sharess_symbol.jpg
The Dancing Lady, Mother of Cats
Pantheon Faerunian
Realm Brightwater
Portfolio Hedonism, sensual fulfillment, festhalls, cats
Worshippers Bards, hedonists, sensualists
Domains Chaos, Charm, Good, Travel, Trickery
Favored Weapon A great cat's paw (claw bracer)

Sharess

Sharess is a radiantly beautiful goddess, said to be rivaled only by Sune. She is a fickle, flighty deity , who prevents anyone from getting too close to her true spirit. She has the willful independence and pleasure-seeking nature common to felines and is constantly preening and grooming to maintain her appearance. She is often depicted (Especially in Mulhorand, where she is known as Bast) as a voluptuous human female with the head of a cat. Sharess enjoys toying with beautiful mortals and she can not resist casually flirting with anyone she encounters. However, when her ardor cools and her passion is sated, Sharess is said to be easily distracted and quick to move onto new pleasures. Rumor states that she dislikes snakes intently.

Life is to be lived to its fullest, in decadent sensual fulfillment of yourselves and others. That which is good is pleasurable and that which is pleasurable is good. Pleasure is to be sought out at every opportunity and life is to be lived as one endless revel. Spread the bounty of Sharess so that all may join in the endless revel of life and bring joy to all those in pain. infinite experiences await those who would explore, so try the new as well as savoring the old.

Sharess started her divinity as the Goddess Bast, a Mulhorandi deity who served as patroness of cats and Anhur's lieutenant in the eternal struggle aainst Set. At the height of Mulhorand's second empire, when many beast cults were popular, Bast assumed the portfolio of Felidae, a beast cult deity of felines, sensual pleasures, and nomads. Struck by wanderlust, Bast traveled across Faerun, leaving numerous cults in her wake, many which knew her as Sharess.

Sharess eventually fell into experiments with the darker side of pleasure. It is rumored amongst the faithful that the Mother of Cats began to fall under the sway of Shar During the Time of Troubles. She would have undoubtedly been wholly subsumed had it not been for Sune, who granted Sharess freedom.

Sharess is worshiped predominantly in large urban areas such as Waterdeep, Calimport, and other cities along the Sword Coast. She is revered by male and female professional escorts who take pride in their professions, the decadent rich, and those who seek only endless pleasure in life.Sharess's faith is still very young and its ceremonies very loose and fluid, with long worship services that resemble nothing so much as extended feasts and revels, heavy on the pleasures of the flesh and light on the teachings of the spirit.

The few temples of Sharess are typically located in large cities along the Sword Coast, but small shrines to the goddess of pleasure may be found in almost every festhall in the Realms. Her temples are typically constructed to resemble elaborate festhalls, with graceful, fluting pillars, octagonal domes, great halls sculpted to resemble forest glades, secluded nooks, bathing areas in natural mineral springs, great banquet halls, and richly scented massage parlors. Most are guarded by staunch fighters and even exotic sentient monsters who are sworn to protect all revelers who partake in the name of Sharess.

The center of Sharess's faith is the Festhall of Eternal Delight located along Calimport's waterfront. An earlier temple on this spot was destroyed, and the new temple is even more extravagant than the last. Dark marble columns, jutting spires, crystalline statues in enticing poses and vast, landscaped atriums decorate this sprawling complex. The temple baths are legendary for their recuperative powers and skilled masseuses, and the temple flowers are carefully selected for the reputed aphrodisiacal properties of their scents in some rooms and their calming or soothing properties in others.

Orders

Sharess is served by no military or knightly orders. Most professional escorts in major cities join formal or informal guilds led by her clergy.

Priests

Many priests and priestesses of Sharess run pleasure houses in large cities or directly serve decadent rulers. These pleasure houses cater to all the senses and include fantastic feasts, heavenly baths and massages, unique experiences, such as flight, and every other pleasure imaginable. Wealthy festhalls often employ one or two mid-level Sharessin, and some Sharessin wander the countryside, with Sharess's blessing, seeking new pleasing sensations to add to their repertoire. Clerics of Sharess pray for their spells at dusk, when the lure of the night first beckons.

Priestly Vestments

All priests of Sharess wear their hair long and style it to show off their faces and bodies to their best advantage. The priestly raiment of Sharess's clergy varies widely according to the priest's gender, the local climate, current fashions, and the priest's taste. Male clergy typically prefer tight-fitting breeches that are tailored to their charms and blousy open shirts. They often wear decorative belts and vests. Sharess's holy symbol is the image of feminine lips carved from dark amber or ruby and worn on a golden chain on the wrist or ankle.

The few priests and priestesses of Bast who remain in Mulhorand favor tight-fitting kalasiris (tight-fitting white linen knee-length skirts) and ornate pectoral collars draped suggestively over the chest or breasts. The holy symbol of Bast is a cat's head wearing golden hoop earrings.

When adventuring, the clergy of Sharess endeavor to preserve the gifts of the goddess as best as they can and hence typically wear the best armor they can afford. There is no point to living life without pleasure, however, so they always decorate such armor as provocatively as possible.

Ritual

The church of Sharess is known to celebrate more festivals then any other faith in Faerun. They are known collectively as the Endless Revel of Life. The daily rising and setting of the sun, the yearly passage of seasons, the appearance of a full moon, or nearly any other event is cause for a celebration and wild revel to which the general populace is always invited. Each such festival has several outlandish titles and new festivals are added all the time as old ones are forgotten. Without comparison, however, Midsummer's Eve is the time of greatest rejoicing among Sharess's faithful and an occasion for the most extreme pursuits of boundless pleasure.

Despite having once fallen into the darker sides of pleasure, under the watchful eyes of the Dark Goddess, Sharess has restored her ties of friendship with Anhur, Hanali Celanil, Liira, Milil, Nobanion, Selune, and Sune. She now works to oppose the evil of Set, Shar, and Loviatar.

  • deities/sharess.txt
  • Last modified: 2018/01/13 06:47
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