Tyranny of Dragons
The Church of Loviatar
Loviatar (pronounced loh-VEE-a-tar), also known as The Maiden of Pain and The Willing Whip, was the evil goddess of agony and was both queen and servant to the greater god Bane. Loviatar was a cold-hearted bully, calculating and despotic; she was the master of inflicting physical and psychological suffering and her portfolio included Pain, Hurt and Torture. Her symbol was a nine-stranded whip, with barbed strands.
Bringing pain and suffering was the aim of all Loviatans, either through physical torture or sometimes more subtly and psychologically. Beauty, intelligence and acting were useful attributes of a Loviatan, but the ability to fully understand someone was the best skill a Loviatan could acquire, as knowing someone fully could help a Loviatan inflict maximum pain, one way or another. Loviatar’s followers were encouraged to wipe Ilmater’s followers from the face of the Realms.
Loviatans often engaged in self-flagellation, often in the morning when praying for spells. They celebrated each season with the Rite of Pain and Purity, a ritual that involved followers dancing on glass, thorns or barbed-wire while being whipped by higher-level Loviatans. A smaller ritual occurring every twelve days involved followers passing their bodies through the flames of candles.
During warfare, priestesses of Loviatar scourged their naked shoulders or tore their cheeks with their nails to evoke magic.
Pain is the simple name given to a high level Loviatan cleric.
The faith of Loviatar was the state religion in the country of Dambrath. The Crinti priestesses there had their own secret religious language, known as the “Maiden’s Tongue”.
Disciples of the White Rod
These monks of the faith of Loviatar were named in honor of the token granted to their founder by Loviatar and held in the home abbey near Calimport as a relic.
Once a follower of Bhaal, Loviatar was affiliated with Malar and Talona and had fallen under the sway of Shar, though the return of Bane changed this, as she once again served as his consort. Loviatar’s portfolio conflicted most with that of Ilmater, because Loviatar despised those who helped others. She also hated Eldath and Lliira for offering rewards without any suffering to achieve them.
“The world is filled with pain and torment, and the best that one can do is to suffer those blows that cannot be avoided and deal as much pain back to those who offend. Kindnesses are the best companions to hurts, and increase the intensity of suffering. Let mercy of sudden abstinence from causing pain and of providing unlooked-for healing come over you seldom, but at whim, so as to make folk hope and increase the Mystery of Loviatar’s Mercy. Unswerving cruelty will turn all folk against you. Act alluring, and give pain and torment to those who enjoy it as well as to those who deserve it most or would be most hurt by it. The lash, fire, and cold are the three pains that never fail the devout. Spread Loviatar’s teachings whenever punishment is meted out. Pain tests all, but gives strength of spirit and true pleasure to the hardy and the true. There is no true punishment if the punisher knows no discipline. Wherever a whip is, there is Loviatar. Fear her — and yet long for her."