“‘I worship Set, and the Turanians bow to Erlik.’” — Robert E. Howard: “Shadows in Zamboula”
The Hyrkanian god Erlik is a figure shrouded in mystery and legend. Even though he is the supreme deity of the Hyrkanians and their younger kin, the Turanians, very little is known about Erlik.
According to Hyrkanian myth, Erlik was the first man on earth, but he was not given a soul by the Creator. When Erlik tried to create life by himself, he was banished into the depths of the earth, where he claims the dead (“those that lack breath”) for his own.
Erlik is also known under the title “the God of the Yellow Hand of Death”.
Erlik would be a minor god were it not for the prophet known as Living Tarim. Tarim brought Erlik worship from a remote region known as Pathenia to a group of Hyrkanian tribes who, with the strength of their religious fervor, swept down and founded the Turanian empire.
Erlik is a harsh god, who believes in the tempering of the soul through trials and deprivation. His tenets, as revealed by Tarim, forbid fornication, the consumption of alcohol and usury. However, even most of his priests ignore these precepts.
Status: Intermediate God
Spheres of Influence: Necromancy, knowledge, imprisonment
Symbol: Yellow hand
Erlik’s avatar is the Living Tarim. The avatar appears as a human form whose face and features are cloaked by a hooded robe. It is said that he sits on a throne in the inner sanctum of Erlik’s domed temple in Aghrapur.
Idols of Tarim depict him as a one-armed male.
Clerics of Erlik (and Living Tarim) who follow the strict codes of the Revelations of Tarim are able to master terrible necromancy. Among their powers is the ability to sink into the earth and command undead. Priests of Erlik must always be male.
Prerequisites: Int 11, must be male
Domains: Death, Knowledge, Prophecy
Turning: Command undead