Tharizdun is the god of Eternal Darkness, Decay, Entropy, Malign Knowledge, Insanity, and Cold. Tharizdun is a long-forgotten god who craves nothing less than the unmaking of the universe, destroying everything—himself included—in the process. During the Dawn War, he created the Abyss, an act for which he was imprisoned by the gods. His followers hope to set him free. Despite his imprisonment, Tharizdun can still grant spells to the mad cultists who work in his name.
With his goal of destruction, Tharizdun is considered Chaotic Evil. Historically, however, he has been considered Neutral Evil. No beings have encountered Tharizdun for over a millennium, and his alignment can only be inferred from that of his insane followers.
Despite Tharizdun's absence, his cults still persist, seeking ways to communicate with their dark master and free him to wreak havoc once more.
Tharizdun's few followers are almost all insane, and those who are not are extremely dangerous. Contact with the imprisoned Dark God is only possible in proximity to one of his remaining artifacts or forgotten unholy sites, and even then his blessings come at the cost of madness.
Many cults are unaware that the entity that they worship is Tharizdun. Unable to act upon the world directly, he dispenses his power from cover identities and aspects, such as the Elder Elemental Eye responsible for the infamous Temple of Elemental Evil.
Tharizdun's followers are highly secretive, and his temples are well hidden. Many follow him in the optimistic belief that he will spare his loyal servants when he destroys the multiverse. Their goal is to bring together all of his artifacts, and to free the Ebon God from his imprisonment, where he will destroy the multiverse. Although the cult's leaders are fully aware of this, many low-ranking members merely seek revenge against society, and are unaware with the full extent of the Dark God's destruction, should he be freed.
Followers place great importance on the number three. For example, there are believed to be 333 Gems of Tharizdun, each an minor unholy artifact. Tharizdun's clerics cannot draw power from him unless they are in contact with an artifact such as these.
ClergyClerics of Tharizdun cannot gain spells from him in the normal way, due to his imprisonment on some unknown plane. They must be in contact with one of his few holy artifacts, or one of his ancient holy sites.
VestmentsHis clerics traditionally wear black or purple robes. Clerics of his aspect, the Elder Elemental Eye, typically wear ochre-colored robes, sometimes altered to represent one of the four elements.
HierarchyMany temples are led by charismatic high priests known as the Witnesses of Tharizdun, who live in opulent surroundings and partake in lavish food, drink, and other base desires at the expense of their underlings. Every cult of Tharizdun has a different structure and set of hierarchy for those under the Witness.
The leaders of the cult at the Temple of Elemental Evil are known as the Doomdreamers.
TemplesThose forgotten temples which survive are in dark, underground places, kept extremely cold by ancient magic placed by the fanatics who built them. They make heavy use of black stone and an archaic trapezoidal building pattern. Newer temples to Tharizdun exist in the abandoned buildings of cities, disused sewer chambers, and the cellars of converts. A few operate more openly in remote wilderness areas where the locals are too few and too cowardly to challenge them.
RitualsFollowers of Tharizdun conduct terrible rituals of sacrifice. Most of their rites involve failed attempts to commune with their deity, or learn the secrets to unlocking the chains that bind him.
OrdersTharizdun's cult is scattered across the world.
Doomdreamers: His most dedicated followers are the Doomdreamers, a high-ranking caste of priests who receive visions from Tharizdun. They collect rare and esoteric knowledge, such as the names of demons.
Black Brotherhood: A dangerous offshoot of the Scarlet Brotherhood that follows Tharizdun. The majority of the Scarlet Brotherhood do not worship him, and he is not considered a Suel deity, at least not by the current Brotherhood. However, the Brotherhood intentionally spreads rumors to the contrary, sowing fear and misinformation among their enemies.
Midnight Darkness: A cult of assassins dedicated to Nerull, god of death, is secretly led by Karniquaza, a follower of Tharizdun and member of the Scarlet Brotherhood.
"Light must be snuffed, perfection decayed, order dissolved, and minds fragmented." The clergy of Tharizdun preach that all things eventually crumble, and in time Tharizdun's victory over the gods will be complete.
Unlike most deities of Oerth, who take humanoid shape, Tharizdun appears as a dark, amorphous form reminiscent of a sentient sphere of annihilation. Contact with the deity brings insanity and death, and no accurate surviving descriptions or depictions of him remain.
Tharizdun is hated by nearly all other gods, who would gladly put aside their differences to stop the Dark God from escaping his demiplane prison.
Rao, god of light, is particularly opposed to Tharizdun. Rao's followers believe that the Crook of Rao was originally crafted by that god for the purpose of banishing Tharizdun's dark forces.
Boccob, god of magic, actively opposes Tharizdun and works to ensure that he remains imprisoned. The power of magic is very gradually waning in the world of Oerth, and Boccob suspects that Tharizdun is responsible.
Tharizdun has no allies among the gods. The evil Archomentals, five powerful beings believed to be his offspring, are possible allies in his plots.