Lord of Bones, Old Lord Skull,
the Reaper, Lord of the Dead
Pantheon Faerunian (dead Power)
Realm Gray Wastes
Portfolio Autumn, corruption, the dead, decay, dusk, exhaustion, old age, parasites, wasting
Worshippers Evil mages and cultists, necromancers, and powerful undead
Domains Death, Evil, Fate, Law, Pestilence, Travel, War
Favored Weapon Scythe

Myrkul

Myrkul, one of the Dark Gods, was the god of the Dead, as opposed to the god of death, which was (at the time) the province of Bhaal. Myrkul had a cold, malignant intelligence, and spoke in a high whisper. He was always alert, never slept, and was never surprised. He was never known to lose his temper or be anything other than coldly amused when a mortal succeeded in avoiding his directives or chosen fate. His influence in Faerûn was imposed through fear, and he was a master of making mortals terrified of him through words and deeds. At times, just to remain unpredictable, he could seem almost kind and caring. His cowled skull head was known in nightmares all over Faerûn, and he was the one deity that almost all human mortals could picture clearly. Myrkul took care that all mortals think of him often - he was even known to materialize beside open graves, scythe in hand, just to gaze around at gathering mourners for a few silent breaths before fading away, in order to remind everyone that he was waiting for them all.

Know Him and fear Him. His embrace is for all and is patient but sure. The dead can always find you. His hand is everywhere - there is no door He cannot pass, nor guardian who can withstand Him.

As a mortal, Myrkul's full name and title is said to have been Myrkul Bey al-Kursi, Crown Prince of Murghôm. Myrkul was a powerful adventuring necromancer in his mortal years, traveling with Bane and Bhaal, dedicated each to a quest to attain divinity for themselves. They traveled to the citadel of Jergal who, luckily for them, was tired of his existence as lord of the end of everything. Breaking off his skeletal knucklebones after an argument over which of the three would rule over the other two, they were each thrown by the mortals to determine which of Jergal's portfolios they would receive. Malar tried and failed to interrupt this game. The end result was Myrkul gaining the portfolio of the Dead. Jergal served Myrkul as an aide for a time until Myrkul had settled into his new role.

Many years later, Myrkul again allied himself with Bane and the two dark gods conspired to steal the Tablets of Fate from the overgod Ao, in hopes that the loss of these tablets would weaken the overgod enough that he could be overthrown. The overgod responded to the theft by casting all the gods from the planes and into Toril, stripping their divine powers in the process. Only Helm was allowed to keep his divine abilities, and the God of Guardians stood watch over the Celestial Stairways, where he barred all deities from entering the planes, and waited for the tablets to be recovered and delivered to him and Ao.

Following the destruction of both Bane and Bhaal, Myrkul attacked Midnight, Kelemvor and Elminster atop Blackstaff Tower in Waterdeep, hoping his minions would provide enough distraction while he would forcefully seize the Tablets of Fate. But the mortal mage Midnight, infused with the power of the dead Mystra, killed the Lord of Bones before he could make good his escape.

Some of the defeated god's essence was siphoned into an artifact contained in the tower, called the Crown of Horns, which quickly teleported away. The artifact was once in the possession of Nhyris D'Hothek, a yuan-ti from Skullport, but has since abandoned its user, and to this day the spirit of Myrkul endures in the form of this powerful, sentient, artifact.

The memory of Myrkul is still fresh in the minds of Faerûnians, and the utterance of his name inspires fear to this day.

The faith of Myrkul was never popular, nor were its priests numerous. Many venerated Myrkul out of fear, and offerings were made in his name at funerals and other solemn occasions, but few actually worshiped him as their primary faith. Myrkulite priests tended to be morbid loners who enjoyed scaring others or enjoyed the power of widespread rumors that it was death to touch a priest of Myrkul. Gray ones took care to conceal their identities, always leaving locales where they were born and raised.

Following the death of Myrkul, many of his priests and devout have joined the ranks of similar gods such as Cyric, Iyachtu Xvim and Bane.

Priests

The clergy of Myrkul was charged to make folk fear and respect death and the power of the almighty Myrkul so that no one stood against the church or tried to thwart its activities. Gray ones were expected to spread the word that touching a priest of Myrkul brought death. They were expected to tell folk that those in the service of Myrkul had perfect patience and could be trusted utterly - and then conduct themselves accordingly. Myrkulite clergy were to teach the stories of past and future “doombringers” - mortals who roamed the land, avenging dead friends, masters, and blood kin to whom they had sworn oaths, and slaying those who scoffed or who held other gods supreme than the Lord of Bones.

Priestly Vestments

The holy symbol of Myrkul was displayed blatantly by his priests who felt no need to hide their allegiance as death will come to all eventually - sooner, it was rumored, for those foolish enough to molest a Myrkulite.

Ritual

Myrkul was worshiped on a daily basis at dusk, but there was only one calendar-related ritual observed by the Church of Myrkul; The Feast of the Moon is known to the faithful of Myrkul as the Day the Dead are Most With Us. Myrkulites believed that on this day the essence of all dead folk rise and drift as unseen ghosts across Faerûn, seeking their living descendants to deliver messages or warnings, or just to observe. To those worshiping the Lord of Bones, this is a day to celebrate the dead.

Myrkul held in his service a former deity of the dead - Jergal. He was close allies with the other Dark Gods; Bane the Black God, Bhaal the Lord of Murder, and Shar the Nightbringer.

Amongst his foes, Myrkul counted Chauntea the Earthmother, Lathander the Morninglord and Mielikki the Ranger.

  • deities/myrkul.txt
  • Last modified: 2018/01/13 06:46
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