Bast, also known as Bastet, Best or Beset, is a cat-headed deity whose portfolio includes protection (as a mother protects her children), punishment of wrongdoers, and cats. Bast is a wild deity. To those she favors she gives great blessings, but when she is angry her wrath knows no bounds. She is a fierce enemy of Apep and Set.
She is known in the Faerûn pantheon as Sharess.
Worshipers, Clergy & Temples
Bast's clerics wear white robes and, if they are male, shave their heads. Clerics of Bast are charged to remain constantly vigilant against the forces of evil, as a cat watches for vermin invading the home. They often serve as the voice of the common people among the Pharaonic clergy. Most of Bast's clerics are female.
Due to her influence, cats hold a special revered place in Pharaonic culture, and mistreating a cat invites the wrath of Bast on the perpetrator.
Priests of Bast wear their hair long and style it to show off their faces and bodies to their best advantage. Priestess' wear diaphanous negligees, short vests, sheer pantaloons, gold dust, and endless gemstone beads and coins strung in ropes and made into decorative chains and fringes. Male clergy typically prefer tight-fitting breeches that are tailored to their charms and open shirts. They often wear decorative belts and vests.
Bast's temples follow the general layout of most Pharaonic temples. Bast is also revered at countless small shrines and household altars.
Bast is a chaotic, often whimsical deity who demands no rigid adherence to principles of faith. In general, she promotes life and liberty, asserting the value of mortal life, things of beauty, and freedom from oppressive regulation. Bast hates evil, particularly Apep and his followers.
Bast appears as a dark-skinned human woman with the head of a cat, though she can use her Shift Form ability to appear as any feline of any size.
Bast typically carries an ancient percussion instrument, the sistrum, in her right hand; a so-called aegis, or breastplate (surmounted with the head of a lioness), in her left hand; and a small bag over her left arm. She also wears an elaborately ornamented dress.
Relationships & History
Bast is daughter of Re (or Ra), the sun god. She is believed to be the wife of Ptah, the chief God of Memphis and the mother of the lion god Mihos. She is also thought to be the mother of Nefertum, the god of perfumes.
Bast is a dark-skinned human woman with the head of a black cat wearing an elaborately ornamented dress. She carries a sistrum, an ancient percussion instrument, in her right hand, and an aegis, or breastplate (surmounted with the head of a lioness), in her left hand.
Bast's temple is a sandstone block structure, with a large central open chancel. The main chamber has rows of sandstone benches, all leading to a central altar. The walls all have torch sconces, with thin window slits. The floors are sandstone blocks, but are still covered with sands.
Bast's priestess is wearing a diaphanous negligees, a short black dress, and sheer pantaloons, all with endless gemstone beads and coins strung into the fringes.