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Leira (pronounced: /ˈlɛərɑː/ LAIR-ah or: /ˈlɛərə/ LAIR-uh), also known as The Lady of Deception or The Lady of the Mists, was the goddess of deception and illusions and patroness of illusionists and liars.
She was an enigma, never telling the truth when falsehood would do. Everything she did and said was shrouded in layers of illusion and lies. She believed that truth was worthless and that misbelief and falsehood were what gave life meaning.
Leira had quite a small following. Her priests, known as Leirans, or Worshipers of the Mistshadow, wore silver masks and often disguised themselves to deceive those around them. Leirans would speak the truth only to other Leirans. High-level clerics of the Leiran faith were called Mistcallers.
Every morning, and on every moonlit night, Leirans lay face down and prayed to the Lady of the Mists. If there was any mist, Leirans would walk through it and pray. The most revered act in the Leiran faith was the "Unmasking", a purification ritual performed when new followers entered the faith or if a follower changed rank. During the ritual, the follower would walk barefaced among its peers while the clergy would hold up candles and reflective surfaces.
The highest concentration of Leira's followers could be found on the island of Nimbral and its vassal state Samarach. While the people of Nimbral rebelled against the influence of Leira's clergy, Samarach was still held under the sway of those who believed her still alive and many of her follower's practices were still in place.
Not widely worshiped, the majority of her worshipers were users of illusion magic. While Leira may have had few dedicated followers, a worshiper of the Faerûnian pantheon often would pay homage to her before an important decision or judgment.
- Specialty priests of Leira with limited powers of illusion, the Mistcallers were the clerical order most commonly associated with the church, though no one could be sure how many there were.
- A sect of the church first appearing after the Time of Troubles, the Mistcallers continued to display the ability to cast divine magic, but were purposefully ambiguous about the "alleged" death of their goddess and whether their magic was granted by a living Leira or by Cyric.
Months after the Avatar Crisis, Leira was slain by the new deity of death, Cyric, at the village Blackfeather Bridge, wielding the sword Godsbane, which was in fact an avatar of Mask. Her portfolios were subsequently absorbed by the mad god.
Some still believed Leira was alive and that she had used her death as a grand illusion, but the general consensus was that she was a dead power. Leiran traditionalists on Nimbral who believed her to be alive in fact gained spells from Cyric.
By the late 15th century DR, it became known that Leira was in fact alive and delighted in the confusion created by rumors of her demise and return. At this time, the faithful of Cyric also considered her to be his daughter.
|“||The Lady is never quite what you think she is. Truth is a worthless thing to know and worth even less to speak aloud. Never speak truth where falsehood will suffice. Cherish and further illusions and rumors, for distortion and legend are what make folk happy and life alluring. Hiding a thing gives it value by the very act of cloaking.||”|
In the Player's Handbook 5th edition, Leira is listed in the "Deities of the Forgotten Realms" table, suggesting she is officially considered alive once more in the 5th-edition of the setting.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 41, 42. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc), p. 93. ISBN 978-0786903849.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 21, 32. ISBN 978-0786965809.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (Cyclopedia of the Realms). (TSR, Inc), pp. 11–12. ISBN 0-8803-8472-7.
- ↑ Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 62–63, 294. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
- ↑ Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc), pp. 93–96. ISBN 978-0786903849.
- ↑ Colin McComb (1996). On Hallowed Ground. Edited by Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc), p. 182. ISBN 0-7869-0430-5.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc), pp. 94–95. ISBN 978-0786903849.
- ↑ John Terra (February 1996). Warriors and Priests of the Realms. Edited by Steven E. Schend. (TSR, Inc), p. 87. ISBN 0-7869-0368-6.
- ↑ Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 144. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
- ↑ Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 130. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
- ↑ Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc), pp. 93–94. ISBN 978-0786903849.
- ↑ Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 11. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
- Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 42. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
- Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc), pp. 93–96. ISBN 978-0786903849.
- Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. Appendix B. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.