Merrshaulk (5e)

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Deific Summary[1] [2]
Master of the Pit

Type: Deity
Portfolio: Poison, Dreams
Gender: Male
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Plane: Abyss (Smaragd)
Symbol: Cobra Head
Worshipers: Yuan-ti
Pantheon: Serpent Gods

Merrshaulk was once the chief god of the reptilian yuan-ti, a chaotic evil despot who cared little for his followers save that they remained devoted to him[3] and made frequent, bloody sacrifices of themselves to him. His clerics were known as vrael olo (meaning 'favored ones'[4]). His symbol was a cobra's head.[5]


Merrshaulk was one of the divine fragments that split off from the World Serpent. As the World Serpent ceased being actively worshiped by scalykind in favor of its aspects during the Days of Thunder, it was primarily the yuan-ti who took up the worship of Merrshaulk.

When some of the sarrukh of Okoth were transformed into couatls by Jazirian, they warred with their former kin. Despite being outnumbered, the couatls battled the sarrukh to a stalemate, but then Merrshaulk personally fought against Jazirian and killed his fellow World Serpent fragment, causing the couatls to flee.[6]

Merrshaulk eventually entered a period of somnolence and failed to consistently answer the prayers of his priests. He was eventually awakened by the sarrukh emperor Pil'it'ith.[7] Merrshaulk thanked Pil'it'ith for his service to scalykind and directed him to create a new sarrukh homeland, promising to once more watch over the sarrukh and making Pil'it'ith his Chosen.[7] Later, in Template:Yearlink, a charismatic winged snake calling itself Sseth appeared to the yuan-ti, declaring itself Merrshaulk reborn.[5] Sseth then became the primary deity of the yuan-ti and Pil'it'ith's subjects, with only a few holdouts of Merrshaulk's faith, stubbornly clinging to the old ways.

After Sseth's ascendancy, Merrshaulk became an aspect of Sseth for those who did not know of or refused to worship Merrshaulk's 'replacement'[5] and as a result, when Set had Sseth imprisoned during the Time of Troubles, Set also took on the guise of Merrshaulk.

Divine Realm

Merrshaulk's divine realm was called Smaragd and was the 74th layer of the Abyss. The bullywug god Ramenos also slumbered on this layer.[8]


Although once the primary deity of the yuan-ti, Merrshaulk came to only be worshiped by the outcasts of that species. These outcasts believed that worshiping Sseth was foolish and decadent.[9] Merrshaulk was also the god worshiped by the asabi of Oreme, as he was the deity of their sarrukh masters.[10]

Sources and Notes[edit]

  1. Wizards RPG Team (September 2014). Monster Manual. (5e) Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 978-0786965618. p. 310.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Forgotten Realms Wiki:Merrshaulk (accessed 2020-06-01). — titles (except Master of the Pit), alignment, portfolio, symbol, body text. (gleaned from previous editions)
  3. [citation needed]
  4. Serpent Kingdoms p.10
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Serpent Kingdoms p.188
  6. Serpent Kingdoms p.55
  7. 7.0 7.1 Serpent Kingdoms p.60
  8. [citation needed]
  9. Serpent Kingdoms p.18
  10. Serpent Kingdoms p.34

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Facts about "Merrshaulk (5e)"
AlignmentChaotic Evil +
AuthorVaried +
Canontrue +
Deific TypeDeity +
DomainUnstated +
GenderMale +
Individualtrue +
IndividualsTrue +
LineageDeity +
PantheonSerpent Gods +
PlaneAbyss (Smaragd) +
PortfolioPoison + and Dreams +
PublicationVaried +
SymbolCobra Head +
WorshipersYuan-ti +