Imagine the goddess of despair and discouragement, Yuchen-domma. Long ago she sang a fugue that echoed across half the world, deadening man’s capacity for curiosity, love and hope. The first men cringed in ditches and caves, stared for hours at flies on corpses or cast himself into the sea, lacking the will for much else.
Yuchen-domma was slain, according to a long-forgotten story, by the heroes and gods of several nations; her existence has since faded into utter obscurity. She waits in her death-realm, looking upon our world through keyholes and cracks, from behind folds and shadows. All pain catches her eye for at least a moment. Those whose lives have been damaged beyond hope of repair are hers to call upon.
If Yuchen-domma is impressed with the suffering she sees at your moment of deepest despair, she will stay to learn your name. The story of a typical widow, orphan or betrayal will not do. To catch her eye, you must have suffered multiple misfortunes or been victim to an especially heinous act or plot.
Yuchen-domma will then sing of you in the dreams of her servants, who will find you. You will be approached according to your particular situation, offered solace, good fortune, or perhaps revenge. If you convert to her embrace, she is your goddess of prosperity and luck. Your sorrow will begin to fade and others will notice that you have put the past behind.
Great tragedy never befalls one of her servants and they often live happily until she has decides to call. Then a reminder of past sorrow appears. Regardless of your previous profession, status, alignment or class, you are contacted again by several of her servants and initiated as a cleric in her Circle.
The Circle serves Yuchen-domma and avoids her wrath by appeasing her with damage and pain inflicted on others of her choosing. Her instructions are sent through dreams or during prayers. A very few know that the spilt blood that is devoted to her will someday allow her to walk among men, singing her dire song once more.
Most of the Circle, even those with good hearts, are too weak to resist her service. Some kill themselves after months or years of service. Others attempt to repent and, if accepted by some merciful god, are hunted mercilessly by her clerics, assassins and demonic minions. Those who die after more than a day and night in her service join her in the afterlife and attend her in her waiting.
In most places, her name has faded beyond memory. In some lands, she is known only vaguely and her Circle are punished as non-believers in the local faith. In a select few places, widows, orphans and victims of heinous crimes, plots or treatment are killed to prevent them from turning to her.
Her devotees receive +2 to all saves and ability checks, reaction rolls and initiative. They are at -2 to all saves and checks if they ever repent or deny her a service (NPC’s face a wisdom check at a penalty of 10 to succeed in repenting).
Unless she has called upon you to act in disguise (as the priest of another order, for example), your healing spells are always of the “reversed” sort, causing wounds instead of curing.
Yuchen-domma absorbs the souls and HP of any killed or caused to die or suffer in her name. Every HP of damage or death (including diseases, petrification, etc.) caused by a member of her circle is dedicated to her resurrection. After absorbing 250,000 HP, she will return to this plane.
Image: Masks Confronting Death by James Ensor, 1888