Order of the Black Hand Organization in Abios | World Anvil

Order of the Black Hand

The black-haired man's skin was pale where he wasn't bruised. His armor-clad attendants half-dragged him in front of the Imperceptor. Surrounding the man's chair were a dozen headless corpses, all of which the beaten man recognizes as the bodies of his friends.

"Koryn Bersk, you have been found guilty of worshiping Cyric in defiance of the will of Bane. What do you have to say in your defense?"

Koryn was silent. His jaw was broken.

"Very well. Your punishment is about to be enacted." The Imperceptor loomed in front of him, an apparition of mail and black cloth. The man's gauntleted finger stabbed at his chest, trailing green flames. Koryn whimpered as the flames seared the word HERETIC across his chest. The Imperceptor stood back, and at his nod the guards released the prisoner, who collapsed in a low kneel. A moment later, the man's head was severed and his body fell next to those of his former companions.

"Bring in the next one," ordered the cleric of Bane.
Aided by The Zhentarim and dark magic, the Banites are a threat to the safety of all Abios. Because he has always been more appealing than Cyric, Bane is drawing lost worshipers back to the fold and gaining converts from the disillusioned members of other evil faiths.

The Organization

The church of Bane is well organized, well equipped, and populated by people who understand the need for order and enjoy hurting those weaker than they. This combination of qualities makes the church of Bane a more credible threat than the Church of Cyric, despite the Dark Sun's greater numbers and his worshipers' willingness to sacrifice themselves in a frenzy of killing.
As both a lawful entity and the deity of tyrrany, Bane expects a well-defined structure for his church and compliance in all given orders. The head of the church is Brinak Ervor, who has absolute authority over all other members of the church. Headquartered at the Lyceum of the Black Hand in Bhaevor, the church is organized like a military unit, with each temple having a clear chain of command and the temple leaders (called Imperceptors) reporting to a senior cleric of a region, who reports to Brinak or one of his direct underlings.
Motivation and Goals
The church's goals are simple—convert all to the worship of Bane, and destroy those who do not convert. It is presumed that some exceptions would be made for servants of allied deities (if any). In the meantime, people should be made to fear Bane so that they invoke his name in fear and to ward him off, which gives him some small power.
The church of Bane uses force and persuasion to control territory, whether by marching armies against reticent towns or by bribing bored nobles with slaves, riches, and offers of power. With its close ties to the Zhentarim, the church has been able to focus on the subtler methods of conversion, leaving the more direct methods to the Black Network.
Given that it wishes to convert everyone to worshiping Bane, the church is very open to new recruits. Anyone can swear loyalty to Bane and join the church. However, the church expects loyalty and is not stupid, so it performs alignment checks on new recruits (with detect evil and good) to see if they are fakers or potential saboteurs. Even those with alignment differences are given the opportunity to convert (often with atonement), for Bane recognizes the value of those who have seen the lure of good and turned away from it to serve evil.


The greatest ally of the Banites is the Zhentarim, and all followers of Bane are taught how to recognize Zhentarim safe-markings and the proper countersigns to give to an agent of the Black Network.


Because it wishes to subvert and destroy all other faiths, the church of Bane is opposed by nearly every other church in Abios (some of the weaker deities hope that by serving him, they may survive). The rivalries with the churches of Helm, Ilmater, Lathander, Mystra, Torm, and Tyr are particularly strong, and the Banite clerics take great pains to kill clerics of these faiths in gruesome ways, leaving them to be discovered by unsuspecting innocents.
Cyric is Bane's greatest divine foe, and Banites enjoy branding Cyricist corpses and altars with the word "heretic" as a warning to other followers of the Dark Sun.


In combat situations, the faithful of Bane are trained to follow orders from the clerics. In turn, the clerics are expected to react intelligently in combat, give precise orders, and have those orders carried out. Clerics of Bane try to maximize the use of flanking, cover, and the strengths of their troops, using their spells to increase their own abilities or directly attack their enemies. Banite clerics tend to rely upon wands and potions to heal their allies, since they dislike preparing cure spells in favor of attack magic. Rarely do they use defensive spells, seeing this as a weak-willed usage of Bane's gifts. Defensive magic items, however, are acceptable and common.
Religious, Organised Religion
Alternative Names
Church of Bane
The Clerics of the Black Hand, also known as Banites, are feared and recognized by the black-enameled gauntlet worn on one fist.


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