Bane: The Black Lord, Lord Bane, the Lord of Darkness, the Black Hand, the Dark One

Symbol: Green rays squeezed forth from a black gauntleted fist
Home Plane: Black Bastion, Barrens of Doom and Despair
Alignment: LE
Portfolio: Strife, hatred, tyranny, fear
Domains: Evil, Destruction, Hatred, Law, Tyranny
Worshipers: Fighters, Mages, Clerics, Blackguards, etc.
Aliases: N/A
Cleric Alignments: LE, NE
Favored Weapon:The Black Hand of Bane (a black gauntlet)

History/Relationships: In the indefinite past*, Bane was a member of the Dead Three, a triad of mortals sworn to achieve godhood. Bane, Bhaal, and Myrkul forged an unholy pact, agreeing that they would work together to seek ultimate power, or die in the attempt. Over the length and breadth of the Realms they strode, seeking powerful magic and spells and defying death at every turn. No matter what monster they confronted or what spells they braved, the three mortals emerged unscathed at every turn. Eventually the trio destroyed one of the Seven Lost Gods, Borem, of the Lake of Boiling Mud, and they each seized a portion of Borem’s divine essence for themselves. The trio then journeyed into the Gray Waste and sought out the Castle of Bone to confront Jergal. The three approached the god Jergal and threatened him for the godly powers. Jergal, all powerful to the point that he had long ago wished to step down the throne, asked: “Who among you shall rule?”, and the trio immediately fell to fighting amongst themselves. Jergal proposed that they solve this problem by bowling skulls of his liches. It turned out that Bane bowled the farthest, and was thus able to choose his domain. He said: “As winner, I choose to rule for all eternity as the ultimate tyrant. I can induce hatred and strife at my whim, and all will bow down before me while in my kingdom.”, thus he claimed the portfolios of Tyranny, Hatred, and Strife, ascended as a greater deity.

  • (source indicated that this occurred after the Fall of Netheril in -339 DR, as Jergal was still listed as one of the ruling deities.)

With the rise of Zhentarim network, Bane church began to gain in power at around 800 DR, his influence spread to Voonlar, Mulmaster, Hillsfar, eventually covered the Realms. His largest temple was the Black Lord’s Altar in Mulmaster, then temple complex in Zhentil Keep.

1350 DR, Bane, in an attempt to increase his own power, tries to draw a group of Moonsea cities into the nether regions. The Heroes of Phlan, who vanquished Tyranthraxus a decade earlier, foil the plot and the cities are returned. The Warhammer of Tyr is stolen by Bane. During the Time of Troubles, however, when he was trapped in his vulnerable avatar form, Bane was slain by the demigod Torm outside of Tantras. For a time, it looked as if the world was rid of the Black Hand, as his portfolio was divided among the newly-ascendant god Cyric and Iyachtu Xvim, Bane’s half-demonic son. Bane’s priests either converted to one of the two new deities or were killed, and it seemed that all traces of the Dead Three were gone from the Faerûnian Pantheon. Bane’s essence survived by possessing one of his high priests, thereby transforming the priest into a banelich. With the help of his remaining high priestess Walinda, Bane cheated Finder of half of Finder’s Stone, where Finder had stored a large portion of his godly power. With the stone in hand, Bane forced Finder and his priest Joel into cooperation, demanding they escort him to Sigil and fetch the Hand of Bane, an artifact necessary for Bane’s resurrection. Since no gods can enter Sigil, Bane arranged it so that Walinda accompanied and helped Finder’s party in the finding of the Hand.

Finder and the banelich confronted atop Bane’s huge dead body in the Astral Plane, where all dead gods lie. Bane’s plan failed however, since the banelich banned Walinda from casting the final resurrection ritual, striking her to the ground, thinking a “mere” female was not worthy of such an honor. Finder informed him that the ritual would work only by a mortal, not a banelich. Thus, Bane again gave Walinda the Hand of Bane and commanded her to cast the ritual. Walinda smashed the hand to the ground, shattering it, utterly destroying the banelich.

On Midwinter night, 1372 DR, all former priests of Bane received a vision of Iyachtu Xvim being consumed by a hellish fire, and of the Black Lord rising from the charred husk of his son. Upon his return, Bane claimed the portfolio of fear and hatred, immediately becoming a greater power. Over the past few months, Bane has been reorganizing his forces and rebuilding his strength.

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 service 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.

Avatar/Manifestations: In his first incarnation, Bane was a LE greater power in Acheron. He was never seen, although there are tales of a freezing black-taloned hand and eyes of blazing fire.

Agents/Petitioners: Bane prefers to keep to the shadows, allowing his servants to carry out his intricate plans. He has no tolerance for failure and seldom thinks twice about submitting even a loyal servant to rigorous tortures to ensure complete obedience to his demanding, regimented doctrine.

The Church of Bane: 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.

These are the titles of his priests/priestess’, going from unimportant to important:”Slave”~Watchful Brother/Sister~Deadly Adept~Trusted Servant~Willing Whip~Hooded Menace~Black Fang~Striking Hand~Vigilant Talon~Masked Death~Dark Doom~Higher Doom~Deep Mystery~Deeper Mystery

Those who make it past the last one are given unique, individual titles, such as: Vigilator, Lord/Lady of Mysteries, Lord/Lady of the Hand, Imperceptor, Dark Imperceptor, Grand Bloodletter, High Inquisitor, and High Imperceptor.

Day-to-Day Activities: General activities include plotting and gaining power to eventually have dominion over the civilized Toril.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: 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.

Major Centers of Worship: The Zhentarim are a huge organization that has many of the Banite worshipers within. Banite worship is forbidden in nearly all the kingdoms and lands of Faerun, so there are no public temples. Knowledge as to where, if any, major centers of worship are is well-hidden.

Affiliated Orders: Orders with Banites include the Zhentarim, which also includes worship of many other evil gods. Also, the Cult of the Dragon has been known to have more than a few Banites.

Priestly Vestments: Ceremonial dress for Banites is black armor with blood-red capes. The more prosperous the priest, the finer the workmanship of the armor. Facial tattoos are common among Banites, which unfortunately makes them stand out in cities. High-level officers in the hierarchy wear gems on their foreheads.

Adventuring Garb: When adventuring, priests of Bane retain the black armor. Wizards who follow Bane prefer long, flowing, black and red robes. Neither group would wear such gear if it would expose them to persecution or hamper their service to their god. Usually, extensive facial tattoos among Banites is enough to identify them.

Last updated byDispater