The Tyranny of Dragons: Dawn of Heroes
The Lord of Bones, Old Lord Skull, the Reaper
Myrkul is an ancient god, one of three former mortals who were raised to deityhood when Jergal grew weary of his divine duties and distributed his influence between them. Myrkul became the god of death and the dead, and ruled over the City of the Dead for centuries until he, in turn, was slain. In time Myrkul returned, for can death itself truly ever die? Myrkul’s faithful see him as the Reaper, who lays claim to souls and brings them to Kelemvor to be judged.
Myrkul is a deity of death, decay, old age, exhaustion, dusk, and autumn. Hes the god of the ending of things and hopelessness, as much as Lathander is the god of beginnings and hope. Folk don’t pray to Myrkul so much as dread him and blame him for aching bones and fading vision. Myrkul is thought to be passionless and uncaring even of his most devout worshipers. Those who take Myrkul as a patron tend to be morose, taciturn, and obsessed with the dead and the undead. Like many followers of Kelemvor and Jergal, priests of Myrkul serve as undertakers and typically keep their patron’s identity secret.
Shrines to Myrkul or engravings of his holy symbol appear in many places where humans bury their dead, but full-fledged temples are rare. The few that exist are hallowed places where the dead from hundreds of miles around are brought for internment, even if they were not of Myrkul’s faith. There is little space set aside for the living in such a location, usually a single modest shrine, but its catacombs and ossuaries are vast. In the deepest chamber of each temple rests a throne, and upon that throne sits the doomwarden— the preserved corpse of the most revered saint in the history of the temple (often its founder). Initiates to the faith are brought to kneel before a temple’s doomwarden, where they must spend a night and a day fasting and meditating in complete darkness.