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Cults of the Past:
Moradin's Army

Hargin of Selna

  The army of a god may seem a pretentious concept on which to base a cult, but the dwarfs who formed Moradin's Army accepted them not only individually as a basic premise the notion that the dwarf-forger had created them not only individually and corporately, but in a very real sense

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relationally; that is to say, that Moradin himself had founded and formed this army, and through it had called his dwarfs to serve in it.  Its clerics and fighters who organized and led the order on a daily basis--all lawful good adherents of the god credited as founder--viewed themselves as directed divinely in all toward which they directed the cult.  The rank and file adherents (an appropriate designation in view of the cult's overall structure) were something of a military reserve unit, living ordinary dwarfin lives as miners and builders as dwarfs do, until in some emergency they were called into action to fight for their god against some unholy enemy.  Then they would suddenly find weapons, armor, and supplies fit for soldiers, mobilize into local militia, and come together into formidable legions moving against the forces of chaos and evil.

  Moradin's Army has been credited with a number of impressive victories historically.  Both Groth the Bloody and Black Goron (see The Brotherhood of Death) were said to have been stopped by this legendary dwarfin army.  However, this claim is not uncontested:  El-nana'd claims ("Hope of the Lawful Elves") that the Elfin Legal Defense stopped Black Goron, and Tob Noz (in his definitive work on the Mithril Chain, "Deeds of Honor") claims that Groth the Bloody was killed by the Link known as Fire.  Further, although Justice William credits Moradin's Army with stopping the advance of the barbarian Krodack (in "Wall of Righteousness:  The Army of Moradin"), Hickers, "The Border Guard", presents strong evidence that rangers led that fight, not dwarfs.  While ancient myths speak of battles against demons and devils seeking to capture the surface of our world, recorded history does not credit this group with a single victory not claimed by another group.  (However, see Mysas, "Cults of Our Time", for the view that many of these cults fought together in several of these legendary battles.)

  Two patriarchs of Moradin were said to have led a council with three dwarfin fighter lords at the head of this great army, which was estimated (by Mysas) to have at its zenith totaled seven million dwarfs worldwide.  But the whole army is not known to have been mobilized at any time, and any battles it did fight were led by lesser fighters and clerics, presumably local officers holding some nominal rank within the structure.  That dwarfin villages and mines are quickly and effectively organized and mobilized  against attackers is empirically undeniable, and the name and symbol of Moradin is frequently displayed by such local fighters (this to no one's surprise); but the claim that these defenders are somehow part of a worldwide dwarfin army seems more a rallying cry than a realistic belief.  While no one questions the notion that Moradin may have even today seven million dwarfs ready to fight for his name throughout the world, most scholars assert that these are independent groups not connected in any real way.  Moradin's Army may be the only real illusion cast by any member of the dwarf race.

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