Forgotten Realms Deity
Title(s) The Black Lord,
the Black Hand,
the Lord of Darkness
Homeplane Acheron,
Black Bastion,
Barrens of Doom and Despair
Power Level Greater
Alignment Lawful Evil
Portfolio Hatred, tyranny, fear
Domains Evil, Destruction, Hatred, Law, Tyranny

Bane (also known as the Black Hand and the Black Lord), is the god of hatred, fear, and tyranny and one of the main evil gods in the fictional Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting, Forgotten Realms. Ed Greenwood created Bane for his home Dungeons & Dragons game, loosely inspired by the Babylonian deity Druaga.

Bane is a Lawful Evil Greater Power whose symbol is green rays squeezed forth from a black fist, and whose divine realm is the Black Bastion in the Barrens of Doom and Despair. His Third Edition D&D domains are Evil, Destruction, Hatred, Law, and Tyranny.



In the indefinite past*, Bane was a member of the Dead Three, a triad of mortals sworn to achieve godhood.[1] Bane, Bhaal, and Myrkul forged an unholy pact, agreeing that they would work together to seek ultimate power, or die in the attempt. Over the length and breadth of the Realms they strode, seeking powerful magic and spells and defying death at every turn. No matter what monster they confronted or what spells they braved, the three mortals emerged unscathed at every turn. Eventually the trio destroyed one of the Seven Lost Gods, Borem, of the Lake of Boiling Mud, and they each seized a portion of Borem's divine essence for themselves. The trio then journeyed into the Gray Waste and sought out the Castle of Bone to confront Jergal. The three approached the god Jergal and threatened him for the godly powers. Jergal, all powerful to the point that he had long ago wished to step down the throne, asked: "Who among you shall rule?", and the trio immediately fell to fighting amongst themselves. Jergal proposed that they solve this problem by bowling skulls of his liches. It turned out that Bane bowled the farthest, and was thus able to choose his domain. He said: As winner, I choose to rule for all eternity as the ultimate tyrant. I can induce hatred and strife at my whim, and all will bow down before me while in my kingdom., thus he claimed the portfolios of Tyranny, Hatred, and Strife, ascended as a greater deity.

*(source indicated that this occurred after the Fall of Netheril in -339 DR,[2] as Jergal was still listed as one of the ruling deities.)

Rise in powerEdit

In his first incarnation, Bane was a LE greater power in Acheron.[3] He was never seen, although there are tales of a freezing black-taloned hand and eyes of blazing fire. With the rise of Zhentarim network, Bane church began to gain in power at around 800 DR,[4] his influence spread to Voonlar, Mulmaster, Hillsfar, eventually covered the Realms. His largest temple was the Black Lord's Altar in Mulmaster, then temple complex in Zhentil Keep.

1350 DR, Bane, in an attempt to increase his own power, tries to draw a group of Moonsea cities into the nether regions.[5][6] The Heroes of Phlan, who vanquished Tyranthraxus a decade earlier, foil the plot and the cities are returned. The Warhammer of Tyr is stolen by Bane.

Time of TroubleEdit

During the Time of Troubles, however, when he was trapped in his vulnerable avatar form, Bane was slain by the demigod Torm outside of Tantras. For a time, it looked as if the world was rid of the Black Hand, as his portfolio was divided among the newly-ascendant god Cyric and Iyachtu Xvim, Bane's half-demonic son. Bane's priests either converted to one of the two new deities or were killed, and it seemed that all traces of the Dead Three were gone from the Faerûnian Pantheon.

Finder's BaneEdit

Bane's essence survived by possessing one of his high priests, thereby transforming the priest into a banelich. With the help of his remaining high priestess Walinda, Bane cheated Finder of half of Finder's Stone,[7] where Finder had stored a large portion of his godly power. With the stone in hand, Bane forced Finder and his priest Joel into cooperation, demanding they escort him to Sigil and fetch the Hand of Bane, an artifact necessary for Bane's resurrection. Since no gods can enter Sigil, Bane arranged it so that Walinda accompanied and helped Finder's party in the finding of the Hand.

Finder and the banelich confronted atop Bane's huge dead body in the Astral Plane, where all dead gods lie. Bane's plan failed however, since the banelich banned Walinda from casting the final resurrection ritual, striking her to the ground, thinking a "mere" female was not worthy of such an honor. Finder informed him that the ritual would work only by a mortal, not a banelich. Thus, Bane again gave Walinda the Hand of Bane and commanded her to cast the ritual. Walinda smashed the hand to the ground, shattering it, utterly destroying the banelich.


On Midwinter night, 1372 DR, all former priests of Bane received a vision of Iyachtu Xvim being consumed by a hellish fire, and of the Black Lord rising from the charred husk of his son.[8] Upon his return, Bane claimed the portfolio of fear and hatred, immediately became a greater power. Over the past few months, Bane has been reorganizing his forces and rebuilding his strength.

Bane's ServantsEdit

Bane prefers to keep to the shadows, allowing his servants to carry out his intricate plans. He has no tolerance for failure and seldom thinks twice about submitting even a loyal servant to rigorous tortures to ensure complete obedience to his demanding, regimented doctrine.


Bane is a ruthless, calculating, power-hungry deity ever obsessed with expanding his power. Since the deaths of Bhaal and Myrkul, his only true allies among the gods, he has forged alliances with the less powerful Malar, Loviatar, Mask, and Talona. Bane holds a special enmity toward Torm, Mystra, and Cyric. This last Bane sees as a loathsome usurper, and his entire following is mobilizing for a holy war against Cyric, the Black Sun.

External linksEdit


  1. History of the Dead Three: Knucklebones, Skull bowling, and the Empty Throne. Interplay. 1998.  , a reference book in the computer game Baldur's Gate
  2. slade with Jim Butler (1995). Netheril : Empire of Magic. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2. 
  3. Ed Greenwood, Jeff Grubb and Karen S. Martin (1987). Cyclopedia of the Realms. Wizard of the Coast. ISBN 0-88038-472-7. 
  4. Ed Greenwood (1993). Running the Realms. ASIN B000K06S2E. 
  5. John Terra (1995). The Moonsea Reference Guide. Wizard of the Coast. 
  6. James M. Ward et al. (1992). Pools of Darkness (Forgotten Realms Fantasy Adventure). Wizard of the Coast. ISBN 1-56076-318-3. 
  7. Jeff Grubb et al. (1997). Finder's Bane. Wizard of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-0658-8. 
  8. Ed Greenwood et al. (2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. Wizard of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5. 

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