The Night Shade of Greyhawk and the Hallowed Revenant Amphoras
The best way to protect what you know is to shield it in a
lie. Speech is deadlier than any weapon; the greatest and
smallest fall with a well-spoken untruth. Give your word to
advance your cause, and break it when it is no longer of use.
Trust is for fools, and betraying a fool is the greatest gift and
lesson you can give them. Honesty and straightforwardness
are for the dull-witted.
Syrul (pronounced "SIGH-rul") is described as a smelly, dirty, old hag dressed in tattered clothing. However, this is but an illusion, as her true form is nondescript. She wields Small Lie (a poisonous dagger crafted from the horn of an evil unicorn), and Harsh Truth (a rod of withering made from the crystallized soul of a gold dragon. She is often seen upon Flamedevil, her nightmare mount. Syrul is immune to all illusions and deceptions.
Though Syrul is the mother of Kord by Phaulkon, her only true divine ally is Pyremius. She is also allied with Kurell. She has been a foe of Delleb since long before the Invoked Devastation. She has few other foes, as she is skilled at deception and flattery. She avoids associating with most members of her pantheon, however, suspecting them of hiding something from her.
Syrul's realm in Khalas is called the Castle of Ugly Truth. Her realm in the Gray Waste is called the Castle of Beautiful Lies.
Syrul teaches her forktongues to protect their knowledge by shielding it with lies. They are taught that their tongues are potentially more deadly than any blade. They alternately tell truths and lies as is convenient, and know that betraying a fool is probably the best gift they can be given.
Syrul's faith is strongest in the Scarlet Brotherhood, though established places of worship can also be found in Ahlissa, the lands of the Frost Barbarians, Lendore Isle, the Lordship of the Isles, the Pomarj, Rel Astra, the Dominion of the Sea Barons, the Hold of the Sea Princes, and Stonehold.
Syrul is prayed to by those who need to warp or conceal the truth, including lawyers, hagglers, fortune-tellers, illusionists, politicians, unfaithful lovers, flatterers, and seducers. Her followers are welcome to tell the truth and keep promises if they choose, for this makes their lies all the more believable.
When they reach "name" level, the Syrul personally visits all Scarlet Brotherhood assassins through a vision, granting them a vision and a blessing. It is not known if the other gods consider this a violation of their non-intervention pact, or if they even know of it.
There are rumors of an order of church-affiliated assassins specializing in disguise.
Syrul's priests are expert liars, and often use this skill to create as much havoc as possible, be it in embassies, markets, fortune-telling booths, or courtrooms. Many of her priests work as actors, writing and performing in plays that slander the high and mighty. They are sometimes employed by leaders to misdirect foreign dignitaries and spies. Their favored weapon is the dagger.
Priests of Syrul have developed a "doublespeak" language similar to thieves' cant that allows them to have secret conversations in the open while seeming to talk about something else entirely. Syrul's followers are called "forktongues," priests of 4th level and above are "perjurers," 6th level priests are "fabulists," and 10th level priests are "equivocators." On ceremonial occasions, Syrul's clerics wear golden robes adorned with a large forked-tongue symbol. The inner lining of these robes is black or dark brown. They also carry elaborate wooden staves containing daggers concealed inside. Their holy symbols resemble forked tongues made of red metal, preferrably red gold or rusted iron.
Hesuel Ilshar is a major center of Syrul's cult. Outside the Scarlet Brotherhood lands, few of Syrul's temples are in the open. Most major cities in the Flanaess have a small shrine to Syrul somewhere in the thieves' quarter. Her temples are made of gnarled wood and tortured stone, carved with weird designs that seem to change depending on the angle from which they are seen. Unusual paintings with optical tricks hang from the walls. From the ceiling hang wooden disks with pleasant images on one side and macabre images on the other.
Rituals and holy days
Syrul's forktongues hold the 11th day of each month sacred. On that day, they are forbidden from telling the exact truth about anything. Younger priests keep silent on this day, watching their elders to see how this is done. Those clerics who break this taboo are punished by having their legs broken and set wrong.