Greater Deity (Divine Rank 16)
Symbol: two intertwined triangles
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Portfolio: theft, darkness, languages
Worshippers: rogues, linguists
Cleric Alignments: NE, LE, TN
Domains: trickery, knowledge, evil, law
Favored Weapon: short sword
Animal Totems: praying mantises, bats
The followers of Samis believe that darkness is an ally, and
the Shadow Goddess is the greatest ally a man's soul can have in the darkness of
the afterlife. In the meantime, Samis helps those who help themselves --
to wealth. The accumulation of wealth is very important for followers of
Samis, often by any means necessary. Followers tend to believe that wealth
exists in many forms, and that only one adept in its many languages can find the
wealth hidden in plain sight. The church helps those that help themselves,
encouraging 'acquisitions' and offering its services for fees.
Samis is always portrayed as a very tall, lithe woman of ebon black skin with a hint of stars in it. Smooth and sculpted, as though made of liquid onyx, she appears faintly elven with the thin lips and nose characteristic of that race. Her ears are just pointed enough to indicate
elven heritage, but not pointed enough to be called truly elven. Her eyes are portrayed in ground diamond, as though the stars themselves were caught there. In paintings and in sculpture, she wears only a long tunic of woolen blue or light
lavender, reaching to her thighs.
During the Age of Survival that occurred after the initial
Prism Wars, a burglar in the ancient town of Ethlienne stole what he thought was the Relic of
Galanus stored in Karmen. Instead, he infused a blank Relic with purpose,
accidentally creating the goddess Samis. The burglar became her first Chosen, and slowly, through the underground and the thieves' guilds, Samis rose to power. She supported bandit kings and nomadic raiders, evil tyrants and river pirates, for millennia. During the Shaping Wars, her priests and followers sewed chaos, stealing artifacts from thieves and sometimes even returning artifacts from good kings and rulers.
In the Age of Peace that rose from the Shaping Wars, the Shadow Goddess' minions and priests went deeper underground, becoming a closely knit society of dark emperors and power hungry guilds. As the times changed, so did she, but throughout it all, her word was her bond. Throughout the Age of Peace, her followers amassed power in the form of guilds and merchants that dealt with assassinations, acquisitions, and less-than-moral endeavors. When the
Storm Wars erupted, Samis spurned Nathel's advances and promises of power, using her considerable resources to operate clandestine missions against the Dark God. Though evil, she and her church were honorable, and earned the favor of the
Karatikan Alliance. Staying in the shadows, she continues to amass power, being even more formidable in the aftermath of the
War of the Undead than ever before.
Samis' Relic was imbedded in an amulet, and hidden with an undetectable guise of illusion. Stolen and restolen thousands of times, its current whereabouts are unknown, and it could be anywhere.
The Church of Samis is organized in secrecy, operating out of the sight of the common people. Priests and clerics perform their services only inside the powerful guild houses, or in other hidden places. Their mission is to promote the accumulation of capital in any way possible. Because the word of a priest of Samis is his bond, and as good as law, the priests are experts in language, as well as accounting. They help thieves illegally gather wealth, and they help less daring thieves wisely invest their money in more legal pursuits. To the church, Samis appears as a powerful matron, with her whimsical appearance a misdirection.
Chosen of the Church of Samis is always a female, as are her disciples, though the priests and clerics may be of any gender. Because of the matriarchal position of the church, it is also a powerful proponent of women's
rights, and the first to fight for women's rights, when they are trampled upon.
In its ruthless secrecy, though, the Church of Samis has had to forego the use of mages since the
Inquisition. The aspect of hiding the mages would bring too many Seekers down upon the church. Several
monasteries, however, working outside of the guilds and even outside of the Disciples or the Chosen, have maintained the books and works of the forbidden magics. Their monks and the heads of their orders have even helped the rare mage escape the Inquisition -- though at the price of losing their magic, or being forever banished by the most powerful underground in
existence: the Church of Samis.
Any cleric of Samis that breaks his word can never again be granted the powers of the Shadow Goddess. Clerics of Samis receive a +2 divine bonus to Hide in Shadows, Move Silently, Appraisal, and Sleight of Hand checks. They also receive one free bonus language, both verbal and written components.