Contributed by: Thulsa ()

"To one side, before the temple of Damballah, a sinister idol rose against the sky. Carven of black basalt, it rose to thrice the height of a man, as tall as the sinister ring of monoliths. As Conan was led towards this eidolon, he perceived that had been fashioned into the likeness of a tremendous serpent coiled into a conical shape. The wedge-shaped ophidian head stared down from the top of the cone. For an instant the thing seemed to live, as its scarlet eyes gleamed with cold malignancy. (...) Conan repressed a shudder. The idol of Set -- or Damballah, as the Zembabwans called it -- had from time immemorial represented the forces of darkness and evil on earth." -- L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter: "Red Moon of Zembabwei"

Priestess of Damballah

In the Black Kingdoms, Set is known and worshipped under the name Damballah.

Nowhere except Stygia is worship of the snake-god as prominent as in Zembabwei, where one of its twin kings is the high priest of Damballah.

Deep in the trackless jungles of the south, in the forbidden city of Old Zembabwei which is closed to foreigners, the altars of Damballah run crimson with human sacrifice. It is whispered that on the night of sacrifice, the very moon itself burns red with the blood of those who are offered up in pain and torment to the Old Serpent.

Status: Demi-god
Spheres of Influence: Serpents, sacrifice, dark jungles
Symbol: Coiled cobra


Damaballah usually manifests as a giant black snake which appears from within a column of rising smoke and devours sacrifice brought before it. On nights known as the Nights of the Blood-Moon, he turns the moon red, and magic performed under this moon is said to be extremely potent.

The Priesthood

The priests of Damballah are tribal witch-doctors and shamans. They are in essence worshipping a guise of Set, but are granted somewhat different powers. There is some enmity between the followers of Damballah and the snake-priests of Stygia as to their god's true nature and methods of worship.

The current high priest of Damballah is Nenaunir, one of Zembabwei's twin kings. He is said to rule three million black savages from his Skull Throne. His brother Mbega opposes the cult of the Slithering God and supports the worship of Zembabwei's ancestor spirits.

  • Prerequisites: None
  • Domains: Death, Evil, Serpents
  • Turning: Command undead at -2 levels