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Tales Of Moonsea - The Herald of Chaos
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  Tales of Moonsea

Shar
Cleric Alignments: CE, LE, NE

Shar: Mistress of the Night, Lady of Loss, Dark Goddess (Greater Deity)

Symbol: Black disk with deep purple border
Home Plane: Plane of Shadow
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Portfolio: Caverns, dark, dungeons, forgetfulness, loss, night, secrets, the Underdark
Worshipers: Anarchists, assassins, avengers, monks (Dark Moon), nihilists, rogues, shadow adepts, shadowdancers
Cleric Alignments: CE, LE, NE
Domains: Cavern, Darkness, Evil, Knowledge

Favored Weapon: "The Disk of Night" (chakram)

fter Lord Ao created the universe, the swirling chaos coalesced to form twin deities, Selune, a being of light and creation, and Shar (shahr), a power of darkness and destruction. Shar's existence, paradoxically, is tied to the shrouded nothingness that existed prior to Ao's act of creation. Shar reflects the primal dark, the flawless void erased at the beginning of time by a distant, unconcerned overdeity. Her heart longs for a return to the calm of nonexistence, and she schemes from the shadows to tear down establishments, destroy order, and undermine all creation. Religious art depicts Shar as a black sphere outlined in magical purple flames or a beautiful human woman with long, raven-black hair dressed in swirling dark garb. In this guise, her haunting purple eyes have coal black pupils that reflect the primeval void. Since her earliest battles with Selune (which continue to this day), Shar has gained dominion over pain hidden but not forgotten, carefully nurtured bitterness, and quiet revenge for old slights. Deeply twisted, the Lady of Loss favors secrets, underhanded dealings, and subterfuge.

She uses her mortal worshipers as pawns in a perverse game against everything that has been, is, and will be. Patron of the Shadow Weave, a corrupting magical force based upon nothingness and mad secrets, the Mistress of the Night bolsters her impressive power with temptation and guile. Shar's love of secrecy serves her clergy well, and most residents of Faerun know very little about her mysterious cult. All regard her as a dark and vengeful deity, but many seek out her servants in times of grief or bereavement. There is a pervasive belief that her clergy aids those who have been wronged or who have suffered a great loss. Instead of offering release from the pangs of grief, though, Shar's clerics reinforce supplicants' regrets and feelings of betrayal, turning their focus to bitterness and revenge. Good clerics (particularly those of Mystra, Lathander, and of course, Selune) warn of the dangers of seeking such solace, but desperation often gets in the way of better judgment, and the ranks of Shar's clergy swell with each passing year.

Clerics of Shar pray for their spells at night. Because most of her followers keep their devotion a secret, the religion has but one fixed holiday. During the Festival of the Moon, Sharrans celebrate the Rising of the Dark, when the directors of local cults outline the dark plots of the coming year over the quivering body of a live sacrifice. Once a tenday, followers must engage in an act of wickedness, ideally after a nocturnal dancing and feasting ritual known as a Nightfall. Shar's clerics often multiclass as rogues, with her most debased and accomplished servitors becoming nightcloaks. Those clerics associated with the Cult of the Dragon often multiclass as wearers of purple.

HISTORY/RELATIONSHIPS: Shar's ceaseless battles against her bright sister have caused the creation and destruction of several deities throughout history. Though Selune strikes openly and forcefully against her twin at every opportunity, Shar prefers subversion, using her mortal worshipers to attack Selune's clergy and those things Selune holds dear, rather than at the deity herself. Still, she occasionally moves directly against minor enemies. During the Time of Troubles, Shar killed Ibrandul, a lesser deity of caverns, dungeons, and the Underdark, as an act of pure opportunism. She continues to grant spells to clerics in the name of Ibrandul, reveling in the deceit of the entire affair. Shar may attempt to consume Mask as well, for she nurses a cold anger for his dominion over shadow. Shar's love of dark spaces brings her into frequent conflict with deities of light and fire, and her desire to dominate the concept of revenge sets her against the ancient, dwindling power Hoar. Her only frequent ally is Talona, who may eventually serve Shar in return for the Dark Goddess's aid in murdering her hated enemy Loviatar.

DOGMA: Reveal secrets only to fellow members of the faithful. Never follow hope or turn to promises of success. Quench the light of the moon (agents and items of Selune) whenever you find it, and hide from it when you cannot prevail. The dark is a time to act, not wait. It is forbidden to strive to better your lot in life or to plan ahead except when directly overseen by the faithful of the Dark Deity. Consorting with the faithful of good deities is a sin except in business dealings or to corrupt them from their beliefs. Obey ranking clergy unless it would result in your own death.