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Forgotten Realms character
First appearance"Down-to-earth Divinity" – Dragon #54 (October 1981)
Created byEd Greenwood
TitleThe Crying God, the Broken God
AlignmentLawful Good
Home2E: Martyrdomain (Bytopia)
3E: House of the Triad
Power levelIntermediate
PortfolioEndurance, suffering, martyrdom, perseverance
DomainsGood, Healing, Law, Strength

Ilmater (/ɪlˈmtər/ il-MAY-tər)[1] is a fictional deity in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting of the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game.

Publication history[edit]

Ed Greenwood created Ilmater for his home Dungeons & Dragons game, created with similarities to the fictional deity Issek of the Jug,[2] created by Fritz Leiber for the short story Lean Times in Lankhmar.

His name, though, bears a resemblance to that of Ilmatar, the mother of Väinämöinen, from the Finnish Kalevala (and it would not be his first or only borrowing from Finnish mythology).

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977–1988)[edit]

Ilmater first appeared within Dungeons & Dragons as one of the deities featured in Ed Greenwood's article "Down-to-earth Divinity" in Dragon #54 (October 1981). Ilmater is introduced as the god of endurance, suffering, martyrdom, and perseverance, a lawful good lesser god from the plane of the Twin Paradises, he is described as having the appearance of "a broken man, with smashed hands which he constantly uses. He is the willing sufferer," and that he has the "power to manifest himself in creatures being tortured, but only if such creatures are of good alignment and have not done anything to deserve such treatment." Ilmater's role within the cosmology is also defined: "Torm and Ilmater serve Tyr, and worshippers and priests do the will of this Triad willingly." Ilmater is commonly worshipped by lawful good thieves, clerics, and characters employed as guards.[2]

Ilmater later officially appeared as one of the major deities for the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Set's "Cyclopedia of the Realms" booklet (1987).[1]

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989–1999)[edit]

Ilmater was described in the hardback Forgotten Realms Adventures (1990),[3] the revised Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (1993) in the "Running the Realms" booklet,[4] and Faiths & Avatars (1996),[5] his clergy was further detailed in Warriors and Priests of the Realms (1996),[6] and Prayers from the Faithful (1997).[7]

His role in the cosmology of the Planescape campaign setting was described in On Hallowed Ground (1996).[8]

His relationships with the nonhuman deities in the Forgotten Realms was covered in Demihuman Deities (1998).[9]

Ilmater is described as one of the good deities that celestials can serve in the supplement Warriors of Heaven (1999).[10]

Dungeons & Dragons 3.0 edition (2000–2002)[edit]

Ilmater appears as one of the major deities of the Forgotten Realms setting again, in Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (2001),[11] and is further detailed in Faiths and Pantheons (2002).[12]


Ilmater is known also as the Crying God, the Lord on the Rack, the One Who Endures and the Broken God. He seeks to offer words of comfort and calming to those in pain, oppressed, or in great need, he will seek to endure any pain if it will lessen the pain of another. As a result, the Crying God and his followers are a bane to Loviatar and her worshippers. At any opportunity, the followers of Loviatar will seek to torment Ilmater's people, finding the greatest pleasure in forcing a restrained Ilmatian to watch someone else be tortured to a slow and painful death.

Often Ilmater is found traveling with Tyr, to whom he is allied. Ilmater seeks to teach Tyr to live without his sight and to rely upon his feelings instead.

Followers of the Crying God are often perceived as martyrs and intentional sufferers, to the point of ridicule by some, largely those associated with less goodly gods such as the aforementioned Loviatar. However, they are known as some of the best healers in the realms, and are often found in some of the worst possible conditions, helping the oppressed, the diseased and the poor. In adventuring groups, they are often the ones who will take all risks to save a person in danger, putting the needs of others above their own, to the exclusion of their personal risk.

In the early days, Ilmater's symbol was that of a blood-stained rack, but with the change to his current symbol of two hands bound with a red cord, his popularity has increased, especially among the poor in the cities.

The church of Ilmater sponsors an order of paladins called the Holy Warriors of Suffering.

Ilmaters allies include Tyr, Torm and Lathander, his foes are Loviatar, Malar and Talos.

Ilmaters clerics generally multiclass to paladin, monk, and the Martyred Champion of Ilmater prestige class.


  1. ^ a b Ed Greenwood, Jeff Grubb and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set. Wizard of the Coast. ISBN 0-88038-472-7.
  2. ^ a b Ed Greenwood, Dragon magazine #54 - "Down-to-earth divinity" (October 1981), p. 52: "[Ilmater] is the willing sufferer, similar to Issek of the Jug".
  3. ^ Grubb, Jeff and Ed Greenwood. Forgotten Realms Adventures (TSR, 1990)
  4. ^ Ed Greenwood (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. ASIN B000K06S2E.
  5. ^ Martin, Julia, and Eric L. Boyd. Faiths & Avatars (TSR, 1996)
  6. ^ Terra, John. Warriors and Priests of the Realms (TSR, 1996)
  7. ^ Greenwood, Ed and Stewart, Doug. Prayers from the Faithful (TSR, 1997)
  8. ^ McComb, Colin. On Hallowed Ground (TSR, 1996)
  9. ^ Boyd, Eric L. Demihuman Deities (TSR, 1998)
  10. ^ Perkins, Christopher. Warriors of Heaven (TSR, 1999)
  11. ^ Ed Greenwood; et al. (2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. Wizard of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  12. ^ Boyd, Eric L., and Erik Mona. Faiths and Pantheons (Wizards of the Coast, 2002)