Tales of the Bloodstone Lands
The Soul Forger, Dwarf-father, All-Father, The Creator
Symbol: Hammer and anvil
Home Plane: Dwarfhome
Alignment: Lawful good
Portfolio: Dwarves, creation, smithing, engineering, war, protection, metalcraft, stonework
Worshipers: Dwarves, metal workers, dwarven defenders, engineers, fighters, miners
Cleric Alignments: LG. LN, NG
Favored Weapon: Soulhammer (Warhammer)
ALLIES: Corellon Larethian, Cyrrollalee, Flandal Steelskin, Garl Glittergold, Geb, Gond, Helm, Kossuth, the Morndinsamman (except Abbathor, Deep Duerra, and Laduguer), Torm, Tyr, Yondalla
FOES: Abbathor, Deep Duerra, Laduguer, the goblinkin and evil giant pantheons
Moradin (MOAR-uh-din) is the creator god of the dwarven race and leader of the Morndinsamman. He is said to have created all dwarves, forging them from metals and gems in the fires that lie at the “heart of the world,” and breathing life-the first dwarven souls-into the cooling forms. All dwarves appease Moradin, even if they do not wholeheartedly support him. Lawful good dwarves support and work openly to serve the Soul Forger, even if they also worship another deity. His name is invoked by dwarves involved in smithwork or craftsmanship of any sort, and they give him homage by doing their best work and seeking to emulate his stonework and craftsmanship. Moradin is said to inspire dwarven inventions and seeks constantly to improve the race-increasing dwarven good nature, intelligence, and ability to exist in harmony with other living things. At the same time, he battles the pride and isolationist tendencies that occur naturally in his elite creations.
Moradin is held by many dwarven creation myths to have been incarnated from rock, stone, and metal, with his soul eternally present in the form of fire. That same fire fueled the forge in which Moradin created the Stout Folk and, in some myths, Moradin breathes fire over the first dwarves to bring them to life.
The Soul Forger rules the other dwarven deities sternly, and only his wife, Berronar Truesilver, can regularly bring a smile to his face. In some dwarven realms, the Soul Forger is said to be the father of Dumathoin, Abbathor, Laduguer, Clangeddin, Sharindlar, Diirinka, Fingril, Vergadain, Thard Harr, Gorm Gulthyn, Marthammor Duin, and Dugmaren Brightmantle, but the exact relationships and ordering vary from culture to culture. It is the All-Father who banished Deep Duerra, Laduguer, Diirinka, Diinkarazan, and their followers, smiting them with his hammer and driving them forth. If Abbathor is ever banished, it will be at the Soul Forger’s command. Moradin loathes Gruumsh, Maglubiyet, and the other goblinkin deities (those of the orcs, goblins, hobgoblins, bugbears, kobolds, and urds), and he detests the evil giant deities as well. His gruff and uncompromising nature wins him few friends outside the dwarven pantheon, but he is said to be close with Cyrrollalee, Garl Glittergold, Flandal Steelskin, Gond, Helm, Kossuth, Tyr, and Torm, and enjoys a strategic alliance with Yondalla and Corellon Larethian. Moradin has little patience for the elven powers, but he has worked effectively with them in the past when it was necessary.
Moradin is a stern and uncompromising defender of the dwarven people and of the principles of law and good. Moradin is a harsh but fair judge. He judges dwarves on their achievements and the success of their endeavors, not just on their good hearts. The Soul Forger is strength and force of will embodied; his weapons, armor, and tools are virtual extensions of his own incarnate being. Moradin seldom appears in the Realms, preferring to work through manifestations rather than avatars. His usual reason for intervention in either form is to encourage dwarves to follow the correct path or make the best decision at a critical time. He also intervenes to aid or inspire dwarves who may serve the race in the future, or to aid or encourage nondwarves who aid the dwarves.
Moradin and his mortal servants are very highly regarded in dwarven society, and his priests often serve as leaders in dwarven communities. Dwarven daily life is consumed with mining, smithcraft, engineering, and creative endeavors, and the Soul Forger’s assistance is frequently acknowledged by most dwarven artisans. The only criticism of the Soul Forger’s clergy, as expressed by younger dwarves who prefer the teachings of Dugmaren, Haela, and Marthammor, is that Moradin’s Forgesmiths are too set in their traditional ways and too slow to adapt to the changing world around them. Among the other human and demihuman races, Moradin’s priests are perceived as prototypical dwarves and as the mortal manifestations of their god, and how this is interpreted depends on the viewer’s general perception of and regard for dwarves.
Temples of Moradin are located underground and carved out of solid rock. They are never set in natural caverns. Moradin’s temples usually resemble vast smithies dominated by one or more grand halls of hardworking dwarven craftsmen. Hammers and anvils, the signs of the god, are the dominant decorative themes, as are statues of the All-Father and the other gods of the dwarven pantheon. The center of the Soul Forger’s shrine or temple is a great ever-burning hearth and a forge of the finest equipage. Should the fire be extinguished (something the Soul Forger’s priests will go to any length to prevent), the temple is abandoned or torn down stone by stone. Usually another temple is built on a new site, but occasionally a temple is entirely rebuilt and reconsecrated.
Novices of Moradin are known as the Unworked. Full priests of the Soul Forger are known as Forgesmiths and as the Tempered. In ascending order of rank, the titles used by Moradite priests are Adept of the Anvil, Hammer of War, Artisan of the Forge, Craftsman of Runes, Artificer of Discoveries, and Smith of Souls. High Old Ones have unique individual titles but are collectively known as the High Forgesmiths. Specialty priests are known as sonnlinor, a dwarvish word that can be loosely translated as those who work stone.
The Soul Forger is the father and creator of the dwarven race. By seeking to emulate both his principles and his workmanship in smithcraft, stoneworking, and other tasks, the Children of Moradin honor the All-Father. Wisdom is derived from life tempered with experience. Advance the dwarven race in all areas of life. Innovate with new processes and skills, and test and work them until they are refined and pure. Found new kingdoms and clan lands, defending those that already exist from internal and external threats. Lead the Stout Folk in the traditional ways laid down by the Soul Forger. Honor your clan leaders as you honor Moradin.
Priests of Moradin strive to restore the dwarven races to strong numbers and a position of influence in Faerun, by founding new dwarven kingdoms and increasing the status of dwarves within the wider human-dominated society prevalent in the Realms today. They preside over a wide range of formal ceremonies (consecrations of forges, temples, and other buildings, crowning of monarchs, etc.) and the education of the young, especially in the teaching of history. They maintain genealogies and historical archives, cooperating with Berronar’s priests. Adventuring is encouraged in the priesthood, but only adventuring that directly serves the interests of the dwarven race.
Holy Days/Important Ceremonies
Those who worship the Soul Forger gather monthly around the forge to celebrate the All-Father and to make offerings. In some dwarven cultures, Moradin is worshiped at the time of the full moon, while in others the Soul Forger is venerated beneath the crescent moon. In addition, any High Forgesmith can declare a holy day at any time and often does so as a way of celebrating a local event.
Offerings of common or precious metals-especially those already worked by dwarven hands into items of beauty or practical use, such as tools or ornamented hardware-are made on the monthly holy days. Sacrifices of common or precious metals are melted down at the forge and reformed into shapes usable by the clergy. Rituals are performed while making such offerings, which involve chanting, kneeling, and reaching barehanded into the (lames of the forge (Moradin prevents harm to the truly faithful) to handle red- and white-hot objects directly.
Priests entering a temple of Moradin bow to the forge and surrender any weapons (in times of peace). Priests of Moradin strike the anvil standing by the entry once with their hammers before surrendering them to faithful dwarven warriors. At least seven warriors are usual at any shrine, but four will always be there. Priests of another faith, without permission of a High Old One or the avatar of Moradin, cannot advance beyond the wall of fire, a knee-high, permanent magical effect surrounding the central forge.
Priests of Moradin engage in humble, verbal prayer and in open, earnest discussion of current dwarven problems and issues, more so than any other priesthood. Such discussion is considered to be between equals (even if nondwarves participate), save that the ranking priest of Moradin has the sole authority to open and close discussion on a particular topic.
Worship usually ends with a rising, quickening chant in unison of: “The dwarves shall prevail, the dwarves shall endure, the dwarves shall grow!” This is repeated, ever more loudly, until the plain, massive, battered smith’s hammer on the largest anvil of the forge rises from the anvil of its own volition (moved by the power of the listening god). It may (or may not) move about or glow to denote the god’s will, marked pleasure, or agreement. It descends gently to the anvil, though it comes to rest with a thunderous ring, as if brought down with all the strength of a powerful dwarf.
Major Centers of Worship
Thuulurn, the Foundry of Stout Souls, is a fortified monastic enclave of priests dedicated to Moradin, located in the heart of the Deep Realms, east of the Great Rift. Thuulurn is both a temple and a city, with over 5,600 inhabitants. The temple-city is carved from solid rock. It resembles a large dungeon like Undermountain far more than it does a surface city set in a large cavern. Huge forges burn continuously throughout the enclave, leaving the air heavy with smoke and most chambers stifling hot (at least to surface-dwellers and non-dwarves). Keeping aloof from most other gold dwarves of the Deep Realms, the Forgesmiths of Thuulurn (under the able leadership of Thungalos Truetemper, First Hammer of Moradin) work continuously to influence events in the Deeps and surface lands, to the betterment of all dwarves. They have been known to hire adventurers of other races to carry out their aims. Often, a mission for the dwarves is demanded as a payment for healing badly beaten adventurers or raising one or more slain individuals.
Typical missions include a strike against the duergar, freeing dwarves from drow slavery in the Depths Below, slaying an aboleth at a certain underground lake, finding and slaying the latest cloaker overlord with designs on the Deep Realm, and so on.
The temple-city is self-sufficient. Whatever it lacks is brought in from elsewhere by its priests or worshipers. Dwarven offerings have made Thuulurn very rich, but this wealth is seen only as a means to bringing about the Soul Forger’s ends. Of late, tales have begun to spread that the Forgesmiths of Thuulurn have dispatched a great army of gold dwarves westward through the Underdark. Whether this tale is true or not, and where such an army might be headed, is still unknown.
In the North, the most visible monument to the Soul Forger is the Stone Bridge, a massive stone arch that spans the broadest imaginable spring flood of the River Dessarin. The Stone Bridge, built long ago to link the two halves of the ancient dwarven kingdom of Besilmer, rises in a great arc, without supporting pillars, its span two miles long and 400 feet above the water.
The Bridge is built of weathered granite, six paces broad and so skillfully fitted that it seems of one piece. It has no parapet or railing on either side. Dwarves explain the awesome size and continued survival of the Bridge to the fact that it is also a temple to Moradin. Lawful good dwarves still make pilgrimages to the Bridge, said to be one of the Soul Forger’s favorite spots on Faerun. On at least one occasion, Moradin’s avatar appeared on the Bridge and destroyed a horde of orcs harrying the remaining members of the Ironstar clan as they fled southward to valley of the River Delimbiyr.
The Hammers of Moradin are an elite military order dominated by crusaders and fighter/clerics with chapters in nearly every dwarven stronghold and members drawn from every dwarven clan. The Hammers serve both as commanders of dwarven armies and as an elite strike force skilled in dealing with anything from large groups of ores to great wyrms to malevolent fiends from the Lower Planes. The order is dedicated to the defense of existing dwarven holdings and the carving out of new dwarven territories. Individual chapters have a great deal of local autonomy but, in times of great crisis, a Grand Council (the reigning monarchs and senior Hammers of the affected region) assemble to plot strategy and divine Moradin’s will.
Ceremonial vestments for priests of Moradin include flowing, shining robes of woven wire of electrum treated with blueshine. Other ceremonial garb includes silvered (everbright) helms, silverplated war hammers, and earth-brown leather boots. The holy symbol of the faith is a miniature electrum war hammer, treated with blueshine.
Adventuring Garb: In combat, Moradin’s clergy members favors chain mail or dwarven plate mail, a helm, and a medium or large shield. Priests of the Soul Forger are skilled in the use of the war hammer, but many favor other weapons as well, such as battles axes, broad swords, and hand axes.
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