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|War God of the Three|
|Precepts:||Defiance, Strength, and Glory!|
Grak is the God Under the Mountain, the Maw, the Judge, Glory, the Iron Father. Fires and sacrifice are dedicated to his name by the warlike peoples everywhere: Orcs, Kasvaks, Tribesmen, Snow Goblins, and mannish hunters of glory everywhere. Elves are too weak to join his cause, and pointy-eared supplicants to his name are always spies for other powers. These are not killed by axe or spear, but are chained to Grak’s Mountain to die of cold, hunger, or become food for wolves. Earthkin who bring weapons for Grak’s chosen are fed and told the truth of Grak by firelight, but come morning they are dispatched. Fascinated only with the tools of Grak’s work, they have no stomach for the spirit of his message.
Grak demands that his faithful carry only axe, hammer, or spear, for these are tools in addition to being weapons. Thus, a stoneworker or logger or spear-fisher may use his tools and turn them into weapons. No one is ever disarmed. Everyone can fight. Always.
Grak’s depictions are usually of a barbaric mortal, of human, Goblin, Orcish, or Wolvish race, glorious in victory, ringed by black lightning. Such statuaries or graffiti are often splattered with fresh blood, and have trophies of war piled about them. Prayers to Grak are found in the scars of his chosen. Every wound earned and given is a prayer to the Iron Father. A battle cry, or perhaps a command for Grak to ‘Witness!’ is all the Wargod requires. Temples to Grak are carrion-ridden battlefields, blood-muddied gladiator pits, war-paint drawn from the veins of the conquered, or a harness of fetishes and war trophies worn about the shoulders of the chosen. Deep within the Tribelands looms the Mountain of Grak. A black mountain, unadorned by snow, it is said that this is Grak’s hall. That Grak alone has the courage to dwell on the face of Novitas and spits on any mystical divine agreements to the contrary.
The Truth of Grak is more than his enemies may suspect. Rather than being a mindless god of destruction, Grak’s teachings lead his chosen to strength enough to forsake the gods, one and all, and to cut their own wounds into the world. To be strong, to earn respect, is to be free of gods, kings, coins, and slavery. Thus, Grak pushes his worshippers ever forward, to grow stronger, to defeat everything that rises up against them. And once the chosen is killed, if he comes to the God Under the Mountain, he did not learn this lesson and Grak devours his soul whole. Grak is an unlikely god of independence, and a harsh one at that. Those with great strength, and great will, who learn the failings of the gods and deny their slavery, have walked Grak’s Road of Pain, and are only then considered adults to the brooding Wargod. For this reason, Grak claims no dominion and awards his followers nothing. The truly faithful need no such bribes to worship, or chains to obey.
While religious worshippers from every sect understand the nature of divine paradoxes, it is the orphans who point out that Grak worship makes no logical sense. A god who demands that his supplicants obey his wishes that they follow no gods? At this, the secular can only shake their heads and label the entire business of worship as madness.
Grak himself fights for the Three, not out of corrupt malice, but because the odds are against him and that makes the struggle glorious. That he wishes revenge for his imprisonment is also of prime importance to this god. Indeed, Grak is the rebellious ally within the Dark Three. Grak has been known to brew his StormMead and drink wildly with the Soldier before their children meet against each other in battle, for while Grak hates the slavery the Sept confuses for guidance, the Soldier has proven himself to be a wily and worthy adversary, and has earned a grudging respect from Glory. It is sung that despite Nox’s lust for torture, Grak killed the Elemental outright and that this almost brought war between the followers of Nox and the chosen of Grak. Darkness forced Nox to capitulate and kneel, thus making him worthless as a prize in the eyes of Grak; the war was averted. It is sung that when Grak dreams, he dreams of new monsters and horrors from which the chosen may earn glory. When he awakes, he finds that these nightmares have taken form, and harass both Sept faithful villages and Darkness’ enclaves alike – and then he laughs with great mirth. Mortals know this as thunder, but the chosen of Grak know this is a sign that he has dreamed, awoken, and that a new chance for glory is near.
Despite his rebellion, Grak has served his role as War Leader for the Three without second thoughts. It is sung that Grak slew the father of the Sept. It is sung that Grak defeated both the Knight and the Soldier, but spared their lives and thus cursed them with eternal shame. The chosen sing that Grak delivered the stroke that killed Vargainen and sank it beneath the seas. It is sung that he wounded the Great Dragon, and sent it back to its cave in the night sky. It is sung that Grak’s chosen were the berserkers that smashed the gates of Nalbendel, and terrified the defenders into sudden suicide rather than to have their limbs hewn from them and slung as trophies. Lo, this is good.
Grak stands against all the gods, though first he will pick his teeth with the bones of the Sept before turning on Nox and Darkness. To betray Grak is to die of old age, to surrender, live in comfort, or accept slavery over oneself. There is no penance for this betrayal, ever.