The Eye of Gruumsh

Prophet of the Sky Eagle Tribe


The Eye of Gruumsh began life as Skulmad, a brash and aggressive orc of the Sky Eagle tribe, whose poor decisions in his youth led to exile. For many years after, he lived a hermetic life in the Cairngorm Mountains. After the Siege of Ogrefist Hold, he wandered onto the sight of the battle and stumbled upon the body of the recently slain warlord, Gruumsh. Recognizing him as a tribal brother, Skulmad recovered the body and took it back to his home, where he treated it for transport, keeping one piece of Gruumsh’s body for himself—an eye, which Skulmad petrified and used to replace one of his own, which had been removed as punishment for a heinous past crime.

Skulmad returned to the Sky Eagle with Gruumsh’s body. At first, they were not happy to see him, but Skulmad had spent days of journey preparing a bardic recollection of Gruumsh’s last stand in hopes of winning his way back into his lost tribe. By the time he finished, the Sky Eagle had been won over by his passion and thanked him for returning their greatest warlord’s body, inviting Skulmad back into the fold. It was not long after his return that Skulmad realized the full extent of the sway which Gruumsh had held over his brethren. When the Yuan-Ti soon struck at the Sky Eagle, driving them eastward, Skulmad latched onto their fear and their dreams of returning home to the lands which had been taken from them, and spun his tales of Gruumsh into a nearly spiritual myth. As those who believed Skulmad’s words grew in numbers during this period of strife, so too did his power and influence. As a last step to turn over those who still held his past against him, Skulmad gathered all the Sky Eagle together and underwent a ritual of renaming, in which he forswore his former self as dead, even to him, claiming that Gruumsh’s bravery and spirit had shown him a new fate. From that day forth, none could refer to Skulmad by his birthname, and all came to know him as the Eye of Gruumsh. At that moment, the Cult of Gruumsh was born. When the chieftain of the Sky Eagle fell in battle against the Yuan-Ti, the Eye claimed dominion over the tribe. His claim went uncontested.

Fate would further cement his power base as the twelve tribes converged along the Nentir River. For the first time, Skulmad found himself capable of spreading the word of Gruumsh and his dream to all of the tribes. Amidst the confusion and displacement, Gruumsh’s story proved to be one which brought hope to orcs from all walks of life. As the story spread, his power among the twelve tribes increased much as his power over the Sky Eagle had already done. Codrus and his entourage would eventually come to the refugee camp to seek out its support against the Yuan-Ti threat. The Eye of Gruumsh offered to levy the strength of a united orcish people against the Yuan-Ti if the party would help him secure irrefutable power over the tribes. Little did he know that the steps which would be taken would see his mortal form cease to exist as part of a strange arcane event, which to this day remains unexplained, bringing Gruumsh back to rule over the unified orcs in living flesh.

The Eye of Gruumsh

The Chronicles of Uth Wintermancer