Titles: Lord in Iron
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Portfolio: Strength, Battle, Weapons
Worshipers: Half-Orcs, Barbarians
Cleric Alignments: CG, CN, CE, N
Domains: Chaos, Destruction, Glory, Strength, War
Favored Weapon: Greatsword
Gorum (pronounced GOR-um) is a god of battle above all other pursuits; it is said that if there is ever a time with no more conflicts to be fought, he would rust away into nothingness. Known as the Lord in Iron, his faithful believe he is present in every iron weapon of war that is forged.
Gorum’s presence was unknown in the earliest days of Golarion. His clergy claim he was formed from battle itself, a suit of iron armor standing alone on the battlefield once the dust had settled; his genesis is generally considered to have resulted from conflicts that erupted between orcs and humans following the former race’s surge to the surface during the Age of Darkness. Gorum is considered the divine embodiment of martial prowess, of glory on the battlefield, and it is believed that should conflicts like those that birthed the deity ever cease, he will perish as a result of their absence.
According to ancient legend, the devil Alichino tasked the legendary hero Strada with the conquest of an invincible city. Strada sought the help of an oracle of Gorum and was given the thousand fangs of the dragon Kathalphas. When Strada sowed the teeth into the ground outside the city as instructed, all the heroes the dragon had devoured sprang up into battle. Having frustrated the devil, Strada ruled the city for 90 years with the skeletal army as guard. Magical spartoi seeds that temporarily summon the skeletal undead warriors known as spartoloi have been created since in memory of this legend.
Gorum concerns himself with few matters outside of battle, and this attitude extends to include his relations with other deities. He sees little value in matters of diplomacy and politics, considering the pursuits of his divine peers as frivolous at best. The Lord in Iron is considered brash and impulsive; he takes what he wants, by force if necessary, and answers any direct opposition to his will with violence.
Appearance and Emissaries
Gorum’s manifestation is that of a gigantic humanoid being in darkened heavy armor. His helmet covers all defining features except for a pair of fiery crimson eyes. No matter to whom he appears, Gorum will always appear to be the tallest creature, even when among giants and other large humanoids.
Most of Gorum’s divine minions wear spiked metal armor. His herald, First Blade, is a horde of animated weapons and shields which swarm together into a humanoid shape approximately the size of an iron golem.
- Blood Hands – This servant is a crimson-skinned creature similar in appearance to a hezrou demon.
- Saint Fang – This minion is similar to a silver dragon with spikes, but with coloring akin to iron.
- Temperbrand – This creature is a fire elemental that has the appearance of superheated liquid metal.
Church of Gorum
The church of Gorum proclaims faith in strength and power, over spirituality or intellect. High priests are great warriors who attain their position through battle. Priests wear heavy spiked armor and forsake non-metallic weapons. The services conducted by the church consist primarily of actual and improvised percussion, to include clanging weapons against shields.
Worshipers and Clergy
The god is worshiped by mercenaries and barbarians all across the world. One of Gorum’s most hardcore sects is the Theocracy of the Fist, which controls a small archipelago of volcanic islands. The Lord in Iron is commonly worshiped by half-orcs, who believe that he is one of them, and that his encasement in iron is the deity’s successful effort to hide his true nature from human worshipers who would be unable to handle his true nature. This belief continues to spread, thanks to the teachings of the orcish warlord-turned-proselytizer named Naellk, who had a vision of himself in an idol of the deity in battle. He is also frequently worshiped by Kellids, who find the orc claims that the Lord in Iron is one of their kind heresy, and wars between the two racial groups have increased since this claim emerged. Most of Gorum’s priests are clerics, although there are some druids. Bards and rangers may perform some service within the church, but are not members of the priesthood.
Temples and Shrines
Gorum’s temples tend to have the appearance of strongholds or citadels. They are walled and gated, and spikes adorn the structure. They are always kept stocked with metal weapons. Shrines to Gorum are typically an organized pile of rocks with a helmet or blade set atop.
Gorum’s church claims no holy text, but it does feature a set of seven holy poems called the Gorumskagat.
(Art by Hugo Solis)