Beshaba, or Lady Doom as she was also known, is the deity of accidents, bad luck, misfortune, and random mischief. She demands worship to keep her bad luck at bay. Her aim is to destroy her sister Tymora, or Lady Luck. She also delights in cursing others, often causing seafarers to lose their navigational instincts.
Beshaba is worshiped largely out of fear, and it is the task of her clergy to spread that fear by starting talk of Beshaba's power and latest wickedness and by instructing all in how to make offerings to her or in how to join her clergy if they would prefer to be protected against all misfortune. Along the way, the members of her clergy take care to indulge their tastes for random cruelty and sadism. They enjoy acting mysteriously to manipulate simpler folk into serving them in matters both great and small, from providing them with food, luxurious shelter, and companionship to giving them weapons to wield against their rivals in the church of Beshaba and against the clergy of all other faiths.
The worship of Beshaba is fairly widespread and varied throughout the Realms. Her followers prefer to keep a low profile even in those cities which profess tolerance and those towns which actively support evil religions. As a rule of thumb, if Tymora can be found in the area, then Beshaba probably goes hand in hand. Her followers and priests can often be found where plots are being hatched and fell actions are foretold.
The exclusively human clergy of the Maid of Misfortune is dominated by the spiteful, the malicious, and the reckless. Male clergy tend to be underpriests; those high in status in Beshaba's church are almost excluslvely female. Many clerics multiclass as assassins or rogues.
VestmentsFemale priests of Beshaba wear robes of mauve, grey, and black, and are branded or tattooed on one instep with Beshaba's Badge (the antlers) and on one thigh with a row of marks of rank which can only be read by fellow initiates. These are covered by normal clothing when the priestess is outside of temples or sites where ceremonies are being conducted. Male priests wear robes of crimson and are tattooed with Beshaba's Badge on one cheek, a device which can be covered only by a mask, mud (or a similar substance), or long, unkempt hair.
In services, Doommasters of either gender who are leading a ceremony prefer simple black tunics with the symbol of Beshaba on the chest and black stockings. When working in the field, under cover, on a quest, or simply traveling, most Beshaban clergy wear utilitarian garb appropriate to their locale and the level of danger they anticipate encountering.
HierarchyBeshaban priests are referred to as Doommasters (a genderless term in this church). In ascending order of rank, the titles in general use by the church of Beshaba are: Bewildered (as in "Bewildered Brother Dax" or "Bewildered Sister Sasha" — the Bewildered are the novices), the Unfortunate (full priests who use similar forms of address as the Bewildered), Finger of Fear, Hand of Strife, Higher Hand of Strife, Hand of Gloom, Higher Hand of Gloom, Hand of Horror, Higher Hand of Horror, Hand of Despair, Higher Hand of Despair, Mistress/Master of Dread, and Nails of the Lady.
TemplesMany Beshaban shrines are simply places designated to the faithful by the clergy for offerings, but otherwise not significantly decorated except by a discreet symbol or rack of horns attached to something painted red. Doommasters prefer underground facilities, especially those with a gothic flavor, for their temples, whether they are excavated facilities or ones converted from natural caverns.
RitualsClerics 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 and Shieldmeet 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.
OrdersBeshaba has a secret society of assassins dedicated to her name called the Black Fingers. It is comprised of male members of her clergy and evil thieves and fighters.
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.
Beshaba is considered to be attractive to many male deities and some have been devoured by her lustful passions. She appears as an extremely attractive female with long silvery-gray hair. She prefers to be scantily clad in black, with a long and loose flowing black skirt that ends in mist. Her eyes are white with no pupils.
Beshaba, who is said to have gotten Tyche's looks where Tymora got her love, is considered to be attractive to many male deities and some have been devoured by her lustful passions. She rejected advances from Talos, among other hopefuls. Mortals who perceived the Maid of Misfortune were often destroyed by their lust or driven to maddened loyalty.
Beshaba was the twin sister and sworn enemy of Tymora, whom she sought to destroy.
She was Tempus' lover.
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