|Greater Power, "Soul Forger, The All-Father"|
|Pantheon: Dwarvish Pantheon|
|AoC: Creation, smithing|
|Worshippers: Dwarves, smiths|
|AL: LG||WAL: LG, LN, NG|
|Symbol: Hammer and anvil|
|Home p/l/r: Mount Celestia/Solania/Erackinor|
|Allies: Berronar Truesilver, Clangeddin Silverbeard, Dugmaren Brightmantle, Kossuth, Odin|
|Enemies: Diinkarazan, Diirinka, Gruumsh, Laduguer, Maglubiyet|
|Favored Weapon: Warhammer|
|Domains: Artifice, Earth, Good, Law, Protection|
|Subdomains: Archon, Caves, Construct, Defense, Judgment, Metal|
|Known Proxies: Telkandir Strongthew (Px/♂ human/P13/LG)|
The greatest and most prominent power of the Dwarvish pantheon, Moradin Dwarffather holds the respect of entities across the planes for both his great strength and his prodigious output. A creator deity in more than simply historical role, Moradin stands for the act as both physical and artistic, holding firm against those that would rather see life and great works torn to nothing. He leads the pantheon and encourages its members to pursue their passions with true dwarven intensity, to always remember that life should not simply be about living, but about thriving; about making one's mark on the world, and inspiring others through example.
Moradin's own greatest source of pride is, of course, the dwarven people. He watches over his creations protectively, though despite of the common epithet "All-Father", it's less a parental concern and more one of an artist for their work. He will intervene somewhat more regularly than other powers, more eager to send his proxies or most devout to defend against threats. He truly does care for the dwarves, but to him they are a masterpiece, not a legacy. This can perhaps best be seen through the being prosaically known as the dwarf ancestor. Though Moradin is often willing to dispatch the spirits of the dead to respond to prayers for aid from their descendants, rather than simply allow them manifest, he has them embody themselves through the art of later generations venerating those who have come before. As always, expression is as important as action.
See Dwarvish Pantheon.
Moradin's signature artifact, this forge is located deep within Erackinor, and may be used only by Moradin himself or those granted his blessing. The Soul Forge can be used to craft literally anything the creator can imagine, reforging any material into the desired end product. (Moradin reforging an intruder into a dwarf before sending them on their way is a common tale told about those foolish enough to try to sneak into Erackinor undetected.)
When used as a traditional forge, such work can proceed as normal, though the user finds their every action guided by the pure force of creation embodied by the forge. For anything beyond that, the one working the Forge must be cautious, for they must truly understand their creation at every conceivable level to have success. As described, it will craft whatever the creator can imagine, and exactly that. Creation cannot truly exist without the intent of the creator.
Much as the deity himself, the goals of Moradin's priests (known as sonnlinor, or "those who work stone") are twofold: to defend the creation that is life, and to progress the creation that is art. In pursuit of the former, his priests are charged not just with defending dwarven society from external threats, but with maintaining society as well. In this less martial role, they are responsible for consecration of new forges or temples, with advancing dwarven law and ensuring its fair enactment, with contributing to the founding of new kingdoms and leading the coronation of new monarchs as needed, and with aiding priests of Berronar in the performance of marriage ceremonies and the keeping of clan genealogies and dwarven histories. In their martial role, their focus is inwards, the priests devoted to defense rather than striking out. Clangeddin's priests can lead the charge into the armies of dwarven foes, but it's the duty of Moradin's priests to hold onto what is theirs.
Those adventuring sorts tend to focus more on the role of the priesthood in advancing art, though many smiths, sculptors, or other craftsmen at home hold position in the church as well. Making new, beautiful works is considered a holy act amongst Moradin's faithful, as is discovering the works of others and defending them from those that would destroy them. It is this destruction that so often places dwarf against orc or hobgoblin, both peoples having an aesthetic appreciation that at best clashes with dwarven taste — hobgoblin aesthetics running much more towards a simplicity in form, and orcish culture most often seeing all creation as temporary, placing no special interest on preservation of or attachment to the material and granting them a special joy in destroying or desecrating dwarven works purely for the reaction it elicits.
In honoring life and art, sonnlinor present their prayers to Moradin at morning's light, in memory of the dwarves themselves bringing light to the underground. Once a month, offerings are presented to Moradin in the form of craftwork demonstrating the single best work (as judged by the priesthood among those submitted) formed by the community since the previous month. This work is not destroyed, obviously, but instead either placed on prominent display within the community if a work of pure aesthetic value, or offered freely to that member of the community determined best able to make use of it if a more functional device.
Justice Hammer of Moradin
The only major sect of note to Moradin distinct from the traditional priesthood is that of the "Justice Hammer", as usually rendered in Common. These priests (more inquisitors in human terms) serve as wandering judges or counselors, resolving disputes and striking against injustice as they roam from dwarven settlement to dwarven settlement. They are bound to the law of their lands from the moment of their "deputization" into the order, studying for years to become experts on the details and intricacies of the legal systems of all lands they may end up finding themselves in, while never letting their training at the forge slack in the process. While occasionally Justice Hammers of Moradin are drawn from the laity, the majority of them are priests or paladins of Moradin who have found a special dedication to fighting against threats to the stability of their people.
Create. Express. Inspire. Remember.
- Deities & Demigods (3e), pp.83-84
- Dragon #328 - Paragons of the Kindred, pp.28-29
- Faiths & Pantheons, pp.121-122
- Monster Manual 4, pp.52-54
- Monster Mythology, pg.27
- On Hallowed Ground, pp.76-83