Last Updated on February 20, 2023
Who Is Tyr?
Tyr is the Lawful Good greater god of law and justice in the Faerûnian pantheon. You may recognize his name since he is what’s known as an interloper god and originally comes from Norse mythology.
- Alignment: Lawful Good
- Symbol: Balanced scales resting on a warhammer
- Domains: Order, War
D&D is responsible for the generation of plenty of fantasy lore, but even in its early days, it was filled with references to fantastical stories and fictions that already existed. One of the most common examples of this is with gods. The gods that populate 5e today are all either inspired by or direct copies of gods who have been worshipped on Earth at some point.
Tyr is an excellent example of this phenomenon as he was an incredibly important figure in Norse mythology. His status as one of the chief gods, even taking on a leadership role in the centuries before Odin was viewed as the Allfather, makes him an exciting addition to any world.
Of course, Tyr isn’t just a leader. Tyr is responsible for law and justice while also being a warrior god. This sort of righteous fury is represented a bit in his actual physical appearance and his nickname, the Blind God.
He is typically portrayed as a strong older man with missing eyes or a bloody bandage over his eyes, a missing right hand with a visible stump, a powerful build, and a bearded face. His blindness might be a physical manifestation of his “blind justice” that judges solely on the actions and not the causes or situations, but his missing arm does have a documented reason.
In Norse mythology, Tyr bound the great wolf Fenrir. This wolf declared that it would only allow himself to be chained if a god placed their arm in his mouth. Tyr did so not out of naivety, but out of a sense of duty and self-sacrifice.
Of all the Faerûnian gods, Tyr may be one of the most devoted to his cause. He believed so staunchly in the persecution of evil that he was known to create crusades throughout the history of the Forgotten Realms. He’s also responsible for the creation of many laws and governing bodies throughout Faerûn and beyond.
To his followers, he is seen as righteous, paternal, and fair. Others, however, might see him as an unforgiving judge, one who bases their decisions on nothing more than the end result.
History and Relationships
The most important piece of Tyr’s history, at least in his time as a Faerûnian deity of the Forgotten Realms, is his Procession of Justice. This crusade lead to the formation of the Triad and, eventually, to Tyr’s death.
The procession of justice was a campaign led by Tyr himself against the remnants of Jhaamdath. Jhaamdath, a once powerful empire, had fallen, and in its decline, it was overthrown by anarchy and rampant chaos. The region was full of nothing but crime, and the innocent were murdered in the streets.
This offended Tyr so much that he took an army of celestials down to the Material Plane to unleash justice upon the lands.
Ilmater, the Broken God and god of martyrdom, and Torm, the god of duty and loyalty, joined in with Tyr to aid him in the campaign and, ultimately, formed an alliance that has continued to this day. That alliance, known as the Triad, is the primary force of divine righteousness in Faerûn and the Forgotten Realms.
While their continued efforts eventually lead to Tyr dying while protecting the celestial planes, few gods ever truly die, and he has come back to life since sometime before the dawn of 5e.
Including Tyr in a 5e Campaign
Tyr certainly has his own followers and worshippers, but perhaps the best way to include him is by including the Triad. Since Tyr is the leader of the Triad, it really is one of his most important aspects. It’s through the Triad that he finds balance and his judgment is prevented from becoming rampant divine wrath.
With that, the Triad stands in opposition to evil throughout the Forgotten Realms, so it’s easy to use them as allies for our protagonists. The church of Tyr might also play a large role in this as it’s full of judges, magistrates, and paladins who seek to uphold the law in the same way their god has for centuries passed.
There really aren’t any evil deities who couldn’t pose a threat to good in the realms. Whether Tiamat is trying to escape from the Abyss, Gruumsh is seeking to raise an army of evil orcs, or Maglubiyet is causing mayhem on the Sword Coast, the Triad and their collective followers are a natural source of opposing factions.
Tyr is an incredible god with some very interesting lore, both in D&D and in our world. Including such an impressive figure gives your world a huge focal point and a source of law, order, and general goodness.
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As a kid, I was often told to get my head out of the clouds and to stop living in a fantasy world. That never really jived with me, so I decided to make a living out of games, stories, and all sorts of fantastical works. Now, as an adult, I aspire to remind people that sometimes a little bit of fantasy is all you need when life gets to be too much.