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Mask (pronounced: /ˈmɑːskMASK[7][4]), the Lord of Shadows, was the god of shadows and thieves in the Faerûnian pantheon. He was a loner god most often associated with thieves or those of otherwise ill-repute. He was a chaotic neutral intermediate deity from the Shadow Keep in the Plane of Shadow, whose portfolio included shadows, thievery and thieves, and previously also included intrigue. Mask's symbol was a black velvet mask tinged with red.[citation needed]

PersonalityEdit

Known for his constant scheming, cool head, and oft-reserved biting comment he lost a significant portion of his power, the intrigue portfolio, to Cyric. This, of course, led to two things: an enduring hatred of Cyric, and the Lord of Shadows leading himself to be more direct than he was in his prior, elaborate plots.[citation needed]

RelationshipsEdit

Simply put, Mask was a loner. However, before this. he had frequent alliances with Bane. If nothing else, their sizable hatred of Cyric gave them common ground in addition to their history of working together. Mask was also at direct odds with Waukeen, the goddess of merchants and honest trade. All guardians of light, knowledge, and duty were opposed to him. This included Selûne, whose light tended to reveal his own faithful whilst they worked.[citation needed]

He was allied with the drow god of thievery Vhaeraun.[8] The relationship itself was businesslike.[9] However, Mask planned to compensate what he lost to Cyric with Vhaeraun's divinity,[10] while Vhaeraun used the similarity between their symbols to recruit half-elves and humans into his church.[11] The two were often confused with one another among non-drow on the surface.[12] They also shared one very similar title, Mask's "Lord of Shadows"[13] and Vhaeraun's "Lord of Shadow".[14]

HistoryEdit

GodsbaneEdit

During the Time of Troubles of 1358 DR, Mask took the shape of a powerful blade called Godsbane. He eventually came to be wielded by the then-mortal Cyric; he acquired the sword by murdering a halfling named Sneakabout, who in turn killed the former wielder of the sword.[citation needed]

In the years following the Time of Troubles, Mask released the powerful hound Kezef to try and kill Cyric, but the hound turned instead on the Lord of Shadows, not stopping the chase until it had bitten off one of the god's limbs. Mask, seemingly too weak to heal, acquired the powerful weapon Houndsbane to defend himself; the weapon was a gift from the deity of magic, Mystra.[citation needed]

DeathEdit

In 1374 DR, Mask relinquished his divinity and his life over to Shar to repay a millennia-old debt to the goddess, who was revealed to be his "mother" as well as the person he served as a herald. Just before his death, Shar revealed Mask's true name as Lessinor, though its origin (either as a mortal name or a birth name) was not explained. A portion of Mask's divinity—the portion stolen by Kesson Rel—was absorbed in equal portions by Erevis Cale, Drasek Riven, and Prince Rivalen of the Shade enclave. Erevis then sacrificed himself to Mephistopheles, the archdevil Lord of Cania, in payment for releasing the half of the soul of Magadon that he ate; Mephistopheles in turn absorbed the portion of Mask's divinity held by Cale.[citation needed]

RebirthEdit

There were several hints that Mask could return, either in person or via a successor who took his place in the pantheon, namely:[speculation]

  • When Mask surrendered to Shar, his last thoughts were about the secret he kept from her.[15]
  • Mask apparently arranged that Cale's son would be born in safety after the Spellplague of 1385 DR.[15]
  • Drasek Riven, himself ascended to a demigod of shadows, prophesied to Magadon of the return of Mask.[15]

This was proven to be true when the Shadowlord's plans to thwart the Cycle of Night perpetuated by Shar on countless worlds resulted in Mask's divinity (both the Shar-consumed and Kesson Rel portions) being gathered back into a single being—Drasek Riven, Mask's former Second of Five—resulting in the aforementioned cycle being thwarted, along with the stripping of divinities from both Mephistophales and Rivalen Tanthul.[16]

PossessionsEdit

The Shadowlord wielded a pair of magical, twin longswords known as Stealthwhisper and Shadowblade.[17]

Divine RealmEdit

Mask kept a divine realm called Shadow Keep on Niflheim, the second layer of Hades. Visitors might glimpse the Keep, but only very few ever reached it, as it was constantly shrouded in a heavy fog that led them astray.[5][18][19]

WorshipersEdit

Mask symbol

The symbol of Mask.

The church of Mask stated that wealth rightfully belonged to those who could acquire it. Honesty was for fools but apparent honesty was a very valuable thing, and subtlety was everything.[citation needed]

The Clergy of Mask were called Maskarrans, with elite specialty priests referred to as demarchesses (pronounced: /dɛmɑːrˈkɛsɛsdeh-mar-KESS-es) if female and demarchs (pronounced: /dɛˈmɑːrksdeh-MARKS) if male.[20] Maskarrans address each other as "Brother/Sister Shadow", no matter their rank. Clergy that completed an especially dangerous heist or complex act of manipulation were often admitted to the Circle of the Gray Ribbon.[citation needed]

It was rumored that the Cult of Mask maintained a large network of informants throughout the cities of the realm. It was also rumored that this network provided employment for all sorts of thieves, beggars and thugs.[citation needed]

Shrines of gods radiated that part of their philosophical orientation they shared the most. For example, a shrine of a chaotic evil deity, who was more chaotic than evil, radiated chaos. Mask's shrines during the 14th century DR radiated chaos,[21] despite him being a neutral evil deity during that time.[13]

ChosenEdit

AppendixEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 21,33–34. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  2. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 62,63. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  3. Paul S. Kemp (December 2008). Shadowrealm. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 978-0786948639.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 45–47. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc), pp. 109–112. ISBN 978-0786903849.
  6. Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (Cyclopedia of the Realms). (TSR, Inc), p. 12. ISBN 0-8803-8472-7.
  7. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 246. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  8. Eric L. Boyd (1998). Demihuman Deities. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 36. ISBN 0-7869-1239-1.
  9. Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 114. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  10. Sean K. Reynolds, Jason Carl (November 2001). Lords of Darkness. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 29. ISBN 0-7869-1989-2.
  11. Eric L. Boyd (1998). Demihuman Deities. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 38. ISBN 0-7869-1239-1.
  12. Eric L. Boyd (1998). Demihuman Deities. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 37. ISBN 0-7869-1239-1.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 45. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  14. Eric L. Boyd (1999). Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark. (TSR, Inc), p. 93. ISBN 0-7869-1509-9.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Paul S. Kemp (December 2008). Shadowrealm. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 978-0786948639.
  16. Paul S. Kemp (March 2014). The Godborn (MMP). (Wizards of the Coast), chap. ?. ISBN 078696541X.
  17. Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 45, 46, 47. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  18. Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 26. ISBN 0-8803-8828-5.
  19. Colin McComb (December 1995). “Liber Malevolentiae”. In Michele Carter ed. Planes of Conflict (TSR, Inc.), pp. 47–48. ISBN 0-7869-0309-0.
  20. Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 978-0786903849.
  21. Jeff Crook, Wil Upchurch, Eric L. Boyd (May 2005). Champions of Ruin. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 99. ISBN 0-7869-3692-4.
  22. 22.0 22.1 Paul S. Kemp (July 2003). Twilight Falling. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-2998-7.

ConnectionsEdit

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

Deities of the Post-Second Sundering Era
Ao the Overgod
Faerûnian Pantheon
Akadi | Amaunator | Asmodeus | Auril | Azuth | Bane | Beshaba | Bhaal | Chauntea | Cyric | Deneir | Eldath | Gond | Grumbar | Gwaeron | Helm | Hoar | Ilmater | Istishia | Jergal | Kelemvor | Kossuth | Lathander | Leira | Lliira | Loviatar | Malar | Mask | Mielikki | Milil | Myrkul | Mystra | Oghma | Red Knight | Savras | Selûne | Shar | Silvanus | Sune | Talona | Talos | Tempus | Torm | Tymora | Tyr | Umberlee | Valkur | Waukeen
The Morndinsamman
Abbathor | Berronar Truesilver | Clangeddin Silverbeard | Deep Duerra | Dugmaren Brightmantle | Dumathoin | Gorm Gulthyn | Haela Brightaxe | Laduguer | Marthammor Duin | Moradin | Sharindlar | Vergadain
The Seldarine
Aerdrie Faenya | Angharradh | Corellon | Deep Sashelas | Erevan | Fenmarel Mestarine | Hanali Celanil | Labelas Enoreth | Rillifane Rallathil | Sehanine Moonbow | Shevarash | Solonor Thelandira
The Dark Seldarine
Eilistraee | Kiaransalee | Lolth | Selvetarm | Vhaeraun
Yondalla's Children
Arvoreen | Brandobaris | Cyrrollalee | Sheela Peryroyl | Urogalan | Yondalla
Lords of the Golden Hills
Baervan Wildwanderer | Baravar Cloakshadow | Callarduran Smoothhands | Flandal Steelskin | Gaerdal Ironhand | Garl Glittergold | Nebelun | Segojan Earthcaller | Urdlen
Orc Pantheon
Bahgtru | Gruumsh | Ilneval | Luthic | Shargaas | Yurtrus
Mulhorandi pantheon
Anhur | Bast | Geb | Hathor | Horus | Isis | Nephthys | Osiris | Re | Sebek | Set | Thoth
Other gods of Faerûn
Bahamut | Enlil | Finder Wyvernspur | Gilgeam | Lurue | Moander | Nobanion | Tiamat