“… That’s great, it starts with an earthquake
Birds and snakes, and aeroplanes
And Lenny Bruce is not afraid”
-REM, It’s the End of the World As We Know It
There are those deities in existence who are distant from their followers, and there are deities who are cold and unfeeling.
There are gods who actively poison the minds of their worshipers and seek the destruction of all that is good…
And then there is Groetus, the Father of the Apocalypse.
Groetus Deific Lore
Groetus is the dark and quiet deity who watches over creation like a vulture watches a potential meal. He is quiet and distant, worshiped only by madmen and doomsayers.
While he isn’t evil per se, truthfully he is Chaotic Neutral, Groetus’s portfolio is concerned with things that would be considered evil: oblivion, ruins, and empty wastelands.
His favored weapon is the Heavy Flail or the War Flail, and his symbol is a skull-faced moon.
As a God of Oblivion, he has no favored animals, nor does he have any favored colors.
No one knows the true origins of Groetus. He has always been here, and he will be the last being here when everything is dead and gone.
His cult has also been around since the beginning of time, worshiped by doomsayers who want nothing more than to bring about the Apocalypse.
It is said that when the end times come, the Lady of Fate, Pharasma, will judge the last dead soul and send it on to its final reward.
When that happens, Groetus will descend from the sky of the Boneyard and come to Pharasma’s throne as it crumbles around her. Pharasma will be destroyed by the God of the Apocalypse, who will then descend to the material plane.
Once he arrives, Groetus will clear away all that remains of the material world, making way for the new reality that will come in its place.
Groetus will be the last one out to turn out the lights.
When that time comes, there will be one survivor who will escape Groetus’s wrath. This survivor will go on to help build the world that will come, as Pharasma did before them with the creation of this world.
Groetus appears as a silvery moon with a skull face that hangs in the sky above Pharasma’s world known as the Boneyard.
The moon is both Groetus’s physical form and his divine realm. Those who seek to confront or petition the god must journey to the moon’s surface to do so.
In very rare times, Groetus has been known to take a humanoid form. He is described as tall and thin with an ashen complexion and hollow eyes. His hands and fingers are slender and long.
He wears a dark gray robe that drags along the floor, and his neck and shoulders are bent as though he carries a great and invisible weight. His feet are black from being covered by soot from an unknown fire.
The few times Groetus has been heard to speak, he has a dry and hissing voice like the shuffling of old parchments.
The moon that makes up Groetus’s body is also his demi-plane that hangs in the sky above Pharasma’s Boneyard.
When viewed from the surface of the Boneyard, the size of the moon is different for everyone. Some see it as barely the size of a thumbnail hung at arm’s length. Others see a large silver ball almost a foot in diameter.
A few brave individuals have attempted to travel to the moon for one reason or another. These souls have never been heard from again.
Those few who have returned typically have been driven mad and now worship Groetus as their patron deity.
Allies and Enemies
Groetus has very few interactions with the other divine beings in creation. He is a constant reminder that the end times are coming for them all, and only the dark god will survive.
When the other deities have to interact with him, they do so sparingly, knowing that the messengers they send may be driven mad by Groetus’s influence.
The closest deity to Groetus is Pharasma, who has few interactions with the god but more than the others. There is a “comfortable” distance between the two deities, which is good enough for Pharasma.
From time to time, Pharasma will “feed” the souls of atheistic mortals to Groetus. These souls are repellent to Groetus and will cause him to retreat further into the night sky.
There is some kind of connection between Groetus and the monstrous god Rovagug, who is also associated with the end times, though in truth, they are only connected by their areas of concern and not by any kind of kinship.
Their followers do not work together, and they do not personally speak to each other.
Finally, some followers of Groetus and Urgathoa, the goddess of Disease and Undeath, will work together toward similar ends.
However, the cultists of Groetus are often more nihilistic than the cultists of Urgathoa and see no purpose in raising the dead.
As is the case with his allies and enemies, few willingly associate themselves with the worship of Groetus. He does have a handful of servants though:
- The End’s Voice is Groetus’s herald. They appear as a creature covered with a dark shroud, making them featureless. The End’s Voice floats over the ground carrying a Heavy War Flail.
- Geg Noam Gyeg is a barbed devil who serves Groetus. He is paranoid and mad, adorning his spikes with the eyes of his victims. He is obsessed with divination.
- Yles is a gray Naunet, driven insane by the worship of Groetus. He collects magical scrolls and spellbooks, obsessively writing and narrating his own life story.
Groetus’s church is in no way a formal organization. Like its patron, it is a chaotic mass of unhinged individuals who worship the end times and the concept of oblivion.
It is more descriptive to call his following a cult rather than a formal religion.
It is unknown if Groetus is even aware of his worshipers or cares even a small bit.
He does grant spells to his clerics, and he will use divine intercession from time to time. However, he knows his own timeline and is the only being who knows when the end will come.
The Cult of Groetus calls upon those who follow it to preach about the coming of the end times. They are called to remind the world that everything has an end, and that end is true oblivion.
Anything that does not truly have a purpose deserves to be removed. When a purpose is fulfilled, it is time to let that thing die rather than let it linger on.
Edicts: Preach of the upcoming end times, destroy that which has outlived its usefulness, put the suffering out of their misery
Anathema: Artificially extend something’s existence or lifespan, spread hope
Those who worship Groetus are madmen, megalomaniacs, and doomsayers who preach about the coming end of all things.
They are often those from the peasant class who have lost hope in a better future and wish only for the world to truly end.
Worshipers of Groetus will often take steps to hasten the end of days by causing destruction and death on a wide scale. The release of a plague or the causing of natural disasters can sometimes be traced to Groetus’s worshipers.
Those worshipers who are not evil and only neutral will attempt to make the destruction as painless as possible to make sure no one lingers beyond oblivion.
Groetus’s followers often wear robes of blue, gray, and silver to honor their deity. Those truly lost in the throws of Groetus worship will often lose track of their own personal grooming though, and their robes are often tattered and threadbare.
Groetus’s clergy are almost universally mad clerics. Very few other classes will come to the worship of the God of the End Times. His nature is too chaotic for Paladins or Champions.
Those who come from a more natural background (Druids, Barbarians, and Rangers) all find the nature of the god to be anathema to their beliefs.
Temples and Shrines
As the cult teaches that all things will eventually crumble and fall to dust, the concept of a temple or shrine to their deity is laughable.
The cult does have some spaces it calls home and chooses to congregate. These places are most often the crumbling ruins of older temples to gods long departed to oblivion or the ruins of cities that history has forgotten completely.
In these places, they exult in the worship of the God of the End Times, seeing their surroundings as the first step to the ruined world that is to come.
Holy texts to Groetus are very rare. The ravings of lunatic madmen are often hard to scribe into comprehensible text for use in a worship ceremony.
Some “truths” have been gleaned from the ravings of mad clerics over the years. This information normally comes from notes scribbled on the walls of asylums or written in the blood of murder victims.
They are mostly ravings and ramblings that contradict each other constantly, but that matters little to Groetus’s cult.
These ravings are collected in a tome known as the Book of the Last Moon.
Like their attitude toward temples and shrines, the cultists of Groetus find the idea of holidays laughable at best. They do not celebrate anything except the end times itself.
There is one day of the year known as “Final Day” where every worshiper of Groetus observes an hour of silence. When this day comes is different every year, and the hour is different on every day.
It is unknown exactly how every follower knows when to take this hour of silence.
So your player characters want to worship the god of the end of the world, huh?
You’ve got yourself some pretty interesting players then.
In all seriousness, Groetus has fewer options for PCs when it comes to getting involved with the church. This is mostly because the God of the End Times is mostly worshiped only by madmen and megalomaniacs.
Groetus is a super villain’s god and not usually associated with heroic PCs attempting to save the world.
That being said, players can rationalize their worship of a god of the Apocalypse in many ways, and as a GM, you might want to create NPC villains for your PCs to go up against.
Below is a list of items and options for characters who are involved with Groetus’s Cult.
For obvious reasons, they have been separated into the two Pathfinder editions.
Pathfinder 1st Edition
The options for those who worship Groteus are somewhat limited in Pathfinder 1st Edition. This is mostly because Groetus is more a villainous option than one that players should worship.
That being said, there are still options for the resident party madmen when it comes to worshiping the god of the end times.
Below are a pair of magical items directly linked to the worship of Groteus:
There are few creatures who would enlist in the service of Groteus, but like most deities, Groteus has his own Herald:
Domains and Subdomains
For those who become part of Groetus’s clergy, there are cleric domains they have access to:
* Requires the Acolyte of Apocrypha trait.
Those spell casters who follow Groetus often have the Curse Item spell in their repertoire.
Traits are specific options you can use to further customize your character at character creation. Your character can typically have only one trait for the duration of the campaign.
Make sure to check with your GM as to if they are using traits in their game.
Followers of Groetus typically have the Broken Mind trait.
Pathfinder 2nd Edition
- Divine Ability: Strength or Charisma
- Divine Font: Harm
- Divine Skill: Intimidation
- Favored Weapon: War flail
- Domains: Darkness, destruction, nightmares, void
- Alternate Domains: Decay
- Cleric Spells 1st: phantom pain, 5th: crushing despair, 9th: disjunction
Due to ancient accords and pacts among all the deities in Pathfinder, they cannot take a truly personal hand in the happenings of their worshipers on the mortal plane. To do so would betray the process of free will gifted to mortals at the creation of the multiverse.
To that end, most deities have found a way to reach out to their followers in small or limited ways. This is called Divine Intercession.
Typically, a god will subtly influence events to give a boon to the follower who has done some great deed in the name of the deity.
Conversely, should a follower displease the god or hurt the church, they can be cursed for an extended time until they make restitution.
Sometimes deities will also grant boons to followers before they undergo some great task on behalf of the deity.
While Groetus is somewhat distant and cold, he will sometimes use Divine Intercession to influence events from behind the scenes.
“The God of the End Times almost never directly intervenes in the world, but he sometimes offers flashes of insight or inflicts terrible psychic distress.”
Minor Boon: You wield power over disorder. Once, when you are confused, you act normally enough to control your own actions in combat without penalty for the duration, though you still babble incoherently and otherwise behave strangely.
Moderate Boon: Groetus grants you knowledge to further the end times. Each week, he sends you a cryptic, incoherent message about something important to the end times that will happen in the coming week.
Major Boon: Your touch unravels things that have survived past their appointed time, according to Groetus’s reckoning. Such a creature or object takes 10d6 negative damage each round you continue touching it; the damage ignores all Hardness and is capable of destroying nonliving objects, creatures immune to negative effects, and even undead or other creatures with negative healing. This boon might even be able to destroy some artifacts that have survived past their time.
Minor Curse: Whenever you are illuminated by a light source other than natural sunlight, your head appears to be a bare skull. The DC for your recovery checks is 12 + your dying value rather than 10 + your dying value, and you don’t benefit from effects that reduce the DC, such as from the Toughness feat.
Moderate Curse: The horrors at the end of reality become overwhelming and constantly race through your mind. You are permanently stupefied 2.
Major Curse: You bring about the end to everything around you. Every item you carry or wear gains the broken condition after 10 minutes of exposure to you and is destroyed after a further hour. This effect can’t destroy artifacts or items of similar power.