Aliases: The Father of Battle, The Eternally Vigilant
Worshippers: Primarily worshipped by dwarves. Although strong warriors of other races (especially human) will often times call upon the Father of Battle as well.
Cleric Alignments: As Vorax is a just and righteous god, his clerics must embody those ideals by being LG, LN, or NG
Domains: Good, War, Protection
Governs: Battle, war, valor, bravery, vigilance
Vorax honors all who believe in bravery, war and valor. His clerics despise weakness of character, believing one should have strong moral values. They hate pacifism, as any morals and ideals worth having should also be worth fighting for. They loathe an idle mind, as it becomes fertile ground for unrighteous seeds to plant themselves, and equally hate an idle body, as it becomes soft and unsuitable for the rigors of war. They have a great mistrust of arcane magics, and as a result generally do not mix well with wizards and other arcane spell-casters. Above all, the clerics of Vorax abhor dishonorable and deceitful tricksters. War should be fought for righteous causes, and won through honorable battle.
War is a sacred rite for the followers of Vorax, and as such is never entered into lightly. War should always be an option of last resort and should only be engaged in for the most just of causes. However, once engaged, a war should be fought strictly by the established rules and the righteous cause must be made victorious. There is no shame in losing a battle, but there is great dishonor in losing a war. To lose a war is to fail the just and the righteous, and therefore show weakness in the Father of Battle. Because war is so sacred to the church, the tools of war are considered sacred instruments. Thus, weapons of war are treated with great reverence.
To encompass all of this, a follower of Vorax must have a strong and just moral character. Followers of Vorax must be like The Ever Vigilant himself, keeping their bodies and minds prepared at all times to defend the just and righteous of the world.
Clergy Favored Weapon and Clothing:
The favored weapon of the clergy of Vorax is the battleaxe, although many of the dwarven clergy prefer the dwarven variety. Silvered varieties of weapons are often favored as well, as they are exceptionally handy when fighting the undead minions of one of Vorax's biggest enemies, Corath.
The favored armor of the clergy and followers is strong, hardy full plate, often painted in silver and red to emulate the armor worn by Vorax himself. The temple clergy rarely wear such armor, but they do still possess it. Instead, temple clergy tend to wear robes of red or black with silver and gold highlights and threading. They tend to wear very formal robes, however, since such attire is less conducive to idleness of the body. Battle Priests of Vorax rarely go anywhere without their armor on. Instead, they have robes fitted to be worn over the outside of their armor. Although most followers actually spend less time in armor than without, the Battle Priests are the exception, usually only taking it off to sleep, bathe, or clean the armor itself.
Clergy and Temples:
The hierarchy of the church of Vorax is broken down into three divisions, each with its own way of doing things.
The first sect is the Scholar Clerics of Vorax. These are by far the most numerous as they are often educators and counselors of the lay as well as the devout. These clerics are the ones who rely on prayer as much as anything else as a daily guide in their lives. This sect is led by a council of elders, who in turn give authority to carry forth the word to other members of their order as they see fit. Only the most pious and devout followers of Vorax ever sit on the council. Once there, they sit for life; only when a member dies will another be chosen to fill his or her place. This new member is chosen by secret ballot by the council. The ballots are kept secret as to prevent clan rivalry from influencing votes. The longest-sitting member of the council is the leader, holding the title of High Elder of Vorax.
The second sect is the Battle Priests of Vorax. These priests spend less time in communal prayer with Vorax, and as such do not wield his power as fully as those of the scholarly sect. What they lack in divine strength, however, they make up for in strength of arms. Unlike their scholarly counterparts, Battle Priests spend more time honing their bodies and minds for war than they do in pious contemplation. Many of the strongest warriors of the time can be found among the Battle Priests, but raw strength alone does not suit them; Battle Priests must also be wise in the ways of war. Battle Priests often become generals of armies and leaders of men, for through long and intensive study and actual field practice, they have learned the intricacies of battle strategy and the true art of war. No Battle Priest begins in the sect; rather, they are called to it over time. Sometimes a scholar finds within their studies a calling to become more like Vorax, and so takes up arms and begins fighting more and praying less. Other times grizzled warriors begin to learn that there is more to war than brute force, and begin to study its art and learn more of Vorax, that they may find his favor come time for battle. The hierarchy of the Battle Priests is rigid. All Battle Priests have a standing within the hierarchy which they are made to memorize from top to bottom so that there is never a question of whose authority is greater. The very top of the hierarchy is the General Superior of Vorax. The General Superior is the longest standing member of the Council of Battle Generals. There are seven Generals, each of equal rank, and all others fall below them. Promotion through the ranks for those below them can only happen in two ways, either there is a death, and everyone moves up, or the Generals promote one of those they lead to a higher position. Only the General Superior can promote a Battle Priest to the elevated position of Battle General of Vorax. The Battle Generals of Vorax are the most capable warleaders to be found anywhere.
The third sect of the church is the Order of the Bloody Axe. These clergy are also militant, but are in the service of either of the previous sects. They have the divine strength granted to them through close communing with Vorax, but the strength of body of a warrior or Battle Priest. These are the Paladins of Vorax, and in some rare cases Champions of Vorax. The hierarchy here is very loose. Once a person is accepted as a Paladin of Vorax, it is expected that they need no hierarchy to give them guidance or structure. They are glowing beacons of good and righteous character with unimpeachable moral fiber. Among their kind, though, there is a certain amount of deference for those that have served longer as Paladins, for the longer they have served, the more experience eradicating evil they have had. There is but one elevated position among the given to its longest standing member: the Righteous Axe of Vorax.
Although rarely ever assembled, the leaders of each of the three sects form the High Council of Vorax. It is these three that come together in times of crisis to provide direction for the church, and it is this council of three that has final say in the interpretation of church doctrine and mission. It is also this council that, on very rare occurrences, will select from among the followers Champions or Chosen of Vorax. These Champions nearly always come from the Battle Priests or the Paladins, and serve as honorary members of the High Council of Vorax until death.
Prayer times for each of the sects vary. Scholars pray quite frequently throughout the day, praying as they rise from their rest at dawn and again at the end of the day before retiring for the night, at a minimum. They also offer prayer after any intervention by Vorax is perceived, such as after a healing is performed or a battle won. Battle Priests pray far less often, since they rely as much on their own ability as the intervention of Vorax. They do acknowledge Vorax at the beginning of each day, and always before engaging in planned battle. The prayer practices of Paladins are much like those of Battle Priests, but they will pray for guidance and strength at any time they feel that their services will be needed to ensure that Vorax helps them in their righteous cause.
The only religious holiday observed by the church as a whole is the first day of the new year. It is held in reverence as a reminder of the rebirth and reaffirmation of good and life in the world. As to other days of celebration and revelry, they are usually clan-based and used to mark the day of some great battle in the history of the clan.
Wielding the shape of an axe, and is known as ‘Justice of Him.’ Like Dorand’s constellation ‘The Creator’s Hammer’ ‘Justice of Him’ as the dwarves have simply named it, has great detail in it. Made up of thirty main stars, and fifteen lesser ones, many believe there to be a dwarven word written upon the fat of the axe with the faint stars, though few claim to know what it is, and none of the translations match. Dwarves of Vorax prefer to pray when they awake, before they sleep, and before and after battles. Few of these times are deep into the night when Vorax’s constellation shines bright so few dwarves pray to it. As many constellations it shines brightest on religious holidays, and as many dwarves have claimed to witness, after a great battle, whether day or night. It also shines brightly on the first evening of the New Year, and many have claimed even during the day.
It has no great divine meaning according to dwarves, however many Araganites think they lie. Any mention of whether or not it has arcane meanings and the clerics of Vorax will most likely knock you out cold.
Allies and Enemies:
Allied: Rofirein, Toran
Friendly: Deliar, Kithairien, Folian S'pae, Dorand
Unfriendly: Aeridin, Ilsare, Branderback, Lucinda, Az'atta, Shindaleria, Beryl, Prunilla
Enemy: Pyrtechon, Shadon, Goran, Corath, Mist, Aragen, Baraeon Ca'Duz, Sulterio, Xeen, Vierdri’ira, Grand, Grannoch