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The following article/section is from the City of the Plague God continuity under Rick Riordan Presents and not the Riordanverse canon.

Unlike you, I was not sustained by the love and worship of mortals. I was left to feed on their hatred. Fortunately, they hate for the most inconsequential reasons, as you may have noticed. If someone looks different, speaks a different accent, prays at one house rather then another... anything really. It is marvelous.

–Nergal to Ishtar about why he seeks destruction in City of the Plague God.

Nergal is the Mesopotamian god of war, death, and disease as well as the antagonist of City of the Plague God. His aim is infect the whole world with his disease, and turn the population of the planet into poxies, mindless beings who respond only to him, to rule the world.


Once, Nergal got bored and decided to attack Babylon. But the city was under the protection of Marduk. So Nergal went there as a "friendly visit" pretending to be shocked at Marduk's clothes. So when Marduk left to get new ones, Nergal attacked killing many people. As soon as he was satisfied, Nergal made a prophecy about a great leader to protect the people.[1]

The Mesopotamian gods created a banquet one time where all deities are invited. However, Erishkigal is could not leave the underworld, so she sent her son, Namtar, the god of death, to go instead. When Namtar arrived, the other deities rise out of respect except for Nergal. Insulted, Namtar told Ereshkigal and the other gods forced Nergal to enter the underworld, Nergal took fourteen demons with him. When he arrives, the gatekeeper Neti let him through the seven gates, stripping him of everything until the throne room where he would be killed, but at each gate Nergal posted two demons. When he got to Ereshkigal, he knocked over her son and dragged Ereshkigal to the floor. He was about to kill her with his ax when she pleaded for her life, promising her as his wife and a share of her power. Although he consents, Nergal had to leave the underworld for six months, so Ereshkigal gave back his demons and allowed him to traverse the upper world for that time, after which he returned to her.[2]

Twentieth Century

As he feeds of of hate rather then love, he has come to wars to gain strength, such as gaining strength during the world wars. Nergal responsible for the Bubonic Plague. He is responsible for the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918. During World War II, he would linger in war torn areas of Europe.

Discovering the Flower

After finding out that Mohammed Aziz found the Flower of Immortality, he makes his way to New York City in a shipping container to find it, killing dozens of migrants as he does.

City of the Plague God

After Idiptu and Sidana break out of the dumpster that Sikander locked them in, Nergal arrives. Sik then runs inside and barricades the door with a refrigerator. It doesn't matter though, and Nergal and his demons still get in. They trash the deli looking for something, tearing Mo's flowers off the walls. He starts to choke Sikander demanding to know the location of the flower of immortality, but then a girl with a sword shows up with Kasusu. Belet demands Nergal release Sik, but instead he tells his demons to take care of her. Belet then proceeds to beat up Nergal's Asakku, and Nergal decides to release Sik and leave.

A few days later he is lured to Ishtar's House and brings his demons to fight. He demands Sik, but the boy is protected by a pack of Lamassu. Soon Ishtar appears and the two gods fight. The fight releases shockwaves that destroy the block and after Ishtar tosses Kasusu to Belet, he impales his sister-in-law. He kills a lamassu and orders his surviving demons to take Sik and kill Belet. After Sik has Belet run out of sight, the boy surrenders to him. He takes Sik to his base, a junkyard in Queens, and eats one of his surviving followers and demands Sik give him what his brother took. After the boy lies and says Idiptu had it all along, fighting breaks out among his ranks and Sik escapes, but he is hit by a train soon after.

Two weeks later, his forces have infected all but a minuscule few of the population and, after obtaining the flower of immortality, he regains his former beauty and inspects his handiwork. He soon runs into Sik as the boy flies to Manhattan General Hospital. He mocks Sik for trying to save what is lost and those who have him. Upon seeing the perfume made from the flower, he demands Sik hands it over. When the boy refuses, the god stabs him shoulder and thigh as he flies over to a storm cloud and jumps in, mixing the perfume with the rain. After Sik lands and Belet finds him, he and his poxies surround them as it starts to rain. As he goes to kill them, he starts to evaporate, due to the perfume curing his illness of immortality, as his plague dogs are cured. He pleads with Belet to spare him, but she goes to finish him off, however he evaporates before she can.


Nergal was originally a god of breathtaking beauty, with flawless olive skin and long black hair. He had four wings with rainbow feathers and a regal face. However after being starved of worship and feeding on hatred and fear for thousands of years, he now resembles a rotting and diseased corpse with pieces of skin hanging off his flesh and welts that ooze pus. His jawline is riddled with holes that expose his bone as well as holes in his cheeks. His nose simply consists of slits and his eyes are pure black voids of rage.

After obtaining the flower of Immortality, he regained his former good looks.


Nergal is a driven by his goals and will stop at almost nothing to achieve them. He is envious of those who remind him of his former good looking self. He believes he is doing humanity a favor by cursing them with plagues, as he feels it is the best way for humanity to prosper.


Nergal is a very powerful god to the point that Erishkigal stated that only the greatest of heroes could hope to defeat him and even then, only on their very best day.

  • Odikinesis: As the God of War, Nergal has control over emotions of war.
  • Telumkinesis: As the God of War, Nergal has control over weapons.
  • Necromancy: As the god of Death, Nergal controls the dead.
  • Biokinesis (limited): As the God of Disease, Nergal has control over strands of diseases.
  • Volumkinesis: Nergal is able to control insects.
  • Flight: Nergal can fly due to having wings.
  • Immortality: Due to ingesting the original Flower of Immortality, Nergal gains immortality. However, the Big Rain created by the perfume made out of a second Flower of Immortality cures him of this which is called a sickness by Sikander Aziz, killing him. While talking with Sik, Ishtar had previously predicted this effect, warning Sik not to allow himself to be contaminated by the original flower as the prosperities of one could cancel out the properties of the other.


  • The story of how Nergal and Erishkigal got married shows how war is fought in seasons.
  • His Greek counterparts are Thanatos/LetusAres/Mars, and Apollo.
  • His Egyptian counterpart is Horus and Sekhmet.
  • His Norse equivalents are Odin and Tyr in terms of war and Holler in terms of disease.
  • As revealed by Gilgamesh, unlike Ishtar, Nergal's death resulted in his utter annihilation rather than being sent back to Kurnugi due to all of the ancient laws that he broke by escaping from Kurnugi like he did.


  1. Nergal - Wikipedia
  2. Nergal - Ancient History Encyclopedia
City of the Plague God
Books: City of the Plague God
Main Characters: Sikander Aziz | Gilgamesh | Belet Amari | Mohammed Aziz | Daoud
Secondary Characters: Kasusu | Sidana | Idiptu | Mr. Aziz | Mina Aziz | Sargon
Minor Characters: Tirid | Ada | Humbaba | Zack | Hobbs | Clyde | Mr. Georiou | Bagheera | Shere Khan | Simba | Achilles | Florence | Saghulhaza | Mr. Khan | Farouk Khan | Ada | Duncan | Charlie Yen | Jake | Mr. Grant | Brian Walker | Helen of Troy
Mesopotamian Gods: Nergal | Ishtar | Erishkigal
Magical Creatures: Asakku | Lamassu | Ugallu | Poxie | Basmu Serpent | Humbaba
Related Content: Sarwat Chadda | Rick Riordan Presents | The Loneliest Demon