Orc deities

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In many campaign settings for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, the orcish pantheon of gods consists of the leader, Gruumsh, as well as Bahgtru, Ilneval, Luthic, Shargaas and Yurtrus.

Bahgtru[edit]

Bahgtru
Game background
Title(s) The Strong, the Leg-Breaker, Son of Gruumsh
Home plane Infernal Battlefield of Acheron
Power level Intermediate
Alignment Chaotic Evil
Portfolio Strength, combat
Domains Chaos, Evil, Orc, Strength
Superior Gruumsh
Design details

Bahgtru is the orc deity of Strength and Combat. The son of Gruumsh and Luthic, Bahgtru has been described as a huge orc with bugling muscles and dirty tan skin. His eyes are dull green, and his glistening white tusks protrude from either side of his mouth. Bahgtru has also been described as "awesomely stupid." Bahgtru lives in the orcish realm of Nishrek.

Bahgtru was first detailed in Roger E. Moore's article "The Half-Orc Point of View," in Dragon #62 (TSR, 1982).[1] In Dragon #92 (December 1984), Gary Gygax indicated this as one of the deities legal for the Greyhawk setting.[2] He also appeared in the original Unearthed Arcana (1985).[3]

Bahgtru was detailed in the book Monster Mythology (1992), including details about his priesthood.[4] His role in the cosmology of the Planescape campaign setting was described in On Hallowed Ground (1996).[5] Bahgtru's role in the Forgotten Realms is revisited in Faiths and Pantheons (2002).[6]

Gruumsh[edit]

Gruumsh
Game background
Title(s) One-Eye, He Who Never Sleeps, the One-Eyed God, He Who Watches
Home plane Infernal Battlefield of Acheron, Nishrek (Forgotten Realms), Chernoggar, the Iron Fortress (4th edition)
Power level Greater
Alignment Chaotic Evil
Portfolio Orcs, conquest, strength, survival, territory
Domains Cavern, Chaos, Evil, Hatred, Orc, Strength, War
Superior None
Design details

Gruumsh', also known as Gruumsh One-Eye, is the patron deity of orcs, who regard him as the god of Conquest, Survival, Strength, and Territory. According to Unearthed Arcana, Gruumsh created the orcs in his image to be his servants in the world but was cheated out of a home for his people by the other gods. He is also considered a member of the default pantheon of deities. His symbol is an unblinking eye, or (in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting) his missing unwinking eye. Gruumsh appears as a powerful orc with one eye. A figure of fury and driven cruelty, Gruumsh rules his pantheon with brute power. His favored weapon is the spear.

Gruumsh's divine realm is the Iron Fortress on the plane of Nishrek. In the standard cosmology represented by the Greyhawk and Planescape campaign settings, Nishrek is a part of Acheron, while in the Forgotten Realms cosmology this is a plane of its own.

In 4th Edition, Nishrek was once an independent realm in the Astral Sea. After the rise of Bane in the realm of Chernoggar, Gruumsh used all of his power to throw his entire realm (literally) at him. Bane was able to stop Nishrek from crushing him only by fusing both realms together. The force of the impact sent the two realms spinning through the Astral Sea and to this day they fly recklessly through the plane as the forces of Bane and Gruumsh fight an eternal war.

Gruumsh is the husband of Luthic and father of Bahgtru. Ilneval is his most capable lieutenant. In his own pantheon, Gruumsh rules over all the other gods (although Shargaas and Yurtrus bear him little real loyalty beside that made from fear), and has his orders carried out through his lieutenant Ilneval. Gruumsh considers himself supreme and all non-orcs his enemies, while holding special enmity for some. While Gruumsh hates all elf deities, he has special loathing for Corellon Larethian because Corellon took his eye in battle and Sehanine Moonbow, who fooled Gruumsh many times to protect Corellon and her other family members. Gruumsh also loathes the dwarf deities.

According to Forgotten Realms lore, Gruumsh once had an alliance with the conniving elven goddess Araushnee to bring down her fellow elven deities once and for all. Their plan failed and Araushnee was transformed into Lolth and her elven followers into drow. The two deities (and the orcs and the drow) have been great foes ever since. Gruumsh's alliance with another deity involved in that conflict, Malar, has not been so badly corrupted.

Gruumsh was created by Jim Ward for the Deities & Demigods Cyclopedia (1980).[7] Gruumsh was further detailed in Unearthed Arcana (1985).[8] Gruumsh was detailed in the book Monster Mythology (1992), including details about his priesthood.[9] His role in the cosmology of the Planescape campaign setting was described in On Hallowed Ground (1996).[10] Gruumsh appears as one of the deities described in the Players Handbook for 3.0(2000),[11] and in Defenders of the Faith (2000).[12] Gruumsh is detailed in Deities and Demigods (2002),[13] and his role in the Forgotten Realms is detailed in Faiths and Pantheons (2002).[6] Gruumsh also appears in the revised Players Handbook for 3.5.[14] His priesthood is detailed for this edition in Complete Divine (2004).[15] Gruumsh appears as one of the deities described in the Dungeon Master's Guide for the 4th edition.[16] His role is expanded on in the Manual of the Planes and The Plane Above: Secrets of the Astral Sea.

Ilneval[edit]

Ilneval
Game background
Title(s) Son of Strife, the Horde Leader, the War Maker, the lieutenant of Gruumsh
Home plane Infernal Battlefield of Acheron
Power level Intermediate
Alignment Lawful Evil
Portfolio Warfare
Domains Destruction, Evil, War (also Orc and Planning in Forgotten Realms)
Superior Gruumsh
Design details

Ilneval is the orc deity of warfare. He lives in the orcish realm of the Nishrek. Ilneval lives in the orcish realm of the Nishrek in Acheron. For the Basic D&D setting, Ilneval was known as Karaash.[17]

Ilneval was first detailed in Roger E. Moore's article "The Half-Orc Point of View," in Dragon #62 (TSR, 1982).[1] In Dragon #92 (December 1984), Gary Gygax indicated this as one of the deities legal for the Greyhawk setting.[2] He also appeared in the original Unearthed Arcana (1985).[3]

Ilneval was detailed in the book Monster Mythology (1992), including details about his priesthood.[4] His role in the cosmology of the Planescape campaign setting was described in On Hallowed Ground (1996).[5] Ilneval's role in the Forgotten Realms is revisited in Faiths and Pantheons (2002).[6]

Luthic[edit]

Luthic
Game background
Title(s) The Healer, Great Mother, the Cave mother, the Blood Moon Witch
Home plane Infernal Battlefield of Acheron
Power level Lesser
Alignment Neutral Evil
Portfolio Fertility, medicine, servitude
Domains Earth, Evil, Healing (also Cavern, Family, and Orc in Forgotten Realms)
Design details

Luthic is the orc deity of fertility, medicine, females and servitude. She is the wife of Gruumsh and mother of Bahgtru. Her sacred animal is the cave bear. Her symbol is an orcish rune meaning "home." Luthic embodies the orcish feminine ideal, subordinate to male orcs but still protecting the cohesion of orcish society. Luthic is described as a matronly orc with very long claws. She fights bare-handed with her claws because only the males of the community are allowed to wield a weapon. She may also use powerful spells, as such arts are not considered manly in orcish culture.

Luthic was first detailed in Roger E. Moore's article "The Half-Orc Point of View," in Dragon #62 (TSR, 1982).[1] In Dragon #92 (December 1984), Gary Gygax indicated this as one of the deities legal for the Greyhawk setting.[2] She also appeared in the original Unearthed Arcana (1985).[3]

Luthic was detailed in the book Monster Mythology (1992), including details about her priesthood.[4] Her role in the cosmology of the Planescape campaign setting was described in On Hallowed Ground (1996).[5] Luthic's role in the Forgotten Realms is revisited in Faiths and Pantheons (2002).[18]

Shargaas[edit]

Shargaas
Game background
Title(s) The Night Lord, the Blade in the Darkness, the Stalker Below
Home plane Bleak Eternity of Gehenna
Power level Intermediate
Alignment Neutral Evil
Portfolio Darkness, thieves
Domains Chaos, Evil, Trickery (also Darkness and Orc in Forgotten Realms)
Superior Gruumsh
Design details

Shargaas is the orc deity of darkness, night, stealth, thieves, and the undead. His symbol is a skull on a red crescent moon. He lives in a realm called The Night Below on the plane of Gehenna.

Shargaas was first detailed in Roger E. Moore's article "The Half-Orc Point of View," in Dragon #62 (TSR, 1982).[1] In Dragon #92 (December 1984), Gary Gygax indicated this as one of the deities legal for the Greyhawk setting.[2] He also appeared in the original Unearthed Arcana (1985).[3]

Shargaas was detailed in the book Monster Mythology (1992), including details about his priesthood.[4] His role in the cosmology of the Planescape campaign setting was described in On Hallowed Ground (1996).[5] Shargaas's role in the Forgotten Realms is revisited in Faiths and Pantheons (2002).[6]

Yurtrus[edit]

Yurtrus
Game background
Title(s) White-Hands, the Lord of Maggots, the Rotting One
Home plane Gray Waste of Hades
Power level Intermediate
Alignment Neutral Evil (Lawful Evil tendencies)
Portfolio Death, disease
Domains Death, Destruction, Evil (also Orc and Suffering in Forgotten Realms)
Superior Gruumsh
Design details

Yurtrus is the orc deity of death and disease. He lives in a disgusting realm called Fleshslough on the Gray Waste; those who enter the realm never leave and reeks of death.[5][19]

Yurtrus was first detailed in Roger E. Moore's article "The Half-Orc Point of View," in Dragon #62 (TSR, 1982).[1] In Dragon #92 (December 1984), Gary Gygax indicated this as one of the deities legal for the Greyhawk setting.[2] He also appeared in the original Unearthed Arcana (1985).[3]

Yurtrus was detailed in the book Monster Mythology (1992), including details about his priesthood.[4] His role in the cosmology of the Planescape campaign setting was described in On Hallowed Ground (1996).[5] Yurtrus's role in the Forgotten Realms is revisited in Faiths and Pantheons (2002).[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Moore, Roger E. "The Half-Orc Point of View." Dragon #62 (TSR, June 1982)
  2. ^ a b c d e Gygax, Gary (December 1984). "From the Sorcerer's Scroll: Clerics live by other rules". Dragon (Lake Geneva WI: TSR) (92): 22. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Gygax, Gary. Unearthed Arcana (TSR, 1985)
  4. ^ a b c d e Sargent, Carl. Monster Mythology (TSR, 1992)
  5. ^ a b c d e f McComb, Colin. On Hallowed Ground (TSR, 1996)
  6. ^ a b c d e Boyd, Eric L, and Erik Mona. Faiths and Pantheons (Wizards of the Coast, 2002).
  7. ^ Ward, James and Robert Kuntz. Deities & Demigods (TSR, 1980)
  8. ^ Gygax, Gary. Unearthed Arcana (TSR, 1985)
  9. ^ Sargent, Carl. Monster Mythology (TSR, 1992)
  10. ^ McComb, Colin. On Hallowed Ground (TSR, 1996)
  11. ^ Tweet, Jonathan, Cook, Monte, Williams, Skip. Player's Handbook (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
  12. ^ Redman, Rich and James Wyatt. Defenders of the Faith (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
  13. ^ Redman, Rich, Skip Williams, and James Wyatt. Deities and Demigods (Wizards of the Coast, 2002)
  14. ^ Tweet, Jonathan, Cook, Monte, Williams, Skip. Player's Handbook (Wizards of the Coast, 2003)
  15. ^ Noonan, David. Complete Divine (Wizards of the Coast, 2004)
  16. ^ James Wyatt. Dungeon Master's Guide (Wizards of the Coast, 2008).
  17. ^ Heard, Bruce. The Orcs of Thar (1988, TSR)
  18. ^ Boyd, Eric L., and Erik Mona. Faiths and Pantheons (Wizards of the Coast, 2002).
  19. ^ Grubb, Jeff. Manual of the Planes Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1987.

Additional sources[edit]

  • Conforti, Steven, ed. Living Greyhawk Official Listing of Deities for Use in the Campaign, version 2.0. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2005. Available online:[1]