Talona

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Human goddess of disease and poison.

Score 292

03/17/24

Talona (Tah-LOW-nah), one of the Dark Gods, is often depicted as a withered old crone with a scarred, tattooed face in religious texts. Where she walks, misfortune and death follow. She is an odd deity. Sages have described her as having the personality of a petulant, greedy child trapped in the body of a once-beautiful woman now scarred by horrific disease and ravaged by age: She is  alternately desirous of attention at any cost like a small child and aloof like a wounded paramour who has been discarded by her love.

Talona's power slowly wanes after each great plague in Faerun. When she feels vulnerable in her position, she unleashes another wave of misery and disease-brought death and receives a torrent of prayers entreating her to spare the inhabitants of Faerun from her withering touch. Her power then waxes again in an endless cycle of indifference, devastation, and appeasement. In particular, Talona's power was ascendant during the destruction of Asram (after the erection of the Standing Stone), in the Year of the Clinging Death (75 DR), during the Rotting War (902 DR), in the Year of the Scourge (1150 DR), in the Year of the Empty Goblet and the Year of Beckoning Death (1252-1253 DR), and during the Great Plague of the Inner Sea (1317-1323 DR).

Some old texts of Talona refer to her as Kiputytto, but this is actually the name of a rival demipower who challenged Talona's portfolio and lost. The battle between the two goddesses destroyed the Netherese survivor state of Asram in its wake. When Kiputytto attacked Talona, Talona plagued the ill-fated Asram in order to obtain the devotional power generated from the worship of its citizens, who hoped to appease Talona and lessen the effects of the disease. Kiputytto responded in kind in the same location, provoking a devastating series of increasingly virulent plagues (perhaps even magical in nature) that overloaded the curative resources of Asram's various priesthoods and wiped out the entire population in less than a month. Even most of those who escaped the scourged area died soon after of disease. Shortly afterward, Talona won this devastating deific contest and murdered Kiputytto.

Representations of Talona's symbol dated to before her battle with Kiputytto show it depicted as a flesh-colored equilateral triangle with point upward containing three teardrops arranged in a triangle with the uppermost black, the lower left purple, and the lower right green. Why the coloration was changed after her triumph over Kiputytto is one of the inner mysteries of the church not ever revealed to outsiders.

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