Church of Bane

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Church of Bane
Bane symb2ol.jpg
Bane's Symbol
Headquarters Zhentil Keep, the Moonsea
Members Roughly 8,000 clergy and 135,000 worshipers
Hierarchy Militaristic
Leader Fzoul Chembryl, Chosen of Bane
Religions Bane
Alignment LE, NE, LN
Secrecy Low
Symbol Bane's symbol has undergone changes since his rebirth. While it once was an upright black hand on a red shield, some elements of Xvim's symbol (green glowing eyes in darkness or on a black hand) have been retained, and Bane's church now rallies behind a black fist with beams of green light being pressed from it.
The black-haired man's skin was pale where he wasn't bruised. His armor-clad attendants half-dragged him in front of the Imperceptor. Surrounding the man's chair were a dozen headless corpses, all of which the beaten man recognizes as the bodies of his friends.
"Koryn Bersk, you have been found guilty of worshiping Cyric in defiance of the will of Bane. What do you have to say in your defense?"
Koryn was silent. His jaw was broken.
"Very well. Your punishment is about to be enacted." The Imperceptor loomed in front of him, an apparition of mail and black cloth. The man's gauntleted finger stabbed at his chest, trailing green flames. Koryn whimpered as the flames seared the word HERETIC across his chest. The Imperceptor stood back, and at his nod the guards released the prisoner, who collapsed in a low kneel. A moment later, the man's head was severed and his body fell next to those of his former companions.
"Bring in the next one," ordered the cleric of Bane.

The dread deity Bane is alive again and closing his hand about Faerûn, for only now do they realize how easy they've had it for the past fourteen years, with the evil deities fighting each other and in some cases enacting purges among their own ranks. The forces of Bane are marshaled and stand ready with firm faith in their reborn deity. Aided by the Zhentarim and dark magic, the Banites are a threat to the safety of all Faerûn. Because he has always been more appealing than Cyric or Xvim, Bane is drawing his lost worshipers back to the fold and gaining converts from the disillusioned members of other evil faiths.

Brief History

Bane was a scourge upon the world for hundreds of years. Controlling, intelligent, and incredibly evil, his servants were the source of much misery. When Bane was slain by Torm during the Time of Troubles, the common folk rejoiced, only to find his successors, Xvim and Cyric, to be almost as much trouble, although certainly not as intelligent or competent. Now that Bane has returned, he is showing the competence and power that made him a feared name for centuries. Though he battles with Cyric frequently and still must face his traditional foes, the Black Hand is confident and plans to lead his church in conquest of all Faerûn.

The Organization

The church of Bane is well organized, well equipped, and populated by people who understand the need for order and enjoy hurting those weaker than they. This combination of qualities makes the church of Bane a more credible threat than the church of Cyric, despite the Dark Sun's greater numbers and his worshipers' willingness to sacrifice themselves in a frenzy of killing.

*These statistics refer to the church of Bane as a whole.

Hierarchy

As both a lawful entity and the deity of tyrrany, Bane expects a well-defined structure for his church and compliance in all given orders. The head of the church is Fzoul Chembryl, who has absolute authority over all other members of the church. Headquartered in Zhentil Keep, the church is organized like a military unit, with each temple having a clear chain of command and the temple leaders (called Imperceptors) reporting to a senior cleric of a region, who reports to Fzoul or one of his direct underlings.

Most of the important members of the church of Bane are described in the Zhentarim section of Lords of Darkness.

Bane, The Black Lord

Motivation and Goals

The church's goals are simple—convert all to the worship of Bane, and destroy those who do not convert. It is presumed that some exceptions would be made for servants of allied deities (such as Loviatar, Malar, Mask, and Talona). In the meantime, people should be made to fear Bane so that they invoke his name in fear and to ward him off, which gives him some small power.

The church of Bane uses force and persuasion to control territory, whether by marching armies against reticent towns or by bribing bored nobles with slaves, riches, and offers of power. With its close ties to the Zhentarim, the church has been able to focus on the subtler methods of conversion, leaving the more direct methods to the Black Network.

Recruiting

Given that it wishes to convert everyone to worshiping Bane, the church is very open to new recruits. Anyone can swear loyalty to Bane and join the church. However, the church expects loyalty and is not stupid, so it performs alignment checks on new recruits (with detect chaos and detect good) to see if they are fakers or potential saboteurs. Even those with alignment differences are given the opportunity to convert (often with an atonement spell), for Bane recognizes the value of those who have seen the lure of good and turned away from it to serve evil (one of his most powerful servants is a blackguard of this type, after all).

Allies

Followers of Bane can sometimes enlist the aid of his servitor deities Loviatar, Malar, Mask, and Talona, although their alliance is more a pact of mutual nonaggression than true friendship. The greatest ally of the Banites is the Zhentarim, and all followers of Bane are taught how to recognize Zhentarim safe-markings and the proper countersigns to give to an agent of the Black Network.

Enemies

Because it wishes to subvert and destroy all other faiths, the church of Bane is opposed by nearly every other church in Faerûn (some of the weaker deities hope that by serving him, they may survive). The rivalries with the churches of Helm, Ilmater, Lathander, Mystra, Oghma, Torm, and Tyr are particularly strong, and the Banite clerics take great pains to kill clerics of these faiths in gruesome ways, leaving them to be discovered by unsuspecting innocents.

Cyric is Bane's greatest divine foe, for the Dark sun wishes to reclaim the portions of his portfolio taken by Xvim, which were then passed to the new Bane. Bane has similar feelings for Cyric, and would love to crush the upstart under his heel, seizing his lost portfolios in return. Banites enjoy branding Cyricist corpses and altars with the word "heretic" as a warning to other followers of the Dark Sun.

The Banites are also opposed by the Harpers, the Lord's Alliance, the Emerald Enclave, and other groups that respect local governments and the freedom of people to make decisions about their lives.

Encounters

In combat situations, the faithful of Bane are trained to follow orders from the clerics. In turn, the clerics are expected to react intelligently in combat, give precise orders, and have those orders carried out. Clerics of Bane try to maximize the use of flanking, cover, and the strengths of their trooops, using their spells to increase their own abilities or directly attack their enemies. Banite clerics tend to rely upon wands and potions to heal their allies, since they dislike preparing cure spells in favor of attack magic. Rarely do they use defensive spells, seeing this as a weak-willed usage of Bane's gifts. Defensive magic items, however, are acceptable and common.

Bane and Xvim have provided their clergy with several unique spells, and Bane continues to grant these spells to his worshipers, even though some of them have spread to other faiths. These spells are battletide, mystic lash, and stone walk. Since his return, many of his faith have been using a weapon they call a Banesword, and these blades are becoming as recognizable as Bane's own symbol.

Rituals

The church of the Black Hand knows many dark rites that grant the devout recipient powers or immunities in exchange for sacrifices. Each ritual takes several hours of prayer and requires the intervention of two clerics of Bane, one of whom must be at least 7th level.

Ritual of Terror's Allegiance: This ritual cements the recipient's loyalties to Bane, reducing the chance that they might be controlled by another being. The target gains a +4 morale bonus on Will saving throws against fear and a +2 morale bonus on all other mind-affecting effects. The ritual requires a black star sapphire worth 1,000gp or more as a material component and drains 800XP from the recipient.
The Rite of Dread Presence: The recipient gains the abillity to use a fear spell once per day as a supernatural ability. The caster level is 7th, and the DC is 14 + the recipient's Charisma modifier. The ritual drains 2,000 XP from the recipient

Amia Specific

Requirements

Lawful Evil characters are preferred, but Neutral Evil is acceptable. Lawful Neutral may be accepted in rare circumstances, though the character's following of an evil god's Church will likely have further consequences on their alignment. No other alignments will be accepted.

Any class that can be the appropriate alignments is accepted, with the exception of druids. Since Bane is not a nature deity, a Banite druid is not possible under Forgotten Realms rules.

Responsible roleplayers only, we require OOC courtesy to all members and to the server at large. Metagaming, OOC griefing, and “chaotic stupid” are absolutely not tolerated.

Willingness to RP the doctrine of Bane is required, and to follow IC orders when appropriate. Bane is the Lord of Tyranny, and does not accept backstabbers or even talking back to superiors. Expect to be ICly punished for such behavior. Repeated incidents may lead to your PC being labeled a heretic, and excommunicated from the congregation (and the faction).

You must have an http://www.amiaworld.net/ forum account, and check it somewhat regularly. Faction communications are handled almost mostly through the forums.

Joining

Contact one of the following members of the faction for more info on joining:

In-Game Name (Forum Account)

Sources

Lords of Darkness