|Intermediate Power, "The Exile"|
|Pantheon: Dwarvish Pantheon|
|AoC: Crafts, magic, duergar|
|Worshippers: Duergar, craftsmen|
|AL: LE||WAL: LE, LN|
|Symbol: Shield with broken crossbow bolt|
|Home p/l/r: Acheron/Thuldanin/Hammergrim|
|Allies: Deep Duerra|
|Enemies: Diinkarazan, Diirinka, Gruumsh, Moradin, Maglubiyet|
|Favored Weapon: Warhammer|
|Domains: Artifice, Earth, Evil, Law, Magic|
|Subdomains: Arcane, Caves, Construct, Metal, Modron, Toil|
|Known Proxies: High Chieftain Rathgar (Px/♂ duergar/F9/LE); Garludor (Px/♂ duergar/T10,Ass10/LE)|
Patron of the duergar, Laduguer is a proud, stubborn deity. Though exiled by the dwarvish pantheon many eons ago, he is still insistent that he has merely gone on sabbatical from his brethren, to separate him from what he describes as laziness. He insists greatness from his people, pushing them to their limits and beyond, always seeking to achieve greater accomplishments than his surface-dwelling counterparts. He is never happy with their achievements, however, always wishing better from them and from himself — Laduguer has never been seen with any expression but a frown. A forceful and angry god that embodies the very concept of grim, Laduguer has only a single ally: Deep Duerra, the sole other duergar power, thought by many to be his daughter.
His attempts, though harsh on his people, do seem to have paid off. Duergar smithwork is at least the equal of dwarvish, if not better. Their skill at the crafting of magical weapons is renown across the planes, with their methods coming straight from Laduguer himself; gifts in exchange for his brutal lordship. Some claim that this is due to both Laduguer and the duergar being more open to new methods in their smithing; though rigid, they both understand that new ways of doing things are necessary for true mastery, and they both freely admit when a new method is an improvement on their own. In addition to his knowledge of the crafting of magical weapons, Laduguer also gifts his people with his own protection in exchange for their hard work and devotion, showing that even if their work is never enough for him, he does in some sense appreciate their efforts.
Though Laduguer has many proxies, most of these dwell on the Prime, leading duergar clans there. High Chieftain Rathgar is a special exception, being Laduguer's representative in Hammergrim, and ruling the realm when Laduguer himself must be away.
The priests of Laduguer, also known as thuldors (a dwarven term meaning "those who endure"), have almost nothing in the way of ceremonies, as celebration to them is merely a missed opportunity for work or self-improvement. They similarly have few holy days, and rites or rituals are only indulged if they aid in a priest's ability to do his or her job. Laduguer demands even more from his priests than from his lay followers, and his priests are required to spend at least a full hour each morning working towards the creation of a new magical weapon or the improvement of an existing weapon in some way, be it conceptual design or actual labor; this usually is performed immediately after their prayers to Laduguer for spells. When not working on craftswork, his priests are expected to devote their time to the defense and leadership of their communities; to the duergar, religious and secular authority are the same thing.
Monotony describes nearly the entirety of the training required to become a priest of Laduguer. The training of priests consists of hour after hour of repetitive prayer and beseechment broken only by the occasional bout of hard labor. And as with all prayers to Laduguer, these prayers consist of small one- or two-sentence affairs repeated over and over, drilled into the heads of clerics in training so that they will always remember them. If they can survive this without going mad, they become full priests, going on to inflict these torments on the next generation of new entrants.
Duergar tales differ greatly from dwarven myth; the duergar believe Laduguer to have created the multiverse long ago, first forming himself out of sheer willpower. The creation of the duergar followed soon after, in what is known to them as the Time of Creation, a period when they created many wondrous items for their god. After this is said to follow the Time of Perversion, starting when a duergar known as the Lone Craftsman formed the other, non-duergar peoples, concluding with a dwarf taller than the duergar, stronger, and more beautiful - the first derro. Laduguer discovered this affront quickly and struck the Lone Craftsman, sending him deep into insanity so he could never create again.
The Time of Perversion is said to continue into the modern day, its origins due to the other peoples soon rising some of their number as gods and filling the surface with cursed sunlight and greenery, driving the duergar into the Underdark. They believe that someday will come the Time of Perfection, when their efforts will be great enough to allow Laduguer to snuff out all others and blot out the suns of the various worlds, allowing the duergar to return to the cool, dusky surface and rule creation once more, forging in peace for all eternity.
As one can see from this belief, the children of Laduguer wish only to reach the greatest of heights. To achieve this end, they insist on the highest of standards for themselves and for others. They believe in strict obedience to ones' superiors, and that asking for help is a sign of poor character. Pain is to be suffered stoically, and emotion is nothing but a weakness. Adversity makes a person strong. Duergar always remember that they are not alone, however, and in fact do help each other when they see another of their kin in need - for some, even beyond that. But a child of Laduguer would never stoop to aid someone who requested it; if they need to ask for help, then they are not strong enough to deserve it.
- Dragon #325 - The Ecology of Duergar, pp.66-68
- Faiths and Pantheons, pg.120
- Monster Mythology, pg.64
- On Hallowed Ground, pp.82-83