The Eyes Of Gruumsh
Most people think they’ve seen the worst that orcs can breed when an orc barbarian comes raging over a hill-top—at least until they see a one-eyed orc barbarian come raging over a hilltop. This creature may well be an eye of Gruumsh, an orc so devoted to his evil deity that he has disfigured himself in Gruumsh’s name.
In an epic battle at the dawn of time, the elven deity Corellon Larethian stabbed out Gruumsh’s left eye. Filled with rage and hatred, the orc deity called for followers loyal enough to serve in his image. Those who heed this call are known as the eyes of Gruumsh. They sacrifice their right eyes instead of their left ones so that their impaired vision balances that of their deity. Thus, symbolically at least, they can see what he cannot. These living martyrs to Gruumsh are some of the toughest orcs and half-orcs in the world.
The eye of Gruumsh is a true prestige class in the sense that all orcs respect those who achieve it. If a candidate proves capable with the brutal orc double axe and has no moral code to stand in the way of his service, only the test remains—to put out his own right eye in a special ceremony. This is a bloody and painful ritual, the details of which are best left undescribed. If the candidate makes a sound during the process, he fails the test. No consequences for failure exist, except that he can never become an eye of Gruumsh—and he’s lost one eye.
Though orcs revere eyes of Gruumsh for their unique clarity of vision, the average eye of Gruumsh isn’t particularly well qualified to think for an entire tribe—even though he often assumes leadership of a tribe early in his career. Thus, he relies on a cleric of Gruumsh for wise counsel. To discourage any unhealthy confusion among their followers about who is in charge, both the eye of Gruumsh and the cleric encourage war against other races at every opportunity.
Since eyes of Gruumsh seek to avenge Corellon Larethian’s insult to their deity, most are so obsessed with the destruction of elves that they attack any elven community on sight. Inspired by their leaders’ rage, other orcs often throw themselves heedlessly at elven hordes.
Multiple eyes of Gruumsh usually don’t work well together because they commonly have competing ideas about which course of action serves their deity best. Every few decades or so, however, several eyes of Gruumsh get the same idea in their heads—a crusade! (After all, a holy crusade involving hundreds of tribes under the command of dozens of eyes of Gruumsh is just the thing to inspire the younger generation to the deity’s service.) When this occurs, the eyes of Gruumsh meet and declare truces between competing tribes by closing their functional left eyes all at once—thus blinding them to their own bickering. Then they go out and try to eradicate some other species.
Pg. 54 Masters of the Wild