|Zuoken, as depicted in Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk (2007).|
|Title(s)||Master of Da'Shon and Edel, Servant of the Lady, the Survivor|
|Portfolio||Monks, Mental Powers, Physical and Mental Mastery|
|Domains||Knowledge, Mind, Strength, War|
Zuoken is the Baklunish god of Physical and Mental Mastery. His symbol is a striking fist.
Zuoken appears as a Baklunish man of unremarkable appearance. He speaks very little.
Zuoken encourages his followers to be disciplined and serene masters of both their bodies and minds. Zuoken's faithful are instructed to become adept in unarmed martial arts before graduating to weapons, as weapons are seen as an unwelcome distraction for beginning students. Zuoken's followers contemplate both sides of an issue before coming to a harmonious conclusion, for harmony is a prerequisite to perfection.
Zuoken's followers are almost always monks or psionicists, and the most powerful are both. The god sends his followers into the world to improve themselves and advance the cause of psionics (known as Edel, the Gift of Fate, in the Baklunish tongue). They may rescue psionic families from their superstitious neighbors, hunt down illithids, or search for psionic artifacts such as the Orb of Gerendelik. They attack the monks of the Scarlet Brotherhood whenever possible. Until 597 CY, their consuming quest was to locate and rescue their deity from his prison.
Zuoken sends a thought slayer as his herald. His planar allies are rasts, couatls, and huge elementals of any type.
Zuoken's clerics watch over psionic creatures, keeping them safe and offering mental training to those who show aptitude. Their favored weapon is the nunchaku. They study at the feet of a master, with their training consisting of long dialogues between the master and students punctuated by intense physical training and martial arts practice.
A typical cleric of Zuoken wears light, plain-colored clothing decorated only with a simple sash bearing Zuoken's striking fist symbol. They spend their days practicing their arts, meditating, and spreading the word about the value of perfection, although they may do this while completing quests for their deity.
Zuoken's temples are typically far from civilization, but are commonly known of by those who seek training in psionics. They are often guarded by an order of monks known as the Fists of Zuoken.
Prayers to Zuoken are short and poetic, often using a strange sentence structure that tends to confuse noninitiates. A common beginning to a prayer is "Zuoken, me to the pinnacle take..."
Zuoken's followers meditate every full moon.
In the early decades of the Baklunish-Suloise Wars, Zuoken was a mortal servant of Xan Yae who had mastered both martial arts (his unarmed style was called da'shon, or "falling hail") and psionics. With 38 other monks, all unarmed, he held off a crucial mountain pass for three days and nights against a vastly numerically superior army of Suloise invaders. Though he was the lone survivor, they were successful. After inspiring an entire generation of new monks, Zuoken traveled to the Pinnacles of Azor'alq where he passed the tests needed to become a demigod. It is said that Zuoken ascended to the heavens on the moon's silvery staircase.
In 505 CY, Zuoken stopped manifesting to his followers on Oerth. His followers discovered that his essence was being held somewhere in the central Flanaess. Though the exact location is uncertain, Zuoken's faithful continued to seek their master.
The truth of the matter is that Zuoken was one of the nine demigods that the mad archmage Zagig Yragerne captured and imprisoned beneath Castle Greyhawk as part of Zagig's plot to achieve godhood. While the other eight prisoners were released around 570 after the release of Iuz, Zuoken would remain imprisoned until 597, when he was finally released after an attempt by a similacrum of the witch-queen Iggwilv to attain full sentience in a scheme centering around Zagig's Godtrap.
- Bulmahn, Jason, James Jacobs, and Erik Mona. Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2007.
- Cordell, Bruce R. Expanded Psionics Handbook. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2004.
- Holian, Gary, Erik Mona, Sean K. Reynolds, and Frederick Weining. Living Greyhawk Gazetteer. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2000.
- Noonan, David. Complete Divine. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2004.