Dungeon Crawl Classics
The Hidden Lord
The Hidden Lord, the Cloaked One, the Keeper of Forbidden Lore, or He of Many Names is a deity of the shadows, an unseen master of dark places and darker secrets. Those mortals who seek heretical writings and buried truths inevitably find themselves coveting the power of the Hidden Lord—whether they know it or not. The Cloaked One is one of the few gods who do not openly preach their tenets, for his ways are by their very nature concealed. His clergy, the Hidden Path, is a well-organized secret society that carries out its evil agenda through clandestine means, feigning the worship of other gods and communicating to each other with complex codes. In every land he is known with a different name— such as Nuurifar, Crypticus, or Salderast—and whenever one of these names become fairly estab- lished, his clergy renames him.
The Hidden Lord is never portrayed in any form; any depiction of him is intended to mislead. Some affiliate the Hidden Lord with Zhühn due to his secret agendas, but this is inaccu- rate; the Hidden Lord seeks power, while Zhühn seeks to remove all power. There is no common appear- ance among his faithful. If there is a means to identify a cleric of the Hidden Lord, they do not share it outside their own. Any priest who turns from the Hidden Path is marked for death.
The domains associated with the Cloaked One are Darkness, Evil, Knowledge, and Trickery. His sym- bol, very rarely seen, is a black cowl concealing a wispy visage and a pair of glowing eyes. A cleric of the Hidden Lord can use the holy sym- bol of any neutral or evil deity to channel their spells. The Hidden Lord’s favored weapon is a wavy- bladed dagger.