Zhitaril

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Maleki.jpg

Symbol: A large black bone.

Colors: Gray and Black.

Alignment: Neutral Evil

Worshippers' Alignment: Any Evil

Area of Control: Undead, Undeath

Clerical Domains: Death, Evil

One question that sages pondered and debated for centuries had to do with undead clerics. How are they able to cast spells? What deities are granting them access to the Vortex of God Magic? For clerics who served an “evil” deity in life the answer may be clear, but what of those who served Gorethar, or Dru'El, or Dagath, and somehow became cursed to rise again in unlife? Who was answering their dark prayers?

With the rise of Zhitaril, demigoddess of undead, the debate has ended.

Zhitaril is a recent addition to the Negarian pantheon. Many deities are descended from one of the greater gods, or were granted godhood through their favor, often after having achieved hero or immortal status. Zhitaril was born from the union of Maleki and Queen Yalyn'do of the cursed Forest of Midnight outside Elysia. During her "birth," a surge of magical energy emanated from the forest that was as huge as the one that originally cursed it; not long after, the undead began to speak of Zhitaril.

Zhitaril attracts two types of followers: intelligent undead, and the living who wish to become them. She does not have a formal church; her living worshippers usually meet in small cells in secret, often in graveyards or crypts. Most of her undead followers seem to grudgingly tolerate such intrusions, though conflicts sometimes arise.

There are numerous descriptions for Zhitaril’s avatar. Some have described her as an extremely pale, thin vampire, resembling her purported mother. Others describe her as a beautiful woman’s head on a skeleton’s body. And others still have seen her as a giant skeleton resembling a huge bone golem.

After Zhitaril's ascension, a new sub-race appeared. They call themselves thouls. The origin of the name is a mystery. They claim that the first two of their race were created, as a gift to Zhitaril. (They either don't know or are unwilling to reveal the creator.) Thouls are half-undead, similar to pale masters. They resemble hobgoblins but have paler skin and sometimes white, pupil-less eyes. Their touch causes paralysis, similar to ghouls.

Thouls are able to breed true, but as a gift to his daughter, Maleki created a new disease, Thoul Rot, which infects hobgoblins, half-killing them and transforming them into thouls. Most thouls worship Zhitaril. They can be found where hobgoblins or undead congregate.

Some of Zhitaril’s clerics claim that she lives in the Forest of Midnight, though Mikon would obviously not allow such an intrusion by a deity onto Negaria. Most others say that she erected a palace of obsidian and bone on the Negative Energy Plane, where only the most powerful undead serve her.

Currently there are no known temples or shrines to Zhitaril. It is rumored that there is a hidden temple to her in the Forest of Midnight. It is thought that shrines may also start appearing now in graveyards, crypts, or other places where intelligent undead gather.