Dumathoin

dumathoinGod of mining, underground exploration, and the guardian of the dead. He was formed of the bodies of the mortals lost in the Battle of the Old Ones, their husks melded with the soil, decomposing and becoming the earth that then formed Dumathoin. He fought bravely but silently, never speaking, he is as mute as the dead that created him. The other gods honor and respect Dumathoin, but he is reclusive and returned to the underground as soon as the battle was over. He is portrayed as a large, muscular dwarf with grey hair and beard, braided in to simple plaits. He wears light, practical clothing and armor designed for exploration and is often depicted with a huge mining pickaxe, engraved with runes.

Dumathoin guards the gates to the caves beyond the Crystal Cave, the dark and quiet place when dwarven souls await their next lives. He is called upon before deeper exploration of caves and new mining expeditions, and to find an emerald in the caves is said to be a blessing from Dumathoin. His followers protect mines from disrespectful profiteers as well as seek out new veins and gem deposits. They also supervise all mining activities to ensure that the proper respect was paid to the mountain and produce new stratagem and combat techniques for fighting the many Underdark creatures exhumed during excavation. Often when miners or other creatures are lost underground, particularly when their light sources are all gone, the power of Dumathoin guides them to safety by causing rock crystals exposed in the stone walls to sparkle or wink in sequence, beckoning and outlining a route. Where crystals are lacking, areas of bare rock may glow for a time. Many miners pray to Dumathoin in thanks for another underearth phenomenon: the sudden, spontaneous shifting of wedged boulders or rubble blockages that have trapped miners or prevented their further exploration. Temples to Dumatoin are deep underground, and serve as graveyards and mortuaries for the lost. The temples are located in empty or dead-end mines, places where other dwarves are not likely to tread and are guarded by elaborate and beautiful metal gates, sometimes by trained creatures as well. Shrines to Dumathoin are much more common, small alcoves in the caves that feature a statue of the dour god, usually behind a gate, and decorated with emeralds if possible. Dumathoinians believe in guarding the wealth of the caves and living in balance with nature.  Priests of Dumathoin seek always to uncover the buried wealth of the earth without marring the beauty of the ways beneath the surface or being overly greedy. They often supervise mining operations and maintain underground safety and security. They work to clean up the rubble of mining, to grow and put in place luminous fungi and edible deep-mosses, and to direct water through the earth to best serve the underlife that includes, of course, dwarves. Priests of this faith are always hunting for new veins of ore, new sources and species of useful fungi, and new delves or underways never explored before. They try to identify encountered dangers and determine strategies to deal with these menaces of the deep places appropriately. They also bargain with other (nonhostile) underground races to avoid over-exploitation of resources. A priest of Dumathoin is always learning the tiniest details of conditions and life underground. Most priests are therefore invaluable in leading companions through the underways in darkness (for example, when all torches have been used). They can also find water, veins of ore, and cracks or fissures that provide ways out, or can be mined to yield a way from one cavern to another. The most devoted priests take a vow of silence, to emulate the god. They are also skilled in mortuary skills, and mummification rituals which they perform on the most noble of dwarves. They are called on to remove the dead and will always do what is necessary to tend to the bodies and protect them from looting or desecration. While clerics of Dumathion are death clerics this is not immediately obvious as their usual focus is mining and the mountains, but when faced with a disaster or death they become effective and efficient, cleaning and clearing the bodies and ensuring everyone is healed and prepared.