Howler; Lost One; Prince of the Air

Symbol: A monstrous face, pulled back in a rictus of horror
Home Plane: Pandemonium
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Cleric Alignments: Chaotic Neutral, Neutral Evil, Chaotic Evil
Portfolio: Sickly air, miasma, sickness, longing, loneliness, suffering, despair
Worshipers: The sick, the lonely, the despairing, those wanting these things to stay away from them
Domains: Death, Destruction (Torture), Evil, Madness, Plant (Decay), Wind
Favored Weapon: Spiked chain

Physical Description:
Few have seen Harrow, as he (most assume Harrow is male, though it is hard to tell) usually is insubstantial, made of substance that is little more than the stuff of bad dreams and the howling of the mournful night wind. At a glance, he appears as a wind-whipped figure dressed in pale robes that are tattered and nearly shredded to pieces by the force of winds too terrible to consider, clinging to the figure's body like a funerary shroud. The creature's head is uncovered, however, with long, wild, windswept, pale hair flowing around Harrow's face and body, further obscuring him from view. The creature beneath the rags and hair is a skeletal thing, though some, usually those in the dregs of despair or disease, have said that is resembled an attractive person of their favored gender. None who have ever seen Harrow's face, however, have been able to describe what they saw: they can no longer stop screaming.

Description of Nature, Personality, and Dogma:
Harrow is an embodiment of the subtly destructive nature of air, of sickness floating on the wind, of the coughs and sneezes that spread disease, of the insects that leap or fly through the air to infect others with the plague. He is also the lord of Schadenfreude, taking joy from the suffering of others, and of the cathartic comfort that comes from knowing that at least you don't have it as bad as others do. Harrow itself is a lost and lonely creature, sobbing and alone in the darkness with piteous wails. There is no degree of pity or mercy that can ever staunch the terrible things that have been done to a creature that has suffered as much as Harrow, for he suffers right along with those he strikes with sickness and despair, taking no joy in their spread; it is simply his nature and divinely-appointed duty to do so.

Those who worship Harrow know that the Howler is actually not interested in harming others, but does so simply with his presence. Harrow therefore wishes to be kept away from others, until the stark loneliness of his existence proves too much, and he comes forward to claim still more victims in a twisted attempt to ease his own endless suffering. Sickness and suffering are necessary parts of life, since they teach one to value what one has, and they also ensure that populations of creatures do not grow out of control. They are to be endured as best as one can, and seen through to the last bitter dregs. Eventually, even the darkest despair passes, even if it means the passing of life in the process, and if one bears one's sufferings well, there are great rewards to be had as they purify the soul.

Clergy, Places of Worship, Important Rituals, and Servitor Races:
There are two dichotomous aspects to Harrow's clergy. All of Harrow's clergy are selected for their ability to endure a great trial while still young, usually a terrible sickness or some other calamity which leaves many others dead, but the acolyte still living. In this seemingly random event of despair, they hear the howls of Harrow, and answer it with a cry of their own. One part of Harrow's clergy, those of good tendencies, are more mercifully-inclined, seeking to ease suffering where they can, striving to keep Harrow at bay, or to redirect him onto those that are more deserving. These clerics of Harrow often perform terrible sacrifices in their efforts to drive away their god's presence, and can be ruthless in their efforts to quarantine the sick, which means, despite all their good intentions, they cannot be completely good. The other part of Harrow's clergy seek to spread suffering and sickness actively, seeing it as the true test of mortal endurance. These twisted creatures often find employment as professional torturers, and are always on the lookout for weaknesses in communities and individuals that they might exploit so as to allow the influence of their deity to creep in.

All of Harrow's clergy remain on the lookout for communities, wicked and corrupt, that are truly deserving of Harrow's 'blessing,' in the form of plagues that ravish and despoil all that lives. The calling of Harrow to despoil a community is done by two of his worshipers warning any decent souls living there that there is trouble coming, to give them a last opportunity to escape, and then walking out of sight of a community. One acts as witness, while the other wipes off the dust of that community from the feet, before both of them leave without once turning back. Soon after, terrible calamities will fall upon the cursed community, as it suffers its much-deserved doom for its wicked actions.

Banshees are the natural servants of Harrow, and he is commonly found with several of them howling along with him in his desolate extraplanar home, though none of them ever get too close to Harrow: his cries are enough to destroy them as well if they are not careful, ensuring that Harrow always remains in loneliness that is only broken in the moments before the doom of those who come close.

History and Relations:
Harrow is one of the primordial rulers of the air, a terrible creature born of the essence of universal suffering and the howls of those who suffer born on the wind. He joined the ranks of the gods to drive back the Fallen Ones, paradoxically working to halt what would have certainly resulted in the most perfect suffering of all as everything was absorbed back into Chaos. This is because, his nature notwithstanding, Harrow considers himself a friend and bosom companion to mortals and immortals alike, a source of the trials that strengthen the soul. It is a thankless job, but Harrow does it well.

Sin Eater is one of the very few deities who understands Harrow, and who cares about him. Few others, even among the gods, can get near to him without feeling waves of crushing despair sink over them like a shroud. Nimbus feels pity for Harrow, and makes it a personal mission to keep him under control as best as she can, so that he doesn't lay waste to all mortal life with impunity, an action that is as much for his benefit, to keep him from the suffering of guilt that such an action would cause, as for the benefit of the mortal lives that this preserves. Grimrose is a regular companion of Harrow's, laughing at the misfortune of others and the irony that too-often accompanies the Howler on his rounds. Of course, this also gives Grimrose an excellent opportunity to ply his trade as god of death. It was Grimrose, in fact, who raised Harrow to divine status, and while Harrow does not thank his patron for this, he and Grimrose are commonly allies.

Favored Offerings and Justifications for Direct Intervention:
Offerings to Harrow are usually in the form of some small animal which is then stranded on a high place, where it cannot get down. The creature's cries of fear and despair and loneliness as it slowly starves to death or else finally leaps to its doom feed Harrow. More common offerings to Harrow include curses whispered into the wind so that no one else can hear except for the gods, especially Harrow. Both of these offerings are intended to keep Harrow satisfied, so that he goes away, or else stays away.

As the god of suffering, loneliness, and sickness, the usual form that most people wish Harrow's intervention to take is to stay away, or else to have his influence removed from them or their loved ones if it is already present. However, he can also be called down upon individuals or groups, usually as a form of divine punishment for truly dastardly sins. Harrow only very rarely answers prayers of the former sort, and it usually falls to other deities, like Nimbus, to drive Harrow's presence away, but he is more than ready to answer curses, especially on the truly deserving, often wiping out whole towns that have shown themselves to be wicked, selfish, cruel, and murderous.