Flandal Steelskin is a master of mining and one of the finest and strongest smiths in creation. Flandal is physically the strongest of the gnome gods, and his prodigious nose gives him an uncanny ability to sniff out veins of metal that thread the earth.
Flandal is an excellent craftsman with an unerring nose for finding metals in the earth. He is ever-demanding of his own work and strives tirelessly to increase his skills. He is also a patient tutor, and only lazy and indifferent crafters draw his ire. The Master of Metal is often found traveling with one or two of the other gnome deities in search of new ores and veins of metal to use in his forges. When Flandal is not traveling, he can be found in his workshop, planning or making a new magical weapon. He is no stranger to battle, trusting in the products of his forges to see him to victory. Although Rhondang, his magical war hammer, is capable of conversing with all fire-using creatures, its language proficiency in no way means that Flandal is friendly toward those beings — though the deity is prone to talk first before attacking. On rare occasions, Flandal instructs gnomes in some very tricky smithing process or guides them to untapped metal ores. He may also mediate disputes between gnomes and fire-dwelling creatures.
The Forgotten Folk hold that Flandal helped create the craft of metalworking along with several of the dwarven powers. In particular, Flandal devised an alloy first employed by gnomes known as telstang, and he was the first to discover the properties of arandur, a legendary metal once known only to the Forgotten Folk.
The Master of Metal is the patron of gnome miners, artisans, craftsmen, and all smiths (a very respected occupation in the societies of the Forgotten Folk) — and not just blacksmiths, but all other workers of metal. They venerate Flandal in the hope of gaining a fraction of his skill. They are known to share the secrets of their crafts with gnome artisans and craftsfolk without prejudice. A large number of gnome warriors venerate Flandal the Armorer as well, for his skills help ensure their continued survival.
Dwarves also hold the Master of Metal in high regard, and Flandal's followers are considered on the average to be the equal of dwarven smiths, a high compliment from the proud children of Moradin, and the followers of Flandal Steelskin are seen to embody nearly everything dwarves like about the gnome character. Humans, elves, and half-elves respect the workmanship of the Forgotten Folk, but their work lacks the mystique that enfolds dwarven smithcraft, and as a result, Flandal's faith is less widely known than that of Moradin.
Not unlike a guild of artisans, the church of Flandal allows its members a great deal of individual freedom, serving primarily as a forum for improving their skills and exchanging ideas. Members of Flandal's clergy are peerless miners and smiths. They continuously hone their skills in underground environments, seeking an intuitive understanding of their natural environment. Many serve as teachers, instructing other gnomes in the art of detecting likely veins of ore, unsafe environments, and the presence of hostile creatures. Clerics of the Master of Metal oversee the safety of gnome miners and inspect the output of gnome smithies. Nearly all members of the clergy are considered master smiths when working with one or more types of metal, and they produce fantastic weapons and suits of armor. Flandal's clerics are expected to undergo regular strength and stamina training, a practice that keeps them physically fit for mining, smithing, or battle, as needed. Many clerics multiclass as fighters.
VestmentsThe ceremonial garb of Flandal's priests is a steel helm and a suit of metal armor, typically chain mail or plate mail. Senior priests tint their metallic vestments the red-orange hue of the forge. The holy symbol of the faith is a miniature steel hammer engraved with a flame. Their favored weapon is the warhammer.
Priests of Flandal favor the most durable metal armor available when adventuring, trusting their safety to the quality of workmanship and strength of materials. They only employ weapons made at least in part of metal, and solid metal weapons are always preferred.
HierarchyNovices of Flandal are known as the Unworked. Full priests of the Master of Metal are known as the Tempered. In ascending order of rank, the titles used by Flandalian priests are Tinsmith, Bronzesmith, Brasssmith, Coppersmith, Silversmith, Electrumsmith, Goldsmith, Plarinumsmith, and Steelsmith. High-ranking priests have unique individual titles. Specialty priests are known as Pyrosmiths.
TemplesTemples of Flandal are typically subterranean forges that serve the faithful as both houses of worship and working smithies. Most temples are built atop the mines from which the ore for the priesthood's smithy is brought to be smelted.
Rituals Clerics of Flandal pray for their spells at noon, when the forge of the world is at its brightest and hottest.
Members of Flandal's priesthood assemble annually on Midsummers Day in great moots to celebrate the holy day known as the High Forge. The faithful gather in the morning to make offerings of forged metal weapons to the god and offer praises to him through rhythmic, percussive hammer hymns culminating at midday with a brief period of utter silence. In the afternoon and evening, the participants exchange ideas and new techniques and exhibit the finest of their wares, and by evening the gathering is overwhelmed by merchants seeking to acquire new trade goods.
The treasures of life are buried within Flandal's embrace, and only hard labor, dedication, and great craftsmanship, as taught by the Master of Metals, can reveal that hidden beauty. Dig mines, extract ores, and forge suits of armor, weapons, and other items of metal. Strive to refine known techniques, invent new processes, and stay physically fit.
Flandal appears as a balding, aging gnome with skin the color of blue mithral steel, eyes like flaming coals, and hair of brilliant blue-silver. He wears a leather apron over the rest of his clothes, and carries Rhondang, an intelligent axe-backed hammer made of yellowish metal.
Flandel is on good terms with the other gnomish deities with the exception of Urdlen. He also counts Gond and the good aligned gods of the dwarven pantheon as allies. He is opposed to the kobold pantheon as well as other humanoid deities.