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The Black Altar was the temple complex devoted to the god Bane in the ruined city of Zhentil Keep.[1]

HistoryEdit

In 1263 DR, Fzoul Chembryl broke with the Black Lord's Altar, the orthodox banite church run by the High Imperceptor of Bane in Mulmaster and declared the Black Altar the new centre of the Black Lord's church.[2] With this power shift, Fzoul brought a large portion of Zhentil Keep's priests of Bane into the ranks of the Zhentarim.[3] Fzoul remained highpriest of the Black Altar for much of his life.[4] In 1357 DR, warrior-priests of the High Imperceptor briefly took control of the Black Altar, but Fzoul routed the orthodox banites.[5][6] During the Time of Troubles in 1358 DR, the Black Altar was destroyed when the avatar of the god Bane fell to the Realms directly on top of the temple. Bane ordered the temple to be rebuilt.[7] On the final night of Marpenoth, 1361 DR, the Black Altar was again devastated by a huge column of flame that fell from a low hanging cloud.[8][9] This was the signal that the Banedeath was to commence.[10] Again, it was rebuilt, though as a temple to Cyric.[11] From 1361 DR to 1368 DR, the Black Altar was a temple to Cyric, but in 1368 DR, the Black Altar finally obliterated by a blast of powerful divine fire sent from the god Mask.[12] On a nine-day ritual in Mirtul, 1370 DR, Fzoul Chembryl consecrated the ruins of the Black Altar to Iyachtu Xvim and summoned the Tyrantfog.[13] With the return of Bane in 1372 DR,[14] the Black Altar was still not rebuilt.[15]

StructureEdit

Several of the many-paned windows were inset with rubies. The buildings of the complex were linked by railless spans of stone bridges, twenty man-heights above the ground.[4]

InteriorEdit

At the center of the Black Altar was a room known as the Inner Chamber of Solitude The door to the chamber was heavy oak and bronze and it was said within the chamber one would be close to Bane. The floor of the chamber was highly polished marble and in the center of the chamber was a massive, giant black throne.[16]

DefensesEdit

The Black Altar had numerous traps and guardian creatures protecting the temple.[4]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 120. ISBN 0-8803-8828-5.
  2. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 128. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  3. Kevin Melka and John Terra (April 1995). Ruins of Zhentil Keep (Campaign Book). (TSR, Inc), pp. 14–15,28. ISBN 0-7869-0109-8.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Ed Greenwood (February 2005). Spellfire. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 269. ISBN 0-7869-3599-5.
  5. Ed Greenwood (February 2005). Spellfire. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 276. ISBN 0-7869-3599-5.
  6. Kevin Melka and John Terra (April 1995). Ruins of Zhentil Keep (Campaign Book). (TSR, Inc), p. 65. ISBN 0-7869-0109-8.
  7. Kevin Melka and John Terra (April 1995). Ruins of Zhentil Keep (Campaign Book). (TSR, Inc), p. 20. ISBN 0-7869-0109-8.
  8. Kevin Melka and John Terra (April 1995). Ruins of Zhentil Keep (Campaign Book). (TSR, Inc), p. 21. ISBN 0-7869-0109-8.
  9. Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc), p. 38. ISBN 978-0786903849.
  10. Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), A Grand Tour of the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 70. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  11. Kevin Melka and John Terra (April 1995). Ruins of Zhentil Keep (Campaign Book). (TSR, Inc), p. 22. ISBN 0-7869-0109-8.
  12. Kevin Melka and John Terra (April 1995). Ruins of Zhentil Keep (Campaign Book). (TSR, Inc), p. 25. ISBN 0-7869-0109-8.
  13. Steven E. Schend, Sean K. Reynolds and Eric L. Boyd (June 2000). Cloak & Dagger. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 16. ISBN 0-7869-1627-3.
  14. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 265. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  15. Thomas M. Reid, Sean K. Reynolds, Darrin Drader, Wil Upchurch (June 2006). Mysteries of the Moonsea. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 129. ISBN 0-7869-3915-X.
  16. Ed Greenwood (February 2005). Spellfire. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 324. ISBN 0-7869-3599-5.

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