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Tales Of Moonsea - The Herald of Chaos
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  Tales of Moonsea

Mask
Cleric Alignments: CE, LE, NE

Mask: Master of All Thieves, Lord of Shadows (Lesser Deity)

Symbol: Black velvet mask tinged with red
Home Plane: Plane of Shadow
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Portfolio: Shadows, thievery, thieves
Worshipers: Assassins, beggars, criminals, rogues, shades, shadowdancers
Cleric Alignments: CE, LE, NE
Domains: Darkness, Evil, Luck, Trickery

Favored Weapon: "Stealthwhisper" (longsword)

ask (mask) is self- possessed, confident, and fond of intricate plots, though his schemes are always getting him in trouble. The Lord of Shadows is wary but cool, never losing his temper, and he always seems to be holding back a mocking comment. Mask's ever-changing appearance serves him well: His true form is unknown. The church of Mask is widely feared, not so much for its supposed cruelty as its penchant for thievery and stalking the shadows. Most outsiders view it as little more than an organized guild of rogues cloaked in the veneer of religion -- a surprisingly accurate depiction. In political circles, the Lord of Shadows' reputation for intrigue lingers on, and astute observers have noted that his church often acts as a network of spies for hire as well.

Clerics of Mask pray at night in darkness or shadows. At least once a month, each major temple performs the Ritual of the Unseen Presence to acknowledge Mask's constant scrutiny of all deeds, no matter how well hidden. This involves hymns, chanted verse, and offerings of wealth. Lay worshipers and Maskarran also participate in daily Sunset Prayers, in which they kneel, worship before the central altar, and proffer coin. In recognition of the wry humor of Mask, who so often makes the high low and the low high, junior clergy give money to senior clergy, and the highest-ranking cleric gives coin to the lowest-ranking. Clerics tend to multiclass as assassins, bards, divine seekers, guild thieves, rogues, shadow adepts, or shadowdancers.

HISTORY/RELATIONSHIPS: Mask's penchant for intrigues and larceny has cost him not only potential allies but, of late, a great deal of power as well. During the Time of Troubles, the Lord of Shadows assumed the guise of Godsbane, the sword the mortal Cyric wielded to slay Bhaal, Lord of Murder. After the Avatar Crisis, he betrayed Leira to Cyric, enabling the Dark Sun to seize the portfolio of illusion. Mask's multilayered plots ultimately resulted in his reading of the Cyrinishad, a mistake that nearly destroyed him, cost him much of his divine power, and allowed Cyric to seize the portfolio of intrigue. To make matters worse, the Lord of Shadows earned the enmity of Kezef the Chaos Hound, a powerful extraplanar entity. Mask finally got Kezef off his trail after acquiring Houndsbane, a powerful magic sword crafted by the Lady of Mysteries. Should Mask ever lose that weapon, however, Kezef will renew his pursuit immediately. Mask has made overtures to Bane since his return regarding a possible alliance, but the Black Lord is well aware of the true nature of the Master of All Thieves. Mask hates Cyric for stealing part of his portfolio and endlessly schemes to regain that which he considers rightfully his. Ironically, Shar, who wishes to steal the portfolio of shadows from him, is now watching him. By Nature, Mask is opposed to Waukeen and Helm, although deities such as Deneir, Oghma, Torm, Tyr and Selune work to thwart his plots as well.

DOGMA: All that occurs within shadows is in the purview of Mask. Ownership is nine-tenths of what is right, and ownership is defined as possession. The world belongs to the quick, the smooth-tongued, and the light-fingered. Stealth and wariness are virtues, as are glibness and the skill to say one thing and mean another, twisting a situation to your advantage. Wealth rightfully belongs to those who can acquire it. Strive to end each day with more wealth than you began it, but steal what is most vital, not everything at hand. Honesty is for fools, but apparent honesty is valuable. Make every truth seem plausible, and never lie when you can tell the truth but leave a mistaken impression. Subtlety is everything. Manipulation is better than force, especially when you can make people think they have done something on their own initiative. Never do the obvious except to conceal something else. Trust in the shadows, for the bright way makes you an easy target.