The Dark Mother
Symbol: The Spotted Leopard
Home Plane: unknown
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Portfolio: Cats, vengeance, protection, punishment
Worshipers: mothers, defenders, fighters, barbarians, dark elves, gholien, orphans
Cleric Alignments: NG, CG, CN
Domains: Chaos, Destruction, Protection, Darkness, Strength
Favored Weapon: Tigers Claw
The Dark Mother is a cat-like diety whose portfolio includes protection (as a mother protects her children), punishment of wrong doers, and cats. She appears as a dark haired, paled skinned woman who is often accompanied by one or more large cats, though she can use her Shift Form ability to appear as a feline of any size. The Dark Mother is a wild deity. To those she favors she gives great blessings, but when she is angry her wrath knows no bounds.
Unlike most Gods, it is said that The Dark Mother walks among the mortal realms. It is said that she is unhappy when those she protects are distant from herself, and it is believed that it may be her connection to the humanoid races that has kept her from fading into non-existence like her brothers and sisters, the draconic Gods.
To speak of dogma in connection with the Dark Mother is almost contradictory. She is a chaotic, often whimsical deity who demands no rigid adherents to principles of faith. In general she promotes life and liberty, asserting the value of mortal life, things of beauty and freedom. The Dark Mother hates all evil, and her worshipers generally share that enmity.
It is said that when the Old Ones created the Gods, they did so in their own image. And likewise, the Gods created the dragons in their own image. If this is true, the origins of the Dark Mother remain a mystery. Many stories claim the Dark Mother to be a elder sister to Tiamut and Bahamut but where they spread their wings, she is cloven to the ground. It is true that like her icon the wild cat, she is said to like high places: cliffs, mountain tops, high ravines, but there is nothing about The Dark Mother that might ever be called Draconic.
The Dark Mother is not titled such for nothing, the stories say that throughout history she has traveled the mortal words over and over again, begetting mortal children and demi-godlings alike. She especially looks out for the downtrodden, and the stories say that she has been known to rescue a male infant for certain death, only to raise him to become her consort when he grows to marriageable age. Those that revere her love to be able to claim descent from her holy presence, and entire lines of breeding trace their lineage back to a chance encounter a follower was said to have with his God.
Clergy and Temples
The Dark Mother’s clergy consist almost entirely of Gholien, a race of seemingly feline shifters from the realm of Tai’Granal. They undergo great rights of initiation and protection, which leave magical tattoos which often look like leopard spotting up and down their bodies. The male clerics to The Dark Mother shave their heads entirely clean, and the woman often shave the sides of their head, leaving a high crest that remains uncut. Clerics of the Dark Mother are charged to remain constantly vigilant against the forces of evil, as a cat watches for vermin invading the home.
There are very few temples to the Dark Goddess, she is most often worshiped under open air on moon filled nights. The rituals often include the ingestion of a psychotropic liquid made from mushrooms which grow in the dark places, and orgies. Children born of these rituals are revered as being children of the Dark Mother herself, and it is unclear as to whether the children of legend attributed to her were in actuality her spawn or merely infants conceived in this manner.