“Snaga mat kordh-ishi” – Slaves die in their beds. (A common “wake up” orc greeting.)
“Seek unceasing war against your enemies, and kill or enslave those who oppose you. Acquire territory and living space. Destroy elves, their homes, and their lands. Crush the dwarves and take their deep caves for your own. Be strong, and be prepared to show your strength at any moment. Showing weakness is the key to an early death. The greatest gift that He Who Watches gave to the orcs was the ability to survive where the weaker races would die. Build your strength in these lands and use them to overrun your enemies. “ – Common orc saying
Deity: Gruumsh Skatoties Karaviru, (Grumsh, the Watching Warrior)
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Home Plane: Nishrek
Domains: Tempest, War
Divine Rank: Greater Deity
Titles: He Who Never Sleeps, He Who Watches, The One-Eyed God
Symbol: Blood Spear on Red Field
Known Aspects/Aliases/Avatars: Gruumsh, Kefel,
Head Priest: None in Kokand
Temple Location: None in Kokand
Followers Size: Most of the orc race
Related Organizations: Order of the Watchful Eye, Spear Brothers,
Enemies: Elves and dwarves
Gruumsh is the Orcish Name taken by the one-eyed Lord of War that many orcs, ogres and even some humans worship. Contrary to popular belief, Gruumsh is very protective of his people and the injusticies done to them.
Gruumsh’s worship is relatively new compared to the other gods. This is probably explained by the fact that orcs themselves are a newer expression of demihuman, and as such haven’t been around as long as the elves, dwarves or even humans.
Gruumsh first appeared outside of Bauska, Latvia in the norther climes. He appeared fully formed in the stories with an already missing eye, although stories have circulated since indicating the loss of that eye to the elven god Corellon. He should not be confused with Odin, a different one-eyed lord further north.
The Orc pantheon is fairly rich in depth and detail, but all the orc gods are newer than Gruumsh and are usually orcs who have ascended into a place beside Gruumsh, taking over various aspects. It should be noted that the Orcish pantheon has a similarity to the Seldarine pantheon in actors. Many say this is Gruumsh’s way of mocking the elves, but others believe this is because Gruumsh was an elven Seldarine at one time.
Quick note from the researchers. We have encountered a few examples that indicate the elven story may have some truth to it. The hatred for the elves seems to come out of nowhere, at the birth of the Orcs with very little apparent cause for it. The dwarves had always been the physical enemy the orcs fought in the north as most elven tribes avoid the cold.
At some point Gruumsh was involved with Araushnee (aka Lolth) in a plot to overthrow Corellon. There is no official Orcish legend giving reason to this. Their connection seems to be out of the blue. The idea was that Lolth was being abused by her husband and she fell in love with another. They were discovered and she called on all her allies to defend her, including Gruumsh.
Researcher Note: Several legends indicate that Gruumsh was the other adulterous party. We have no confirmation after the break up, and some signs indicate we should consider the myth that Gruumsh was at one time an elven lord who was cast out by Corellon (possibly Fenmarel).
Worshipers: Orc war priests wore a patch over one eye to symbolize their worship of the orc deity. They also dressed in dark red vestments, armored with war helms and black plate mail. Gruumsh’s sacred animal is the giant rat, his holy day is the new moon, and he is worshiped in orcish lairs where blood or other tribute was sacrificed to him monthly