Bahgtru is the orc deity of strength and combat. Bahgtru is a rather stupid god (mentally), of pure physical strength. He scorns both weapons and magic alike. Bahgtru is feared by the other orc gods for his strength. He respects the Dwarven gods for their strength, but would like to crush their skulls. Bahgtru also hates the deities of deception (Baravar Cloakshadow, Cyric, and Mask) preferring to fight an enemy head-on without tricks. His holy animal is the ox.
The church of Bahgtru is largely subservient to the temple of Gruumsh, not unlike the relation between the son and the father. All but the smallest tribes will have at least one priest or shaman of Bahgtru; they serve as bodyguards or battle champions of the clan's chief. Gruumsh's son insists his clerics remain unquestioningly loyal to the chieftain of the tribe until he is defeated in a challenge of physical prowess or slain. They also will not interfere in any challenge of combat against a chief, as that would violate their beliefs on the right to rulership. When there is an obvious conflict of interest, they usually stand aside and let it work itself out.
For the Leg Breaker's faithful, loyalty extends only to the clan, thus rivalries between clans are to be encouraged, for doing so strengthens the orc race as a whole. Bahgtru's priesthood must strive to dominate their clans and put any others in the shade (save for that of Gruumsh). They engage in near constant physical training as well to improve their strength and thus the overall strength of the tribe.
The Leg-Breaker's clergy are also battle-leaders, although their favored tactic (and usually only tactic) is a direct charge. They don't care for complex strategies, viewing them as tools of cowards and weaklings, used to cheat the strong out of their proper victory. The physical training of young members of the tribe often falls to the priesthood, who use extremely rigorous regimes to make the next generations as strong as possible. They also maintain their physical conditioning through constant strength and endurance training.
Many clerics multiclass as barbarians, even in fairly civilized tribes, although some multiclass as fighters or warriors.
VestmentsBahgtru's priests wear loincloths and black studded leather gauntlets. They usually wear tokens and trophies from their victims, such as teeth, ears, and broken bones. Colors worn tend to be dark greens, blues, and blacks. Individual priests and clergies vary their accouterments based on their clan preference as well. Shamans of Bahgtru often have mighty oxen mounts.
Leg-Breaker's priests prefer not to wear armor (as a true follower of Bahgtru doesn't need armor), but priests sometimes wear studded leather when going to battle. The priests prefer using their own fists in combat, but on occasions they use other weapons such as clubs and heavy maces.
HierarchyNovices in the service of Bahgtru are called Fingerbreakers. Full priests are called Legbreakers. The clergy's hierarchy is not rigid, and fluctuates frequently as seniority is based on the strongest creature a priest has defeated single-handedly. As such, titles are usually based on said creature, so it is not uncommon to see priests called by such titles as "Manticore Crusher" or "Owlbear Smasher." In situations where two priests have slain the same type of creature, a quick contest of strength is held, usually involving breaking logs or knocking over trees or boulders. Specialty priests are called Bonecrushers.
TemplesThe Bahgtruan clergy never build temples, although they do usually set up a small shrine and altar at the sites of famous or legendary single combat, such as between two rival orc chiefs, when they are near their village or encampment. Otherwise, they usually hold services in the center of the village so all orcs can see their power for themselves. On the rare occasions Gruumsh's priests build temples, they will always set up a small sub-temple for Bahgtru's clergy to use; often in the least desired place available.
RitualsClerics and adepts of Bahgtru pray for their spells at dusk, when the Son of Gruumsh tears the sun from the sky. Like Gruumsh, Bahgtru requires frequent sacrifices, preferably weekly, with the various priests performing the simple rites on a rotating basis. Victims are secured to a small altar, and the priest then breaks each of the sacrifice’s limbs. If the victim is still alive, the priest then ritually breaks their neck. Preferred sacrifices are elves, intelligent reptilians, and behir. However, the clergy are not terribly picky, and they have no qualms about sacrificing weak or sickly members of the tribe when no other victims are available.
Each month, when the moon is full, Bahgtru's followers gather for a Festival of Strength, during which many challenges drawing on physical prowess are held. Some challenges are lethal, an inevitable winnowing of the weak. During ceremonies and religious events, they tell frequent stories about great battles and combats which always have blunt morality statements that reinforce the dogma of the church.
OrdersThe only order within the clergy of the Leg-Breaker is called the Fists of Bahgtru. They work with both the clergies of Bahgtru and Gruumsh, acting as assault troops during major battles and elite guards of chieftains and priests at other times. The Fists are comprised primarily of fighters, fighter/clerics, and specialty priests. The Fists exist everywhere Bahgtru is worshipped, although smaller tribes rarely have more than two, with one usually being a younger warrior being trained to join the order. In any combat situation, the Fists will always be at the forefront of an assault on the opposing side. When not directly engaged in combat, they lead the guard contingents within the orc clans with complete loyalty to the current chief.
The mighty shall crush the weak, thus strengthening the tribe. Scorn the shields of weakness and rely only on your physical prowess, for strength is enduring. Think not crafty thoughts, for they undermine the strength of the tribe. Loyalty to your leader is all that is required of you.
Bahgtru appears as a huge orc with bugling muscles and dirty tan skin. His eyes are dull green, and and his glistening white tusks protrude from either side of his mouth. He often appears bare-chested with a pair of gauntlets, studded with steel rivets. On rare occasions he is said to wear heavily studded leather armor. A large great sword is strapped to his back, but he prefers to use his fists. He has a deep, booming voice, and he often uses small words due to his intelligence. He is quick to anger, and would prefer to fight rather than talk (especially if it seems like the conversation is getting away from him).
Bahgtru sends omens to his priests in the form of splitting headaches. These are colloquially known as "Bahgtru's pat".
Bahgtru served Gruumsh loyally, and was feared by the other orc gods for his strength. He opposed the goblinoid deities, the Seldarine and sylvan deities. He respected the Dwarven gods for their strength, but would have liked to crush their skulls. Bahgtru also hated the deities of deception; Baravar Cloakshadow, Cyric, and Mask.
MythsMyths surrounding Bahgtru are, more often than not, unique to each tribe. They frequently follow a similar formula, where each story presents a situation in which Gruumsh cannot overcome an obstacle, until he calls upon his son to take care of it. The most common obstacles are great beasts or monsters that must be killed, or a great stone or tree that needs to be moved to save the rest of the orc gods (frequently the work of dwarven or elven gods). These stories reinforce the dogma of strength and loyalty, while also subtly portraying the rest of the pantheon as helpless without the Leg-Breaker's strength.
There is one myth that is universally known to all followers of Bahgtru, which explains the origin of his symbol. This myth is often combined with the previous type of myth to create a larger story. The primary element of this myth revolves around Bahgtru's encounter and subsequent battle with a great multi-legged reptilian beast. Most often it is said to be the first behir, but the type of creature will sometimes reflect local fauna types (dragons are common in lands that have never seen a behir). The battle between the two combatants lasts many days and rages across the land, until Bahgtru begins breaking the beasts legs, one at a time, slowly immobilizing it. He then crushes the beast's spine and presents the body to his father as a trophy, earning him the name "Leg-Breaker." Due to the prevalence of this myth, it is clear it has a basis in an actual event, although no definitive location for it has been found as yet. Since this battle, Bahgtru has never been known to use weapons or armor of any usual kind. He wears little other than a great pair of cesti, or gauntlets, studded with steel rivets, with which to beat his victims flat.