Contest of Wills
The Maimed God
Tyr (pronounced TEER), also known as The Maimed God, was a lawful good greater deity of law and justice and part of The Triad. His dogma was primarily concerned with the punishment of wrong-doers, and the general furthering of law and good in the world. Not coincidentally, these values are among those held by most paladins, many of whom were more than likely to follow The Triad, as the patron of paladins Torm is one-third of the coalition.
The highly organized church of Tyr was strong in the more civilized lands of the Realms. They were known for never refusing service or aid to the faithful when they are in distress. To keep Tyr’s favor, one must respect fallen enemies, never make sacrifice of a corpse, and keep one’s alignment lawful good. Tyr considered slaying agents of evil to be honorable and worthy of the highest praise.
DogmaNovices of Tyr are charged to “Reveal the truth, punish the guilty, right the wrong, and be always true and just in your actions.” Tyr and his followers are devoted to the cause of justice, to the righting of wrongs and the deliverance of just vengeance. This is not necessarily equality or fairness, as some make the maimed god out to represent, but rather the discovery of truth and the punishment of the guilty. Tyrrans tend to be stiff-necked about theology and to see matters in black and white terms.
Clergy of Tyr are sworn to uphold the law wherever they go, and to punish those wronged under the law. They are to keep complete records of their own rulings, deeds, and decisions. Through these records, a priest’s errors can be corrected, his or her grasp of the laws of all lands can grow and flourish, and lawbreakers can be identified by others. No known injustice done by a Tyrran priest must go unbalanced. Priests of Tyr should also always be vigilant in their observations and anticipations, seeking to see what forces and which beings intend or will cause injustices and threaten law and order in the future. They should then act to prevent such challenges in justice in coming to pass. In short: Abide by the laws, and let no others break them. Mete out punishment where lawbreaking occurs.
Priests of Tyr serve as judge, jury, and executioner in wilderness areas where there is no law but that of the sword. When doing so, their code cleaves fairly close to “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” but does adhere to common trade custom leavened by “the mercy of ignorance.” This last means that if a being is truly ignorant of the proper behavior, minor transgressions can be forgiven once with a warning, an explanation of the proper law—and a record of the warning being written down in the priest’s Book of Lawgiving for later distribution to other Tyrrans so that the particular being will not be forgiven a second time.
In civilized areas, Tyrrans (inevitably called “tyrants” behind their backs by nonbelievers) become legal experts and serve as the lawyers of Faerûn by dispensing advice and “speaking for” accused persons in trials. The fees they charge go to the Church of Tyr.
Tyrrans often go about lecturing others on their shortcomings as to following laws, rules, and regulations, but they also serve to fearlessly take complaints about such formalities to the authorities who make such rules. No Tyrran will enforce a law that contradicts other laws or can be shown to be unjust. Note the concern is not that it is unfair, but unjust—defined in the Tyrran church as out of compliance with the principles and definitions adhered to by other laws in the body of legal doctrine of which it is a part. Priests of Tyr also have the duty of delivering just vengeance as punishment on the part of those who cannot do it themselves. Tyrrans undertake formal missions to do this, making promises to those to be avenged and forcing open confrontations with those the vengeance is to be visited upon, rather than working behind the scenes or employing intrigue.
In the latest version of the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, Tyr has the domains of Good, Knowledge, Retribution, Law, and War.
To keep Tyr’s favor, one must respect fallen enemies, never make sacrifice of a corpse, and keep one’s alignment lawful good. Tyr considers slaying agents of evil to be honorable and worthy of the highest praise.
Knights of Holy Judgment
The Order of the Knights of Holy Judgment tends to attract the paladins who emphasize the “lawful” part of their dedication to Tyr.
Knights of the Merciful Sword
The Order of the Knights of the Merciful Sword tends to attract the paladins who emphasize the “good” part of their dedication to Tyr.
Hammers of Grimjaws
The very elite of Tyr’s paladins, members of the Hammers of Grimjaws are chosen from the best of Tyr’s the Knights of Holy Judgment and the Knights of the Merciful Sword.
The choosing of the order’s members is in part done by Tyr himself; as part of the process of ascending to the order’s ranks, a candidate must pray and receive a vision from Tyr. A vision of Tyr’s warhammer shows the god’s favor and permits immediate acceptance into the order. A vision of Tyr’s sword, a traditional sign of the god’s disfavor of the viewer, means that the aspiring Hammer has failed in some way and must go on a quest to atone before entering the ranks of the Hammers. (This does not mean that he has lost his powers as a paladin; he simply did not meet the far more stringent requirements to become a Hammer.) A successful atonement quest allows the aspirant to join the Order as though he had seen the vision of the warhammer. Currently, only 13 Hammers are in active service, a testament to the purity and power required to become one of the order.
Along with the Triad, Tyr is close to Lathander. He opposed the deities Bane, Cyric, Mask, Talona and Talos.
The two other gods who made up The Triad are Ilmater and Torm.
Holy Days/Important CeremoniesThe priesthood of Tyr follows a monthly cycle of high rituals, beginning with Seeing Justice on the first day of each month, the Maiming on the thirteenth day of the month, and the Blinding on the twenty-second day of each month. These major rituals involve chanted prayers, thunderously sung hymns to the god, and conjured illusions: a gigantic war hammer that glows blinding white hanging over the heads of the congregation at Seeing Justice; at the Maiming, a gigantic right hand that bursts into view above the congregation surrounded by a nimbus of burning blood, then tumbles away into darkness and fades from view; and two eyes that burst into fountains of flaming tears until they have entirely spilled away and are gone at the Blinding. Early in the ceremony of the Blinding, symbolic blindfolds of diaphanous damask are bound over the eyes of the celebrants by clergy to remind the worshipers of Tyr’s blindness.
In addition to the high rituals, Tyrrans celebrate daily rituals of prayer to the god, which take the form of a sung invocation, a series of responsive prayers led by a senior cleric, a short sermon of instruction or reading of wisdom from the Sacred Judgments of Tyr, and a rousing closing anthem. In temples and abbeys dedicated to the god, such rituals are celebrated every two hours around the clock, with the most important offices taking place at dawn, highsun (noon), the equivalent of six o’clock, and the equivalent of none o’clock. The dawn ritual, The Awakening, is a gentle, uplifting renewal of faith. The noonday ritual, the Hammer at Highsun, is a stirring, exultant expression of the church’s vigilance and martial might. The evenfeast ritual, High Justice, is a stern, proud celebration of Tyr’s commandments and the church’s purpose. The evening ritual, the Remembrance of the Just Fallen, is a haunting, softly chanted reverence for those who have laid down their lives for justice, both inside and outside the faith—a ritual of quiet dignity and respect that always leaves many witnesses, even those who do not follow Tyr, in tears.
Tyr first came to Toril in a campaign to pacify the remnants of the fallen empire of Jhaamdath in -247 DR, The Year of the Striking Lance. This stroke is known as the Procession of Justice, in which the god himself appeared on Toril, allied himself with Torm and Ilmater, and led a host of archons and angels against the chaotic and evil forces arrayed in the remains of the fallen empire. Ilmater aligned himself with Tyr in -243 DR. Torm joined them to complete the Triad some years later.
Tyr lost his right hand to Kezef the Chaos Hound, and his eyes were put out by Lord Ao when he questioned Ao’s decision that all the gods would be punished for failing to prevent Bane’s theft of the Tablets of Fate. Ilmater, true to his ethos, works to teach Tyr to live with these disabilities, though in truth they are not a great hindrance in view of his power as a greater god. Torm, being a god aware of his own past humanity, also aided Tyr by tempering the god’s zeal for justice with the gift of mercy.