~The Plague Witch~
|Symbol:||A Human Female Face Covered in Fungus and Rot|
|Portfolio:||Filth, Disease, Plague, Pestilence|
|Domains:||Evil, Death, Destruction|
|Weapon:||The Wilted Mourning (Morning Star)|
Bythola wields one of the smallest covenants of followers. Not many will revert to the life that Bythola offers, many would much rather die than becomes a vessel of disease. Many of Bythola’s devoted are commoners who were infected and preferred not to die. The priests of Bythola become carriers of all disease, and tainted beyond all cure. Their insides are corrupted and warped, with distorted growths, vile liquids and sometimes internal limbs. Viscous, black blood flows through their veins and if split open, this can cause irritation, pain and disease to any who are splashed. The disciple learns to suppress the taint so it does not appear on the outside, and in fact some of the most powerful followers of Bythola can be very beautiful indeed. Others that worship Bythola do it out of fear. They pay tribute to the Plague Witch in hope of preventing ailments. Death is a final resort to Bythola. She would much prefer a person live out their live suffering from an ailment, passing it on to others, then to see them just die. For this reason, her followers are not usually melee orientated, relying more on spell casting ability. If a follower is forced to use a weapon then they usually go for rusty weapons coated in poison or disease, which will rip the skin and infect the wounded, rather than severing limbs.
Bythola might not have many dedicated followers but many common folk would worship her out of fear. They might say a short prayer everyday just as a ward against illness and disease. Bythola is the one who inflicts disease and Aushkia is the one who cures it. However, people inflicted with diseases that are so disgusting they are shunned by society might in fact not seek Aushkia for a cure but go down a different path. They would much prefer other people be inflicted with the disease, sharing the same hatred by society. This is where someone will seek Bythola and become one of her most dedicated disciples, traveling the world to spread the disease that has caused them so much solitude.
The Plague Witch has quite a few followers who are druids. Some may have turned their backs on nature, for whatever reason, and seek to destroy nature. They inflict plagues upon the creatures of the forests, cause rot in plants and plant life, stripping lush grass from the plains until it is a barren wasteland of dead vegetation. Other druids may seek Bythola as a means of removing unwanted settlers. Druids have access to contagion and are immune to poisons themselves. Hence, a plague that infects only humans would be a much more efficient way of removing them from the area without harming the land.
Aushkia is Bythola's nemesis and they will come to blows physically if need be as once the taint has devoured a follower of Bythola, there is little an Aushkian can do but end their 'suffering' (although Bytholites might not see it as suffering). Bythola takes great delight in plaguing Aushkians, her chosen are usually picked from followers who have managed to inflict disease upon Aushkians that they cannot cure. The Plague Witch doesn’t care whom she infects, making no gods followers safe from her wrath. The only god to ever ally with Bythola is Re’phet, and that’s because many of her minions are immune to infection and are also vessels of disease.