Nemyth

Title Reaper of Reputation, Father Skinsaw, The Gray Master ,Blackfingers, King of Thieves
Portfolio Greed Secrets Poison Murder
Alignment Neutral Evil
Worshipers Thieves, assassins, murderers, spies
Worshiper Alignment LE,NE,N,CE
Domains Charm, Death, Evil, Knowledge, Trickery
Subdomains Daemon, Deception, Memory, Murder, Thievery, Thought
Favored Weapon Short Sword
Symbol One eyed mask
Allows creation or rising of undead: Yes
Favored Animal(s) Spider
Sacred Colors Black,Gray

Obedience

While moving through a crowd of people (at least six individuals), whisper a prayer to Nemyth so quietly that no one hears you. If you suspect a member of the crowd heard you, you must follow that individual and prick her with a poisoned needle or other sharp implement. If you can’t locate a suitable crowd, dig a hole at least 6 inches deep in the ground, whisper your prayers into the hole, and bury the sound. At the end of your obedience, dip a needle in poison and leave it on a road, jutting from a windowsill, or anywhere else a passerby might inadvertently prick herself. Gain a +3 profane bonus on Bluff checks and on Diplomacy checks to gather information.

Dogma

Nemyth is one of the Ascended, a mortal who became a god and took the mantle of the god of killers and spies. Little is known of his life as a mortal, for he has concealed this information so others can't use it against him-possibly murdering those who knew him. He has wiped knowledge of his past from even the memories of the other gods, becoming an enigma to all. Only his most favored worshipers know enough about his goals to help bring his plans to fruition in the world, and sometimes he wipes the knowledge from their minds when their tasks are done to better preserve his secrets.

Some sages believe that if Nemyth's true nature were discovered, he would be undone-perhaps as a side effect of his passing some ancient trial to become a god, or perhaps as fallout from some sacrifice he made for greater power. He is subtle, devious, and cunning, a cold killer who hides in shadows and trades on his power and information. He is a master of secrets, a true gamesman, and he welcomes all into his church-for eventually, all have secrets for which they would kill.

In artwork, Nemyth is most often represented only by his holy symbol: a featureless black mask, often polished to a mirror sheen. Some artists evoke his presence with a black mask like badge or an empty black glove, and worshipers have been known to nail a black glove to a door as a warning to someone who has offended the cult. He is sometimes shown as an invisible man dressed in the garb of a thief, or a hooded, spectre-like figure with an obscured face and sinister black gloves.

Those who try to paint or sculpt him as a recognizable figure, even if the image is purely from the artist's imagination and not based on any knowledge or insight, find their hands fumbling and their work increasingly erratic. If they persist, their motor control is often permanently afflicted. Wiser priests of his church say this is because if the god blotted out only accurate depictions of him, mortals could deduce his true appearance by determining what they are not allowed to paint, so instead he hinders all attempts to portray his visage. When he manifests to mortals, he appears to be a normal human dressed in brown and black, of average height and build, always with his face concealed or entirely invisible, and vaguely threatening even when speaking pleasantly.

Nemyth treasures secrets like a merchant loves gold, whether the secret is his own or belongs to a mortal or supernatural creature. He trades them for more valuable secrets, gives them away if such knowledge serves his long-term goals, and takes them from volunteers who can't trust themselves not to speak of what they know. He modifies memories or kills to preserve secrets.

He is not a god of lies, but will use them to protect the truth of the matter or make it more valuable, though he dislikes altering knowledge to change truth into falsehood. Nemyth understands that controlling something is having power over that thing, and having power leads to the desire for more. He knows there may be negative consequences for acting openly, and instead uses deceptive, circumspect, and insidious efforts like blackmail and poison. Of course, some poisons are merely an inconvenience to the target, while some targets are easier to eliminate than to threaten or persuade. Together, these ideas make Nemyth the god of secrets, greed, poison, and murder-four pernicious traits interwoven to create a treacherous whole.

The god of secrets is subtle in his interventions. When he is pleased, a pickpocket finds a gold coin in an otherwise poor man's purse, a spy overhears a juicy bit of information from an unexpected source, a poisoned weapon retains its coating for a second attack, or a guard dies with only a quiet gurgle. When he's roused to anger, his ire is carefully measured. A thief finds she's lost the jewel she was supposed to steal, a speaker completely forgets whatever important topic he was talking about, an envenomed blade nicks the hand of a master assassin, or a skilled murderer finds himself downed by a lucky blow from an alley thug. Nemyth is disinclined to kill followers who fail him, provided they're still useful, and prefers to instead punish them with humiliation, sickness, or a crippling injury for a time, wiping key information from their minds to preserve his master plan. However, he has been known to dispose of those who are of no further use to him, especially those whose lives could be a threat to his objectives and whose deaths can serve as a lesson to surviving members of the cult.

The Four Aspects

Nemyth has four aspects, all of them sinister. He is the Reaper of Reputation, god of secrets; the Gray Master, god of thieves; Blackfingers, god of poisons; and Father Skinsaw, god of murder. Members of Norgorber's cult usually align themselves with one of his four aspects, though some temples venerate all of them. The faithful are all Sons and Daughters of the Mask, and the different branches of the church might work together toward some secret plan orchestrated by the god and his direct agents, though in many respects they operate like four distinct churches of different deities. The faithful mask themselves and hide their identities from their fellow congregants as scrupulously as they do from their victims.

Blackfingers: In his alchemist and poisoner aspect, Nemyth represents unethical experimentation for the sake of knowledge and the harmful use of alchemy. While plenty of good- and neutral-inclined alchemists worship other gods, all have at least heard of the secrets taught by Blackfingers. His alchemists breed spiders and scorpions with stronger venom, invent paralytics and memory fogging drugs to aid criminal activity, and practice vivisection and surgery without anesthetic to discover secrets of the flesh or create hybrid monsters. His assassins engineer exotic drugs and toxins that duplicate the effects of food poisoning, dropsy, and dyspepsia, or are otherwise untraceable. The god's followers prefer masks of smoked glass, ostensibly to protect the wearers' faces from chemical spatters.

Father Skinsaw: The most dangerous branch of Nemyth's church is the Skinsaw Cult. Both good or neutral folk and those whose honest work is killing (such as executioners, mercenaries, or soldiers) normally serve deities like Avasir, Hirai, and Samaria; the Skinsaw Cult attracts only the sociopaths and the dangerously insane, from bloodthirsty bandits to unabashed serial killers, for whom every murder is a prayer to their dark god and a step toward completing his mysterious plan. To them, each murder has a ripple effect that echoes down through the centuries, incrementally guiding the world toward a particular dark future, though only Nemyth knows what the end goal might be. Their killings are not clean or gentle; the bodies are mutilated and the scene of the crime is left bloody.

The Gray Master: Just as a predator hunts the weakest animal in a herd, worshipers of Nemyth's thieving aspect target the most vulnerable citizens in their society. Neutral and evil thieves often worship the Gray Master; good individuals who like the idea of liberating wealth from evil folk usually prefer Gavet or Cerie instead. Burglary, gambling, extortion, blackmail, or selling illegal materials all provide the Gray Master's guild with profits at the expense of others and usually outside the allowances of the law. Individual thieves' guilds vary, from thugs who would disfigure a merchant or her family members if she fell behind on protection payments to nearly legitimate organizations that don't allow drugs or wanton violence in their territory.

The Reaper of Reputation: Nemyth's least malevolent aspect is concerned with guarding hidden information, which makes him a favorite of politicians and spies. Secrets and manipulation are bread and butter to these folk, and even the most amiable politician or goodhearted spy masters their use. Despite this, however, few goodly folk follow the Reaper, and his faithful usually have selfish interests at heart, and use their knowledge or influence for personal gain-though their actions may incidentally benefit others as well. For example, the guildmaster of a crafting guild who manipulates market prices to drive out foreign competition might increase the wealth of the artisans he represents as well as his own. Yet most of the Reaper's followers are simply corrupt politicians and informants for powerful tyrants or despots.

The Church

Nemyth's faith is outlawed or at least persecuted in most civilized lands, but its main centers are urban nonetheless, as his followers require a substantial population on which to practice their arts. Fortunately, the cult's affinity for secrecy allows it to thrive under these conditions: congregations operate behind facades of legitimate business or literally work underground with lairs and meeting-places in a city's sewers and basements.

Many city dwelling members of the cult lead double lives, reputable by day and shady or even murderous at night. A few-particularly the crazed worshipers of Father Skinsaw take this habitual dual identity to such a extreme that they develop a form of psychosis, living two lives separated by nightfall and sunrise, completely forgetting the existence of the other self except for brief moments of transition.

Common folk are rightfully suspicious of any known or thought to worship Nemyth, believing them thieves and liars at best and assassins or serial killers at worst. Indeed, most of Nemyth's cults are associated with or double as thieves' guilds, and the guildlike traditions of worshipers of the Gray Master have carried over into temple practices, even for the other three aspects of the god.

Once a new member of the cult has established competency at basic tasks, she must complete a mission relating to the cult's more nefarious activities to be promoted to full Journeyman) status within the organization. A cult of the Gray Master may require the cult member to steal goods amounting to a certain value, get a gambler into a specified amount of debt, or extort protection payments from a merchant. In the cult of Blackfingers, members gain full status by synthesizing a particular poison, reverse engineering a drug's components from its final product, or discovering a new alchemical use for an animal gland. For followers of the Reaper of Reputation, typical initiations involve liberating a choice secret, defaming or defeating a key rival outside the organization, or accomplishing a political goal of value to the cult. Unsurprisingly, the challenges of the cult of Father Skinsaw involve murder,either of a high-profile target or a specific number of people in a short period of time.

Ceremonies to Nemyth are quiet, even in cities where his faith is not banned. Typically, a masked senior priest leads a prayer, pausing for murmured assent from the faithful. Ceremonies avoid singing or using musical instruments, though the shaking of coins in a cup or the whetting of blades accompanies some rituals. The greatest taboo in the Reaper's faith is revealing secrets-specifically the secrets of the faith. Escalating punishments for this offense include lashings, being administered a painful but not fatal poison, having one's civilian identity suffer debilitating setbacks, and murder. Along the same lines, revealing the identity of another member to someone outside the faith-especially to someone in law enforcement-might also earn a visit from the Skinsaw Men, as most members prefer to handle any internecine conflicts from within the secret shrouds of their society.

Temples and shrines

Nemyth's temples are organized like thieves' guilds and are often housed in legitimate businesses that serve as fronts for more disreputable activities. Alternatively, worshipers may use temporary meeting places in basements or sewers to avoid suspicion centering on a single location. A guildmaster (usually a rogue, assassin, or cleric) runs each temple, with lieutenants and lesser bosses in charge of various plans and teams of followers. Temples to Blackfingers sometimes operate more like a merchant's guild, selling exotic substances through legitimate fronts, though many of those substances can be combined with others into deadly poisons.

Shrines are uncommon in the faith. Any place with a large populace supports a temple that operates in secrecy, leaving little need for other locations that only increase the chance of discovery. The Skinsaw Cult may, however, bury the remains of murdered victims in public places and treat such sites as secret shrines, and followers of Blackfingers might designate one place in town as a dumping-ground for dangerous alchemical leftovers, creating a blighted space where nothing grows, then visiting it as a tribute to the god's secrets.

Taboos

The greatest taboo in the Reaper’s faith is the revealing of secrets, specifically the secrets of the faith. Escalating punishments include lashings, being administered a painful but not fatal poison, having your civilian identity suffer debilitating setbacks, and murder. Along the same lines, revealing the identity of another member to someone outside the faith—especially to someone in law enforcement—might also earn you a visit from the Skinsaw Men, as most members prefer to handle any internecine conflicts within the secret shrouds of their society.

A Priest's Role

To serve Nemyth is to operate in the shadows, where the sharpest minds survive through their knowledge, skill, and coolness under pressure. Rogues, assassins, alchemists, and shadowdancers make up the bulk of Nemyth's clergy, though spellcasters and even more specialized types also serve him. Thieves and burglars venerate him as the Gray Master, and those who choose to devote themselves to his service tend to be the most greedy and covetous. Bookish alchemists, herbalists, and assassins worship him as Blackfingers, and even a few druids and witches are drawn to this aspect's patronage of poisonous creatures. The Reaper of Reputation uses secretive spies and politicians, as well as assassins, as his operatives. Nemyth is most terrifying in his aspect as Father Skinsaw-insane and sociopathic murderers and barbarians slaughter in this aspect's name. Of course, these traits color rather than define a worshiper, and while some are caricatures of these qualities, most have the good sense to rein in their urges and present a normal demeanor to the outside world.

Priests train in a number of skills to hide their identity. They often maintain some sort of profession as a cover and have ranks in that skill. Thievery, whether common or elaborate, is a standard profession for priests, as are forgery and blackmail, leading them to have ranks in Bluff, Linguistics, and Stealth. Some of the clergy are master imitators, stealing others' identities and using them to cover up dark deeds or infiltrate clandestine meetings to collect their secrets. Others use their knowledge of alchemy, poisons, and potions to keep villains supplied with deadly goods while maintaining public personas as harmless apothecaries. More sociable priests work as diplomats, spies, or negotiators, buying and selling information and contracts. Spellcasters in his service may be skilled in illusion spells to misdirect foes, divination magic to discover secrets, enchantments to twist the minds
of those who oppose them, or destructive evocations to destroy enemies utterly.

Holy Text

At least 17 short texts, all given innocuous code names and often disguised as mundane books or encoded to prevent easy scrutiny, comprise The Words Behind the Mask, though any two cults may have very different ideas about how the chapters are organized, the specific wording of certain phrases, or which sections are the most important. Within these slim tomes lie precepts for organizing guilds, maintaining secrecy, finding suitable work sites, conducting blackmail and extortion, and worming one's way into a victim's confidence. Most are written as parables.

Holidays

Nemyth's followers often commemorate his ascension in midwinter by snatching a random person from the street, bringing him to their temple, quietly poisoning him, then hiding the body where it will never be found. Cults that avoid killing might plant incriminating evidence on a victim, drug a target and place her in a compromising position, or steal something valuable in a way that embarrasses its owner. Individual cults may also celebrate the anniversaries of successful schemes, killing sprees, or the invention of unusual drugs or poisons.

Relation With Other Religions

Nemyth is careful to maintain civil relations with most deities and is scrupulous in covering his tracks when he must act against them, working through intermediaries and obscuring his involvement. Only six major deities refuse to speak with Nemyth. Avasir objects to the way Nemyth's thievery undermines the idea of law and the honest acquisition of wealth. Gavet considers him a coward and a villain.

Alaister has seen his criminal activity and family-damaging secrets-and those of his followers-damage too many lives. Samaria steadfastly believes Nemyth has evaded justice for far too long. only to see his false repentance further some evil plot. Kamus sees him as the cancer that destroys a city from within, despite walls mighty enough to keep out the most dangerous foes.

Like Nemyth himself, members of his church make a point of working well with members of other faiths-especially if such outsiders are willing to pay for the unique skills cultivated by Nemyth's followers. They are darkly amused when representatives of those faiths that despise them come to them for help in times of grief or need. Though the faith is not welcome or even tolerated in many places, the secretive power its members carry allows them to make inroads of friendship (or at least alliances of convenience) with others. In the end, however, Nemyth's worshipers will likely show them why they cannot be trusted.

Nemyth's Dark Knight Code

Dark knights who serve nemuth are secretive and cunning. They prefer to strike from the shadows, even when the odds are already in their favor. They rely on traps, tricks, ambushes and poison to weaken their foes. Their code reflects a cold and honest assessement of the human condition, and its tenets include the following adages.

  • Innocence is ignorance, and ignorance is weakness I will seek to shed my own ignorance and encourage ignorance in my enemies.
  • I do not take credit, nor do i accept blame. I work always in the shadows
  • A fair fight is not worth fighting. I will take every advantage i can. no tool is beneath me.
  • Cold eyes, cold heart. My enemies can expect no mercy from me.
  • Everyone is expendable, and i will sacrifice them all as necessary.
  • I am my brother's keepers and i shall not compromise my brothers of faith for my own self gain or to avoid consequences should i fail my lord.
  • Each life i take shapes the future to my lord's desire.

The following content has been adopted from the god, Norgorber, created by Paizo. Due to the game's individual setting, races, names and locations may be altered or removed entirely. Please recognize that these gods are not canon to the world of Golarion, so any comments, complaints, or concerns can be directed to the game's admin staff for further inquiry and answers. Thank you in advance.

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