The Dismal Saints venerated by the Black Church are Netherworld beings of considerable power, some say rivaling the Bone King who brought about the Empire as we know it. How these creatures came about is unknown to all except perhaps the Hierophant of the Black Church himself, and he does not share the secret.
The Black Church and its faithful speak of the Dismal Saints with fear and reverence. Clergy of the Black Church invoke the Dismal Saints with some degree of trepidation, for these beings severely punish those who earn their enmity. Many a powerful clergy has been laid low by Grims sent by an angered Saint, and a few unfortunate clergy have had the terrible privilege of being visited by one of the Dismal Saints.
Still, the Black Church holds sway in the Empire because of the power of the Dismal Saints, and few are willing to challenge their claim and risk the wrath of these Netherworld beings.