It Started With a Kidnapped Pig...
The Lady Who Smiles
Our Shining Lady
Tyche’s Fair-Haired Daughter
Tymora (Tie-MORE-ah) is sometimes called Tyche’s fair-haired or fair-tressed daughter or Beshaba’s bright sister, but these are more poetic titles than designations of her maternal lineage or her hair colour. In actuality, Tymora is half of the deity once known as Tyche, with Beshaba being the other half. Tymora inherited Tyche’s grace and kindness when that goddess split into two beings in the Dawn Cataclysm, a war among the gods that preceded the Time of Troubles and is said to have heralded the fall of Myth Drannor. Besheba garnered more of Tyche’s wanton, willful nature, sensual side, and restless energy.
Tymora’s faith is one of the most common in the Faerûn, in particular since it caters most heavily to a highly mobile, relatively wealthy, and intrinsically powerful group who live by their wits and by their luck: adventurers. Tymora is fickle and playful and never vengeful or malicious. She likes a good joke and has been known to play an occasional practical joke on some of the more straight-faced Facuinian deities such as Helm and Tyr. She is reputed by sages to have had short-lived romances with several of the good male deities of Faerûn, but these ended amicably on both sides after a short while. She likes merriment and festive occasions and rumours abound at gaming houses throughout Faerûn of people who spotted her at the tables during one holiday or another, laughing and having a good time with all.
When manifesting on Faerûn, Tymora often takes the form of a silver bird or a silver pegasus. She also sends servant creatures to aid mortals in these shapes, as well as those of einheriar, faerie dragons, foo lions, swanmays, and unicorns. When showing her favour for a particularly blessed gambler, she has sometimes been known to manifest as a silver glow about a gambler that is evident only to that person and not those around him or her. When this happens, something favourable will happen in regard to the wager, whether it is the wagerer being more likely to win or even the bets being forced to be called off, in cases where the bet was rigged by the opposition.
Tymora is an extremely popular goddess among adventurers, and her temples may he found wherever there is a strong adventuring population. Lady Luck is beloved by those who live and work in danger, for she rewards the faithful and others who live in the manner she deems proper—daring all and trusting to chance—with her favor: good luck. The Lady’s ways may seem fickle to the uninitiated or nonbelievers, for by her very nature the support she gives is uncertain in all particulars. “The joy of the doubt and the danger,” also known as the Lady’s Joy and the Lady’s Way, is that which is most dear to her true followers. Many pay her lop service in times of needl her answers then seem truly random, for the Lady helps those who help themselves.
Tymora’s priests are called “Luckbringers” and are the first choice of a badly wounded adventuring party dragging itself into town. As a result, the church is relatively wealthy. With that wealth comes a strong independent streak among the different churches of Tymora. Each Tymoran temple is its own independent operation with it’s own clergy, and each temple reflects the tastes of its high priestess or priest. A large network of shrines and temples to Lady Luck has spread throughout the heartlands of Faerûn. While the shining, featureless disk that is Tymora’s symbol most often marks these houses of worship as belonging to the Lady Who Smiles, in some temples, Tymora’s symbol is represented as a floating, randomly and slowly turning sphere of everbright silver.
In the face of the independent tradition of the organised Tymoran faith has come an attempt in the recent past to unify the church under a grand patriarch in the manner of the oid faith of Oghma. Leading this suggestion is Dramos Lauthyr, High Priest of the Lady’s House in Arabel. It was in Lauthyr’s temple where Tymora manifested during the Time of Troubles, and she remained there. protecting the city with her power, during the worst of that time. The other churches have been extremely resistant to proclaiming the Arabellan church the centre of Tymoran faith.
Both sexes and all races are equal in the eyes of Tymora and her clergy, though in practice human women occupy most of the more exalted ranks of the priesthood. Of the nonhuman races, a few elves and half-elves have decided to become Tymoran clergy even in the face of the chilly reception such a calling receives in elven society. Mystics of Tymora serve both within temple ranks and as itinerant servants of the goddess who report to none but her (though Daramos would like to change this).
The Fateful Coin
Old tales tell that Luck plays a crucial role in each person’s life. When each new-born baby enters into the Realms, Tymora flips a coin formed from the remnants of the original goddess of luck, Tyche. Beshaba calls it in the air – the moon (heads) or the cloak (tails). If Beshaba is right, that person is cursed with misfortune for the rest of his or her days. If she’s wrong, Lady Luck smiles on that child for the rest of his or her life. For some rare beings, the coin lands edge on – and these luckless few can forge their own fates, for they have more freedom over their destinies than the powers themselves.
Among the followers of Tymora titles are used and changed with ease and informality, but “Lord Priest” and “Lady Priestess” are respectful titles of address that apply to all, and “High” is added in front of this for clergy senior in years or in demonstrated power, who are referred to as “the High.” A “favored of Tymora” is a being chosen by the goddess to enter her clergy. A “fallen of Tymora” is one who has left her service and spurned chances for atonement and forgiveness. An “Atalara” is a priestess of Tymora whose body has at some time or other been directly possessed by the goddess so as to act and speak for her, which usually changes all body hair to a deep blue, and the pupils of the eyes to bright silver.
Tymora’s faith teaches that one should be bold, for to dare is to live. The battle cry of the followers of Tymora is “Fortune favour the bold.” A brave heart and willingness to take risks beat out a carefully wrought plan nine times out of ten. One must place oneself in the hands of fate (meaning in the hands of Tymora) and trust to one’s own luck.
Tymoran clergy are told that the Lady’s own luck never fails. If she appears to mortals as a victim of mischance or misfortune, she is doubtless causing this state of affairs as a deliberate test. Clergy members should know this, but not speak of it to those not in the Lady’s service. Priests of Tymora should bear and conduct themselves as their own masters, showing their good fortune – and acceptance of bad fortune – as a confidence in the Lady and in themselves. Lady Luck bids that each mortal chase his or her own unique goals, and it is in this chase that the Lady aids. Those who have no direction or goals soon know the embrace of the Lady’s dark sister, Beshaba’ for those on no set course are at the capricious mercy of misfortune, which is no mercy at all.
Day to Day Activities:
The clergy of the Lady go throughout Faerûn urging folk to take chances and pursue their dreams, and not spend all their days planning and daring nothing. (They do not, as some folk say, encourage folk to indulge in reckless whims and frivolity.) Having offered such counsel, Tymoran clergy are duty bound to aid those who have dared with healing spells and other magical aid (sometimes surreptitiously) so as to reinforce the message of the good fortune one can win by trusting in Tymora.
Holy Days/lmportant Ceremonies:
The church of Tymora has no set rituals, and cermoanies and duties vary widely from temple to temple – but the clergy headed by Daramos Lalithyr of Arabel seem to be steadily organising and imposing order on the previously freewheeling priesthood of the goddess.
Whatever their differences throughout the years’ the clergy ot Tymora have always adhered to rituals of greeting, touching their silver disks (the holy symbols of Tymora) to each other (and often embracing to do so) after watchwords of recognition have been exchanged. To unknown persons and beings they know to be worshipers of Tymora, but possibly laity, they say: “Life is short. Live it as Tymora means it to be lived!” This is answered by: “Dare all, and trust in the Lady.” The watchwords between friends, or when both parties know each other to be clergy of Tymora, are simpler: “Defy” answered by "Dare much.’’
Midsummer is the most important festival of Tymora – a wild, nightlong revel of reckless, mischievous derring-do .and romantic trysts. It is a time for the wandering clergy to gather and meet with Harpers, thosc of allied faiths and relatives. Many missions and plans are laid at such times.
The most holy festival of Tymora is Starfall, which occurs on the 22nd day of Marpenoth which is believed by the followers of Tymora – though not by the rival clergy of Beshaba – to be the date of Tyche’s destruction and Tymora’s birth. On this date, clergy who have earned advancement are formally acclaimed and presented with tokens and vestments appropriate to their new station.
Major Centers of Worship:
During the Time of Troubles, Tymora’s earthly avatar appeared in Arabel (after her furious, drawn battle with Beshaba) and stayed in her temple there, which created a great sensation in Cormyr. The fact that Arabel was spared most of the destruction visited on Waterdeep, Tantras, and other cities during the Godswar was taken as a boon from the goddess herself. With the end of the Godswar a thick fog covered Arabel, and when it lifted, the goddess had gone with it.
The church of Tymora has a continuing relationship with the Harpers, a secret society working for good through Faerûn and involving members of many races, classes and other faiths. The church sponsors some adventuring companies, and countless adventuring groups have independently dedicated themselves to Lady Luck after she has smiled on them in a sticky situation. A special fellowship of clergy within the church itself, the Fellows of Free Fate (or Triffs, as they are colloquially known), have dedicated themselves to countering the efforts of Beshaba, and especially of the Black Fingers, her assassins. Any clergy member may join who shows experience, dedication to the cause, and is vouched for by a senior fellow.
The standard clerical dress varies from temple to temple, ranging from full habits and headpieces in Arabel to simple robes in Shadowdale. Blue and silver are colours often seen. Personal taste of the matriarch or patriarch influences the dress code, as does climate (natural and political) and availability of fine clothing. The common item worn by all clergy is the disk of Tymora, usually carried on a small chain.
All adventuring or traveling clergy members wear whatever garments they please, though the colours blue and silver are still predominant. High boots also seem favourite fashion elements. All priests continue to wear Tymora’s silver disk next to theur skin, usually as a medallion around the neck, however, many clergy also wear smaller holy symbols as anklets, bracelets, or at their hips, under their clothing.