Tyche (pronounced TIE-key  or TYKE-ee) was the original goddess of fortune. An ancient goddess, she was part of both the Olympian pantheon and the Netherese pantheon. She was split into Tymora (goddess of good luck) and Beshaba (goddess of misfortune) during the Dawn Cataclysm.
Description[edit | edit source]
In her natural form, Tyche was described as a tall woman with a willowy build, blond hair, and deep blue-green eyes. However, other accounts described her as a rather small, slim, yet agile elfin human. She was known for her ability to change her shape at will.
When she manifested in the mortal realm, she did it in different forms that depended on if she brought good or ill luck. When appearing to grant good fortune, she often took the form of a silver eagle or a silver pegasus. Sometimes, she also manifested as a silver glow that was evident only to gamblers she favored and not those around them. When this happened, something favorable would happen in regard to the wager.
When appearing to herald misfortune, she preferred to appear as a 12-foot-tall giant female with her skin a purplish hue brought on by hysteria, wreathed in snow-white, swirling hair, with her features twisted into a sneer of madness while laughing maniacally. Or sometimes she manifested merely as a grotesque shadow where no shadows should be, accompanied by faint, far-off, maniacal laughter.
Realm[edit | edit source]
When Tyche died, her realm began to slowly disappear.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Tyche was headstrong and willful, mercurial, and always believing her way was the best way. She was playful, neither malicious or vengeful unless provoked. She liked good jokes and was known for occasionally playing practical jokes on the more stern and straight-minded deities.
Her voice could be as soothing as a purr or as harsh as a screech, depending on her mood. She moved constantly and restlessly, but with a graceful sensuousness. It was said that her gaze could inspire males with lust and to make anyone who met her eyes desire to obey her every whim.
Activities[edit | edit source]
Tyche enjoyed merriment and festive occasions, and people rumored that she usually visited gaming halls, festhalls, noble parties, and festivals.
Powers[edit | edit source]
Along with all the standard powers and godly senses of a deity of her rank, Tyche could, with a single word, unleash misfortune—accidents, an inability to successfully strike enemies, manic behavior, madness, or a berserk rage—or great fortune—the inability to miss one's enemies in battle, elation and strength, and great blessings.
Likewise, any attacks directed at her always missed or backfired upon those who attempted them, and events always conspired so as to most favor her actions.
History[edit | edit source]
Tyche was originally part of the greek pantheon, but somehow she fell on disfavor with the rest of the greek deities, who thought less of her, and at some point even wanted to get rid of her. Rejected by her former allies and in order to survive, she fled to the sphere of Abeir-Toril and became part of the Netherese Pantheon.
During the Dawn Cataclysm, she became bored of Lathander and cursing him with misfortune, Tyche left him and wandered the world. At some point during her travels, Tyche found a rose of incredibly beauty, and believing it a gift from Lathander, a token of peace, she took it. Unknowingly to her, the rose was in fact a trap from Moander, designed to corrupt her in body and soul.
When Tyche returned to the Upper planes, she found Selûne, Lathander, and Azuth waiting to speak to her in hopes to help fix her relationship with the Morninglord. However, the three gods saw the corruption destroying her. Unable to help her in any other way and weeping tears of sorrow, Selûne lashed at her dear friend and destroyed her with a bolt of purifying light. After she died, her essence split in two different entities. From Tyche's rotten corpse emerged two new goddesses, opposing sides of the same coin: first Tymora, embodying all that was pure and good in Tyche, and later Beshaba, a representation of her darker side.
Scholars from the Outer Planes had another theory, however. As no divine corpse was found in the Astral plane, they believed that Tyche didn't die as the Faerûnians believed. According to this theory, Tyche learnt to manifest as the two twin goddesses instead of dying. However, it was not known if Tyche was the dominant personality in each of the two goddesses, or if she had faded away and was just an unconscious source of power for them.
Relationships[edit | edit source]
Worshipers[edit | edit source]
Clergy[edit | edit source]
Each Tychean temple was independent, operation with its own clergy and rules, and each temple reflected the tastes of its priests. Because of that, the higher echelons of Tychean priesthood were involved in backstabbing and complots, but the lower ranking priest usually lived calmer lives.
While both sexes were equal in the eyes of Tyche, that was not the case among her clergy, and women usually occupied most of the more exalted ranks of the priesthood, while male priests tended to be belittled or overlooked.
The clerics of Tyche traveled across Faerûn urging folk to do the same and pursue their dreams instead of just laying around. They helped those with the same mindset, although a few of her clerics were not above manipulating people for their own means.
Orders[edit | edit source]
Although the church sponsored some adventuring companies, and countless adventuring groups independently dedicated themselves to Tyche's cause, there were two known groups officially affiliated the her faith:
- The Honor Guard of Fate
- Society of the Elders of Free Fate
The Elders were a revered faction of the Tychean fate, sponsoring expeditions either for trade or explorations, as well attempting to improve the relationships of the Netherese with the other civilizations of Faerûn at the time. They were well received among small halfling communities.
Temples[edit | edit source]
There were two major temples of Tyche in Netheril. The temple of Imbrue was dedicated to the worship of randomness and chance, and so the building doubled as a gambling house. Her mosque at Shade was a dark and foreboding building with gothic architecture. While the temple was a nest of intrigue and corruption, and the philosophy of her followers there was in sharp contrast with that of her followers in other cities—as the inhabitants of Shade saw their offerings as a way to bribe Tyche to give them good luck—Tyche never considered her priests there as blasphemous.
Dogma[edit | edit source]
Tyche's faith taught that one should be bold, for to dare was to live. The battle cry of the followers of Tyche was "Fortune favors the bold." Those who had no direction or goals soon encountered ill luck, for those on no set course were at the capricious mercy of misfortune, which was no mercy at all. A brave heart and willingness to take risks beat out a carefully wrought plan nine times out of ten. One had to place oneself in the hands of fate (meaning in the hands of Tyche) and trust to one's own luck, and priests of Tyche were supposed to be showing their good fortune—and acceptance of bad fortune—as a confidence in the Lady and in themselves. Lady Fate bid that each mortal chase his or her own unique goals—so long as they didn't counter the express wishes of herself—and it was in this chase that the Lady aided her followers.
Rites[edit | edit source]
People that revered Tyche often tried to appeased her by offering something valuable to her through holding it in flames until it was at least partially consumed, calling out her name and praising to her on their knees after that. They also invited her to all kind of celebrations, ceremonies, and parties to avoid her rage and misfortune.
Her clergy always touched their holy silver disks between as a sign of recognition, often saying words of recognition, which varied if the priests recognized each other. Between acquaintances, those words were "Defy," answered by "Dare much." If the other priest was unknown to them, the words were "Life is short. Live it as Tyche means it to be lived!", answered by: "Dare all, and see victory through the Lady."
The most important festival to Tyche was celebrated at Midsummer. A wild, night-long revel of reckless, mischievous derring-do and romantic trysts, while the wandering clergy gathered and meet with those of allied faiths and relatives. Many missions and plans were hatched at such times.
Appendix[edit | edit source]
Appearances[edit | edit source]
Further reading[edit | edit source]
- slade, Jim Butler (Nov 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
References[edit | edit source]
- slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), p. 60. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
- Colin McComb (1996). On Hallowed Ground. Edited by Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc), p. 127. ISBN 0-7869-0430-5.
- Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc), p. 45. ISBN 978-0786903849.
- slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), p. 62. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
- Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc), p. 44. ISBN 978-0786903849.
- James Ward, Robert J. Kuntz (August 1980). Deities & Demigods. Edited by Lawrence Schick. (TSR, Inc.), p. 74. ISBN 0-935696-22-9.
- slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), p. 61. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
- Skip Williams, Rich Redman, James Wyatt (April 2002). Deities and Demigods. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 130–131. ISBN 0-7869-2654-6.
- Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc), p. 4. ISBN 978-0786903849.