Father of the Krundor barbarians of the Savage Frontier, Krundor is a proud, fierce, and independent warrior. According to some legends he is the son of Beorunna (a warrior hero whose followers became the barbarian tribes of the North), while others claim he is the divine offspring of mighty Bannat. The Battle Father has few friends and has remained relatively uninvolved in divine politics. Krundor’s full and hearty laugh rings out whenever he hears a good joke. He enjoys sensual pleasures of the flesh, even in his divine state, and likes to hunt, eat, drink, and be merry in his feast halls with the warrior spirits he has called to serve him. Although he is a tireless and methodical tactician, his battle strategies are not terribly inspired. He is driven to win in the long run, however, especially if the Krundor barbarians (his people) are threatened. Krundor has many faces, in his guises as the various beast totems, but in his hall he is always depicted as a tall, burly, bearded, blond-haired warrior with eyes of piercing blue dressed only in a battle harness, leather breechcloth, and furred boots.
Krundor was once a mortal Northlander named Krun Gardolfsson, brother to Morgred, who gained fame by invading the fabled realm of the Gold Coast before moving into the northern interior. There, his followers united with refugees of the Empire who had reverted to a primitive way of life to form a dynasty of barbarians, the Krundor. As he lay dying of wounds received in battle with Gurt, Lord of the Frost Giants, Krundor was raised up as a demipower by Bannat, who admired his fighting spirit. Krundor counts only the Lord of Battles as an ally. The Father of the Krundor dislikes Heric, Moriel, Velin, and Tal, for they have stolen away the devotion of all but one cleric of the Black Lion tribe. He holds Nethes responsible for the destruction of the Blue Bear tribe (a fragment of which survives as the new Tree Ghost tribe), and he hates Linisar for turning the Elk Tribe away from his worship. Other than enmities stemming from encroachment upon his followers, Krundor holds himself aloof, unconcerned with divine politics and struggles.
The dogma of the Krundor religion varies slightly from tribe to tribe as each beast cult emphasizes different “barbarian” virtues. In general, shamans are charged as follows when they are initiated into the Krundor faith: Strength is everything. Civilization is weakness. Men should fight, hunt, and raid from the weak to provide for their wives and families. Family is sacred, and its bonds are not cast aside lightly. Arcane magic is effete, self-indulgent, and ultimately leads to weakness. Reliance upon arcane magic is an evil and false path that leads to death and ruin. Revere Krundor, your ancestors, and your tribe’s beast spirit. Study the beast so that you know its virtues and its weaknesses; claim its virtues as your own and weed its weaknesses from your spirit. The beast holds wisdom and raw power that you can make your own. Make the others of your tribe fear and respect your power and knowledge so they heed the wise words your ancestors speak through you to them.
Clergy and Temples
Clergy does not exist per-se outside the collected ranks of those who venerate the various beast cult shamans. Although generally seen as savage and frightening by other inhabitants of the Savage Frontier, in truth the character of the church of Krundor varies greatly from tribe to tribe. In recent years, Krundor’s people have worked to remove the stain of their reputation caused by the cruel actions of the now-defunct Blue Bear Tribe (whose totem was defeated and absorbed by Nethes the Beastlord), and that fact has increased acceptance of Krundor outside the barbarian tribes. Religious fervour within the tribes has increased because several infants in each tribe have been born with a beast-totem birthmark, which has been taken as a sign of great favour. These two factors have caused Krundor to rise to the level of a lesser deity.
Clerics of Krundor pray at dawn or sunset. They are almost exclusively male, and each worships the beast totem spirit of his tribe. The spring equinox and both solstices are holy days, and all tribes converge upon their ancestral mound (or Beorunna’s Well, the holiest of the ancestral mounds) during the autumn equinox to perform ceremonies, make agreements, and commune with ancestral spirits.
During the Icemeet, Krundor youths desiring to be adults (and warriors of all ages) participate in the ritual of the Icehunt, in which those involved seek victory over the tribe’s ritual enemies—usually orcs. When youths complete a Icehunt successfully, Krundor’s clerics hold a ceremony, known as the Telhut, to initiate them into manhood. Krundor clerics of Calewyr initiate Krundor girls into womanhood at this time as well.
Rather than follow the one step rule, clerics of Krundor (and those who take him as a patron deity) must abide by the somewhat broader alignment guidelines of the beast totems who mediate between Krundor and his people. Any alignment that fit’s the guideline for a beast totem is suitable for a cleric of Krundor of that totem. The names and alignment guidelines of the totems are Black Lion (CG), Black Raven (CE), Blue Bear (CE), Elk (CN), Gray Wolf (CN), Great Worm (CG), Griffon (N), Red Tiger (CN), Sky Pony (CN), Tree Ghost (NG), and Thunder beast (CN).