Dauntless; Godshield; Tireless Blade

Symbol: A red sword with a set of scales for the crosspiece
Home Plane: Arcadia
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Cleric Alignments: Lawful Good, Lawful Neutral, Neutral, Lawful Evil
Portfolio: Justice, law, order, protection, courage
Worshipers: Judges, lawyers, constables, paladins, bounty hunters, government workers, honest politicians
Domains: Earth (Metal), Glory (Honor), Law, Protection, Retribution, Rune (Wards)
Favored Weapon: Longsword or warhammer

Physical Description:
As with most draconic deities, Talus has several forms, and while he is predominantly a male-aspected deity, he is able to take on another sex should he feel the need to do so. Talus' usual form is that of a mighty dragon encased in shining celestial steel plate armor polished to a mirror finish, with a very lionlike head, complete with a flowing, metallic red mane. He is also known to take on the form of a tall and muscular humanoid (of whatever race he chooses) encased from head to toe in similarly immaculate plate armor, with a helmet in the shape of a lion's head, wielding a red sword in one hand and a set of scales in the other. In this form he never takes off his helmet, nor can it be removed while his will holds firm, so the face that lies beneath is unknown to mortals.

Description of Nature, Personality, and Dogma:
Largely humorless and utterly dedicated to the cause of justice, Talus can be hard to deal with. He is noted for being uncompromising in the extreme, and he has a hatred of hypocrites, liars, and false swearers that can be tedious at times. This lack of tolerance for lies also makes Talus look with suspicion on bards, actors, storytellers, and other performers, who he feels skirt the boundary between truth and lie far too closely. In many highly lawful societies, Talus' influence causes these societies to pass laws to restrict the freedoms of these undesirables so as to limit their behaviors without outright banning them, which Talus generally feels would be unjust, however much he dislikes them personally.

Talus expects his clergy and worshipers to behave as he does, and he leads by example in story and song (truthful stories and songs, of course). Courage in one's convictions, in what one believes to be right, is something that Talus respects, even if he might disagree with the beliefs in question, and acts of courage and heroism - even quiet, everyday heroism - are among the highest forms of worship of Talus. Upholding the law, even if those laws are unjust, is vital to Talus' worship, though bad laws are expected to be changed as soon as possible through proper legal action.

Clergy, Places of Worship, Important Rituals, and Servitor Races:
All of Talus' clergy must be devoted to upholding the law with strict vigilance. Minor lapses are allowed, due to the faulty nature of mortals, but everything possible must be done to correct such mistakes once they are brought to light, and Talus' worshipers are expected to engage in self-evaluation on a regular basis to ensure that they are not straying into paths of self-righteous hypocrisy. However, introspection of this sort does not in any way negate Talus' clerics from pursuing justice at all costs, and they are all expected to take part in bringing justice, law, and order to the world in some fashion. Because of this expectation, most of Talus' clergy are judges and lawyers and constables, many of them with a reputation for being exceptionally strict, sometimes even brutal in punishing those who break the law, though usually not in any fashion that exceeds what is legally allowed (which, in most of Therafim's societies, is actually quite a lot of potential violence). Talus makes it known when he has chosen a cleric by causing the blade of any longsword held by his chosen to turn blood red, and sometimes to actually weep blood in more extreme cases.

Talus' temples are also courthouses, and in fact most buildings where justice is dealt out are also dedicated to Talus. These structures tend to be very tall, cyclopean affairs, forcing the eyes of onlookers upward, leading their thoughts towards the gods watching above, aware of all their actions, so that they are reminded that nothing is hidden from immortal justice, even if they somehow manage to escape the mortal sort. Because of his nature as a protector deity, many public buildings also put stone lions or dogs in front of them, as a visible sign to request Talus' protection. Courthouses that are his temples also tend to put frightening images of cobras on their fronts as well as Talus' lions and dogs, so as to attract Hawl's favor as the deity of truth.

Archons serve Talus regularly, as do the modrons of Mechanus, though each of these servitor races tends to be selective about the services they provide to Talus. When one of these servitors commits to performing an act for Talus, however, they follow through with dauntless determination. Arcadian Avengers (Monster Manual 5) are Talus' special servants, and they obey him without hesitation in all matters.

History and Relations:
Bahamut's firstborn son, spawned directly from the Platinum Dragon's blood spilled during the Bahamut's first battle with Tiamat. Talus' first act was to drive back the Chromatic Dragon when she almost had defeated Talus' father. In the process of the battle his blade was bathed in her blood, and has been red ever since, reflecting the fierceness in his heart that can be too-easily unleashed on the sinful and the unjust.

Talus, along with Hawl and Lydia, are the three primal urges of human virtue, encompassing the ideals of courage, love, and truth. These three gods often act in concert to judge the souls of mortals and immortals alike, with Hawl providing the facts of each case, Talus seeking justice, and Lydia advocating mercy as a general principle, while Nimbus acts to specifically plead the case of the soul. Before any soul can be sent to a final fate, all three of these gods must agree that a judgement is right, as must the soul in question. Until these three deities and the soul of the one being judged agree, that soul is either cursed to remain on the Prime Material Plane in some nonliving fashion, generally because of unresolved issues that still remain in mortality, or else is handed over to Sin Eater to work out various issues before additional judgement is given.

Because of their regular work with each other, Talus, Lydia, and Hawl have a close relationship, and while they do not always agree, they regard each other with great respect, and each has had the others as lovers as well as friends at various points. Talus is also one of the few lovers besides Tiamat that Bahamut has had. Paradox absolutely loves Talus, because it feels that Talus makes the perfect straight man and fall guy. This feeling is not mutual, and Talus has frequently tried to slay Paradox, though to no lasting effect.

Besides these draconic deities, Talus is also on excellent terms with Karn, and while he does not always approve of Dan Dao's enthusiasm, he and Butcher Blades do get along tolerably well. Swarm dislikes Talus' adherence to the abstract concept of justice, and frequently acts to keep Godshield from interfering in the affairs of mortal tyrants, which infuriates Talus to no end. The First Emperor was raised to divine status by Talus as a way of undermining Swarm's efforts to spread its agenda among the human nation of the Iron Throne. Slum is a constant irritant to Talus, one that the Tireless Blade would slay if he could, if Slum were not so very clever.

Favored Offerings and Justifications for Direct Intervention:
Each act of honesty or courage is an act that Talus regards as a potential offering, should they be dedicated to him in some fashion (even if it is in the humorous phrase: "In Talus we trust: everyone else pays cash"). He prizes great acts of heroism, honor, and truth in the face of impossible odds, and he tends to regard the value of such offerings based on the scale of the person offering them; for instance, a child returning goods stolen by a friend in the face of possibly suffering punishment for the crime is considered an act roughly equal to a mighty knight facing down a dragon at lancepoint: it is all a matter of scale, though both actions frequently may require the same degree of courage.

Talus can be inspired to directly intervene in cases of gross injustice, especially where there is little likelihood of the situation being corrected without outside intervention, and most likely when there are innocent people being harmed by this injustice, rather than faceless entities like businesses, societies, or governments. Usually these acts of direct intervention take the form of individuals receiving power and insight beyond their own which will allow them to endure even the harshest scrutiny of justice, while bringing the wickedness of others to light. They can also take the form of unexpected heroes summoned through the machinations of Talus to the aid of those in trouble.