“Say nothing; it frightens your foes, and your friends already know.”
Symbol: triangle formed by three lines
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Portfolio: strategy, oppression, rulership
Cleric Alignments: NE, LE
Domains: strength, death, evil, knowledge
Favored Weapon: spiked gauntlet
Animal Totems: piranha, scorpions
The followers of Nathel saw him as a dark fire, guiding them in a world of light. Those who believed themselves true rulers, those who wished to conquer, and those who wished to tread upon their foes, favored the Dark God. His church was non demonstrative, keeping to the shadows, working behind others, and speaking only through masked men whose identities were never known.
Nathel was always shown as merely eyes within the darkness. Statues and idols of the Dark God were often carved crudely, on purpose, to show an identity that could not be seen. No known figures of Nathel survived his death, but have been described from antiquated books.
The origins of Nathel are rather obscure, and no one is even sure he had a Relic, as did the other gods of Gaeleth. What is known is that sometime after the Second Pass and the Shaping Wars, the southern continent of Valenth was taken over by a hidden theocracy. Keeping to the shadows, working in midnight rituals, and operating in secretive cells, the theocracy of Nathel became absolute within centuries. The entire continent of Valenth became a new nation called 'Nathelia', after the Dark God – and soon history forgot even the original name of the continent.
Nathel worked in secret, and used his hidden operatives to great effect – assassinating foes, promoting allies, and educating all on a forced mastery of intrigue, deception, and mistrust. Nathel manipulated the puppets, but his strings were the hidden members of the church. His assassins – holy monks and nuns with frightful powers – were made into armies of crusaders and black guards in his name.
In early 254 Avard, Nathelian ambassadors the world over withdrew. The theocracy pulled in its long arms, and began fortifications and purifications of the continent, weeding out spies and ensuring that none would lay eyes on the land again. For the next four centuries, Nathelian operatives began to operate in the foreign lands as merchants, leaders, and more. Infiltrating wherever possible, they slowly began preparations for a timed invasion of the year 758 Avard. Five centuries worth of preparation paid off, and the armies of Nathel swept across the world.
Five years later, in 763 Avard, the God Slayer sword, Giran Howel, was found. A legend and artifact of old, not even the masters of the Shaping Wars could find it – but Nathel and his minions did. The gods Hyarke and Infierne quickly died, and armies numbering in the millions swept across the lands of the Karatikan Alliance.
In 765, several of Nathel's own agents lured him into a trap, and the Dark God was slain by Giran Howel. Nathel's death energies were so great that nearly all of his priests died, all his statues shattered, and the world trembled at his passing. One of his archons, called Nabrol, believed responsible for the betrayal, sucked up all the power of Nathel he could – and went mad.
One of Nathel's greatest enemies had become corrupted without even knowing it, and put into effect a plan to raise the Dark God from the dead. The man, Karl Liss, believed he could control the Dark God if raised from the dead, and sent his son, Demik Coruth, to find the legendary Book of the Dead – the only item in existence powerful enough to raise a god from death.
Centuries went by, and the War of the Undead began. Karl Liss' plan was carried out, and Nathel was, indeed, raised from the dead. The whole world trembled at the Dark God's return. And then the Chosen of Arpelos was there, and slew Nathel with Giran Howel. The death energies of Nathel's second passing helped catapult Gaeleth across the universe, back to its original home about the gas giant Maroth.
The resurrection and slaying of the Dark God was the culmination of the Storm Wars, but the gas giant Maroth will forever be a reminder that the Dark God had returned. That Maroth bathes the world in blood red light reminds many that the Dark God bathed the world in blood, and very nearly conquered all of it, even the seas.
No one is sure whether Nathel even had a Relic, such was the secrecy of the Dark God. Many believe one had to have existed, for there to have been a resurrection, but none are certain. The only real speculation on the subject indicates that Nathel's Relic, if there was one, is probably half-way across the universe, where Nathel died, twice.
The church of Nathel operated in secrecy, working through cells from the top down. Few found out the identities of the priests, for they often had dual lives – by day anyone, by night a feared priest of the Dark God. If they had to be anywhere during the day, they often wore black sheets that covered them from head to toe, such that no one would know their identities. A modification of the voice such that none would recognize it – and such that it granted the priests great powers over the listeners – was one of the first prayers mastered by novitiates of the church. The Chosen of Nathel was found to be a beet and rutabega farmer on the outskirts of the capital.