The Treatise of Suffering was a book of religious musings on pain being the purpose of life, all in the glory of Bhaal, the Dread Lord. The work was penned by an unknown author some time before the Time of Troubles.
The Treatise of Suffering was written to educate the members of the Bhaalist faith on the meaning of life being in suffering. Life began in pain and ended in pain. And the book called on the followers of Bhaal to educate others of the importance of suffering through it, the supremacy of the Dread Lord.
The book claimed that the only path to salvation was through suffering, and cries of suffering were like music to Bhaal's ears. Furthermore, The Treatise of Suffering claimed the suffering and pain of children was the most desired kind of suffering for the Lord of Murder, giving Bhaal the purest form of pleasure and a sensation akin to rapture.
According to these treatises, worshipers of Bhaal had a sworn duty to make mortals cry with suffering. The Bhaalists were encouraged to prolong and intensify the screams of their "flock" and, as a reward, the Dread Lord promised them a life free of pain, but for suffering at Bhaal's command.
The book instructed torture to be inflicted upon those who were mistakenly aligned with false gods and those who opposed the will of the Dread Lord. These individuals were to suffer at the highest threshold until their pain turned to the bliss of salvation.
The Bhaalist sect that lived under a guise as peaceful monks in the Stronghold of Liam's Hold followed the holy teachings of The Treatise of Suffering. Under the command of the High Priest Xatuum, the Bhaalists tortured and killed children to please their dark master. The monks stirred up hate and prejudice in Liam's Hold, falsely accusing women of witchcraft and burning them at a stake while they fed off their pain. These horrors ended during the Time of Troubles of 1358 DR, when Bhaal was forced to walk the earth. The deity's silence resulted in the ritual suicide of Xatuum's followers.
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