Kiaransalee (KEE-uh-RAN-sa-lee) is the drow deity of both vengeance and the undead. She is called upon by those seeking retribution, the dark arts, or to prolong life. Although the Lady of the Dead has
historically demonstrated relatively little interest in the lands of Faerun or the Underdark beneath them, the recent rise to prominence of the Cult of the Goat's Head in Vaasa under the leadership of Zhengyi
the Witch-King renewed her interest in the Realms and fueled the emergence of the Vengeful Banshee's cult as a power in the north central Underdark. Kiaransalee's ascension as a dark goddess of evil predates even the banishment of Araushnee from the Seldarine, but the
Lady of the Dead has long been an unwilling vassal of the Queen of Spiders, capable of only small acts of rebellion (such as assisting the elven heroine Kethryllia in rescuing her beloved from Lolth's demesne).
Kiaransalee was once mortal, a powerful dark elven necromancer-queen on a world known as Threnody. The Revenancer was named drow and banished by her husband, the king of Threnody, for her unholy experiments on the once-living. Kiaransalee fled with a small group of followers who she then transformed into undead servitors to ensure their loyalty. The Lady of the Dead continued her unholy experiments in secret for centuries before raising an army of undead to exact her vengeance. In the wake of the Revenancer's army, Threnody was a dead world, and the architect of its destruction fled with her unthinking servants into the Abyss-where she eventually assumed a measure of divine power herself-to escape the wrath of the Seldarine.
Only in recent memory has Kiaransalee achieved a measure of independence from the Spider Queen, a result of a successful attack on a rival power long resident in the Abyss. Not too many years ago,
Kiaransalee wrested Thanatos, a cold plane of ice, thin air, and a black, moonlit sky known as the Belly of Death, from Orcus, the former Abyssal lord of the undead, in revenge for some long-forgotten slight.
Although she lacked the power to eliminate the very memory of Orcus from the minds of the multiverse after killing the Prince of the Undead, Kiaransalee magically erased the name of the late Abyssal lord
wherever and however it had been recorded. With her foe slain and his corpse adrift in the Astral Plane, the Lady of the Dead stew all the servants and proxies of Orcus (save one, whom she accepted into her own
service) and hid the legendary Wand of Orcus where none could ever find it-or so she thought. Recent events suggest that Orcus returned, at least for a time, as an undead god who called himself Tenebrous.
It has since been confirmed that Orcus has returned, as an undead demon lord, but details are vague on where this has left the relationship bewteen Kiaransalee and Orcus. What is known is that Orcus has made his seat of power in the former capital of Thanatos, so draw your own conclusions (see the Book of Vile Darkness for more details on Orcus).
The Lady of the Dead has long chafed under Lolth's suzerainty, and only the Spider Queen's overwhelming strength has kept Kiaransalee's long-planned vengeance in check. Consumed as she was with the unknown fate of Tenebrous, Kiaransalee had little interest in interacting with other powers. Nevertheless, her activities on Faerun have earned the Lady of the Dead the enmity of Dumathoin, Kelemvor, and Jergal and the
possibility of an alliance with both Hoar and Velsharoon.
In even more recent memory, during Lolth's silence in the year 1372, Kiaransalee made a successful play to gain even more worshipers, and more divine power. This influx moved her divine status from that of a mere Demigod to the next step up on the heirarchy, a Lesser Deity. What lies in store for the future, especially now that Lolth is back and her own deific status has increased, is a big unknown. (Especially considering the fact that WotC offered nothing but tidbits and hints in the wake of the War of the Spider Queen series.)
The Lady of the Dead is cruel, twisted, and consumed by thoughts of vengeance. Kiaransalee descended into madness long ago, but she retains her twisted cunning and clear recollection of every slight or insult done to her-real or imagined. The Revenancer is powerfully chaotic and swift to anger, and she schemes dark revenges against all who have wronged her. Kiaransalee prefers the mindless company of the undead, whom she can manipulate at will, to sentient beings capable of independent thought. She prefers to solve problems herself rather than trust someone else to do justice to her vision.
(Lady of the Dead, the Revenancer, the Vengeful Banshee)
DIVINE RANK: Lesser Deity (6)
ALIGNMENT: Chaotic Evil
PORTFOLIO: Undead, vengeance
DOMAIN NAME: Demonweb Pits
ALLIES: Hoar, Myrkul (dead), Velsharoon, Lolth, Malar, Selvetarm, Vhaeraun, Blibdoolpoolp, the Blood Queen, Diinkarazan, Diirinka, Great Mother, Gzemnid, Ilsensine, Ilxendren, Laogzed, Maanzecorian (dead), Psilofyr
FOES: Deep Duerra, Dumathoin, Eilistraee, Kelemvor, Laduguer, Jergal, Lolth, Orcus/Tenebrous (undead), the Seldarine
SYMBOL: Female drow hand wearing silver rings WOR. ALIGN.: LE, NE, CE
CLERIC ALIGNMENTS: CE, CN, NE
DOMAINS: Chaos, Drow, Evil, Retribution, Undeath
FAVORED WEAPON: "Cold Heart" (dagger)
Death comes to all, and cruel vengeance will be exacted on those who waste their lives on the petty concerns of this existence. True power comes only from the unquestioning servitude of the once-dead, mastery over death, and the eventual earned stature of one of the ever-living in death. Hunt, slay, and animate those who scorn the Revenancer's power, and answer any slight a thousandfold so that all may know the coming power of Kiaransalee.
Kiaransalee rarely manifests in the Realms, preferring to husband her personal power and work indirectly through the actions of her servants. When she does manifest, however, the Lady of the Dead uses one of three forms. Kiaransalee's favorite form is to cause a skull to rise up several feet above the ground and rapidly whirl about for several seconds. When the skull stops rotating, it bears the visage of a comely female dark elf. The goddess then addresses those present (typically communicating a cryptic bit of information), threatens vengeance for some insult or slight, or simply utters a maniacal laugh. The skull then vanishes, or if Kiaransalee wishes, utters a wail of the banshee (as the 9th-level wizard spell) and then disappears.
Kiaransalee sometimes manifests as a dry, chuckling laughter tinged with madness coupled with the distinct sensation that someone has stepped on the grave of every creature hearing her mad chortle. This effect reduces the Wisdom and Constitution ability scores of everyone present by ld4 points for the next 24 hours and duplicates the effects of a fear spell. Since there is no obvious threat present, however, those who hear the goddess's laughter flee in a random direction, as adjudicated by the DM.
The Revenancer's most terrifying manifestation always comes without warning. This manifestation only occurs while the target is standing on soil at least 6 feet deep (in other words, ground that could conceivably be dug up to serve as a grave). A pair of giant skeletal hands burst forth from the ground and drag the unfortunate victim into the earth in the blink of an eye. The victim is dragged 6 feet under the ground and held as if by a sink incantation (identical to the 8th-level wizard spell). If Kiaransalee is feeling generous, the effect ends after 4 turns, and the subject is forcibly expelled from the ground. If the victim has slighted or insulted the Vengeful Banshee, however, the victim remains imprisoned until rescued by his or her comrades (assuming they have the means and opportunity to do so). In either case, after being freed the victim has a -4 penalty to all saving throws vs. death magic for the next year.
Kiaransalee commonly acts through the appearance or presence of apparitions, banshees, coffer corpses, crawling claws, crimson deaths, ghasts, ghosts, ghouls, haunts, heucuva, kiaranshee, larvae, lhiannanshee, liches of all sorts (including fallen baelnorns), maurezhi, nightmares, penangglans, phantoms, quasits, revenants, shadow fiends, shadows, shee, sheet ghouls, sheet phantoms, simpathetics, skeletons, skuz, slow shadows, spectres, wights, wraiths, vampires of all sorts, vargouilles, yeth hounds, and zombies, as well as even rarer forms of undead. The Lady of the Dead shows her favor through the discovery of chalcedony, chrysoberyl, chrysocolla, epidote, irtios, ivory, king's tears, meerschaum, moonbars, samarskite, silkstone, tomb jade and her displeasure through the discovery of skulls that split cleanly into two pieces and bones that collapse into dust when touched.
Kiaransalee and her followers are little known in the Realms, even among the drow themselves. Even those dark elves who learn of her existence usually assume she is simply some sort of lich with delusions of godhood. On the surface of the Realms, Kiaransalee is almost wholly unknown, aside from a few reclusive sages. In Vaasa, rumors of Zhengyi's harem of undead drow mistresses haunting the Black Holes of Sunderland are beginning to spread in Darmshall and have drawn the attention of one or more members of the Spysong network.
Kiaransalee's clergy are known (or were, at least, before Orcus' return) collectively as the Crones of Thanatos.
Novices of the Revenancer are known as the Commanded. All other members of the clergy are known as Nighthags. Titles used by Kiaransaleen priests vary widely across temple hierarchies, but those used at the Acropolis of Thanatos include Bones of the Dead, Flesh of the Zombie, Terror Touch of the Ghoul, Chill Touch of the Shadow, Raking Claws of the Wight, Life Leech of the Wraith, Rot of the Mummy, and Spirit Harvest of the Spectre. High-ranking priests of the Lady of the Dead have unique individual titles. Specialty priests are known as yathrinshee. As one might expect, many of Kiaransalee's faithful are transformed into undead servitors either by their own hands, by the hands of other priests, or-in very rare cases-by the hand of the goddess herself. High-ranking priests may become banshees, liches, vampires, or-if truly favored-kiaranshee. (Kiaranshee are banshees who retain their spellcasting powers, whether they were necromancers or priests.) The clergy of Kiaransalee includes only living and undead female dark elves.
Kiaransalee is worshiped in solitary secrecy in cities dedicated to Lolth in simple shrines hidden away from prying eyes. Such shrines are simply black marble sarcophagi adorned with carved depictions of the dead rising up to take their revenge on the living. To venerate the Lady of the Dead, a priest of Kiaransalee simply lies within her personal sarcophagus while holding her holy symbol clasped in two hands across her breast. According to legend, if a living priest of the Revenancer is disturbed while so engaged, Kiaransalee grants her the powers of a vampire for the next 24 hours. While the only true temple of the Lady of the Dead found in the Realms is the Acropolis of Thanatos (described below), smaller chapels exist in the wilds of the Underdark across the length and breadth of Faerun. Such chapels are typically small caves in which the skulls and bones of countless long-dead creatures have been partially absorbed by the walls, roof, or floor of the cavern. Kiaransalee is said to guide small bands of worshipers to such sites far from the prying eyes of the Spider Queen's priests where they can worship in secret and plot their vengeance on their spider-loving kin.
Kiaransalee's priests are rare, secretive, and usually found in small drow communities or special enclaves. They are agents of vengeance, plotting revenge on those who have slain, harmed, or insulted the priesthood in any way. They also regularly go out on missions to kill others to acquire corpses for animation or to steal the corpses of the recently buried. They take a prominent role in persecuting slaves of the drow.
Holy Days/Important Ceremonies:
While each priest performs a handful of minor devotions to Kiaransalee every month, the Crones of Thanatos venerate the Lady of the Dead on a single annual holy day-the Graverending-celebrated each Midwinter Eve. The Graverending is celebrated individually, with each priest animating as many undead creatures as she can. All such undead-known as the Vengeance Hunters-are consumed with thoughts of revenge against their killers and unerringly seek them out over the next 24 hours. If destroyed, a Vengeance Hunter does not rise again. Vengeance Hunters return to their graves, if possible, once 24 hours have passed since their animation or once they have exacted their revenge.
Major Centers of Worship:
Deep beneath the Galena Mountains and the cold plains of Vaasa is a great subterranean lake fed by the icy waters of the Great Glacier and inhabited by hundreds of giant water spiders. The Vault of Gnashing Teeth is so-named for the thousands of skulls embedded in the roof whose collective cacophonous chomping echoes throughout the great cavern. At the center of the freshwater sea is a large island, nearly a mile in diameter, dominated by a steep-sided plateau at its center. All that remains of V'elddrinnsshar-once a drow city dedicated to the Spider Queen that encircled the central mesa-are crumbling ruins, stalked by a legion of banshees awakened by Kiaransalee's faithful, and the bones of the city's former inhabitants (drow and slaves of various races).
V'elddrinnsshar fell in the Year of Many Bones (1278 DR) to the ravages of the Ascomoid Plague and was plundered by duergar scavengers a decade later. The city sat unoccupied until the Year of the Wandering Maiden (1337 DR), when it was explored by Reaper of Souls Larynda Telenna and a small band of acolytes. At their goddess's direction, the priests began construction of a brooding temple of black marble atop the central plateau, a massive stalagmite whose tip had been sheered off centuries before by the followers of Lolth for a similar purpose. When the Acropolis of Thanatos was completed a decade later, Larynda had expanded the ranks of Kiaransalee's faithful a thousandfold, and the skulls of V'elddrinnsshar's dead had been enchanted and mounted in the cavern's roof to form an unholy choir. Since the temple's completion, the priests of Kiaransalee have relentlessly combated the Cult of the Goat's Head, active in the lands of Vaasa above. In the decade since the defeat of the Witch-King and the destruction of Castle Perilous, Kiaransalee's priests have nearly exterminated the remaining clergy of Orcus in the Bloodstone Lands-many of whom took refuge in the Black Holes of Sunderland and thus were readily accessible to attacks from below-and destroyed most of the goblinkin tribes who venerated the Prince of the Undead while the Witch-King reigned in the Lands of Light. Although they do not realize it, King Gareth Dragonsbane and the people of Damara owe a great deal of their success against the forces of the Witch-King to their subterranean neighbors.
The Legion of Vengeful Banshees is an order of Kiaransaleen crusaders dedicated to the destruction of Tenebrous's undead tanar'ri servants, known as visages. While Banshee Knights are found on many worlds, in the Realms all are based in the Acropolis of Thanatos deep beneath the Galenas. From their chapter house within the temple grounds, the members of the order mount long-ranging hunts on the surface and in the Underdark for Tenebrous's minions. The Banshee Knights have apparently developed some sort or spell or magical item that allows them to detect and defend against the use of a visage's lucidity control power. Crusaders of the order are fanatically dedicated to their goddess and the destruction of all visages; they stop at nothing to see one destroyed, regardless of the collateral damage.
The church of Kiaransalee favors loose black robes with hooded cowls stitched with bone and ivory. The clergy wear gray skullcaps on their shaven heads and thin silver rings on every finger save the thumb. They spread a grayish paste made of the ashes of incinerated corpses over all uncovered skin, such as the face, hands, and feet. The holy symbol of the faith is the silver rings worn on as noted above.
Priests of Kiaransalee are forbidden to wear any sort of armor, preferring to trust their own magical defenses and the combat skills of their undead bodyguards. Many priests substitute a silver ring of protection for one of their ceremonial rings to supplement their defenses. Members of the Revenancer's clergy are trained in a wide variety of weapons, but most favor slim poisoned blades, garrotes, and maces so as to minimize the damage to bodies that could later be animated.
Necromancer 20/Cleric 20
Divine Rank: 6
Hit Dice: 20d12 (Nec) plus 20d12 (Clr) (480 hp)
Speed: 60 ft.
AC: 51 (+9 Dex, +6 divine, +19 natural, +7 deflection), touch 32, flat-footed 42
Attacks: +5 dagger of venom +38/+33 melee, or paralyzing touch +33 melee touch, or spell +33 melee touch, or spell +35 ranged touch
Damage: +5 dagger of venom 1d4+12/1920, fear aura (Will DC 37), paralyzing touch 1d8+5 (Will DC 37 half) plus paralysis, by spell
Face/Reach: 5 ft. by 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Domain powers, paralyzing touch (Fort DC 37), rebuke undead 18/day, salient divine abilities, spell-like abilities
Special Qualities: Drow traits, DR 41/+4, familiar (spiders), fire resistance 26, godly realm (1 mile outer plane, 600 ft. Material Plane), divine aura (600 ft., DC 23), divine immunities, plane shift at will, remote communication 6 miles, spontaneous casting of divine spells , SR 51, teleport without error at will, turn resistance +4, undead traits, understand, speak, and read all languages and speak directly to all beings within 6 miles
Saves: Fort +22, Ref +33, Will +37
Abilities: Str 24, Dex 28, Con , Int 41, Wis 28, Cha 25
Skills: Alchemy +33, Bluff +29, Concentration +49, Craft (jewelrymaking) +41, Diplomacy +15, Hide +28, Innuendo +33, Intimidate +23, Knowledge (arcana) +64, Knowledge (history) +32, Knowledge (planes) +32, Knowledge (religion) +41, Knowledge (undead) +61, Listen +27, Move Silently +23, Scry +64, Search +35, Sense Motive +23, Spellcraft +64, Spot +27
Feats: Combat Casting, Empower Spell, Enlarge Spell, Extend Spell, Extra Turning (x2), Forge Ring, Greater Spell Focus (Necromancy), Greater Spell Penetration, Heighten Spell, Lightning Reflexes, Maximize Spell, Quicken Spell, Scribe Scroll, Silent Spell, Spell Focus (Evocation), Spell Focus (Illusion), Spell Focus (Necromancy), Spell Mastery (animate dead, circle of death, control undead, enervation, fear, finger of death, horrid wilting, power word kill, soul bind, wail of the banshee), Spell Penetration, Still Spell
Drow Traits: Kiaransalee gains a +2 racial bonus on Will saves against enchantment spells or effects. She has darkvision (120-foot range), and she is entitled to a Search check when within 5 feet of a secret or concealed door as though actively looking for it. She gains a +2 bonus on Will saves against spells or spell-like abilities. As a drow, Kiaransalee has light blindness (blinded for 1 round by abrupt exposure to bright light, 1 penalty on all attack rolls, saves, and checks while operating in bright light).
Divine Immunities: Kiaransalee is immune to ability damage, ability drain, acid, banishment, cold, death effects, disease, disintegration, electricity, energy drain, fire, imprisonment, mind-influencing effects, paralysis, poison, sleep, stunning, and transmutation. As an undead, she is also immune to necromantic effects and any effect requiring a Fortitude save unless it also works on objects.
Salient Divine Abilities: Alter Form, Alter Size, Arcane Mastery, Control Creatures (undead, 6 creatures at once and per day, Will DC 23), Divine Spellcasting, Extra Domain (Drow), Extra Domain (Retribution), Hand of Death (Fort save DC 33).
Domain Powers: Cast chaos spells at +1 caster level; Extra Turning and Lightning Reflexes as bonus feats; cast evil spells at +1 caster level; 1/day may strike for maximum damage against an opponent that harmed her in combat.
Spell-Like Abilities: Kiaransalee uses these abilities as a 16th level
caster, except for chaos spells and evil spells, which she uses
as a 17th-level caster. The save DCs are 23 + spell level.
Animate dead, animate objects, banishment, blasphemy, chaos hammer, circle of doom, clairaudience/clairvoyance, cloak of chaos, cloak of dark power, control undead, create greater undead, create undead, death ward, desecrate, detect undead, discern lies, discern location, dispel good, dispel law, endurance, energy drain, fire shield, gate, greater dispelling, greater planar ally, magic circle against good, magic circle against law, mark of justice, protection from good, protection from law, shatter, shield of faith, speak with dead, spell turning, spiderform, storm of vengeance, suggestion, summon monster IX (as chaos or evil spell only), unholy aura, unholy blight, word of chaos.
As a drow, Kiaransalee also has the ability to use dancing lights, darkness, and faerie fire each 1/day, caster level 40th.
Fear Aura (Su): Kiaransalee is shrouded in a dreadful aura of death and evil. Any creature of less than 5 HD in a 60-foot radius that looks at her must succeed at a Will save or be affected as though by a fear spell (caster level 40th; save DC 37).
Undead Traits: Kiaransalee is not subject to critical hits or subdual damage, and she is not at risk of death from massive damage. Negative energy heals her.
Cleric Spells/Day (Levels 09th): 6/9/8/8/8/8/6/6/6/6; base DC = 21 + spell level.
Wizard Spells/Day (Levels 015th): 5/9/9/9/8/8/8/8/7/7/2/2/1/1/1/1; base DC = 27 + spell level, or 29 + spell level for Evocation and Illusion spells, or 31+ spell level for Necromancy spells.
Prohibited school: Enchantment.
OTHER DIVINE POWERS
As a lesser deity, Kiaransalee may take 10 on any check She treats a 1 on an attack roll or saving throw normally and not as an automatic failure. She is immortal.
Senses: Kiaransalee can see, hear, touch, and smell at a distance of 6 miles. As a standard action, she can perceive anything within 6 miles of her worshipers, holy sites, objects, or any location where one of her titles or name was spoken in the last hour. She can extend her senses to up to 5 locations at once. She can block the sensing power of deities of her rank or lower at up to two remote locations at once for up to 6 hours.
Portfolio Sense: Kiaransalee is aware of any use of animate dead, create undead, create greater undead, or similar spell used to create undead when any target is a drow corpse, as long as the event affects at least five hundred people. She is similarly aware whenever a drow swears an oath of vengeance if the event is of similar scope.
Automatic Actions: Kiaransalee can use Spellcraft or any of her Knowledge skills as a free action if the DC for the task is 20 or lower. She can perform up to 5 such free actions each round.
Create Magic Items: Kiaransalee can create any kind of magic item that uses negative energy or affects undead, as long as the items market price does not exceed 30,000 gp.