Rise of the Runelords
The Father of Creation
Torag is an ancient god, and his dwarven followers credit him with the creation of the world, with the appearance of life an afterthought to the genius of his creation. He is a hard and proud patriarch, a distant father who nevertheless loves his children. He is a shrewd planner, a great maker of contingencies and lacunae in his plans, and he holds forethought as one of the principal gifts of life. He is a stout fighter, rarely given to rage, but when his anger awakens, the earth shakes and cities fall. Though he is often thought of as a dwarven god, he continues to gain traction among humans as well, and his human followers now outnumber the dwarven ones. Torag’s alignment is lawful good; his portfolio includes the forge, protection, and strategy; and his domains are Artifice, Earth, Good, Law, and Protection. His favored weapon is the warhammer.
When you adventure in the service of Torag, you do so not because you seek glory or honor, but because you must. Your god is a warrior god as well as a creator, and he respects those who develop strength and power from within. You might be on a quest for your home temple, seeking a rare metal for your forge, or hoping to learn at the feet of a master general, but every journey you undertake is ultimately with the end goal of bettering your community. In many cases, you expect to be the leader of the party. If you are not the leader, then you will make sure the leader takes your advice when you offer it, and if your party leader does not make adequate plans, then you’re there as the backstop with contingencies. Torag would expect nothing less.
Though many simple craftsmen pay homage to the Father of Creation, nearly all of Torag’s adventurous followers are clerics, fighters, or paladins—folks with the mettle to stand up and directly defend their people. Though you may have a use for stealth when attacking enemies of your people, you prefer to do it from a well-laid ambush, not by sneaking up on them. Thus, neither rangers nor rogues tend to follow the Father’s teachings, and you’re just as glad not to have them around. Likewise, you’re not much for the flash and dazzle of wizards and sorcerers—you want to deal with the world as it is, a gift from Torag himself, and you’ll change it with his blessing by using the tools he gave you: your strength and his power. Still, you understand that others approach the world differently than you, and you pragmatically recognize the way of the wizard without yearning for it yourself. If you’re a bard, you’re welcome in the ranks. Warriors need someone to sing of their glories, and your people need you to remember their stories and historical lessons. If you’re a monk, you’re a rare breed: though unarmed monasteries for Torag exist, most dwarves believe that Torag favors the hammer and axe. Your monastery teaches that you are the fire, stone, and metal of creation, and thus your body is the living word of the Father of Creation. You live to fight aberrations, goblinoids, orcs, subterranean horrors, and fiends of all sorts. If you’re a barbarian, you approve of Torag’s black-and white view of the world and understanding of the deep power of emotion that wells within you. You might be trying to tame your rages, or at least channel them, and you want nothing more than the survival of your people. Nevertheless, barbarians have a tough time dealing with the strict hierarchies and precisely executed tactics demanded by Torag.
With every action, you hope to achieve your goals: the safety of your people, the conquering of an enemy, or the crafting of useful and sturdy tools for civilization. You believe in exploration and discovery, and in making your small mark on the world Torag has given you. This doesn’t mean that you are constantly driven and grim, but you believe that life is a precious gift, and every breath you breathe should have purpose to it. Sometimes that purpose is protecting your community, and sometimes it’s simply enjoying the company of your friends with a good ale. Still, you like to keep your hands and mind busy, and even during rest periods, you’ve generally got a small project to work on.
Most dwarves follow Torag, but you can spot one of the devoted by the rings on his fingers, in his beard, on his fingers, or in his ears. You take your achievements seriously, and every ring tells a story. Each of these rings carries the symbol of Torag—an intricate hammer—along with other marks indicating how the bearer earned that ring: service to a friend, fealty to a lord, discovering new veins of metal, and so forth. Torag’s priests wear leather forge aprons and carry functional hammers unless the situation calls for armor and more significant weapons, and they are well aware of the faithful in their vicinity.
Torag is not a god of half measures. Either you worship him or you don’t; either you take his doctrine as it is or you don’t. Yours is not a religion of convenience, and when you are of the faith, you are expected to remain orthodox in all ways. Other Faiths The followers of other faiths are f lighty, frivolous, and waste too much of their time on nonessential works. Of the gods of good, you are most likely to appreciate the attitudes of Erastil’s worshipers, who value community and family, and you salute the discipline of Iomedae’s followers. Oddly, though they are usually too happy-go lucky, you find the faithful of Cayden Cailean relaxing— there’s something about their bonhomie that loosens you up a bit. Of course, they can take it too far, and your affection for them can quickly turn paternalistic and dismissive. You despise the cult of Rovagug and seek to smash it every turn, yet this strangely isn’t enough to make you comfortable around followers of Sarenrae—you appreciate their devotion to the cause, yet you can’t help but see their focus on forgiveness and veneration of the sun as weaknesses.
Torag is by nature a conservative god, and cautions against rash behavior. Making impetuous decisions, flaunting tradition, disregarding proven counsel out of hand, and intentionally crafting items of less than exceptional quality (except under the most dire circumstances) all draw his ire.
Eye of the Father (Torag): You have an innate sense of what is right and wrong in the works you craft, based on your years studying with the church fathers at their forges. You gain +1 trait bonus to a Craft skill of your choice, and Perform is always a class skill for you.
Defensive Strategist (Torag): Your knowledge of dwarven history and religion gives you an excellent mind for defensive strategy and tactics. You are not flat-footed when you are an unaware combatant. This includes a surprise round that you don’t get to act in, and before you get to act at the start of a battle.
Your church is most common wherever dwarves live. Specifically, the church is strongest in the Five Kings Mountains, and you are keenly aware that this is the center of the faith. You find worshipers across the world, even in human territories such as the Lands of the Linnorm Kings, yet the Five Kings Mountains are the center of dwarven tradition in the Inner Sea region. Even the dwarves of Garund recognize them as such. Your church is organized like an army, with clear ranks and deference to superiors. The High Defender is the leader of the overall church, presiding over the faithful from the fortress-temple known as the Forge of Torag in Highhelm. Many places are sacred to you, but the most sacred are those that have fallen into the hands of the orcs and other enemies. You yearn to retake the fallen Sky Citadels, and on occasion war parties led by the faithful venture forth to try to take back these ancient structures, historically with unfortunate results. Torag’s holy book is Hammer and Tongs: The Forging of Metal and Other Good Works. This tome is meant to be read near forges and other places where lesser books might catch fire, and as such the book of Torag is bound in metal and its leather pages are lacquered with a fire resistant formula. It tells of the creation myths of the dwarves and the destinies they have forged, as well as the Quest for Sky and the simple need for community that binds dwarves together.