Hey Game Fans, we’re taking a look at some world building ideas and concepts for the home setting i run. If you’ve checked out my other world building articles, this is the setting that focuses on Lakeport and the larger world around it. Today i’m going to take a look at one of the more somber gods for the setting, Grath, The Lord of Battle. Before i get started on Grath himself, let me give you a little background for the gods of this world.
Broadly speaking, the gods divide themselves into a variety of groupings and factions, but the grouping i am concerned about today is the old gods and the new gods. The Old gods predate one of the most important conflicts of the setting, the Fey War. These are the gods that originally found this world and shaped it to their designs and interests. They shaped the great forests and mountains, and populated the world with creatures in their own image. The first Gods to walk the world were the gods of Giantkind, the Fey themselves, and the three Elder Wyrms. A few other gods would appear after this first establishment, most notably Ahrimaius, the God of Creation. These are the Gods of antiquity, and they made the world the way it was, for good or for ill.
The Fey War began as internal issue between a small fey enclave and their neighbors. It spiraled out of control to a level of violence and bloodshed that would haunt the old places of the world forever. At the darkest point of the war, when the Me’Ah’Chin hordes looked ready to take the fight to the Gods themselves, the eldest of the Fey Gods, Grandfather Oak, cast the most powerful magic anyone had ever seen. He summoned heroes and champions from across time and space to the Garden where Oak had planted his first seeds. He made them a simple offer. If they would turn back the tide of darkness and save the world, he would bestow upon the seeds of godhood, and make them the new gods of the world.
Heroes to the end, most of these people died during the war to liberate the world. Heroes from thousands of worlds and cultures fought, bled, and died in a distant land to save it from the most terrible monsters they had ever encountered. When the last battle had been fought, and the dead tallied, less than fifty of the thousands of heroes and champions were still standing. A few would succumb to lingering injuries sustained in the war, and their number would be diminished even further by a tragic incident.
The survivors returned to the Garden, and Grandfather Oak kept his word. Each hero or champion became the living embodiment of an idea or a race. One by one, the new Gods and Goddesses organized themselves, and set about the work of trying to heal the lingering damage the war had caused. Some places were never completely healed, and there are distant parts of the world that still think that ancient war rages….but that’s a story for another time.
Grath, The Silverbacked Goliath
Before the War, Grath was a wandering adventurer who spent his time travelling with friends and getting into all sorts of mischief. Spending his time and his coins and ale and women, Grath lived a pleasantly simple life, punctuated by outbursts of extreme violence. A barbarian at heart, Grath spent his adventuring days wandering the world and getting into fights with everything he could come across. When his companions were called by Grandfather Oak, he came, laughing gleefully about more things to get into fights with.
During the War, Grath and his companions were involved in many of the battles that defined the war, but Grath, often thought to be a little simple, noticed that a lack of coordination was hampering the efforts of the assembled heroes. With some easy logic and magical help from his new friends, Grath was able to fix most of these problems and turned the war in favor of the heroes.
After the War, Grath was at a loss. Most of his friends had died during the war, and the last surviving companion he had took the race of gnomes as her dominion. Grath was alone for a while before he made a couple of new friends, namely Face Biter, the God of Orcs, and Hanshu, the God of Goblins. He also earned the lasting respect and friendship of Bannock, and by extension the Slumbering King himself. Before he went to dream the long dream, the Slumbering King smiled and said “If i need a battle fought, you’re my general.” Grath had never been so proud of himself.
Relations with Others
Grath is a still very much the Barbarian he spent his mortal days as. He wanders the world in a cloaked avatar, studying the way of war, and advising warlords, generals, fighters, and brawlers of all stripes. Among the Gods he counts many friends, and few enemies. He and Adelia clash on numerous points because war and battle are inherently destructive to the land. Most of the patron gods (the ones who have a race as their divine domain) consider him a menace because war disrupts the lives of everyone involved. Grath also has a strong dislike for the North Wind (one of the Fey gods) because he considers him a tad full of himself, and someone who needs to be reminded of how ugly war and battle can be.
Relations with Servants
Grath has very few servants, and the few that he does have are mortals who pleased him at one point or another during their lifetimes. Most are more studious than he was and spend their time studying war and collating the secret arts of war that all generals should know. Grath vastly prefers the warriors who have a natural aptitude for combat, and he certainly loves getting into a fight.
Relations with Mortals
Grath’s relationship with mortals is tenuous. Conflict seems to be an essential part of the interactions of sentient creatures, but very few actively look for war. The ones that do seek out war do so for a variety of reasons, but the people who pray to Grath pray for either an endless war, or a swift one. His priests spend their days advising warriors and training new fighters.
“Right...he’s got a plan, punch him in the mouth and see what he does...” Grath delights in the uncertainty of battle, and he encourages his faithful to create chaos as a plan of attack and see what shakes loose.