The Nightmare King

Symbol: A crystal left foot in which can be seen a dark swirling vortex
Home Plane: The River Styx (multiple lower planes)
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Portfolio: Evil aquatic creatures, secrets and forbidden lore, nightmares, sunless water sources and underwater grottoes
Worshipers: Evil aquatic creatures, seekers of occult knowledge, evil secret societies, liches
Cleric Alignments: LE, NE, CE
Domains: Balance, Evil, Dream, Ocean, Suffering
Favored Weapon: Net

The Nightmare King is a little-known deity on Therafim, the product of Umnos’s darkest nightmares at the time of his first formation (and the only time that the Watcher ever dreamt), who has (thus far) had little impact on the world. He usually appears as a withered old man with green skin and gills, draped in a tattered bit of sailcloth, and with an artificial left foot made from a strange crystalline substance in which can be seen flickering images of one’s worst nightmares – his original left foot was cut off by Umnos himself with his Reaper Scythe. Another favored form is that of a truly massive, inky black devil ray with searing red eyes that absorbs light into its undulating wings wherever it goes. However, his true form is formlessness itself – a nightmarish vortex of twisted visions and deranged dreams that envelops all who come near, battering sanity and reason into oblivion, and stealing secrets like fine dainties from the naked brains of those so overwhelmed.

The Nightmare King is the god of the forbidden lore hidden beneath the waves, where the cleansing sun has never shone, and of hidden secrets found only in ancient grottoes and forgotten caverns where only the dark water that he rules has touched. He is a subtle deity, and very cunning, with plans to overthrow all that breathes the clean air of the surface that extend for many millennia into the future. All that is blasphemous is considered free game to The Nightmare King and his followers, so long as they continue to collect forbidden, forgotten lore and gradually, subtly spread their influence over the whole world, like the creeping tentacles of a grasping octopus, not noticed until it is far too late. All knowledge is power, and power should be used to gain more power is his credo, but subtlety is his strongpoint, and he does not tolerate the foolish.

The Nightmare King’s holy sites are places where the water meets the earth, in places where the sun has never shone. These are places of great evil in the depths, where whole islands have sunk beneath the waves, or forbidden, forgotten caverns hollowed out by the actions of millennia of water action. The temples of The Nightmare King are storehouses of ancient, forbidden lore and repositories of hideous secrets, as well the as the headquarters for some of the most subtle and vile conspiracies to be found on the face of the planet. Many of these conspiracies allow veneration of various infernal powers as well as The Nightmare King without prejudice, for The Nightmare King is a pragmatic deity above all, and he does not mind sharing his power and secrets with those who may prove useful in gaining him still more of both.

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