Bahgtru (bog-true) is an awesomely stupid god of incredible might, who scorns all arms and armaments or workings of magic and values only physical strength. He is said to challenge and battle all manner of archetypal beasts and roam the planes tearing the landscape asunder.
The church of Bahgtru is largely subservient to the temple of Gruumsh, not unlike the relation between the son and the father. Bahgtru's clergy are often the strongest members of the Tribe, leading the elite males of the tribe who serve as bodyguards for chieftain. The Son of Gruumsh insists his clerics remain loyal to the cheiftain of the tribe until he is defeated in a challenge of physical prowess or slain. They engage in near constant physical training, and subject the young males of the tribe to endless training as well to improve their strength and thus the overall strength of the tribe. For Bahgtru's faithful, loyalty extends only to the clan, and thus rivalries between the clans are to be encouraged, for doing so strengthens the orc race as a whole.
History/Relationships: Bahgtru is the son of Gruumsh and Luthic. He is said to have killed the first behir, breaking each of its legs in the process and earning him his moniker. Bahgtru is feared by other orc gods for his incredible strength, yet they call on him for assistance when they have need. Ilneval secretly resents Gruumsh's stupid, but loyal, son, for he dares not challenge the One-Eyed God while Bahgtru remains loyal to him. Bahgtru is implacably opposed to goblinoid deities, although he attacks them only when Gruumsh permits. He also hates the Seldarine and other sylvan deities, whose physical weakness he scorns. While Bahgtru respects the might of the Dwarven gods, he still wishes to crush their skulls. Bahgtru also opposes the most obvious plots of deities of deception, including Baravar Cloakshadow, Cyric, and Alyshanna.
Dogma: The mighty shall crush the weak, thus strengthening the tribe. Scorn the shields of weakness and rely only on your physical prowess, for strength is enduring. Think not crafty thoughts, for they undermine the strength of the tribe. Loyalty to your leader is all that is required of you.
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Gruumsh (groomsh) is the driven and aggressive leader of the orc pantheon. Constantly battling other deities for the things he feels were stolen from him at the dawn of creation, he drives the orcs of the world to follow his example and conquer and slay their enemies. His great spear is covered in the blood of elves and his ever-burning torch is reflected in his one remaining eye.
Gruumsh's church relates the legends of the orcs from generation to generation and spreads the worship of Gruumsh through fear, inspiration, and an iron hand. The church takes an active role in the clan leadership, undermining a secular leader that opposes its goals. They are also responsible for the elimination of the sick, weak, lame, or unfit members of the tribe, regardless of age or status. Like most of the orc pantheon, his church is extremely patriarchal. Nonclerics are never allowed to say the deities name and may refer to him only by title
History/Relationships: Gruumsh is said to have lost an eye in a battle with Corellon Larethian, although the orcs' version holds that he always had one eye. Orc myths tell that when races of the world drew lots for the land, there were none left for Gruumsh, but he took his spear and smote the earth to create caves, blighted glades, and badlands for his people to dwell. He holds absolute authority over his pantheon and considers no non-orc his ally. He particularly hates the elven and dwarven deities.
Dogma: Seek unceasing war against your enemies, and kill or enslave those that oppose you. Acquire territory and living space. Destroy elves, their homes, and their lands. Crush the dwarves and take their deep caves for your own. Be strong, and be prepared to show your strength at any moment. Showing weakness is the key to an early death. Those that are too weak to fight for your tribe should be put to the spear. The greatest gift that He Who Watches gave to the orcs was the ability to survive where the weaker races would die. Build your strength in these lands and use them to overrun your enemies.
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Ilneval (ill-nev-all) is the daring war leader, always leading the charge into battle with nothing but victory and destruction on his mind. Before a battle commences, however, he carefully plans his strategy so as to maximize his chances of winning and inflicting terrible damage. Ilneval is more cunning then Bahgtru and nearly as strong. His bravery inspires great loyalty among his followers, yet he does not transfer that loyalty to his own superior. The War Maker brooks no challenge to his position, systematically destroying any potential rival. Ilneval is seen as the patron of powerful orc crossbreeds, particularly orogs and tanarukks.
The church of Ilneval occupies a prominent position in orc tribal life, second only to the church of Gruumsh, and they work in concert to oppress other faiths in order to ensure that position remains unchallenged. Many members of the clergy are officers in the tribal armies, answering only to their chieftain. Although the church of Gruumsh is responsible for issuing the call to summon a horde, it falls to the temple of ilneval to marshal the fractious tribes into a horde united against a common foe.
History/Relationships: Ilneval serves Gruumsh as battle lieutenant, commanding the One-Eyed God's armies when his master does not wish to do so himself. The Crafty Warrior has destroyed one or two orc demigods before, and he secretly works to undermine Bahgtru as well. Gruumsh does not trust his self-serving lieutenant for good reason, but Ilneval remains loyal enough while the One-Eyed God and Bahgtru remain on the same side. Ilneval loathes both Shargaas and Yurtrus, for their underhanded approach smells of cowardice. However, the War Maker is smart enough to use their talents effectively in battle with the gods of other pantheons. Despite his differences with other orc gods, Ilneval loathes the goblinoid gods, the dwarven gods, the elven gods, and all other traditional enemies of the orc pantheon and would never betray his race.
Dogma: Strength is as much a function of the mind as one's body. Train hard and think craftily in preparation for war, for all life is an endless battle. Unite your tribe into a raging storm, for there is great strength in numbers if all can work in concert. Once the time for combat is nigh, however, charge into the fray undaunted and let the blood fly where it may. Only through personal courage do you prove yourself fit for the mantle of leadership.
Last edited by Fantom_Phreak on Thu Apr 22, 2004 1:20 pm; edited 3 times in total
Luthic (Lesser Goddess)
The Cave Mother, the Blood Moon Witch
Symbol: Orc rune for Home
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Portfolio: Caves, Orc Females, Home, Hisdom, Fertility, Healing, Servitude
Domains: Cavern, Earth, Evil, Family, Healing, Orc
Favored Weapon: A hand with long claws (clawed bracer)
Luthic (looth-ick) has a strong affinity for the earth on which her enduring strength is built. Although hardly kind, she tends to the injured with brusque efficiency and is the quiet bedrock on which the orc pantheon rests. The Cave Mother does not take kindly to those who abuse her name, inflicting wasting diseases on those who do. She has a nasty temper that can erupt at any time. Although outwardly servile to the male orc gods, she is cunning enough to manipulate Gruumsh and Bahgtru and through them often get her way.
The church of Luthic is prominent within most orc tribes, if only because it can claim the bulk of the female population as its worshipers, but outwardly weak in comparison to the other orc gods' clergies and is subservient to the clergy of Gruumsh. In truth, the church of Luthic forms the stable base of most orc tribes, ensuring that a steady stream of future orc warriors are born each year. Clerics of Luthic tend to the general health of the tribe. They also teach simple healing and herbalism to orcs, skills that enable warriors to survive many battles.
History/Relationships: Luthic is the wife of Gruumsh and the mother of Bahgtru, although only the latter pays her heed. The Son of Gruumsh honors his mother's commands even above Gruumsh, a small rebellion on the part of his otherwise loyal son that the One-Eyed God tolerates only grudgingly. The other orc gods pay her only a medium of respect and then only because she is the wife of Gruumsh, treatment she grudgingly accepts as her lot even if she detests it. Luthic harbors a deep enmity for the traditional enemies of the orc pantheon, including the goblinoid, dwarven, and elven gods.
Dogma: Life is sheltered within the earth from which it springs. Honor the wisdom of the Cave Mother, whose strength is the backbone of the horde and the root of valor in battle. Understand your position within the tribe and do your part to strengthen the tribe against all rivals. The cave is the sheltering embrace of the mother of Bahgtru and the bastion of orc strength. Endure all hardships.
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Shargaas (Lesser God)
The Night Lord, the Blade in the Darkness, the Stalker Below
Symbol: Skull on a red crescent moon
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Portfolio: Night, Thieves, Stealth, Darkness, Underdark
Domains: Chaos, Darkness, Evil, Orc, Trickery
Favored Weapon: "Nightblade" Short Sword
Shargaas (shar-gas) is a dark and brooding deity of terrifying cruelty and evil. More cunning than even Ilneval, his scheming is cold and calculated. His hatred of non-orcs is rooted in a basic hatred of life itself, and he views orcs as little more than killing tools to be eventually discarded. He is thought to lurk in the depths of the earth, deep beneath the caves of most surface-dwelling orcs, and is considered the patron of orc tribes that dwell in the Underedark.
The church of Shargaas is secretive in nature, it adherents usually their affiliation from the rest of their tribe. The temple is a powerful hidden force with most tribes, regularly culling the weak in order to strengthen tribes as a whole. Clerics of Shargaas can strike fear into even the most powerful orc chieftain, for they regularly eliminate leaders they perceive as cowardly or ineffectual with a sharp blade in the back in the darkness. The church of Shargaas also works on the margins of enemy battle groups, eliminating those who might raise the alarm or muster an effective defense against a burgeoning horde.
History/Relationships: The Night Lord's hatred of all life extends to a hatred of other deities as well, Nevertheless, he has found it prudent to ally himself with other orc deities and manipulate them to serve his ends. Shargaas maintains a cold alliance with Yurtrus, in particular, counterbalancing the more militaristic Gruumsh, Bahgtru, and Ilneval. He also secretly reveals Ilneval's treacheries to Gruumsh as a way of cementing his own position within the pantheon and undermining the One-Eyed God's overly ambitious lieutenant. Shargaas has but one ally outside the Orc Pantheon; Alyshanna, which shares his same hatred for life. He reserves his greatest hatred for the dwarf, gnome, and goblin deities.
Dogma: The Darkness is cold and everlasting, but provides a dark mantle for the Blade in the Night. With silent stride and hidden hand, cull the weak from the tribe and eliminate all other races. Go down into the deep tunnels and wage war with those who dare abide in the demesne of Shargaas. Be alert for the weakness in the eyes of the chieftain, for his mistakes may spell your own doom.
Last edited by Fantom_Phreak on Thu Apr 22, 2004 2:11 pm; edited 3 times in total
Yurtrus (Lesser God)
White Hands, the Lord of Maggots, the Rotting One
Symbol: White hands on a dark background
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Portfolio: Death, Disease
Domains: Death, Destruction, Evil, Orc, Suffering
Favored Weapon: Pale white hands (Unarmed Combat)
Yurtrus (yer-truss) is the embodiment of life-destructive principles an ever-present terror to be feared and propitiated and dreaded by most orcs. Yurtrus represents the ever-present threat of death and disease that orcs must live with on an ongoing basis. The Lord of Maggots does not speak or communicate in any fashion, although he sometimes seem receptive to properly respectful entreaties and sacrifices to spare a particular individual or tribe from the ravages of disease. He is depicted as an orc with rotting sore-covered flesh everywhere except his pale clawed hands.
Aside from certain orders of monks, the church of Yurtrus is loosely organized, it's clergy scattered across countless clans and tribes. Clerics of the Rotting One are rarely tribal leaders, but the terror in which their deity is held allows them a great deal of independence. Members of the clergy act as intermediaries between their Tribe and Yurtrus, interceding with him whenever the tribe is ravaged by disease, in battle, or of old age (a rare event indeed). The church of Yurtrus is also conceded authority over tribal foodstores, determining whether meat is too rotted to eat or water is too tainted to drink. In this respect, some tribes have begun to venerate the Lord of Maggots as a deity of sustenance and health or rather the reverse of such and thus to be propitiated.
History/Relationships: By his very nature, Yurtrus is not prone to forming relationships. He gives his silent backings to Shargaas in the latter's efforts to subtly counterbalance the influence of the three orc war gods. The Rotting One is also rumored to have had a former dealing with Alyshanna as an alliance till he was met with betrayal and was punished for dealing with her by Gruumsh. What punishment was suffered is not yet known. Like the rest of the orc pantheon, Yurtrus loathes the gods of dwarves, elves, and goblins, and opposes them at every opportunity.
Dogma: Death is inexorable and eventually claims all life. The Ravages of plague are simply Death claiming victims who have yet to fall in battle, leaving all creatures to simply choose the manner in which death will most likely strike. The touch of the White Hands can be forestalled only by bowing down to the Rotting Lord and begging his mercy, but, in time, plague strikes all living things. Fear him, for death lurks in the shadowed corners of Luthic's cavern and it will inexorably come again.
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