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|Insane god of the Apocalypse|
|Dominion:||Theft of all Schools for his servitors. Poisons. Disease. Undeath.|
|Precepts:||Destroy all life; divest yourself of hope of redemption; serve suffering absolutely|
Nox, the Turning Worm, Dust and Bones, Lord of Rats, the Wounded God, his name is a curse in every language. Nox is a god that favors an end to all things. Societies, traditions, countries, history, promises, duties, life, the ground, the sea, the air, the world itself. It is this god's most fevered desire to scour the lands of the world clean of every living thing, and at last find peace from all the screams.
Nox is the amalgamated misery of every being in Novitas. The hunger of the destitute, who languish the shadow of opulent temples to the Sept. The betrayed, whose husbands forsake them for new lords, new wives, new causes. The murdered, bleeding out, whose final thoughts linger on cursing their killers. The grief ridden, who bury sons, wives, daughters, and cousins, yet linger on suffering, forgotten by the Stranger. The abandoned, the sick, the insane, the lost; their cries are heard by Nox, who drinks their sighs from his cupped hands. It is these miseries that have broken him.
Once an ancient god of wine and good tidings, he was tricked by Darkness into listening to all of those that drank from his cup. At first, he heard only those who sought his cup in celebration, reveling in their exuberance. But, in time, he began to hear the sighs of those who used his cup to escape their mortal woes. Shocked at their plight, the god of celebration abandoned his fetes, and turned his attention to the kin of these hopeless drunken mortals, urging his followers to surrender some of their joy to raise the condition of their brothers and sisters around them.
They refused, and abandoned him, content to serve only their own joy to exclusion of all others. Cruelly disappointed and devoid of worshippers, he turned to those that needed a god. But he only knew joy, and found that he could not raise these sufferers to their feet with mindless glee. No, these souls need a solution, but he could only offer distraction. Desperately frustrated by his inability to serve the stricken, he used wine and play to seduce a nature goddess into revealing the art of poison, to offer the suffering the escape of sleep. Those that drank of his now poisoned cup died quietly, and found rest. But those they left behind began quailing in grief, and the stink of the dead bodies brewed disease that became plague, and the cacophony of misery grew ever louder. The god, who had for eternity known only the joy of celebration and pleasurable abandonment, found himself battered to his knees by the combined grief and suffering of the world. It broke his divine heart. He had no capacity to better the world with play, and even less as a fallen god of wine.
His pain, ever reinforced with mortal suffering, became anger. He missed his privileged place as a joyous god, and realized it was the mortals who had driven him from it. That no matter what could be done, they would endlessly find new torments. That mortalkind was a contemptuous and festering thing. And so he renamed himself Nox, unleashed plague and poison, his new domains, and killed his world. Then Darkness returned, and whispered that a new world was in the making, and that soon it would be filled with more hungry mouths, more betrayals, more voices that would echo towards him across the cosmos.
Thus did Nox side with Darkness, and come to Illumitas ready for murder.
Now Nox stands abreast with Grak, and plots to bring an end to all things. Only with total destruction and silence can Nox ever hope to be soothed. Early in the struggle, Nox swindled the secret of magic from the Sept, who had first stolen it from Draconus himself. Intended by the Sept to be a tool for only their own servitors and slaves, Nox corrupted it and made it freely available to those who served the Three. However, in doing so he suffered a terrible wound by the Knight, who could not be corrupted. The pain of this wound in chorus with the pain of the world’s miserable outcasts has driven this god insane. He inflicts punishment to all mortals, those who follow him and those who oppose him, equally. He commands disfigurement in his highest acolytes. He created undeath to have an unnatural hungry hate towards life; there is no reason why this should be so save that Nox wills it. He commands kidnapping and torture conversions of both the highest wizard and the most unimportant farm girl alike. He builds diseases that infect through laughter as well as loving touches, and sets them free without plan or intent. His water is sewage, his meat corpses, his bed is ash and he would invite everything to share his home and be welcome in his madness. The punishing torment of disease, the sudden seizing death of poison, a world of servitor undead who have no tongues to voice misery... these are goals of Nox. All in an effort to shut out the noise of the world.
Why would anyone serve such madness? The truly faithful believe that once Nox has erased the world, that he will repopulate it. Such new populations will need masters, and who better the serve as these new masters than those who earned their place by assisting with Nox’s pogrom? When confronted with the fact that Nox wishes all life destroyed, the zealots snarl and say that this is propaganda put forth by the hated Scholar, who wishes to confuse Nox’s faithful. Indeed, this may not be incorrect, as this notion does agree with the Scholar’s use of tricks and mind games to establish his desired result.
Worship of Nox is both incidental and formal. Incidental worship is found even in the happiest of mortals. A suffering disease, the loss of a loved one, the common tragedies of life visit even the most pampered, giving cause for some misery. But the poor and forgotten are the true priests of this incidental worship. Lives that know only suffering do little more than sing to the mad god with every breath taken. Sobbing for the remembered dead, the keening wail of a broken heart, the rash actions of anger, the gnawing pain of hunger, the jagged intent of jealousy; all these miseries place another drop of bile in Nox’s poisoned cup. In this, everyone can for a short time worship Nox.
Formal worship of Nox is a grand affair, and reserved only for those fellows the world has broken. Nox only accepts his brothers and sisters into his coven. The insane, the vengeful, the power hungry, the desperate, the corrupt – these are the priests of Nox. Their worship is an overwrought ritualized affair; the coven's subjugation to apocalypse must be complete. Any who drink from Nox’s cup, and have any reservations or doubts, are doomed to never die and to know every pain and humiliation that Nox’s true servants may visit upon them. Those that embrace apocalypse, and willingly suffer the torments of Nox rise to great power. At the heart of his temples is an Oracle. Kept in delirious pain and suffering, she whispers Nox’s black secrets to these covens. Foul ritual magic, blackmail, and dark prophecies spill out from gasping bleeding mouths festering with sores. And with these secrets, covens of Nox work to end the world.
Within these cults, Nox is only ever depicted as a skull. Outside of these cults, Nox is a forbidden god to all civilized lands save Gersh. In the Snow Kingdom, he is acknowledged as a god of mercy, both one who deserves some measure of mercy for that terrible burden he suffers as well as the one who administers it with his quick acting poisons.
It is impossible to break with Nox once formally indoctrinated into the coven. Willing convert, or unwilling victim, life is continued only so long as the mortal is useful and pious to the cause of apocalypse. Those who have a moment of clarity or seek redemption instead find themselves suddenly serving Nox as a member of his undead host.