Plague Priest of Talona
Let pain be as pleasure, for life and death are in balance, but death is the more powerful and should be paid proper homage and respect. Death is the true power, the great equalizer, and the lesson that waits for all. If it falls to you to drive home the point with the tip of a dagger, so be it. The Mother of All Plagues works upon you from within, and weakness and wasting is her strength. Talona’s breath is forever and always with you, whomever you or the rest of the world believes in or serves. Let all living things learn respect from Talona and pay homage to her in goods and in fervent worship. If they do so, intercede for them so that Talona will not claim them—this time. Go and work in Talona’s name and let your doings be subtle or spectacular, but make them known as the will of the Mistress of Disease. – Litany of the Plague Priests
The open worship of Talona is outlawed in most of Faerun and the Ravenmarch is no exception to this. Generally those who worship her or even those believed to worship the Goddess of Plagues and Poison are at best considered outcasts and at worst, put to death. Because of this many of those who follow her do so in secret and go to great lengths to hide their involvement with her cults.
Many of those who worship Talona start out as victims of a horrible illness. Those who are sick with plague or some similar ailment but can not be healed by a Cleric often seek out her cult and beg her to spare them in return for their devotion. Those who find a sect before they die are often brought to a secret area known as the Chamber of Suffering. Here the neonate is instructed in the proper prayers and devotional offerings to Talona. During this time acolytes of Talona see to their basic needs but do not attempt to cure them of their sickness. If the neonate is devoted enough they will survive the ordeal and become a new acolyte of Talona. Those who are considered unworthy will die.
The ordeal that is undergone in the Chamber of Suffering is not without its consequences. By the time Talona has chosen those who she feels are worthy of her blessings the individual has been driven mad by fever or some other symptom of their illness. Only the strongest of her acolytes are able to undergo the terrors and remain sound of mind. Those who are driven mad are often stripped of their humanity and will become violent creatures of evil.
Far worse than the acolytes however are the Plague Priests of Talona. These foul beings are her chosen champions and will lead the sect in their many workings and schemes.