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Bane symbol - Mike Schely
Bane
Basic Information
Title(s) The Black Hand
The Black Lord[1]
The Lord of Darkness
Symbol A three-toed claw Formerly: Green rays squeezed forth from a black gauntleted fist[2]
Power level Greater deity[1]
Subservient deities Abbathor
Fzoul Chembryl[3]
Hoar[3]
Hruggek[3]
Maglubiyet[3]
Loviatar[4]
Tiamat[4]
Formerly: Bhaal
Formerly: Iyachtu Xvim
Influence
Dominion Banehold
Formerly: Acheron (1e)[1]
Area(s) of Interest Tyranny[4]
Portfolio Fear
Hatred
Tyranny[5]
Domains Civilization, Tyranny, War[6]
Formerly: Destruction, Evil, Hatred, Law
Worshipers
Worshipers Conquerors, evil fighters and monks, tyrants, wizards, evil knights.
Worshiper alignments
LG NG CG
LN N CN
LE NE CE
Favored weapon "The Black Hand of Bane" (gauntlet)
Holy day(s) None[7]
Channel divinity prayer Bane's tactics[8]
Rules Information
Alignment Lawful evil[1]

Bane (pronounced BAIN)[1] was the evil and malicious greater deity of fear, hatred and tyranny and ruler of Banehold. Preferring to plot and scheme, Bane rarely appeared to act in a direct manner; instead acting through his worshipers and other various agents. His ultimate goal was to eventually control all of Faerûn.[9] When summoned he had a dark and rather shadowy appearance with a resemblance of dark armor and his tell-tale jeweled dark gauntlet. He emanated an aura of vast power and cruel intelligence.[10]

WorshipersEdit

Main article: Church of Bane
Bane symbol
The holy symbol of Bane, during the Era of Upheaval.
Thomaslove92Added by Thomaslove92

Among the evil gods, Bane's church was among the most stable and powerful. While there was a time when the god encouraged sectarianism and violent disputes,[11] that time has long since passed and today[as of when?] the god's Faithful were as likely to solve their disputes through reasonable debate than through show of force. That being said, Bane's church was no less ruthless than that of Cyric or Shar and it obeyed a strict hierarchy extending from the god's most powerful worshipers to his weakest ones, with the god himself the lord of everything they did and, though worshipers of Bane came from every station in life, they all knew to whom they owed their blessings, ready to turn it over to the Black Lord at any time.[9]

Banite customs were often quite spartan in nature and the god's followers celebrated no holidays in honor of their god, instead showing their gratitude to him through service and the ritual torture and sacrifice of sentient beings offensive to the god. Priests of Bane prayed for their spells at midnight, pledging their eternal loyalty and service to the Black Hand, knowing full well that the penalty for failure or disloyalty was death.[12]

The church of Bane increased greatly in recent history due to his return. With this he gained nearly all the worshipers of Iyachtu Xvim, his half-demon son, as well as some of Cyric. Many of those among the god's worshipers were fighters, monks or blackguards,[13] or wizards[14]

His clerics could be recognized by the black-enameled gauntlet worn on one fist.[15] They were able to cast spells against undead, such as a flare of greenish phosphorescence which seared smaller undead or an even fiercer radiance that seared ghouls and phantoms.[16]

Places of worshipEdit

Although Bane was worshiped all over Faerûn, its presence was strongest in the Moonsea region, where, as of 1479 DR, the Church of Bane had its headquarters: the House of the Black Lord in Mulmaster.[17] During the same time, his Church was the only one allowed in Thay.[18] Other known temples include:

BiographyEdit

Bane
Basic Information
Gender Male
Race Human
Rules Information
Class Fighter
Alignment Lawful evil
Game Edition 2nd

Source: Faiths and Avatars p.38

Like many of the younger gods, Bane was once a mortal human.[20] Little was known about the Black Hand's past, not even precisely when it was he lived, but the adventurer became known when he forged an alliance with two other mortal beings: Bhaal and Myrkul. Together, three forged a pact of mutual aid and ambition: together they would conquer not just the world, but the heavens, becoming gods unto themselves. They targeted specifically the powerful god of death, Jergal, who was among the most powerful of Toril's deities at the time.[21]

Divine ascensionEdit

Main article: Dead Three

The group, known as the Dead Three,[22] soon became well-known to Jergal, surmounting every obstacle thrown their way, obtaining magical power and even, at one point, destroying one of the Seven Lost Gods, taking the fallen primordial's essence for themselves and dividing it up equally. Unbeknown to them, this was all Jergal's doing, for the god had grown tired of his crown,[21] even allowing powerful magic weapons such as the Jathiman Dagger, gifted to Bane, to fall into the hands of the party.[23]

When the time came to confront Jergal, the god of death tricked the Dead Three into turning on one another, each desiring the other's power. Jergal then intervened and proposed to divide up his portfolio for them, based upon a game of knucklebones, which Bane promptly won. Bane claimed for his prize governance over the sphere of strife, believing he would be able to rule over all of Toril in this way.[21] As it turned out, however, Bane would not only have to contend with Bhaal and Myrkul, who became powerful gods in of themselves, but with the rest of the divine, who would become his most hated foes.[24]

The Time of TroublesEdit

Main article: Time of Troubles

Although Bane had many foes, he did find allies in a few gods and in particular continued a working relationship with the other members of the Dead Three, with whom he plotted against his enemies, such as the goddess Mystra. It was during this time that Bane sired a son, Iyachtu Xvim, some say by a tanar'ri, others by a fallen paladin of good. Xvim resented his father but nonetheless served compliantly as his servant during this period, along with other servants of the Black Hand such as Bhaal.[24] Iyachtu Xvim's true purpose, however, would not be revealed until many, many years later.[25]

Eventually, Bane's plots backfired against him and in one particularly overambitious gambit, he and Myrkul attempted to steal the Tablets of Fate from the Ao the Overgod himself. For this, the two and every other god was banished from their astral dominions to traverse Toril's surface in an exercise of humility, precipitating the Time of Troubles. It was Ao's hope that through this, the gods would learn not only to be content with what power they had, but to respect the needs and wishes of their worshipers.[26]

However, not all the gods were so willing to learn and all of them tried to regain their divine power as quickly as possible. Bane was among these but unfortunately for him he was slain by the young god Torm on Eleasias 13, 1358 DR near Tantras.[26] Subsequently the majority of Bane's power fell from him to the mortal Cyric, who temporarily claimed the powers of all the Dead Three - all of whom perished in the Time of Troubles. A smaller portion fell to his son, Iyachtu Xvim,[27] an eventuality that Bane had anticipated should he himself perish.[25]

Resurrection and return to powerEdit

Bane
Return of Bane
Johnnyriot999Added by Johnnyriot999

For Bane, it soon became apparent, death was but a temporary setback. Anticipating the possibility of his own death Bane, the god of tyranny had, like his companion Bhaal, created a scion for the purpose of his own regeneration. When the time was right Xvim, who was in fact little more than a cocoon to contain the essence of Bane, burst forth into the black and armored figure of Bane, destroying the younger god entirely. This event, which occurred on Midwinter in the Year of Wild Magic,[28] appears to have been in part the work of the lich Szass Tam as well, who performed a summoning the same night.[10] Overnight the Faithful of Xvim, led by the god's Chosen Fzoul Chembryl converted to the worship of their returned master,[28] as did many of Cyric's own worshipers.[25]

Since his miraculous resurrection, Bane has gone to the work of reestablishing his power base, a task which he has been largely successful in. Regaining nearly all of his followers from Xvim and Cyric,[25] Bane then went about reforming his church hierarchy, forcibly eliminating its tendencies towards in-fighting, which he previously had encouraged in order to separate the weak from the strong but which he now realized to be self-defeating and destructive and Bane put at the head of this new church Fzoul Chembryl, who he took as his own Chosen. Bane also reestablished his old alliances with Loviatar, Mask, and Talona,[11] who had previously worked alongside him before the Time of Troubles.[24]

Bane escaped the Spellplague largely unscathed and, in fact, the cataclysm largely benefited him, removing two of his chief rivals, Mystra[29] and Cyric all at once.[30] In the century that followed Bane's power increased only further and the god conquered the goblinoid pantheon, bringing Maglubiyet and Hruggek to heel before him. By the end of Era of Upheaval Bane was as powerful - and as dangerous - as he had ever been.[7]

RelationshipsEdit

While Bane believed himself the rightful ruler of all the planes and could not tolerate subservience to anyone,[24] the god was willing, unlike many evil deities, to work with others if it served his interests and the god formed multiple alliances. Most notable perhaps was his alliance with Myrkul, which stretched back to when both were mortals and which continued until both of their deaths during the Time of Troubles. Bane also had working relations with the gods Loviatar, Talona, and Mask;[27] when Bane returned to life in 1372 DR, he quickly went about reforging these alliances, primarily by reasserting their fears of him.[11] Besides allies, Bane also had servants, such as Bhaal and his own son, Iyachtu Xvim during his first life as a god,[27] and Abbathor, Maglubiyet, Hruggek, and Tiamat during his second.[31] Malar was also known to work along with Bane at times.[32]

But as numerable as his allies, Bane had many enemies as well. For a time, Bane's most hated foe was the goddess of magic, Mystra, whose power he coveted.[24] Since his return, however, Bane's greatest foes were Cyric who stole from him many of his worshipers and the Zhentarim, and the Triad, particularly its formerly junior but now senior member Torm, who was the being responsible for Bane's first death. Bane was also enemies with the gods Amaunator and Oghma and called Helm and Midnight enemies as well when both gods lived.[32] Considering that Sune represents a portfolio opposite of his, he does not take kindly to her.[citation needed]

DogmaEdit

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 who 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.

[20]

Publication historyEdit

Ed Greenwood created Bane for his home Dungeons & Dragons game for the Forgotten Realms, conceiving of him as "the big baddie", with powers "roughly equivalent to" the Babylonian deity Druaga.[33]

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977-1988)Edit

Bane first appeared within Dungeons & Dragons as one of the deities featured in Ed Greenwood's article "Down-to-earth Divinity" in Dragon #54 (October 1981). Here Bane is introduced as Lord Bane, the Black Lord, god of strife, hatred, and tyranny, a lawful evil greater god from the plane of Acheron. The article notes that he is never seen, "although there are tales of a freezing black-taloned hand and eyes of blazing fire." Bane is described as one of “The Dark Gods” of evil alignment: "Loviatar, Talona, and Malar serve Bane through Bhaal (although Loviatar and Talona are rivals)." Bane is commonly worshipped by lawful evil fighters, magic-users, illusionists, assassins, thieves, monks, and clerics.[33]

Bane later officially appeared as one of the major deities for the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Set's "Cyclopedia of the Realms" booklet (1987).[34]

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989-1999)Edit

Bane was destroyed in the novel Tantras (1989), and its accompanying adventure module of the same name. Despite his death, Bane was still described in the hardback Forgotten Realms Adventures (1990),[35] the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (1993) in the "Running the Realms" booklet,[36] and Faiths & Avatars (1996).[37]

His role in the cosmology of the Planescape campaign setting was described in On Hallowed Ground (1996).[38]

Dungeons & Dragons 3.0 edition (2000-2007)Edit

As of 3rd edition Bane returns to life, and becomes one of the major deities of the Forgotten Realms setting again, in Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (2001),[39] and is further detailed in Faiths and Pantheons (2002).[40]

Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition (2008-)Edit

Bane appears as one of the deities described in the Dungeon Master's Guide for this edition (2008).[41] Bane's story and role in the default setting are expanded in the 4th edition Manual of the Planes and the Dragon article Deities and Demigods: Bane in Dragon #372.

A Forgotten Realms-specific version of Bane appears in the Forgotten Realms Player's Guide and the Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide for this edition. The Realms Bane was acknowledged as being a separate character from the core Bane in the aforementioned Dragon article.


ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (Cyclopedia of the Realms), p. 10. TSR, IncISBN 0-8803-8472-7.
  2. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition, p. 235. Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide, p. 81. Wizards of the CoastISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide, p. 80. Wizards of the CoastISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  5. See FRCS Errata page 3; Bane does not have Strife, Cyric does. Please look at the discussion before hastly changing it back
  6. Logan Bonner. Domains in Eberron and the Forgotten Realms (PDF). Dragon magazine 378 p. 8.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide, p. 73. Wizards of the CoastISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  8. Ari Marmell. Deities and Demigods: Bane, Dragon #372, p. 30. Wizards of the Coast.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition, p. 237. Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Richard Lee Byers (March 2008). Undead, p. 201. Wizards of the CoastISBN 978-0-7869-4783-6.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons, p. 15-16. Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  12. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition, p. 237-8. Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  13. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition, p. 237-8. Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  14. Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars, p. 38. TSR, IncISBN 978-0786903849.
  15. Richard Lee Byers (April 2007). Unclean, p. 43. Wizards of the CoastISBN 978-0-7869-4258-9.
  16. Richard Lee Byers (April 2007). Unclean, p. 42. Wizards of the CoastISBN 978-0-7869-4258-9.
  17. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide, p. 238. Wizards of the CoastISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  18. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide, p. 181. Wizards of the CoastISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  19. Brian R. James, Matt James (September 2009). Monument of the Ancients, Dungeon #170, p. 54. Wizards of the Coast.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons, p. 15. Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars, p. 37. TSR, IncISBN 978-0786903849.
  22. Brian R. James and Matt James (September 2009). Monument of the Ancients, Dungeon #170, p. 49. Wizards of the Coast.
  23. Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons, p. 169. Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 24.4 Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars, p. 36. TSR, IncISBN 978-0786903849.
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition, p. 237. Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  26. 26.0 26.1 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition, p. 264. Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars, p. 36-37. TSR, IncISBN 978-0786903849.
  28. 28.0 28.1 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition, p. 265. Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  29. Brian R. James (2008-02-27). Spellplague: The Wailing Years. Dragon Features Archive. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2008-04-14. (Registration required to view.)
  30. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms, p. 159. Wizards of the CoastISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  31. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide, p. 80-81. Wizards of the CoastISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  32. 32.0 32.1 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition, p. 238. Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  33. 33.0 33.1 Ed Greenwood, Dragon magazine #54 - "Down-to-earth divinity" (October 1981), p. 52.
  34. Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (Cyclopedia of the Realms). TSR, IncISBN 0-8803-8472-7.
  35. Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. TSR, IncISBN 0-8803-8828-5.
  36. Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Julia Martin (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition. TSR, Inc.
  37. Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. TSR, IncISBN 978-0786903849.
  38. McComb, Colin. On Hallowed Ground (TSR, 1996)
  39. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  40. Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  41. James Wyatt (June 2008). Dungeon Master's Guide 4th edition. Wizards of the CoastISBN 978-0-7869-4880-2.

Further readingEdit


The Faerûnian Pantheon
Major Deities
AzuthBaneBhaalChaunteaCyricGondHelmIlmaterKelemvorKossuthLathanderLoviatarMaskMielikkiMyrkulMystra (Midnight) • OghmaSelûneSharShaundakulSilvanusSuneTalosTempusTormTymoraTyrUmberleeWaukeen
Other Members
AkadiAurilBeshabaDeneirEldathFinder WyvernspurGaragosGargauthGrumbarGwaeron WindstromHoarIstishiaIyachtu XvimJergalLliiraLurueMalarMililNobanionThe Red KnightSavrasSharessShialliaSiamorpheTalonaTiamatUbtaoUlutiuValkurVelsharoon


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