|Forgotten Realms Deity|
|Title(s)||Lord of Murder|
|Homeplane||Barrens of Doom and Despair|
|Power Level||Intermediate deity (deceased)|
|Domains||Death, Destruction, Evil, Retribution|
One of the Dead Three, Bhaal was originally a mortal, who along with Bane and Myrkul took the portfolios of the ancient deity Jergal. Despite his most common title, Bhaal was the god of Murder, but he especially favoured violent or ritual deaths.
Patron of Assassins, Bhaal was feared throughout Faerûn - especially in the island realm of the Moonshaes. A wholly evil, debased, and sadistic god, Bhaal was served by the goddesses Talona and Loviatar.
He was a Lawful Evil Intermediate Power, and his symbol was a skull encircled by a counterclockwise orbit of drops of blood. His divine Realm was the Throne of Blood (in Third Edition D&D, part of the Barrens of Doom and Despair). The Lost Empires of Faerûn Forgotten Realms supplement gives his 3.5 edition D&D domains as Death, Destruction, Evil and Retribution (Dragon magazine issue #322 instead gives his domains as Death, Destruction, Evil, Hatred and Law).
Despite his power, during the Time of Troubles, when the gods were forced to walk Faerûn, Bhaal was slain by the upstart mortal Cyric using the avatar of Mask (a sword named "Godsbane"), who then stole Bhaal's divinity and portfolio elements.
However, much like Myrkul - who invested his divine essence in the artifact known as the Crown of Horns - Bhaal was not utterly removed from Faerûn. Part of his divinity remains in the Winding Water, around Boarskyr Bridge where he was slain, his blood having flowed into the river. More importantly, Bhaal foresaw his death and impregnated many mortal women - creating his heirs, the Bhaalspawn. The Bhaalspawn were involved in a series of conflicts along the Sword Coast, with one standing above the others. The tale of the Bhaalspawn is recounted in the Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate II computer games; in the novelizations of these games, the protagonist is named as Abdel Adrian.
Of all the dead deities of Abeir-Toril, Bhaal most likely has the most scattered cultists, the worst known as deathstalkers, attempting to bring him back to 'life'.
Bhaal features prominently in the following Forgotten Realms novels:
- Moonshae Trilogy series of novels, by Douglas Niles
- The Avatar Series novels
- Novelizations of the Baldur's Gate series of computer role-playing games
- Martin, Julia, and Eric L Boyd. Faiths & Avatars (TSR, 1996).