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An unblinking eye, or a triangular eye with bony protrusions
Aliases He Who Never Sleeps, He Who Watches, the One-Eyed
Alignment Chaotic Evil
Divine Rank Greater God
Pantheon Dawn War, Tribe of He Who Watches (Orc)
Portfolio Orcs, Conquest, War, Storms, Destruction
Domains 3E: Cavern, Chaos, Evil, Hatred, Orc, Strength, War, Domination
4E: Destruction, Storm, Strength
5E: Tempest, War
Home Plane Great Wheel: Nishrek (Acheron)
World Axis: Chernoggar
Worshippers Orcs
Favoured Weapon Bloodspear (Spear)

Gruumsh is the one-eyed god of the orcs. From the earliest editions his name was never actually spoken by non-shamans and therefore he was sometimes called "He-Who-Watches" or "He-Who-Never-Sleeps"

Elven lore shows that Gruumsh lost his eye in a battle against Corellon Larethian, which the orcs hold against elves to this very day. In the alternative, Orc clerics claim that is all just propaganda and that Corellon (or Sehanine) deceived him with magic and "stole" his eye because he couldn't take Gruumsh on in a fair fight; or that Gruumsh always had one eye and that the story is simply a fabrication. Most depictions of him have a single eye in the center of his face like a cyclops and the 2e origin story actually concurs that the myths are illogical, considering Gruumsh was always called "One-Eye" before the conflict even began.

Gruumsh can be compared to a saturday morning cartoon villain, in that he can never win. All his evil schemes, boundless hate, and his massive raging spear (no, his actual spear you pervert) seem to add up to nothing in the face of his inept followers, namely the Orcs, Ogres, Ogrillions, and Orogs (his servant's names are even all alliterations, another clue to his Cartoon-Villainy). Although in recent years Gruumsh has been forced to adapt and become a more cunning villain.


Gruumsh has always been the head of the Orc pantheon, though supposedly in pre-history, someone attempted to depose him and was so utterly destroyed that they remain unknown; but it did cause Gruumsh to maintain an iron fisted lordship over the other deities and he constantly watches for weakness and betrayal.

Much of Gruumsh's history is as the antagonist in the conflict with Corellon Larethian, therefore most details of the story come from Elven sources and that their enmity stems from the division of portfolios during the dawn of time with Gruumsh missing out on all of the favourable traits and territories leaving the orc people homeless. Various different stories of their battles giving different accounts of how and where Gruumsh "lost" his eye, though most agree that there were many battles between the two deities, so the exact details from one even may be conflated with another.

Early stories leave Gruumsh unconnected with the story of Lolth and the exile of the Drow, though later interpretations from both the Forgotten Realms and "Core" D&D tend to agree that Gruumsh played some part of it:

  • Some stories have Gruumsh "kidnapping" (wink wink) Corellon's wife as reparations due to the unfair allocation of portfolios, or simply because Lolth seduced him; either way, it forces Corellon to storm the fortress in order to get her out and Corellon arises victorious.
  • In 3e Forgotten Realms, Araushnee (the pre-fall name for Lolth) steps in and causes Corellon's sword to shatter during one of their battles, resulting in a retreat and causing the battle to spill into Arvandor where Corellon is able to reforge his sword and strike the fateful blow.

Whether or not Orcs believe that Corellon actually took the eye of Gruumsh, they seek to emulate his appearance either by wearing an eye-patch or actually putting out one of their own eyes.


The non-human deities of Dungeons and Dragons
Leader Others
Dragons: Io Aasterinian - Astilabor - Bahamut - Chronepsis - Falazure - Garyx - Hlal - Lendys - Null - Sardior - Tamara - Tiamat
Drow: Lolth Eilistraee - Ghaunadaur - Keptolo - Kiaransalee - Malyk - Selvetarm - Vhaeraun - Zinzerena
Dwarves: Moradin Abbathor - Berronar Truesilver - Clangeddin Silverbeard - Deep Duerra - Dugmaren Brightmantle - Dumathoin - Fortubo
Gendwar Argrim - Gorm Gulthyn - Haela Brightaxe - Hanseath - Laduguer - Marthammor Duin - Muamman Duathal
Mya - Roknar - Sharindlar - Thard Harr - Tharmekhûl - Thautam - Ulaa - Valkauna - Vergadain
Elves: Corellon Larethian Aerdrie Faenya - Alathrien Druanna - Alobal Lorfiril - Angharradh - Araleth Letheranil - Darahl Firecloak - Deep Sashelas
Elebrin Liothiel - Erevan Ilesere - Fenmarel Mestarine - Gadhelyn - Hanali Celanil - Kirith Sotheril - Labelas Enoreth
Melira Taralen - Mythrien Sarath - Naralis Analor - Rellavar Danuvien - Rillifane Rallathil - Sarula Iliene - Sehanine Moonbow
Shevarash - Solonor Thelandira - Tethrin Veraldé - Tarsellis Meunniduin - Trishina - Vandria Gilmadrith - Ye'Cind
Giants: Annam Diancastra - Grolantor - Hiatea - Iallanis - Karontor - Memnor - Othea - Skoraeus Stonebones - Stronmaus - Surtr - Thrym
Goliaths: Kavaki Kuliak - Manethak - Naki-Uthai - Theleya - Vanua
Gnomes: Garl Glittergold Baervan Wildwanderer - Baravar Cloakshadow - Bleredd - Callarduran Smoothhands - Flandal Steelskin - Gaerdal Ironhand
Gelf Darkhearth - Nebelun - Rill Cleverthrush - Roykyn - Segojan Earthcaller - Sheyanna Flaxenstrand - The Glutton - Urdlen
Goblinoids: Maglubiyet Bargrivyek - Grankhul - Hruggek - Khurgorbaeyag - Kikanuti - Nomog-Geaya - Skiggaret
Halflings: Yondalla Arvoreen - Brandobaris - Charmalaine - Cyrrollalee - Dallah Thaun - Sheela Peryroyl - Urogalan
Illumian: Tarmuid Aulasha - Glautru - Soorinek - Syeret - Wathaku
Orcs: Gruumsh Bahgtru - Ilneval - Luthic - Shargaas - Yurtrus
Raptorans: Tuilviel Glithien Duthila - Kithin - Lliendil - Nilthina - Ventila
Others: Aventernus - Balador - Blibdoolpoolp - Cegilune - Daragor - Diinkarazan - Diirinka - Eadro - Elder Evils - Eshebala
Ferrix - Gaknulak - Great Mother - Gorellik - Gzemnid - Hleid - Iborighu - Ilsensine - Jazirian - Kanchelsis - Kecuala
Kuraulyek - Kurtulmak - Laogzed - Maanzecorian - Mak Thuum Ngatha - Merrshaulk - Parrafaire - Psilofyr
The Patient One - Quorlinn - Ramenos - Raxivort - Refnara - Rhiannon - Sekolah - Semuanya - Sess'innek
Shekinester - Skerrit - Solanil - Squerrik - Ssharstrune - Syranita - Vaprak - Wastri - The Whale Mother - Zehir
The deities of 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons
Lawful Neutral Chaotic
Good Bahamut
Haramathur - Moradin
Amoth - Lakal
Nusemnee - Pelor
Avandra - Corellon
Neutral Erathis - Raven Queen
Aurom - Io - Ioun
Kord - Laeris
Evil Asmodeus
Bane - Tiamat
Nerull - Torog - Vecna Gruumsh - Khala - Lolth
Tharizdun - Zehir
The Deities of Exandria
Lawful Neutral Chaotic
Good Bahamut - Moradin
Pelor - Raei
Avandra - Corellon
Neutral Erathis
Raven Queen
Ioun - The Luxon
Ceratos - Kord
Quajath - The Traveler
Evil Asmodeus - Bane
Desirat - Tiamat
Arms of the Betrayers
The Hag Mother
Torog - Uk'otoa
Vecna - Vesh
Gruumsh - Lolth
Tharizdun - Zehir