Gods & Demigods


(pronounced ILL-nev-all)
The Horde Leader, the War Maker, the Lieutenant of Gruumsh
Lesser Deity
Ilneval is a lesser deity of the Orc pantheon. A cunning war leader inspiring great loyalty in his followers, he is very diligent in planning his strategies for victory. He is considered the patron of orc crossbreeds, such as orogs and tanarukks. In Mystara, Ilneval is an alias for the orc Immortal Karaash, the patron of humanoids, especially orcs.

As the Lieutenant of Gruumsh, Ilneval is entrusted with leading the orcish hordes when One-Eye is busy with other tasks or does not wish to exercise it himself. Whereas Gruumsh is primarily the patron of the chieftains and tribal leaders and Bahgtru is the leader of the common orc warrior, Ilneval is the god of battle commanders and war party leaders. He emphasizes planning and tactics before combat, but once battle is engaged, he leads from the front with nothing but victory and the destruction of his foes on his mind. However, he is quick of wit, and always watches for weaknesses he can exploit in his foes. This, coupled with his strategic mind and sense of planning, makes him the closest thing the orcish pantheon has to a contemplative deity. He is also somewhat interested in seeing the orcs unite against their common foes, however, this is not an overriding belief and he sees the merits in intertribal warfare to weed out the weak.

Worshipers, Clergy & Temples

The Church of Ilneval occupies a prominent position in Orc tribal life, second only to the church of Gruumsh, and they work in concert to oppress other faiths in order to ensure that position remains unchallenged. Although the church of Gruumsh is responsible for issuing the call to summon the horde, it falls to the temple of Ilneval to marshal the fractious tribes into a horde united against a common foe.

Despite being nominally subservient to Gruumsh's clergy, Ilneval's followers seek to subtly achieve greater political power than One-Eye's priests. They mostly work towards this goal through military victories, especially in situations where One-Eye's clergy could not, and generally being a more attractive faith to the younger generations by glorifying combat leadership and battle courage. In all tribes, the War Maker's priests function as battle leaders and military officers, leading their troops into battle directly. They also emphasize proper planning and appropriate use of resources, taking advantage of the individual strengths of the orcs under their command and exploiting the weaknesses of their enemies. In this capacity, Ilneval's priests are the closest most tribes have to an educated caste. In those rare cases where they have managed to eliminate or sideline the priests of Gruumsh, the most powerful priest naturally becomes the chief of the tribe. The biggest obstacle faced by those who follow the Son of Strife is not actually the clergy of One-Eye himself, but the priests and followers of Bahgtru the Leg-Breaker. Bahgtru's clergy have a similar overall goal as the priests of Ilneval, namely victory through combat strength; however, the methods each uses to achieve that goal are diametrically opposed. This leads to a great deal of rivalry and strife within an orcish community when it comes to matters of battle and combat, and the Gruumshan priests are quick to capitalize upon these feelings by playing one off the other in order to keep both groups less powerful than themselves. In most tribes, such tactics are eminently successful.

Priests of Ilneval constantly train their battle skills and those of the other orcs. They aim to discover what each individual warrior's strengths and weaknesses are, to better take advantage of them during battle. They also discuss battle tactics and make plans for future battles, especially against rival tribes. They take opportunities as they present themselves to undermine rivals, especially the Gruumshan priests, so long as they would not endanger the tribe as a whole. The priests also maintain contact with their brethren in other tribes, and they meet at regular intervals to discuss outside threats to their tribes. This contact does not cause a conflict of interest when their tribes go to war, as they believe in the merit of weeding out the weak, and are only interested in keeping track of outside forces that could be threat to the orcish peoples as a whole. In cases where such a threat is detected, they advise their chieftains that a temporary alliance is in the tribe's best interest; once the threat is neutralized, they can return to their old intertribal warfare without risk from the outside threat. When they make sacrifices to their god, they typically take the form of previously won trophies of weapons and armor, as well as the blood of warriors and slaves captured in past battles.

Many clerics multiclass as fighters. Only Adepts of the most primitive tribe's multi-class as barbarians.


During ceremonies and important events, priests of the Horde Leader are required to wear chain mail armor and a metal helmet, painted in vivid red shades like that of fresh blood. Many will also wear red accouterments to embellish their appearance; open-fronted robes and cloaks being the most popular. The holy symbol of the clergy is either their broadsword or a shattered piece of a weapon from an enemy leader the priest has personally slain. Such an item is typically worn on a chain around the neck.

When going to war, Ilneval's priests prefer to wear the same helmet and armor they wear for ceremonies. However, they will use better armor if it is available; however, any armor they choose besides their ceremonial chain mail must be painted red before they may don it.


Within the priesthood, novices are known simply as Trainees, while full priests are called Hordemasters. Specialty priests are known as Warswords. The clergy operates on a strict military hierarchy. The most powerful priest will be called the High Marshal of the Hordes, and is responsible for organizing the lower priests and orc tribes when a horde is called up to sweep down upon the civilized lands. Below him are a number of lesser positions, typically the chief Ilnevalan priest of a given tribe, who carry titles drawn from the name of their tribe, such as the High Marshal of the Riven Skull and the High Marshal of the Burnt Dwarf. Below them are a variety of titles, which do not vary much between tribes in a given area, but can vary wildly from area to area. Typical titles are military in nature, and often indicate an area of expertise or responsibility, such as Marshal of Swords, Axe Marshal, Scoutleader, Captain of the Spear, and other similar titles. Shamans and witch doctors are not part of the clerical hierarchy, although they are considered brothers of the faith. Shamans are found in about three times as many Ilneval-dominated tribes as witch doctors.


Few temples are constructed by the priests of the War Maker. Holy sites and temple construction are of little interest to the clergy, who feel that a large temple does little to glorify their patron. They do create small shrines in permanent encampments at which to offer prayers, however. These shrines typically feature trophies of past victories, such as weaponry and banners; however, it is important to point out that these are not viewed as others might. The priests take great offence at any suggestion that such items are gifts of thanks to their god. In their view, a battle victory is all the thanks he wants, as it represents a proper application of his teachings. To the priests, the trophies are viewed as examples of what the Horde Leader's teachings can achieve, and is an example of the failure on their enemies' part to embrace or heed such teachings. Shrines such as these are typically isolated from religious displays of the other deities, except in cases where Gruumsh's clergy have built a large temple. Within those temples, a small shrine room will be set aside for Ilneval, as he is One-Eye's lieutenant, and deserves respect as such. These shrines will always be on the opposite side of Gruumsh's main hall from the shrine dedicated to Bahgtru.


Clerics and adepts of Ilneval pray for their spells at dusk in preparations for the nights battles. The church of Ilneval observes few holy days, other than token of obeisance to those honoring Gruumsh in a calculated display of loyalty to the One-Eyed God, for Ilneval is not interested in remembering past victories but plotting new ones to come. Nor do they lay any sort of religious significance on victory celebrations; it is their belief that victory is the logical conclusion of well-planned and properly executed battle plans coupled with ferocious combat from their warriors. Consequently, failure to achieve victory is considered to be a failure on each of those points. They do pray and sacrifice regularly for guidance, but these are individual devotions rather than organized services.

Only prior to engaging in major battles do the priests gather for a single service, during which they exalt the leadership and combat prowess of the Son of Strife, and request his blessings to allow them to emulate his skills. The largest such services happen when the priests of Gruumsh call for a gathering of orcish tribes into a single horde to sweep down upon the civilized lands. The exact time period of such horde-gatherings (and whether or not such an event even exists) varies from world to world, but the beginning of spring is most common, as the end of winter is a prime time to expend the pent-up energy accumulated during months of low activity. While the priests of One-Eye are actually responsible for calling up such hordes, it falls to the priests of Ilneval to organize and actually lead the forces, which they do with much enthusiasm. These events are one of the few times the priests of the two faiths willingly work together with relatively little conflict.


Oddly enough, for a god so focused on combat and warfare, the War Maker has no martial orders. The primary reason for this is because the priests of Ilneval focus on leading others rather than working together with each other in a small group. Not even in tribes dominated by the Horde Leader's followers do they break this mold. However, for the very same reason they do not create religious military orders, a substantial number of secular orcish mercenary groups throughout the known spheres are led by priests of the War Maker.


Strength is as much a function of the mind as one’s body. Train hard and think craftily in preparations for war, for all life is an endless battle. Unite your tribe into a raging storm, for there is great strength in numbers if all can work in concert. Once the time for combat in nigh, however, charge into the fray undaunted and let the blood fly where it may. Only through personal courage do you prove yourself fit for the mantle of leadership.

Appearance, Manifestations

Ilneval appears as a orc in the prime of his life, wearing a spiked and fanged suit of plate and carrying a greatsword, and his symbol, at his side.

Relationships & History

Ilneval earned the title of The Lieutenant by acting as Gruumsh's right hand in all his war actions.


The War Maker is featured in many orcish myths. While these vary from tribe to tribe, they usually start with some sort of setback to the orcs, such as a loss in battle against elves or dwarves. Often such a setback occurs due to the failure of another god, usually Bahgtru; such elements are designed to portray rival faiths as poorly equipped to handle orcish affairs. Gruumsh then calls upon Ilneval to take command and lead the orc hordes in a counterattack. Frequently, such an attack involves the use of a terrain feature the orc tribe is familiar with; such stories teach the orcs how to use what they find locally to their advantage. After carefully laying out the plan, the attack is commenced. Usually there will be a setback during the battle, again usually portraying a failure of another faith, and only the Horde Leader's quick thinking or a backup plan he created allows them to turn the tide and win. As with most orc myths, these stories emphasize the teachings of Ilneval over those of all the other deities and portray him as being the most capable warrior among the pantheon.
Quick Descriptions:
Ilneval is an orc with gray-green skin, in the prime of his life, wearing a spiked and fanged suit of iron plate and carrying a greatsword.
A small shrine has been built not far from Gruumsh's temple. The shrine consists of a large flat stone, about 4 feet high. The stone is painted with red streaks, and seems to be a mix of crude battle plans (one on top of another, and another). Behind the altar is a large red banner with the symbol of a bloodied longsword.
The orc cleric has dark green skin and two tusks rising from his bottom lip. He is wearing chain mail and a metal helmet, painted in vivid red shades like that of fresh blood. He has on a deep red cloak. Around his neck, on a crude chain, hangs the hilt of a sword with a shattered blade. In his hand is a longsword.
The Symbol of Ilneval - Bloodied longsword
Symbol: Bloodied longsword
God Alignment: NE
Worshipers Alignment
Destruction, Evil, Orc, Planning, War
War, combat, overwhelming numbers, strategy
Barbarians, fighters, orcs
Plane: Nishrek
Alternative: Acheron
Weapon: Longsword
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