NE Greater Deity
Aliases: Allure, Chutzpah, The Conceited Harlot (derogatory), The Ebony Queen (drow only), The Magnificent Rose, The Prophet (kel only)
Portfolio: Pride, Acclaim, Manipulation, Beauty, Social Dominance
Favored Weapon: whip
Domains: Evil, Knowledge, Madness, Protection, Trickery
Tenets: Arrogance, Charity, Charlatan, Deceitful, Depression, Knowledge, Madness, Murder, Suffering, Vanity
Baiperus’s symbol is known throughout the world as an image of fear and hate. Most cultures do not allow it to be worn openly and often will imprison those that do. As such, its design is well known; a peacock made of precious metal and tipped at the end of the tallest feather with a purple amethyst. The emblem is typically hung from the neck by a chain made of metal similar to the symbol itself.
The sole embedded gem represents the devotion an advocate has for Baiperus. Any other gemstones added to the symbol results in the ire of The Conceited Harlot. She will seek to punish anyone, follower or not, affixing a second gem without her permission. She takes her divine symbol quite seriously, though the imposed reparations are never administered directly. Instead, she communicates her desires through visions and dreams to her faithful expecting them to fulfill her demands. It is common for clerics to hunt their own.
Tracking down a lawbreaker is not very difficult since each symbol is attuned to a certain individual. Furthermore, an unattuned person trying to wear a symbol takes a hit point of negative energy damage per round. There is no way to prevent this damage or heal it magically. It must be healed naturally. If a person dies by donning a symbol, his soul is drawn into Abaddon to await their doom by Baiperus’s hand. This is a contributing factor for why he is despised by most of Thepa.
Worship of Baiperus is a risky proposition for most races. Only a select number of people follow this deity as she is well known for her insidious and infectious qualities. Inside this privileged group there are two schools of thought. Either a follower believes he or his people are superior to others or the follower has self-esteem issues. Throughout the worship, advocate, and Baiperus sections one will find a common theme that revolves around this ill-gotten pride and sense of entitlement.
The first body of followers comes from the country of Ael Khar. This is the only surface country that openly allows worship of Baiperus. Ael Khar is the pivotal trade center for the continent Orton. In fact, it is the lynch pin of the western and eastern coasts of Orton. As such, the neighboring countries tolerate worship of this deity to a certain extent. Most of these bordering regions do not allow homage to Baiperus, yet they are not as strict as others toward offenders. Instead of destroying them outright, they exile those worshipping Baiperus. Even so, these countries are not endlessly lenient. Non-important, repeat offenders tend to end up on the block more often than not.
Beneath the surface in the bowels of Thepa, lies a much larger and darker group of followers; a race whose society wholly reflects the personality of Baiperus. Drow society embraces vanity as closely as he does. Baiperus sees the drow as his children and is willing to protect and endorse their homelands because they produce so much enjoyment for him, though this protection does not come without caveats.
A symptom of their society is that drow value their perceived self-worth, so the ones that rise too quickly tend to place themselves unfittingly above others, which is where the problem lies. Baiperus is an insanely jealous daeva who possesses an outrageously over-blown self-image. The drow who move quickly up the ladder of conceit are afflicted with a sickness of arrogance that causes them to place themselves above The Magnificent Rose. Unfortunately, this unabated growth draws her attention, an attention no mortal would rationally choose.
The last of these groups arise from the kelian clans. A few of their families emerge with the belief that they are superior to those surrounding them, including other kel. They exhaustively seek to win conquest after conquest. Baiperus promotes this type of behavior by gracing them with rich rewards for their successes. These clans become overconfident up until the point they make a move to bold for them to handle. This inevitably leads to the annihilation of said clan, and of course to Baiperus’s delight.
The remaining followers are a clandestine bunch, hidden away in basements and grottos never to been seen by the public. They worship Baiperus as their savior believing that if they only had the resources, they could rule the world or whatever conquest they craved. After all, they are the remarkable people that have been overlooked. Those in charge and holding the power are, in truth, inferior to Chutzpah’s progeny. Baiperus’s children are not stupid, though. They understand that a mob is more dangerous than a single foe. So instead of facing a mass of meaningless plebeians, the worshipers of Baiperus utilize deception to further their goals, which is actually a common practice since their deity is despised by the majority of Thepa.
A final note for all followers of Baiperus, they only sacrifice to him things of considerable beauty: gems, money, jewelry, art, etc. Baiperus adores dazzling and handsome objects, especially the superficial kinds, thus inversely showing his disdain of blood. She never accepts animal or human sacrifices. This restriction tends to dissuade kel form following him, which might explain why he does not see more clans joining the ranks of Abaddon’s lover. In any case, he would rather have people suffer than watch them die.
Advocates, Direct Followers, and Minions
common: drow, human
uncommon: kel, kobold, nalu
rare: duergar, elf
Baiperus’s clergy is small, meager even. But what she lacks in numbers, she makes up in variety. Those in her largest and most diverse group are hidden safely away in the dark cities deep underground. The drow, who passionately worship The Ebony Queen, devote their lives to living up to her standards of beauty, hubris, and sin. Such acts of gratitude do not go unnoticed; Baiperus is quite a giving deity. She grants these devoted followers gifts ranging from pertinent information for whatever cause they have taken up to minor magical items that are designed to further the advancement of their vanity. The drow are by far her favorite.
The other great haven for his priests is Ael Khar. The humans of this country truly believe that their state, no their society, is the choice of Thepa, and they are not afraid to show it. A beacon of technology and refinement, their grand city, Khabar, is spared no expense. It is laid out in perfect, intricate patterns that provide and exploit every resource available in this age of exploration. Sadly, the inhabitants of this capital are terribly selfish. They think only of themselves, even before their fellow citizens. Baiperus revels in elation over this city. They cause such great turmoil in the world as a “necessary” lynch pin between the world’s two great powers.
Outside of these contributing races lay a handful of irregular advocates. Kel, being one of these smaller groupings, tend to pursue Baiperus for her brazen personality. She is believed to be The Prophet; the one and only daeva whom will supply the kelian nation with their bunata, or great commander. These kel, though few as they are, speculate that they may have been born the very leader their people seek, so they spend their time exclusively pushing clan members to greater heights in an effort for world domination. Many do well, for a time, but in the end all commanders fall short leaving an opportunity for another to ascend.
Minor nalu tribes have been known to stray from the beliefs of their people, adopting a doctrine of separatism. Nalu should not be subsumed. Their race is not a subdivision of humans, but rather a distinct and genuine people with a culture all their own. As such, the tribes fight for their independence by undertaking a system of specialized destruction. They interrupt land-dweller trade on the seas though gangs of pirates and saboteurs. These tribes tend to be long-lived due to unity with others of their kind.
Not all races follow Baiperus as a community, though. He has a surprisingly large number of individual advocates from the race of kobolds. These scaly humanoids worship Baiperus based on a cynicism of trust. Everyone is trying to surpass another, so they call upon the daeva that embodies the ability to infuse pride with the principle of one-up-man-ship. These clerics have taken their Darwinian view of the world to an extreme, coming to view the nature of dog-eat-dog as a beautiful thing. To them, the idea of deserving pride is sacred. Kobolds are a somewhat insidious race; thusly they are able to understand Baiperus’s methods, if not his ego.
The remainder of Baiperus’s clergy comes to her as lone mortals for very specific reasons. Duergar advocates, much like the kel, see themselves as superior to other races. Unfortunately, their society has never prescribed to this arrogant concept as a whole, therefore worship of Baiperus is quite difficult. Most duergar civilizations view the glorification of Baiperus as unhealthy, even dangerous. Those found practicing are lucky to be banished since most instances result in a quick and tidy death for the offender.
Elves are no different in their punishments for honoring Baiperus. The miscreant is sought out and destroyed with as much harshness and urgency as duergar culture, one of the few things these races have in common. Elves are a pride-filled race for justifiable reasons, but from time-to-time an elven soul comes along that does not have the confidence necessary to live in such a society. He feels an overwhelming pressure to succeed when he obviously cannot, so he lies to save face. He knows very well that he will never be accepted by his peers, thus he seeks assistance. Baiperus offers the solution through a mask of deceit, a way to pretend to fit in, a way for her corruption to take hold.
So many races, so many differences, it is true that Baiperus has a wide variety of faithful priests. Even so, all of his advocates do have at least one thing in common. They are well dressed. Baiperus does not accept any excuse for a lack of fine attire. His clergy should never be without a wardrobe and a mirror to admire an appropriate ensemble. He demands his advocates to use every resource available to keep up a rich life. If they are not stealing, then they are killing to acquire what is necessary.
The life of Baiperus is a sad, disturbing tale, but it must be told to understand her descension. She was born as Lily (Lilyanias) Baireforne to a wealthy and proud elven family, at least for the first few minutes of her life. Soon after her arrival, her mother passed due to complications from childbirth. Which, in itself, may not have been an overwhelmingly tragic event, but there still was her father to consider.
Illamian Baireforne, Lily’s father, was a wretched individual. Not being very well off himself, he sought out a wife with money. In this case, a woman both of money and prestige for Visconi (Nessa’touri) Baireforne was from a powerful, aged family. Visconi was a tuani, an elven lord of the Eluen-cuthpar, one of their finest, in fact. And if it wasn’t for a rival family’s sabotage, Visconi would have been resurrected. The reason why she was not brought back from the beyond does not matter, only that she was not.
Illamian soon learned that Visconi’s family was not going to support him. They offered to take his daughter, protect her, and raise her. He questioned why he was being left out, but his in-laws never explained. Some speculate that Illamian may have played a part in Visconi’s death. But it matters little, he was excluded. His plans for a decadent, lazy life vanished right before his eyes and all he had left was his innocent daughter, a bitter disappointment. He was outraged.
From that day forward, life for Illamian and his little girl turned for the worse. He now looked at his daughter as a reminder of everything that had gone poorly in his life, and eventually began taking out his anger upon the child. His frustrations were never sated. In fact, they grew, as did the abuse. Nurture took over, for any kind or loving bone in Lily’s body was demolished during her mortal life. Her father made sure of that fact.
Lily’s final years of her life were the darkest. Her father seethed with hatred each time he saw her and sought to punish her in any way imaginable. His abuse forced Lily to endure acts of violence too horrific, too abhorrent to fully describe in this text. She was robbed of her virginity by a man incapable of love. She was broken and defiled by the very person who should have protected her.
By luck, if you can call it that, her father gave up. He no longer desired her presence. But instead of letting her live out her life without him, he chose to punish her in one last fashion. She lasted sixteen days. Sixteen days of no food, no water, and no light. She lasted sixteen days through loathsome, unbearable torture.
Her agonizing existence, which was filled with suffering and lessons of worthlessness, ended. But Lily had learned. She had absorbed all of the hateful, demonic, and truly reprehensible things that happened to her. Upon her descent, she used these lessons to great success. The lies, the hatred, even her honed ability to second guess herself came in to play. But in the end, it was the pain she endured that raised her into the status of a daeva.
Lily remembered enough of her mortal life to decide that what she wanted, above all else, was to never be hurt again. She came to associate her appearance and persona with pain, so she grew into a social chameleon, an amorphous creature that learned to ply the extreme vanity of the daeva. This trait became tangible quite quickly for her. She discovered how to instinctively appear as anything she so desired – female, male, blonde, brunette, strong, or weak. She was able to materialize to others as a person they knew. Even more impressive was the fact that her image could be different to others in the same room.
Soon after, she overthrew the ruler of Abaddon by stealing his power and identity through trickery and deceit, which is how Lily truly became Baiperus. She absorbed the essence of the former daeva, which included his masculinity. Baiperus devoured this former ruler with such entirety that no one, not even Rai or Iteff, can remember who he was. Baiperus became the rebus of vainglory, both male and female and yet none, a divine hermaphrodite.
Today, Baiperus spends her, or his, days on a golden throne of jewels, demons surrounding her with mirrors at every turn. These visual portals allow her to look upon Thepa and keep a close eye upon her followers. Though Baiperus is intricately involved with the happenings of Thepa, she only uses an indirect approach when contacting her clerics. Dreams and visions are typical for overall goals, while communing is more likely for the smaller more pressing missions like punishing one of her unfaithful clerics.
As with most rules, there always seems to be an exception. Baiperus does visit the mortal realm for one very important service. She does not allow any amethysts beyond the first to be placed in her divine symbol unless she is the one that actually adds it. She does this while her cleric is in a dream-like state. Of course, this service is only performed on the rarest of occasions and only when one of her clergy has truly earned her gratitude.
One might think that Baiperus takes great pride in bestowing these rewards herself. One would be wrong. Baiperus actually has an incredibly low self-esteem. Her true mental state, which she does not even understand herself, is lost in a sort of imagination land where she envisions goals and situations from a start to a happy ending. Over days, weeks, even months, she progresses in her imagination about how wonderful a certain situation will be when the day comes. From time to time, opportunities to seize these dreams come to pass occur, but in ways she never imagined, often time for the worse. It is these repeated disappointments that cause her great distress. Baierpus becomes extremely depressed and angry when all of this “work” she put in does not come to fruition. These episodes are a recurring theme of her life, and they only drive her deeper and deeper into depression.
From a distance, Abaddon does not appear much different than Thepa. It is round with continents. The temperatures vary accordingly and the floras that populate the plane are on par with the mortal world. But when one takes a closer look, the differences between the two places stand out drastically.
Most of Abaddon’s thousands of continents (if you can call them continents) are similar to the country of Madagascar. Their size is small, but their ecosystems and their dangers are unique to each one. Though, the true difficulties of this hell materialize from a peculiar trait of the plane’s tectonic structure. Its continental drift is extremely fast causing its land masses to collide with one another quite frequently (approximately once every 3 months). When merged, the two island states exist as one for about two days and then split back apart, most often from the spot where they had previously smashed together.
These intermittent impacts cause havoc for Abaddon’s petitioners. Daemons control most of plane. And seeing that their only purpose is to seek pathways into Thepa to spread destruction, current events and useful information about the mortal world have become the most highly prized commodities of this hell. The arriving petitioners find themselves as targets to the daemons. Unfortunately, most of these souls are unaware of their value and soon find themselves enslaved and tortured while the daemons try to milk every last ounce of knowledge from them.
The few groups and individuals who luckily escape detection do so for only a short period of time. Abaddon’s colliding ecosystems cause hiccups for survival that eventually lead to the discovery of the fugitives. This happens by the restructuring of the continents’ resources with each shift. What was once a tropical island filled with bountiful fruit might become a grassy plain with a large numbers of rodents. Petitioners are forced to find new hiding spots and revamp their daily lives just to adjust to the ever shifting survival patterns. Each shuffling exposes them to the sight of the daemons and once caught, they are grilled in cruel and unimaginable ways until they are of no more use.
Abaddon is a Transience realm. It is ever testing the petitioners to see who is worthy of continuing on to the deeper planes of hell and those who are rejected, forced back into Thepa. It performs this service by creating testable situations with the above patterns. Island collisions are its way of judging. Petitioners can evade the tests for a while, but eventually all souls are placed on trial, a trial that is brutal and seemingly unjust.
On top of all these predictable adversities sits Baiperus. She brings forth the chaos to this realm, a welcomed counter to its routine. Baiperus has a unique ability to draw the life force from other beings. It materializes as a mile wide aura that turns all non-living things into crystal. The crystals act like mirrors. And for those that peer to long into their own reflection, they will find a duplicate of themselves emerging to challenge the offender to a duel. If the original being wins, he is immune to this effect for a week. If he fails, his life force is sucked into Baiperus allowing her to feed off of those that fall. This mechanism continues to foster her hermaphroditic self by absorbing all manner of petitioner.
Artwork provided by Sandara
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