Keepers of the Realm
Talos (pronounced TAAHL-ose), also known as The Storm Lord (and long ago as Kozah), was the Faerûnian greater deity of storms and destruction. His dogma was self-serving, demanding utter obedience from his priests and instructing them to spread destruction where they might. His followers were known as Talassans. Although often assumed to be a true god, Talos was, in fact, an aspect of the orcish god Gruumsh but after the Second Sundering the two deities seemed more distinct.
The Stormlord was formed from the first battle between Selûne and Shar, near the dawn of the world. The people of the ancient Netheril empire worshiped him as Kozah, and called him The Destroyer and The Raging One, among other titles. Among the present-day Bedine of Anauroch, whom descended from the citizens of Netheril, Talos was still known as Kozah. In Calimshan he was worshiped as Bhaelros and in that aspect he almost utterly destroyed Calimport. In the Underdark, he had an aspect with a small following as Malyk, a god of wild magic.
The Druidhome trilogy is the only mention of a Chosen of Talos. His chosen was Deirdre Kendrick, who was the younger sister of Alicia Kendrick, High Queen of the Moonshae Isles. She was taught magic directly by The Storm Lord who appeared to her as a large man, with dark brooding features. A special ability granted to her was a powerful version of the lightning bolt spell, it appeared solid black and instantly killed anything that it hit regardless of protections or size. Only Greater deities were unaffected.
Talos appeared as a broad shouldered, bearded man with one good eye. He wore half-plate armor over black leather, and black leather gloves. His empty eye socket was filled with whirling stars and covered with a dark eye patch. When he appeared in Calimshan, he often took the form of a dusky skinned, turbaned genie rising out of a sandstorm.
The church of Talos was small by the standards of a greater deity, and his followers were fanatical in their love of destruction. The clergy had no formal hierarchy; obedience was enforced through might. Priests of Talos were fond of extorting sailors and farmers, threatening that Talos would bring destructive storms upon them if they did not placate the angry god. They were wont to pursue wealth and luxury with many indulging in acts of random or spiteful violence, pillage and banditry. Talossan clerics were also committed evangelists who sought to gain converts through fear or the enticement of raw power.
Clerics of Talos wore black robes and cloaks shot through with teardrops and jagged lines of gold and silver while high clergy wore blue-white ceremonial robes streaked with crimson; all of whom wore an eye patch.
Worship of Talos was outlawed in many countries. Most Talossan holy sites were secret because of the church's reputation. Public churches often took the form of castles or fortified strongholds that lay on earthquake fault lines or in the path of storms or lava; Talos ensured they remain unscathed.
Clerics of Talos celebrated Talossan festivals with ceremonies that summoned lightning and storms.
- Calling Down the Thunder – This ritual involved the sacrifice of an intelligent being by lightning.
- The Fury – This was the ceremony in which the cleric prayed, made berserk attacks to wreak as much destruction as possible in a small amount of time, then prayed again.
Talos was close with Auril, had a flirtatious rivalry with Umberlee and a grudging alliance with Malar, who would kill him if he could. He also hated deities that promoted building, learning, nature, and the altering of weather. Chief among his enemies were Chauntea, Eldath, Lathander, Mystra, Sune, Deneir, Gond, Helm, Mielikki, Oghma, Shiallia, Silvanus, and Tyr.
Talos Also led the Deities of Fury: Auril, Malar, and Umberlee.
The existence of religious orders affiliated with Talos was shrouded in mystery and rumor. Two speculated groups were:
Lords of the Tempest
A group of wizards that specialized in combining elemental magic.
Circle of Rust and the Worm
A cabal of insane sages and mystics of various disciplines with the aim of destroying the world.