(One-Eye, The Unblinking Eye, He-Who-Never-Sleeps)
Greater Power of Acheron, LE
||The orc race, territorial expansion, conquest, rulership, male fertility
||Bahgtru, Ilneval, Luthic, Shagraas, Yurtrus
||All non-orcish deities, but especially the Seldarine, the Morndinsamman, the goblin pantheon, the hobgoblin pantheon, the Mulhorandi pantheon, Hoar, Meriadar
||A single unwinking eye
||LE, NE, CE
Gruumsh (GRUHMSH) is the undisputed head of the orcish pantheon. He long ago defeated and destroyed any rivals to his position, and now reigns supreme over the remaining orcish gods (although Ilneval plots against his superior, none of his plans have ever came anywhere near fruition). As the supreme power in his pantheon, Gruumsh epitomizes the orcs as a race. He also is the patron of orcish territorial expansion, the taking back the lands which the human and demihuman powers so unfairly (according to his viewpoint) denied his people at the dawn of time. Because of this, Gruumsh relentlessly pushes his people, commanding them to hone their battle skills so that they may slay many human and demihuman enemies and conquer the lands that rightfully are theirs. In this endeavor his is served by his priests and the tribal chieftains, commanding them through signs and omens to unceasingly and unhesitatingly fight their enemies, and thus both making the orcish race stronger and increasing the area under their (and his) rule.
Gruumsh is bluntly a brutal and harsh deity. He demands absolute obedience, and rules both his pantheon and his race with an iron fist. He revels in battle, and therefore it is not surprising to discover that he and his followers have been waging war against the gods of the goblin and hobgoblin pantheon on the Outer Plane of Acheron from time immemorial. But warfare also serves another purpose besides facilitating orcish expansion and the destruction of enemies; it also culls the weak from the gene pool and ensures that the race will continue to get stronger. The weak, unfit, or lazy are an anathema to He-Who-Never-Sleeps, and his followers will have nothing to do with them other than periodically attempting to weed them out through selective euthanasia. This attitude towards the weak also explains the ingrained sexism of the orcs; a common orcish saying can be roughly translated: "If Gruumsh intended women to be the equal of men, he would have given them bigger muscles." (No orc, even the females, ever seems to dare contemplate that females might have become the equals of males had Gruumsh not deliberately stopped any martial development, or that an intelligent female may be ultimately more powerful than a strong male). As a result of Gruumsh's attitude, orcish society is sharply divided by gender; males are the warriors while the main function of the female is to bear and raise the many young.
As stated above, Gruumsh's ascendence over the other powers of the orcish pantheon is unquestioned (except by Ilneval, also as noted above). His consort is Luthic, and their son is Bahgtru. His lieutenants in battle are his son and Ilneval, and these two continually spar in never-ending games of one-upmanship, each attempting to be seen in the best possible light, to the detriment of the other. The crafty Ilneval usually emerges as the victor of these skirmishes, but since Gruumsh does not trust his Clever Arm, and also due to familial relationships (the doting Luthic is continually reminding Gruumsh that Bahgtru is after all his son, despite his faults), Bahgtru usually does not end up with any loss of status (not that he would be clever enough to realize it if did happen). His relationships with Shagraas and Yurtrus are more distant, and though they could hardly be described as cordial, there is little conflict between Gruumsh and these two members of his pantheon. On their side, they are too cowed by the power of Gruumsh and his lieutenant powers to harbor any serious thoughts of rebellion.
Outside the orcish pantheon, Gruumsh is universally hated, and this feeling is reciprocated. The never-ending war with the powers of the goblins and hobgoblins has already been mentioned, but Gruumsh and his pantheon focus their true hatred on the powers of the humans and demihumans. Among these pantheons, the greatest hostility is reserved for that of the elves, and of those in that pantheon, the greatest spite is reserved for Corellon Larethian. For untold millennia, Gruumsh and Corellon battled, with neither gaining the upper hand. Finally, due to the machinations of Araushnee (later Lolth), Gruumsh was able to ambush the Coronal of Arvandor and came close to defeating him. Corellon was able to counter, however, and struck a mighty blow across Gruumsh's face, destroying the orcish god's left eye. Gruumsh's hatred of Corellon not unnaturally increased after this point, and since then there has been no truce between the two pantheons or their respective races. Of course, there is no love lost between Gruumsh and the other human and demihuman pantheons, most notably that of the dwarves. The gods of the duergar, Laduguer and Deep Duerra, are especially singled out for this hatred simply due to proximity; they too make their homes on Acheron, even if these are on a completely different layer than Gruumsh's. Among human deities, the members of the Mulhorandi pantheon, especially Horus-Re, hold the greatest hatred of Gruumsh (and to a much lesser extent the other members of his pantheon), never forgetting that One-Eye defeated and killed Re, the former head of the pantheon, in -1071 DR during the Orcgate Wars. Although the Mulhorandi pantheon later defeated Gruumsh and his armies, they have never forgotten this humiliation. The Untheric pantheon would have held similar views due to the massive losses among their pantheon during the same war, but those few who would care (Enlil, Ishtar, Ramman) are all deceased or have left the Realms. Tiamat is (and Gilgeam was) secretly thankful to the orc pantheon for easing the path to power; only Hoar/Assuran remains to brood over the defeat, but as he a god of poetic justice, perhaps Gruumsh and his pantheon should be a bit more worried about his desire for vengeance than they currently seem to be.
Gruumsh's Avatar (Fighter 37, Cleric 30, Bard 18)
Gruumsh's avatar appears as a huge orc in black full plate. His skin is a sickly gray-black and covered almost completely in battle scars. He possesses only one eye, although its placement varies; either one singular, central eye (like a cyclops), or an eye on the right with an eyepatch over the left socket (in this form, a long, angry red scar can be seen on either side of the eyepatch. Note that Gruumsh NEVER appears in this form if he knows an elf or one of the Seldarine is present as it displays his humiliation at Corellon's sword). Gruumsh can use spells from all spheres and schools, but tends to use the reversed forms of spells if possible. He tends to avoid using spells of the abjuration school as they aren't worthy of a true warrior.
AC -7; MV 12; HP 239; THAC0 -10; # ATT 7/2
Dmg 2d8+18 (spear +4, +12 STR, +2 specialization) or 3d6 (torch)
MR 70%; SZ L (10 feet tall)
STR 24, DEX 22, CON 23, INT 20, WIS 19, CHA 23
Spells P: 12/11/11/10/9/9/8, W: 4/4/4/3/3/2
Saves PPDM: 2, RSW: 5, PP: 4, RW: 4, Sp: 6
Special Att./Def.: In battle, Gruumsh wields his spear, Elfslayer, in his right hand and an ever-burning torch in his left. Elfslayer is a huge spear +4, +6 vs. elves; moreover, any successful blow paralyzes its target for 2d4 turns (save vs. paralysis at -4 to negate). His torch cannot be extinguished and he make one attack with it per round above and beyond his other attacks. If he chooses to forgo this attack, he can use the torch to produce a cloudkill or death fog (each 3 times per day). Gruumsh also possesses a horn of blasting and vial filled with 2d4 applications of dust of sneezing and choking.
Gruumsh's avatar can not be pacified by any means (emotion, suggestion, etc.), and possesses 85% magic resistance against spells cast by elves. Meeting the baleful gaze of Gruumsh's remaining eye is a dangerous prospect; anyone making direct eye contact must save vs. paralyzation at -4 or suffer the equivalent of a fear spell, if the target is an elf, a further saving throw vs. paralyzation must be made or go insane. Gruumsh can only be hit by +3 or better weapons.
Gruumsh very rarely sends his avatar to Toril, usually being too busy directing his war on Acheron to have the time. He more often sends omens to those who call upon him; if the situation is serious, he dispatches an avatar of Bahgtru or Ilneval (which ever one seems most appropriate; almost never both as it would merely be an invitation to a nasty brawl) to deal with the problem. If things have spiraled out of control beyond what his underlings can handle, or in the case of impending massive defeat of orcish forces (especially if by dwarves or elves), or if an avatar of one of the Seldarine manifests to aid an elvish attack, Gruumsh may decide to go himself in avatar form. (He may also manifest if one of the Morndinsamman appears, but this is less certain of arousing the Unblinking Eye's wrath than the appearance of an elvish deity).
As he is reluctant to dispatch an avatar of his own to Toril, Gruumsh usually manifests in various omens and signs. The appearance of a black toxic cloud (treat as a stinking cloud) means he is particularly pleased, as does the sound of a young acolyte's neck vertebra snapping. He also show his pleasure by causing the right eye of a follower to glow red and/or turning the left eye to turn black (the reverse of this is a sign of great displeasure). In rare cases, the glowing right eye functions as the eye of Gruumsh himself, causing fear in all those not making a save vs. paralyzation. Gruumsh also sometimes manifests for those who are in the midst of combat against elves by a temporary increase in levels (usually around three or so) with all the resultant THAC0, saving throw, and hit point benefits - all damage is taken from the extra hit points first.
Gruumsh is served by baatezu, imps, maelephants, rust dragons, rust monsters, and yugoloths. He shows his pleasure by the discovery of eye-sized and shaped bloodstones, carnelians, eye agates, fire opals, garnets, lynx eyes, red tears, and rubies. Sudden blindness in both eyes or a blackened right eye (see above) are signs of his displeasure.
Clergy: Clerics, crusaders, specialty priests, shamans
Clergy's Align.: LE
Turn Undead: Cl.: No, Cru: No, SP: No, Sh.: No
Cmnd Undead: Cl.: Yes, Cru: No, Sp.: Yes, Sh.: No
All crusaders, specialty priests, and shamans of Gruumsh receive religion (orc) as a bonus non-weapon proficiency.
The followers of Gruumsh often hold positions of power in orcish society, and they often stand behind a chieftain as chief advisor, if, indeed, they are not the rulers themselves. From these positions, they command the vast hordelike armies of the orcs and plot the conquest and plundering of nearby lands. They work often work with (read "bully") the clergy of Bahgtru and Ilneval in such military matters. Of course, the clergy of He-Who-Never-Sleeps also make it the job to ensure the followers of both Arms of Gruumsh are continually occupied in internecine squabbles with each other so that neither group can grow as strong as Gruumsh's followers, and so that both groups don't join together to usurp their authority (although the likelihood of this is very slim indeed). The followers of Gruumsh work well with the clergy of Luthic, but maintain cool, distant, and businesslike relationships with those of Shagraas and Yurtrus.
Temples dedicated to Gruumsh are usually ramshackle affairs when compared to the worship halls of the more civilized races, but are much better than the dank and dismal temples of the lesser orc and other humanoid deities (which are usually caves at best). Many are huts of the typical orc pattern, with the only real difference being one of scale. The altar is usually nothing more than a large flat-topped stone, with crudely carved idols depicting Gruumsh (or in some cases just his eye) on either side. Large rust-colored stains tend to cover both altar and idols.
Although there is no standard nomenclature for the clergy, many similar titles tend to be used by local hierarchies. Many novices tend to be called the Eyeless or the Blind. Other titles include the Unblinking Eye and the Unsleeping Eye, although exactly what position in the hierarchy these are varies from location to location. The highest ranking priest in an area is more often than not called the Right Eye of Gruumsh. Calling any of his clergy the Left Eye of Gruumsh is a deadly insult and would most likely result in the speaker being hunted down and horribly killed.
The clergy of Gruumsh is divided into shamans (50%) specialty priests (30%), clerics (10%), and crusaders (10%). Specialty priests of Gruumsh are known as lazguoi, an orcish term meaning "the all-seeing ones" Although most (80%) of the clergy are orcs, there are also half-orcs (15%), and orogs (5%) and, by orcish tradition, all are exclusively male Relations between the various groups are reasonably good, as the shamans and the specialty priests rarely encounter each other (shamans tend to live in smaller villages while the lazguoi sever larger population centers), and because Gruumsh has ingrained in his followers a respect for authority (as long as said authority remains strong enough to be worthy of respect).
Dogma: Orcs are the superior race, and one day all other races shall know this when the orcs conquer all. Expand the lands under Gruumsh's control, as all lands are rightfully the property of the orcs, who were unfairly deprived of them by the cowardly human and demihuman gods at the dawn of time. Destroy all elves and dwarves in repayment for all they have done to Gruumsh and the orc race. The strong must survive and the weak despised if the orc race is to grow strong. Obey the teachings of Gruumsh, and the orcs shall prosper and rule all!
Day-to-Day Activities: As stated above, the followers of Gruumsh are often deeply involved with the day-to-day running of their settlements. If a village isn't directly ruled by the clergy of the Unblinking Eye, in all likelihood one is pulling the strings of a figurehead. They often control every aspect of a village's life, determining which patrols go where, who gets what share of the acquired booty (Gruumsh and his followers always get the largest share of course), and dispensing rough justice by meting out punishment (often execution or mutilation). In times of war (in other words, most of the time), the most powerful followers of Gruumsh choose who will lead the armies (often lower-level worshipers of Gruumsh or followers of Ilneval) if they decide not to lead themselves.
Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: Midwinter night, the longest, darkest night of the year, is the holiest time for the follower of the One Eye. The all-enveloping darkness symbolizes Gruumsh's coming triumph over the accursed light-loving races and their weakling gods. Total eclipses of Selune are also considered sacred to Gruumsh's clergy, as the blood-red color of Toril's satellite during these time resembles a huge red eye in the heavens.
The most important ceremony for the followers of Gruumsh is the Plucking. When an acolyte is accepted into the clergy, he shows his unswerving loyalty to his faith and his god by gouging out his own left eye. If the acolyte does not faint during or after the bloody operation, he is heartily received into the faith. Those unable to stay conscious, while still accepted as a member of Gruumsh's faithful, are looked down upon for their weakness and often tend to be twice as fervent in their subsequent careers to make up for such an embarrassing beginning.
Gruumsh is placated by frequent blood sacrifices. He pleased if the sacrifice is of a sentient being, and looks with great favor upon those who sacrifice elves to him.
Major Centers of Worship: In the middle of Thesk, upon the highest hill for miles around (high for flat Thesk that is; elsewhere it would be hardly considered a hill at all), a group of orcs have built the House of the One Eye, a large temple dedicated to He-Who-Never-Sleeps, in the ruins of a manor house burnt by the Tuigan horde. These orcs were among those sent by Zhentil Keep during King Azoun's crusade against the Tuigan, and they have grown immensely wealthy raiding caravans traveling along the Golden Way. Right Eye of Gruumsh Dohglek leads a large community of fanatic orcs who have gained control of a rather large area of central Thesk, having become all but independent after the fall of Zhentil Keep.
In a long-forgotten valley between Raven's Bluff and Sevenecho lay the holiest site of ancient Vastar. Here the kings of the fallen orcish realm would come to consult with the priests of the One Eye, and on rare and important occasions with the avatar of He-Who-Never-Sleeps himself. Any orc who sleeps among the ruins in this isolated valley will experience vivid dreams sent by Gruumsh himself. Those non-orcs who enter the valley will experience a vague sense of unease, and have blood-curdling nightmares if they attempt to sleep there.
Affiliated Orders: The Tusks of the Unblinking Eye, a group of orc warriors, crusaders, and priests of Gruumsh, have recently become the terrors of the Goblin Marches. This large band has taken to heart the expansionist dogma of the followers of Gruumsh and have come to dominate a number of humanoid villages and towns. Flushed with success, they continue to raid and attack other goblinoid cities, believing that they will soon bring the entire area under their control. They either don't know or ignore the fact that many such bands have followed the same path over the years and each and every case it led to over-extension and ultimate collapse. But for now they are riding high, and wouldn't care even if they do know.
Priestly Vestments: Priests of Gruumsh have little in the way of formal vestments. The few clergy that have contact with civilized races imitate the clothing of their rival faiths, often wearing tabard-like garments decorated with a huge eye motif. Other than these few, priests of Gruumsh wear whatever garments or armor that are at hand during important ceremonies.
Adventuring Garb: Clergy of the One Eye tend to wear the best armor and use the best-crafted weapons they can lay their hands on. Since as they are more often than not the leaders in their settlements and are able to claim the best of any arriving booty, their equipment may of be of surprisingly quite high quality (at least at first).
Specialty Priests (Lazguoi)
||Strength 15, Wisdom 9
||All, combat, divination, healing, law, summoning, travellers, war
||Elemental (earth, fire), guardian, necromantic, protection, wards
||Same as clerics
- Lazguoi must be male orcs, half-orcs, or orogs.
- Lazguoi may not multi-class.
- Lazguoi have a +1 to hit and damage elves.
- Lazguoi gain +2 Charisma bonus towards other orcs, half-orcs, and orogs. There is no bonus towards other races.
- Once per day, lazguoi can cast protection from good.
- At 3rd level, lazguoi can cast aid once per day (caster as target only).
- At 5th level, lazguoi are able to heal themselves for 1d8 hit points once for each human, demihuman, or humanoid slain in the previous 24 hours.
- At 7th level, lazguoi gain the ability to double the damage done by a successful spear attack twice a day. This ability must be declared before the attack roll is made.
- At 7th level, lazguoi gain an extra +1 to hit and damage elves, for a total bonus of +2.
- At 10th level, lazguoi may, once a day, inspire fear (as per the wizard spell).
- At 13th level, lazguoi may cast eyebite, as per the wizard spell, twice per week.