Carceri ~ The Dead Walk Away
The Song of the Spheres, The Tender of Dreams, and the Starsong
Desna was one of the first deities, but while her peers burdened themselves with the task of creating her previous world, she spent her time building the heavens. She knew that there would be plenty of time for her and her followers to explore the many wonders of the world later. She’s changed little since those earlier days; and even in their exiled state, she and her followers delight in exploring the Mad World and understanding the connections between the the islands of the Thousand Oceans.
Desna generally communicates with her followers through dreams, sending images, feelings, or even prophecies that stick in the recipient’s mind after waking. If there is not enough time for dreams, or they are otherwise unsuitable, she can send swarms of butterflies, sparrows, dragonflies, or geese that fly in a four-pointed star shape. When displeased, she can withhold a restful sleep, make sure the mortal gets sore feet, has a travel accident, or that a messenger animal loses its way.
Desna is often described as a beautiful elven woman, with butterfly wings containing all the beauty of a clear night sky. She is often depicted as having dark hair, silvery eyes, and a coy but distant smile, wearing diaphanous gowns and sometimes accompanied by swarms of butterflies.
Pantheon: The Twelve
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Favored Weapon: Starknife
Sacred Animals: Butterfly
Sacred Colors: Violet and White
Domains: Azata (Chaos), Azata (Good), Chaos, Curse, Exploration, Fate, Freedom, Imagination, Liberation, Luck, Revelry, Revolution, Travel
Inquisitions: Black Powder (with approval), Clandestine, Conversion, Excommunication, Heresy, Illumination, Oblivion, Redemption, Reformation, Restoration, Revelation, Sedition
Mysteries: Heavens, Lunar, Solar
Blessings: Chaos, Curse, Good, Liberation, Luck, Travel
Worship of Desna
Desna is the goddess of travel and journeys, and there are few who traverse the roads who wouldn’t spare her a prayer or a simple-worded plea for benediction. Scouts, sailors, and those who travel for travel’s sake make up a large number of her followers, though her focus on luck also makes her a favorite deity among gamblers and thieves not seduced by Larissa’s delights. Whatever their calling, followers of the Song of Spheres search the world for new experiences, and try to live their life to the fullest.
The informal clergy of Desna is primarily composed of clerics, though on occasion bards are called by some song or whisper in the night to follow her path. In addition, spherewalkers are paragons of the Desnan ideal: they see new sights each day and discover unheard of locales.
Her clergy usually garb themselves in white robes with violet trim and silk caps, highlighted by varied decorative elements (especially among priests of high status), and usually accompanied by one or more starknives. Temples of Desna are few and far between, with most locations no more than roadside shrines erected in her honor. Travelers often leave markings and dedications in newly discovered areas and secluded locales. Those few temples that do exist often serve as observatories and are open to the night sky, with plentiful texts, charts, and instruments to help track the stars and determine astronomical events.
The Great A’Tuin
Chelys Galactica, Worldbearer, and Mother Earth
Great A’Tuin is a turtle. So what if they has four World Elephants and a disc-shaped world on top of it? They’re still a turtle, of the species Chelys galactica. Nobody knows where it goes, or why, except probably Great A’Tuin theirself. Their gender is unimportant to them or their devotees, most of whom have genderfluid and androgynous tendencies. It has been known to alter its course to avoid meteorite hits, and even to snap at them with its beak or send them away with its flippers; whereas on less sensibly-designed worlds people have to rely on Bruce Willis.
The suspicion arises that if the World was originally meant to have five world-supporting elephants and one of them got “lost”, then this makes the Disc strange and unique even by the standards of those worlds travelling through space supported on the shoulders of world-bearing elephants who in turn stand on the back of a giant chelonian. Could this deficiency in the cosmic pachydermian stakes explain much that is odd about the the Mad God’s design?
Pantheon: The Twelve
Alignment: True Neutral
Favored Weapon: Klar or Shield
Symbol: A circular map of the known seas with a turtle’s head and flippers protruding from the sides or a turtle’s head affronté on a round shield with two suns above and three moons below.
Sacred Animals: Sea Turtle
Sacred Colors: Green and Blue
Domains: Aeon, Animal, Aquatic, Chaos, Dark Tapestry, Earth, Exploration, Family, Feather, Fur, Growth, Home, Insanity, Isolation, Legend, Life, Madness, Magic, Protection, Saurian, Scalykind, Solitude, Travel, Void, Whimsy
Inquisitions: Conversion, Persistence, Redemption, Reformation, Restoration, Secrets, Spellkiller, Truth
Mysteries: Dark Tapestry, Dragon, Elemental, Heavens, Nature, Whimsy
Blessings: Animal, Earth, Madness, Magic, Protection, Scalykind, Void
The Raven Queen
The Phantom Queen, The Lady of Fates, and Mistress of Winter
A powerful sorcerer-queen in life, the woman who would one day become the Raven Queen was taken as the queen of the then-god of death, Nerull. He was an evil god; trying to use the souls of the dead to rise to the position of the king of gods. He trained his queen, who he named Nera, in the use of the power gained from the souls of the dead. This of course proved to be a tactical mistake, and in an uprising Nera destroyed Nerull. Though her body died as well, due to her power over souls she managed to hold onto existence, and claim the mantle of the slain god of the dead.
The other gods saw this as an opportunity, and presented the new goddess with a choice: either become the goddess of death instead of the dead (ie: be only the wayfarer for the deceased, instead of their ruler) and be accepted as a fully-fledged deity, or be destroyed. She begrudgingly accepted, and took the mantle of the Raven Queen. Abandoning her predecessor’s realm of Pluton, she went to the Shadowfell to work on the unlocking of the powers of the soul, undisturbed by the meddling gods.
Source: Dungeons & Dragons 4e
Pantheon: The Twelve
Alignment: True Neutral
Favored Weapon: Fauchard
Symbol: A raven’s head
Sacred Animals: Raven
Sacred Colors: Black and Grey
Domains: Air, Arctic, Aristocracy, Darkness, Death, Fate, Feather, Glory, Ice, Inevitable, Judgement, Murder, Night, Nobility, Repose, Shadow, Soverignty, Souls
Inquisitions: Conversion, Excommunication, Execution, Fate, Final Rest, Heresy, Redemption, Revelation, True Death
Mysteries: Ancestor, Bones, Elemental, Life, Occult, Shadow, Succor, Time, Winter
Blessings: Death, Nobility, Repose, Shadow, Water
Worship of The Raven Queen
Raven Queen priests often wear shades of black and gray, as well as having adornments of feathers. Sometimes, they wield sickles or scythes as their weapons, a symbol of the reaping of souls that would then be carried to the underworld. Ravens are seen as special creatures, gifted with spiritual insight. The priests of the Raven queen teach that ravens are messengers of the goddess herself sent to watch over the living and usher the spirits of the dead to their next steps…
Of course, what those steps may be is still anyone’s guess in many cases.
The Raven Queen is not known for being a cruel goddess, nor is she known for being without mercy. However, she has absolutely no tolerance for the undead. Her followers recognize that some spirits linger with lost causes after they die, and they can be put to rest through many means. A devout follower of the Raven Queen is just as likely to help a ghost accomplish its lingering goals to help it move on as they might be to destroy the creature outright. However, when it comes to mindless zombies or abominations, the Raven Queen and her followers are quick to take up arms and make decisive actions. This sometimes brings her followers into conflict with the Carceri Pantheon, whom recognize good an neutral undead as just extensions of life.
She expects her followers to abide by these commandments:
- Hold no pity for those who suffer and die, for death is the natural end of life.
*Bring down the proud who try to cast off the chains of fate. As the instrument of the Raven Queen, you must punish hubris where you find it.
*Watch for the cults of Orcus and stamp them out whenever they arise. The Demon Prince of the Undead seeks to claim the Raven Queen’s throne