|CG, N, CN, CE|
|Chaos, Destruction, Glory, Strength, War|
Gorum is one of Pathfinder deities.
Description[edit | edit source]
Gorum, also known as "Our Lord in Iron", is a god of battle above all other pursuits; it is said that he would rust away into nothingness if there is ever a time with no more conflicts to be fought. His faithful believe he is present in every iron weapon of war that is forged.
Background[edit | edit source]
Said to have been born from the first battles between humans and orcs, Gorum appears as a suit of spiked plate armor with blazing red eyes. Though claimed by half-orcs, humans, and orcs as one of their own, the god cares nothing for these divisions except insofar as they relate to battle and strife. He believes in strength and power, the verdict of the sword, and the music of clashing iron. He does not favor good or evil, and the only right he confers upon mortals is the right to fight for their next breath. As long as people struggle against themselves and each other, Gorum's teachings live on. The greatest moments in a Gorumite's life are those spent locked in close combat, with every moment threatening annihilation — all else is dull and dreary.
When the dwarves drove the orcs upward out of the Darklands and onto the surface world in their legendary Quest for Sky, the savage hordes fought with primitive human tribes that were all that remained of the broken human empires. In an era of conflict and bloodshed, new pains and passions unknown in all the centuries before broke forth in mortal souls and carved themselves in broken flesh. Before this conflict, his name was not known, but as human clashed with orc, Gorum rose into prominence as the divine personification of horrible, exhilarating war. Wherever war has risen throughout the world ever since, Gorum has been there to inspire mortals to greatness on the battlefield. Under his iron gaze, the worthy find glory — and those who fall are forgotten.
Gorum's priests believe that if the world ever became free of war, his spirit would abandon Golarion in disgust, but he would eagerly return should mortals ever take up arms again. Despite advances in magic, technology, and the tools of war, Our Lord in Iron is remarkably constant, for his focus is on battle itself, not the reasons for it or the types of weapons used. Whether a battle is between orcs and humans, goblins and dwarves, or elves and creatures from beyond the stars, Gorum is there to glory in the vital energy of conflict.
Gorum's entire focus is on battle and the crucible of struggle. He understands the need for archery, siege weapons, and stealth, but nothing satisfies him more than face-to-face melee combat in which sweat, blood, and fear fog the air. While Torag represents the tactical side of war, and Sarenrae its necessity as a last resort when evil cannot be stopped in any other way, Gorum is the excitement, battle-lust, and brutality of combat. He is indifferent to whether his followers are knights in plate mail, goblins wielding dogslicers, or children armed with table knives — anyone willing to put up a fight, no matter how pathetic or pointless, is worth swinging at. He does not condone the wild slaughter of innocents and invalids, for such acts are the parlance of murderers and butchers, not of warriors. Likewise, he can be merciful, giving quarter to those who surrender, but he is quick to slay any who pretend to submit in the hope of striking while the superior opponent is unaware, and those who refuse to fight at all are barely worth a scornful beheading.
It is more pleasing to Gorum to see a soldier fight a score of battles in his lifetime than die in the first, and if compromises or truces mean warriors live on to fight again, he supports diplomacy over seeing every soldier fight to a pointless death, but he doesn't care for negotiations and quickly loses interest when tempers cool and blades are sheathed. Battles of words and wits tire him, not because he lacks the intellect for them, but because he finds them as pointless and unsatisfying as crushing ants — true challenges are those where lives are on the line and a moment's hesitation can mean blood and pain. As good and evil have little meaning for him, he may fight demons one day and noble dragons another, just to challenge himself and test his own mettle. Among other deities, Gorum is seen as warrior with few equals, but prone to rage and destruction when he grows bored.
Artistic depictions of Gorum are uncommon, as his followers prefer mighty deeds and boastful words to quieter, more permanent works of art. Of the depictions that are created, however, his image, shape, or shadow is often drawn in blood or hammered together out of scraps of metal. A few temples with forges have molds for casting weapons, and the spillover channels in the molds lead to hand-sized receptacles shaped like spiked, armored men with Gorum's symbol on their chests. These heavy, inadvertently created icons of the faith are used both as holy symbols and for focusing group prayers before battle.
Gorum shows his favor through iron armor or weapons that gleam or leak blood when touched. Certain legendary warriors are known for leaving a trail of blood and gore behind them even when not in battle, and sometimes a favored, lone warrior outnumbered by a superior force manages to survive because his enemies slip on the blood-slick bodies of the dead. Gorum's anger most often manifests in sudden patches of rust that appear to completely ruin a valued weapon or piece of armor, and he has been known to punish a cowardly warrior by causing his armor to fall apart into a pile of rusty scraps just as enemies converge on him. His holy symbol is a mountaintop with an enormous sword jutting from it.