God of Blood
Favored Weapons Short Sword, Shuriken
A child of deception, born of Shalokar and Hylarr, Vuul inherited the both the trickery and darkness of his parents, but he was steeped in a hatred of life exhibited more clearly only by Phane. Vuul quickly established himself among the gods as the patron of murder and the shedding of innocent blood.
As the lord of murder, Vuul commands little of his followers except blood sacrifice. Blood must be shed daily for the purity of his followers. Many temples and orders have established specific sins for which mortals have been deemed unworthy and impure and impose these on the believers (and unbelievers, in many cases). These rules, however, do not come from Vuul, since all are unworthy of Vuul that do not bring him blood. Only when covered by the blood of another does he find any worthy. Vuul cares little for the actions of his followers, but seems to particularly enjoy when they partake in destruction.
Vuul revels particularly in the blood of the pure. The shedding of pure blood gives him power. While he accepts any sacrifice of blood, it is the blood of a pure specimen that gives him especial pleasure. Even more, he enjoys the fear and pain in the death of sentient beings. To him, the blood of even the more crippled and deformed elf or dwarf is infinitely superior to the most perfect of oxen or sheep. But even among sentients, the innocent and pure hold particular desire for the Bloodlord.
Those who take life and shed blood are considered worthy by Vuul for only a very short time. Lay followers, who merely seek to forestall Vuul's wrath, must offer regular sacrifices. Vuul's priests and those on whom he bestows a portion of his power, must offer sacrifice to him daily to stay in his favor.
It is the Bloodlord's insatiable desire for blood that caused his exile from the Dannenbrock. The blood of mortals would never be enough for him. His lust for immortal blood began not long after claiming his place among the gods. He started with daemons, then move to other fiends. When he realized his lust would not be sated with them, he turned to the celestial beings, slowly bleeding them to death with a flurry of shuriken. He reveled in their pure blood and soon his eyes turned to Daleria, purest of all the avatars. He disguised himself as Gromm and sneaked into Braeya's home. Braeya's greeting and warm, innocent affection for the god she thought to be her husband inflamed Vuul's desire for innocent blood. Taken completely by his disguise, Braeya made no attempt to cry out before she was struck by Vuul's blade. It was at that moment that Gromm himself entered, seeing the imposter standing in the blood of his own wife. Filled with rage, Gromm seized Vuul and hurled him from the mountain, casting him into the inner planes. Braeya's wounds were greivous but not beyond her own magic to heal.
It was decided among the other gods that Vuul's crime was unpardonable, and he would remain exiled forever from the Dannenbrock. Because of this, Vuul established for himself a residence on the plane of negative energy.
Vuul, the Marked
Civilized societies, without exception, outlaw murder; however, each society defines “murder” quite differently. Few consider the actions of a soldier at war to be murder, or a traveler fighting off a bandit. In many societies, assassinations and contract killings are legalized and condoned. Vuul accepts these hired killers as his own, often choosing his avatar from among them. While most of his assassins start their careers as warriors or sneaks, there are some who begin as divine emissaries of Vuul and see contract killings as the purest path to worship.
In many civilized areas, bloodsports are a cherished form of entertainment. These games are sacred to Vuul, as they are the most widespread (if diffuse) source of his power. Both spectators and participants offer votives to the god of blood for victory. Whether these fights be man against man, man against beast or beast and beast, Vuul cares little. Gladiators, pugilists, cock fighters and bear baiters all pay homage to him in some manner, with many worshiping him outright. Nearly all arenas of bloodsport, large or small, offer a shrine to the god of blood.
In this aspect, Vuul is rarely offered traditional sacrifices. Instead it is the blood of opponents and victims that serve to make one acceptable to Vuul. Power and glory, more often than long life or the forestalling of misfortune, are his gifts to the followers of [The Clever Name]. Faithful followers often carry a small fetish, collecting on it some of their victim's blood, over which they pray to their god. Pugilists and game fighters might offer a small amount of their own blood before a contest in hopes of currying favor.
Vuul was not always the god of blood and murder. Before him, Nyssis was the master of the blood. He was a bold and brutal deity who demanded much of his followers. His presence was known and felt by all, and his followers were a menace to the societies in which they dwelt. He encouraged them to revelry and chaos, and none were safe around him.
Nyssis was the son of Shalokar and Avaruum and was given dominion by the Nine over the life fluids. The peoples of the world feared him more than they respected him. They knew his power was over their lives, and he held it over them.
He was capricious with his followers, demanding blood sacrifices from them in ransom for their very own lives. Followers were forced to sacrifice their own children, their parents, their lovers for a chance at prolonging their own lives. He was feared and hated by his followers almost as much as he was by the rest of the world.
In stepped Vuul. Born with a lust for blood sacrifices, Vuul began to offer protection to some of the followers of Nyssis in exchange for smaller sacrifices offered to him. Votives and prayers uttered over the blood of an animal was much more appealing than killing a loved one. Soon, followers began to turn to Vuul of their own accord. As mortals followed Vuul, his power grew. As his power grew, Nyssis waned, which infuriated him.
Nyssis marked Vuul for death. He sent his avatar, Brilanna, to dispose of the nuisance upstart. What Nyssis did not realize was just how much power he had lost to Vuul. Vuul easily dispatched the underling which caused Nyssis to seek to confront him directly.
Vuul drew on the trickery inherited from both his mother and father and ensured that it would not be a fair fight. Vuul had gained much power from followers stolen from Nyssis, but the true deity still had much strength left in him. Vuul disguised himself and attacked from the shadows and before Nyssis could retaliate, Vuul would vanish. Their battle was fought for an age, with Vuul sneaking and striking while Nyssis rampaged through the land, sacrificing his own followers in an attempt to gain enough power to finally dispatch the pesky Vuul.
The war still rages, but Vuul has completely supplanted Nyssis as the god of blood. Nyssis, bereft of all worship, usurped by Vuul, lurks in the outer planes waiting for a day to take back his rightful seat amongst the gods.
Symbols, Priests and Temples
Vuul's symbol is a drop of blood.
His colors are red, black and green.
Priests of Vuul continually offer blood sacrifices upon their altars. In cities that allow Vuul worship, animal sacrifices are the most common, though some offer humanoids on their altars from time to time.
Priests in the wilds are more apt to offer the blood of humanoids, even murdering travelers as sacrifices.
Temples of Vuul are sparse, often a single open room dominated by a large wood or stone altar. They always smell of blood, fresh and old. Many temples have troughs carved in the floor, leading away form the altar, to channel blood throughout the grounds.
Iconography of Nyssis
Nyssis's symbol is a kris dagger.
His colors are yellow and red.
Priests and temples of Nyssis are almost non-existent, and could easily be mistaken for priests of Vuul, especially Vuul's wilder followers.
Vuul uses a devoted follower as his avatar - for a time. Eventually, even the most powerful follower becomes a sacrifice on Vuul's altar, as another rises to take their place.
Vuul demands nearly nothing from his followers except blood sacrifices.
Followers of Vuul must offer blood sacrifices once a week. Local temples may have rules on what sacrifices are considered acceptable, and if additional sacrifices are needed.
Divine followers of Vuul must make blood sacrifices daily, praying near fresh blood when communing for their powers.
Blood sacrifices need not kill, though the more blood poured out, the greater the offering and potential reward.
If in combat, a follower of Vuul may not disengage until blood is drawn from both sides.
Sacred Animal: jackal
Tenets of Nyssis
Nyssis only accepts sacrifices of sentients, often close relatives or companions of the follower.
Nyssians cannot accept surrender from any opponent, nor can they themselves surrender.
If a Nyssian ever meets a follower of Vuul, combat must take place.
All followers of Nyssis seek to create converts, desiring to return their god to power so that he might slay Vuul and regain his rightful seat as the god of blood.
Sacred Animal: hyena