|Kord, the Brawler, as depicted in Deities and Demigods (2002).|
|Home Plane||Heroic Domains of Ysgard|
|Class(es)||Cleric 3/Fighter 25/Magic-user 3 (first edition)|
Fighter 20/Barbarian 20 (third edition)
|Portfolio||Athletics, Sports, Brawling, Strength, Courage|
|Domains||Chaos, Competition, Good, Luck, Strength|
Kord is the Suel god of Athletics, Sports, Brawling, Strength, and Courage. His symbol is an eight-pointed star composed of spears and maces.
Kord is depicted as a hugely muscular man standing nine feet tall, with a red beard and long red hair. He wears a fighting girdle made from a red dragon's hide, gauntlets from a white dragon's hide, and boots from a blue dragon's hide. He wields the greatsword Kelmar in battle; he also carries an ordinary two-handed sword that he may wield in one hand while Kelmar is dancing.
Kord is sometimes depicted by his urbanized faithful as a more civilized athlete or wrestler.
Kord is the son of Phaulkon and Syrul, and the grandson of Lendor. He is a foe of dragonkind, especially lawful evil dragons. Kord's favorite heralds are titans. His allies include eladrin and huge earth elementals.
Kord is one of the most powerful of the Suel gods, said to be second only to his grandfather Lendor.
Kord's petitioners dwell in the Hall of the Valiant on Ysgard's first layer, a grand hall made of stout wood where there's always a feast - or a wrestling match.
Kord's followers are urged to scorn cowardice, and taught that the strong and fit should rule the weak. To Kord's faithful, a leader's best quality is bravery. Kord loves physical contests, and this inspires many barbarian tribes to use nonlethal sports as a method for resolving disputes. Because battle claims the weak and cowardly alike, there is nothing to lose by seeking battle; indeed, battle determines who is most worthy of life, and ensures a place at Kord's side after death. Those who flee from battle are often publicly excommunicated.
Kord is the most popular of Suel deity, and his followers are found throughout the Barbarian States of the Thillonrian Peninsula, northern Ulek, Keoland, Ahlissa, Almor, Aerdy, the Bone March, Hepmonaland, the Amedio Jungle, Lendore Isle, Ratik, the Yeomanry, and in the Bandit Kingdom city of Alhaster.
Those berserkers who follow Kord favor the broadsword.
Kord's faithful often undergo tests to prove their strength, such as winning in a gladiatorial arena, climbing a mountain, or slaying a mighty dragon.
Kord's clergy don vestments of bright red, white, and blue, although they may not duplicate the exact pattern that Kord wears on his girdle, gauntlets, and boots. They may not wear dragon-hide armor unless they are literal descendants of Kord himself.
Kord's clergy are chaotic neutral about half the time, chaotic good about a third of the time, and chaotic evil one sixth of the time. They are expected to be leaders, and they help train those under their charge to become stronger. They organize athletic competitions and eagerly participate in challenging athletic activities. Doubting the physical fitness of a priest of Kord is considered a grave insult to them, and they will go to great lengths to prove themselves. Their favored weapons are the greatsword and the bastard sword.
Kord's clerics may be chosen after winning some athletic competition or, conversely, occasionally they are particularly sickly and weak people who a cleric of Kord notices craves strength enough to be worth training. All initiates must undergo extensive strength training, including calisthenics and other hard physical exercise.
Kord is the most popular of the Suel gods, and thriving churches in his name can be found in the Barbarian States, the Duchy of Ulek, Alhaster, Almor, Ahlissa, Hepmonaland, and Lendore Isle. Smaller, more isolated churches dedicated to the Brawler may be found among peasants along the entire route of the Suloise migration.
Temples to Kord often resemble arenas filled with practice spaces and galleries where combat can be observed. They may also include baths, gymnasiums, trophy halls, and statues of Kord.
Kord's rites are kept brief, usually lasting no more than a few minutes. They are joyous, dancing ceremonies held at the end of a battle or some lengthy feat of strength. Services often feature members of the church proudly reciting their physical accomplishments and glorious victories. Songs of praise to Kord honor the deity by listing battles fought in his name.
Prayers to Kord generally involve rhythmic clapping and chanting, the louder the better. Many of the syllables in these chants exist solely to maintain rhythm and rhyme, rather than to add meaning. Examples include "Ah re, ah ree, Kord the Mighty..."
Oaths and epithets related to Kord include "May fate see your blade shatter!" "By Kord's sword!" and "By the blue boots of Kord!"
- The belt of the champion is a gem-studded belt granted by Kord to a favorite gladiator once a decade. It grants a bonus to strength and aids in grappling and rushing opponents, but it ceases to function of its wearer displays fear.
- Kelmar is Kord's electric, dancing, intelligent greatsword. Its special purpose is to slay dragons (only Bahamut seems immune to its blows), and only those of godlike strength can restrain it from attacking dragonkin that come too near.
- The sword of mighty thews is a weapon crafted in homage to Kelmar; it is a dragonbane weapon that confers immunity to dragonfear and grants a luck bonus to attack.
Myths and legends
When the Oerth was still young, beings from the Far Realm attempted to assert dominance over all reality. They sent minions to destroy the newly sentient, pre-human life that then lived on the surface of the world. Four gods rose to oppose this: Pelor, Obad-Hai, Nerull, and Kord. Pelor and Nerull had yet to form allegiances to Good or Evil in those days; they were most interested in maintaining the balance between Law and Chaos. Kord was just along for the sake of having something to fight. The four gods each sacrificed a part of their power to create an anchor that would sever the ties of the invaders to their unguessable masters, and so were able to defeat them.
Kord has a tendency to go into berserk rages in the heat of battle from which he cannot be roused by anyone short of his grandfather, the creator deity Lendor. In such a fugue, he will attack friend or foe alike.
Many tales are told of Kord's dalliances with humans, elves, and even giants, and the sons and daughters born from such unions. When his children reach the age of 17, if Kord finds them worthy, he appears before them and gives them some great task involving fighting. Some few, if they pass their father's tests, may be considered "demigods" in his eyes and gain special powers. If his children do not enter their father's clergy, do not become fighters, or are otherwise considered to be cowards in their father's eyes, Kord may show up in person to kill them.
Kord was created by Lenard Lakofka.
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