Domains: Hate, Envy, Malice,
Panic, Ugliness, Slaughter
Home Plane: The Abyss
Alignment: Chaotically evil,
with tendencies towards chaotically neutral
Alignment of Clergy: Chaotically neutral, chaotically evil, neutrally evil
Alignment of Worshippers: Any evil, or chaotically neutral. While Erythnul is
primarily worshipped by humans, he also has a substantial following among many
humanoids and giants.
History and Relationships: Born of the second generation of gods after the Age
of Night and the imprisoning of the Dark Lord, Erythnul was a disgusting and
sadistic creature so hideous that no deity would admit to siring him. Known for
his hatred of most of the other gods and his jealousy of their physical beauty,
Erythnul continually bullied and harassed his fellow deities, murdering their
servants and followers to the point where he inspired fear and terror in all
who crossed his path, save the evil gods of the humanoids and the giants, who
shared his appetite for destruction and his enjoyment of inflicting pain upon
When the gods began creating the mortal races that dwelt upon the Oerth,
Erythnul relished the opportunity to spread his ethics of destruction and panic
among them. Rather than create his own race, Erythnul began to cultivate his
own following among humans, orcs, goblins, hill giants and other races with a
strong capacity for evil. Joining their racial pantheons, Erythnul took a
sadistic joy in the horror and misery he saw spreading across the Oerth, much of
which he himself had helped spread. The blood that was shed was frequently
attributed to his hands, and Erythnul responded by giving himself the nickname
of the “Red Hands”, taking a perverse pride in his wicked accomplishments.
No satisfactory reason has ever been given for Erythnul’s tendency towards hate
and destruction. His malice, it appeared, was motiveless, as he simply felt an
urge for and pleasure in murder and carnage. To this very day, Erythnul remains
as brutally simple and straightforward as he has ever been, an engine of death
and terror that knows what it is, and is proud of it.
Erythnul’s allies tend to be those gods who either benefit in some manner from
Erythnul’s rampages or who share his love of causing death and destruction.
Such allies include Gruumsh, Baghtru, Maglubiyet, Hruggek, Nerull, Surtur,
Hextor, Thrym, Grolantor, Orcus, Demogorgon, Vaprak and Yeenoghu. Almost every
other deity or divine being, ranging from Rao to Incabulos to Corellon
Larethian to the Queen of Air and Darkness hates and despises Erythnul, either
because they abhor his destructive view of the world, or simply because the
mayhem he causes has frequently been directed at them and their peoples,
whether they be good or evil.
Teachings: Erythnul’s church teaches that life is ultimately a never-ending
torrent of misery and horror, and that mortal beings are fundamentally debased
and immoral. As such, life belongs to those who indulge their darkest natures
to the fullest, inflicting as much chaos and mayhem as they can before their
own lives are eventually snuffed out. Laws and morals are the creation of
weaklings too cowardly to act on their basest desires, and are meant to hold
back and tie down those who dare to live life the way it is meant to be lived.
Such weaklings are only fit to suffer and be destroyed, both for attempting to
pervert the natural order of things and for the simple, pure pleasure of those
who truly live.
Murder, torture, and sadism are thus highly desirable both for their own sake,
and for the fear they create in the weak. Just as important is the ugliness
that the destruction leaves in its wake, whether in the harm inflicted on
victims or the destruction left upon the land. To the church of Erythnul, the
scars and trauma inflicted on a victim, and the gashes and burns of a burned
field or a scorched forest, are among the most beautiful things in the world.
The church further teaches that the ideal society is one based on obedience
through fear, where the strongest of those who live life as it truly is rule
over those who are weaker but still embrace the proper ideals, and who in their
turn rule over the cowards and weaklings. Those who are strong must take care
to maintain their power, lest they become complacent and slain by those who
they deemed weak. Power would constantly fluctuate-the weakest would either
prove themselves strong and rise to power, and the strongest showing that they
deserve to remain in power and command the fear of those below them, or perish
and suffer in their turn.
The virtues of the Erythnian faith include the massacre of the weak and
innocent, the inspiring of fear or terror in others, destroying things of
beauty and leaving ugliness and destruction on one’s wake, feeling hatred and
envy against those more prosperous and beautiful than oneself, breaking
civilized laws, and destroying the institutions of society that hold back the
The sins of the Erythnian faith include showing kindness and compassion to the
undeserving, cowardice and weakness in the face of adversity, not acting on
feelings of hatred or envy, obeying civilized laws, and making meaningful
contributions to societies that otherwise hold back the most destructive and
Interaction with Outsiders: The church of Erythnul is barred in most areas of
the Flanaess, save vile realms such as Northern Aerdy, the Bandit Kingdoms, Rel
Astra, and Stonehold. Even in Rel Astra and Northern Aerdy, the faith is barely
tolerated and wields little influence or political power, instead generally
confining its activities to violence against the lower classes, foreigners, and
Elsewhere, Erythnul’s faithful are widely known for ministering to various
bandit groups, humanoid bands, assassins’ guilds, and other groups of
murderers, killers and psychopaths. Such individuals find a ready home in
Stonehold, where the church of Erythnul is heavily favored by what passes for a
government in that land, and many of the Bandit Kingdoms. More than any other
land, tribe or group, the Bandits and the Stoneholders act on Erythnul’s
perverted teachings, and their unlucky neighbors are frequently the ones
against whom they practice it.
As a result, while other evil faiths may be propitiated to avoid their
attentions, and tolerated even in goodly-aligned lands, the faith of Erythnul
is almost universally despised outside of the areas where it is supported, and
mortals do not call on the Red Hands except to curse him.
Erythnul’s largest temples are in Vlekstaad, Bastro, Kelten, Purmill, Rel
Astra, Rookroost, Stoink, Kinemeet, Eastfair, Edgefield, Winetha and Atirr.
Variant Sects: The clergy of the Red Hands do not typically disagree on matters
of doctrine through church writings or theses, preferring to settle disputes
with the sword rather than the pen. There is, however, disagreement on the
faith about the treatment of friends and family, namely whether they can be
shown at least some support and love. Some clergy claim that violence should
only be directed at the weak and the frail, claiming that there must be at
least some form of family ties and connections for society to function. There
is no reason why slaughter and destruction cannot be a shared or even a family
activity, with all the members sharing the pleasure of cruelty and murder. Many
followers of Erythnul do in fact join various social groups such as bandit
gangs and humanoid tribes, and perform the usual priestly duties of healings,
marriages, blessings and exorcisms,
Other followers of Erythnul do not necessarily disagree with this belief, but
warn very strictly against taking it too far. Mercy and compassion can
themselves be bred in an Erythnian who develops too much attachment to friends
or family, while a true Erythnian would not hesitate to kill any of his own kin
who displayed weakness. For all that cooperation and shared joy in destruction
can be desirable traits, in the end all that truly matters is slaughter in the
name of the Red Hands.
Adventuring Clergy: Erythnul’s clergy are actively encouraged to adventure, and
to cultivate reputations that inspire fear in the hearts of those who hear
their names. They are also encouraged to invoke their deity’s name when
committing murder, so that fear of the Red Hands itself continues to spread.
While adventuring clerics may wield any weapon they choose, the heavy mace is
particularly favored and seen as a sign of prestige in the faith, since the
mace is Erythnul’s weapon of choice. Clerics may also wear any type of armor
they choose, although associating with weakling races like elves or halflings is
seen as a minor sin. Travel to strongly good-aligned lands like Furyondy or
Keoland is also a minor sin, unless the cleric intends to cause mayhem and
destruction while in those lands.
Erythnul is said to favor those who commit murder in his name, who spread his
name as they cause death and destruction, who deface or destroy things of
beauty, terrify the weak and defenseless, and act to break and spite laws that
hold back those who dare to live their lives to the fullest.