Tales from the Inner Sea
Ba’Ath is the Goddess of the Moon, Illusions, Dreams and the bolt of inspiration that strikes from time to time; she is also the daughter of Mowta and Neraka, born before the Gods Peace came into effect. She is commonly named Moon Woman, Mist-Shrouded, Unknowable Lady and in the case of Mowta and Neraka followers, The Ungrateful Daughter. She is commonly supposed to resemble a stunningly beautiful young woman with purple or silvered hair, eyes like radiant moonlight and alabaster skin. She bears no weapon nor armour, though her cloak of mists and dreams serves her for defence and protection, and her round orbed sceptre acts as the Moon to inspire and baffle equally.
She was born from the first coupling of Mowta and Neraka when they made peace and joined in marriage, and it is thought that despite being conceived by a burnt and bitter Neraka and a monstrous and malign Mowta she was born with beauty almost approaching that of of Sensu; it is rumoured that as her parents mated, Mowta thought and dreamt of Sensu and Neraka thought and dreamt of Nerukata, and it is for this reason she is so much different from her evil and monstrous parents. Whatever the true cause, she is utterly unlike her parents.
Ba’Ath was always a playful, rebellious and whimsical daughter, and perpetually at odds with her parents and all the other Gods, Demi-Gods and Demons of Hell. She would not torture nor torment souls placed in her care, would not go to battle against other deities or their followers and was an uncommon ray of mysterious moonlight in the utter despair and horror of Hell. The final straw came when she took a large amount of damned and captured souls from Hell and passed them secretly over to Heaven, to the delight (and also surprise) of the Heavenly gods. Sadly, the demoness Megaera spied this and as a being of pure spite informed her parents in a bid to curry favour. The wrath of her parents was mighty indeed, and after a savage mauling and beating that stripped her of much of her divine essence, she was cast out into the Mundane Plane with no protection; waiting for this and the removal of her protection was Yesan Who Hungers, who hoped to consume her and enjoy the slow tortuous eating of her for eternity.
All seemed lost to Ba’Ath, who roamed in pain and agony, trying to use her remaining powers and wits to evade her evil nemesis. She led him a merry dance, avoiding him and hiding from him with skill and cleverness, but it could not last and ultimately Yesan had her cornered and trapped with seemingly no place left to run. Bravely facing her last moments, she would have been ended had Loksan not intervened. The Trickster had watched her progress when she was in Hell, approved of her conduct in Hell and since her banishment and privately applauded her wit and skill in her long chase by the Lord of Desolation; leaping forth from his hidden vantage point, Loksan confounded Yesan, weaving powerful Illusions and trickeries before gathering up Ba’Ath in one arm and poking Yesan in one of his eyes with the other; as he did so, he stole a small bit of Yesans divine essence and made off with it whilst the One Who Hungers roared in agony, clutching his hurt eye and swatting about at the illusions and phantasms of Loksan.
Loksan then performed one of the most selfless acts of any of the gods in (comparatively) recent times, for he took some of his own divine essence (his portfolio of Dreams and some of his Illusions) and mixed it with the small part of the stolen essence of Yesan (an eye as it turned out); he gifted these things to Ba’Ath, with her becoming the Goddess of Dreams and Illusions, but also because of her Nights Mother origins and the cold pale empty eye of Loksan, she became the Goddess of the Moon. With some of her power restored (but not all) she forever looked upon Loksan with love and favour, and since then the two have been inseparable. With both of their powers less than they had been, they were not bound by the terms of the Gods Peace and so able to move freely between the Gods Plane and the Mundane Plane. Since then she has worked with Loksan to spite her parents and Yesans plans, acting as a counterpoint at night to her mothers activities and aiding in the freeing of lost and damned souls in Hell. The Heavenly gods still mistrust Loksan and Ba’Ath and so forbid them official entry to Heaven (not that this always deters them), but the Trickster and the Moon Goddess have their own part of the Gods Plane, a realm of misty Isles in perpetual moonlight called Hypallia, where their followers go to on deathand where lost souls with nowhere else to go to can find some kind of peace, if only for a time. Situated halfway between Heaven and Hell on the great waters of the Celestial Ocean, it is well placed for their activities.
The modern clergy of Ba’Ath is more visible than Loksan’s, having prominent temples in areas where her worship is not proscribed, like Calvia, Bassur, Ateliket and Port Caros. Clad in their shimmering silks and their gauzy veils, the priesthood of Ba’Ath always present a beautiful and mysterious appearance. Their temples are places of beautiful inspiration, where local craftsmen and artisans have erected tributes to the Moon Lady in honour of the inspiration she is reputed to provide. Detractors (most often Nerukatan Orthodoxy clergy) claim that the temples are hotbeds of illicit activity, loose morality and possible sinister acts, but in truth there is little to support this. The Priesthood of Ba’Ath are not bound to celibacy or chastity and are very free with their feelings and attachments, and such emotional freedom is thought to aid in the creative and inspirational process. Her followers are likely to be artists, courtesans (who don’t follow Sensu) crafstfolk, entertainers, some sailors and all who can be inspired by the moon. Tenets are to foster creativity, oppose evil gods and work towards the freedom (both physical and mental) of all.
Her High Holy day falls on the same day as that of Loksan, often the third day of the Turning, but again subject to whimsical changes depending on her playful mood. Her forfeits and Atonement Tests are less severe than Loksans, but are designed to bring out the best of her followers.
Her cult skills are Dodge, Fast Talk, Sleight, Listen, Hide, Craft (especially mosaic and painting), Human Lore, Sneak and Hide. All skills are trainable at a shrine upwards.
Cult magic is focussed on misdirection, Illusions and influences over the mind.
Spirit – Befuddle, Glamour, Shimmer, Sleep, Invisibility.
Divine – Command (Madness Spirit, Fear Spirit), All Illusions, Madness, Mindblast, Forget, Switch Places, Charisma, Panic, Hallucinate.
The attitudes to her amongst the gods vary, like mistrust from Nerukata, Satrom and Perang, benevolent neutrality from Sensu and Bumi-Bijiran, love and friendship from Loksan, and angry spite filled contempt from her parents; her greatest foe is Yesan, for it is effectively his eye she now uses as her Moon Sceptre and this is something he cannot abide. She is a friend (though not worshipped by) to some of the more fey Fading Peoples, and is reputed to attend some of their wild celebrations in the wild places of the world as a guest of honour.