Demon Prince of the Undead. The Blood Lord. Guardian to the Underworld.
There is some dispute in theological circles as to whether Orcus is the true god of death and ruler of the realm of the dead. There is evidence to suggest that there was another god, who presided over the souls of the deceased and guarded the gates of the Shadowfell, who was worshipped in the period before the First Restoration. Though it must be said that evidence for this theory is scant and the idea itself is unpopular, more so since the only corroborating piece of evidence is the alleged fact that Orcus wields a scepter topped with the skull of this defeated deity. Putting this evidence forward is usually immediately followed by inquiries as to how the person in question knows this about Orcus, and whether or not they often associate with cults or mysterious strangers in black robes, and then it’s all torches and stones and burnings and it all gets quite dramatic.
Suffice it to say- the worship and veneration of Orcus, in any way, is generally frowned upon and is in fact illegal in many cities and counties. Though this doesn’t mean that Orcus cults do not exist. Since it is generally understood that the Underworld and Shadowfell are the source of necromantic power, many necromancers and those looking to stave off death are drawn to Orcus and often find themselves forming secret cabals and organized cults. Black robes with deep, dark hoods, while not a requirement, tend to be the norm. It is generally understood that in the shadows and hidden place of large cities, as well as in the more isolated regions of the Nentir Vale, there exist many an Orcist cult.
The role of Orcus, as those theologians who manage to outrun the torch-wielding mobs would say, is mostly that of overseer. It falls to him to guard the passage of souls as they enter their afterlife in the Shadowfell, as well as guard the great doors that lead into the underworld proper. Whether or not the Shadowfell is actually a subteranian area, as it is popularly depicted, or some other realm or dimension, is hotly debated by scholars. And whether or not Orcus has any role in providing souls as fodder for his necromantic followers is a matter for much more flame-resistant scholars.