Dan Dao

Dan Dao
Butcher Blades; Killing Metal; Swordedge

Symbol: Eight intersecting swords
Home Plane: The Outlands
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Cleric Alignments: Lawful Neutral, Lawful Evil
Portfolio: Weapons, metal, violence, martial training, skill with blades
Worshipers: Smiths, monks, warriors, butchers, warforged
Domains: Artifice (Construct), Cold Iron, Death, Earth (Metal), Protection (Defense)
Favored Weapon: Double-bladed Sword

Physical Description:
A tall and muscular humanoid figure made entirely of metal is the first impression viewers get of Dan Dao. His golden face is normally quite serene, his eyes often not even seeming to be open, his eight arms clasped in a meditative posture. Then his eyes open, flashing with copper fire, his lips part, revealing a mouth filled with razor-sharp sawblades, and his skin turns from calm and golden to stark steel before he draws a multitude of weapons from their sheaths on his back and waist. Dan Dao's skin is razor-sharp, no matter how smooth it might appear, and the exact metal composing his features varies with his mood. He is typically male-appearing but lacking genitalia, though these also can change according to his mood.

Description of Nature, Personality, and Dogma:
Dedication to the blade is the hallmark of Dan Dao's nature. He has only one focus, and that is on mastery of metal-based melee weapons. This can make Dan Dao appear cold, uncaring, and merciless, but this is simply because he is not focused on the concerns of others, but only on the mystery of the riddle of steel.

The riddle of steel is Dan Dao's greatest puzzle, one that all mortals who seek to master metal weapons must answer for themselves, as the answer to the riddle is unique for each person who asks it. Anyone who seeks any degree of mastery of metal-based melee weapons must at some point gain Dan Dao's favor, even if they don't know it. Dedication to the creation and use of these weapons is Dan Dao's guiding dogma, and while it is a simple faith, it can be a most demanding one indeed.

Clergy, Places of Worship, Important Rituals, and Servitor Races:
All of the clergy of Dan Dao must have some skill both in making as well as using metal melee weapons. Many of his clerics are warriors of some sort who later took up the path of the cleric. Many more are holy blacksmiths, experts in the art of weaponsmithing. The clerics of Dan Dao receive their calling while they are in the midst of shaping or using a metal weapon, suddenly being filled with power and skill far in excess of what they normally have, so that their next actions, either in battle or in the forge, will be perfection, touched by Dan Dao himself. Naturally, every forge, however humble, that is used to make weapons is sacred to Dan Dao, and his temples are also places of forgework, where the best weapons in the world are created and then stored, waiting for a worthy owner to come and claim them. The crafting of each weapon is a sacred act dedicated to Dan Dao, and Dan Dao expects all weaponsmiths, even those who are not terribly religious, to offer up a prayer to him before they begin work. Those who do not seldom have success in their efforts.

Despite their philosophical differences with Dan Dao, mariliths with class levels regularly accompany him as his students and consorts.

History and Relations:
One of the titans, Dan Dao was never too interested in the politics of deification, but was highly interested in the conflict between the gods and the monstrosities that lurked Outside, trying to unmake all things. Since Dan Dao is a creature of creation as well as destruction, it was only natural for him to join the side of the gods, and attain godhood himself after the conflict had ended in victory, saving Therafim.

Dan Dao is devoted to the art of weapons, and this focus is almost utterly unswerving. He and Gun have clashed at many times in the past, and while Gun dislikes Dan Dao, Dan Dao finds Gun to be an endlessly interesting opponent, and constantly looks forward to their next battle. Jyn and Dan Dao are on quite good terms, each considering the other to be a friendly rival and generally understanding each other. Velos respects Dan Dao, even if he doesn't necessarily like Swordedge very much, and allows Dan Dao to influence the elven people in their study of swords. Karn and Dan Dao vie for the attentions of mortals, and generally dislike each other on principle, and so they seldom share worshipers. Talus was the one who recommended Dan Dao for deification, and he was accepted by both Bahamut and Tiamat, both of whom saw the potential in his presence among their number. Overall, however, Dan Dao is quite liberal with his favors and gifts, and so he is used by many, but truly mastered by none.

Favored Offerings and Justifications for Direct Intervention:
Those who seek Dan Dao's favor are expected to make offerings of masterwork weapons, especially bladed ones, and most especially swords. All of Dan Dao's worshipers are expected to make at least one sword in their lives, which they offer to Dan Dao. When Dan Dao finds an offering acceptable, one of his arms reaches onto the anvil on which the blade is placed for the offering, and takes it to join his near-endless collection.

Dan Dao is highly interested in the efforts of mortals to emulate him in pursuit of mastery of melee weapons, and anyone who shows sufficient dedication to the art of their chosen weapon, regardless of alignment, may receive special attention from Dan Dao. Generally, Dan Dao shows this special attention by arranging events so that the student is able to find a master for proper training. On rare occasions, Dan Dao will speak to the heart of the student through the vibrations of the weapon in the student's hands, guiding the motions of the student and providing direct training until the motions become instinctive.