The Dwarven Gods
The size of the dwarven pantheon is near uncountable, and it has been carried forward with them since the most ancient of times. At its head are their two most revered deities: Moradin the Forge-Father, said to be the creator of all dwarfkind and preserver of the dwarves, and Durgeddin Axehame the Questor, protector of the dwarvish people, patron of warriors and the symbol of the dwarvish crusade against their racial enemies, the "War to the Death".
Moradin has a wide-ranging and complex portfolio. He is the patron of judgement and justice, as well as of dwarven traditions and the preservation of history. Craftsdwarfship and pride in a job well done is also part of his dogma, and his servants are tasked with both the protection and expansion of dwarven domains. Although he urges the destruction of the dwarves' hated enemies, this duty lies closer to the heart of Durgeddin. Moradin does, however, demand that his priests seek out and uproot the worship of Gruumsh and Maglubiyet wherever they find it.
Durgeddin Axehame's principal focus is the destruction of the dwarves' hated enemies: goblinoids, ogre-kin and giants. This is his only mandate to his followers: protect the dwarves from the constant assault on all sides by interlopers and foes, but do more than this. Take the battle to the hated foes of dwarvenkind, crush them into the ground and achieve retribution for the ancient wrongs they have still to answer for. More generally, Durgeddin is also the god of battle, grudges, revenge and pride.Beneath this pair is a huge range of gods dedicated to the dwarvish principles of craftsmanship and trade, each god being the patron of a different dwarvish craft. An individual dwarf will honour a handful of gods relevant to their trade, and may offer up a prayer to another when they require something related to their god. Most dwarves also pay a passing service to Garl Glittergold, the gnommish god of wealth, commerce and trade. All of the gods of the dwarvish pantheon, including the Craft-Gods, are Lawful Good.
Most dwarvish priests are "Priests of the Circle", or "Lorkhaz" (singular Lorkhan). They hold no god in particular above the others, but appease all the gods of the dwarvish pantheon, Moradin and Durgeddin principally, and each of the many dwarvish Craft-Gods of trade that the dwarvish people look to for their livelihood. The Priests of the Circle do not have divine power, but a Lorkhan who is particularly devout may eventually dedicate his worship primarily to one of the two gods who sit at the head of the dwarvish pantheon and become a Forge-Priest. There is another type of dwarven cleric, the Runepriest, who is instead dedicated to one of the Craft-Gods in particular - but their order is very different from that of the Forge-Priests.
The dwarves who dedicate themselves to one of these two rather than to serving the pantheon equally are usually those who are not content to offer worship and offerings, but wish to bring good to the world and execute the will of the gods directly. They must spend many years in meditation and preparation, learning secret canticles and rites and dedicating themselves wholly to their god, but if they are devout they can eventually expect to be granted the divine gift of their god, becoming clerics so that they may do the good work of their god in the world. Clerics of Moradin or Durgeddin occupy one of the most respectable positions in dwarvish society.
Priests of Moradin and Durgeddin are permitted to fight with axes, hammers or any form of blunt weapon, and are allowed to fire crossbows.
Priests of Moradin retain the ability to Turn Undead and to Command Dwarven Undead, while priests of Durgeddin gain an additional +2 to-hit and damage against those creatures that dwarves usually get a +1 to bonus to-hit, as they are racial enemies. Priests of either order receive a +2 reaction modifier with all members of a dwarven civilisation that venerates the Forge-Father.
At level 3, priests of Moradin begin to radiate an Aura of Fortitude. Any dwarves fighting alongside them within 90 feet are immune to the effects of fear and can fight to -10 hit points before they are defeated (or their normal negative hitpoint maximum if it is higher). If a dwarf who is on negative hit points strays 90 feet from the priest or if the battle ends, they immediately feel the effects of their wounds. Priests of Durgeddin gain the power to detect their hated enemies (goblinoids, ogres and giant-kin). Unless they are masked from divination, they can tell when they are within 1 mile of any of these races. They can infer in general terms how many there are (i.e. "one", "a few", "an army"). Furthermore, they receive a free saving throw vs. spell to detect if one of these races are invisible or otherwise hidden within 90 feet of them.
At level 5, the aura radiated by a priest of Moradin grows stronger. The fearlessness and ability to fight while mortally wounded extends to non-dwarves. Furthermore, anyone within 30 feet of the priest gains a modicum of protection from magic. Non-dwarves temporarily gain dwarven resistances (+1 to save for every 3.5 points of Constitution), while dwarves have their racial bonus replaced with a flat +5 (the equivalent of CON 18). Priests of Durgeddin gain the power to pierce magical protections of all kinds when fighting their racial enemies: this includes resistance to nonmagical weapons and protective spells such as Armor or Stoneskin. It does not apply to illusions such as Blur or Mirror Image, nor does it apply to spells that weaken attackers rather than bolstering defense (such as Fire Shield or Protection from Good).
At level 7, priests of Moradin gain the Wisdom of Moradin. This allows them to draw deeply on the knowledge and collected lore of their civilisation - anything which has been committed to dwarven records may be called upon. This effectively gives them access to the Legend Lore spell at-will, although it should be noted that the spell's casting time still applies (anywhere from 1d4 turns to 2d6 weeks). Whereas a Legend Lore spell only reveals information if the subject matter is legendary or noteworth, this Wisdom of Moradin only requires that the information is known to the dwarves of Morus. Priests of Durgeddin receive magic resistance: this is equivalent to 1% per level under most circumstances, but rises to 5% per level against spells cast by racial enemies (to a maximum of 90% at level 18).
At level 10, priests of both Moradin and Durgeddin gain the power to call upon the dwarven undead once each day to aid them in their tasks. There are two restrictions on this ability: firstly, it can only be used underground. Secondly, the dwarven undead are loath to stir themselves except in the service of dwarvenkind. If the task they are given is inappropriate, they will melt away and the priest will lose a single point of piety. For example, summoning the dwarven dead to protect a gnome village is unlikely to work. If the summoner charges them to protect himself as he fights for the village, on the other hand, he will have little trouble. Generally speaking, between 1 and 8 dwarven undead appear when called forth, and they will remain until the end of the battle they were conjured for. The only exception to this is when charging them to protect a dwarven tomb or holy place; if given this duty, they will remain for up to 1 year (or until they are defeated) before returning to their restful slumber.
At level 15, priests of Moradin gain the ability to plane shift at-will between the Prime Material Plane and the Plane of Elemental Earth. It takes one full turn of uninterrupted concentration to do so, and they may take as passengers up to 8 human-sized creatures and their equipment. When successfuly used, this ability brings them to the Earthen Ways - the network of passages that connect various dwarven kingdoms on Morus via the Elemental Earth. From here, they can easily find their way into the various portals that will bring them back to Morus.
Priests of Durgeddin, upon attaining 15th level, may call upon his power to assume the form of the Great Dwarf: powerful enough to go toe-to-toe with even the dwarf's most dangerous enemies: giants and dragons. When using this ability, the priest grows to a height of about 14 feet (size H, only slightly shorter than a hill giant). Their equipment changes with them, and their Strength and Constitution scores commensurately increase to 19 (they gain bonus hit points as fighters while transformed). Their scores increase to 20 at level 17 and to 21 at level 19. While transformed in this way, they may fling boulders and other large objects as a hill giant does, dealing 2d8 points of damage (no Strength bonus is applied to boulder damage). The transformation lasts for 1 round per level and can only be activated once per week.
The dwarven Craft-Gods are beyond counting, and a dwarven city is usually bristling with temples and places of worship dedicated to the many, many Craft-Gods that the dwarves revere. Non-dwarven scholars find the number of gods worshipped by the dwarves bewildering and confusing, but it has been estimated that at least 100 deities of specific crafts are worshiped in the dwarven pantheon. Below is an incomplete list of the Craft-Gods.
- Urist, God of Masonry
- Findol, God of Engravings
- Durzan, God of Blades
- Meshule, Goddess of Spears
- Likot, Goddess of Shields
- Thistil, God of Jewels
- Bauglir, God of Rings
- Lin, Goddess of Chains
- Orvest, God of Mechanisms
- Olin, God of Bows
- Thurs, God of Tools
- Likesh, Goddess of Cloth
Those who dedicate themselves entirely to the mysteries of one craft and its associated deity are the Runepriests, and they must be craftsdwarves of great skill before they can even begin their priestly instruction. To become a runepriest of Urist, for example, you must be a truly extraordinary mason. When a craftsdwarf believes that they are ready to learn the mysteries of their order, they enter into the priesthood for a period of 3 years.
During this time, the runepriest-in-training performs many of the mundane duties of a Lorkhan - save that they are dedicated only to one Craft-God, rather than all of them. They will continue to hone their craft even as they learn the rituals and formalities of the priesthood. When the period of their initiation finally draws to a close, they must create an example of their craft - a true masterpiece - and present it at the altar of their god. If their offering is acceptable, it will be consumed in holy flame. If it is not, they must return in shame to their clan to hone their craft for another decade before they may make another attempt.
When their offering is accepted, the craftsdwarf is initiated into the order of their Craft-God. They learn secret techniques and rituals that are forbidden to the secular craftsmen, and their mind is opened to hidden truths of their craft. They learn that, by the power of their god, they can draw divine inspiration to create wondrous and magnificent works - crafts made with such skill that they take on properties that humans would call magical. A runepriest would say that they channel divine magic, but that it is not their god who enchants their works - their god gives them the inspiration to craft the works themselves. This is the most important truth of the runepriests.
As might be imagined, runepriests are different from most clerics. They fight and save as clerics, but they do not heal the sick or call lightning from the skies - although they have the ability to Turn Undead and Command Dwarven Undead. The benevolence of their gods is channeled into their crafts above all else. Besides this, the only real power they have is the direct attention of their deities. As there are so few runepriests and so many Craft-Gods, a runepriest is much more likely to receive divine intervention from their gods in times of need. When spending piety to receive aid, there is a 50% chance that the aid will be received with no loss of piety.
For more information on the kind of works that runepriests can craft, see the enchanting page.