“And whose side are you on?” asked Bahamut.
There was a short pause.
“The oppressed, the forgotten, the hidden, and the ignored. I am on the side of those who cannot show their faces in the light because of fear. I am the Lady of Shadows.”
Realms: Shadow, Equality, Stealth
Followers: Jenova's Witnesses
The deity known as Jenova was created over 500 years ago, during a conflict between Lolth and the Council of Three. According to the Book of Jenova, the powers of the Shadowfell combined with the powers from the Gods and somehow created a new entity - one attuned to the Shadowfell's innate dark energy. Jenova aided the Council of Three in exiling Lolth from the Shadowfell. But, in a surprising show of independence, she then told the Council to leave, as well, announcing that she would look after the Shadowfell herself.
During a quest, the Sandstriders discovered that Jenova was originally a Voidsoul Genasi who had been in the wrong place/wrong time (or right place/right time, depending on your point of view) and absorbed massive power which created the Lady of Shadow as she is known today.
- Protection: The Lady believes in the protection of those who are oppressed, wrongfully accused, ignored, and weak. As she puts it, “Those who cannot appear in the light.” This generally means those who are not free in some way, or those who cannot protect themselves.
- Action: The Lady favors passion over ritual, action over belief, and total commitment to a cause instead of indirect support. She tells the Queen that she does not need followers, she needs leaders to protect those who cannot protect themselves.
- Order, not Organization: The Lady does not favor chaos, but also abhors bureaucracy. The Church of Jenova does not have an organizational structure; there are no churches of Jenova; and there are no financial ties attached to becoming a follower of Jenova.
- Efficient and Discretionary Tactics: The Lady believes in the greater good. Bloodshed is a side effect to be expected when fighting for those who need it most. The Lady is not afraid to be ruthless, as was shown by her tactics of obliterating entire forces in their sleep. “Discretion is the better part of valor.”
- Equality: The Lady makes no judgment on the worth of one being over another. She accepts former Lolth Drow followers, humans, Shadr-Kai, and any race which wishes to follow her teachings. She fights for the plight of all who are oppressed, regardless of demographic information.
- Inner Resolve and Personal Judgment: She did not make it a clause of her aid to Stin Cepel that the royal family worship her. She insists that all must make decisions based on their own reason and conscience. “My church requires action and revolution, and the creation of a new tomorrow for those whose today is oppressive. Follow our agreement. Following my teachings, and following me, is a different matter entirely.”
The Underdark Wars Edit
The creation of Jenova set off a thirty-year conflict called the Underdark Wars. Initially, Lolth vowed to take back the Shadowfell and destroy Jenova. At certain points, Jenova vowed to eradicate Lolth altogether and free the Underdark from her control. Jenova offered free refuge for any Drow seeking to escape Lolth's Web, and many of them took her up on her offer. This enraged Lolth.
After thirty years of fighting, Jenova won a decisive victory, though not enough to eradicate Lolth or take the Underdark. It was, however, enough to make Lolth stop trying to take the Shadowfell, and so the outright wars ended. A cold hostility sat between the two deities, and the two realms, for centuries.
The Shadow Wars Edit
The Shadow Wars took place shortly after the Underdark Wars, though this time the fighting occurred on the Material Plane. The humans and orcs of Woestijn had decided to band together to try to destroy the Kingdom of Stin Cepel and take it for their own. Stin Cepel was in a weakened state after the death of its monarch, King Victor IV, and was under the control of a young Queen Ana II. The combined human-orc forces had nearly arrived at the gates of Broumov when Jenova appeared to Ana II with a proposition.
Jenova would ensure victory in the war against Woestijn. In addition, she would provide the Royal Family with two royal protectors, called Shadeweavers, for all time. In return, Stin Cepel would open its borders to the Drow refugees who had been displaced by the Underdark Wars, and Queen Ana would marry a Drow noble. Ana agreed.
Jenova made good on her promise. She, with some of her followers, infiltrated the main encampment of the forces of Woestijn and slaughtered the leadership and many of the soldiers. Their forces fell apart.
After the victory, Queen Ana declared Jenova to be the patron deity of Stin Cepel.
In the start of the campaign, Jenova was imprisoned by Cyric in his gem prison, which prevented her from helping Stin Cepel during the Harbinger Coup. Lolth retook the Shadowfell and Jenova was forced to the sidelines.
When the Sandstriders defeated the Harbingers of Purity in the Battle of Broumov, they freed Jenova by removing Cyric's gem from an altar in the castle. Jenova came back with a vengeance and summarily kicked Lolth out of the Shadowfell, claiming it for herself.
Jenova named Tolsmir and Tralin as her two new Shadeweavers, as her previous two (including Indar) had died during Reclamation. When Tolsmir's soul was sent to Vuul'kira, Jenova attempted to prevent it, but was unsuccessful, and part of her essence traveled with him.
She aided the party in their attempts to move through the Underdark.
When the Astral Civil War broke out, Jenova was the first to join Kord's Coalition. She had seen firsthand the destruction Cyric had wrought. During the war, Cyric communicated with her, calling her "sister;" the Sandstriders discovered her true origins, that she was a Voidsoul Genasi like Cyric.
She continued to communicate with him and found a tortured soul, and a connection. She thought she could convince him to turn away from his plans of destruction, but she was unsuccessful. She went with him to the Temple of the One, helped him with the trials, and then when he had accomplished his goal, he turned on her.
A battle ensued. Jenova knew she would lose. She told Tolsmir to follow her, then disappeared along with Cyric and Laz Ursulus into a rift in spacetime.
Chamber of the One and Aftermath Edit
During the battle with Cyric, when he attempted to infiltrate the Sandstriders' minds, Jenova did everything in her power to aid them in their quest of breaking out. She planted clues and whispered to them. When the Sandstriders freed themselves, Jenova was also freed, though her very essence became intertwined with Tolsmir's, creating a sort of dual entity.
When the Sandstriders fought the Primordials, she aided in the battle. Afterwards, she defended Cyric's right to live, even though he did not. She demanded he be allowed to live, under her supervision. After much hand-wringing, the Sandstriders eventually agreed.
As a part of Quen's redistribution of the Council of Three's power, Jenova received the mantle of the Raven Queen, and with it, her domains of Life, Death, and Fate. With the dissolution of Vuul'kira, all souls not directly claimed by other Gods would make their way to the Shadowfell. This increased Jenova's power among the Gods considerably. Tolsmir, for his part, decided to act as a roving Avatar of his Goddess, instead of ruling alongside her.
Jenova became a member of the new Pantheon of Gods.