Iron Bull; Mountain King; Roarer

Symbol: An iron bull's head facing the viewer
Home Plane: Bytopia
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Cleric Alignments: Lawful Good, Lawful Neutral, Neutral, Lawful Evil
Portfolio: Hard work, fatherhood, manhood, courage, metalworking
Worshipers: Fathers, dwarves, turos, metalworkers, those who rely on metal
Domains: Artifice (Toil), Community (Home), Dwarf, Earth (Metal), Protection, Rune, Strength
Favored Weapon: Greataxe or warhammer (cleric chooses one)

Physical Description:
Depictions of Karn vary among his principle followers. Among dwarves, Karn is depicted as an immensely-muscled and very tall member of their race, with a pair of broad iron horns extending from his brow and a magnificent steel beard extending almost to his knees. Among more peaceful peoples in warmer lands, he is depicted as a great bison or auroch composed of living iron, somewhat like a gorgon in appearance, but more noble in aspect. Finally, among his beastfolk worshipers, and among the warrior peoples of harsh mountain and colder terrain, Karn is depicted as a towering bull-headed humanoid, much like a minotaur, composed entirely of living iron, with eyes that blaze like the mouth of a furnace, and a mouth and nostrils that can breathe searing death on his enemies, or ignite even the most cold and wet of forge or house fires. All of these depictions are accurate, as Karn can and does take any of them as needed, though he tends to prefer his humanoid bull shape most of all in his dealings with others.

Description of Nature, Personality, and Dogma:
The Iron Bull is an embodiment of the usefulness of metal in all its many forms, taken to a deeper and more spiritual level. While Dan Dao is tied to the use of metal in combat, Karn is more of a generalist in regards to metal, instead focusing on its many vital uses in lifting up all intelligent creatures from the state of animals. More than just a god of metal, Karn is the embodiment of stalwart utility, service, and courage in the face of all odds. Dan Dao embodies the sword in the hand of the warrior; Karn embodies the hand that wields the sword, and the heart that gives the hand its purpose. Because of his focus on those that metal aids, and the role of men in defending their homes, Karn has also taken up the role of fatherhood and masculinity in general as part of his nature.

In personality, Karn is usually stoic and seems grim, speaking little. He prefers to let his actions speak for him whenever possible, and strongly dislikes being forced to act before he feels that he is ready. Though slow to anger and patient in the extreme, once that anger has been awakened, Karn becomes a nigh-unstoppable force, raging against his foes with a fury that makes even the gods quail. This is only a part of Karn's personality, however. The secret part of Karn's personality comes out only when he is around females and children. In these cases, Karn tends to be quite gentle, soft of voice and manner, and very careful not to cause injury in any fashion. He makes a very clear distinction between his behavior at work and on the battlefield, and his behavior in more gentle, domestic settings.

Karn teaches his followers the lesson of metal: if metal is not being used in some fashion, then it is of no value, being merely an obstacle, a hindrance to others. So it is with living beings: each must find a place where they can be of use in some fashion, however small, or they do not belong as part of the societal whole. More charitable followers of Karn interpret this as an injunction to do as much as they possibly can to help their families and their communities while they are still healthy and in the prime of their lives, so that they can finally turn their efforts to more cerebral pursuits when they grow too old for harder tasks, and can lend their experience to the aid of the younger generations. More ruthless cultures (such as the duergar) feel that this gives them the freedom to eliminate any "dead weight" from their society, either through exile or execution. The responsibilities of fatherhood are especially important to Karn and his followers, and he demands that fathers must ensure that their children are taken care of and provided the essential elements of a good life that they need, including nourishment, shelter, education, and love. Defending one's home and family is of vital importance to Karn's worshipers, and any threat to these important things gives any of his followers license to wage bloody battle.

Clergy, Places of Worship, Important Rituals, and Servitor Races:
The clergy of Karn must be male, without exception. Any cleric of Karn that is to have any position of importance must also be married (and must be happily married to maintain their powers), though lesser clerics and those who wander, such as adventurers, do not have to abide by this requirement. Those who wish to become clerics of Karn go to his temples to consult the clerics there. There, the clerics of Karn use forgefires to conduct a divination of their god's will by casting a small offering of ore into the flame and then beginning to refine and to work it alongside the aspirant to the clergy. This process would normally take days to complete, and would require a great deal more ore to complete the item being forged. If the aspirant is not accepted, the ore will simply burn up and be wasted. If Karn accepts the aspirant as a cleric, however, the metal will be refined at a much greater pace, and produce sufficient quantity to complete the item of metal, which can be anything, though it is supposed to define either a key trait of the new cleric, or something of importance that will come in the future. The new cleric takes this item with him as he leaves the temple, now able to function as a part of Karn's clergy.

All of Karn's places of worship must have access to fire and metal. His least shrines tend to be placed as close to the forge of a blacksmith's as is possible, or in similar utilitarian locations. Small family shrines may simply be placed next to or above the house fireplace, or in the back, past the fire. His temples devote large sections of their construction to housing fully-functional metalworking equipment, which is expected to see much use, as the clerics and skilled crafters who follow Karn produce an unending array of useful items of metal from the temple's forges.

Forging metal objects is a series of sacred rituals to Karn, each part of the mining, smelting, refining, and forging to be done with all due respect to the god of useful metal. Also of importance to Karn is the Forgebond, a time at the end of each day when a family's father (or whoever happens to be the head of the household, if there is no father) gathers everyone around, and all members of the family share what they have done that day, to better establish ties of love and trust between each other.

Karn is served by massive iron golems forged from potent extraplanar ores, which he constructed himself. Most of these are as mindless as any golem, but a few have a will and personality of their own, and serve as skilled helpers in tending Karn's forge.

History and Relations:
Talus was the one who went to Karn, seeking his aid in the war against the Fallen Ones. The two had always had an understanding with each other, which sometimes extended into a tentative friendship, kept hesitant because of the difference in their levels of power, the strained relations between titans and gods, and the relative shortness of time that they knew each other before the war. One of Talus' brothers, who had until that time been the deity who oversaw the masculine principle, fatherhood, and courage, had fallen in battle, and while Talus had taken up most of the mantle of courage, he needed someone who could fill in the rest of his fallen sibling's powers. Before that time, Karn had been a titan of some note, endowed with great power over metal, and a determination to use that metal for the good of those who were weaker than him. He took up the mantle of the fallen god graciously, and then took an active and heroic part in the defensive portions of the gods' military strategy and actions.

Today, Karn is especially good friends with Talus, and the two have an easy relationship, and frequently share worshipers. Nimbus is also on good terms with Karn, though Karn does tend to get on her nerves if they are forced to be together for too long, since he seldom sees a need for mercy or compromise, and Nimbus has to spend much time to get him to understand these important things. In truth, Karn has a weakness for women of all races and states of mortality or immortality. This is not necessarily a weakness for their charms in a boudoir as much as it is a great difficulty in saying no to any reasonable entreaty from someone of, as Karn would put it, "the fairer sex." He has a similar weakness in resisting the cries of those smaller and weaker than himself, especially children, and can be a very soft touch. His behavior towards women and children is the source of many chivalric codes having special clauses requiring special treatment for noncombatants. While Karn is ostensibly the primary mate of Sylver, and they do love each other deeply, they are in a fairly open relationship, and while Sylver always remains Karn's first and most important wife, he does have a harem of lesser lovers and wives to whom he also owes his allegiance.

Favored Offerings and Justifications for Direct Intervention:
Crude ore of various types is considered a worthy offering to Karn. This ore is brought to his temples, and there it is slowly heated in great cauldrons, melted down and divided into its component parts, each refined to their most pure states, or to whatever degree of refinement makes them most useful. The metal is then worked by crafters, many of them the clerics of Karn who maintain these temples, into useful things, this work being yet another way of showing one's devotion to Karn. The entire ritual process of taking ore and refining it before turning it to use tends to be slow and painstaking, but it is considered a sure sign of one's devotion to Karn.

As a believer in a strong work ethic, Karn does not consider it right to interfere with the work of mortals, since that might teach them to rely too much on divine aid, and not enough on their own abilities, causing them to stagnate. However, Karn has been known to intervene when defending armies have been forced back to their home towns and cities and even individual households, having done all that they could to save their families from destruction, and having found that it was simply not enough. In these times of desperate crisis, Karn has been known to turn those who call upon him for aid into statues of living iron, as the Ironskin spell, allowing them to withstand even the most brutal onslaughts, and to empower their metal weapons or armor, however crude they might have been before, into magical items, sometimes made of precious war-worthy metals like adamantine or mithral. These changes usually end after the threat has been overcome, but occasionally someone will retain a part of their body that remains metal, a trait that might be passed on to later generations, and very rarely an empowered weapon or suit of armor will keep its divinely enhanced traits, as a way of demonstrating to later generations the power of the wielder's courage and the goodness of Karn.