Contest of Wills
Mistress of the Night
Shar (pronounced SHAHR), the Mistress of the Night, was the goddess of darkness, and the caverns of Faerûn, as well as a neutral evil greater deity. Counterpart to her twin Selûne, she presided over caverns, darkness, dungeons, forgetfulness, loss, night, secrets, and the Underdark. Among her array of twisted powers was the ability to see everything that lay or happened in the dark. Shar’s symbol was a black disk with a deep purple border. Shar was also the creator of the Shadow Weave, which was a counterpart and to foil the Weave, controlled by Mystryl and her successors.
WorshipersMain article: Church of Shar
The clergy of Shar were a secretive organization that pursued subversive tactics rather than direct confrontation with its rivals. In addition to her clerics, Shar maintained an elite order of sorcerer monks who can tap Shar’s Shadow Weave. Among her worshipers were the Shadovar of Thultanthar, who fled into the shadow plane before Karsus’s Folly. Shar also held power over all who used the Shadow Weave.
- Dark Justiciars
The Dark Justiciars was an honorary order or secret society within the priesthood of Shar. It was rumored that in order to gain admittance to the order of the Dark Justiciars, a priest of Shar had to have killed a priest of Selûne.
- Order of the Dark Moon
Shar’s secretive monastic order was referred to as the Order of the Dark Moon. They tapped into the Shadow Weave through their powers of sorcery.
Nightcloaks, formerly known as Nightbringers were a group of particularly debased followers of Shar who, until the Time of Troubles were a separate entity, but since then have been absorbed into the Church as specialty priests.
- Beguilers of Shar
An order tasked with keeping the existence of the Shadow Weave secret. When Shar publicly revealed the Shadow Weaves existence, the order was dissolved and its members were ejected from the church.
Unusual among other orders in the Church, Darkcloaks are actually a compassionate group of oracles and care-givers who tend to those troubled souls who are emotionally damaged, often bringing the bliss of forgetfulness to soothe their pain. Their work has done much to present the church in a positive light to the populace, though too often the reaction is still negative. This order includes some of the few non-evil, non-neutral clerics in the Church.
The creation of the Shadow Weave made Shar the eternal enemy of the goddess of magic, Mystra. This resulted in the brewing of a terrible war between these two powerful deities. By her very nature, however, Shar was opposed to powers of light, the unsecretive Shaundakul, and her own sister. Her only frequent ally was Talona.
Those who believed in the Dark Moon heresy believed that Shar and Selûne were two faces of the same goddess.
Shar and her sister Selûne coalesced out of the material of realmspace after it was created by Ao. They were incredibly close at first, so much so that they believed themselves to be the same being. They worked together to create the heavens and the planets and then created Chauntea to embody the planets and infuse them with life. Selûne lit the worlds while Shar coated them in shadows. Chauntea though claimed that Selûne’s light was not enough for life to thrive like she wanted it to and begged the sisters for warmth. Shar and Selûne argued for the first time – Selûne wanting their realm to be filled with more life while Shar was happy with the state of things as they were. The two quarreled violently, creating Targus, Moander and Jergal in the aftermath. At an impasse, Selûne reached into the plane of fire and set the largest of the planets alight. Shar attacked again and tried to smother the flames but Selûne had torn off a part of her own body and hurled it against her sister. The raw magical power of Selûne’s body punched a hole through Shar’s and out of the two chunks of their bodies, Mystryl formed. Mystryl aligned herself with Selûne and, outmatched, Shar fled, vowing revenge against them both.
Shar brooded for aeons, striking against her sister whenever she saw the opportunity but unlike Selûne, Shar did not have allies. At least, not until she was courted by the shadevari – 13 chaotic lords of shadow who had witnessed the births of Shar and Selûne and much preferred Shar’s ideal of a realm of darkness. They helped her grow stronger but then Azuth sealed her allies away in another crystal sphere, foiling her plans.
For roughly the next seven centuries, Shar returned to brooding until Ao forced her avatar to Toril during the Time of Troubles. Shar’s power increased when she killed Ibrandul, though she lost the opportunity to also kill Sharess whom she had been slowly corrupting. Nevertheless in the wake of the Godswar, Shar was revitalized in a way she hadn’t been before and began actively subverting Selûne and the new goddess of magic Mystra.