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Tales Of Moonsea - The Herald of Chaos
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Loviatar
Cleric Alignments: LE, LN, NE 

Loviatar: Maiden of Pain, the Willing Whip (Lesser Faerunian Deity)
Symbol: Nine-tailed barbed scourge
Home Plane: The Barrens of Doom and Despair
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Portfolio: Pain, hurt, agony, torment, suffering, torture
Worshipers: Beguilers, torturers, evil warriors, the depraved
Cleric Alignments: LE, LN, NE
Domains: Evil, Law, Retribution, Strength, Suffering

Favored Weapon: "Painbringer" (scourge)

oviatar (loh-vee-a-tar) is the aggressive, domineering and fearless patron of torturers, sadists, and bullies. She has a cold and calculatingly cruel nature and an icebound heart. The Maiden of Pain has an instinct for inflicting both physical and psychological pain, always striking at the biggest chink in her victim's emotional armor. Unlike most bullies, she does not feel pain herself, but her plans often inherently rely on the innate selfishness of human nature.

The church of Loviatar, dominated by female humans and half-elves, is strongest in large, decadent cities, where newcomers are often recruited from the ranks of the bored and wealthy and the authorities are often tolerant of degenerate activity. Clerics of the Maiden of Pain work tirelessly to cause suffering both widespread and personal. This work may be as brutal as flogging an encountered band of orcs until they flee or as subtle as breaking hearts among young nobles by pretending to falling on love with the gallants (while disguising one's Loviatan faith), working to break up existing amours and friendships, and engaging in scandalous dalliances before coldly spurning the victims and departing. Being a good actor and of striking beauty (or experienced in using spells to appear so) are very useful traits for a Loviatan, but the most successful Loviatans are those who understand the ways and natures of folk and so know just how to cause them the most pain and to manipulate them towards that end.

Clerics of Loviatar pray for their spells in the morning while kneeling after striking themselves with a whip. (The same ritual is performed in the evening, although without praying for new spells.) Loviatans celebrate all four seasonal festivals with the Rite of Pain and Purity: a circle dance that chanting, singing clergy members perform upon barbed wire, thorns, or broken glass or crystals, where the whips of high-level clerics and the drumming of lay worshipers urge the participants to greater effort. Every twelfth night (unless such a night coincides with a Rite of Pain and Purity, which preempts it) the clergy members celebrate smaller Candle Rites wherein they sing, chant, and pray as they dance around lit candles, passing some parts of their bodies through or over their flames repeatedly until the rite ends with highest-ranking cleric extinguishing her candle with consecrated wine. Many clerics multiclass as fighters, specializing in the use of the whip, as sorcerers, or as wizards, often specializing in enchantment or illusion.

HISTORY/RELATIONSHIPS: Loviatar is one of the Dark Deities, having served Bhaal alongside Talona, whom she loves to torment and tease. Since the death of Bhaal during the Time of Troubles, both Loviatar and Talona have slowly fallen under the sway of Shar. However, the return of Bane, who was Bhaal's superior, presages a conflict for her loyalty. Loviatar gets along well with Malar, regarding his stalking of prey as a particularly delightful form of torture. The Maiden of Pain is consumed with hatred for Ilmater, who shields her victims from the from the torments they deserve, and hates both Eldath and Lliira for the peace and joy they promise without the necessary suffering to achieve it.

DOGMA: The world is filled with pain and torment, and the best that one can do is to suffer those blows that cannot be avoided and deal as much pain back to those who offend. Kindnesses are the best companions to hurts, and increase the intensity of suffering. Let mercy of sudden abstinence from causing pain and of providing unlooked-for healing come over you seldom, but at whim, so as to make folk hope and increase the Mystery of Loviatar's Mercy. Unswerving cruelty will turn all folk against you. Act alluring, and give pain and torment to those who enjoy it as well as to those who deserve it most or would be most hurt by it. The lash, fire, and cold are the three pains that never fail the devout. Spread Loviatar's teachings whenever punishment is meted out. Pain tests all, but gives strength of spirit and true pleasure to the hardy and the true. There is no true punishment if the punisher knows no discipline. Wherever a whip is, there is Loviatar. Fear her—and yet long for her.