Cauldron: The Shackled City
Bhaal (Intermediate Deity)
Lord of Murder
Symbol:A white, face-on human skull surrounded by a counterclockwise orbit of many streaming teardrops
Home Plane: currently adrift in the Astral Plane
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Portfolio: Death, especially violent or ritual death
Worshipers: Assassins, executioners, murderers, fighters who revel in death
Cleric Alignments: LN, LE, NE
Domains: Death, Destruction, Evil, Hatred, Law
Favored Weapon: “Bone Blade” (dagger)
Bhaal (Bahl), one of the Dark Gods, was the god of death, particularly of slaying, assassination, and violent death. His was a powerful faith in Faerûn at one time, and the Lord of Murder was venerated by numerous assassins, violent mercenaries, and other brutal and fiendish killers. While he lived, Loviatar and Talona served him (though the two were rivals to each other), and he in turn served Bane.
Bhaal was violent, cruel, and hateful at all times, and lived only to hunt and murder. He could be alternately cold, calculating, and ruthless or filled with a savage bloodlust. The presence of living creatures instilled a deadly hunger in the Lord of Murder and an overpowering need to kill and destroy. His minions, such as Kazgoroth the Beast in the Moonshae Islands, wrought devastation and violent death wherever they roamed.
Bhaal suffered a series of reverses prior to the Time of Troubles, the most vital being his banishment from the Moonshaes. Bhaal tried to destroy the Earthmother (Chauntea) and seize the Moonshae Islands as his personal domain. The Ravager, imbued with a greater fraction of Bhaal’s essence than is normally contained in an avatar, was slain by Tristan, High King of the Ffolk, who wielded the Sword of Cymrych Hugh. As a result, Bhaal was severely weakened and exiled from the Realms for a time.
Before Bhaal could rebuild much of his power, he was returned to Faerûn in avatar form by the will of Ao during the Fall of the Gods. Bhaal, reduced to a killing force able only to possess humans, then went on a spree of murder and destruction the like of which had never before been seen. When Lord Bane sought the power needed to challenge Torm, he slew all of the assassins in the Realms who made up the bulk of the Lord of Murder’s faithful, further reducing Bhaal’s power. After the Lord of Strife’s destruction, Bhaal forged an alliance with Myrkul. The two gods sought the Tablets of Fate so that they could return to the Outer Planes. After pursuing her across the Heartlands, Bhaal kidnapped Midnight and seized one Tablet of Fate, but was murdered soon after by Cyric with the sword Godsbane (later revealed to have been the avatar form of Mask). What remained of Bhaal’s essence was absorbed by the Winding Water, and that river has subsequently been poisonous from the Boareskyr Bridge downstream to the Trollclaw Ford.
It is believed a fragment of Bhaal’s personality remains in the jet black, foul-smelling waters of the Winding Water much like Myrkul’s essence survives in the Crown of Horns and fragments of Bane’s personality survive in his servitor Baneliches. If Bhaal is ever resurrected, it will be in the shadow of Boareskyr Bridge.