“The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood.”
-Otto von Bismarck
The Lord of War and Conflict, Our Lord in Iron, Gorum is the God of Battle. He is a Chaotic god, who delights in conquest and conflict. He draws power in times of war.
While he is concerned with warfare and conquest, he is not a god of slaughter. To bathe in blood is not truly the way of Gorum. Gorum can be honored only through a true contest of arms with combatants meeting each other with steel and iron in their hands.
To slaughter innocents or prisoners is anathema to the God of Battle and will earn his ire as will cheating or using underhanded tactics to win. Combat is prayer to Gorum, and he will brook no sham or mock battles.
Gorum’s Deific Lore
Gorum is a Chaotic Neutral deity residing on the plane of Elysium. He is represented by the symbol of a greatsword driven into the side of a mountain.
The Greatsword is Gorum’s favored weapon. The Rhinoceros is his favored animal, and his favored colors are gray and red.
Gorum’s Personal History
Legend has it that Gorum has always existed in some form or fashion. Since conflict is a part of the multiverse, there has always been a deity of it.
According to Gorum’s priests, the “modern” form of Gorum appeared on a battlefield as the dust of war finally began to settle. He manifested as a suit of iron armor wielding a greatsword.
Gorum came to prominence during one of the myriad conflicts between orcs and humans during a time known as the Age of Darkness.
Ever since then, combatants of multiple wars and conflicts over history have seen Gorum appear on battlefields, leading the charge as the victors strike the killing blow.
Gorum does not favor any side in a war or battle. Instead, he revels in the conflict itself, only caring that blood is shed.
When Gorum does choose to appear to his followers (or his enemies), he manifests as a huge suit of iron plate mail armor. Typically he will appear with his signature weapon: the Greatsword.
His helm conceals his facial features completely except for his glowing crimson eyes.
No matter what type of creature he appears to, Gorum will always be the tallest among those present. Even if the people he is appearing to are giants, Gorum will always be the tallest among them.
Gorum can also send visions of his approval or displeasure to his followers. When he is pleased with his followers, they will find their weapons and armor bleeding to the touch.
When Gorum is displeased with someone, they may find their gear rusting away into nothingness.
Allies and Enemies
For a god of battles, Gorum has little when it comes to true allies. For the most part, he considers diplomacy and talks to be useless. He keeps his own council and sees making friends with other deific entities as frivolous at best.
Gorum is terse and brash. He does not take kindly to anyone challenging his authority and often believes in others only as a tool to victory.
While he has few true allies, Gorum does believe in using subordinates like any good general.
He has a race of divine servitors known as the Zentragt, who manifest as large bear-like creatures with spiked armor. They serve Gorum as both shock troops and vanguards for his armies.
- Bloody Hands is a unique creature that serves as a general for Gorum’s armies. He resembles a Hezrou Demon only with crimson skin.
- First Blade serves as Gorum’s Herald and often manifests as a swarm of discarded armor and shields that form into a tall iron golem.
- Saint Fang is a Dragon that looks somewhat like a Silver Dragon, but their scales have dulled to iron, and their body is covered in spikes.
- Temperbrand is an awakened fire elemental that serves Gorum. It manifests as glowing liquid metal.
Gorum’s faith is almost everywhere in Golarion. He is one of the most widely worshiped deities in the world. Anywhere there is battle, that is where Gorum and his faithful will go.
Services to Gorum often include battle sermons and a large amount of percussion. The sound of metal clanging on metal is sacred to Gorum, so it is included as a major part of every service.
Gorum teaches that strength and physical might surpass all, including intellect or spirituality.
Gorum exists in all battles and cares not who is fighting or where the battle is taking place. He does not pick sides and doesn’t care why the fight is happening. It could be orc raiders storming a castle or a troop of holy knights going on a crusade.
Legend has it that Gorum exists in all metal armor and weapons, and the sound of this metal hammering on another is a sacred sound to all those who follow the god of battle.
Eddicts: “Attain victory in fair combat, push your limits, wear armor in combat.”
Anathema: “Kill prisoners or surrendering foes, prevent conflict through negotiation, win a battle through underhanded tactics or indirect magic.”
Gorum is most commonly worshiped by Mercenaries and Professional Soldiers. Those who make a living in war and conflict often pay homage to Gorum before going off to war.
Often lands that are torn by war on a regular basis will have large amounts of Gorum worshipers present. In fact, it is not uncommon for two armies to march into battle both carrying standards paying homage to the God of Battle.
Gorum is worshiped among mostly Humans and Orcs but rarely other races like the Dwarves. Half-Orcs often flock to Gorum’s banner, and most secretly believe Gorum is Half-Orc himself, or at least, he was one before he arose to divinity.
Gorum is most often worshiped by Fighters and Barbarians, though sometimes you can find Rangers and Druids who worship him as scouts for large armies. Rarely can you find Bards who also follow Gorum’s church.
Knights and Nobles who follow Gorum are typically those who despise the pomp and circumstance of nobility or knighthood. They see war as the only point of being a knight and look down on all those who engage in courtly affairs or mock tournaments.
Gorum’s priesthood is made up almost exclusively of Clerics. The deity is too chaotic for Paladins to swear oaths to him, though some fallen Paladins might come to the priesthood for the Lord of Iron.
Most clerics are mercenaries as well as clergy. They often take after their deity, being brash and headstrong. They are terse and do not have many allies or friends. They can often be ruthless, often eschewing diplomacy and altruism completely.
Temples and Shrines
Temples to Gorum are often fortresses with imposing stonework. They are adorned with spikes and other hostile-looking architecture.
They have high walls and gates that can be locked off in the case of a siege. They are also stocked with vast armories of iron and steel weapons and enough rations for months.
Shrines to Gorum are often haphazardly put together on the sites of famous battles. They consist of piles of rocks and reclaimed armor, typically with a large helmet on the top.
Gorum has no true holy text, but there are some heretical texts that list deeds performed by famous Gorumites in the past.
The church of Gorum has little time for reading when battle is at hand. This can lead to some… interesting stereotypes about the intelligence of some of Gorum’s followers.
Below is a collection of mechanics player characters can use to fully represent their devotion to the God of Battle. These can be used by either player characters or by NPCs to flesh out how they approach their devotions
They are separated into Pathfinder First Edition and Second Edition mechanics for ease of reference.
Pathfinder 1st Edition
These archetypes are most often associated with Gorum and are good guides for building characters:
Feats for characters who worship Gorum:
These magic items are associated with the worship of Gorum:
These creatures can make challenging foes or rare allies:
Cleric Domains for Gorum:
These Spells are also associated with Gorum, though remember he has a disdain for useless magic:
These traits are connected to Gorum worship. For more on Traits and how they work, check out our article here.
Pathfinder 2nd Edition
Below are the benefits of worshiping or following Gorum in Pathfinder 2nd edition. Mostly, this is associated with Clerics.
- Divine Ability: Strength or Constitution
- Divine Font: Harm or heal
- Divine Skill: Athletics
- Favored Weapon: Greatsword
- Domains: Confidence, destruction, might, zeal
- Cleric Spells: 1st: true strike, 2nd: enlarge, 4th: weapon storm
Oftentimes, the Deities in Golarion cannot afford to take a direct hand in the deeds of their followers. Therefore, they might send blessings or boons to those who follow them directly. Then again, those who earn their ire might earn curses.
Below is a record of what Gorum might bless or curse his followers with. Remember, the God of Battles is chaotic and often cares only for the fight and not for who really wins the fight.
“Gorum views things very simply: one either fights and earns his favor, or one is a coward and receives only scorn.
Minor Boon: Gorum grants you a weapon whenever you need one. You can use an Interact action to draw a 0-level nonmagical iron weapon, even if you have no weapons on your person. Such a weapon lasts only as long as you continue using it to attack, and it can’t be sold, given away, melted for scrap iron, or the like.
Major Boon: Gorum feeds you the zeal of his undying warriors, allowing you to draw upon your own life force to fight on and on without falling. Whenever you would be reduced to 0 Hit Points, you are instead healed to half your maximum Hit Points and become doomed 1 (or increase your doomed condition by 1).
Minor Curse: Gorum rewards cowardice with frailty. Any armor you wear and shield you wield reduces its item bonus to AC by 2 (minimum 0) and its Hardness, Hit Points, and Break Threshold by half.
Moderate Curse: You’ve lost the glory of slaying a worthy opponent. All of your weapon and unarmed attacks decrease their damage dice by one step, and all your attacks are nonlethal.
Major Curse: You are unable to keep up with the rigors of combat. The moment a combat breaks out, you become fatigued and slowed 1. At the end of each of your turns, your slowed condition increases by 1. These conditions end only when you are no longer in combat.”
Keep your eyes up, Pathfinder!