Contest of Wills
Lord of Battles
Tempus (pronounced TEM-pus), also known as the Lord of Battles, is the god of war. His dogma is primarily concerned with honorable battle, forbidding cowardice and encouraging the use of force of arms to settle disputes.Relationships
Tempus is served by the Red Knight, deity of strategy and war planning, Valkur, god of seaboard warfare, and Uthgar, patron of the Uthgardt barbarians of the Sword Coast North. He opposes and is opposed by Garagos, who was formerly known as Targus and worshipped as the god of war in the now-fallen empire of Netheril until Tempus defeated him and claimed his station, reducing the greater god of war to the demigod today known as Garagos. Tempus slew many other deities aspiring to be the god of war in the past, and it is not certain why he tolerates Garagos’ continued existence, having already defeated him once. Some scholars in the Realms believe that Tempus’ dislike of mindless slaughter and bloodlust prompted him to spare Garagos so that he could represent those more vicious aspects of war. This is supported by the fact that the Tempuran liturgy stresses honorable combat, not wanton destruction. Sune sees Tempus as her enemy because of the destruction that wars wreak upon beautiful things and people, but Tempus does not consider her worth the conflict. Despite the fact that Tempus’ dogma is diametrically opposed to that of Eldath and that he considers her naive for her pacifist outlook, he has commanded his followers to not harm those of the goddess of peace, seeing that war is meaningless without peace following, and he punishes followers who disobey that command.
Tempus is known as the Butcher to the followers of Eilistraee.
Faerûn is a violent land, and thus from sheer number of worshipers Tempus is one of the mightiest deities in the Realms. Nearly everyone who has drawn a sword or nocked an arrow has fought alongside a cleric of the Foehammer, and just as many have fought against one.
Temples to the Lord of Battle look more like military fortresses than the archetypal temple. They feature barracks, mess halls, armories, and training grounds.
Due to its tendency to have followers and priests on both sides of any engagement, the Church of Tempus has no central authority that might support one side or the other exclusively. Within a given temple or order, however, there is a strict hierarchy and chain of command.
- Order of the Broken Blade
The Order of the Broken Blade honors those warriors and clergy who are injured in Tempus’s service and can no longer fight in the front lines.
- Order of the Steel Fang
The Order of the Steel Fang is an elite fighting order within the church of Tempus, whose members are often assigned to the most dangerous duties and led by battle-hardened clergymen. Many mercenary companies and knightly fighting orders of crusaders also avail themselves of a connection to the church. One badge of the god seen among his affiliated mercenaries is a rusty brown dagger, shown diagonally with its point to the upper right, dripping four drops of blood.
The hierarchy within the Church of Tempus.
- High Priest/Priestess.
- Guardian Priest/Priestess.
- Swordmaster of Tempus.
Tempus’ orders to all combatants are simple and direct:
1. Be fearless 2. Never turn away from a fight. 3. Obey the rules of war.
“ “Tempus does not win battles, he helps the deserving warrior win battles. War is fair in that it oppresses and aids all equally and that in any given battle, a mortal may be slain or become a great leader among his or her companions. It should not be feared, but seen as a natural force, a human force, the storm that civilization brings by its very existence. Arm all for whom battle is needful, even foes. Retreat from hopeless fights but never avoid battle. Slay one foe decisively and halt a battle quickly rather than rely upon slow attrition or the senseless dragging on of hostilities. Remember the dead that fell before you. Defend what you believe in, lest it be swept away. Disparage no foe and respect all, for valor blazes in all regardless of age, sex, or race. Tempus looks with favor upon those that acquit themselves honorably in battle without resorting to such craven tricks as destroying homes, family, or livestock when a foe is away or attacking from the rear (except when such an attack is launched by a small band against foes of vastly superior numbers). Consider the consequences of the violence of war, and do not wage war recklessly. The smooth-tongued and fleet of feet that avoid all strife and never defend their beliefs wreak more harm than the most energetic tyrant, raider, or horde leader.” ”
— Tempuran liturgy
The words “Tempus thanks you” are used by the deity’s faithful in conjuction with the response “and I thank Tempus” to indicate the completion of a deed that will please Tempus.
Tempus was originally one of many potential war gods who emerged from the primordial clashes between Selune and Shar. These gods fought constantly with each other, the victors absorbing the essence and power of the defeated. This continued until Tempus stood as the sole god of war in the Faerunian pantheon, having defeated and absorbed all of his competitors (with the notable exception of Garagos, whom he defeated but spared). The barbarians of Icewind Dale claim that Tempus original name is “Tempos”
The Time of Troubles
In the Year of Shadows, Tempus’ avatar appeared in a ruined castle in Battledale, just over five miles southwest of Essembra. Immediately following the Godswar, Eldan Ambrose, an Amnian cleric of Tempus, saw Tempus during a battle in Swords Creek. After the fighting ended, Ambrose followed his god’s trail back to Battledale, and found the castle (which originally belonged to Belarus, a long-dead Tempuran). In the ruins of the great hall, Ambrose had a vision confirming the site as sacred to the Foehammer. Ambrose and his allies rebuilt the castle, establishing the Abbey of the Sword.