|Dungeons & Dragons character|
|First appearance||Deities and Demigods (1980)|
|Created by||James Ward and Robert Kuntz|
|Title||One-Eye, He Who Never Sleeps, the One-Eyed God, He Who Watches|
|Home||Infernal Battlefield of Acheron, Nishrek (Forgotten Realms), Chernoggar, the Iron Fortress (4th edition)|
|Portfolio||Orcs, conquest, strength, survival, territory|
|Domains||Cavern, Chaos, Evil, Hatred, Orc, Strength, War|
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In the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, Gruumsh, also known as Gruumsh One-Eye, is the patron deity of orcs, who regard him as the god of conquest, survival, strength, and territory. He is also considered a member of the default D&D pantheon of deities. His symbol is an unblinking eye, or (in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting) his missing unwinking eye.
In many campaign settings, the orcish pantheon of gods consists of the leader Gruumsh, as well as Bahgtru, Ilneval, Luthic, Shargaas, and Yurtrus.[which?]
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977-1988)
Gruumsh was created by James M. Ward for the Deities and Demigods Cyclopedia (1980).
Gruumsh was further detailed in Unearthed Arcana (1985).
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989-1999)
Gruumsh was detailed in the book Monster Mythology (1992), including details about his priesthood.
His role in the cosmology of the Planescape campaign setting was described in On Hallowed Ground (1996).
Dungeons & Dragons 3.0 edition (2000-2002)
Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition (2003-2007)
Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition (2008-)
Gruumsh appears as one of the deities described in the Dungeon Master's Guide for this edition (2008). His role is expanded on in the Manual of the Planes and The Plane Above: Secrets of the Astral Sea. No stat block is offered for Gruumsh; The Plane Above states that "Gruumsh does not concern himself with puny heroes of the world. He is too busy crushing threats more worthy of his power."
Gruumsh appears as a powerful orc with one eye. A figure of fury and driven cruelty, Gruumsh rules his pantheon with brute power. His favored weapon is the spear.
Gruumsh is the husband of Luthic and father of Bahgtru. Ilneval is his most capable lieutenant.
Gruumsh considers himself supreme, and considers every non-orc his enemy, holding special enmity for some. Gruumsh hates Corellon Larethian with a passion, because he lost his eye to Corellon in battle. He spreads this hatred to all of the Seldarine, especially Sehanine Moonbow, who fooled the orcish god many times to protect Corellon and her other family members. Gruumsh also loathes Moradin and the dwarven pantheon.
In his own pantheon, Gruumsh rules over all the other gods (although Shargaas and Yurtrus bear him little real loyalty beside that made from fear), and has his orders carried out through his lieutenant Ilneval.
The Orc God has no allies amongst the other Gods. Gruumsh particularly hates Corellon Larethian for cutting out his eye in battle eons ago. Gruumsh is rumored to have had an alliance (and possibly more) with Lolth, but if this is true it ended badly for him as he hates Lolth as well.
His greatest rivalry is with Bane. The war between the two has lasted eons; it follows a pattern of victories by Bane driving the Orcs back towards Nishrek, only to suddenly attack with a bizarre ploy that scatters Bane's ranks and pushes them back. A handful of times, Gruumsh has actually laid siege to Bane's fortress in Chernoggar, but has never stood a chance of success. It is said that the war between the two of them will never end due to their natures; Bane will never surrender to Gruumsh, which keeps the God of Destruction more determined that ever to crush him.
Although he is so chaotic that it is hard to know where he stands at any given moment, it is generally believed that in a conflict with the Primordials he would stand with his fellow Gods against them, unlike Lolth or Tharizdun.
Gruumsh's divine realm is the Iron Fortress in Nishrek. In the standard cosmology represented by the Greyhawk and Planescape campaign settings, Nishrek is a part of Acheron, while in the Forgotten Realms cosmology this is a plane of its own. Gruumsh shares his home in the Iron Fortress with his son Bahgtru and his lieutenant Ilneval.
In 4th Edition, Nishrek was once a dimension in the Astral Sea, until Gruumsh used all of his power to throw his entire realm (literally) at Chernoggar in an attempt to defeat Bane and become sole God of War. The two dimensions fused together after the impact, and the two Gods have been in an eternal state of war ever since. Gruumsh lives in Chernoggar now, in a tower of skulls in the middle of what was once Nishrek. It is rumored, but never proven, that other Gods helped Gruumsh when he threw Nishrek at Chernoggar in an attempt to defeat, or at least distract, Bane to prevent the Black Lord from invading other realms.
As orcs that are not clerics or adepts are forbidden to speak his name, Gruumsh is also known as "One-Eye," "The One-Eyed God," "He-Who-Never-Sleeps," and "He-Who-Watches."
Clergy, temples, and rituals
Gruumsh's priests wear dark red vestments, war helms, and black plate mail. His sacred animal is the giant rat. His holy day is the new moon, and he is worshipped in orcish lairs. A sacrifice of blood is made to him monthly and all acolytes are branded as a mark of faith.
Myths and legends
In a past time, Gruumsh had two eyes but he lost one in a fight with the chief elven god Corellon Larethian. Gruumsh meant to paralyze Corellon with his magical spear; this attack failed and initiated an epic battle. During the course of this battle Gruumsh injured Corellon and, according to legend, from the blood shed the elven people were created. Corellon ended the fight by putting out Gruumsh's left eye, which is how Gruumsh earned his moniker "One-Eye." Some orcish clerics deny this tale, dismissing it as elven propaganda, and claim that Gruumsh always had one eye.
Gruumsh created the orcs in his image to be his servants in the world but was cheated out of a home for his people by the other gods, according to the following excerpt by Roger E. Moore (from Unearthed Arcana):
In the beginning all the gods met and drew lots for the parts of the world in which their representative races would dwell. The human gods drew the lot that allowed humans to dwell where they pleased, in any environment. The elven gods drew the green forests, the dwarven deities drew the high mountains, the gnomish gods the rocky, sunlit hills, and the halfling gods picked the lot that gave them the fields and meadows. Then the assembled gods turned to the orcish gods and laughed loud and long. "All the lots are taken!" they said tauntingly. "Where will your people dwell, One-Eye? There is no place left!"
There was silence upon the world then, as Gruumsh One-Eye lifted his great iron spear and stretched it over the world. The shaft blotted the sun over a great part of the lands as he spoke: "No! You Lie! You have rigged the drawing of the lots, hoping to cheat me and my followers. But One-Eye never sleeps. One-Eye sees all. There is a place for orcs to dwell…here!," he bellowed, and his spear pierced the mountains, opening a mighty rift and chasms. "And here!," and the spearhead split the hills and made them shake and covered them in dust. "And here!," and the black spear gouged the meadows and made them bare.
"There!" roared He-Who-Watches triumphantly, and his voice carried to the ends of the world. "There is where the orcs shall dwell! There they will survive, and multiply, and grow stronger, and a day will come when they cover the world, and they will slay all of your collective peoples! Orcs shall inherit the world you sought to cheat me of!"
Gruumsh once had an alliance with the conniving drow goddess Araushnee, to bring down the gods of the elves once and for all. His plan failed, despite a divine force brought against the elven gods consisting of the Seldarine's enemies in all the goblinoid and elf-hating pantheons, and Araushnee was transformed into Lolth. The two deities have been great foes ever since, though Gruumsh's alliance with another assisting deity, Malar, has not been so badly corrupted.
- Ward, James and Robert Kuntz. Deities and Demigods (TSR, 1980)
- Gygax, Gary. Unearthed Arcana (TSR, 1985)
- Sargent, Carl. Monster Mythology (TSR, 1992)
- McComb, Colin. On Hallowed Ground (TSR, 1996)
- Tweet, Jonathan, Cook, Monte, Williams, Skip. Player's Handbook (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
- Redman, Rich and James Wyatt. Defenders of the Faith (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
- Redman, Rich, Skip Williams, and James Wyatt. Deities and Demigods (Wizards of the Coast, 2002)
- Boyd, Eric L, and Erik Mona. Faiths and Pantheons (Wizards of the Coast, 2002).
- Tweet, Jonathan, Cook, Monte, Williams, Skip. Player's Handbook (Wizards of the Coast, 2003)
- Noonan, David. Complete Divine (Wizards of the Coast, 2004)
- James Wyatt. Dungeon Master's Guide (Wizards of the Coast, 2008).
- Dragon magazine #283 - "Do-It-Yourself Deities"
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