Talos (Forgotten Realms)
|Forgotten Realms character|
|First appearance||"Down-to-earth Divinity" – Dragon #54 (October 1981)|
|Created by||Ed Greenwood|
|Alias||Bhaelros, Kozah, Malyk, Gruumsh|
|Title||The Destroyer, the Storm Lord|
|Home||2E: Towers of Ruin (Pandemonium)|
3E: Fury's Heart
|Portfolio||Storms, destruction, rebellion, conflagrations, earthquakes, vortices|
|Domains||Chaos, Destruction, Evil, Fire and Storm|
Talos (// TAH-lohs) is the Faerûnian deity of storms and destruction in Ed Greenwood's Forgotten Realms campaign setting for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. Talos' dogma is self-serving, demanding utter obedience from his priests and instructing them to spread destruction where they may. He is known as Bhaelros to the Calishites and Kozah to the Bedine. Followers of Talos are known as Talassans.
Talos appears as a broad shouldered, bearded man with one good eye. He wears half plate armor over black leather armor, and black leather gloves. His empty eye socket is filled with whirling stars and covered with a dark eye patch.
Ed Greenwood created Talos for his home Dungeons & Dragons game, set in Greenwood's Forgotten Realms world. Greenwood states that all of the weather gods from the original Deities & Demigods book seemed too powerful, so he combined from them the features he desired, into Talos.
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977–1988)
Talos first appeared within Dungeons & Dragons as one of the deities featured in Ed Greenwood's article "Down-to-earth Divinity" in Dragon #54 (October 1981). Talos is introduced as The Destroyer, the Raging One, god of storms and destruction, a chaotic evil greater god from the plane of Pandemonium. The article described Talos as "A storm god commanding powers of rain, gale, lightning, and earthquake." Talos is described as one of "The Gods of Fury", which is what these four gods are known as collectively: "Talos is served by Auril, Umberlee, and Malar." Talos is commonly worshipped by chaotic evil fighters, magic-users, assassins, thieves, and clerics, and is placated by farmers and sailors.
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989–1999)
Talos was described in the hardback Forgotten Realms Adventures (1990), the revised Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (1993) in the "Running the Realms" booklet, and Faiths & Avatars (1996). His clergy was further detailed in Warriors and Priests of the Realms (1996), and Prayers from the Faithful (1997).
The Anauroch supplement notes that Talos is known to the Bedine as Kozah, their god of tempests. The Bedine say he vents his wrath by causing sandstorms, which show his fury at the faithlessness of his wife At'ar, as she enters N'asr's tent night after night (a metaphor for sunset).
Talos is introduced as once having been known as Kozah in the ancient history of the Realms, in Netheril: Empire of Magic (1996).
Dungeons & Dragons 3.0 edition (2000–2002)
Talos was formed from the first battle between Selûne and Shar. He leads the other Deities of Fury: Auril, Malar, and Umberlee. He has a close relationship with Auril, a relationship with Umberlee characterized by flirtation and rivalry, and a grudging alliance with Malar, who would kill him if he could. Talos elevates mortals to divinity and forces them to deplete themselves in his service. He once assumed the alias Malyk and attempted to gain dominion over wild magic, but was foiled by Mystra.
He hates deities that promote building, learning, nature, and the altering of weather. Chief among his enemies are Chauntea, Eldath, Lathander, Mystra, Sune, Deneir, Gond, Helm, Ilmater, Mielikki, Oghma, Shiallia, Silvanus, and Tyr.
According to Oghma, Talos has often suggested the destruction of the moon as a solution to problems presented to the Pantheon in Cynosure.
Church and dogma
The church of Talos is small by the standards of a greater deity, and almost universally despised. Followers of Talos are fanatical in their love of destruction. Priests of Talos are fond of extorting sailors and farmers, threatening that Talos will bring destructive storms upon them if they do not placate the angry god.
Talos inspires worship in those who fear the destructive power of nature. His followers are aligned chaotic evil, chaotic neutral, or neutral evil. Worshippers include barbarians, fighters, druids, and half-orcs. They believe in grabbing what they can when they can, for Talos may take their lives at any time. They believe in fearlessly embracing natural disaster; in doing so they demonstrate the power of Talos, who protects them from harm. They preach that only worship of Talos can protect against natural disasters, and at Talos' whim they hurl such disasters at foes.
Talos wishes for more worshippers, and his clerics are committed evangelists who seek to gain converts through fear or the enticement of raw power. They are wont to pursue wealth, luxury and wantonness. Many indulge in acts of random or spiteful violence, pillage and banditry. Talassan clerics attack in groups to raze settlements that attempt to resist them.
Worship of Talos is outlawed in many countries. Most Talassan holy sites are secret because of the church's reputation. Public churches often take the form of castles or fortified strongholds that lie on earthquake fault lines or in the path of storms or lava; Talos ensures they remain unscathed. The clergy has no formal hierarchy; obedience is enforced through might.
Clerics of Talos celebrate Talassan festivals with ceremonies that summon lightning and storms. Their most sacred ritual, Calling Down the Thunder, involves the sacrifice of an intelligent being by lightning. The most frequent cleric ritual is the Fury, in which the cleric prays, makes berserk attacks to wreak as much destruction as possible in a small amount of time, then prays again. Clerics of Talos are nicknamed "doom crows" because of their formal dress: they wear black robes and cloaks shot through with teardrops and jagged lines of gold and silver. High clergy wear blue-white ceremonial robes streaked with crimson. All clerics wear an eye patch. Talassan clerics generally multiclass to barbarian, sorcerer, the stormlord prestige class, and wizard.
The existence of orders allied to Talos is shrouded in mystery and rumor.
- Lords of the Tempest
- The Lords of the Tempest are a group of wizards who owe allegiance to Talos and specialize in exotic combinations of elemental magic.
- Some say Talos has sponsored certain necromancers into lichdom.
- Circle of Rust and the Worm
- The Circle of Rust and the Worm is a cabal of crazed sages and mystics of assorted disciplines, both religious and secular, intent on bringing about the end of the world. They have obtained Talos' patronage.
- Boyd, Eric L, and Erik Mona. Faiths and Pantheons (Wizards of the Coast, 2002)
- Ed Greenwood, Jeff Grubb and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set. Wizard of the Coast. ISBN 0-88038-472-7.
- Ed Greenwood, Dragon magazine #54 - "Down-to-earth divinity" (October 1981)
- Grubb, Jeff and Ed Greenwood. Forgotten Realms Adventures (TSR, 1990)
- Ed Greenwood (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. ASIN B000K06S2E.
- Martin, Julia, and Eric L Boyd. Faiths & Avatars (TSR, 1996)
- Terra, John. Warriors and Priests of the Realms (TSR, 1996)
- Greenwood, Ed and Stewart, Doug. Prayers from the Faithful (TSR, 1997)
- Greenwood, Ed. Anauroch (TSR, 1991)
- McComb, Colin. On Hallowed Ground (TSR, 1996)
- Slade and Jim Butler. Netheril: Empire of Magic (TSR, 1996)
- Boyd, Eric L. Demihuman Deities (TSR, 1998)
- Ed Greenwood; et al. (2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. Wizard of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
- Noonan, David. Complete Divine (Wizards of the Coast, 2004).