Nerull is the Flan god of death, darkness, murder, and the underworld. He is known as the Reaper, the Foe of All Good, the Hater of Life, and the Bringer of Darkness. Among the Bakluni, Nerull is known as Tharoth the Reaper.
Nerull's DeathNerull was trying to use the souls of the dead to rise to the position of the king of gods. He trained his queen, who he named Nera, in the use of the power gained from the souls of the dead. This proved to be a tactical mistake, as the Raven Queen led a rebellion of tormented souls and slew Nerull, and claimed his portfolio. Though her body died as well, due to her power over souls she managed to hold onto existence, and claim the mantle of the slain god of the dead.
Nerull is the patron deity of those who seek the greatest evil for their own enjoyment or gain. Most common folk do not worship or propitiate him, although they fear him greatly. It is believed that any form of appeasement will merely draw his attention, something that is at all costs to be avoided by the sensible. Nerull seems, in fact, to draw power from the very avoidance of his name. Some of the peasants of the former Great Kingdom do propitiate Nerull with minor rites, begging safe passage for the souls of the dead. Among the Flan and in the Old Faith, Nerull is sometimes considered to be the god of winter.
Nerull is one of the patrons of the Horned Society and the White Kingdom, and thought to be the will that animates the drowned ones. A primitive version of Nerull is worshiped by the quaggoths.
Nerull's clerics are feared throughout the lands as cold, calculating murderers. Named clerics of He Who Revels in the Slaying of the Living include Delglath, Jipzinker, Andrade Mirrius, Guiliana Mortidus, and Nezmajen. They are secretive and often solitary. Their secrecy only encourages their reputation; they wield rumor and ignorance as a weapon. They sometimes act as a secret shadow government in an otherwise innocuous village.
Nerull's followers desecrate ancient tombs looking for lost lore, establish cults to provide willing food for vampires, and raise undead armies to terrify the world of the living.
For unscrupulous adventurers who can stomach Nerull's hatred of the living, they're good places for "no questions asked" raise dead spells.
VestmentsWhen not in disguise, clerics dress in the same hue as the bones of their god, wearing long hooded rust-red robes. Their face and identity is concealed behind an ivory skull mask. Some prefer to keep their skin completely covered, especially if they have visible tattoos, often wearing thick black gloves and boots. They carry staves, often tipped with rattles made from the skulls of children, and of course the unholy symbol of the skull and scythe.
In public, priests of Nerull go incognito. A hint of rust-red or blackish-rust is usually all that is required: enough to allow them to artfully hint at their dark alliance before killing someone, although most Life-Cutter's fashions wouldn't look out of place in a funeral full of mourning morticians.
TemplesNerull's temples are hidden and usually subterranean except in the most evil lands, as befits the god of darkness and the underworld. One place vile enough to openly host sizable temples of the Foe of All Good is Rel Astra.
RitualsNerull finds little worth celebrating, other than death. The number of different funeral rites Nerull has is staggering (depending on who died and how). Services to Nerull are ghastly things performed in absolute blackness, featuring litanies of fear and suffering. Much of Nerull's liturgy is spoken in the past tense, even if it hasn't happened yet. For example, a cleric of Nerull might pray, "You granted me ultimate dominion over the dead…" Murder is done as a homage to the Reaper.
Those who would become priests of Nerull must undergo an arduous initiation. An initiate must swear an oath of secrecy under penalty of death, and must prove their loyalty and devotion by slaying a close family member. Following a period of torture, their initiation climaxes in being buried alive for a time.
Nerull has few known holy days. The Blood Moon Festival: This night, on Coldeven 11, is particularly sacred to Nerull.
OrdersCults of Nerull often find themselves aligned with assassins' guilds and other groups that share similar interests, such as cults of Incabulos. Occasionally, the worship of Nerull will become an institutionalized part of a thief or assassins' organization, with clergy high in the ranks. Nerull has no "paladins," usually relying on rogues to carry out the Reaper's will.
CultsWell known cults of Nerull include the Shriven Sickle in Greyhawk, which seeks, among other things, to undermine the church of Saint Cuthbert there. The Midnight Darkness, active in the former Aerdy lands, is led by a mysterious figure known as the Hidden Sickle. Beneath Castle Greyhawk, followers of Nerull fought a subterranean war with the followers of Vaprak. In the Hold of the Sea Princes, cultists of Nerull made it their goal to frustrate and destroy Jeon II. This cult has recently been responsible for a series of extremely mysterious, grisly, and above all scary murders of various servants of good; apart from this they've kept themselves extremely secretive.
Nerull is the patron of those who seek the greatest evil for their own enjoyment or gain. All are equal in Nerull's cold realm. Every living thing is an affront to the Reaper, and every death brings a dark spark of joy to his long-dead heart. Those that pray to Nerull to appease him only attract his attention and their own doom. Those that kill in his name shall be rewarded (or so Nerull promises).
Nerull is usually seen as a black-robed skeleton, with a rust-red body and green, ropy hair. He carries a staff called "Lifecutter" that at his command grows a scythe blade made of scarlet energy.
Nerull has tenuous alliances with Faluzure and Hextor. He respects Incabulos, who starts the work that Nerull completes, but has nothing to do with him; their priests do not cooperate unless faced with a common enemy. The Foe of All Good sponsored the ascension of his mortal follower Kyuss to godhood. He seeks to destroy and reabsorb the power of Mellifleur, who stole divine energy meant for one of Nerull's own servants. Oddly, Nerull is on neither good nor bad terms with one of his few competitors: Wee Jas.
Nerull is said to slay Obad-Hai every winter.