Tales from the Silver Marches
The Black Lord, the Black Hand, the Lord of Darkness
Symbol: Green rays squeezed forth from a black fist
Alignment: Lawful evil
Portfolio: Hatred, tyranny, fear
Bane (bain) is the ultimate tyrant. He is thoroughly evil and malicious, and he revels in hatred and fear. A brooding power, he rarely shows himself directly, preferring to plot from within the shadows and destroy others from afar. He hopes to control all of Faerun and dominate or subsume all other deities, although for now he is willing to work with some of them to advance his cause.
Bane’s church has stabilized since the upheaval caused by his recent return, and almost all that worshiped Xvim now hold Bane as their patron, with some Cyric worshipers returning to their old deity as well. Within the church, the church hierarchy resolves internal disputes through cold and decisive thought, not rash and uncontrolled behavior. Bane’s clerics and worshipers try to assume positions of power in every realm so that they can turn the world over to Bane. They work subtly and patiently to divide the forces of their enemies and elevate themselves and the church’s allies over all others, although they do not fear swift and decisive violent action to help achieve their aims.
Bane’s clerics pray for spells at midnight. They have no calendar-based holidays, and rituals are held whenever a senior cleric declares it time. Rites of Bane consist of drumming, chanting, doomful singing, and the sacrifice of intelligent beings, who are humiliated, tortured, and made to show fear before their death by flogging, slashing, or crushing.
History/Relationships: A mortal that gained divinity in a game of chance with the deity Jergal, Bane was a blight upon the world until slain by Torm during the Time of Troubles. However, Bane has returned, erupting from the sentient seed that was Iyachtu Xvim, his own half-demon son, and retaken his old portfolio, stealing from Cyric that which was once his. Acquiring fear as part of his portfolio, he has risen to the level of a greater deity. Bane has renewed his old alliances with Loviatar, Malar, Mask, and Talona, and hates most other deities, particularly Helm, Lathander, Mystra, Oghma, and the deities of the Triad, He has little love for Cyric either.
Dogma: Serve no one but Bane. Fear him always and make others fear him even more than you do. The Black Hand always strikes down those that stand against it in the end. Defy Bane and die—or in death find loyalty to him, for he shall compel it. Submit to the word of Bane as uttered by his ranking clergy, since true power can only be gained through ervice to him. Spread the dark fear of Bane. It is the doom of those who do not follow him to let power slip through their hands. Those who cross the Black Hand meet their dooms earlier and more harshly than those who worship other deities.