Contest of Wills
The Storm Lord
Talos (pronounced TAAHL-ose), also known as The Storm Lord (and long ago as Kozah), is the Faerûnian greater deity of storms and destruction. His dogma is self-serving, demanding utter obedience from his priests and instructing them to spread destruction where they may. His followers of are known as Talassans. Although often assumed to be a true god, Talos is, in fact, an aspect of the orcish god Gruumsh.
Talos appears as a broad shouldered, bearded man with one good eye. He wears half-plate armor over black leather, and black leather gloves. His empty eye socket is filled with whirling stars and covered with a dark eye patch. When he appears in Calimshan, he often takes the form of a dusky skinned, turbaned genie rising out of a sandstorm.
The church of Talos is small by the standards of a greater deity, and his followers of Talos are fanatical in their love of destruction. The clergy has no formal hierarchy; obedience is enforced through might. Priests of Talos are fond of extorting sailors and farmers, threatening that Talos will bring destructive storms upon them if they do not placate the angry god. They are wont to pursue wealth and luxury, many indulging in acts of random or spiteful violence, pillage and banditry. Talossan clerics are also committed evangelists who seek to gain converts through fear or the enticement of raw power.
Clerics of Talos wear black robes and cloaks shot through with teardrops and jagged lines of gold and silver while high clergy wear blue-white ceremonial robes streaked with crimson; all of whom wear an eye patch. Talassan clerics generally multiclass as barbarians, sorcerers, wizards, or as the Stormlord prestige class.
Worship of Talos is outlawed in many countries. Most Talossan holy sites are secret because of the church’s reputation. Public churches often take the form of castles or fortified strongholds that lie on earthquake fault lines or in the path of storms or lava; Talos ensures they remain unscathed.
Clerics of Talos celebrate Talossan festivals with ceremonies that summon lightning and storms.
- Calling Down the Thunder – This ritual involves the sacrifice of an intelligent being by lightning.
- The Fury – This is the ceremony in which the cleric prays, makes berserk attacks to wreak as much destruction as possible in a small amount of time, then prays again.
The existence of religious orders affiliated with Talos was shrouded in mystery and rumor. Two speculated groups were:
- Lords of the Tempest
A group of wizards that specialized in combining elemental magic.
- Circle of Rust and the Worm
A cabal of insane sages and mystics of various disciplines with the aiming of destroying the world.
Talos is close with Auril, a flirtatious rivalry with Umberlee and a grudging alliance with Malar, who would kill him if he could. He also hates deities that promote building, learning, nature, and the altering of weather. Chief among his enemies are Chauntea, Eldath, Lathander, Mystra, Sune, Deneir, Gond, Helm, Mielikki, Oghma, Shiallia, Silvanus, and Tyr.
Deities of Fury
Talos leads the other Deities of Fury: Auril, Malar, and Umberlee.
The Stormlord was formed from the first battle between Selûne and Shar, near the dawn of the world. The people of the ancient Netheril empire worshipped him as Kozah, and called him The Destroyer and The Raging One, among other titles. Among the present-day Bedine of Anauroch, whom descended from the citizens of Netheril, Talos is still known as Kozah. In Calimshan he is worshiped as Bhaelros and in that aspect he almost utterly destroyed Calimport. In the Underdark, he had an aspect with a small following as Malyk, a god of wild magic.