The god of torture, imprisonment and the Underdark, Torog is the King that Crawls.
The Nasty Boy. Most civilized folk harbor an inner fear of the King that Crawls. Perhaps it is due to the multitudes of children's stories and fairy tales, that make him out to be a monster hiding around every corner and lurking in the darkest reaches. From a young age mortals are taught that if they do not heed the words of their parents, the young child will be snatched away by the King of the Caves, who lurks deep below every home. As a mortal grows, this fear for Torog never fully dissipates, because unlike the bogeyman, Torog is no imaginary beast. His name is never spoken, even as a curse, because legends claim that reciting the dark name of the King that Crawls results in the speaker being dragged below the earth and being forever tortured in one of Torog's many torture dens.
Torog appears as a massive hairless human, covered from head to toe in smoldering burns and bleeding lacerations, he drags his broken legs behind him with his huge powerful arms. Torog has fifteen bones shoved through the top of his skull, which he treats as his crown. His wounds are deeply infected and they never heal over, his eyelids and cheeks are nothing but bleeding holes set forth in his head and he always has blood in his eyes. Torog is wrapped in chains and has the blades of various immortals pierced into his body.
Origins and Exploits
Torog was not amongst the first gods to spring to life in the endless mists of the Astral Sea, but was instead the child to two gods now forgotten by the sands of time. He was born late in the Mythic Age, but long before the gods found the mortal world or started their war with the primordials. Like Moradin, Torog had a passion for earth, stone and metal. Torog appreciated how from these things one could do many things, one could protect himself, arm himself, hide himself, or if the situation arose, bind those which would require hiding from. It was because of Torog's natural skill at binding that he was called upon in the creation of the maruts. It was because of the maruts that the gods continued to get along for as long as they did, but even then, Moradin and Torog never quite got along, and when the mortal world was found the two immediately disagreed how best to use the earth that laid before them.
The Mythic Age and the Ender's War
During this early period of peace and discovery Torog was revered by the early mortal races as a god of athleticism, determination, earth and recovery because Torog could instantly heal from any wound. When the gods corperated in order to withstand the mortal energies of Firstone, Torog based his new from off of the hill giants. While the other gods created animals vermin and mortals, Torog found he was incapable of creating life, but he enjoyed the cave crawling insects of Sagwhen. Torog saw the way they lived in unnoticed crevices and tiny spaces, unnoticed by the rest of the living. It was because of these cave vermin that Torog first started descending below the earth, to places untouched by the titans, and unheard of by Moradin. Torog wished to create a race who could live and flourish in the dark, dank caves; but before Torog could start working on this task, The Chained God found the Shard of Evil and started the Ender's War. Torog was instrumental in the binding of The Chained God, and it is because of this that many scholar's claim Torog was bound to go mad, much in the way he did.
During the peace that followed Torog was changed. His supernatural healing made it impossible to feel pain the same way it was impossible for him to feel pleasure, but while fighting The Chained God he had been quite injured, and he savored the feeling. Torog began experimenting with pain, self-inflicting wounds upon himself and studying the results. Eventually he began inflicting pain on his mortal followers, torturing them in various ways, studying pain in all of its various forms. When his interest in creating a mortal race returned he decided that he wanted them to enjoy pain, so in that way they could never truly be hurt, much like he had.
The Dawn War and the Battle with Gargesh
Torog never had a chance to populate the caves below the earth in the way that he had wanted. Almost immediately after the Ender's War had ended the Dawn War began. Early in the war the battles took place exclusively in the Elemental Chaos and the Astral Sea, but when primordials began attacking the mortal world, the gods most involved there began to retaliate. It was Torog who noticed the primordial Gargesh lurking on the surface of the world and when Torog went to intervene he had no desire for the conflict to destroy those living on the world, so he tried to bring the battle into the vaults deep below the earth. The Jailor knew that he would need the help of his divine compatriots to destroy the beast but his hatred for Gargesh as well as Torog's superior healing abilities lead the god to battle on his own. As they fought Gargesh realized that Torog immediately healed from any wound inflicted, and assumed it had to do with his innate connection to the Astral Sea. Gargesh thought to severe this connection by bringing the battle ever deeper into the earth. As the two battled deeper and deeper they broke through cave wall and floor until they fell into the Underdark. Wherever the two clashed the walls of the Underdark would give way into larger and larger cave systems of unmolded creation. They fought deeper and deeper still, until their clashing blades resounded off of cavernous walls the gods had never known about.
Here, Gargesh knew the power of the Astral Sea could not reach Torog, for the gods knew not of this land. Gargash's great horns fatally wounded Torog, but Torog fought on, then Gargash broke both of The Jailor's legs but he still fought on. Torog, who previously had felt very little pain due to his supernatural healing, enjoyed the sensation and used it to power his will to live, and then finally when Gargesh pinned the god against a wall using the horns atop his head Torog let loose a mighty laugh and he struck Gargash down. Using his flaming blade he severed Gargesh's limbs and slit his throat. Then as the mighty primordial fell it uttered a guttural curse severing Torog's astral power from The Astral Sea and instead linking it to where they stood; the curse gave Torog a new type of Immortality. As the King That Crawls crawled toward his enemy, Gargash explained in choked gasps of blood that Torog's wounds would never heal and that they would never kill him. Torog then exterminated the mighty earth primordial and began looking for a way back to the surface, but with the loss of his divinity he could no longer fly, and without his legs he had to crawl through the unending darkness that makes up the Underdark.
After attempting multiple routes and paths throughout the cave systems that make up the Underdark, Torog's rage could not be withheld, he burst through walls, slamming sideways in his disheveled form. Where his blood spilt upon the stone his immortality would lend permanence to the ever-shifting primordial wonders of the Underdark, which formed the King's Highway. His blind rampage even broke the barriers between the Shadowfell and the Feywild, creating the easiest passageways into the Feydark and Shadowdark. Much later into the Dawn War he did finally manage to break free from the Underdark, but as he pulled himself onto he surface of the world he felt his divinity slip away from him at a terrifying speed. Only then did The Jailer understand the importance of what Gargesh had said. Torog, The King That Crawls, then crawled back into the safety of the Underdark, and was involved very little in the dawn war after that point.
Torog's Exclusion from the Primal Contract
Gargesh the Living Torture Den
The Restless Heaps
City of Anathema
He teaches his worshipers to:
- Seek out and revere the deep places beneath the earth.
- Delight in the giving of pain, and consider pain you receive as homage to Torog.
- Bind tightly what is in your charge and bind who wanders free.
Exarchs, Allies, and Followers
Exarchs are usually the most trusted and most powerful servants of the gods. This may also be true of The King That Crawls but the point is moot. The treatment of his exarchs can either be seen as proof of his madness, or evidence of a master plan played out over eons.
To become an exarch of The King that Crawls a potential exarch must endure centuries of torture in order to prove its worthiness. This requirment comes as no surprise to his followers, which makes his exarchs revered for their willingness to show their faith by undergoing what some claim is unending torture. The precise amount of time one must endure to earn their freedom as an exarch is unclear. No exarch has ever been freed, each exarch or aspirant is imprisoned somewhwere in the Underdark or in a dimensional hideaway. Despite this fact, would-be exarchs petition the diety every few decades or centuries. A few of his exarchs are known, but others might lie hidden in locations that only The Jailor knows:
A former primordial who has been slain and know serves Torog as the Restless Heaps.
A demi-god and the most sexually active servant of Torog, he is often called upon to enforce Torog's will, but is still serving an eternity of punishment.
Duon-eel the Thrice Slain
A hero of the dawn war who is currently sealed in a pocket dimension.
The only wrackspawn to have ever earned back their gender or name, Jerran is currently being tortured by Torog's most elite devotees. Jerran is closer to freedom than any of Torog's exarchs have ever been.
Rivals and Enemies
- Dungeon Magazine 177- Deities and Demigods: Torog The King That Crawls (Wizards of the Coast - 2010) By: Brian R. James