It Started With a Kidnapped Pig...
The Broken God
The Crying God
The Lord on the Rack
The One Who Endures
Ilmater (pronounced “Ihl-MAY-ter” or “ill-may-ter”) is associated with endurance, martyrdom, perseverance, and suffering. He is the god of those who suffered, the oppressed, and the persecuted, who offered them relief and support, encouraged them to endure, and who encouraged others to help them, to take their burdens or take their places.
In avatar form, Ilmater appears as a short man with a burly build and wearing only a breechcloth, with a plain but kind and comforting face, balding head, and a hairy body. But this body bears the marks of mutilation and torture on the rack, covered with open cuts, closed scars, burns, and a range of other wounds. Ilmater’s joints are broken, his limbs are ravaged, and his hands are smashed yet still functional. Moving causes him a great deal of pain as he dragshimself around. No matter how much his avatar healed, it still shows these terrible wounds.
Ilmater can possess any good and innocent creature that is being tortured. This creature glows white, all pain is relieved, and any wounds are regenerated immediately. Torture or restraining devices are immediately destroyed, releasing the sufferer, alert and healthy. In the case of extreme torture or associated murder, Ilmater grants the possessed being the ability to cast destructive spells for a short time in retribution.
When not appearing via his avatar or through possession, Ilmater manifests as an unseen presence that makes a howling or whimpering sound yet felt watchful. In this form, he can speak, move objects around by telekinesis, or cast spells.
Ilmater is the incarnation of compassion, and the eternal foe of suffering. He seeks to offer aid and relief and words of comfort to those in pain, who were oppressed, or otherwise in great need. He encourages them to endure their pain, suffering, and abuse, for good things came to those who waited. He encourages his faithful to halt and relieve the suffering of others, and to take it on themselves if they must. Ilmater is himself a willing sufferer, taking one’s place to bear their burden, seeking to endure any pain if it would lessen the pain of another.
Ilmater is quiet with a kind and gentle nature, generous, and good-spirited and even-tempered. He does not anger quickly, but when he does, he is fearsome in his wrath. He is greatly angered by extreme cruelty and atrocities, and at those who inflicted such suffering. He is particularly enraged by those who harmed or abused children and other young creatures. At such times, he sets aside his doctrine of endurance and non-violence, and unleashes his full force to put an end to cruelty. Although his ravaged appearance or his righteous rage can scare children, Ilmater takes great care to reassure them and protect them. He treasures all children and young creatures in general.
Ilmater is the most forgiving of beings; it is thought he could even forgive Loviatar, Maiden of Pain, if she repented of her cruel deeds. Though he knows full well the atrocious and horrific acts that wicked creatures could do, he remains forever hopeful that evil beings can one day be turned to good, or destroyed, and so he stays firm in his goals.
Ilmater’s holy symbol was originally a blood-stained rack, such as used to torture a victim by stretching. This remained in use until the mid–14th century DR. However, by 1356 DR, a new symbol entered common usage: a pair of white hands crossed and bound at the wrist with a blood-red cord. After the Godswar of 1358 DR, this was used nearly exclusively. This newer and less gruesome symbol increased his popularity across Faerûn.
Those who are oppressed, sick, lame, or poor were likely to be worshipers of Ilmater, and people who have been injured or are otherwise suffering will often call upon him for aid. His faith is popular among the poor in big cities, and with serfs and slaves, as well as merchants, thieves, and a few guards. Although people of any alignment can worship Ilmater, he is largely followed by folk of a lawful and good bent, especially among his own clergy.
Ilmater’s clergy numbered clerics, paladins, and monks. They were organized into the Church of Ilmater, with many affiliated knightly and monastic orders.
Across Faerûn, the hardy people of the harsh and war-torn land of Damara particularly venerate Ilmater, as well as his champion, St. Sollars. In Calimshan, Ilmater is one of the most frequently worshiped gods, especially among the lower classes and slaves.
Attending clerics during a battle were recognized by the coarse furred shirts they wore. It was considered a great wrong to harm these priests as they helped ease suffering. Even orcs and goblins held them in esteem for ministering to their fallen people and not just humans.