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Bertoxxulous the Plague Bringer

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Commission done by amaet.

amaet.tumblr.com/#_=_


Bertoxxulous was certainly my favorite evil deity from the online game Everquest and like most fans do, this probably is a result of thinking about it a lot more than the actual developers and writers had time for. Having extrapolated so much about him you can believe I am inclined to add an Erstaz of him to my homebrew settings. While he would take varied forms as the franchise grew: a giant decaying rate avatar (interesting) or a withered giant zombie (boooring), my favorite form of the plague god is the original.


Bertoxxulous manifests as a rotted,emaciated, hunchbacked, humanoid. Igor-like, yes, but behind his simple cowl hides a face of truly divine beauty. And with that, its amazing how something so simple can completely turn what may otherwise be a generic evil god into an admirable (in the sense of thematics) character. Funny enough to find myself glamoured by a beautiful face as may be intended.


It made my imagination burst. If you’re boring, you might say his rotted form makes him jealous, but then why the wicked grin (and ability to change form anyway)? To me, it’s a jest. His form is a reminder of the temporary nature of physical beauty. His face mocks your sensibilities, for surely your opinion on him would change if he would merely take a more pleasing form. It’s also a display of his power, to show that he COULD be beautiful if he wanted to, but he doesn’t. He is beyond that. He is beyond that in the way many so called good souls only pretend to be.

It also shows an unspoken thought: that death can be alluring. Just as his face would entrance a maiden, death can appeal to people. Especially those affected with a disease. Indeed he may even be appealing to the souls of the deceased, an aura of infatuation surrounding a rotting, emaciated carcass.


Bertoxxulous is said to be enemy of essentially everyone while also having n allies, even among the evil gods of hate, war, and fear. And that’s something that’s interesting to since even other evil gods aren’t like that. What does that mean? To me it means Bertoxxulous is also a Prankster Archetype as well as a death god. His choice to be a youthful male also reflecting a smarmy personality. While gods both good and evil make grand plans for this world and the next, Bert is here to rain on everyone’s parade and show that decay wins every time. He doesn’t care. Building a civilization, get a plague and die. Raising an army to destroy a civilization? Get a plague and die.


I would say that for the war of the heavens, Bertoxxulous is either the last victor or last loser. If good prevails, as Death & Entropy Bertoxxulous would be last evil god vanquished from creation assuring in eden eternal. If Evil wins, then when the evil gods inevitably turn on each other it will be Death who snuffs out the last flame, for to even consider destroying him as anything but the final obstacle would lead to a universe where no one could ever claim victory.

Taking a view similar to Nurgle of Warhammer: Bertoxxulous grants immunity & long life to his followers, though they remain plague carriers. I imagine him as the good of little things: insects, bacteria, fungus, viruses. He would walk through the forest, plant a seed, and have it spout into a immaculate, tall, glowing tree in seconds. Then cause it to rot immediately, and there it would stay, a withered form for centuries to come, slowly slowly decaying. That is his power, his infinite power.


The brick he stands on goes back to a phrase I once heard that went along the lines of:


“Assuredly the first brick laid for a kingdom is merely a stepping stone to everlasting decay.”


So in my setting, as superstition and literal interpretation by the masses, people sacrifice the first brick of any building to Bert to ward off decay. The place in the garden to be grown over. These single neglected bricks are the “Alters” of the deity. Indeed to ward off misfortune, bricks are offered at the beginning of any endeavor. These in turn can be gathered and form shoddy “temples” where priests and petitioners congregate.


In my setting he falls more into “force of nature” than maliciously evil. Warden of the small ones, he is charged with looking after, educating, and providing tabernacles for the countless souls of germs and bacteria. As a god he sees death & suffering in a different light and can be bargained with to both extended life if only by still technically being diseased or petitioned to by actually malicious individuals who seek to cause havoc for whatever reason. People may also come to him seeking enlightenment, no longer being able to ignore temporary nature of the world and wanting divine insight into the truth of things.


The scythe is rather cliché but I like the image of him leaning on something, though I spiced it up with an actual war-scythe design. The mirror was symbol I felt went well with his faux vanity. Sure people will think he uses it to constantly look at himself, but it’s actually for making one realize you they’re not as good as they think they are. The Halo of flies shows his divine though decrepit nature.

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I'm getting the notion that when you made this you felt confused and lost & idk why???
and it looks like something out of the manga Berserk
also this should be rated M & my reasoning is genital mutilation, starvation, and infestation

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Mar 18, 2019
6:37 AM EDT
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