Jergal

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Jergal
Game background
Title(s) The Forgotten One, Lord of the End of Everything, Scribe of the Dead
Home plane Fugue Plane (in 3rd Edition), Hades (in 1st and 2nd Editions)
Power level Demigod
Alignment Lawful Neutral
Portfolio Fatalism, proper burial, tomb guardians
Domains Fate, Law, Repose, Rune, Suffering[1]
Superior Kelemvor
Design details

Jergal is a fictional god in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting for the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game.

Publication history[edit]

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989-1999)[edit]

Jergal was mentioned in the revised Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (1993), as the scribe of the god of death.[2]

Jergal played an important role in the novels Prince of Lies (1993),[3] and its followup, Crucible: The Trial of Cyric the Mad (1998).[4]

Jergal's role in the ancient history of the Realms was detailed in Netheril: Empire of Magic (1996).[5] Jergal was described fully in Powers & Pantheons (1997).[6]

His relationships with the nonhuman deities in the Forgotten Realms was covered in Demihuman Deities (1998).[7]

Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition (2000-2007)[edit]

Jergal appears in 3rd edition in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting book (2001),[8] and was further described in Faiths and Pantheons (2002).[1]

History[edit]

Jergal is an ancient deity, older than many of the greater gods of Faerûn. During the reign of the empire of Netheril, he was a greater deity, with the portfolios of the Dead, Murder and Strife. With the long aeons, he became bored with his position of power, and allowed for three mortals, later to be known as the Dead Three, to each take up parts of his divinity.

Bane assumed the portfolio of Strife, Myrkul the rulership of the Dead and Bhaal the portfolio of Murder. Jergal himself faded from his great stature, and became a seneschal to Myrkul, a position he was allowed to remain in even after his master perished and Kelemvor assumed his place.

Personality[edit]

In ethos, Jergal is colder and more inhumane than Kelemvor, his master, sanctioning the use and creation of undead by his followers, provided they serve the cause of advancing death in the world. He is not evil or malicious, but impassively records the death of all things.

Relationships with other deities[edit]

Bane, Bhaal, and Myrkul inherited most of the portfolios of Jergal when he wearily stepped down from his position and then faded into near-obscurity. The death of the three deities left Jergal in the service to the new god of the dead, Cyric, and afterwards Kelemvor.

Although his nature is that he must be loyal to the office of death and whatever deity might hold it at the present time, Jergal can subtly undermine the holder of that office if he or she is not true to the office's responsibilities. Jergal works well with Kelemvor, but retains his scorn for Cyric and spends much of his efforts combating Velsharoon's efforts to prolong life into undeath. His impassive nature means he does not intervene on the Material Plane or in the affairs of deities that do not directly contradict his ethos.

Dogma[edit]

Each being has an eternal resting place that is chosen for him or her at the moment of creation. Life is a process of seeking that place and eternal rest. Existence is but a brief aberration in an eternity of death. Power, Success, and joy are as transitory as weakness, failure, and misery. Only death is absolute, and then only at its appointed hour. Seek to bring order to the chaos of life, for in death there is finality and a fixedness of state. Be ready for death for it is at hand and uncompromising. Life should be prolonged only when it serves the greater cause of the death of the world.

Clergy of Jergal[edit]

Clerics of Jergal belong to the secretive order known as the Doomscribes or Scriveners of Doom, dedicated to recording the deaths of sentient races. They seldom adventure or leave their cabals, preferring instead to impassively observe and witness the inevitable demise of Creation.

A separate, older priestly order dedicated to Jergal are the Companions of the Pallid Mask, dedicated to combating and controlling undead creatures not sanctioned by Jergal's church.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona,. Faiths and Pantheons (Dungeons & Dragons: Forgotten Realms, Campaign Accessory). Renton, Wash: Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3. 
  2. ^ Ed Greenwood (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. ASIN B000K06S2E. 
  3. ^ James Lowder, Prince of Lies, TSR, production no.: 8539 / 964510000, 1993
  4. ^ Troy Denning, Crucible: The Trial of Cyric the Mad, TSR, production no.: 8577 / 964520000, 1998
  5. ^ Slade and Jim Butler. Netheril: Empire of Magic (TSR, 1996)
  6. ^ Boyd, Eric L. (1997). Powers & Pantheons. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-0657-X. 
  7. ^ Boyd, Eric L. Demihuman Deities (TSR, 1998)
  8. ^ Greenwood, Ed; Reynolds, Sean K.; Williams, Skip (2001). Forgotten Realms: Campaign Setting. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.