Bahgtru (pronounced: /ˈbgtrBOG-troo[1]) was the orc god of pure, physical strength and patron of the average orc, a deity as awesomely strong as he was utterly oafish.[1][5][17] He embodied the merciless might with which orcs overwhelmed their enemies, driving each weapon to do as much damage as possible.[18] Son of Gruumsh and the Cave Mother Luthic, the Leg-Breaker was the orc symbol of tribalistic loyalty and unstoppable power,[1] a champion of brutal, senseless violence.[4]

Description[edit | edit source]

Bahgtru appeared as a gigantic, 16 feet (4.9 meters) tall, incredibly muscular orc with dirty tan skin. His eyes were dull green and his tusks, that protruded from both sides of his mouth, glistened white due to his gnawing on bones.[13][17]

Personality[edit | edit source]

Bahgtru was notorious for being staggeringly, legendarily stupid,[1][4] infamously dumber than any god had the right to be.[2] He was an unreasonably destructive deity[4] said to be easily outfoxed by most beings,[2] and had a lack of self-determination to go with his idiocy,[17] not being smart enough to send an avatar without being instructed to.[13]

Despite having a complete lack of wisdom and being as dumb as a rock,[13] the Leg-Breaker could understand the concepts of insults; if he discovered he had been deceived, he would crush the perpetrator into less than a pulp,[2] and was known to "accidentally" injure those he was working with when not given proper respect.[17] Bahgtru cared only for sheer physical might and scorned weakness, opposing acts of deceit and craftiness.[2][1]

Powers[edit | edit source]

Though moronic, Bahgtru was undeniably, incredibly mighty, even by the standards of gods.[12][1][17] His strength always exceeded the expectations of others,[17] and in the throes of combat he was known to suddenly surge with newfound vigor.[4] His skin was so thick that blunt weapons were practically useless against him, merely bouncing off of his tough hide. No effect (such as ray of enfeeblement) could drain his strength, nor could any magic reduce the harm he caused or protect one from his blows (like stoneskin).[17][13]

The massive Bahgtru was known as the "Fist of Gruumsh" for his bare-knuckle fighting style; in battle, he normally ran towards the nearest enemy and bashed them with a hammer fist before bowling the dazed victim into other foes with the back of his hand. He was smart enough to keep as many stunned enemies nearby as possible, particularly ranged attackers, making it difficult for anyone to escape his reach. Afterwards, Bahgtru simply descended into a series of different moves, hurling, slamming, pummeling,[4] and crushing his opponents with his bare hands.[17][4]

Manifestations[edit | edit source]

The Leg-breaker's omens were known to come in the form of a splitting headache referred to as "Bahgtru's pat".[13] He was also known to manifest through the sounds of angry howls and breaking bones.[16]

Possessions[edit | edit source]

Ever since a battle with a legendary beast, Bahgtru had never been known to use any kind of conventional weapons or armor,[17] shunning both them and magic for the most part.[1] At times he was known to wear heavily studded leather,[13] and beat his victims flat with a pair of cesti, or gauntlets, studded with steel rivets.[17]

Activities[edit | edit source]

Left to his own devices, Bahgtru reeked havoc in whatever area he happened to be in, such as the battlefields of the war between orcs and goblins,[4] challenging all manner of archetypal monsters to battle as he tore the land he traveled asunder.[1] He had little in the way of plans, or even goals, although those who would manipulate this behavior did so at their own peril.[4] The Fist of Gruumsh fought at his father's behest, alongside him or otherwise,[10] and often took orders from the One-Eyed God's other servants.[4]

Realm[edit | edit source]

The orc pantheon was known to move between the planes in their war against the goblinoid pantheon. At one point they went from the Nine Hells to Acheron, with Bahgtru inhabiting a smaller block orbiting the cube of Nishrek.[15] Eventually he ruled two clans, each with their own fortress town on one of Nishrek's faces, the clans of the Iron Fist and Broken Skull. His forces were often content to battle against the goblin legions of Clangor.[19][20]

In the World Tree and World Axis cosmologies, where Nishrek was its own realm (a twisted natural landscape marred by carnage and warped to fit orc ideals), Bahgtru dwelt within Gruumsh's Iron Fortress.[7][10]

Relationships[edit | edit source]

The other gods of the orc pantheon feared Bahgtru for his might, but the Leg-Breaker was generally obedient and they called upon him whenever they needed his assistance.[17][1][13] Gruumsh's son was his unfailingly loyal lieutenant,[13] following his father's orders without question even when nonsensical.[4] For example, if Bahgtru stubbed his toe on a large rock, Gruumsh would curse the stone and destroy it with Bahgtru's assistance before declaring a victory over nature, the point of pride being more important than their cut feet or future opponents. Notably Bahgtru was in possession of two eyes,[21] raising questions about the conflicting myths regarding Gruumsh's singular eye (orc legends said he always had one eye while elven myths said that Corellon pierced it).[22]

Gruumsh's other war lieutenant, Ilneval, secretly resented Bahgtru,[1] and at the same time was absolutely frightened of his brutality; the Crafty Warrior avoided him as much as possible[2] and it would require extraordinary circumstances to make him work the Leg-Breaker.[13] More cunning than Bahgtru (although that wasn't saying much) and nearly as strong, Ilneval had destroyed one or two orc demigods in the past and secretly tried to undermine Bahgtru as well.[22][23] Gruumsh, rightly, didn't trust the self-serving, ambitious Ilneval, but the War-Maker would stay loyal enough so long as Bahgtru was by his side, relieving some of his concerns.[1][23][13]

Perhaps the only thing able to cause such a situation was Gruumsh's wife and Bahgtru's mother, Luthic. Luthic was one of the few beings able to bend both Gruumsh's and Bahgtru's ears, with Bahgtru always paying her words heed, and she was cunning enough to manipulate the two of them to often get her way. Gruumsh and Luthic were the only powers Bahgtru trusted, and he did so completely. However, if forced to choose between the commands of his mother or father, Bahgtru would undoubtedly follow his mother's wishes, for he was even closer to her than he was to Gruumsh. The One-Eyed God tolerated this minor rebellion only grudgingly.[17][23][2][24]

Bahgtru was too dim-witted to have complex rivalries with other deities, but he did have his adversaries.[2] Shargaas, the orc god of darkness and stealth, and Yurtrus, orc god of plagues and death, had an unspoken alliance, coldly agreeing to counterbalance the influence of the orcish war gods, which included Bahgtru.[25] Bahgtru opposed the most obvious schemes of deities of deception, such as Baravar Cloakshadow, Cyric, and Mask.[1]

Bahgtru was implacably against the goblinoid pantheon, but only attacked them if given permission by his father;[1] he desired a rematch with "peaceful" Bargrivyek,[2] and had once battled Khurgorbaeyag of the goblins and Hruggek of the bugbears with Ilneval.[26] He also despised the Seldarine and other sylvan deities for their physical weakness. The Leg-Breaker respected the strength of the dwarven gods, but still wished to crush their skulls,[1] and he wanted to pit his might against Magni, a child of Thor.[2]

Others[edit | edit source]

Bahgtru's proxy was an orc called Moragrek, a simple ruler of the Broken Skull clan that knew his command lasted only as long his strength. He did everything he could to keep an iron grip on power and was strong enough to keep hold for a fair amount of time, enjoying the act of ensuring that not many orcs could survive trying to pull their way out of the trenches of his domain.[20][2]

Legend said that Bahgtru needed a mount with ferocity to match his own, and so sought out a mighty aurochs to ride into war. After subjugating it with his bare hands and bringing it to Nishrek, he creatively dubbed the creature Kazaht, meaning "Bull" in orc. On the unsaddled back of his steed, he would ram through the enemy host and leap over its horns to land in the midst of his enemies.[27]

Worshipers[edit | edit source]

Bahgtru was the god of common orc warriors,[17] his followers being the majority of young orcs that explorers would encounter—brash and eager to prove their strength and bravery to their elders.[18][28] His clergy was often composed of the tribe's strongest members,[1] and clerics of the Fist of Gruumsh had to keep themselves strong and physically fit, else lose their abilities. Such orcs would have their spirits crushed by Bahgtru's fists in the afterlife, and stronger clerics had permission to help weaker clerics to the great beyond, usually without the consent of the latter.[17] Even in relatively civilized orc tribes, many Bahgtrun clerics trained as barbarians, with others training as fighters or warriors.[1]

Like scavengers behind a shark, followers collected in Bahgtru's path of destruction seeking to use his destruction to their benefit. Those who acted in the Leg-Breaker's name sought to break through clever trickery and adamant defense through raw power, with ogres and other brutes paying homage to his sheer strength.[4] Tanarukks (orc-demon hybrids) content to use their strength to serve an orc leader (without much thinking) leant towards the worship of Bahgtru, and were the strongest, most aggressive tribe members, rarely donning armor more than any other tanarukks out of the belief it was a weakness.[29]

Dogma[edit | edit source]

The unholy symbol of Bahgtru, a broken thighbone.

The dogma of Bahgtru was that of power and tribe loyalty; the strong were to crush the weak in order to strengthen the tribe.[1] Followers of Bahgtru had to undergo near constant and strenuous physicals training regimens, as well subject young males to similar training, to bolster the overall power of their clan.[1][13] They had to continually try to prove their superior strength and endurance through cruel competitions against tribe members, unprovoked aggression, and battle prowess, to show they were worthy of Gruumsh's gaze.[18] They were also not to be particularly intelligent, with ignorance being an actual requirement,[13] for craftiness undermined the tribe's strength.[1]

All orcs of Bahgtru had to be mentally was loyal to their leaders, the clergy of Bahgtru being reflectively subservient to that of Gruumsh,[1] although they had to try and become dominant over any other priesthood in their clan.[13] Bahgtrun clerics lead the elite males of the tribe that served as the bodyguards of the chief, who they were to stay unwaveringly until they were killed or bested in a physical challenge.[1] The loyalty of Bahgtru's devoted only extended so far as the clan itself, with clan rivalries being encouraged. Just as competition within the tribe strengthened it, so too did interclan competition strengthen the orc race, and the Bahgtrun clergy always tried to convert other clans to Bahgtru's cult.[1][13]

Warriors that revered Bahgtru sometimes kept stables of war bulls and rode atop the large, ox-like aurochs due to legends about Bahgtru riding a great bull into battle. By doing so they honored both him and the creatures, which were trained to be fierce mounts from a young age. To all orcs, aurochs were sacred symbols of their god imbued with his spirit, not to be harmed or eaten and treated as honored warriors upon death.[17][18][30][31][27]

Rituals[edit | edit source]

Clerics and adepts of Bahgtru prayed for their spells at dusk, when the Leg-Breaker "tore the sun from the sky". Every full moon, the Bahgtrun devoted gathered for a Festival of Strength, when many challenges of physical ability were held, some of which were lethal so as for the inevitable winnowing of the weak.[1] Other holy days for the Fist of Gruumsh were before and after battles, where the bones of enemies were sacrificed on the battlefield.[17]

Temples[edit | edit source]

Worshipers of Baghtru had a pile of broken femurs that served as a shrine to Bahgtru in the large, main cavern of an orc tribe. Even if space was available within the stronghold, Bahgtrun worshipers often lived outside the entrance in crude, shoddy fortifications, in order to protect the elders by guarding the most vulnerable parts of the lair.[28]

Clothing[edit | edit source]

Ordinarily, Bahgtrun clerics were to wear nothing but a loincloth.[17] Shields were weak, for only strength was enduring,[1] and armor was not to be worn.[17] At times however, studded leather armor could be worn, and weapons could be used as desired, but studded leather gauntlets were preferred.[17][13]

History[edit | edit source]

Though he was the son of Gruumsh and Luthic,[1] Bahgtru was believed to have not always been a divine being. He was said to have risen to prominence as a mortal orc, having crushed the brains of weaker, smarter rivals beneath his fists with his brute strength. Even the simple orc foresaw his ascendance to the ranks of divinity by Gruumsh's will after he removed the head of his predecessor.[4]

Rumors and Legends[edit | edit source]

Bahgtru was often a character in a legend regarding Garl Glittergold, the gnome deity, and the kobold god Kurtulmak. In the story, Garl had been seemingly bound by Kurtulmak and forced to listen to his repetitive threats before the gnome god told him a ludicrous tale. Other deities were sometimes used in place of Bahgtru, but usually the Fist of Gruumsh was the subject due to Kurtulmak's disagreements with the One-Eyed God's son. After making Kurtulmak laugh through his retelling of Bahgtru's frustrated tantrums after being tricked, Garl revealed he had never been properly bound and managed to bring the whole cave down before quickly plane shifting away.[32]

Leg-Breaker[edit | edit source]

According to legend, Bahgtru received his symbol and title of "Leg-Breaker" when he was ambushed by a tremendous, reptilian monster of otherworldly origins while out on a hunt. In a flash, Bahgtru found himself coiled by the length and constrained by the grip of the first behir, the mightiest of its kind with hundreds of legs. No one had ever escaped the creature's grasp, and so Bahgtru laughed at his luck, for such a beast would be the ultimate test of his strength.[1][17][13][18]

In an epic battle, he broke each of its legs one by one until he was freed from its clutches, its screams supposedly becoming the lightning of storms, slaying the beast with his bare hands. Bahgtru's broken bone symbol was that of the behir's femurs, a reminder to his followers that anything could be broken and bested through superior strength.[1][17][13][18]

Appendix[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 148. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 Colin McComb (1996). On Hallowed Ground. Edited by Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc), p. 133. ISBN 0-7869-0430-5.
  3. Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (Cyclopedia of the Realms). (TSR, Inc), p. 17. ISBN 0-8803-8472-7.
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 Rob Heinsoo, et al. (April 2010). The Plane Above. Edited by Cal Moore, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 152–153. ISBN 978-07869-5392-9.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 24, 118. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  6. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 63. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Edited by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 64, 81. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  8. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 240, 241. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  9. Thomas E. Rinschler (2001-06-06). Deities (PDF). Wizards of the Coast. p. 3. Archived from the original on 2016-11-01. Retrieved on 2017-07-23.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 161–162. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
  11. Hal Maclean (September 2004). “Seven Deadly Domains”. In Matthew Sernett ed. Dragon #323 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 65.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), Running the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 63. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  13. 13.00 13.01 13.02 13.03 13.04 13.05 13.06 13.07 13.08 13.09 13.10 13.11 13.12 13.13 13.14 13.15 13.16 13.17 Carl Sargent (May 1992). Monster Mythology. (TSR, Inc), p. 46. ISBN 1-5607-6362-0.
  14. Gary Gygax (August, 1985). Unearthed Arcana (1st edition). (TSR, Inc.), p. 119. ISBN 0880380845.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Jeff Grubb (July 1987). Manual of the Planes 1st edition. (TSR), p. 114. ISBN 0880383992.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Sean K. Reynolds (2002-05-04). Deity Do's and Don'ts (Zipped PDF). Wizards of the Coast. p. 10. Archived from the original on 2016-11-01. Retrieved on 2018-09-08.
  17. 17.00 17.01 17.02 17.03 17.04 17.05 17.06 17.07 17.08 17.09 17.10 17.11 17.12 17.13 17.14 17.15 17.16 17.17 17.18 17.19 17.20 17.21 Roger E. Moore (June 1982). “The Gods of the Orcs”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #62 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 31–32.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 Mike Mearls, et al. (November 2016). Volo's Guide to Monsters. Edited by Jeremy Crawford, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 83. ISBN 978-0786966011.
  19. Jeff Grubb, Bruce R. Cordell, David Noonan (September 2001). Manual of the Planes 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 124–125. ISBN 0-7869-1850-8.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Wolfgang Baur (February 1995). “Acheron”. In Michele Carter ed. Planes of Law (TSR, Inc), p. 16. ISBN 0786900938.
  21. Roger E. Moore (June 1982). “The Gods of the Orcs”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #62 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 26–27.
  22. 22.0 22.1 Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 149. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 150. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  24. Colin McComb (1996). On Hallowed Ground. Edited by Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc), p. 134. ISBN 0-7869-0430-5.
  25. Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 151. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  26. Carl Sargent (May 1992). Monster Mythology. (TSR, Inc), p. 50. ISBN 1-5607-6362-0.
  27. 27.0 27.1 Mike Mearls, et al. (November 2016). Volo's Guide to Monsters. Edited by Jeremy Crawford, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 207. ISBN 978-0786966011.
  28. 28.0 28.1 Mike Mearls, et al. (November 2016). Volo's Guide to Monsters. Edited by Jeremy Crawford, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 90. ISBN 978-0786966011.
  29. Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 125. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
  30. Mike Mearls, et al. (November 2016). Volo's Guide to Monsters. Edited by Jeremy Crawford, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 84. ISBN 978-0786966011.
  31. Mike Mearls, et al. (November 2016). Volo's Guide to Monsters. Edited by Jeremy Crawford, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 183. ISBN 978-0786966011.
  32. Carl Sargent (May 1992). Monster Mythology. (TSR, Inc), p. 19. ISBN 1-5607-6362-0.
The Tribe of He Who Watches
The Orc Pantheon
Gruumsh
Lesser Deities
BahgtruIlnevalLuthicShargaasYurtrus
Exarchs
Obould

Deities of the Post–Second Sundering Era
Ao the Overgod
Faerûnian Pantheon
Akadi | Amaunator | Asmodeus | Auril | Azuth | Bane | Beshaba | Bhaal | Chauntea | Cyric | Deneir | Eldath | Gond | Grumbar | Gwaeron | Helm | Hoar | Ilmater | Istishia | Jergal | Kelemvor | Kossuth | Lathander | Leira | Lliira | Loviatar | Malar | Mask | Mielikki | Milil | Myrkul | Mystra | Oghma | Red Knight | Savras | Selûne | Shar | Silvanus | Sune | Talona | Talos | Tempus | Torm | Tymora | Tyr | Umberlee | Valkur | Waukeen
The Morndinsamman
Abbathor | Berronar Truesilver | Clangeddin Silverbeard | Deep Duerra | Dugmaren Brightmantle | Dumathoin | Gorm Gulthyn | Haela Brightaxe | Laduguer | Marthammor Duin | Moradin | Sharindlar | Vergadain
The Seldarine
Aerdrie Faenya | Angharradh | Corellon | Deep Sashelas | Erevan | Fenmarel Mestarine | Hanali Celanil | Labelas Enoreth | Rillifane Rallathil | Sehanine Moonbow | Shevarash | Solonor Thelandira
The Dark Seldarine
Eilistraee | Kiaransalee | Lolth | Selvetarm | Vhaeraun
Yondalla's Children
Arvoreen | Brandobaris | Cyrrollalee | Sheela Peryroyl | Urogalan | Yondalla
Lords of the Golden Hills
Baervan Wildwanderer | Baravar Cloakshadow | Callarduran Smoothhands | Flandal Steelskin | Gaerdal Ironhand | Garl Glittergold | Nebelun | Segojan Earthcaller | Urdlen
Orc Pantheon
Bahgtru | Gruumsh | Ilneval | Luthic | Shargaas | Yurtrus
Mulhorandi pantheon
Anhur | Bast | Geb | Hathor | Horus | Isis | Nephthys | Osiris | Re | Sebek | Set | Thoth
Other gods of Faerûn
Bahamut | Enlil | Finder Wyvernspur | Ghaunadaur | Gilgeam | Lurue | Moander | Nobanion | Raven Queen | Tiamat



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