Marthammor Duin

In D&D, Roleplay by Paul0 Comments

(This article assumes that the alternate Forgotten Realms history discussed here is in place. If not, then feel free to ignore references to the ‘Radiance Wars’)

Marthammor is a full member of the Morndinsamman (as the Faerunian Dwarven pantheon is known).

He follows policies of:

  • Helping fellow wanderers and sojourners in the world, no matter their race
  • Guide those that are lost and guard those that are defenceless
  • Seek out new paths and discover the wide world in your wanderings
  • Seek to dwell in harmony with other good races, particularly humans; the future of the Stout folk depends upon these relationships

Until the aftermath of the Radiance Wars, his faith was only known to the Shield Dwarves of the North; other races of Dwarves and those elsewhere within Faerun had little knowledge of this religion. Since then they remain suspicious of the “newcomer”, considering it “convenient” that the god arose at this time.

Marthammor is worshipped on the bare heights of stony tors on moonless nights, or on holy days and for important rituals, in underground natural caverns. His altars are always a simple stone cairn or wooden tripod supporting a stone hammer, head uppermost. All priests of Marthammor can undertake the simple ritual for the stone hammer and it is a sign of the God’s pleasure or displeasure whether the natural materials to create the cairn or tripod are to be found.

Temples of Marthammor are found scattered throughout the North, typically on the foothills midway between the mountain fasts of the Dwarves and the hills and plains of the other races. They are not usually manned, except by aged Priests too old to explore and adventure on their own. It is not unusual for them to be trading places: goods and ideas exchanged under Marthammor’s approving gaze.

Ranks of the Clergy
Marthammor sends a vision to the individual clergy to indicate how they can advance through rank. By His will, other members of the clergy immediately recognise the rank of other clergy members.

The ranks are (in ascending order of importance):

  • Lost (novices, unable to cast more than cantrips)
  • Watchful Eyes (full priests, i.e. can cast 1st level and upwards spells). All clergy members are collectively known as Watchful Eyes.
  • Sun Seeker
  • Far Wanderer
  • Trail Finder
  • Vigilant Guardian
  • Stalwart Protector
  • Valiant Hammer
  • High Old Ones (who all have unique and individual titles)

Around a fifth of the clergy of the Watcher over Wanderers are females; a remarkably high proportion in comparison to other Dwarven deities.
Day-to-Day Activities
Following the Radiance Wars, the role of Marthammor Duin to the future of the Morndinsamman has grown. In particular, healing the Radiance sickness was not possible to the powers of the Dwarves gods; it was through the work of the Watchful Eyes that this was understood to not be restricted to Dwarves-Kind. The Clergy also brought the particular skills to heal the sickness to Dwarvenkind, spreading it to the most isolated hold-fasts.
This remains a key activity of the clergy: reporting on areas where the Radiance sickness remains, and spreading the word of these areas. In addition, the Watchful Eyes undertake to:

  • Mark trails through the wilderness
  • Establish way-caches of food and supplies (spare boots, clothing, weapons, drinking-water, bandages and splints etc) along these trails
  • Patrol these ways, guiding and healing those they find, providing a warm fire, hot meal and companionship

Holy Days / Important Ceremonies
The following are important days or ceremonies for followers of Marthammor Duin:

  • Each festival day in the Calendar of Harptos and nine days after each festival day
  • Midwinter and the ninth of Alturiak (known to worshippers as “the Rooting” and “the Rebirth respectively). The former represents reforging of ties to the Dwarven homelands and the latter re-emerging from these holds
  • Greengrass and the ninth of Mirtul (“Wind” and “Wayfaring”) celebrate new discoveries and extended sojourns
  • Midsummer and the ninth of Eleasias (“Hammer” and “Anvil”) celebrate dwarven craftsmanship and creativity
  • Highharvestide and the ninth of Leafall (“Thunderbolt” and “Fulmination”) are days when the faithful pray for guidance
  • Feast of the Moon and the ninth of Nightal (“Beacon” and “Runestone”) celebrate the path revealed by Marthammor and the knowledge learned by interacting with other cultures

Major Centres of Worship
The “home temple” of the faithful is the Vault of the Lost Wayfarer, founded in the Year of the Crown (1351DR; about thirty years from the present day). This is located in the heart of Berun’s Hill and had once been the crypt of Maegar, son of Relavir, grandson of Anarok, of the Royal House of the Helm of Gharraghaur.
Berun’s Hill and Twilight Tor – Mrinolor and Anaurdahyn in the tongue of the dwarves – are the southernmost and northernmost tors of the Starmetal Hills near Longsaddle in the North.
The Hospice of Deadsnows is a dual-faith religious stronghold located on the northern slopes of Mount Sabras in the Nether Mountains along the Fork Road, halfway between Sundabar and the Fork. The dual-faiths are Marthammor and Lathander, who’s outlooks complement each other.

The Knights of the North Star, is an adventuring order of Marthammor clergy. It is loosely organised and the focus of the order is on learning of their companions’ cultures, so as to ease the integration of Wanderer dwarves into other societies. At least once per year each knight must deliver an oral or written report to the most convenient Marthammorian enclave.
The Knights are particularly interested in establishing a greater understanding of the recently emerged Dragonborn; they had no records of the existence of this race prior to the Radiance Wars and find their emergence “curious”. However, having had a similar reaction to their faith from other Dwarves, they are reluctant to jump to any conclusions and seek to influence others to that view point.

Priestly Vestments
Whilst out adventuring or on the trails, clergy are encouraged to wear whatever is suitable. For rituals and when not on the road, they wear grey robes and maroon overtunics emblazoned on front and back with a Watchful Eye beneath the symbol of Marthammor. The holy symbol of the faith is a miniature electrum hammer.

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