Bhaalspawn mostly seemed like normal members of their race at first. Part of their souls were divine, however, and this would eventually reveal them, sometimes granting supernatural powers of different kinds but usually also tempting them to evil and murder. Individual reactions were very different, however. The personalities of individual Bhaalspawn were just as varied as those of other people, but they all had to deal with similar issues when their other side manifested itself. Some, such as Sarevok and most of the Five, fell to the temptation of power and embraced their darker sides in a quest for divinity.
Not all Bhaalspawn were evil. Some had other ideas than gaining power, had no such ambitious goals and might have even tried to do what was right, but reveled in bloodshed nevertheless. Yet other Bhaalspawn, such as Balthazar and Abdel Adrian, conquered their darker nature and acted selflessly, turning their divine power into something unlike its original nature. Finally, some Bhaalspawn hadn't even had to deal with their inner taint before being found out and being persecuted or taken advantage of because of it, like Imoen and some of the Bhaalspawn in Saradush. Some of the latter were simply ordinary people who wished no part in the prophecy. And yet, it was that very prophecy that predicted that Bhaal's children should be not only of all races but also of all alignments.
If Bhaal's plans had gone as they were meant to, the Bhaalspawn would have destroyed each other until none remained, at which point the essence of Bhaal scattered among them would have accumulated, and his chosen follower, Amelyssan, would have performed rituals that would have brought him back. Neither Amelyssan nor the last Bhaalspawn complied with these plans, however.
As a side effect unintended by Bhaal, the Bhaalspawn's share of the essence meant that each of them had the potential to become a god in their own right. However, they had to acquire the rest of the essence. If successful, Sarevok, who tried to fulfill the prophecy, would have simply turned into a resurrected Bhaal. Another side effect was that it was theoretically possible, if rare, for a Bhaalspawn to turn into an avatar of Bhaal, either the Slayer or in more extreme cases the Ravager (both of which appeared as creatures far more bestial than the original avatars).
But in his doom he shall spawn a score of mortal progeny
Chaos will be sown from their passing
It was said that Bhaal foresaw his death during the Time of Troubles and came to Toril before the climactic event, mating with females of nearly every race. Like his ally Bane, he attempted to use these offspring to bring himself back to life. Alaundo made a prophecy about the Bhaalspawn that foretold the great destruction they would bring.
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In the Year of the Gauntlet, 1369 DR an event referred to as the Bhaalspawn crisis broke out in Tethyr. It was largely brought about by a group of supposedly allied Bhaalspawn known as "the Five". They caused great havoc in Tethyr at a time when it was believed Alaundo's prophecy would be fulfilled. These Bhaalspawn were the most powerful of their kind – they plotted the destruction of one another along with those of their "lesser" siblings. They were initially brought together by Amelyssan the Blackhearted, Bhaal's previously most loyal priestess. While she promised them power that was equivalent to that of a demigod, she planned to destroy them all and take Bhaal's power for herself.
After Amelyssan's defeat, only two Bhaalspawn remained – Abdel Adrian and Viekang. The two seemingly had no contact with one for over a hundred years until Returning Day, in the Year of the Narthex Murders, 1482 DR. Viekang attacked Grand Duke Adrian while he was giving a speech to the Baldurian people, and the two got into a vicious battle. While it was unknown who killed who, only one of the Bhaalspawn remained. That one transformed into the Bhaalspawn Slayer and fulfilled the prophecy so long after Bhaal's mortal death. The Lord of Murder was reborn and returned to the Faerûnian pantheon.
- Abdel Adrian
- One of the last two living Bhaalspawn, Abdel was a renowned adventurer who went on to become a great general and one of the Grand Dukes of Baldur's Gate. Due to his divine heritage, he lived for well over a century.
- The happy-go-lucky scoundrel trained as a mage under Grand Duke Liia Jannath and experienced great turmoil in the years leading up to the Bhaalspawn crisis. She was a loyal companion to foster brother Abdel.
- This power-hungry Bhaalspawn plotted for years to foment war and create enough bloodshed that as he believed, would ensure his ascent as the new Lord of Murder. After his death, he wound up in some aspect of Bhaal's former realm known as the Throne of Blood.
The group of Bhaalspawn known as "the Five" included:
- Abazigal, a blue half-dragon.
- Balthazar, a monk who led the monastery in the town of Amkethran.
- Illasera, an elven warrior with magical abilities.
- Sendai, a drow who organized an army of rebel Underdark creatures to attack Tethyr.
- Yaga-Shura, a fire giant who led the army that destroyed Saradush.
- Other Bhaalspawn
- Gavid, a serial killer whose shade was encountered in the first test in the Pocket Plane by Gorion's Ward. He told of how he grew up not knowing his true nature but felt the call of murder and gave into it. He only found out he was a Bhaalspawn when he was caught by someone who knew, and was killed.
- Gromnir Il-Khan, a half-orc and the ruler of Saradush at the time of its fall.
- Viekang, a thief whose Bhaalspawn essence manifested itself as a form of teleportation; one of the last two remaining Bhaalspawn.
- Oris Nimblefinger, a halfling Bhaalspawn present in Saradush during the siege by Yaga-Shura; presumed dead after the fall of the city.
- Alexander Ralisar, a human Bhaalspawn present in Saradush during the siege by Yaga-Shura; presumed dead after the fall of the city.
- Berena Elkan, servant of Gromnir, killed when the last Bhaalspawn fought Gromnir.
- Karun the Black, servant of Gromnir, killed when the last Bhaalspawn fought Gromnir.
- Eler Had, servant of Gromnir, killed when the last Bhaalspawn fought Gromnir.
- Asmay Jahag, former servant of Gromnir, presumed dead when the city fell.
- Toop the Brave, found outside of Yaga-Shura's home in the Marching Mountains.
- Tibbit, found outside of Yaga-Shura's home in the Marching Mountains.
- Merlinious, found outside of Yaga-Shura's home in the Marching Mountains.
- Chinchilla, found outside of Yaga-Shura's home in the Marching Mountains.
- Second-generation Bhaalspawn
Second-generation Bhaalspawn were the offspring of a Bhaalspawn and an ordinary mortal. It was unclear how much such individuals in general would resemble ordinary mortals or conversely Bhaalspawn.
- Others with Bhaalspawn Powers
The divine essence of a Bhaalspawn was part of their soul, but with processes that separated soul from body, others could also gain some of the essence for themselves.
- Amelyssan, the priestess of Bhaal who was supposed to be responsible for helping him return but who instead sought his powers for herself, gathered a great portion of the essences of dead Bhaalspawn. She had gained so much power this way that she was nearly equal to a demigod.
- Bodhi and Jon Irenicus each used a soul (or most of a soul) stolen from Imoen and Abdel Adrian, respectively to overcome their curse. Irenicus wound up in the Pocket Plane after his death at the Tree of Life, having gained the ability to transform into the Slayer.
- BioWare (December 1998). Designed by James Ohlen. Baldur's Gate. Black Isle Studios.
- BioWare (September 2000). Designed by James Ohlen, Kevin Martens. Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn. Black Isle Studios.
- BioWare (June 2001). Designed by Kevin Martens. Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal. Black Isle Studios.
- Ed Greenwood, Matt Sernett, Steve Winter (August 20, 2013). “Murder in Baldur's Gate”. In Dawn J. Geluso ed. Murder in Baldur's Gate (Wizards of the Coast), p. 4. ISBN 0-7869-6463-4.
- Ed Greenwood, Matt Sernett, Steve Winter (August 20, 2013). “Campaign Guide”. In Dawn J. Geluso ed. Murder in Baldur's Gate (Wizards of the Coast), p. 37. ISBN 0-7869-6463-4.