Ilneval the Horde Leader

Time for another deity, this time from the Orcish pantheon. Ilneval is Gruumsh’s lieutenant, called to lead Orcish armies when Gruumsh cannot. He is a consummate commander, focusing on strategy over brute force. He is generally the god of elite fighters and orogs in orcish societies, while Bahgtru is generally the god venerated by the regular orc warriors. Enjoy!

Ilneval (PDF Version)
(The Horde Leader, the War Maker, Son of Strife, the Lieutenant of Gruumsh)
Intermediate Power of Acheron, LE

Portfolio:                 Warfare, combat leadership, strategy, planning, courage, unity against foes
Aliases:                     Torazan (Aebrynis)
Domain Name:           Avalas/Nishrak
Superior:                   Gruumsh
Allies:                       Bahgtru, Luthic, Shargaas, Yurtrus, Hextor
Foes:                           Hruggek, Khurgorbaeyag, the Seldarine, the dwarf and gnome pantheons, the goblin pantheon (except Bargrivyek)
Symbol:                     Bloodied broadsword
Wor. Align.:             LN, N, CN, LE, NE, CE

As the Lieutenant of Gruumsh, Ilneval (ILL-nev-all) 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.

Ilneval is in something of a unique position within the orcish pantheon. He has few true allies, but is powerful enough that no lesser deity dares to challenge him. However, he is not strong enough to depose Gruumsh, as he would have to deal with Bahgtru first. He also secretly lusts after One-Eye’s wife, Luthic, but is unable to act on his feelings for the same reasons he does not challenge Gruumsh. Of the other deities in the orcish pantheon, he despises both Shargaas and Yurtrus for what he considers cowardly approaches to problems. In particular, he thinks Shargaas is encroaching on his portfolio of warfare, but as the Night Lord has taken no direct action against him, the War Maker is simply being watchful and biding his time. However, the glory and success of the orcish race is paramount in his priorities, so these feelings do not prevent him from using or working with the other deities to further the goals of his race.

Outside of the pantheon, Ilneval has few allies and a great many enemies. As with the other orcish gods, of course, he loathes the pantheons of the elves, dwarves, and goblinoids. In particular, he hates Hruggek for interfering in a surprise attack Ilneval and Bahgtru executed upon Khurgorbaeyag. He has yet to gain revenge upon the bugbear patron, but is patiently watching for an opportunity. He also has a great desire to match wits and skill with other deities of war and strategy. In particular, he desires to have a decisive confrontation with the hobgoblin patron and god discipline and warfare, Nomog-Geaya. Neither deity’s superior has yet allowed such a confrontation take place, however. He also has a deep desire to defeat Athena in order to prove that no mere female could match his skills at battle and strategy.

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 amongst the pantheon.

The War Maker rarely sends an avatar to the Prime Material plane, and almost exclusively at the command of Gruumsh. He is almost always sent to lead orcs into important battles with touch odds. It is not uncommon for such a battle to include an avatar of a rival pantheon, such as the dwarves or goblins. He will always be sent if the enemies are led by Hruggek. However, Ilneval’s avatar will never fight alongside an avatar of Bahgtru.

Ilneval’s Avatar (Fighter 32, Cleric 15)
Ilneval appears as a tall, unsmiling, grey-skinned orc clad in red chainmail. Every inch of his exposed skin is heavily crisscrossed by battle scars. He wears a large, spiked helmet of red iron and a short cape of thick red fur. He draws his priest spells from all spheres, but prefers to cast spells from the spheres of combat, war, and charm.

AC −2; MV 12; HP 195; THAC0 −10; #AT 5/2
Dmg 4d4 + 13 (broadsword +3, +7 Str, +2 spec. bonus in broadsword)
MR 30%; SZ L (9 feet)
Str 19, Dex 18, Con 18, Int 16, Wis 16, Cha 19
Spells P: 8/8/6/6/4/2/1
Saves PPDM 4; RSW 6; PP 5; BW 4; Sp 7

Special Att/Def: Ilneval wields Foe Smiter, a dreadful broadsword +3 that always drips fresh blood. This blade causes bleeding wounds on a successful hit; victims suffer 1d4 points of damage every round until a cure serious wounds or more potent healing spell is cast. He can cast domination three times per day and command six times per day.

The War Maker is immune to all missiles of +3 enchantment or below, and can only be struck by magical melee weapons His red chain mail +4 deflects all bolt and ray spells and spell-like effects, such as polymorph wand, the ray version of Otiluke’s freezing sphere, and ray of enfeeblement.

Other Manifestations
Like most of the other orcish deities, Ilneval does not often manifest or send omens to his followers. His most common manifestation appears as blood seeping from chain mail armor. When the blood is seeping from the armor of an enemy, it represents the War Maker’s pleasure at the course of action the priests have taken, and causes all followers who see such a manifestation to be affected as if by an aid spell for one turn. If the blood is seeping from the armor of a priest of the Horde Leader, it is an expression of the god’s extreme displeasure at the course of actions or choices the priests have chosen. In such an event, any followers of the Son of Strife who see the omen must immediately make a morale check at a −2 penalty. In addition, they will fight with a −2 penalty to their THAC0 and are required to make morale checks twice as often as normal at the previous listed penalty. These penalties last for one turn.

More rarely, the War Maker will manifest as an aura of dripping blood around a priest’s broadsword. This aura grants one of the following benefits to the weapon: (1) gains the power of a standard +3 weapon; (2) deals double damage to elves, dwarves, or one of the goblinkin races; (3) ignores any metallic armor opponents are wearing. All such effects last for 1d6+4 rounds.

Ilneval is served primarily by least and lesser baatezu, giant ants, hell hounds, imps, incarnates of pride, maelephants, reaves, rooks, and sword spirits. He expresses his pleasure through the discovery of red gems such as rubies and garnets, as well as deposits of red iron. He expresses his displeasure through the discovery of fine looking arms and armor, particularly chain mail and broadswords, that rust away to red dust upon handling them.

The Church
Clergy:                      Clerics, specialty priests, crusaders, shamans, witch doctors, fighters
Clergy’s Align.:      LE, NE
Turn Undead:           C: No, SP: No, Cru: No, Sha: No, WD: No, F: No
Cmnd. Undead:         C: Yes, SP: No, Cru: No, Sha: No, WD: No, F: No

All clerics (including fighter/clerics), specialty priests, crusaders, shamans, and witch doctors of Ilneval receive religion (orcish) as a bonus nonweapon proficiency. All priests must have a minimum Charisma of 9, and must take the broadsword as a weapon proficiency, which they may take at no penalty.

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.

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.

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 (orcs in the Savage North of Faerûn would have different titles than orcs of the Pomarj on Oerth, for example). 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. Orogs (45%) are drawn to his service more than any other deity, and comprise a slight majority of his priests, followed by orcs (40%), half-orcs (14%), scro and ogrillons (1%). Females who show considerable charisma, leadership, and battle skill may be allowed to join the priesthood, but they will never advance far, and make up only slightly more of the War Maker’s priesthood than they do that of Gruumsh (2%). Specialty priests (30%), clerics (26%), and crusaders (23%) make up the bulk of the priesthood, with smaller numbers of fighter/clerics (10%), fighter/specialty priests (6%), and fighters (5%) as well. 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.

Dogma: True strength comes from the body and the mind. Plan well, fight hard, and victory will be yours. Utilize every advantage and strength you possess, and exploit every weakness of your enemies. When united and organized, nothing can stand against the fury of the hordes. When in combat, fear nothing, and let your personal courage prove you worthy of the mantle of leadership.

Day-to-Day Activities: 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.

Important Ceremonies/Holy Days: Ilneval’s priests have no regular celebrations. They are not interested in memorializing past battles and victories, just preparing for future ones. 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.

Major Centers of Worship: While shrines dedicated to the Horde Leader are common, there are no known temples dedicated to him. Shrines can be found throughout orcish lands, or lands previously held by orcs, but only those located within permanent orcish encampments are in current use. The priesthood holds no interest in rediscovering or resanctifying disused shrines.

Affiliated Orders: 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.

Priestly Vestments: 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 accoutrements 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.

Adventuring Garb: 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.

Specialty Priests (Warswords)
Requirements:          Strength 13, Wisdom 9, Charisma 12
Prime Req.:                Wisdom, Charisma
Alignment:                LE
Weapons:                   Any
Armor:                       Any metal armor or shield; chain mail preferred and all metallic armor must be painted red.
Major Spheres:         All, charm, combat, divination, law, sun (reversed forms only), war
Minor Spheres:         Creation, guardian, protection, summoning, wards
Magical Items:         Same as clerics and fighters
Req. Profs:                Broadsword
Bonus Profs:             Intimidation (Charisma version) or leadership

  • Warswords must have orcish blood. Most warswords are orcs or orogs, but half-orcs, scro, and ogrillons may all become warswords.
  • Warswords are not allowed to multiclass, unless they are orogs or half-orcs, in which case they may multiclass as fighter/warswords.
  • Warswords receive Constitution hit point adjustments to their Hit Dice as if they were warriors.
  • Warswords may select nonweapon proficiencies from the warrior group without penalty.
  • Warswords receive a +1 to hit and damage when using a broadsword. This is on top of any other bonuses they may receive due to strength, magic, etc.
  • Warswords may cast courage (as the 1st-level priest spell) once per week.
  • At 3rd level, warswords may cast morale (as the 1st-level priest spell) or command (as the 1st-level priest spell) once per day.
  • At 5th level, warswords may cast prayer (as the 3rd-level priest spell) or strength of one (as the 3rd-level priest spell) once per day.
  • At 7th level, warswords who are not multiclassed can make three melee attacks every two rounds.
  • At 8th level, warswords may cast domination (as the 5th-level wizard spell) twice per week.
  • At 10th level, warswords may cast cloak of bravery (as the 4th-level priest spell) or leadership (as the 4th-level priest spell) once per day.
  • At 12th level, warswords may cast defensive harmony (as the 4th-level priest spell) once per day.
  • At 13th level, warswords can make two melee attacks per round.

Ilnevallan Spells
Priests of the War Maker may cast the 1st-level priest spell analyze opponent, detailed in Powers & Pantheons in the entry for the Red Knight, and the 3rd-level priest spell detect ambush, detailed in Powers & Pantheons in the entry for Anhur.

1st Level
Swiftest Strike (Pr 1; Alteration)
Sphere:                    Combat
Range:                     40 yds.
Components:           V, S, M
Duration:                 1 rd./3 levels
Casting Time:          1
Area of Effect:         The caster, plus 1 creature/2 levels
Saving Throw:        None

With this spell, a priest causes himself and a number of creatures of his choice to gain initiative during combat. The recipients do not roll initiative, instead taking their action before all other combatants. Spellcasting does not gain automatic initiative, instead calculating initiative as if they had rolled a 1. If both sides are affected by this spell, initiative is rolled normally. If opponents are affected by similar magic, such as a sword of quickness or the first strike spell, they gain initiative over this spell. Unlike the haste spell, swiftest strike does not grant additional attacks or cause aging.

The material components for this spell are the priest’s holy symbol and a dead fly.

4th Level
Armor of Ilneval (Pr 4; Abjuration, Conjuration)
Sphere:                    Combat
Range:                     0
Components:           V, S, M
Duration:                 2 rds./level
Casting Time:          5
Area of Effect:         The caster
Saving Throw:        None

By casting this spell, the priest surrounds himself with a red field of magical force in the form of chain mail armor. This magical armor functions exactly as chain mail for purposes of encumbrance, but grants an AC of 3 (plus any bonuses for shields or dexterity), and a +2 bonus to all saving throws. In addition, it grants the priest total invulnerability to normal hurled and projected missiles such as arrows, axes, bolts, daggers, javelins, small stones, and spears. Large missiles like ballista bolts or boulders, as well as enchanted missiles, affect the priest normally. The armor of Ilneval also grants some protection against ray and bolt spells, such as ray of enfeeblement and lightning bolt. For any such spells directed at the priest, there is a flat 50% chance that the spell fails to affect the priest and is instead reflected back on the caster.

The material components for this spell are the priest’s holy symbol and a scrap of chain mail from a ruined suit or armor, formerly worn by a foe slain by the priest.

Strategic Commands (Pr 4; Alteration, Divination)
Sphere:                    War
Range:                     60 yds.
Components:           V, S, M
Duration:                 1 rd./level
Casting Time:          8
Area of Effect:         10-ft. radius/level
Saving Throw:        None

By means of the strategic commands spell, a priest can enhance the military leadership a commander confers upon his group or unit. The spell grants an intuitive knowledge of the immediate area to one designated creature, who can then telepathically issue commands to his allies within the area of effect. While this knowledge does not reveal hidden or invisible creatures, it will reveal likely hiding spots, allowing a +2 bonus on his or her party’s surprise rolls. In addition, those within the area of effect fight with greater efficiency and cohesiveness, gaining a +2 bonus to initiative, attack rolls, and morale checks. Finally, the commander has a slight foreknowledge of attacks, and can issue telepathic warnings, granting his allies a +2 bonus to their armor class and saving throws. Any ally who leaves the area of effect loses the benefits of this spell, but can immediately regain them simply by re-entering the area. No matter the number of allies within the area of effect, the commander can never grant this bonus to more allies, including himself, that his Intelligence score (thus, a priest with a 9 Intelligence can affect 8 allies plus himself). Allies must also have an Intelligence score of Low (5–7) or better to gain the benefit; those with a lower score are not capable of understanding the telepathic commands. This spell is mentally exhausting, and the commander affected by this spell must rest quietly for one turn per round of the spell’s duration. Any attempt to perform a major activity (something that would require a proficiency check, ability check, attack roll, etc.) incurs a −4 or −20% penalty to the check, as well as a −4 AC penalty.

The material component of this spell is the priest’s holy symbol.


One Response to Ilneval the Horde Leader

  1. […] Sources: DMGR4 Monster Mythology (TSR2128), Ilneval the Horde Leader on AuldDragon’s AD&D Blog […]

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