Orcish Pantheon
Orcish Pantheon

Orcish Pantheon

The One Almighty Vision

The predominant orc religion centres on the orc creator deity Gruumsh and his immediate court, though many demigods (generally ascended orc heroes) receive veneration by particular tribes. Some orcs have been swayed to the cause of other deities, including traditionally human deities who value strength and conquest, draconic deities, archfiends, and occasionally darker gods than these. A few traditions among the orcs align them with the harsher deities of nature and the elements—rough, turbulent, uncaring.

Religiosity among orcs is distinctive in that belief in the gods and their power is fairly ubiquitous, but actual veneration and religious practice is generally delegated to the shamans, whose importance waxes and wanes with the needs of the band or tribe. When healing or blessings of strength are needed, the shamans are a precious resource and highly regarded; in times of peace and wellness, the shamans may find themselves needing to remind the laity of the powers they represent. While orcs participate in few regular religious observances, storytelling is a popular entertainment and frequently incorporates the great legends of Gruumsh and his kindred or hero deities sacred to the tribe.

Orcs feel a strong emotional link to their traditional patrons, who appeal to fundamental urges and facets of orc nature. These emotions are not necessarily always positive; in particular, the outsider gods of the pantheon tend to appeal to the darkest and most troubled emotions among orcs. It is noteworthy that, though he is explicitly the creator of the orc race and acknowledged as such by his chosen people, Gruumsh is not contextualized as a father figure, nor do his noteworthy epithets name him such. To the orcs, the supremacy of their deities lies not in the act of creation (“fools breed most true” is one maxim that shamans may reference in this regard) but rather in the vision that they present of the future greatness of the orcish race.

The orcish pantheon has many foes; the Morndinsamman, the Seldarine, the Dark Seldarine, the goblin pantheon, the Pharaonic pantheon, Meriadar… given time, it seems, Gruumsh will find a way to give or take offense when dealing with most others. It also suffers from internal conflicts, with Bahgtru and Ilneval vying for the favour of the One-Eyed God and Gruumsh’s ceaseless watching for the emergence of new orcish demigods who might challenge his power base in some fashion.

The Powers of the Orcs

The Euroz, the First Family of Orcs

  • Bahgtru (power of brutish strength)
  • Gruumsh (power of war and leader of the pantheon)
  • Ilneval (power of strategic warface, battle tactics and combat)
  • Kuvash (power of betrayal)
  • Luthic (power of fertility, healing and medicine)
  • Nabassh (power of the sea and shark slaying)
  • Nuugahtrec (power of wrestling and livestock)
  • Nurva (power of prophecy and fate)

Interloper Powers

  • Shargaas (power of darkness, thieves and the night)
  • Yurtrus (power of death, disease and decay)
  • The Orcish Hero-Gods
    • Ahgnaar (power of arctic endurance, fire, resourcefulness)
    • Dukagsh (power of the scro and wildspace)
    • Nazarn (power of formal and public combat)
    • Thaargat (power of jungles, poisons, herbs)
    • Vasthu (power of deserts, scouts and tracking)
  • The Upstart Demipowers of Golarion
    • Dretha (power of birth, fertility and tribes)
    • Lanishra (power of slavery, subjugation and tyranny)
    • Nulgreth (power of anger, rage and strength)
    • Rull (power of lightning, storms and thunder)
    • Sezelrian (power of fire, magic and revenge)
    • Varg (power of iron, siege engines and war)
    • Verex (power of lust, pillage and plunder)
    • Zagresh (power of death, destruction and disaster)

The ‘True’ Orcish Pantheon (now mostly scattered, dying or extinct)

  • The Truth About the Orc Gods (a short legend)
  • Baalibastus (power of love, beauty and passion)
  • Dur-Shuk (power of joy, friendship, art and creativity)
  • Kislova (power of light, kindness and life)
  • Nikodalus (power of family, protection, war and age)
  • Ravnost (power of diplomacy, understanding, trade) [dead]
  • Wisuth (power of justice, courage, honour and war)
  • Zurrog (power of wisdom, transcendence and knowledge)


  • Jon Winter-Holt, mimir.net
  • Chris ‘Orc-Friend’ Nichols (true pantheon)
  • Afroakuma (orc hero-gods, write-ups for the Euroz and the Interlopers)
  • Paizo (orcish demipowers of Golarion)
  • Forgotten Realms wiki

The Powers of the Orcs, in Detail

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