|Titles||The Shining Scourge,|
Lord of Senseless War
|Areas of Concern||Deserts|
|Worshipers||Dragons, mercenaries, those who fear the sun, warlike desert nomads|
|Edicts||Wage war in the desert, deny water to your foes|
|Anathema||Heal a sunburn, change your name|
|Cleric Alignments (1E)|
|Domains (1E)||Chaos, Evil, Fire, Sun|
|Subdomains (1E)||Ash, Day, Demon, Smoke|
|Cleric Alignments (2E)|
|Domains (2E)||Destruction, dust, fire, sun|
|Favored Weapon||Heavy mace1E|
|Symbol||Lion jaws around the sun|
|Sacred Colors||Yellow, orange|
|Images of Nurgal|
Source: Book of the Damned, pg(s). 126f., pg(s). 82-83 (1E)
Lost Omens Gods & Magic, pg(s). 77, 126-127 (2E)
One of the gods of the Azlanti, the demon lord Nurgal was associated with warfare and the sun. His worship went into major decline in the Age of Darkness. Nurgal is an exception to the usual rule that the sun is associated with benevolent deities and a force for good in the world. For those that fear the sun or enjoy its capability for destruction, the worship of Nurgal beckons.
Nurgal's faith was one of the strongest in Azlant, and archaeological studies have found evidence of Nurgal's unholy symbol and other representations of the deity. During this time, in divine hierarchy, he was a true god.
During the Eversiege of Aucharan, Nurgal's nemesis Acavna came to the aid of an azata fortress cast adrift into the Maelstrom by Nurgal's forces. They battled atop the fortress, and Acavna emerged victorious. She clove him in two and sent both parts tumbling into the Maelstrom. The lesser half fell into Hell and became the infernal duke Nergal; the greater half plummeted into the Abyss, and became a demon lord that retained the name Nurgal. So a full god became two demigods.
As a god
As a demigod
Nurgal's realm of Kuthan is connected to the Abyssal realm called the Sea of Whispering Sands as that realm was once ruled by Areshkagal, Nurgal's lover. Areshkagal's sister, Aldinach, however, fought and forced Areshkagal into exile in her current realm of the Blood Clefts.
Some rumours paint Nurgal as the half brother of Socothbenoth, the Silken Sin, which contradict his actual history; however, lineage and bloodline might have been muddled by the raw chaos of the Abyss. In any case, this relationship has meant war between the two for all their history.
Cult and worshippers
Ancient cults of the god
Nurgal was one of the first deities worshipped by the Azlanti, when they were still barbarous clans vying for land. As these clans became city-states and eventually provinces, wars to decide the borders were constant, creating a ripe field for Nurgal's worship. Much of the senseless slaughter was conducted by armies and mercenaries who followed Nurgal. Some scholars speculate that worship of Nurgal spread to Azlant from Ninshabur, before either empire rose to power.
After Azlant became an empire, Nurgal's cult held numerous positions of power, and was particularly feared in the long, dry summers of southern Azlant. Some soldiers and mercenaries continued to pray to him before battles. Open worship of Nurgal was frowned upon among rank-and-file soldiers but tolerated by the officers, and secret cabals regularly met to perform obediences and vile rites to him in exchange for success.
Modern cults of the demon lord
In modern Golarion, Nurgal's worship is far less than at the height of his power in ancient Azlant. However, cults of his worshippers are found in the deserts of northern Garund, Qadira, and the ruins of Ninshabur. Surprisingly, considering their susceptibility to sunlight, Nurgal is one of the demon lords most often worshipped by orcs. Their worship tends to emphasise his role as a god of senseless warfare rather than as a sun deity and is most common amongst orcs who dwell in Garund.
- Paizo staff. (2020). Gods & Magic, p. 77. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-202-0
- James Jacobs. (2010). Lords of Chaos, p. 22. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-250-0
- James Jacobs, Kevin Kulp, Rob McCreary, and Owen K.C. Stephens. (2010). City of Seven Spears. City of Seven Spears, p. 47. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-274-6
- John Compton, Adam Daigle, Amanda Hamon Kunz, et al. (2017). Book of the Damned, p. 83. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-970-7
- John Compton, Adam Daigle, Amanda Hamon Kunz, et al. (2017). Book of the Damned, p. 118. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-970-7
- Adam Daigle. (2017). Gods of Ancient Azlant. The Flooded Cathedral, p. 72. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-981-3
- Benjamin Bruck, et al. (2015). Inner Sea Races, p. 151. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-722-2
- Wikipedia:Nergal (real-world deity)