Nerull, also known as
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.
The Reaper is one of the patrons of the Horned Society and the White Kingdom, and thought to be the will that animates the drowned ones.
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. When not in disguise, they dress in the same rust-red hue as the bones of their god.
Those who would become priests of Nerull must undergo an arduous initiation that climaxes in being buried alive for a time.
Nerull'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. Well 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 terrifying murders of various servants of good; apart from this they have kept themselves extremely secretive.
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.
Among the Bakluni, Nerull is known as Tharoth the Reaper. He is viewed in this context as a servant of Istus, in charge of ending mortal lives upon her command.
Nerull's faithful believe they will be rewarded for acts of murder, for every living thing is an abomination in the eyes of the Reaper.
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. His alignment is Neutral Evil. Nerull is the patron deity of those who seek the greatest evil for their own enjoyment or gain.
Nerull dwells in Carceri, either in its outermost layer or its innermost. According to On Hallowed Ground, his realm is called the Crypt and is a city inhabited by the dead and undead. There, Nerull consorts with fiends of all kinds, who wander the realm devouring the shrieking souls trapped under Nerull's power. His realm is also called Necromanteion, described as a citadel carved from black ice, where the souls of the dead are trapped within the walls, ceilings, and floors. Demonic clerics perform twisted experiments and recite ghastly litanies. Nerull's throne is within a wide hall called the Hidden Temple, and even more unspeakable horrors are said to be buried in tunnels beneath.
Unlike most inhabitants of the Red Prison, Nerull wasn't banished to Carceri; he lives there because he likes it.
Nerull in 4e Nentir Vale setting
Though Nerull is part of the "core" material in 4th edition, that edition does not include information on the Greyhawk setting. it's not stated this version of Nerull's past also happened in the Greyhawk setting; nor is the Raven Queen present in Greyhawk. And Nerull is not dead.
It is included here only as an alternative myth.
In 4th edition, Nerull originally lived on the realm of Pluton in the Astral Sea. After his death, the Raven Queen abandoned the realm. There are still a few angry souls left on the plane, which the funeral wealth of thousands of dead monarchs deep within the mausoleums; no more dead souls arrive there, and no God has taken up the rule of the plane since because any attempt to interfere with the gray wastes of Pluton is likely to anger the Raven Queen.
Nerull was born as a human in the days of the beginning of the Dawn War. He was a wizard, and one of the first nonelves to learn arcane magic from Corellon himself. His power soon drew him into the war against the primordials, where he found himself incensed over how many that allowed themselves to be killed and thus become useless for the war effort. Spending some months after a particular battle in study over mortality and the dead, Nerull created the foundation of the necromancy school of magic.
Nerull thought that his discoveries of how to use the dead to make undead servants would provide a turning point in the Dawn War, and presented his findings to the original god of the dead, Aurom. Aurom rejected Nerulls discoveries, claiming that death was a part of the natural cycle that should not be breached, which enraged Nerull. When Nerull approached other gods about his discoveries, they deferred to Auroms judgement. Nerull gathered his armies and, just after another battle against the primordials, Nerull attacked the already wounded Aurom in a suprise assault and slew him. Nerull then seized Auroms power and laid claim to the portfolios of death and the dead.
By giving over Auroms many other portfolios to the other gods, he ensured his place in the pantheon, but he always saw this as a sign of weakness of the other gods. Nerull made his home in the astral domain of Pluton, and sought to become king over all the gods by increasing the power he derived from gathering and trapping mortal souls. He created blights and plagues to increase death in the mortal world and thus increase his number of souls. It was during this time that he came be called the Reaper and the Hater of Life.
In time, another human wizard—a sorcerer-queen who had also learned wizardry from Corellon—perished in the Dawn War and passed into Pluton. Her soul shone brighter than any other, and Nerull’s gaze became fixed firmly on her. Enthralled, he named her Nera. Nerull showered Nera with gifts and gave her authority in Pluton to win her affection. Nera used her position to learn the god’s secret of how to use souls for power, and began to amass her own store of magical might. Soon Nera turned on Nerull, releasing the bound souls of Pluton and turning their energy against their master. Nerull fell, and the Raven Queen was born.[unreliable source?]
- https://dnd4.fandom.com/wiki/Nerull for the history [unreliable source?]