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According to orcish mythology, the universe began as an agreement of division between two forces: Arakan the Forktongue, God of Darkness, and Kuldrok the Remover, God of Light. Arakan brought existence into being and revealed it, shrouded by darkness, while Kuldrok created a land apart of falsehood and deception, blinded by light. Over time, Arakan created the brothers Torglarok and Grymblor, while Kuldrok, foolishly blinded by his own light, created only one being, the dread sun Helmang. Arakan made his children great and all powerful, but withheld secrets that kept them from usurping him even as they surpassed him. Helmang, however, was not granted such restriction and defeated Kuldrok to come to rule the light.
The greatest enemy of the orcs is not the elves, or the humans, or any other of the sentient races. The orcs reserve their worst hatred for the sun. The orcish mythos teaches that the earth and the sun were competing sources of warmth. The earth provided magma, which becomes stone and metal, while the sun provided its light with its heat. Since the orcs have no need for light, they knew to stay away.
Jealous, Helmang, the Dread Sun King, would regularly rush the sun into the earth to sear and destroy the orcs, and would catch anyone floating in the air between the earth and the sun. The god of the earth, Torglarok, and the god of strength, Grymblor, then created two great gifts for orckind. The first gift is gravity. Torglarok embraced existence and pulled the universe to him for protection. The second gift is the sun's gravity. Grymblor pushes the sun away from the earth. The sun still attempts to assault the earth every few hours, but is always deflected, skittering away to the west only to try to sneak up on Torglarok from behind to the east.
The orcs believe that those who die serving the greatness of orcdom descend to Deep Embrace of the afterlife, pulled in by Torglarok's generosity. Those who reject orcish ways are exiled above, pushed to the sun to spend eternity in torment in a place called the Overworld. Where Torglarok's protection ends at the surface of the earth is the Land Above, a world of light and darkness filled with those who worship the earth and those who worship the sun.
Torglarok, the Heart of Fire (The Storm): One of Arakan's twins, Torglarok is the insane provider of unbridled abundance of the orcs. Represented by the volcano, underground chambers of magma, and the solidity of metal and stone, Torglarok surges forth with the gifts of stone, fire, energy, materials, and gravity for all. Known to have a mercurial temper, but always with a sense of generosity, Torglarok is both loved and feared, as his gifts bestow strength but also cause senseless destruction. Early in Torglarok's existence, his heart of fire was stolen by a lesser deity and used to forge weapons for the enemies of the orcs. When Torglarok discovered this his rage was unsurpassed and the offending deity (a now forgotten god) was consumed in Torglarok’s fires and the weapons claimed as spoils. Orcs now see him as the source of everything worthwhile, yet with the potential of abundant, generous destruction. His color is red.
- Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
- Domains: Artifice, Chaos, Fire, Earth, Luck
- Favored Weapon: Earth Breaker
Arakan, the Darktongue (The Stranger): God of darkness, lies, and dangerous powers. The father of darkness, he revealed existence through the darkness, but always keeps some secrets to himself, in the darkness beyond vision. He also is the creator of Torglarok and Grymblor, along with the split runt of Iraznog. Although his exact form is not known, he is symbolized by a number of creatures, including the viper, the termite, and the goat. His words, secrets, and temptations drip poison for his enemies, and honey for his favored children, the orcs. His color is black.
- Alignment: Neutral Evil
- Domains: Darkness, Death, Evil, Rune, Trickery
- Favored Weapon: Heavy Flail
Grymblor, the Underlord (The Destroyer): Ruler of the Orcish pantheon by virtue of his incredible strength and penchant for destruction, Grymblor embodies the orcish ‘virtues’ of might and brutality. While Torglarok creates, Arakan reveals, and Iraznog guides, it is Grymblor who enforces his will upon the world. It was Grymblor who burst first out of his mother's womb (mythology is incredibly silent on who or what this mother might be or have been), and Torglarok to emerge from the chaos and carnage immediately afterward. He is symbolized by a huge, heavily muscled, heavily armored orc, and his armor is covered in spikes, weaponry, and the remains and trophies of his adversaries. Early after the birth of Grymblor, he and Helmang the Dread Sun King engaged in battle, with billions of troops fighting on either side. Despite the regimented discipline of Helmang's armies, they were no match for the sheer ferocity of Grymblor's orcish hordes. Eventually, Helmang was called to the world to battle, and started blinding and burning the orcish marauders. Grymblor, in a complete and utter frenzy, rushed after Helmang, and began a major fight. The one-on-one fight between Helmang and Grymblor lasted years, first with weapons, then in hand-to-hand. The duel eventually degraded to wrestling, and Helmang's stoic discipline was overcome by Grymblor's brutality. Grymblor grabbed Helmang and threw him up, far away, for the sun to stay forever. Grymblor's color is gray.
- Alignment: Chaotic Evil
- Domains: Chaos, Destruction, Evil, Strength, War
- Favored Weapon: Greataxe
Iraznog, the Root (The Wanderer): Part of the way Arakan kept Torglarok and Grymblor from being able to overthrow him completely was by taking a miniscule, unimportant piece of each of them, and using the pieces to create Iraznog. Forever the runt, Iraznog was pushed around and bullied until he was forced into the Overworld. Fearful of the sun, Iraznog sent out as many fingers as possible, desperately clinging to the top of Torglarok so as not to rise into the sky. Iraznog may be weak, but maintains enough orcish strength to stay rooted to the surface of the earth. Arbiter of the Land Above, Iraznog made his fingers into the tangle of roots, which serve to warn the orcs of the blasphemies above, and provide weak, small game for feasting. Followers of Iraznog are considered low but special status; they are weak, but they are the guides to the Overworld. Orcish druidic tradition rises from Iraznog, and many half-orcs revere Iraznog as the God Between. His color is green.
- Alignment: True Neutral
- Domains: Air, Animal, Plant, Travel, Water
- Favored Weapon: Falchion
A note about the final three gods: they are not actively worshiped. They are the enemy forces of the orcish culture, deified and personified. If someone were to follow one of them, that person would, essentially, have to be a member of orcish culture, and then reject that very culture.
Helmang, the Dread Sun King (The Ruler): Helmang is ruler of the Overworld, where the weak are exposed to the torment of the sun forever. He is strong, but a fool, and can only make sense of the world by arranging the souls he has gathered into little lines. Kuldrok created Helmang as a single being instead of Arakan's two (scholars note that Iraznog is never counted) in the hopes that the concentration of power would be greater than the split power that Arakan created. Certainly, Helmang is strong, stronger than Kuldrok, and was unable to understand the depth of possibility that his father held. He ignored his father's lessons, unable to make sense of the complex patterns Kuldrok would create, and overthrew him. He is easily distracted by pretty things, but powerful in his ability to suck the weak into his fold. Although orcs are no close friend of the undead, Helmang fears them even greater as they break the pattern of life and death. Cultists devoted to Helmang comprise individuals who dare claim that through temperance, discipline, and organization, their tribe can be great. Such fellows are exiled to the surface to grow mad and blind. His color is yellow.
- Alignment: Lawful Evil
- Domains: Evil, Glory, Law, Sun, Weather
- Favored Weapon: Greatsword
- Note: Despite being an evil deity, clerics of Helmang channel positive energy.
Skith, the Harlot (The Consort): Goddess of beauty and temptation, she is the ultimate in greed, in craven stealth, who takes much and gives little. Skith was created through one of Helmang's mistakes. Feeling lonely, Helmang discovered a beautiful thing. Although the original texts never say what precisely this thing was, it is generally accepted to be a butterfly. Helmang, wanting this thing, fed it power and pieces of his father. In time, she grew, always being pleasing to Helmang and convincing him to give her more and more power, time and again, until she became so great and beautiful that she hung as the moon in the night sky, and was elevated to the power of a goddess. She never works directly, always from a distance, always to fool others into letting her steal away what they rightfully take by force. She is the mate of Helmang, and the matron of her chosen people, the elves (according to orcs). Also, just like elves (from an orc point of view), she is barren. Cultists of Skith are usually female orcs who reject their station in life, and try to learn the secrets of avarice and stealth over power. Her color is blue.
- Alignment: Chaotic Evil
- Domains: Chaos, Charm, Evil, Magic, Trickery
- Favored Weapon: Longbow
Kuldrok, the Slave (The Councilor): God of the stars, he is a previous ruler of the Overworld. During the time that Kuldrok ruled the overworld, he glowed as a silvery orb (as opposed to Helmang's golden sun of today), glowed more weakly, and ruled a race of giants who traveled into the sky. When word came to him that Arakan was creating the gods of Torglarok and Grymblor, Kuldrok responded by creating the single god, Helmang. Helmang proved to be too powerful for Kuldrok to control, and too foolish to learn his lessons, and thus overthrew him and shattered him into the weak stars that shine at night. His chosen giant people fled into the sky where Kuldrok searches of a way to return them. A petty, scheming sycophant, he dreams of the day he can overthrow his master, yet remains so cowardly that this time never comes, and he ultimately always does his master's bidding. Cultists of Kuldrok include the weakest orcs and slaves exposed to orcish religion for long times. They hide and search for the secret times that would allow the stars to coalesce and strengthen to rival Helmang once again. He is too pathetic to deserve a color, and so his color is the absence thereof: white.
- Alignment: Lawful Neutral
- Domains: Air, Knowledge, Law, Liberation, Trickery
- Favored Weapon: Greatclub