Lady Doom ; The Maid of Misfortune ;The Maid of Misrule ;
|Barrens of Doom and Despair
*Note: This page does contain a conglomerate of information from both the Thieves Guild as well as the Forgotten Realms Wiki.*
Beshaba (pronounced: /bɛˈʃɑːbɑː/ be-SHAH-ba) appears as a young, tall, slim, and beautiful maiden with a wild mane of pure white hair. The god is pale, had a small waist and voluptuous shape. Her pale skin is countered by flushed hues of blue and violet on the cheeks and throat. Beshaba's most prominent feature were her yellow-rimmed eyes that are noted to be ablaze with insanity. She is often shown adorned in a tight gown that snugly wrapped her body in pitch-black fabric.
Beshaba is both beautiful and terrible to behold. She is often seen holding a pair of dice or a coin, which represent her domain over chance and fate. Her followers are known for their fatalistic outlook on life, believing that their fates are already predetermined and that nothing they can do will change their destiny. Her followers are typically those who feel that they have been dealt a bad hand in life and are looking for someone or something to blame.
Works[edit | edit source]
Beshaba was a spiteful, petty and seemingly insane goddess whose actions often seemed random to onlookers. Her primary motivation however was jealousy, specifically towards her sister for her more favorable public reception, and so she demanded equal lip service (if not actual veneration) lest she curse the offenders. Unlike her sister Tymora, Goddess of Luck, who happily shared her gifts with her own worshipers as well as her godly allies, Beshaba hoarded her divine powers, creating a reserve. Despite her evil nature, she has been known to form alliances with other gods, particularly those who share her love of chance and unpredictability.
Worshippers[edit | edit source]
Beshaba's worship is often seen as a negative influence, as her followers tend to bring bad luck and misfortune wherever they go. However, there are some who see her as a necessary evil, believing that by appeasing her, they can avoid even greater disasters that might befall them.
Beshaba was revered more out of fear than out of religious faith. Her doctrine stated that bad luck befell everybody and the only way to avoid it was by worshiping her. She was renowned for being spiteful and malevolent, and her priests manipulated common folk into revering and providing for them by acting mysteriously and playing on morbid fears. Her clerics offered an entreaty for their spells and made sacrifices of alcoholic beverages such as burning brandy or wine.
Clerics of Beshaba pray for their spells at midnight. Immediately before doing so, if at all possible, they must make an offering to the Lady by setting fire to brandy, wine, or spirits while uttering the name of the goddess and dipping a black antler tine into the mixture. Burning one's fingers slightly in doing so is looked upon favorably. A second prayer similar to the first must be made to Beshaba each night outside under a dark sky. If a member of the clergy is forcibly confined, at least a prayer during the hours of darkness is expected to be attempted. The nighttime offering is a personal prayer for guidance, and the goddess often answers it with nightmare visions later in the evening.
Devotees of Beshaba mark every Midsummer with wild revels of destruction and rudeness to mark Beshaba's nature as Maid of Misrule. Otherwise they ignore the calendar, holding special ceremonies upon the deaths of important clergy and when a priestess ascends to a new rank. The funeral ceremony is known as the Passing. It is a rare time of dignity and tender piety among the clergy. The body of the departed is floated down a river amid floating candles in a spell ceremony designed to make the corpse into an undead creature and teleport it to a random location elsewhere in the Realms to wreak immediate havoc. Senior clergy use spells or magical items to scry from afar to see what damage is then done by the creature's sudden appearance.
The ceremony of ascension in rank is known as the Marking. It is a ceremony involving drum music, dancing over flames, and either branding or tattooing. The priest being promoted must bear the pain without benefit of spell or potion to ease it.
Dogma[edit | edit source]
Bad things happen to everyone, and only by following Beshaba may a person perhaps be spared the worst of her effects. Too much good luck is a bad thing, and to even it out, the wise should plan to undermine the fortunate. Whatever happens, it can only get worse. Fear the Maid of Misfortune and revere her. Spread the message across Faerûn to obey Beshaba and make offerings to appease her. If she is not appeased, all will taste firsthand the curse that is spreading throughout Faerûn. Never falsely advise any being in how to worship Beshaba, or pay the price of being cast out and cursed with misfortune all their days.