The Rise of The Fallen
The Dark Reaper
Orcus Nerull, The Dark Reaper
God of Death, Slaughter, Greed, and Necromancy
Alignment: Chaotic Evil. The Keeper was once Neutral Evil, but his insanity since his rebirth has driven him to the Chaotic side. Followers of the Church of Deals, however, tend to be Lawful or Neutral Evil.
Domains: Undeath, Death, Destruction. Followers of the Church of Deals are more likely to have Greed.
Symbol: The Reaperites tend to use a horned skull, often bloody and demonic-looking, as the symbol of their faith. This tends to make their worship fairly secretive, as bloody demon skulls just scream “evil cult!” to most. The Church of Deals, on the other hand, uses a sunburst. It’s either cream white on a royal purple background, or the reverse. They also use a lot of gold trim.
Lore: The Keeper was one of The Seven Creators and was the god of Death, The Underworld, Crafting, and Wealth until he fell to evil. He was associated with the Earth, along with Father Stone, and he was the final arbiter of the process of Death and Rebirth. Originally he was a guide to the river of time. He is credited with the creation of the race of dwarves, who were his servants beneath the earth (and then in The Shadowfell, after the shattering of The Perfect World). There, by the banks of the River of Time, the dwarves shaped the souls of those who died into new forms. During The First War The Keeper bade the dwarves fashion weapons from the souls of the dead.
He grew mad with power after The First War, hording souls in his halls in the underworld. He was the first of The Seven to punish sinners in the afterlife by banishing them to The Frozen Hell he had once created to hold demons, and then, when The Elemental War shattered The Perfect World, he claimed dominion over The Shadowfell. He held on to the souls of the dead for ages, at first because he desired power over them, then simply because he beleived they all belonged to him. This eventually began to cause fewer people to be born in The Three Worlds, as those who died were not reborn but simply horded. He forced the other gods to petition him to release the souls of those who had served them or angered them, and enslaved the dwarves in his halls.
Eventually, the dwarves rebelled against him, much as the Sidhe of The Feywild rebelled against The Nightmare Prince. They physcially attacked him, forging great chains in secret to keep their master bound. The great hero Terak Corean lead the revolt, with the aid of The Raven Lord, a mortal wizard who practiced the forbidden art of necromancy. The Dwarven Exodus brought the dwarves from The Shadowfell to The World, but The Keeper would not remain bound.
When the Keeper broke his chains, he entered The World to reclaim what he felt was his property. The dwarves battled him, and The Raven Lord, by then an ascended god, fought The Keeper in pitched battle. The Keeper was slain, the first of The Seven to fall to The Nine Heroes.
While this was an important victory for The Nine, it angered The Firstborn Daughter. She loved her children, corrupted as they might have become, and seeing one of them struck down drove her to fury. She proclaimed that should any more of her children die, she would forever still the waters of The River of Life, which would prevent souls from passing into new births and cause the end of the mortal races. She also leveled a doom against The Raven Lord, that he would one day fall to a great darkness of his own making.
This changed the dynamic of the war for eternity. The Nine resolved to capture the remaining Seven, rather than slay them. Furthermore, though The Raven Lord did not know it (and he was an amoral monster to begin with), he was possessed by the spirit of The Keeper, and it influenced his actions and behavior for ages afterward. For millennia, The Raven Lord was regarded as little better than the god he had replaced.
During The Age of Empires, the Raven Lord, now considered a dark and evil god to be feared, desired to destroy the Exarchs of the other deities. He believed that if his Exarch was the only one that existed in The Three Worlds, he would become the most powerful of the Nine, thanks to the terms of The Compact that limited godly power.
The Raven Lord created an avatar, an undead monster of terrible power, from the bones of The Keeper to serve as his Exarch. The Keeper’s spirit took the opportunity to leave The Raven Lord for his old body, and went on a rampage known as The Grim Harvest. The Keeper was now The Dark Reaper.
The Nine Heroes confronted The Dark Reaper in the world, formally breaking The Compact to confront him. But The Dark Reaper had been stealing divine essences from the Exarchs it had slain, and grown powerful from the souls it had reaped. Meanwhile, the nine Heroes were weakened while in The World, thanks to the Compact, and fearful of destroying The Dark Reaper because of the doom The Firstborn Daughter had laid on them. Thus, the battle was mighty, and raged for many days, shattering the island continent of Agroth into The Scorpion Isles. The Raven Lord, to atone for his sins, opened a portal to The Frozen Hell and picked the Dark Reaper up bodily to hurl him in.
On the verge of defeat, The Dark Reaper cut open his chest with his scythe, then hurled both scythe and heart away from him. The scythe carved a furrow out of the world and was eventually recovered by servants of The Raven Lord. The heart, however, remained hidden until The Lord of Secrets found it and lead The Witch Lord to it during The Hundred Years Chaos. It’s thought that if the two relics were ever to be brought together over the spot where The Dark Reaper was cast into the Frozen Hell, the lock keeping the hell closed could be forced open and the Dark Reaper returned to the mortal world.
Until that time, the followers of The Dark Reaper work in the shadows, causing strife and destruction, shackling and tormenting souls, binding and raising undead, and undermining The Nine Heroes whenever and wherever they can.