Surtr (modern Icelandic Surtur, sometimes Anglicized Surt) is the god of fire, war, destruction, and fire giants. His name means Black or "swarthy one".
In Norse mythology, Surtr is the leader of the fire giants in the south, the ruler of Muspelheim, the realm of fire. It is prophecised that at the end of the world, Ragnarok, his hordes will rush north like a south wind to overwhelm the gods.
Nearly all of Surtr's worshippers are giants, but a select few members of other races have earned his approval. They conceal their devotion to the giant destined to end the world.
A few cults of Surtr thrive in Mannheim, often cooperating with Loki's cult. These cults teach respect for fire, its use as a tool, and its danger when uncontrolled. They teach that fire is a cleansing agent, and point to the new growth after a forest fire as proof. Members of Surtr's cult seek every opportunity to undermine Thor's cult, and they have plenty of help and expert advice from Loki's cult. While Thrym has a similar cult, fire and ice never mix.
Surtr's clergy spends much of their time at the forge. They create equipment to better arm their tribe, as well as creating tools and equipment to use in trade. Items forged by the priesthood are generally of fine quality or better; they never create crude items unless the need is urgent. They also organize and direct the work of other giant smiths in their tribe. Many priests also design and create complex mechanical devices, used mostly for traps, but they have been known to create massive geared structures as well. When not performing any of these tasks, they can also be found training pets, especially hell hounds, as well as captives, such as trolls or red dragons.
VestmentsThe ceremonial garb of Surtr's priests is a set of elaborate black iron plate armor with bright red or gold accents. They wear large open-faced iron helms, equally embellished with red or gold. Finally, for the most formal of occasions, they wear expensive red robes over the armor. The holy symbol used by the clergy is a small iron sword worn on a chain around the neck.
Priests of the Lord of Fire Giants wear the same armor and garb as their tribe's warriors do when not performing their ceremonial duties (i.e. when adventuring). Whenever they can, they wear heavy plate armor and use large two handed swords, although they will use other weapons and equipment if necessary.
TemplesSurtr's temples in the lands of men are hidden affairs. Those that are not hidden are huge buildings ringing with the sounds of forges and storing weapons in preparation for the battle at the end of the world. Visitors have only a few seconds to prove their intentions before the fire giants attack. Fire giants do not enjoy leaving witnesses to their activities.
RitualsThe holy day of Surtr is the Summer Solstice. Surtr does not demand sacrifice or propitiation.
The most important ceremony amongst the priesthood of the Lord of Fire Giants is the Feast of Surtr. Taking place over the three days leading up to Midsummer Day, the giants feast and have contests of craftsmanship and sport. Finally, at noon on Midsummer Day, each giant casts an item into a sacrificial flame; most of the time, these are items of personal importance to the giant, although items of value such as jewelry are also accepted. They do this to temper spirit and to show Surtr that their devotion to his cause trumps their worldly interests. After the casting of items is complete, the priests lead the tribe in a lengthy prayer to the Black One, and the day culminates with a final bout of revelry.
OrdersMartial orders are common amongst fire giant tribes that follow Surtr. The most common is a group of clerics, specialty priests, and crusaders known as the Black One's Shields. They function as protectors of Surtr's temples, shrines, and holy sites, defending them from enemies of the Lord of the Fire Giants, and leading strikes upon those that have defiled his holy places.
The Searchers of the Unburned is a far flung group of specialty priests, crusaders, and warriors who search the known spheres for places sacred to Surtr that have been lost or forgotten, as well as new lands suitable for fire giants to dwell in. They are known to have bases of operation in Greatspace, Realmspace, and Greyspace. They are believed to be using former dwarven Citadels as their bases, staying mobile with their own versions of the dwarven forges; this has yet to be confirmed to the satisfaction of wildspace sages, however. They are known to also operate smaller vessels, including Tradesmen and Hammerships which have been gutted to accommodate the great height of the giants.
PropheciesAt Ragnarok, the battle at the end of the world, Surtr is destined to set the world on fire, burning it to ashes to make way for the new world to come. He will destroy Bifrost, the rainbow bridge, beneath his weight and that of his subjects.
Fire is pure, cleansing, and strong. The weak and impure burn, while the strong survive. Fire is useful as a tool, but must be respected. It is dangerous when uncontrolled.
Surtr appears as a fire giant with a hair, eyebrows, and beard of fire, wearing a red hot suit of iron armor. He wields a flaming iron sword, that is "as bright as the sun" and 15 feet in length.
Surtr, a son of Annam, is part of the second generation of giantish deities, born at about the same time as Skoraeus Stonebones and Thrym. While Surtr's cult is similar to that of Thrym's, fire and ice do not mix. Other gods in the giantish pantheon include Stronmaus, Hiatea, Grolantor, Karontor, Iallanis, Memnor, Vaprak, and Diancastra.