Goreador (pronounced like toreador) is the Master of Battles, one of the three gods of conflict. Soldiers pray to Valysa for protection in battle, and to keep their loved ones safe; they pray to Mal Zath for might and glory and the ruin of their enemies. But they pray to Goreador for skill, discipline and to be delivered from fear and uncertainty. He is the god of steel — both the physical steel of armor, weapons and smithcraft, and the mental steel of resolve, skill and excellence. In his role as a forge-god he is also associated with the earth and the sky, a god of earthquakes and thunder.
The simplest emblem of Goreador is a shield, vertically divided — white on one side, gray on the other. In more elaborate forms (which are naturally popular in Rasenna) the shield is crossed by a sword, placed vertically, and two polearms (a halberd and maul) crossing diagonally. Particularly elaborate depictions may involve a whole wheel of weapons set about the shield, as many as the artist can conceive, for Goreador grants mastery with every one. He is associated with horses and wolves; his church’s favored plants are trees associated with weaponcraft such as oak, ash and yew. Items sacred to Goreador are frequently fashioned from steel or hematite. His colors are white, gray and red.
The Lord Steelheart is one of the few gods to be depicted with his face always concealed, in this case by a helm. He is always shown wearing a full-face helm, breastplate, greaves and gauntlets at the very least, and sometimes in full armor. Many artists show him as four-armed, wielding his four weapons at once — the sword of discipline, the shield of invincibility, the hammer (or maul) of the forge and the axe or halberd of thunder. He is a serious god, according to parables, disciplined at every turn. Goreador rarely sends omens, preferring his faithful to distinguish themselves without prodding. When he does so, they take the form of thunder from a cloudless sky, rocks cracking open to reveal blades, or weapons heating rapidly and then venting steam as if quenched.
Goreador is a patron to soldiers, mercenaries, blacksmiths and iron-mongers throughout the lands. In Rasenna, many blades and duelists pray to him as part of their regimen to increase their own skill. To be a true devotee of Goreador is a demanding task — the Lord Steelheart requires excellence and discipline in all areas. The church does not demand total asceticism, but a true Goreadonni is always the master of his or her vices, and never mastered by them. Naturally, most mercenary companies or military leaders attempt to be on the good side of the Master of Battles’ church. Not all Goreadonni are as skilled as the rare elites of the Adamantine Brotherhood, but in many cities it’s clear that some of the finest local blades can be found in the temples of steel.
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