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Tales Of Moonsea
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Cleric Alignments: CE, CN, NE

Beshaba: The Maid of Misfortune, Lady Doom (Intermediate Faerunian Deity)

Symbol: Black antlers on a red field
Home Plane: The Barrens of Doom and Despair
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Portfolio: Random mischief, misfortune, bad luck, accidents
Worshipers: Assassins, auspicians, capricious individuals, gamblers, rogues, sadists
Cleric Alignments: CE, CN, NE
Domains: Chaos, Evil, Fate, Luck, Trickery

Favored Weapon: "Ill Fortune" (barbed scourge) [scourge]

eshaba (be-sha- ba) is a deity who is feared far more than she is venerated, for she is spiteful, petty, and malicious. The Maid of Misfortune is given to random behavior and bouts of extreme jealousy with regards to her sister, demanding equal veneration (or at least lip service) to that given to Tymora. Although the thought of Beshaba actually appearing is enough to make most folk tremble, she is always invited and welcomed formally in speeches or ceremonies of formal functions (such as marriages and coronations), contests of sport or martial prowess, or at the naming of children. If not invited, she may take offense and wreak endless misfortune upon those involved. Beshaba is worshiped largely out of fear, and it is the task of her clergy to spread that fear by starting talk of Beshaba's power and latest wickedness and by instructing all in how to make offerings to her or in how to join her clergy if they would prefer to be protected against all misfortune. Along the way, the members of her clergy take care to indulge their tastes for random cruelty and sadism. They enjoy acting mysteriously to manipulate simpler folk into serving them in matters both great and small, from providing them with food, luxurious shelter, and companionship to giving them weapons to wield against their rivals in the church of Beshaba and against the clergy of all other faiths.

Clerics of Beshaba pray for their spells at midnight. Immediately before doing so, if at all possible, they must make an offering to the Lady by setting fire to brandy, wine, or spirits while uttering the name of the goddess and dipping a black antler tine into the mixture. Burning one's fingers slightly in doing so is looked upon favorably. Devotees of Beshaba observe both Midsummer and Shieldmeet with wild revels of destruction and rudeness. Otherwise, they ignore the calendar, holding special ceremonies upon the deaths of important clergy members and when one of their number ascends in rank. The former ceremony is known as the Passing and is a rare time of dignity and tender piety. The corpse of the departed is floated down a river amid floating candles in a ceremony that transforms it into an undead creature and teleports its to a random location in Faerun to wreak havoc. The ceremony of ascension is known as the Marking and involves drum music, dancing over flames, and either branding or tattooing. No spell or potion is permitted to mitigate the pain. Many clerics multiclass as assassins, auspicians or rogues.

HISTORY/RELATIONSHIPS: Beshaba was formed when Tyche, the former goddess of luck, split in twain during the Dawn Cataclysm to form her two "daughters" Beshaba, and Tymora. It is said that Beshaba got all the looks and Tymora all the love, as men who have met the gaze of the Maid of Misfortune and either been consumed with lust or driven to carry out her every reckless whim can attest. In women, Beshaba's gaze inspires mania reflective of Lady Doom. Beshaba has spurned Talos's recent overtures, seeing them as an attempt to subsume her portfolio. She has no real allies, but is wholly dedicated to the destruction of Lady Luck. She also enjoys toying with Shaundakul, and masquerades under his name in Anauroch while performing malicious and mischievous tricks (such as causing oases to dry out, blinding people, and causing travelers to get lost).

DOGMA: Bad things happen to everyone, and only by following Beshaba may a person perhaps be spared the worst of her effects. Too much good luck is a bad thing, and to even it out, the wise should plan to undermine the fortunate. Whatever happens, it can only get worse. Fear the Maid of Misfortune and revere her. Spread the message across Faerun to obey Beshaba and make offerings to appease her. If she is not appeased, all will taste firsthand the curse that is spreading throughout Faerun: "Beshaba provides!" (misery and misfortune). Make others worship Beshaba and then advise any being in how to worship Beshaba, or pay the price of being cast out and cursed with misfortune all their days.