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Basic Information
TitleThe Reaper of Flesh, The Inevitable
SymbolA black disk
AlignmentLawful Evil
Allowed AlignmentsLN, LE, NE
Primary PortfolioDarkness, Death, Decay, Inevitability, Ruthlessness, Underworld
Secondary PortfolioDrought, Evil, Future, Order, Patience, Rot, Shadows, Suffering
Favored WeaponScythe
Nessus, The Inevitable

Nessus, deity of death, stands as the supreme source of darkness and evil in the multiverse. He is the unsaid fear that no one dares to mention nor forget, the chill that runs through every creature's nerves, the cold embrace that suffocates the living, the point at which sanity collapses under the mighty weight of darkness. Nessus embodies the final truth, for at the end of all things, he awaits.

Nessus is as old as the multiverse itself, embodying a wisdom that defies comprehension. This ancient deity is not just wise, but also cunning, depraved, and vile, with a heart that grows colder with each passing age. He is a figure of relentless patience, moving with the deliberate precision of one who has existed since the dawn of time. When Nessus acts, he does so with devastating effectiveness, each move calculated and purposeful.

The only emotion that stirs within Nessus is his eternal hatred for the living. This hatred is so profound that not even death can quench it, fueling his insatiable thirst for innocent souls. Fearless and unyielding, Nessus bows to no one and answers to no demand. He hears no claims, shows no mercy, and there is no worship or sacrifice that can appease him. He exists beyond the reach of any mortal or deity's plea.

Followers of Nessus are expected to be the carriers of his will and the executioners of his demands. They are his instruments, spreading his influence and ensuring that his dark decrees are fulfilled. For Nessus, death is both the ultimate punishment and the supreme prize. It is the great equalizer that distinguishes neither rich from poor nor evil from good. In the state of complete passiveness that death brings, there is no chaos, only the supreme law of stillness and finality.

Nessus appears as a skeletal figure cloaked in tattered black robes that fade seamlessly into darkness. This shroud conceals most of his features, revealing only glimpses of his skeletal form. His jaw, lined with fang-like teeth, is often the only visible part of his face. Occasionally, two red pinpoints can be seen where his eyes should be, piercing the darkness with a malevolent glow. Always by his side is a large scythe, its blade shining red with an unquenchable thirst for blood. He also likes to appear as a raven with burning red eyes, which leaves a trail of darkness and cold smoke wherever he passes. This vision is a sign of ill omen among peoples of good will.


Nessus' symbol is a black disk, representing his empty and cold heart as well as the endless void and darkness that he embodies. This symbol serves as a stark reminder of his dominion over death, decay, and the inevitable end that awaits all life. The black disk is a profound emblem of his malevolent influence, encapsulating the fear and dread that his presence inspires throughout the multiverse. It is a visual representation of the ultimate stillness and finality that death brings, a void where no light can penetrate and from which no life can escape.

Relations With Other Deities

Nessus is the ultimate source of darkness and evil. As such, he answers to no one, and because of his cold heart, he maintains no relationships with any deity. There are three deities that show some obedience to him: Thonoxum, deity of diseases; Serkar, deity of fear and nightmares; and Ophion, deity of shadows and undead. However, for Nessus, they are nothing more than tools to be used in his grand schemes.

He stands as one of the main foes for the deities of good, and even the neutral deities consider him a significant menace to the continuity of balance. Nessus's influence is so pervasive and destructive that his very existence threatens the equilibrium of the multiverse.

Nessus also stands at odds with Tiamat, the current deity of evil and leader of the Pantheon of Dread. Her inability to make Nessus bow to her and thus unify all evil deities under her leadership causes Tiamat to hate and fear him as much as she does the deities of good. Nessus, on the other hand, dismisses her as irrelevant in his grand schemes. This indifference infuriates Tiamat, and while most evil deities would gladly rid themselves of Nessus, they are too afraid of him to confront him directly.

What The Legends Say

Nessus, The Reaper of Flesh


Nessus, in raven form

Nessus dogma is based on these five tenets:

  • Embrace the Darkness: Accept the inevitable presence of darkness in all things. Let the void fill your heart and guide your actions, for true power lies in the shadows where light fears to tread.
  • Maintain a Cold Heart: Show no emotions towards others, and offer no mercy. Allow your heart to remain as cold and unfeeling as the void, for compassion and empathy are weaknesses that must be purged.
  • Exercise Ruthless Precision: Be patient and precise in your actions. Strike with calculated efficiency, ensuring that your efforts bring about the maximum amount of pain and fear.
  • Extinguish Life in all Forms: Strive to end life in all its forms. The living are a blight upon the purity of darkness. Every act should work towards the cessation of life and the spread of death's cold embrace.
  • Recognize Death as Supreme: Acknowledge death as the ultimate equalizer and enforcer of order. In death, there is no chaos, only the silent, cold void. Death is the final truth and the ultimate prize for those who truly serve Nessus.

Clergy and Temples

A cleric of Nessus

The clergy of Nessus is a strictly hierarchical and secretive organization, known for its unwavering dedication and fervent devotion to their dark deity. Although not numerous, its members are among the most dedicated followers in the multiverse, their loyalty and commitment rivaling even those of the clergy of good deities.

The ranks of Nessus's clergy are diverse, comprising individuals from many backgrounds and races. Among their numbers are humans, elves, and other mortal races, as well as creatures from other planes, including devils and powerful undead. This diversity extends to their classes, with fighters, monks, and spellcasters being the most common, reflecting the clergy's recognition of the value of versatility.

Clergy members dress in dark clothing, often donning black cloaks that symbolize the darkness they worship. Their attire is a constant reminder of their allegiance to the void and the malevolent power of Nessus. Cold and ruthless, they are known for showing no emotions, empathy, or mercy towards others. Their demeanor is as chilling as the void they revere, and their actions are marked by methodical precision.

Operating primarily from the shadows, the clergy of Nessus excels in long-term schemes and the quiet acquisition of power through influence, might, and magic. They act behind the scenes for extended periods, weaving intricate plots and gathering strength. These periods of covert activity are punctuated by sudden, precise actions that achieve their goals with brutal efficiency. After these bursts of open activity, they retreat back into the shadows, continuing their dark work unnoticed.

The members of Nessus's clergy are renowned for their mastery of dark magic. Their prowess in necromancy is particularly feared and respected, and they are often sought by those with dark agendas seeking to harness their power. Despite this, their presence is universally dreaded, and they are seen as harbingers of doom. The appearance of a a cleric is always perceived as a bad omen, signaling the spread of death, decay, and darkness.

One of the primary duties of Nessus's clerics is to bring death to those who are not under the protection of a patron deity. These clerics actively seek out Soulstrays, individuals without divine guardianship, and when they find one, they make it their mission to capture them. It is said that upon capturing a Soulstray, the clerics perform unspeakable dark rituals on them, harvesting their souls for sinister purposes. These rituals are shrouded in secrecy and fear, further enhancing the dread that surrounds the clergy of Nessus.

In every aspect of their existence, the clergy of Nessus embodies the principles of their deity. They are the cold, calculating instruments of his will, spreading his influence with a devotion that is both terrifying and awe-inspiring. Their actions, both seen and unseen, serve as constant reminders of the inescapable darkness that Nessus represents.

The temples of Nessus are often found in remote and desolate areas, where their ominous presence can remain undisturbed and shrouded in mystery. These locations include barren wastelands, dark forests, abandoned ruins, and underground caverns. The isolation of these temples not only serves to protect them from prying eyes but also maintains an aura of fear and dread that surrounds them.

Within larger cities, Nessus's temples are hidden deep within labyrinthine sewers, catacombs, or abandoned buildings. These concealed sanctuaries allow the clergy to operate discreetly in urban environments, remaining out of sight from the general populace while weaving their dark schemes.

Graveyards and old battlefields are also common sites for Nessus's temples. These places, steeped in death and decay, provide a steady supply of raw materials for necromantic rituals. The dark energies that permeate these locations are ideal for reinforcing the connection to Nessus's domains, making these temples powerful centers of his influence.

In regions or kingdoms openly aligned with evil, temples of Nessus may even be found in the open, prominently located in larger settlements. These temples, while rare, serve as a testament to the reach and acceptance of Nessus's dark power in these areas.

Regardless of their location, all temples of Nessus share a common architectural style. They are constructed from dark stone, featuring sharp spires and imposing, intimidating facades. The architecture is designed to evoke fear and awe, with heavy use of aged materials that absorb light rather than reflect it. The interiors are labyrinthine, with twisting corridors and hidden chambers meant to confuse intruders and protect the inner sanctums where the most sacred and sinister rituals are performed.

These temples serve various purposes. They act as centers of influence, where the clergy can scheme and manipulate events from the shadows. They provide refuge for clerics and servants of Nessus, offering protection from the outside world. They are the primary locations for performing dark rituals, drawing on the power of death and decay to further Nessus's malevolent goals. Additionally, they function as halls of execution, where enemies and Soulstrays are brought to meet their end through unspeakable rituals.

In every aspect, the temples of Nessus are embodiments of his dark and fearsome nature. They stand as monuments to death and decay, inspiring terror and awe among those who encounter them, whether hidden in the shadows or standing openly in lands of darkness.

A temple of Nessus


At the end of all things, he awaits

The initiation into the faith of Nessus is a rigorous and perilous journey, beginning a year before the ritual is performed. Those who seek to become followers typically start this journey one year before their coming of age to avoid becoming Soulstrays. The first step is to find a cleric of Nessus, a task that is easier in regions openly aligned with evil. These regions are the natural sources of potential followers. However, depraved souls from otherwise normal areas often embark on perilous pilgrimages to find someone who can initiate them. If a would-be follower locates a cleric and survives the encounter, proving themselves as potential candidates, the cleric may accept them for initiation.

During the year-long preparation, the would-be follower is tasked with "harvesting darkness." This involves spending time in places of decay and darkness, such as graveyards, abandoned ruins, or desolate forests, collecting items that symbolize death and decay, like tokens from the dead, decayed artifacts, and similar objects. These items are offerings to Nessus, symbolizing the initiate’s commitment to embracing the void.

The initiate is also tasked with performing acts of ruthlessness to become the cold, unfeeling creature that serves Nessus. This includes participating in rituals, hunting Soulstrays, and other tasks assigned by the clerics. The harshness of these tasks means that many initiates do not survive the preparation year. Each day, the initiate must meditate for at least one hour, reflecting on the darkness within themselves and the acts performed that day. This daily meditation is meant to reinforce their connection to the void and the inevitability of death.

If the initiate survives the year, they must spend the last day in deep contemplation. Reflecting on the deeds performed throughout the year, they must internalize the meaning of Nessus's dogma. This day is spent in total darkness, preferably in an underground or enclosed space that echoes the isolation and emptiness of the void. This solitude deepens their understanding of the darkness they are about to fully embrace.

The following day, the initiate is accompanied by a cleric to a location of ritualistic importance, such as a graveyard. The ritual must be performed under the embrace of darkness, so in places not engulfed in perpetual darkness, it is conducted at night. The initiate presents the items collected during their year of gathering as offerings to Nessus.

Standing before the cleric, the initiate recites an oath, pledging their life and soul to Nessus. They vow to uphold the tenets of darkness, ruthlessness, and the pursuit of death in all forms. The cleric then covers the initiate in a dark robe and draws a black circle with charcoal on the initiate's forehead. During this, the cleric casts the initiation spell, binding the initiate to the service of Nessus as a devoted follower.

This ritual, steeped in darkness and death, transforms the initiate into a dedicated servant of Nessus. It is a process marked by hardship, ruthlessness, and an unwavering commitment to the tenets of the void. Through this grueling journey, the initiate emerges as a true disciple of the Lord of the Underworld, ready to spread his influence and embody his malevolent will.