Sharess

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Sharess / Bast
A pair of red lips
Alignment Chaotic Good
Divine Rank Demigoddess
Pantheon Faerûn, Mulhorandi, Phaeronic
Portfolio Hedonism, Sensual Fulfilment, Sex, Cats (also War and Righteous Fury)
Domains 3E: Chaos, Charm, Good, Travel, Trickery
Home Plane Great Wheel: Brightwater (Arborea), Merratet (Ysgard)
World Tree: Rapture (Brightwater), Heliopolis
World Axis: Brightwater (Gates of the Moon)
Worshippers Bards, Sensates, Hedonists, Warriors, Women
Favoured Weapon A Great Cat's Paw (Claw Bracer)

Sharess (originally called Bast) is the Mulhorandi goddess of beauty, pleasure and cats. Her portfolio had enough unique appeal that she crossed over into the Faerûnian pantheon of the Forgotten Realms.

Considered to be utterly self interested and fickle, it is often forgotten that she is actually a deity of protection and battle, and is the nemesis of the snake deity Set.

Despite the similarities in name, she should not be confused with Ba-steh, the Mystaran Immortal who was worshiped as Bastet on Earth for a time and who created the Rakasta race.

History[edit]

Starting out as Bast, she was the lieutenant of the war-deity Anhur and the eternal enemy of the evil deity Set. Originally, she was the slayer of vermin (Snakes, Scorpions, Rats) and was seen as a protector against famine (as vermin tend to eat or spoil the food).

At some point in Anhur's war with Set, Bast assumed the portfolio of Felidae who was a goddess of pleasure and cats, which was enough to cause a complete shift in her personality and lead her to quit her efforts against the god of evil and wander off on her own and join the Faerûnian pantheon. Because the Mulhorandi pantheon were interlopers from another plane, Ao generally preferred to keep everything neat and tidy and not have too much cross-over; but he allowed the transfer because Mask had already insinuated his way into the religions of the Old Empires (Mulhorand and Unther) because they didn't have their own God of Thieves. So because Ao plays fair, he allowed Bast and Mask to expand geographically into each others areas. So she traveled away from Mulhorand in order to seek out new experiences and began a journey of serial sexual conquests and experimenting with various drugs that left small cults all over the place.

In her travels, she assumed the portfolio of yet another deity, called Zandilar the Dancer who was an Elven deity localised in the Yuirwood, whose portfolio encompassed physical passion. Zandilar had attempted to seduce Vhaeraun, the son of Lolth and was betrayed and her avatar was captured and drained of power. However Bast arrived just in time to prevent the drow deity from assuming her portfolio, and a diminished Zandilar freely merged with Bast and combined the two religions. From then on, one of Bast's titles was "The Dancing Lady", though she still occasionally acts in the name of Zandilar for the elves.

The name "Sharess" only came later, when Bast fell totally under the sway of Shar, goddess of Darkness (and ironically a feminine analogue to Set) where Bast continued her experimental phase by experiencing lesbianism with a much older woman. Shar taught Bast to seek out pleasures without limit or restriction, turning her into a dark and dangerous deity in her own right, and about as far from her original incarnation as a goddess of protection and good as she could get. Unbeknownst to Bast, this dark-goth phase that Shar was encouraging was just Shar fattening Sharess up so that she could be consumed and give the goddess of Darkness more power.

It was only during the Time of Troubles that Sharess was saved by Sune, the actual goddess of beauty and pleasure, who was inevitably sexier than Shar ever could be. So the thrill seeking little lesbian cat switched sides again and became a force for good.

Sharess moved her belongings into a ghetto in Sune's home of Brightwater and started getting out of her drug and sex addled stupor. She made peace with her estranged companion Anhur and has only started putting her life back together.

It's a bit difficult for her though, seeing as her fierce independent streak causes her to ignore most advice, combined with her inherent pursuit of pleasure continually leads her into dark places which sometimes brings her very close to overlap with Loviatar, the maiden of pain and puts her at risk of getting drawn into yet another portfolio struggle.

Worshippers[edit]

Celebrant of Sharess[edit]

The Celebrant of Sharess is the goddess's foremost prestige class. However it is neither a reckless nymphomaniac, nor is it an evangelical cleric. Instead it is a warrior arcanist that crosses a little bit of Enchanter with a little bit of Barbarian.

It relies on rules from the Book of Exalted Deeds and you need two Exalted feats to qualify, meaning your character has to maintain a Good outlook, and specifically a Chaotic Good alignment. Aside from this the class needs seven points in Diplomacy and Perform skills to qualify; that's it. So pretty much anyone who worships Sharess can qualify.

From there, you get Charisma-based Arcane spellcasting from a limited spell list up to level 4 spells, along with a Cat familiar.

The class also comes with some spell-like & supernatural abilities that allow you pull off an effect similar to Bardic Music where you can fascinate, compel or even force people to fall in love with each other on failed saves.

The Barbarian comparison comes from the fact that in addition to all the magical stuff listed above, they can enter a Rage a number of times per day, using exactly the same mechanic. They can also perform full attacks as part of a charge action and may ALSO Haste themselves as an extraordinary ability.

The only downsides include a shitty BAB progression that doesn't result capitalize on the benefits of having combat abilities, and the only good save is Will. So it appears the class doesn't know what it wants to be.

However, it could be a powerful extra class for the group's warrior who want to pick up a few Arcane tricks while also augmenting their own fighting prowess with actions they couldn't otherwise do. But because it doesn't improve existing spellcasting of any type, it is practically useless for Clerics or Wizards.

Glorious Servitor (of Bast)[edit]

Sharess's other prestige class from Lost Empires of Faerûn turns your character into a pseudo-lycanthrope as befits a member of a beast-cult. It requires Improved Turning and 2nd Level Divine casting to qualify for this class, but has nothing to do with those features, so it's a bit of an odd ball class that takes your cleric career into a dead end.

Instead, the Glorious Servitor prestige class let's you turn into a Leopard at level 1, then gives you increasing buffs as you progress, such as +6 AC and +3 STR while in animal form, and also giving Spell Resistance, Poison Immunity and eventual transformation into an Outsider. Despite the bizarre entry requirements, This class at least has an attempt to theme, but competes against a Druid for the shapeshifting party role. But is stuck with one form and no spell progression.

Dancers of Sharess[edit]

Introduced in Dragon Magazine, this prestige class combines divine spell casting with aspects from the wizard, monk and ranger archetypes. Creating something rather awesome.

You are required to be able to cast 3rd level divine spells as a condition for entry, but thankfully the class continues with full spellcasting progression. It also grants you a Cat familiar that will make you the bane of 1st level commoners everywhere. Also, rather uniquely your familiar increases in ability based on your character level rather than class level (this is a good thing), so you can get a solid companion even if you don't progress with this class fully.

What's more, is that from level 3 onwards, gain the class feature to polymorph your familiar into a much larger animal. Giving you your own MIGHTY BATTLECAT!

Other cool features include passive +2 bonuses to Dexterity and Charisma based skill checks, +4 bonus to Diplomacy and +2 DC bonuses on enchantment spells and to your resistance against enchantment.

We mentioned Ranger earlier, well you get favored enemies, but rather than races, you target members of a specific organisation chosen from the Churches of Set, Shar or Vhaeraun. Giving you yet more passive bonuses to skills and damage against them.

Also, you can literally make an opponent cream his pants on a melee touch attack, essentially stunning them for one round (or 1d4+1 rounds at 10th level) so long as they have a nervous system that works, so no jerking off creatures that are undead or goo girls.

The final ability of the class allows you to substitute verbal components of enchantment spells for performance checks (specifically dancing). Meaning that you practically have the Silent Spell ability for enchantments without needing to prepare ahead of time or increase your slot level.

All in all this is probably the best prestige class for Priests of Bast, giving some really unique features that theme quite well with a deity of both pleasure and war.

Realm[edit]

Sharess's personal domain is called Rapture which is a quiet little neighborhood located in the planar city of Brightwater on the plane of Arborea.

Rapture is considered the "rough" part of Brightwater where any of your darkest, most illicit desires can be met if you look hard enough, essentially making this place the fabled drug den and sex party that Arborea aught to be famous for, considering its reputation as a plane of self-fulfilment and indulgence. Apparently if you have to ask for it in hushed tones because it might cause a scandal in polite society, the odds are it exists in Rapture.

Do bear in mind the plane is still Chaotic Good in alignment, so no matter how lost you get in the miasmic haze of opiates and orgies; unless you came into the plane with evil intentions, you're likely to be safe. That also means that despite advertising that they can get anything you want, you're not going to find torture porn or underage traps here, so get lost you sick fuckers!

The deities of 5th edition Forgotten Realms
Lawful Neutral Chaotic
Good Ilmater - Nobanion
Torm - Tyr
Chauntea - Deneir - Eldath - Enlil
Gwaeron Windstrom - Lathander
Mielikki - Milil - Mystra - Shiallia
Lliira - Lurue - Selûne - Sharess
Sune - Tymora - Valkur
Neutral Azuth - Helm - Hoar
Jergal - Kelemvor
Red Knight - Savras
Siamorphe - Ulutiu
Akadi - Ao - Auppenser - Gond
Grumbar - Istishia - Karsus
Kossuth - Oghma - Silvanus
Tempus - Ubtao - Waukeen
Finder Wyvernspur - Ibrandul - Leira
Mask - Shaundakul - Uthgar
Evil Asmodeus - Bane
Gargauth - Gilgeam
Loviatar
Auril - Bhaal - Myrkul
Shar - Velsharoon
Beshaba - Cyric - Garagos
Malar - Moander - Talona
Talos - Umberlee