Grumbar is the elemental embodiment of earth. He is one of the four elemental deities worshiped in Faerûn but, like all except Kossuth, has a very small following. He is generally uncaring to his faithful, but continues to grant his priest their powers since their worship increases his power on his home plane. To maintain continued worship he does take a limited interest in his followers mortal problems, and his gifts are most often protective magics or knowledge of the underearth's secret places or rich lodes of ore, though he seems to mete them out without determinable reason.
Worshipers, Clergy & Temples
Grumbar's church is varied and chaotic since he takes no interest in its structure. As a result it is a collection of cults with each faction coming up with its own ethics, codes, morals, and teachings.
The church is usually organized into small sects known as Holds, each comprising seven clerics, seven monks, and seven rangers and as many laity as can be supported. There is little dissension within Holds, and little interaction between Holds.
The Grumbarryn have a natural resistance to change, especially radical change. Important Grumbarryn followers, priest and warrior alike, are frequently portrayed in teaching stories and fables that argument the faithful's belief in the importance of resisting change. Those who follow the Earthlord can often be found in public preaching against the evils of boarding ships and setting sail to uncharted lands, preferring exploration on the continent of Faerûn. Many of the clergy members preach that "more than enough problems exist to occupy our time here at home without looking for new troubles." Grumbar's clergy members also take stances against changes in the social code, changes in government, the building of new landmarks that change the face of the land (such as dams) and changes in their own religion.
Grumbarryn doctrine also speaks of the holiness and absolute quality of oaths. Grumbarryn take oaths with extreme seriousness and would never break one upon pain of being cast out of the faith. The Oath of Landwalking is a solemn promise undertaken by all members of the Grumbarryn faith upon entering the priesthood that forbids them from traveling through the air or by sea. Only in the most dire of circumstances would priests of Grumbar take to the enemy element of air. Travel over water is allowed only when the church would benefit as a result of the sacrifice.
Grumbanyn tend to be large, solid men, and the ceremonial vestments of the faith aim to make them look as large (and in their minds, stable) as possible. Ritual garb includes a brown cassock, belted at the waist; a brown leather hood or hat; a huge cloak of gray-green and rust brown with artificially extended and stiffened shoulder pads that make the wearer look as wide as she or he is tall; and platform clogs worn over soft Leather boots. The holy symbol of Grumbar, a large ruby or sardonyx carved with Grumbars symbol is typically incorporated into a ring or pendant, and is always worn.
Adventuring priests wear travel cloaks, boots, and clothing in the same earth-tone, gray, or black colors typical of their faith, but they understand that bulky clothing that makes one look large offers little real protection from a knife thrust or fired arrow. Bulky armor is another matter entirely, and Grumbarryn wear the most protective armor they can afford. They use bludgeoning weapons and picks.
Shrines and temples of Grumbar are always made of stone. Most have splendid vaulted ceilings and walls to give the site the feeling that a worshiper is down within the living rock. Wood is a rare commodity in Earthlord temples because of the church's strong preference for stone. But gems and other precious minerals adorn most surfaces abundantly.
Novice Grumbarryn are referred to as the Unspoken. Upon taking the Oath of Landwalking, they become full priests and are known as the Oathbound. In ascending order of rank, the titles in general use by the Oathbound are：Faithful Bedrock, Granite Flagstone, Righteous Rock, Buttress of the Faith, Steadfast Pillar, Devoted Tribune, Loyal Architrave, Founding Fist, Unchanging Bastion, Surmounting Arch, Loyal Vault, and Keystone of Grumbar. Specialty priests of Grumbar are known as Earthwalkers. Monks of Grumbar are known as Cornerstones.
The faithful are expected to pray to Grumbar each day upon rising and each night before resting, thanking him for keeping the earth stable and secure yet another day. Other than this daily ceremony, the church observes two personal ceremonies and a yearly festival.
The Oath of Landwalking is a solemn promise undertaken by all members of the Grumbarryn faith upon entering the priesthood that forbids them from traveling through the air or by sea. Only in the most dire of circumstances would priests of Grumhar take to the enemy element of air. Even then, they would probably suffer a loss of spells. Travel over water is allowed only when the church would benefit as a result of the sacrifice. Such benefits include the dedication of a branch temple or shrine in a new land, obtaining a new source of minerals or stone to replace one now mined out, or even the discovery of a new earth-based creature.
The Brotherhood of Earth is the ceremony that Grumbarryn specialty priests undergo that allows them, upon reaching a certain level of skill, to call forth their elemental brothers from the Elemental Plane of Earth. The ceremony is preceded by a day of fasting and prayer, after which the elemental is summoned. When it answers, it is given a gift of gems and gold to carry back to Grumbar with the good wishes of his faithful.
On Midwinter, the church holds a festival celebrating the completion of another year in the eternal church of Grumbar. During this festival church leaders and elders gather to plan the faith's activities during the upcoming year. These plans, once set, are never varied from during the year and can only be changed at the next Midwinter festival.
The eternal Grumbar is perfect and unchanging. Strive to be more like the eternal one, not to change or allow change to happen. One’s given word is the bedrock upon which is stable society is built. To break an oath is to cause a crack in the foundation of civilization. Go forth and spread the word of Grumbar and show through your works the stability and safety he brings.
Grumbar is a powerful deity, normally depicted as a huge earth elemental standing more than 25 feet tall with bulky, muscular arms and eyes that blaze like shimmering rubies. His footfalls sound like earthquakes as he rumbles across the land. His voice is the pounding of one rock on another, the clacking of pebbles on a beach, or the breaking of sod with a plow.
Relationships & History
Grumbar is one of the four elemental lords who seem to stand apart from history, unchanged by the passage of time. He has ties to other gods concerned with the element of earth, including Geb, Garl Glittergold, Dumathoin, Laduguer, and Urogalan, but no strong relationships. He opposes flighty, inconsistent Akadi at every opportunity.
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Grumbar is a 25 foot tall rust-brown earth elemental with bulky, muscular arms and eyes that blaze like shimmering rubies.
The temple of Grumbar is made completely of stone. The base looks as if it is natural rock, but as the walls rise stone bricks form, and man-made architecture becomes apparent. A slanted slate roof adorns the top. The interior is all stone as well, with tall rock columns supporting the roof. Metal braziers sit against walls engraved with grand mountainous displays. Near the back of the room is a large stone altar.
The priest of Grumbar is a large human male with a stocky frame, a full head of brown wavy hair, and days worth of stubble on his face. He is wearing a brown cassock, belted at the waist, and a huge rust-brown cloak with stiff, extended shoulder pads that make him appear much wider than he probably is. He has a large gold ring with a ruby on his left hand, and is carrying a large war hammer in his right.