nyarlathotep on golarion?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion


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Interested in how people have used the crawling chaos in their game or what kind of metaplot you may have developed for him.

In my game he's the hated rival of Asmodeus. He constantly tries to steal the key to Rovagug's prison but The Prince of Lies is the only being that is able to match wits with him and has thus far foiled a lot of his schemes.

House Thrune and the Church of Asmodeus have a secret order of inquisitors and clerics whose purpose is to hunting down and destroying cults and artifacts of Nyarlahotep. Even saying his name is a punishable offense in Chelix. The church cuts a persons tongue out and chops off their fingers so they can never say or write it down


He probably has something to do with Not-Egypt aka Osirion. Maybe one of those 4 pharaohs.


Be hard to pin down his cults. 1001 forms = 1001 names. Different Holy Symbols, different favored weapons even different domains.

According to the info in Wake of the Watcher he's responsible for the decline of Taldor and the invention of the Firearms by the dwarves of Dongun Hold.

and yeah lots of Osirion

his two main manifestations on Golarion are The Haunter of the Dark and the Black Pharaoh of Ancient Osirion (a manifestation that is also tied to many modern witch cults)

His job is to prepare a world for the coming of the Great Old Ones. If he is after the Key to Rovagug's prison that says something about Rovagug. Kind of makes sense too if you think about it.

Liberty's Edge

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I have a theory for my own version of Golarion that he was both Geb and Nex, perpetuating wars and encouraging the study of forbidden lore in order to further the incalculable schemes of the Great Old Ones.


Greylurker wrote:

Be hard to pin down his cults. 1001 forms = 1001 names. Different Holy Symbols, different favored weapons even different domains.

According to the info in Wake of the Watcher he's responsible for the decline of Taldor and the invention of the Firearms by the dwarves of Dongun Hold.

and yeah lots of Osirion

his two main manifestations on Golarion are The Haunter of the Dark and the Black Pharaoh of Ancient Osirion (a manifestation that is also tied to many modern witch cults)

His job is to prepare a world for the coming of the Great Old Ones. If he is after the Key to Rovagug's prison that says something about Rovagug. Kind of makes sense too if you think about it.

The result of which is why the church of Asmodeus and House Thrune are very interested in fringe religions, rumors of cults, and any new god that the masses are preaching. At least in my game.

One of the reasons that the church and House Thrune outlaw the worship of all other archdevils, demon lords, and the horseman is because Nyarlahotep likes to appear to the various cults as a manifestation of their patron, leading them astray so to speak. Asmodeus allows people to worship the other gods because they are powerful enough that Nyarlahotep doesn't want to mess with them but the other archdevils, demons, and daemons aren't powerful enough.


I approve of this theory.

However, I doubt Asmodeus is the only being to oppose Nyarlathotep, considering who and what he is.


Icyshadow wrote:

I approve of this theory.

However, I doubt Asmodeus is the only being to oppose Nyarlathotep, considering who and what he is.

I'm not saying he is. I'm just saying that Asmodeus is possibly the only god who could match Nyarlahotep's cunning and guile.


samuraixsithlord wrote:
Greylurker wrote:


His job is to prepare a world for the coming of the Great Old Ones. If he is after the Key to Rovagug's prison that says something about Rovagug. Kind of makes sense too if you think about it.

I always portrayed Rovagug as an Outer God instead of a qlippoth in my game so Nyarlahotep would therefore be his "servent"

Grand Lodge

samuraixsithlord wrote:


In my game he's the hated rival of Asmodeus. He constantly tries to steal the key to Rovagug's prison but The Prince of Lies is the only being that is able to match wits with him and has thus far foiled a lot of his schemes.

Would work well for the Dresden files next book... :)


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samuraixsithlord wrote:


I always portrayed Rovagug as an Outer God instead of a qlippoth in my game so Nyarlahotep would therefore be his "servent"

Yeah I see it the other way around. Rovagug is Nyarlathotep's pet chihuahua that someone locked up in the pound.


I thought The Hierarchy was
Outer Gods - Azathoth, Shub-Niggurath and Yog-Sothoth
Nyarlathotep
Great Old Ones

Rovagug would be a Great old one

Shadow Lodge

Little known fact: 9/10ths of all minor gods worshiped throughout Golarion are actually Nyarlathotep.


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I think I might even be Nyarlathotep.


Also, in Dragon's Demand it's revealed that he has these weird four-eyed furred gargoyle creatures called Grioths that act as his servants. They come from outer space.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Axial wrote:
Also, in Dragon's Demand it's revealed that he has these weird four-eyed furred gargoyle creatures called Grioths that act as his servants. They come from outer space.

You buried the lead man (in my opinion, for what that's worth) - it's also revealed that the grioths despise the Dominion of the Black. This suggests to me that maybe Nyarlathotep also opposes the Dominion. Intergalactic war waged between incomprehensible alien beings for the win! Woo. Of course to a true god like Nyar, sniveling insects like the neh-thalggu are barely worthy of notice.

As for how I've used him? I haven't yet as a GM, but I've been kicking around some ideas about his incarnation as the Faceless Sphinx. In short, I'd like to do a campaign highlighting his strong presence in Leng and have actually statted up one of his greatest servants as a possible BBEG to that end. (Please forgive the crap formatting).

Describing the Indescribable:

High Priest Not To Be Described
Variant Moon-Beast Cleric of Nyarlathotep 14/Hierophant 6; CR 23/MR 6
CE Large Aberration
Init: +13; Senses: Darkvision 60 ft., blindsight 60 ft.; Perception +40
AC: 31, touch 19, flat-footed 26
(-1 size, +3 Dex, +2 dodge, +12 natural, +5 deflection)
HD: 28D8+220; hp: 346
Fort: +19, Ref: +13, Will: +31
DR: 10/piercing or slashing
Immune: Cold
Resist: Electricity 30
SR: 22
Speed: 50 ft., climb 20 ft.; air walk
Melee: Claw +31/+31 (1D6+12), tentacle +29/+29/+29/+29 (1D6+8/19-20)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./10 ft.
Special Attacks: Channel negative energy 9/day, eldritch breach, faith’s reach, mythic presence, rend, touch of evil 16/day, wisdom drain
Special Abilities: Alignment insight, divine surge (inspired spell), enduring blessing, force of will, mythic power 15/day, recall 16/day, remote viewing, scythe of evil 2/day, surge (1D8), symbol of the holy

Spell-Like Abilities: Constant—air walk, at will—detect thoughts (DC 18), 3/day—charm monster (DC 20), dispel magic, dominate person (DC 21), shadow conjuration (DC 20), shadow evocation (DC 21), veil (DC 22), 1/day—confusion (DC 20), major image (DC 19), mirage arcana (DC 21), plane shift (self only). Caster level 11th, concentration +17.

Cleric Spells Prepared (9/8/8/8/7/6/5; caster level 15th; +27 melee touch, +22 ranged touch; concentration +28)
-7th: legend lore*, blasphemy (DC 30) (M), persistent slay living (DC 28), quickened divine power, waves of ecstasy (DC 30)
-6th: modify memory (DC 29)*, heal (M), word of recall, plague storm (DC 29), quickened bull’s strength, greater dispel magic
-5th: dispel good (DC 28)*, quickened divine favor (M), insect plague, persistent blindness/deafness (DC 26) (M), cleanse, flame strike (DC 28) (M), scrying (DC 28)
-4th: unholy blight (DC 27)* (2), cure critical wounds, persistent hold person (DC 25), blessing of fervor, poison (DC 27), freedom of movement, dimensional anchor
-3rd: speak with dead (DC 26)*, prayer (2) (M), cure serious wounds (2), bestow curse (DC 26) (2), deeper darkness
-2nd: memory lapse (DC 25)*, silence (DC 25), resist energy (2), spiritual weapon, disfiguring touch (DC 25), lesser restoration, augury
-1st: protection from good*, entropic shield, cure light wounds (3), doom (DC 24), comprehend languages, murderous command (DC 24), remove fear
-0th: detect magic, bleed (DC 23), guidance, mending
*Domain spell. Domains: Evil, Knowledge (Thought subdomain)

Str: 26, Dex: 17, Con: 22, Int: 23, Wis: 36, Cha: 23
Base Attack: +20; CMB: +29; CMD: 49

Feats: Craft Wondrous Item, Combat Casting, Dodge (M), Greater Spell Penetration, Improved Critical (tentacle), Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes (M), Mobility, Multiattack, Mythic Spell Lore (M), Persistent Spell, Quicken Spell, Quick Channel, Spell Penetration, Toughness

Skills: Bluff +24, Climb +16, Diplomacy +27, Intimidate +30, Knowledge (arcana) +20, Knowledge (history) +20, Knowledge (planes) +29, Knowledge (religion) +35, Perception +40, Perform (wind instruments) +18, Sense Motive +37, Stealth +30, Spellcraft +37, Use Magic Device +28
Racial Modifiers: Stealth +8

Languages: Abyssal, Aklo, Celestial, Draconic, Infernal, Undercommon; telepathy 300 ft.

Special Qualities: Amazing initiative, aura of chaos and evil, compression, hard to kill, mythic saving throws, mythic spellcasting, no breath, recuperation, spontaneous casting (inflict spells)

Equipment: Amulet of mighty fists +4, ring of protection +5, headband of inspired wisdom +6, orange prism ioun stone, pipes of pain, four pieces of ivory (worth 50 gp each, for legend lore), set of marked sticks (worth 25 gp, for augury)

I'd like to one day flesh out a conspiracy involving Nyarlathotep/the Faceless Sphinx, his dominion in Leng, and the kingdom of Thassilon (specifically Shalast, that of the greedy Karzoug). It's hinted in Spires of Xin Shalast that the denizens of Leng were merely using Karzoug to construct their Leng Device in an effort to wake up the Great Old One Mhar and unleash untold Mharstruction on Golarion.

While I'm nowhere near ready to run it, I know the first adventure would involve the Dreaming Apothecary, a luxurious opium den whose products occasionally send their clientele's minds hurtling into deepest madness. It would be run by a vaguely Oriental* sorcerer (dreamspun bloodline).

*This is Lovecraft we're talking about, so it has to be a little 20th-century racist.


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I brought him into my game as The Royal Pant when it was time for mythic ascensions and one of the dudes says he worships the outer gods.

Otherwise I've always seen him as more of being a dick to people while waiting for his master to awaken and consume him as is right and proper. In that time he has been given (granted? burdened?) jobs but mostly he's entertaining himself.

I think that here in Pathfinder, I'd play with the other idea I had for him that would have been too much trouble in CoC.

So Nyarlathotep isn't an entity as we'd assume. It is instead a piece of Azothoth that is accessible to things in existence. There are primal chants and words of power, if you use them you tie into the mind of the slumbering mindlessness. What you get is kind of what you want, not like you're given a choice but it uses your mind as a connection to this world and picks up shape from there, which is how you account for all the odd forms.

The resulting spawn are loyal to their parent idea and able to recognize each other but otherwise more interested in playing around in the world, some as tricksters, some as genie style wish ruiners and some as strangeass murder things, because sane, happy and well adjusted people don't recite urspells to see what happens.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Greylurker wrote:

I thought The Hierarchy was

Outer Gods - Azathoth, Shub-Niggurath and Yog-Sothoth
Nyarlathotep
Great Old Ones

Rovagug would be a Great old one

Nah, Rovagug isn't Lovecraftian at all. I mean he is, but only thematically speaking.

Rovagug is a Qlippoth god and though he certainly feels Lovecraftian, he is not connected with true Lovecraftian beings such as those you noted in your list. Also, Great Old Ones are demigods and Rovagug is far stronger than any demigod. In fact he might be stronger than pretty much all the gods, which is possibly why they all had to gang up on him to keep him from eating the world.

That's the official line anyway. Unofficially, he would fit in just fine with the Mythos.


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Greylurker wrote:

I thought The Hierarchy was

Outer Gods - Azathoth, Shub-Niggurath and Yog-Sothoth
Nyarlathotep
Great Old Ones

Rovagug would be a Great old one

The Outer Gods are equal in power to True Deities. Nyarlathotep is an Outer God so he is off equal power to Azathoth, Shub-Niggurath and Yog-Sothoth.

He's said to be a servent of Azathoth but Azathoth is the "blind idiot god" and is kinda stupid. In the d20 conversion of Call of Cthuhu he has Int 3.

Liberty's Edge

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Nyarlathotep is the "soul and messenger" of the Outer Gods, and is particularly associated with Azathoth. Azathoth isn't just dumb, he's effectively mindless - more like an inconceivably vast and complex chemical or nuclear reaction than a living, thinking being. Rather than wielding the power of creation and destruction, he simply is that power.

Nyarlathotep, on the other hand, appears practically human by comparison. This is, of course, a facade, but unlike the other Outer Gods he seems to be both capable to recognizing and understanding humanity, and interested in doing so. When he takes on human form, he sometimes seems to be a hedonistic trickster with a pronounced sadistic streak. Other times he seems more like a prophet or even a scientist, revealing mind-shattering cosmic secrets with neither mirth nor remorse. In all cases, however, he is both profoundly knowledgeable and capable of expressing that knowledge in a way that human beings can understand, much to their detriment.

The idea of Nyarlathotep serving Azathoth in the way that a vassal serves his king doesn't make any sense. Rather, it seems to be closer to the truth to say that Nyarlathotep and Azathoth are two aspects of one being - Azathoth is power manifest, and Nyarlathotep is the will and consciousness through which that power expresses itself.

Liberty's Edge

Personally, Nyarlathotep is the most fascinating to me.

I am running Rise of the Runelords at this time, and I have inserting a background plot involving a Witch-cult dedicated to the Crawling Chaos. The Witch character and the party do not know this, they have only seen strange hints surrounding certain runes, the legends of the Sandpoint devil and the scattered notes of a hapless Hellknight witch-hunter who has stumbled upon what he -thinks- is a bastard offshoot of an Asmodeus cult. I am going to connect this to Keziah Mason-like group of twisted witches operating around Hook Mountain... complete with super-science twisted 'magick' and hints of darker realms. I am going to carry it as far I can, right up to the end of Rise and into Shattered Star.

I guess the way I see it in my Golarion, is that in comparison to the true gods and their servants, and the gods and demons of the known realms are equivalently puppets. That's me though.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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I've plans for Nyarlathotep's role onk Golarion. They're a bit far from coming out at this point... but there will be more about him eventually.

Dark Archive

I have an Archeologist Rogue character that worships Nyarlathotep and I will be playing him in Mummy's Mask. He worships the Haunter in the dark for his secret knowledge.

Sovereign Court Contributor

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In Call of Cthulhu (at least the Dark Ages rules), Odin is an aspect of Yog-Sothoth, god of wizards. Which makes sense to me. It also means most of Scandinavia (and Germany and England) is populated by cousins of Wilbur Whateley. Which also makes sense.

Then there's the theory that Yog-Sothoth used to be active in the Middle East. In any case, Nyarlathotep may not be the only Outer God with a humanoid avatar.


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Jeff Erwin wrote:
Then there's the theory that Yog-Sothoth used to be active in the Middle East. In any case, Nyarlathotep may not be the only Outer God with a humanoid avatar.

Well, even in Lovecraft "Through the Gates of the Silver Key" Yog-Sothoth has "manifestations" - the Ancient Ones and 'Umr at-Tawil, which are at least vaguely humanoid (they're cloaked in robes and look humanoid, but the motions suggest something else).

Of course, that story also says that "all great wizards, all great thinkers, all great artists" are "facets" of Yog-Sothoth, so ... who knows. Consistency was never really the point.

Grand Lodge Contributor

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I used him in my Shattered Star campaign more than the AP allowed for. Utilising his connection to Thassilonians as the Faceless Sphinx, he was responsible, partly, for nudging along the Runelords towards developing Rune Magic into 'sin' magic. During the campaign, he was also responsible for nudging along events that saw the reawakening of Runelords Krune and Zutha, and was nudging the PCs towards rebuilding the Sihedron and thus reawakening Krune. The potential chaos and strife caused by not one, but two reborn Runelords, and a mechanical army controlled by an insane wizard bent on reclaiming Thassilon, seemed just too delicious for him to ignore.

Nothing was overt and obvious. Just a little nudge here, a poke there. Lightly shepherding mortals into setting up their own downfall.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
I've plans for Nyarlathotep's role onk Golarion. They're a bit far from coming out at this point... but there will be more about him eventually.

Now that's the AP I want to see next. Also, if Nyarlethotep brought guns to Golarion, think he brought them from Mid-World?


Nah, he's more likely to slip ideas to people or show everyone a new trick if it'll spread some chaos.


James Jacobs wrote:
I've plans for Nyarlathotep's role onk Golarion. They're a bit far from coming out at this point... but there will be more about him eventually.

That is AWESOME.


KtA wrote:
Jeff Erwin wrote:
Then there's the theory that Yog-Sothoth used to be active in the Middle East. In any case, Nyarlathotep may not be the only Outer God with a humanoid avatar.

Well, even in Lovecraft "Through the Gates of the Silver Key" Yog-Sothoth has "manifestations" - the Ancient Ones and 'Umr at-Tawil, which are at least vaguely humanoid (they're cloaked in robes and look humanoid, but the motions suggest something else).

Of course, that story also says that "all great wizards, all great thinkers, all great artists" are "facets" of Yog-Sothoth, so ... who knows. Consistency was never really the point.

"Through the Gates of the Silver Key" was written as a "collaboration" between Lovecraft and E. Hoffman Price. But what it really was was Lovecraft rewriting a story Price had written and sent to Lovecraft. Lovecraft was very accommodating (maybe overly so) to his young writer friends, and when Price asked Lovecraft if they could collaborate on a sequel to the story of Randolph Carter, Lovecraft said yes even though he REALLY wasn't interested. But, to Lovecraft's surprise and dismay, Price took to this agreement a little too enthusiastically and immediately set about writing up a story heavily influenced by Hindu-influenced ideas of human souls being avatars emanating from archetypal sources, which he sent to Lovecraft.

Lovecraft, feeling obliged to follow through with the "collaboration", rewrote Price's story in his usual style of "collaboration" (which meant he rewrote a story idea, sometimes ideas only a single sentence long, from someone else, inserting elements of his Mythos), creating a story around the central core of Price's Hindu-style ideas. He REALLY didn't agree with or care for Price's interpretation of Yog-Sothoth or the other ideas presented in the story (as they pretty much ran entirely contrary to his entire philosophy as presented in his other stories), but he was caught by his agreement to the collaboration and felt honor-bound to do it regardless.

So, as far a strict interpretation of Lovecraft's mythology goes, "Through the Gates of the Silver Key" holds only a little bit more weight than do Derleth's later "post-humous collaborations" that invented such lame ideas as the Elemental paradigm of the Great Old Ones, that did things such as make Cthulhu a Water Elemental, and made Nhyarlathotep an Earth Elemental for some inexplicable reason.


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Izar Talon wrote:
He REALLY didn't agree with or care for Price's interpretation of Yog-Sothoth or the other ideas presented in the story (as they pretty much ran entirely contrary to his entire philosophy as presented in his other stories), but he was caught by his agreement to the collaboration

Interesting. Not that I doubt you, but where did you learn this? Sounds like something I would like to read...

Quote:
So, as far a strict interpretation of Lovecraft's mythology goes, "Through the Gates of the Silver Key" holds only a little bit more weight than do Derleth's later "post-humous collaborations" that invented such lame ideas as the Elemental paradigm of the Great Old Ones, that did things such as make Cthulhu a Water Elemental, and made Nhyarlathotep an Earth Elemental for some inexplicable reason.

Ah, OK.

Though I really don't mind the Derleth stuff. I mean, it doesn't actually mesh with Lovecraft's own stuff very well (how is Cthulhu's telepathy blocked by water if he's a water elemental) -- but neither does the Clark Ashton Smith stuff like "The Door to Saturn" and "The Seven Geases", really, where the Mythos 'gods' are treated very differently.

The nature of the Mythos is that different authors take it in different directions, and that was true from day one (Hastur actually started out as a basically benign being in the original Bierce story...)


In my RotRL campaign, it is actually Nyarlathotep that wants Mhar to awaken. He appeared to the denizens of Leng in disguise as Hastur and ordered the Leng Device completed. He also gave a handful of curious artifacts to spread around Varisia seemingly at random as part of a far reaching plot to control Mhar's waking rampage and steer it on the path Nyar wants.

The party has found one, what appears to be a rune-covered black candle that breaks the rules of death while lit. Unfortunately my party does not seem to care about it, since they have not even bothered to find out that the runes are NOT Thassilonian. Maybe when the cleric holding it fails her third Will save and the dreams of the Black Man begin they will do something about it, but she has rolled strangely well each night :P.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
I've plans for Nyarlathotep's role onk Golarion. They're a bit far from coming out at this point... but there will be more about him eventually.

Makes me think James Jacobs is Nyarlathotep!


One of my games currently in-progress is using Nyarlathotep, and because of the potential for spoilers, I'm not saying which one. XD Suffice to say I'm piecing together ideas from a couple modules and comments in various places...

He's definitely a lot of fun to work with, though.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Nyarlothotep in our cosmos is many things, based on the greek entity of Khaos who goes into a cycle of rebirth through a big bang. Azathoth is all that remains afterwards and the first thing it does is create, one of which is Nyarlathotep, Mist and Darkness. Mist and Darkness make shub-niggurath and Yog Sothoth which creates Nug and Yeb (who are Nut and Geb from Egyptian mythology). Ra in our cosmos is Azathoth, and the Eye of Ra is Nyarlothotep. Our campaign setting has been going on since the days of 3.5 when Dicefreaks was still active. Nyarlathotep in our games is an Avatar of Azathoth who is a Demiurge (Immortal's Handbook). He uses Pandemonium (Which is his true avatar) to create avatars of his 1,000 forms so he can exist simultaneously. They are weaker, but they are still on par with most Greater Deities. For example, in Dicefreaks. A greater deity (Divine Rank 18) can create an Avatar that is Divine Rank 9. That Avatar can create another Avatar (Divine Rank 4). Only entities with divine rank 6 or higher can create avatars.

So far this is the list I have compiled thus far of some of the faces of Nyarlathotep :

Entities with a * are part of the Eye of Ra.

Nyarlothotep
Ahtu
Bastet*
Black Man
Black Pharaoh
Black Wind
Bloated Woman
Crawling Chaos
Crawling Mist
Dark One
Dweller in Darkness
Eye of Ra**
Hathor*
Howler in the Dark
Loki
L'rog'g
Messenger of the Old Ones
Mazoku, The Demon King
Mr. Skin
Samael
Sekhmet*
Shugoran
The Faceless God
The Floating Horror[11]
The Haunter of the Dark
The Royal Pant
The Thing in the Yellow Mask
The Whispering Man
The White Man
Typhon
Wadjet*


James Jacobs wrote:
I've plans for Nyarlathotep's role on Golarion. They're a bit far from coming out at this point... but there will be more about him eventually.

*ahem* Strange Aeons?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Echo Vining wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
I've plans for Nyarlathotep's role on Golarion. They're a bit far from coming out at this point... but there will be more about him eventually.
*ahem* Strange Aeons?

Woot!

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