Saturday, March 1, 2003

Pilger, priest of Mighty Horm

By Norman J Harman (njharman @
Horm's Prayer:
Horm is holy
Horm is high
Horm is the Only
Now you die!
Pilger, son of Gretchin, Granite brother, Priest of Mighty Horm the Harsh

Pilger is a weathered old Dwarf of 250 years (approx 60 in human terms) who has devoted his life to the great, the only, god of mining and mountains, mighty Horm the Harsh (See Horm below).

Being a respectable couple Pilger's parents had only one child. Durgin, his father, died in the Fourth Ork War while Pilger was but an initiate in Horm's Order. Pilger's mother, Gretchin, died of old age and sorrow shortly after her mate's demise. Pilger's only current living ancestor is an ancient uncle, Galdur, who must be at least 340 by now. Brother of Gretchin, priest of Durthang(god of Metal/Metalwork, a major Dwarf god), and "dead" to Pilger because of that. Pilger makes daily penance to Horm for his uncle's misguided skullduggery.

His beard is still mostly red but handsome white streaks are forming on either side of his mouth. As all Dwarves in the service of Horm, Pilger regularly shaves his head and braids his sideburns, finishing them with small silver beads carved with variations and combinations of Horm's Symbol and Pilger's ancestral crest. His typical dress includes his mountain plate & helm (see below) with a grey cloak trimmed in red with gold thread, featuring clan Granite's Emblem on its back. Fastened with a cloak clasp dominated by a large Spinal (red-brown gem) abstractly carved into a dragon's head. Passed down from Durgin's great uncle it is one of many ancestral heirlooms Pilger honors with use.

Pilger is the only chosen servant of Horm in his clan, clan Granite. To the dismay of Pilger numerous pretenders to the mighty, high, and holy throne of Horm receive succor and support in the form of several false priests amongst clan Granite. Who, despite Pilger's repeated long, rousing, drunken spiels at the clan festhall retain the clan's support. After much brooding and seeking of wisdom from his ancestors it has become obvious to Pilger that Horm wishes him to leave the clanhold. That Horm commands him to spread Horm's holy might, kill Orks, and seek adventure across the vast world from the uppermost peak of Tichen to the deepest mine of the Droog's.

NOTES: Pilger uses Clerical Magic & Fudge Miracles (Fudge Expanded Ed pp 78-79,108) He is also "Watched by Horm", a gift & a fault.. He must "keep in favor", something that with Horm is a great deal of effort. The game master should consult the description of Horm when determining modifiers for petitioning Horm Although, he likes to meddle with his followers, he is more likely to "send" challenges for them to overcome and prove their worthiness to spread his word than heal their wounds or banish skeletons they should be crushing themselves. But, if a fey tricks one of his priests out of their gold, he'll likely bestow unerring direction sense to the fey, unlimited endurance, and show up to smote the cheating elf himself.

StrengthGood (scale +1)
Speed Scale(-1)
Strength/Mass Scale(+1) 4'2", 170lbs, "born of stone"

Watched by god, Horm
Divine Favor(see Fudge Expanded Ed pp 78-79)
Good Damage Capacity (Racial)
Wealthy (Racial)as compared to non-Dwarves
Infra-vision (Racial)
Born of Stone (Racial)immune to most disease, poison, and herbs good or bad. resistant (+4) to most necromancy, nature, and life magic.

Watched by god, Horm
Fanatic, priest of Horm
Getting Old
Intolerant, other priests
Intolerant, Ork (Racial)
Greedy & Miserly (Racial)(as compared to non-Dwarves

Petition HormFair (see Fudge Expanded Ed pp 78-79)
Bone CastingGood
Ropework (splice & knots)Good
MountaineeringSuperb with special equipment,
Good otherwise
Riding, mountain yakFair
Detect Stonework TrapsGood
Survival, CavesGood
Survival, AlpineGreat
Tracking, CavesFair
Tracking, AlpineGood
Armorer, MetalGreat
Metalwork, artisticGood
Mineral LoreGreat
Metal LoreGood
Gem LoreGood
Coin LoreFair
Chiseling (Horm's Prayer)Great
Dwarven HistorySuperb to Good,
(depending on how close it relates to Horm, clan Granite or Pilger's Ancestors)
Ork HistoryGood (biased, from Dwarven point of view)
Area KnowledgeGood (clan Granite's hold)
OratoryFair, Good after a couple drinks, Terrible after a few more
Story TellingGood
Dwarvish LiteracySuperb

Combat Skills
Pole axeGreat
War hammerGreat
Throwing, hammerGood

Offensive Damage Factors (inc scale and strength were appropriate)
war hammer+4 (+1 weapon type, +1 Glenda)
pole axe+4 (+2 weapon type)
pick+1 (-1 poor weapon, but it does pierce unusual substances)
thrown hammer+2
bolt - crossbow+6 (The Icicle is powerful)

Defensive Damage Factors (inc scale & good damage capacity)


Gertrude a.k.a. 'Gertie' a Mountain Yak

Scale (+3) 600lbs

(Good) Strength, (Good) Agility, (Superb) Cold Resistance (Great) Agility and (Great) Climbing skill in mountainous, rough, and icy terrain

Max Load: Pilger has reached it, after loading his equipment and himself. Typically he walks alongside Gertie. After all, Horm admires those who carry their own weight.

Gertie is not born of stone and therefor does not pass into the ancestral realms. Pilger treats his Yak as he does his other valuable equipment, with respect and care so that they will serve him long and well. But, in the end, Gertie is just a tool.

Horm's holy symbol

Necklace composed of square hematite beads with a central bloodstone carved into a mountain peak from which hangs a pick of pure platinum. This is the holy symbol bestowed to Pilger by Horm, in absentia, when he was made a priest. It is not replaceable.

Glenda, The Miner's Friend

An ancestral heirloom passed on to Pilger by his father when he left to join Horm's Order. It is a magical weapon that transforms into one of three forms upon command.

"langax" - a 7' long pole arm with opposing axe and hammer heads. It generally allows the wielder to strike first in combat. "krieghammer" - a 4' war hammer with large double heads. Wonderfull at crushing whether it be rock or skull of Ork. (+1 damage factors) "spitzhacke" - 3' pick of the miner / mountain climber variety. A ring (for attaching rope) is set into its handle. With a robust swing behind it the pick head will pierce rock and stone that lessor tools couldn't scratch.

It takes but a second to transform, silently "flowing" into the new shape. In all forms Glenda appears to be plain, unadorned Mithril free of scratches or marks, which she is, as if she were fresh from the forge ready to be engraved, which she certainly is not. There being a tale that speaks of The Miner's Friend in the Cavern of Deeds that must have occurred some 1600 years ago.

Heavy Crossbow, "The Icicle"

A bow constructed from strips of flat steel, mounted into the shaped thighbone of an Frost Giant. Adorned with silver inlays and detailed carving depicting a glorious unnamed battle, the one in which a Frost Giant gave up his leg, between brothers of clan Granite and a marauding Frost Giants. Prominently featured are the huge icicles the giants form from their breath and hurl as javelins.

60 x iron quarrels strong enough to withstand being fired by "The Icicle"

2 x spools and ample twine. Wound with twine one end of which is attached to a quarrel they are used to send a 'lead line' across a chasm or up a cliff.

Steel chain-mail - Made to be cooler than plate/plate-mail in hot weather. 70 deg F is hot weather to Pilger.

Steel mountain plate

Gilded with gold & platinum. Engraved with scenes from Horm's greatest triumphs. Slaying a 100 Orks with a single axe swing. Drinking Gruld under the table. Landing the Fey emmisary on her butt while ejecting her from the Godhall. Climbing Mount Tichen in a single day defeating Ice, Snow, Frost, & Glacier Giants, the Great Snow Serpent, and the Frost Witch of Tichen along the way...

Pilger along with the eldest of Horm's Order crafted this armor in the sacred hearth on the holiest of Horm's holy days. It is holy and magical.

Features include:
  • Reinforcement, bracing and built-in harness for climbing.
  • Several 'hard-points' (metal rings, snaps, and threaded bars) for the connection of ropes, cables and equipment
  • Chisel toed boots for jamming into crevices while climbing
  • Attachable crampons for use over ice, snow, and other treacherous ground.
  • Removable padding made of fine wool and the warm inner hair of the mountain Yak.
  • Klimbers: Devices that attach to the plate boots and are toe operated. When used with waist and chest hard-points allows the wearer to climb and have arms free. See hand operated Klimbers below for details.
  • Two small, hidden compartments one under the left arm and the other along the right calf are designed to hold a small number of gems and/or coins.

Steel helmet

Gilded and engraved to match the mountain plate. A triangular Bloodstone (grey with red flakes) 1" on a side is mounted on the helmets brow. Crossed above this are a platinum pick and golden hammer. This is a stylized version of Pilger's ancestral crest. Situated at the top front is a shuttered compartment suitable for a magical light stone or one of the more mundane cold-light substances that will not ruin Dwarven dark-vision. This "lantern" can be adjusted from dim to full and from narrow-beam to flood.

Other Equipment

1 x 50' (Great) quality ½" braided rope.

2 x 25' lengths of (Great) quality ½" braided rope. Each with a snap ring on one end and a dead eye on the other.

100' of 'Kord' - a 1/8" dia rope made by weaving the filaments of a special mineral. It is very strong(Superb) and thin but not very flexible. It must be spliced and cannot be knotted. It is too thin to hold onto without the use of special hardware such as Klimbers. One end has a snap ring spliced to it. The other end is terminated with a butt splice. This is probably the second most valuable item Pilger carries after the mountain plate. Horm's holy symbol and his ancestral heirlooms are irreplaceable and beyond value.

2 x hand operated Klimbers. Useable on Kord or rope up to ½" dia. They alternatively hold fast and let slide a rope that is inserted into them. They greatly aide in climbing a rope. When used with poor quality twisted ropes they tend to jam as well as damage the rope.

4 x 1" dia steel rings attached to devices similar to Klimbers. Used with Kord to tie or pass rope through the rings, attach equipment to the rings or someone to the Kord.

8 x 9" steel spikes with 2" dia steel swivel rings attached to their thick ends

2 x 3" single whee,l brass and steel pulleys with snap rings. Useable with rope up to 1" dia. Kord is too thin, inflexible to use with these

Numerous steel snap rings with threads of various sizes (karabiners) Miscellaneous other mountaineering tools and supplies.

Grey leather backpack - Oiled and water resistant. Contains pockets, fasting points, loops, etc for all of Pilger's special mountaineering equipment. Attaches directly to the mountain plate. Through a quick release mechanism one can disconnect themselfs from the pack in a couple of seconds.

Runes - various squares, triangles, and rounds carved from the bones of Pilger's ancestors. Used with "Bone Casting' skill during prayers to seek the wisdom and power from the ancestors.

Small Mithril chisel and Adamite hammer - For engraving Horm's Prayer and Pilger's ancestral crest everywhere he goes.

Cooking utensils, flint&steel, fire starter sticks.

Cold and temperate weather cloths, in layers.

Extreme cold mutlocks, mittens and cloaks.

Water skin filled with beer.

1 months supply of Dwarven Bars.

Splicing tools for Kord and rope.

Armor and weapon maintenance equipment

Shuttered lantern

2 x iron flasks, filled with quality, slow burning, smokeless, odorless oil.

Small collapsible spade

Small collapsible grapnel head

Traveling money: (Dwarven face value given in parenthesis)

  • 5 x platinum coins highly engraved and set in the center with a precious stone (100gp)
  • 20 x gold coins highly engraved and set in the center with a semi-precious stone (10gp)
  • The following are strung in groups of 20 and referred by non-dwarves as a "Dwarven necklace."
  • 40 x plat coins octagonal with round hole in the center (5gp)
  • 40 x gold coins octagonal with round hole in the center (1gp)
  • 40 x electrum coins octagonal with round hole in the center (.5gp)
  • 40 x silver coins octagonal with round hole in the center (.2gp)
  • 40 x copper coins octagonal with round hole in the center (.05gp)

Note: The above are all high purity Dwarven coins worth more than their face value in many regions. Especially the "gem coins" which rarely pass into the hands of non-dwarves.

A few hundred coins of various denominations minted in domains adjacent to the campaigns starting locale.

1000gp worth of jewelry, at least five pieces. Gold, silver, platinum, and opaque gem stones preferred. Bloodstone is Pilger's ancestral stone. Grey and red are the colors associated with Pilger's Ancestors..

Pilger has access to a great amount of family wealth stored at Granite's clanhold. But, it is an extremely disgraceful thing to take from instead of add to the ancestral vault. Even for an 'investment'. Dwarves have dim views on spending money to make money. A Dwarf wouldn't rent out their grandma for any amount of platinum. Similarly, they wouldn't part with their gems and coins for the chance to receive more in the future. Horm especially disdains commerce and 'work'. The proper method to obtain wealth is for it to be bestowed by him after lengthy and arduous labor mining and smelting ore or to reclaim the mountain's bounty from the hoards of orks, dragons, fey, and man.

Mighty Horm the Harsh

Horm is one of the many dwarven gods of mining and/or mountains. Horm is not one of the more prominent ones either. In fact, do not be alarmed if any given dwarf has not even heard of Horm. Well, be very alarmed if you happen to be a priest of Horm. Horm is very demanding, egotistical, vain, bombastic, and conceited. Horm is militant, aggressive, and impulsive. His followers are as quick as him to solve problems and settle arguments with axe or hammer. Horm is a doer not a thinker. If his quick temper, ill-manners, or vain posturing gets him into more trouble than his hammer can deal with, he gets his bigger hammer. Horm does not have many allies amongst the pantheon. He has few if any enemies. He's mostly just ignored. Horm's followers, called Horm's Order, pretty much act and are treated in a similar fashion to Horm himself.

Horm prefers to be worshiped in mines or atop mountains but will accept any prayer offered with a stone or rock 'roof' over head. Sacrifices to Horm include the smelting of ores, uncut gems, snow from high remote and/or sacred mountain peaks, well fashioned(Great or better) mining equipment. The more valuable, rare, famous the item sacrificed is the better. The more arduous, challenging, and tale worthy it was to bring the sacrifice about the better, esp if it causes feats mentioning Horm to be recorded in the Cavern of Great Deeds. Like the entire Dwarven pantheon, excepting Blinda the Peacemaker, any Ork killed in Horm's name will please him. Horm especially likes Horm's prayer to be carved onto mountains, mine entrances, other god's temples, any and all stone surfaces actually.

Horm admires; most Dwarven goddesses, combat, exploring the unknown, feats of endurance determination and self reliance. He dislikes most other Dwarven gods, skulduggery, Orks, despoilers of mountains(i.e. non-dwarves), weather, and the 'great outdoors'.

Horm's symbol is a mountain peak with a vertically aligned pick superimposed. Granite grey is the color most associated with him. Holy days; All of them, really. Everyday is a great day to honor Horm and his might. There is not a day on the calender that lacks an anniversary worthy of praise. A typical service involves a single solitary priest performing the ritual of "Carving Horm's Prayer", recounting the great feats Horm performed on that day, and perhaps a sacrifice if there is one worthy of Horm available. Throughout the rest of the day, a priest is expected to remind all he meets of Horm's mighty accomplishments and unchallenged greatness. The holiest of holy days only comes every 100 years during which initiates to Horm's Order are made priests.