Erythnul is the god of Hate, Envy, Malice, Panic, Ugliness, and Slaughter. He is known as the Many, and is worshipped by many gnoll, troll, ogre, and bugbear tribes, in addition to humans.
In civilized lands, Erythnul's followers (including evil fighters, barbarians and rogues) form small, criminal cults. In savage lands, evil barbarians, gnolls, bugbears, ogres, and trolls commonly worship him.
Anything that creates mass slaughter or mass hysteria pleases Erythnul, so his followers might finish off the dying on a battlefield, make sure a shaky cease-fire falls apart, or simply pillage the countryside, killing or maiming everyone they find.
Many factions of Erythnul's cult exist, fighting one another as often as they fight nonbelievers. They maintain a low profile in most civilized lands, typically fomenting rebellion and unrest. In savage areas, members of the priesthood are known as bullies and murderous tyrants, and often lead groups of bandits.
Clerics are cruel, sadistic, and hateful. They love to deface beautiful things and to disfigure attractive people. Most of Erythnul's faithful are chaotic evil, though a few are chaotic neutral.
Clerics of Erythnul get most of their training in large temples (where they'll witness live sacrifice after live sacrifice) or in the army (where they'll witness the horrors of war). A higher-level cleric looks over a number of novice clerics, trying to frighten them into rejecting the path they've chosen. Those who don't flinch after repeated tests become Erythnul's new clerics.
VestmentsErythnul's clerics wear rust-colored or bloodstained garments. On ceremonial occasions they wear white robes, the better to display the bloodstains on them. They wear stylized masks symbolizing Erythnul's many aspects.
HierarchyThe ranks of Erythnul's priesthood are, from lowest to highest, Raider, Marauder, Reaver, and Incarnate.
TemplesAnyplace where great bloodshed or a spectacular act of cruelty has occurred is considered a holy site and an excellent place for a temple dedicated to Erythnul. In the countryside, Erythnul's followers build squat, unsightly fortresses in places where battles, ambushes or massacres have occurred. In urban areas, Erythnul's temples are usually hidden in seedy sections of cities, preferably on sites where horrible crimes have happened. In the wilderness, his worshipers build squat, ugly fortresses where sacrifice after sacrifice takes place. Erythnul's profane altars are built on platforms reachable by steep flights of stairs.
Erythnul's priests raise massive altars quickly at battlefields, where their followers slaughter in the name of their god. If the tides of war take them elsewhere, they may abandon their altars, leaving the area unhallowed, desecrated, and a prime lair for other evil creatures.
RitualsIn the least violent services to Erythnul, shrill reed instruments are played discordantly while gongs clash and drums pound. During major rites, a fire is built and victims are sacrificed. One famous rite is the Bloody Howl, when soldiers captured from the previous battle are killed in order to bring Erythnul's favor just before the next one.
Erythul favors simple rhyming chants - and the gorier the subject matter, the better. "First we slay and then we flay!/From skin to bone, you beg and moan!"
OrdersIn cities, worshipers that are less overt form a nebulous organization known as the Temple of Carnage. This group tends to sow chaos and random acts of evil throughout the city.
The chaos of battle is the sacred charge of the worshippers of Erythnul. In all the myriad forms of terror and suffering that war creates, there is a strange kind of unity. This is part of the reason that Erythnul is called the Many. Battle is a test of merit and strength, and living and dying by the sword is the definition of the good life.
Many of Erythnul's worshippers believe that blood spilled in battle feeds their god, increasing his madness and bloodlust. Chaotic neutral worshippers believe that non-combatants and weak opponents are meaningless, and that killing them does nothing to satiate their god or prove their ability; killing those unworthy of a warrior's death even angers Erythnul, they believe. Chaotic evil worshippers, who are far more common, disagree, believing that all slaughter is a sacrament, and that the dying screams of innocents are music to Erythnul's ears, hymns in the church of the battlefield.
Erythnul, is a terrible sight to behold. He usually appears as a 7' human with knotted muscles and a blocky frame. His skin is mottled and ruddy, almost as though blood oozes from his pores. In battle, his features change between human, gnoll, bugbear, ogre, and troll (his spilled blood is said to transform into similar creatures). This mutable form is reflected in his title, The Many. His dull-green eyes are filled with the madness of war. He typically wears red fur and red-dyed leather, and carries a stone-headed morningstar. A hole in the head of the morningstar creates a whistling noise as Erythnul swings it; the keening howl of the morningstar has been known to send those who hear it fleeing until they collapse from exhaustion.
Erythnul's favorite choice for herald is a balor. His follower ar eare howlers, glabrezu demons, and nalfeshnee demons.
Erythnul has a long-standing rivalry with Hextor, due to the latter stealing Erythnul's portfolio of War. He sponsored Roykyn's ascension to the status of hero-power. He is allied with Kurell. Erythnul is often worshipped in association with Karaan, though the latter deity is far more obscure.
Erythnul is credited with creating the windblades and garngraths, races of fiends native to Pandemonium.