the Traveler. Instead, worshipers are meant to make their own, personal place of worship and to adjust it often.
Some unique powers of the clergy are:
And some magic items are:
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 Eberron Campaign Setting, p. 35,67,70. Keith Baker, Bill Slavicsek, and James Wyatt (2004). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3274-0.
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 Faiths of Eberron, p. 51-52. Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, Ari Marmell, & C.A. Suleiman (2006). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3934-6.
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 Player's Guide to Eberron, p. 33. James Wyatt, Keith Baker, Luke Johnson, Steven Brown (2006). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3912-5.
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 Eberron Player's Guide, p. 16,17,44. David Noonan, Ari Marmell, and Robert J. Schwalb (2009). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-5100-1.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Eberron Campaign Guide, p. 240. James Wyatt and Keith Baker (2009). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-5099-4.
- ↑ 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 Eberron: Rising from the Last War, p. 141-143. Keith Baker, Jeremy Crawford, and James Wyatt (2019). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0786966890.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Dragonmarked. Keith Baker, Ari Marmell, Michelle Lyons and C.A. Suleiman (2006). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3933-8.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 Sharn: City of Towers, p. 112-113. Keith Baker & James Wyatt (2004). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3434-4.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 Eberron Campaign Setting, p. 303-304. Keith Baker, Bill Slavicsek, and James Wyatt (2004). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3274-0.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 Races of Eberron, p. 49-50,53. Jesse Decker, Matthew Sernett, Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, & Keith Baker (2005). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3658-4.
- ↑ Explorer's Handbook, p. 84. David Noonan, Rich Burlew, & Frank Brunner (2005). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3691-6.
- ↑ Player's Guide to Eberron, p. 32. James Wyatt, Keith Baker, Luke Johnson, Steven Brown (2006). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3912-5.
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Player's Guide to Eberron, p. 31. James Wyatt, Keith Baker, Luke Johnson, Steven Brown (2006). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3912-5.
- ↑ Player's Guide to Eberron, p. 42. James Wyatt, Keith Baker, Luke Johnson, Steven Brown (2006). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3912-5.
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 Eberron: Rising from the Last War, p. 17. Keith Baker, Jeremy Crawford, and James Wyatt (2019). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0786966890.
- ↑ Eberron: Rising from the Last War, p. 139. Keith Baker, Jeremy Crawford, and James Wyatt (2019). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0786966890.
- ↑ Eberron Player's Guide, p. 40. David Noonan, Ari Marmell, and Robert J. Schwalb (2009). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-5100-1.
- ↑ Races of Eberron, p. 33. Jesse Decker, Matthew Sernett, Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, & Keith Baker (2005). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3658-4.
- ↑ Sharn: City of Towers, p. 62. Keith Baker & James Wyatt (2004). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3434-4.
- ↑ Races of Eberron, p. 141-142. Jesse Decker, Matthew Sernett, Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, & Keith Baker (2005). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3658-4.
- ↑ Dragonmarked. Keith Baker, Ari Marmell, Michelle Lyons and C.A. Suleiman (2006). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3933-8.
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 Eberron Player's Guide, p. 104,105. David Noonan, Ari Marmell, and Robert J. Schwalb (2009). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-5100-1.
- ↑ Eberron Player's Guide, p. 89,93. David Noonan, Ari Marmell, and Robert J. Schwalb (2009). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-5100-1.
|The Dark Six|
|The Devourer | The Fury | The Keeper | The Mockery | The Shadow | The Traveler|