Etall is the goddess of rogues, assassins, thieves, merchants, travelers, toxins, alchemy, lying, and luck.
Titles: Moon’s Shadow, Lady Luck, Knife in the Night, The Silent Kill, Master of Coin, Roadblesser, The Ever Roaming trader
Holy Animal: Ravens, as they are considered her eyes and ears. Killing a raven is said to bring upon the ire of Etall, and will result in bad luck in the matter of travel and trade.
Etall is aligned under Belendor, although many often forget this fact. Etall, and her followers, are not opposed to doing good things to achieve their goals, but will always keep their eyes on their prize. Be it power, wealth, influence, or favors, Etall will not allow people to stand in her way.
Etall and her followers neither like nor dislike any of the other gods. She will work with any god, good or evil, to achieve her goals, and will stand against any god who is aligned against her current plots. What Etall, the “Moon’s Shadow,” has planned is only ever known to her.
Etall is not selective in her followers, and often many people will offer a quick prayer to her in times of need, even though she is a Lord of Darkness. She is the evil that people choose to tame the darker parts of the world, and this is reflected in her followers. Her followers are split into three different groups. The Brotherhood of the Road, the Night’s Hand, and the Fellowship of the Coin.
The Brotherhood of the Road are a mercenary band who are devoted to Etall, and are paid to watch the major highways and “protect” travellers who use them. Veterans of the Brotherhood are the Dawn Pikers, front line warriors well trained in the defensive and offensive use of pikes and polearm formations. It is said that no cavalry charge has ever broken their squares. Supporting the pikes are the Dusk Bolters. The bolters are the newer members of the Brotherhood and use crossbows–effective tools against the tough hides of ogres and other beasts that roam the Plains. The Brotherhood fight against brigands and other beings that would prey upon travellers, and often receive a “gift” in return. It is considered bad taste and luck to not give the Brotherhood their “gift”, usually in the form or small, portable trade goods or coins.
The Night’s Hand are a notorious group of thieves and assassins who stalk major cities and towns, looking for their target. Be it a piece of art, a serving wench who can’t keep her nose out of other’s business, or a political rival, the Night’s Hand will deal with any or all, for the right price. However, they are not without their rules and philosophy. It is their belief that any who can be easily killed are not benefitting society–in a way, they see their killing as a service to others. They are strengthening the herd by culling the weak. Generally they do not kill travelers and merchants.
The Fellowship of the Coin are a mercantile group that leads Dranirian trade. Victor Dranir has officially endorsed them, granting them legitimacy and the ability to trade amongst other countries without fear of legal repercussions for worshiping a Lord of Darkness. Coin is king to the Fellowship, and many say that they hold the first coin that Etall ever stole, passed from guildmaster to guildmaster. The Fellowship of the Coin is run by a series of powerful families–sometimes they work together, sometimes they vie for control of the Fellowship.
Approbation and Displeasure:
Actions/ideas that please Etall:
- Stealing from those who do not watch themselves or their stuff
- Killing those who cross you
- Making as much profit as you can
- Clearing out goblin warrens and other monster strongholds that are too close to main roads
Actions/ideas that displease Etall (and may result in loss of magical abilities):
- Returning stolen goods, or being caught stealing
- Granting mercy to those who oppose you
- Not giving coins to beggars, for they are her eyes and ears
- Breaking even or taking a loss on your trade deals
- Preying on travellers and merchants, for the flow of coin depends on them
Holy Places and Holy Days
Unlike most Lords of Darkness, most major cities have a temple of Etall in their city that is funded and maintained in part by the city. Rulers loathe to belittle or slight the Goddess of Trade, and they work to keep her agents in check in the city, but not completely remove them. The biggest temple to Etall is located in Trimond, and the Fellowship of the Coin run it. Many say it is grander than any cathedral to Aranayan.
Etall doesn’t have a single holy day, save the holiday she stole from her brother, Shedow, the Night of Screaming Shadows, but rather holy months. December and January are considered holy months. December is the time when your coffers should overrun to celebrate the end of a successful business year, and festivals celebrating Etall for her generosity are held throughout the month. Many say that Etall will personally bring her most devout followers gifts if they served her well near the end of the year. January is holy because it is the start of a new year, and the ability to acquire new marks easily, for people are trying to reinvent themselves for the coming year. Conmen, and thieves will prey upon the foolish or the unwary this month more than usual. The Night of Screaming Shadows is when people lock their doors, and pray to the Lord of Light to protect them from what comes, and is when Etall steps foot upon the mortal plane to personally deal with those who have slighted her in the previous year.
Worship and tales of Etall go back as long as humans have been on Azkon. Where Etall goes, missing items, coin, and bodies usually follow. There are many tales of her stealing from one god, bartering that item to their rival, selling the rival item to the first god, and causing strife and conflict while coming out mostly on top. Etall has a trophy room where she keeps mementos of her various conquests and victories, and even the odd defeat. The most famous item she keeps safely guarded is the Staff of Aranayan, which she won from Aranayan in a bet. She bet on her follower to corrupt one of Aranayan’s paladins before the paladin could redeem her, and won. Followers of Etall will often remind followers of Aranayan of this fact, and followers of Aranayan view it as their holy mission to win back the staff.
Correct Worship and Rites/Rituals/Requirements
Followers of Etall typically engage in:
- Gambling whenever they can, over whatever they can think of
- Working together to maximize their profits while minimizing their risk
- Stealing from those who trust too fully, be they fellow followers of Etall or simple common folk
- Killing those who betray you or those who kill travellers for no long-term gain
- Always seeing your plans come to fruition, or adapting those that don’t into a new plot