Monday, March 17, 2014

Pantheon Monday: Raya, the Rose-knight

(the Rose-knight, the Fair)

Intermediate Goddess, CG
Portfolio: Beauty, art, freedom, love
Aliases: Arina (halfling)
Domain Name: The Palace of Song, Valingas
Superior: None
Allies: Heimir
Foes: Any evil, particularly Hasht
Symbol: A lute twined with roses
Worshipper Alignment: Any

Raya (RIE-uh) is the goddess of beauty and artwork. She is perceived by some to be flighty and fickle; however, those with a true understanding of the dictates of Raya know that she can be as stately and mighty and is as important as the other gods. Her worshipers and temples are sparsely spread across the north, but those that do worship her tend to lead somewhat charmed lives. She is known to take an eye to interfering in the affairs of mortals.

Her powers have expanded in recent centuries with the spread of the Libernian Festival, a summer religious event dedicated to her, during which her clerics are required to offer their bodies to any man or woman who pays the goddess for their sexual services.

She is also the goddess of love and is known as the Changing. Hermaphrodites are considered particularly blessed by her hand. Her clerics are a pleasant lot, given to laughter and travel and are fairly likely to wind up adventuring. In appearance she is a full-hipped and buxom woman of blinding beauty who wears a simple roughspun dress and walks barefoot over the grass.

The Church
Clergy: Specialty priests, bards, thieves, fighters, Knights of the Rose
Clergy’s Alignment: Any good
Turn Undead: No
Command Undead: No

Raya’s temple is poorly organized, without a central authority. As one of the mystery cults, most of the temple’s traditions are oral (though the extensive poetry cycle known as the Rayanad serves nominally as a holy book). As for most decentralized cults, her priesthood is controlled by a number of regional hierophants.

The region under each hierophant’s sway is variable, but generally amounts to no more than 100 square rods. Each temple in this region has a number of Freesingers that tend to the necessary activities of the pastoral priesthood as well as a number of clergy known as Dedicants who are sedentary and find their place within the temples proper.

The hierarchy of individual temples is simple: the Dedicants at large (and all Freesingers) serve a number of Dedicant-Masters who form a ruling body. These are the Harpist (purser), Lutist (quartermaster), Flutist (grounds and acolytes), and Scribe (dogma and day-to-day operations of the temple). Each of these individual temple-councils reports directly to their Hierophant.
Dogma: Do not harm that which is beautiful. Work hard to make a thing’s interior match its exterior.

Day-to-Day Activities: Rayans serve a number of functions in the community. The first and most obvious is the consecration of wolfsdens and the maintenance of high-quality whorehouses. These are often staffed by prostitute-priests, though they can only be found in large cities.

Rayan priests also play counselor to couples with familial issues, serve as patrons of the arts, and themselves produce artwork. They see it as their mission to foster love and joy in every circle they can. To this end, they have a natural affinity with Heimirans. Rayans are also purveyors of abortifacients as well as medicines to reduce or increase fertility.

As a goddess who dabbles in fertility, Rayans sometimes bless fields and orchards as well. Her worship, however, is generally restricted to the upper classes who can afford the alleviating influences of art—save for the public festivals, which are for all.

Major Centers of Worship: None.

Major Festivals: The Libernian Festival, celebrating individual freedom, is one of the most widely celebrated religious festivals in the North. During this one night of excess, Rayan temples spare no expense (nor do the nobility or merchant classes, often responsible for many of the donations) to create an atmosphere of saturnalia. All Rayan priests are sacred prostitutes during this night, and it is a stricture that any amount of money offered by any person is enough to buy their services.

Libernia is on the 3rd of Furrow.

Affiliated Orders: Knights of the Rose (see below).

Priestly Vestments: Rayans wear roughspun vestments and frequently wear sandals. The more senior of their members may wear orange or white robes embroidered and filigreed with red cloth.

Adventuring Garb: Adventuring Rayans frequently stick to robes over their armor, usually in undyed wool, roughspun, white with red, or orange.

(Specialty Priest)

WEAPONS: Short bow, quarterstaff
MAJOR SPHERES: All, charm, creation, guardian, healing
MINOR SPHERES: Animal, protection, sun
MAGICAL ITEMS: Any priestly
BONUS PROFS: Any perform or art prof

Freesingers gain 15% to spend on thief abilities every second level as though they were thieves. They can never spend points in find/remove traps. All thief abilities (save that) start at a base of 5% when they reach level 2, which is also when they receive their first 15%.

At level five, Freesingers cannot be held by any bonds. Once per day the singer may cause ropes or shackles that are physically in contact with them to come undone at will.

At level seven, Freesingers have access to an ability that works in the same way as the wizard spell knock and can use this spell three times per day. It is only effective if the Freesinger is trying to get out of an area or to release someone, it can never be used to break in.

At level twelve, the Freesinger’s Charisma increases by 1 point permanently. The Freesinger may increase his charisma as though affected by a friends spell once per day.

At level fifteen, the Freesinger permanently gains 2d4 points of charisma to a maximum of 19. Any good-aligned creature or character attempting to attack the Freesinger must first make a save vs. paralyzation in order to do so. Failure means they cannot bring themselves to harm the priest.

Affiliated Orders:

The Knights of the Rose (NG). The Knights of the Rose are a knightly order whose power stems from local Rayan institutions. Since the Rayans lack a centralized form of worship or even a hierophant or head of faith, each chapter of Roseknights is completely independent. Not all Rayan temples maintain a chapter, as it requires a fairly large excess of funds to support them.
Knights of the Rose serve as a militant arm of the Rayan temple; they are often dispatched to protect prostitutes and wolfsdens. Each chapter has a loose hierarchy that is essentially organized along the following lines:

The Acolytes: These knights are not yet full priests in the Rayan temple. They must obey their superiors and are frequently sent to help bolster the temple’s reputation in larger social circles (ie, adventurers for hire).

The Knights: These knights are free to do whatever they believe will be pleasing to Raya. They are expected to report to their superiors every so often, but otherwise they run their own affairs. They are full priests of Raya.

The Captains: Particularly large chapters may have between two and five captains in command of various groupings or conrois of knights.

The Chapter Master: The highest authority in the order, the Master does not have absolute power over his knights, but they are expected to respect his wishes, particularly in terms of politics.

Knight of the Rose
(Warrior kit)

Requirements: 12 Str, 10 Con, 15 Cha
WPs, Required: None
WPs, Recommended: Arming sword
NWPs: Bonus profs: any craft or art proficiency. Recommended: etiquette, heraldry

Equipment: Knights of the Rose receive 500gp to spend at character creation. However, all weapons and armor cost an additional +50%, as they are works not only of battle but of art. Any gold left over at the end of creation is returned as a priest.

Benefits: Knights of the Rose are favored with a +1 reaction bonus in all social situations where Raya is recognized. They are automatically knighted at level 1, granting them social status. Furthermore, good hirelings are much less likely to betray a Knight of the Rose for any reason.

Knights of the Rose may prepare and cast spells from the Charm, Sun, and Healing spheres as though they were rangers.

Special Hinderances: Knights are attached to a specific Rayan temple and there commanded by the head of their individual order. Knights of the Rose are also prohibited from buying normal “functional” weapons and armor, and must always purchase something that is at least +20% of its original cost. This is because the dictates of the order state that all martial extensions of the Knight must be pleasing to Raya.

Races: Most often human, though any acculturated race group may join the Knights. Most commonly this would extend towards halflings and gnomes, rarely elves, and almost never dwarves.

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