Mysteries of the Nentir Vale
The young god appeared helpless before the
feral onslaught of the monstrous primordial.
Over and over the deranged monster Gargash
rammed his great horned skull into Torog’s
unarmored legs, crushing bone and rending
flesh with each brutal strike. The searing pain
would have been unbearable to most beings,
including other immortals. However, in acts
where others experienced horrific agony, Torog
tasted only dull ecstasy.
More so than any divine being, Torog had
been blessed with perfect health. Horrific
wounds that would fell greater gods would
regenerate and heal over in moments. Yet for
all the benefits such fantastic power provided,
Torog could feel little pleasure or pain. Feeling
aloof and ostracized by his divine peers, Torog
sought comfort and solace through his study
of pain—insights gained primarily through self
experimentation and the vivisection of mortals.
Laying there, pinned against the cavern
wall and impaled by Gargash’s great horns,
Torog began to laugh—a genuine deep-bellied
chuckle that had not escaped his lips in centuries.
Then, willing his wicked blade into a
free hand, Torog began to chop and hack at
the immobilized primordial. One by one, the
enraged deity severed Gargash’s chitinous
forelimbs and scourged the primordial with his
own razorlike spines.
As Gargash felt his strength disappearing,
he cursed Torog. With his last words, in guttural
speech that the immortal could not understand,
Gargash achieved a final spiteful act by sealing
Torog’s fate to the Underdark and ensuring the
god’s wounds would never heal.
Torog, also known as The King That Crawls, is a malicious deity who revels in the pain and suffering of others. His bitterness and contempt for life stems from eons of imprisonment in the Underdark, a realm he resentfully claims as his own. From great torture dens deep beneath the earth, Torog commands legions of twisted, sadistic creatures that are ready to inflict their deity’s will on the world.
Common superstition holds that if his name is spoken, the King that Crawls burrows up from below and drags the hapless speaker underground to an eternity of imprisonment and torture. Jailers and torturers pray to him in deep caves and cellars, and creatures of the Underdark revere him as well. He teaches his worshipers to:
• Seek out and revere the deep places beneath the earth.
• Delight in the giving of pain, and consider pain you receive as homage to Torog.
• Bind tightly what is in your charge, and restrain those who wander free.
Though other malign gods have a well-deserved reputation for malevolence and depravity, Torog stands apart if only for his proximity. While his divine fellows scheme upon their astral thrones, the King that Crawls lurks underfoot in the mortal world, capable and willing to directly impact current events. Torog’s assaults on the surface world are legendary and serve as a lasting reminder that he could reach up at any time to smash an unsuspecting city to dust.
Unlike most deities, Torog does not create lesser aspects that mimic his shape and powers. Those that earn the favor or enmity of the King that Crawls deal with him in person. Even at his most amiable Torog is terrifying to behold. His hate-filled eyes drive daggers into your soul and his maddening voice makes all but the stoutest individuals collapse before him in obeisance. Neither is he pleasant to view. Torog’s body is crisscrossed with grievous wounds that never heal. From within the bloody ichors left in his wake spawn grotesque monstrosities resembling his favored creatures: centipedes, leeches, roaches, and other vermin.
Torog in the World
Most civilized folk harbor an inborn fear of the King that Crawls. From a young age, nursery rhymes caution naughty children against misbehaving, warning that the King that Crawls will snatch them away while they sleep if they do no heed their parents. As the child grows into an adult, this adolescent fear never fully dissipates, because, unlike the bogeyman of our own children’s tales, Torog is no imaginary beast. Torog’s name is rarely spoken, not even as a curse, because legends claim that reciting the dark name of the King that Crawls dooms the speaker to being snatched up and dragged into Torog’s torturous realm in the Underdark.