The Cult of the Crystal Spider
Also known as the Mistress of the Night, Shar is the goddess of darkness, presiding over caverns, dungeons, forgetfulness, loss, night, and, most importantly, secrets. Share views secrets as the ultimate power, and tasks some of her followers with collecting them.
Shar is the twin sister of Selûne, the goddess of the moon and light.
The Church of Shar
The intent of the Church of Shar is to spread the faith of Shar. This is achieved by undermining and corrupting individuals, governments, and even other religions. This enables the subject to be more likely to accept the views and dogma of Shar. Because the most valuable commodity to the clergy of Shar is the secret, information is closely guarded and is only revealed when it is essential to be known. The clergy of Shar will expect that a secret is traded for another similarly prized secret.
By revealing secrets, Sharran clergy will attempt to incite bitterness and jealously within individuals, such as telling a woman that her husband is having an affair. These emotions are strongly embraced by Shar and highly increase the likeliness of a successful conversion.
The Nightbringers are an order of the Church of Shar, dedicated to spreading the dogma and carrying out the wishes of the deity Shar. The Nightbringers are a group of particularly debased followers. While they were once a separate entity they have since been absorbed into the Chruch as specialty priests.
The Nightbringers serve Shar in a variety of capacities such as helping her hide knowledge, search for her enemies, and using the Shadow Weave to increase her power. Most Nightbringers possess great charisma and intelligence, a powerful combination to manipulate ignorant nobles and commoners alike to bring about events pleasing to Shar’s vision of the end of all existence
Orders of the Church of Shar
In addition to the Nightbringers, the following orders exist as part of the Church of Shar:
Dark Justiciars: The Dark Justiciars are an honorary order or secret society within the priesthood of Shar. It is rumored that in order to gain admittance to the order of the Dark Justiciars, a priest of Shar has to have killed a priest of Selûne.
Order of the Dark Moon: Shar’s secretive monastic order is referred to as the Order of the Dark Moon.The Dark Moon act openly in lands friendly to the worship of Shar. It also has secret sects in places where the faith of Shar is outlawed. The secret sects usually work in rural settings or in hidden underground enclaves. The monks seek knowledge and wisdom from the shadows, in the belief that true understanding is within darkness and loss. They tap into the Shadow Weave through their powers of sorcery.
Beguilers of Shar: An order tasked with keeping the existence of the Shadow Weave secret. When Shar publicly revealed the Shadow Weave’s existence, the order was dissolved and its members were ejected from the church.
Darkcloaks: Unusual among other orders in the Church, Darkcloaks were actually a compassionate group of oracles and care-givers who tended to those troubled souls who were emotionally damaged, often bringing the bliss of forgetfulness to soothe their pain. Their work did much to present the church in a positive light to the populace, though too often the reaction was still negative. This order included some of the few non-evil, non-neutral clerics in the Church. It is widely believed that the Darkcloaks have been eradicated .