Bane

Holy Symbol of Bane
The Holy Symbol of Bane
  • The Black Hand
  • The Black Lord
  • The Lord of Darkness
Greater Deity
  • Loviatar
  • Tiamat
  • Abbathor
  • Asmodeus
  • Maglubiyet
  • Hruggek
  • Strife
  • Fear
  • Hatred
  • Tyranny
game stats
Fighter15
Paladin of Tyranny10
Blackguard10
Cleric10
Hexblade10
Wizard10
Rogue20

Bane (bain) is the evil and malicious deity of fear, hatred and tyranny. Preferring to plot and scheme, Bane rarely appears to act in a direct manner, instead acting through worshippers and other various agents. His ultimate goal is to eventually control all of Faerun. When summoned, he has a dark rather shadowy appearance with a resemblance of dark armor and his tell-tale jeweled dark gauntlet.

Relationships

While Bane believes himself the rightful ruler of all the planes and cannot tolerate being subservient to anyone, the god is willing, unlike many evil deities, to work with others if it serves his interests and the god has formed multiple alliances in the past. 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; when Bane returned to life, he quickly went about reforging these alliances, primarily by reasserting their fears of him. Besides allies, Bane also had servants, such as Bhaal and his own son, Iyachtu Xvim during his first life as a god, and Abbathor, Maglubiyet, Hruggek, and Tiamat during his second. Malar was also known to work along with Bane at times.

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

Biography

Like many of the younger gods, Bane was once a mortal human. Little is 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.

Divine ascension

The group, known as the Dead Three, 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, even allowing powerful magic weapons such as the Jathiman Dagger, gifted to Bane, to fall into the hands of the party.

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. 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.

The 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. Iyachtu Xvim’s true purpose, however, would not be revealed until many, many years later.

Bane and Myrkul attempted to steal the Tablets of Fate from 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.

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 near Tantras. 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, an eventuality that Bane had anticipated should he himself perish.

Resurrection and return to power

Bane

The Return of Bane


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. Overnight the Faithful of Xvim, led by the god’s Chosen Fzoul Chembryl converted to the worship of their returned master, as did many of Cyric’s own worshipers.

Since his miraculous resurrection, Bane has been hard at work reestablishing his power base, a task which he has been largely successful in. Regaining nearly all of his followers from Xvim and Cyric, Bane then went about reforming his church hierarchy, forcibly eliminating its tendencies towards inf-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, who had previously worked alongside him before the Time of Troubles.

Bane escaped the Spellplague largely unscathed and, in fact, the cataclysm largely benefited him, removing two of his chief rivals, Mystra and Cyric all at once. 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 the Era of Upheaval Bane was as powerful – and as dangerous – as he had ever been.

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 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.