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Black God
God of Death
Territories Known World
Sacred Animals
Human Beneficiary Rebakah Cooper
Biographical information
Aliases Dark God
Species God
Physical description
Gender Male
Height Tall
Other Traits
Family information
Children Graveyard Hag
Other family
Rank Great God
Residence Peaceful Realms
Bibliographical Information
Tortallan Universe character
First Mentioned '
Only Mentioned '
First Appeared Alanna: The First Adventure
Last Appeared '
Latest Appearance Mastiff
Only Appearance '
Last Mentioned '

The Black God is a god worshipped in Tortall, as well as the other Eastern and Southern Lands. He is also known as the God of Death. He is the ruler of the Peaceful Realms, the land where the souls of dead humans are brought. He is one of the Great Gods. He also has one known divine child, the Graveyard Hag of Carthak.


Territorial designations

The Black God is the ruler of the land of the dead. He also is in charge of bringing the souls of people who die there. It seems that he has trouble finding souls when they are lost at sea, so it is up to the Wave-walker to bring them to him. He is one of the Great Gods, and is immensely powerful.

Sacred animals, objects, and magic

Pigeons are sacred to him, and serve him. They are charged with transporting souls to him, or carrying the souls until they are ready to move on. Dust spinners are also sacred to him, and carry souls as well until they are ready to move on[1]. One of his human servants Rebakah Cooper, can hear the voices of the dead on the dust spinners and pigeons. It is believed she is there so she can assure she will avenge them.

Despite being the god of death, it is stated that he cannot (or will not) bring back the dead or give the dead even a temporary seeming of life. Only his daughter, the Graveyard Hag, has that gift.

Worship and priesthood

The Black God's priests are addressed as "Friend," and wear black robes and a black veil[2].

Committing suicide was called the Black God's Option around the middle of the third century of the Human Era.

He is well known to be the most merciful of the gods, who forgives and loves even the worst offenders.

Depictions and likeness

He is normally depicted as hooded and robed completely in black[3]. This seems to be a true depiction, as he appears just like this to Alianne of Pirate's Swoop in Trickster's Queen. In Mastiff, however, Rebekah Cooper describes the robe as shifting through "... every color that might possibly exist."[4]

Involvement with the Mortal Realms

In the 200s HE, he gifted Rebakah Cooper with a very particular sort of air magic that allowed her to hear the voices of the dead.

Later, in the 400s, he came into contact with Alianne of Pirate's Swoop when she was visiting the dead king Hazarin Rittevon. She was frightened a little to see the god and knelt, knowing that he could easily take her if he wanted to. He only gave her a sympathetic pat and left with Hazarin's soul.


The Black God is mentioned several times throughout the novels and appears in Alanna: The First Adventure, In the Hand of the Goddess, The Realms of the Gods, Trickster's Choice, and Mastiff.

Notes and References

  1. Bloodhound, September 12, 247 (p. 112)
  2. Bloodhound, September 19, 247 II (p. 435)
  3. Terrier, Glossary (p. 576; Random House paperback)
  4. Mastiff, June 23, 249 (p. 457)

See Also