The Soul Forger, Dwarffather, The All-Father, The Creator
Greater Deity[edit | edit source]
Symbol: Hammer and anvil
Home Plane: Celestia
Portfolio: Dwarves, creation, smithing, engineering, war
Worshipers: Dwarves, metal-workers
Cleric Alignments: LG, LN, NG
Favored Weapon: Warhammer
Domains: Creation , Dwarf, Earth, Good, Law, Protection
The deity of dwarves, Moradin (moar-uh-din), usually appears as a stern-faced male dwarf with a powerful build. His upper body is particularly robust, with a barrel chest, wide shoulders, and arms corded with big muscles. He has flowing black hair and a beard to match, and he always wears full plate armor. He carries a shield and a warhammer. Moradin forged the first dwarves out of metal and gems and breathed life into them.
Avatars[edit | edit source]
When Moradin’s aspect appears, he always appears as a powerfully built dwarven warrior. He wields a two-handed warhammer, Volenfang, in one hand, and a golden shield on the other arm. He wears a suit of mithril chain and plate, with a polished helm of silver resting on his head. He sports a fabulous dwarven beard, usually of black streaked with gray.
Relationships[edit | edit source]
Moradin had a strategic but friendly alliance with Gond, Kossuth, Helm, Torm, Tyr, and the heads of the elven, gnome, and halfling pantheons. He opposed the gods of the goblinoids, orcs, evil giants, and banished dwarves
Dogma[edit | edit source]
Moradin is an adamant defender of the dwarven people he created and of the principles of law and good. He teaches the value of making goods that last, of loyalty to clan, leader, and people, and of meeting adversity with stoicism and tenacity. He tolerates no taint of evil among the dwarves; it was he who drove the derro and duergar out of the dwarven community. It is Moradin’s influence that leads the dwarves toward excellence in craftwork and staunch defense of what is theirs.
Meet adversity with stoicism and tenacity. Struggle is part of living. Death is part of life. All mortal creatures must face adversity and tragedy. What you suffer is not as important as how you deal with adversity. Moradin calls upon his followers to face their fear, fight against their enemies, and never give in to despair. The only way to beat a problem is to beat the problem – sometimes repeatedly. Moradin’s way often boils down to sheer tenacity to overcome a challenge.
Demonstrate loyalty to your family, your clan, your leaders, and your people. Moradin calls upon his worshippers and clerics to worship him first, but he also demands his followers pay heed to their other obligations. Loyalty and duty are crucial elements to success, and one must remain true to one’s family, friends, and allies, even in the face of adversity. Loyalty is something that must be proven more than once, and it must be continually reaffirmed.
Strive to make a mark on the world, a lasting legacy. Mortal creatures are, by definition, mortal. All creatures must die. The only way to overcome this limitation is to create and build a legacy. A legacy can be many things, including children, a cleverly-crafted item, or even an empire. Moradin encourages all his worshippers to craft a legacy for the ages.
Canon[edit | edit source]
The Hammer and Forge. This large and weighty tome is an unusual holy work in that includes not just prayers and liturgy devoted to Moradin, but also many life lessons related to artisanship and craftsmanship. Most Moradin clerics acknowledge the original book was written in ancient dwarvish, but it has existed in a number of languages for many centuries. Although some religions belief in a continually evolving and developing holy book, The Hammer and Forge has not changed substantially in over a thousand years, other than being translated into more modern dialects of the common tongue and other languages.
The so-called “traveling version” of The Hammer and Forge is a heavy book in its own right, smaller and lighter than the full-size version typically found in temples, but nonetheless imposing and bulky. Most Moradin clerics happily declare their god’s book is like carrying a shield. As a result, it is sometimes referred to as “Moradin’s Shield,” especially by Moradin-worshipping battle clerics.
Clergy[edit | edit source]
Clerics of Moradin are charged with maintaining and advancing the dwarven race in all walks of life. They performa wide range of public ceremonies (marriages, blessing new ventures, crowning monarchs, and the like). They also educate the young, arrange communal defenses, and sponsor expeditions to settle new lands. They also keep detailed genealogies and historical archives.
Orders[edit | edit source]
Hammers of Moradin: The Hammers of Moradin were an elite military order dominated by crusaders and fighting clerics with chapters in nearly every dwarven stronghold and members drawn from every dwarven clan. The Hammers served both as commanders of dwarven armies and as an elite strike force skilled in dealing with anything from large groups of orcs to great wyrms to malevolent fiends from the Fiendish Planes. The order was dedicated to the defense of existing dwarven holdings and the carving out of new dwarven territories. Individual chapters had a great deal of local autonomy but, in times of great crisis, a Grand Council assembled to plot strategy and divine Moradin's will
Cleric Training[edit | edit source]
Many of Moradin’s clerics have parents and grandparents who were also clerics of the Soul-Forger, so many clerics train for their calling from childhood with a father or mother as teacher.
Temples[edit | edit source]
Every temple or shrine of Moradin includes an anvil and a forge that the clerics keep perpetually burning. The anvil can be a simple decoration or part of a working smithy, but it often serves as the temple altar.
At the center of every temple to Moradin is a massive forge, where the weapons and armor that defend the dwarven people are made. The best weaponsmiths in the world probably work in Moradin’s temples.
When possible, services dedicated to Moradin take place in a proper temple, preferably one constructed of sturdy stone. Most Moradin temples are large, imposing, and leave viewers with a sense of awe. His temples often feature impressive and elaborate stonework, usually decorated with intricate metalworking and stonecarving.
It is also considered highly appropriate to hold services to Moradin on the field of battle, either before or after the fight. Likewise, a number of blacksmith forges incorporate a shrine dedicated to Moradin, making it a place of both labor and worship – twin concepts that the Soul-Forger truly appreciates.
Signs & Portents[edit | edit source]
Most of Moradin’s omens involve some form of weapon, tool (most often the hammer or the anvil), or fire. When a weapon miraculously survives a blow, or a suit of armor somehow saves its wearers life against a mortal blow, it is viewed as a sign of Moradin’s blessing. When a forge fire glows a certain shade of green, it is said to have attracted Moradin’s attention.
When Moradin reveals his displeasure, it often involves tools, weapons, or objects cracking, breaking, or shattering. A crack over the door to a building that appears suddenly is considered proof of Moradin’s anger. Likewise, if a weapon shatters unexpectedly, then the wielder has somehow dishonored the blade and Moradin is revealing the fact for all to behold.
Duties of the Priesthood[edit | edit source]
There are several different organizations within the Church of Moradin. The three most prominent are the Followers of the Forge, the Knights of the Hammer, and the Guardians of Iron.
The Followers primarily serve in permanent temples. They conduct worship ceremonies, aid their parishioners, and teach acolytes. These clerics rarely travel except under unusual circumstances.
The Knights serve as the church’s militant arm. They often serve with armed forces, although many of this order join with adventuring companies long-term. The Knights conduct missions in the field for their god and the church, often undertaking the hardest and most dangerous assignments. When something threatens a Moradin temple, the priests call upon the Hammers.
Finally, the Guardians serve as guards, protectors, and defenders. They protect temples, clerics, important individuals, and sacred sites. Often, Guardians remain assigned to one locale or one individual. At other times, however, the Guardians must travel to fulfill their duties.
There are numerous legends about a secret fourth group, the Blacksteel Harbingers, responsible for undertaking unusual missions involving magic and the supernatural. These clerics are supposedly tasked with locating evil relics, destroying forbidden knowledge, and eliminating dangerous enemies of the faith. Although many of these clerics are dwarven, a substantial number are drawn from other races, all summoned to serve the Stone-Father.
If the stories are to be believed, the Harbingers are apprenticed at a young age, during which time they are imbued with the spiritual essence of Moradin. Although this ritual makes them extraordinarily resistant to magic and injury, it also distances them from other mortal creatures; for the Harbingers, there will never be the opportunity for a normal life, family, retirement, or personal ambition.
All clerics of Moradin have a high standard to which they must strive. The Church of Moradin is highly respected throughout the civilized lands, and most civilized races view Moradin’s clerics favorably. It is vital for Moradin’s clerics to uphold their god’s standards and never bring shame to the church’s image. Because of the stringent selection process, there have been times where Moradin clerics have fallen into short supply; the church has always refused to alter or weaken its entrance standards, even if it means leaving a temple without a priest. Few other faiths are as demanding in their selection of potential priests.
Limitations & Sacrifices[edit | edit source]
Clerics of Moradin are expected to tithe everything they earn back to the church. Furthermore, his priests are expected to donate whenever possible to charitable groups and functions. Although Moradin’s clerics appreciate material possessions and the value of wealth, they are taught the importance of remaining above such considerations. Gold and gems are things of beauty, and can serve as tools of commerce, but they should never be given too much importance, or allowed to influence a cleric’s good judgment and common sense.
The church of Moradin observes a fairly rigid and strict hierarchy, with one of the more organized and formalized faiths on Stormfell. Individual clerics, especially those of lower rank, are expected to obey the orders of their superiors and, whenever necessary, answer the demands of those superiors.
A cleric of Moradin is prohibited from lying. In the eyes of Moradin, a lie is one of the worst sins. If the truth proves dangerous or harmful, the cleric’s best response is to remain silent or change the subject. A typical response might be “I choose not to answer your question,” which sometimes means the dwarf does not want to lie, but can also reflect his desire not to commit to an answer just yet.
Clerics of Moradin are commanded to oppose evil in all its forms whenever possible. This is a broad command, but it requires the cleric to devote his life and wealth to the cause, regardless of personal desires.
Quests[edit | edit source]
Defense of dwarven civilization—and the traditions that make it strong—is paramount to followers of Moradin. They protect new mines from goblinoid invaders, track down a lost line of dwarven warrior-kings, and journey to the Elemental Plane of Fire to light a forge that tempers a new artifact.
Prayers[edit | edit source]
Moradin’s prayers are replete with references to metals and smithing. One of the most common prayers for intercession begins, “You burn the dross from me, but the iron remains.”
Rites[edit | edit source]
Genealogy and heritage are important aspects of Moradin’s rites. A funeral for a Moradin worshiper is a grand, solemn spectacle, with chants that describe the lineage of the deceased stretching back thousands of years.
Herald and Allies[edit | edit source]
A 20th-level celestial dwarf fighter (or 10th-level fighter/10th-level dwarven defender) is Moradin’s herald. Allies are hound archons, trumpet archons, and planetars.
Role-Playing Hints[edit | edit source]
Role-playing a cleric of Moradin is about as “dwarven” as a cleric can get. Although in Stormfell Moradin is revered by many races, he is especially close to dwarvenkind and viewed as the father of that race. If you want to play a ”dwarf’s dwarf,” it would be difficult to find a more appropriate deity than Moradin.
The Good. Few character classes and races fit together as comfortably as dwarf and cleric, especially when you throw Moradin into the mix. As much of a stereotype as it may be, the image is enduring and endearing, and can be a lot of fun to play. If you want to jump in and be the ultimate dwarf, you have a lot to work with, and it won’t take much for you to get your character concept across. Dwarven clerics (along with fighters) are among the most entertaining classes to play, not to mention the fun for other players of having a dwarven cleric in the party.
The Bad. Dwarves are often among the easiest races in D&D to play. Just think beards, stone, gold, axes, and bad Scottish accents. Unfortunately, it can be rather difficult to break this stereotype, especially as a cleric of Moradin. If you want to play against type, be careful not to make your character outrageous or bizarre just to be different from other dwarves. If your cleric of Moradin is not a dwarf, you will need to carve your own niche without being seen as “dwarf lite.”
Keep in Mind. As background, you can assume your character has in-depth knowledge about some aspect of dwarven craft, such as stonework, metalwork, or the like. In your character’s off hours, he might put these skills to work for profit or merely for his own pleasure.
History[edit | edit source]
Moradin was held in dwarven myths to have been incarnated from rock, stone, and metal, and that his soul an ember of fire. It was said he forged the first dwarves from metals and gems and breathed souls into them when he blew on his creations to cool them. Moradin was responsible for banishing the evil gods of the derro and duergar from the surface.
Moradin's avatar appeared while the Ironstar dwarf clan was fleeing from orcs at the Stone Bridge, after a desperate appeal by Daurvos Frostbeard (which was his final act), and helped them defeat the orcs and gain safe passage to Ironford, thereby forming the Fallen Kingdom.