Torm the True, patron of paladins and unswerving enemy of corruption and evil, serves the people of Faerûn by exemplifying the chivalric ideal. An ascended hero who lived his mortal life in service to a just sovereign, Torm eschews the pretense of his fellow deities, instead adopting a humble position that he exists to serve the common good and the rule of law as established by honorable mortal rulers. Though a true deity with awesome power at his disposal, the Loyal Fury is all too familiar with the failings of mortal men.
Prior to the Time of Troubles, Torm was a relatively obscure minor demipower who served Tyr. Torm gained considerable attention and praise during the Godswar when his faithful helped keep one of the missing Tablets of Fate safe, and his own avatar battled and completely destroyed the avatar of Bane outside Tantras, seemingly killing the god who has already been weakened by Mystra and her servant Elminster. Torm died in the conflict too, but because of his loyalty to his portfolio was resurrected by the over-deity Ao at the end of the Time of Troubles, with his power greatly increased. Torm became a symbol of heroism, bravery and self-sacrifice.
Torm's worship greatly increased after his destruction of the god Bane, with the folk of Faerûn immensely grateful to the deity and his clergy. And, with the return of Bane, the people seek Torm's protection and guidance more than ever.
The members of the priesthood are known as Tormtar. Most Tormtar are human males, but both sexes are welcome within the faith—and as the numbers of the elf and dwarf peoples dwindle and they increasingly see the vital need for law and order among human communities to ensure their own survival, people of the Fair Folk and the Stout Folk are embracing the True Faith and the Unbending Way of Torm in ever-greater numbers.
Tormtar provide training for, give sanctuary to, and lend support (moneys, gear, mounts, armor, and weaponry) to guardians, orders of paladins and loyal knights, and loyal courtiers across Faerûn—and send forth agents to ferret out corruption in such groups and in all courts and organizations, particularly those who set themselves up as righteous or having a sort of superiority or moral authority. They also watch for impending trouble (from orc hordes and warlike realms, for instance) and young folk who could be recruited into the service of Torm or into positions as loyal warriors or bodyguards. On rare occasions, they act militarily against forces of evil, disloyal citizens readying coup attempts, and thieving or outlaw organizations.
A few adventuring Tormtar are permitted more leeway in their personal deeds than other clergy of the faith, but in return for this personal discretion as to their activities, they are pledges to tithe heavily (60% or more, plus payment for magical aid) to the church and to observe and report back on all they can of regions, beasts, and concerns their brethren seldom see so that the church of Torm can know Faerûn as well as possible (despite the static demands of guardianship). Torm himself often speaks to his clergy members to provide guidance and to reassure doubtful priests that a fellow Tormtar who is an adventurer is allowed to act thus and so in Torm's full favor (or that Torm is displeased and the following penance should be placed on the individual).
While the gods Helm and Torm may be on good terms, their priesthoods are not. The two faiths have long been engaged in a rivalry, and its friendliness has been waning over the years, particularly since the Time of Troubles. Tormtar now keep a close eye on all faithful of Helm they encounter, anticipating betrayal at any time.
Torm's clerics often multiclass as paladins.
Clerics and paladins of Torm swear themselves to the Penance of Duty, a guide of responsibilities and obligations outlined by the Loyal Fury himself after discovering the rife corruption within the church during the Time of Troubles.
Debt of Persecution: To repay their persecution of other goodly religions, the clergy must aid the establishment of other good faiths.
Debt of Dereliction: Torm's agents must expend every resource possible to eliminate cults of Cyric and Bane, and to work against the insidious Zhentarim.
The Debt of Destruction: The clergy must record the locations of dead and wild magic areas and do what they can to heal these wounds to the Weave.
Additionally, clerics and paladins of Torm stand vigilant against corruption within goodly organizations, knowing that what could infect their stalwart order is doubly likely to writhe into the affairs of less watchful bodies. Many travel the world righting wrongs and spreading the good works of Torm.
VestmentsPriests of Torm wear clean, bright, smooth-polished plate armor (or robes, a breastplate, and bracers), ornate helms, and gauntlets inscribed with the Penance of Duty. The hue of the armor (or robes) denotes the rank of the wearer: Unadorned metal is for the Unproven, dark crimson is for Andurans, rose red is for Faithblades, deep amber is for Wardens, sunrise orange is for Vigilants, harvest yellow is for Watchful Venturers, pale green is for Loyans, dragon green (bottle green) is for Enforcers, sky blue is for Guardians, and dusky purple is for Champions, the most holy priests of the faith, as well as the greatest heroes of Torm.
In potential combat situations, Tormtar always wear their best armor and weaponry. They are expected to keep their armor clean and brightly polished even in the worst conditions, except where such activities would interfere with the execution of their duty.
HierarchyThe top level of the hierarchy in Torm's faith is comprised of the Tormtar, who are arranged in their own strict hierarchy. The hierarchy among Torm's disciples ascends from the Unproven (novices), to the Andurans (confirmed priests of lower rank), Faithblades, Wardens, Vigilants, Watchful Venturers, Loyans, Enforcers, Guardians, Knights, Vanguardiers, and Champions. These ranks are separate from duty-titles such as (in ascending order): Patrol Captain, Revered Messenger, Doorwarden, Seneschal, Templemaster, High Priest, and Priest Inquisitor (the teachers and internal disciplinarians of the faith).
The second level of the hierarchy of the faith is comprised of the knightly orders dedicated to Torm. Members of these groups serve as the adventuring and warrior branches of Torm's clergy and go on many quests in the service of Torm. The members of this tier are known as the Swords of Torm, and most (if not all) of the Swords are crusaders and paladins in various knightly orders, such as the Order of the Golden Lion, that are allied with the clergy members but not under their direct command.
The third tier of the hierarchy of the faith comprises the lay followers of Torm. Torm's faithful include many warriors and government officials, among others. Following the Time of Troubles, many have made pilgrimates from all over the Realms to the Temple of Torm's Coming in northern Tantras. Torm's followers are expected to make yearly tithes to the local temple of Torm as they are able. In addition, they must follow the general religious tenets of Torm as espoused by his clergy.
TemplesTemples of Torm frequently double as citadels. Often constructed high on mountains to offer their residents a clear view of the surrounding area, such structures feature drilling grounds, high towers, austere quarters for resident and visiting knights, and plainly adorned, simple worship halls. White granite walls and statues of lions and armored figures predominate, with badges of knights who fell in duty lining the high-ceilinged hallways.
RitualsThroughout the year, faithful of Torm are expected to pray to the True God at least four times per day: at noon, dusk, midnight, and dawn. Prayers to Torm are uttered in a prescribed litany, which sounds like a rolling chant, and ask for guidance from the Lord of Duty, Loyalty, and Obedience. Since the Time of Troubles, the Penance of Duty has been included as part of the litany. To these rituals and prayers are added special prayers said when a follower of Torm needs extra inner strength to follow orders, to do a necessary but unpleasant task, or to support an ally or friend.
The faithful of Torm need practice only three special rituals: Torm's Table, Investiture, and Holy Vigil.
Torm's Table must be observed at least once every two months. To perform this ritual, a Tormtar purchases or prepares a grand meal and then turns it over to a stranger (usually a beggar or citizen in need) to consume while they fast, waiting on the table. Within three days after the feast is done, the priest must confess any personal sins, failings, or shortcomings to another Tormtar priest and report on his doings to a superior.
Investiture is the solemn ceremony wherein a novice becomes a priest or priestess. It is the duty of every Tormish priest or holy warrior within a day's ride of the announced place of ritual to attend. The supplicant (only one priest is invested at each ceremony) prepares beforehand by rolling in mud or dust and then donning the oldest, filthiest clothes they can find or beg for. Thus attired, she or he fasts for a day and then in the evening (after the gathered priests have feasted) is brought in to the temple and washed clean with water by the visiting Tormtar. The supplicant is formally introduced to the presiding priest and accepted into the service of Torm—provided she or he passes the Holy Vigil. All the clergy then join in a hymn of hope, and withdraw, leaving the supplicant locked in the temple sanctuary alone to complete the Holy Vigil.
The Holy Vigil is repeated every time an individual advances in rank within the priesthood. Before departing, the presiding priest solemnly raises a naked sword from the altar and casts it up into the air. By the grace of Torm (and a secret spell cast beforehand), the blade rises up and moves a hand above the supplicant's head, point downward. The more the supplicant gives in to fear or slumber or dwells on any doubts about his or her faith in Torm, the lower the sword slips. Though such swords move slowly enough that they rarely seriously injure when they touch the priest below them, the magic is broken if the sword draws blood, and the shame of being found with a fallen sword the next morning is extreme. If a Vigil is thus failed, the presiding priest prays to Torm for guidance and follows the True God's dictates: the Vigil may be repeated on the next night, or the failed one may be cast out of the church or charged with a penance or quest.
CeremoniesThe Divine Death: A solemn ceremony of remembrance for all the fallen who died for just causes, while guarding others, or in the holy service of Torm. After prayers and a huge feast, Tormtar go at dusk to the graves or battle sites where departed ones fell or now lie, light special candles, and pray through the night, recounting the deeds of the fallen to Torm so that none who fell may truly be forgotten. Torm often sends comforting dream visions to Tormtar on this night-but it is said among the faithful that if one sees Torm's death in a vision, it means that person's death in his service in the coming year.
The True Resurrection celebrates Torm's rise anew to power and is a joyous feast and revel where laws are set aside just for this one day and night so that Tormtar can stray from their principles of law and order once a year. Most use this opportunity merely to shock others by speaking freely or by enjoying sensual pleasures with their fellow Tormtar—but a few every year employ it to bring vengeance down on someone (for example, a noble protected against all physical punishment by the laws of a realm but who ordered others mutilated might himself be mutilated on the night of the Resurrection). Torm traditionally sends inspiring visions into the dreams of all his faithful in the sleep that follows this festival-and grants the Loyal Boon to a few, as a mark of his appreciation for their outstanding service: A new prayer is placed in their minds, granting them once chance to cast a new spell they would otherwise not be able to cast until they rose in experience by another level.
Shieldmeet, traditionally a time when Faerûnians enter new agreements and compacts, is a time of great religious significance to followers of the deity of duty who take their oaths very, very seriously. In addition to the daily morning prayer, clerics are expected to give thanks and honor to Torm through quiet prayers at noon, dusk, and midnight.
OrdersThe Order of the Golden Lion: Members of the clergy guard temples and wander Faerûn in service to the Penance of Duty. The order is currently led by the affable Tantran paladin lord Garethian the Infallible (a humble man whose title is more an exercise in ironic self-deprecation than braggadocio). Since Bane's return, many important leaders and field agents of the church have been assassinated, and many of Torm's knights urge more decisive action against the Black Hand's honor-less followers.
The Martyris Progeny is less an order, but more a group of Torm's favored. In short, they are individuals whose parents sacrificed themselves for Torm's cause. Their history is as follows: In order to gain the power necessary to destroy Bane's avatar during the Time of Troubles, Torm absorbed the souls of all his worshipers in Tantras. The voluntary soul-transference killed the mortals, ending thousands of lives in a matter of moments. Even though Torm required every one of devotional power to destroy his enemy, he could not bring himself to ask children to sacrifice themselves, especially as he knew many of them couldn't understand the importance of what was happening. He assured their faithful parents that the children would be cared for, and to this day those children, ranging in age from 14 to 28, are known as the Martyris Progeny. Many have gone on to enter Torm's clergy and some have even exhibited strange powers related to bravery and strength in the years since their parents heeded Torm's desperate call.
Salvation may be found through service. Every failure of duty diminishes Torm and every success adds to his luster. Strive to maintain law and order. Obey your masters with alert judgement and anticipation. Stand ever alert against corruption. Strike quickly and forcefully against rot in hearts of mortals. Bring painful, quick death to traitors. Question unjust laws by suggesting improvement or alternatives, not additional laws. Your fourfold duties are to faith, family, masters, and all good beings of Faerûn.
He is usually depicted as a knight riding a great golden wyrm.
Torm is one of the three deities of similar interests known as the Triad, along with the more powerful Ilmater and Tyr, whom he serves. Torm has a friendship with Helm too, though the two deities' priesthoods are cold to one another. Torm has many enemies amongst the foul deities, but the return of his arch nemesis Bane has forced Torm to concentrate his efforts again.
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