Loviatar (Forgotten Realms)

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Loviatar
Game background
Title(s) The Maiden of Pain
The Willing Whip
Home plane 2E: Ondtland (Gehenna, Mungoth)
3E: Barrens of Doom and Despair
Power level Intermediate
Alignment Lawful Evil
Portfolio Pain, torture, Hurt, Agony, Torment, Suffering
Domains

Evil, Law, Retribution, Strength, Suffering

[1]
Design details

Loviatar (/ˈlviˈætɑr/ LOH-vee-A-tar)[2] is a fictional evil goddess of agony and pain in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting inspired by a Finnish deity of the same name, and a member of the Finnish pantheon within the larger D&D multiverse. She is a cold-hearted bully, calculating and despotic; she is the master of inflicting physical and psychological pain and torture. Bringing pain and suffering is the aim of all Loviatans, either through physical torture or sometimes more subtly and psychologically. Beauty, intelligence and acting are useful attributes of a Loviatan, but the ability to fully understand someone is the best skill a Loviatan can acquire, as knowing someone fully can help a Loviatan inflict maximum pain, one way or another.

Publication history[edit]

Ed Greenwood used Loviatar as a deity in his home Dungeons & Dragons game, taken directly from the Deities & Demigods Cyclopedia,[3] which was loosely inspired by the deity of the same name from Finnish myth.[2] Within the D&D cosmology as a whole, Loviatar is explicitly the Loviatar of Finnish mythology,[citation needed] and while worshipped across a multitude of prime material worlds, she is considered an interloper deity within the Faerunian pantheon (especially in light of its revised 3rd edition cosmology).[citation needed]

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977-1988)[edit]

The version of Loviatar from the Forgotten Realms setting first appeared within Dungeons & Dragons as one of the deities featured in Ed Greenwood's article "Down-to-earth Divinity" in Dragon #54 (October 1981). Loviatar is introduced as the Maiden of Pain and Torture, goddess of pain, hurt, and patron of torturers, a lawful evil demigoddess from the plane of Gehenna. Loviatar is described as one of “The Dark Gods” of evil alignment: "Loviatar, Talona, and Malar serve Bane through Bhaal (although Loviatar and Talona are rivals)." Loviatar is commonly worshipped by lawful evil magic-users, assassins, monks, and clerics, and characters employed as torturers.[3]

Loviatar later officially appeared as one of the major deities for the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Set's "Cyclopedia of the Realms" booklet (1987),[2] where she is described as a pale maiden in white armour who wields a wand-shaped dagger of ice, and is stated to be the same Loviatar as the one in Finnish legend.

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989-1999)[edit]

Loviatar was described in the hardback Forgotten Realms Adventures (1990),[4] the revised Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (1993) in the "Running the Realms" booklet,[5] and Faiths & Avatars (1996).[6] Her clergy was further detailed in Warriors and Priests of the Realms (1996),[7] and Prayers from the Faithful (1997).[8]

Her role in the cosmology of the Planescape campaign setting was described in On Hallowed Ground (1996).[9]

Her relationships with the nonhuman deities in the Forgotten Realms was covered in Demihuman Deities (1998).[10]

Dungeons & Dragons 3.0 edition (2000-2002)[edit]

Loviatar appears as one of the major deities of the Forgotten Realms setting again, in Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (2001),[11] and is further detailed in Faiths and Pantheons (2002).[12]

Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition (2008-)[edit]

The 4th Edition Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide provides the basic rules for Loviatar, however she is not detailed in depth.

Description[edit]

In the Forgotten Realms, Loviatar is commonly known by the name Maiden of Pain, and her portfolio includes pain, hurt and torture. Her symbol is a nine-stranded whip, with barbed strands.

Relationships[edit]

Her portfolio conflicts most with that of Ilmater, because Loviatar despises those who help others. Her followers are encouraged to wipe out his followers from the face of the Kingdoms. Loviatar, once a follower of Bhaal, is affiliated with Malar and Talona and has fallen under the sway of Shar.

Dogma[edit]

The world is filled with pain and torment, and the best that one can do is to suffer those blows that cannot be avoided and deal as much pain back to those who offend. Kindnesses are the best companions to hurts, and increase the intensity of suffering. Let mercy of sudden abstinence from causing pain and of providing unlooked-for healing come over you seldom, but at whim, so as to make folk hope and increase the Mystery of Loviatar's Mercy. Unswerving cruelty will turn all folk against you. Act alluring, and give pain and torment to those who enjoy it as well as to those who deserve it most or would be most hurt by it. The lash, fire, and cold are the three pains that never fail the devout. Spread Loviatar's teachings whenever punishment is meted out. Pain tests all, but gives strength of spirit and true pleasure to the hardy and the true. There is no true punishment if the punisher knows no discipline. Wherever a whip is, there is Loviatar. Fear her—and yet long for her.

Worshippers[edit]

Clergy[edit]

Loviatans often engage in self-flagellation, often in the morning when praying for spells. They celebrate each season with the Rite of Pain and Purity, a ritual that involves followers dancing on glass, thorns or barbed-wire while being whipped by higher-level Loviatans. A smaller ritual occurring every twelve days involves followers passing their bodies through the flames of candles.

Despite being considered an evil deity, Loviatar has many open churches, and groups of good followers and clergy who set out to merit pain and suffering to those whom they deem deserve it, mainly followers and worshippers of other evil deities opposed to Loviatar[6]

Orders[edit]

  • Disciples of the White Rod

Monks of the faith of Loviatar all belong to the Disciples of the White Rod, named in honor of the token granted to their founder by Loviatar and held in the home abbey near Calimport as a relic.

  • Pain

Pain is the simple name given to a high level Loviatan Cleric.

Literature[edit]

  • Maiden of Pain (2005), by Kameron M Franklin is the third book in the Forgotten Realms series, The Priests. It is about the worshippers of Loviatar.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Boyd, Eric L, and Erik Mona. Faiths and Pantheons (Wizards of the Coast, 2002).
  2. ^ a b c Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Karen S. Martin. Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (TSR 1987).
  3. ^ a b Ed Greenwood, Dragon magazine #54 - "Down-to-earth divinity" (October 1981), p. 52
  4. ^ Grubb, Jeff and Ed Greenwood. Forgotten Realms Adventures (TSR, 1990)
  5. ^ Ed Greenwood (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. ASIN B000K06S2E. 
  6. ^ a b Martin, Julia, and Eric L Boyd. Faiths & Avatars (TSR, 1996)
  7. ^ Terra, John. Warriors and Priests of the Realms (TSR, 1996)
  8. ^ Greenwood, Ed and Stewart, Doug. Prayers from the Faithful (TSR, 1997)
  9. ^ McComb, Colin. On Hallowed Ground (TSR, 1996)
  10. ^ Boyd, Eric L. Demihuman Deities (TSR, 1998)
  11. ^ Ed Greenwood et al. (2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. Wizard of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5. 
  12. ^ Boyd, Eric L, and Erik Mona. Faiths and Pantheons (Wizards of the Coast, 2002)