Norgorber

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Norgorber
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Details
Pantheon
?
Alignment
Neutral evil
Cleric alignment(s)
N, LE, NE, CE
Charm, Death, Evil, Knowledge, Trickery
Favored weapon
Short sword

Norgorber is one of Pathfinder deities.

Background[edit | edit source]

Norgorber is one of the Ascended, a mortal who triumphed in the Test of the Starstone and took the mantle of the god of killers and spies. Little is known of his life as a mortal, for he has concealed this information so others can't use it against him — possibly murdering those who knew him. He has wiped knowledge of his past from even the memories of the other gods, becoming an enigma to all. Only his most favored worshipers know enough about his goals to help bring his plans to fruition in the world, and sometimes he wipes the knowledge from their minds when their tasks are done to better preserve his secrets. Some sages believe that if Norgorber's true nature were discovered, he would be undone — perhaps as a side effect of his passing the Test of the Starstone, or perhaps as fallout from some sacrifice he made for greater power. He is subtle, devious, and cunning, a cold killer who hides in shadows and trades on his power and information. He is a master of secrets, a true gamesman, and he welcomes all into his church — for eventually, all have secrets for which they would kill.

In artwork, Norgorber is most often represented only by his holy symbol: a featureless black mask, often polished to a mirror sheen. Some artists evoke his presence with a black masklike badge or an empty black glove, and worshipers have been known to nail a black glove to a door as a warning to someone who has offended the cult. He is sometimes shown as an invisible man dressed in the garb of a thief, or a hooded, spectre-like figure with an obscured face and sinister black gloves. Those who try to paint or sculpt him as a recognizable figure, even if the image is purely from the artist's imagination and not based on any knowledge or insight, find their hands fumbling and their work increasingly erratic. If they persist, their motor control is often permanently afflicted. Wiser priests of his church say this is because if the god blotted out only accurate depictions of him, mortals could deduce his true appearance by determining what they are not allowed to paint, so instead he hinders all attempts to portray his visage. When he manifests to mortals, he appears to be a normal human dressed in brown and black, of average height and build, always with his face concealed or entirely invisible, and vaguely threatening even when speaking pleasantly.

Norgorber treasures secrets like a merchant loves gold, whether the secret is his own or belongs to a mortal or supernatural creature. He trades them for more valuable secrets, gives them away if such knowledge serves his long-term goals, and takes them from volunteers who can't trust themselves not to speak of what they know. He modifies memories or kills to preserve secrets. He is not a god of lies, but will use them to protect the truth of the matter or make it more valuable, though he dislikes altering knowledge to change truth into falsehood. Norgorber understands that controlling something is having power over that thing, and having power leads to the desire for more. He knows there may be negative consequences for acting openly, and instead uses deceptive, circumspect, and insidious efforts like blackmail and poison. Of course, some poisons are merely an inconvenience to the target, while some targets are easier to eliminate than to threaten or persuade. Together, these ideas make Norgorber the god of secrets, greed, poison, and murder — four pernicious traits interwoven to create a treacherous whole.

Norgorber's realm in the Great Beyond is a network of sprawling tunnels and caverns beneath the perfect city of Axis. Its shadows and dark inhabitants hum silently with secret intent, bending the letter and spirit of Axis's laws but never going so far as to disrupt its perfect order. The domain connects to various points in Axis, sometimes in defiance of normal perceptions of time and space. Norgorber's presence and that of his followers is like the grease in a complex mechanism: messy and hidden away, but crucial to its overall function.

The god of secrets is subtle in his interventions. When he is pleased, a pickpocket finds a gold coin in an otherwise poor man's purse, a spy overhears a juicy bit of information from an unexpected source, a poisoned weapon retains its coating for a second attack, or a guard dies with only a quiet gurgle. When he's roused to anger, his ire is carefully measured. A thief finds she's lost the jewel she was supposed to steal, a speaker completely forgets whatever important topic he was talking about, an envenomed blade nicks the hand of a master assassin, or a skilled murderer finds himself downed by a lucky blow from an alley thug. Norgorber is disinclined to kill followers who fail him, provided they're still useful, and prefers to instead punish them with humiliation, sickness, or a crippling injury for a time, wiping key information from their minds to preserve his master plan. However, he has been known to dispose of those who are of no further use to him, especially those whose lives could be a threat to his objectives and whose deaths can serve as a lesson to surviving members of the cult.