This is part of a series on Arth’s Pantheon. Twice a month we’re taking a look at life on Arth and the gods that shape it. If you’re new to the series, get started with an overview. This post looks at the gods of the realm of love.
Is there any greater force in the world than love? Probably, but don’t say as much within earshot of the clergy of Arth. The hells have no fury like a love god scorned.
Stennish charms on display at the Museum of Andarun show a goddess with seven hands. Most Agekeepers believe she was once the dominant goddess of love. Her name is lost to time.
- Race: Sten
- Status: Banished, (formerly Dominant)
Valeuneleth is the goddess of passion, desire, and intimate relations. More commonly known as Vala, she is said to bless lovers, and most Gnomish and Human marriages invoke her to keep love strong alive. She had many suitors for her hand, but chose Odylanar, God of the Hunt, to be her husband. He is a good match for the Queen of Roses; he’s passionate when he’s with her, and he’s not with her too often.
Vala’s temples have reams of scripture detailing the distinctions between themselves and brothels, but by the time your temple is writing that sort of thing up, all you’re missing is the velvet cushions. She has few direct foes among the other gods, though her dalliances have set off more than a few legendary conflicts. Vala is seldom herself involved in open war; when the Lover wishes to end someone, it is done with a powder in the wine or a dagger amid the rumpled sheets.
- Titles: The Queen of Roses, the Lover
- Race: Elf
- Status: Ascendant
- Favored Weapon: Dagger
- Holy Symbol: A Fountain with Three Tiers
- Colors: Pink and white
It is said that half of marriage is making the bed and doing the dishes. That’s the part that Dewen is responsible for. Dewen has always been the goddess of fidelity, patient love, and commitment. Many weddings mention her, but some do not, because she was wed to Mailuck. Her husband began to would roam the depths of the sea for years without telling her. He met Mannon in the darkness, and left Dewen to became the Betrayed Goddess. Her believers note that she finds joy in the love she once had, and endures much with a patient spirit. She is often associated with melancholy or nostalgia, and is frequently invoked by widows and widowers. Dewen is the Patroness of Clan Dewbell, the Deep Gnomes.
Dewen’s temples are simple, sparse, and immaculately kept. In addition to Deep Gnomes, she’s honored by lighthouse keepers and gate guards. Custom holds that if a lie is spoken in her sanctum, the liar will go mute for a week. A worse fate is said to await adulterers who set foot in Dewen’s temple, making her shrines a popular destination for suspicious spouses.
Dewen feigns to avoid conflict, but she is shrewd and has ears everywhere. She peddles information freely amid other celestial beings, and is a fearsome opponent when crossed. She often moves agains Gich and Kud’gar, and while she never directly opposes Magluck, she seems to delight in tormenting his allies.
The third month of Arth’s calendar, commonly called Bloomtide, is named for Dewen.
- Titles: The Betrayed Goddess, The Patient One
- Race: Gnome
- Favored Weapon: A smooth club
- Holy Symbol: A lantern, or a pattern of three lanterns (especially at weddings – one for the bride, one for the groom, and one for Dewen)
- Colors: Yellow and Blue
Gich (formerly Girak)
Girak was once the Dwarven god of parental love, familial unity, and affection for children. His desire for more and more children drove him from the graces of Ad’az and into a deal with Mannon. Goaded on by Gich’s priests, the Gnolls, Goblins, and Orcs bred massive armies for the War of Betrayal and Nephan’s War. Today, the Goblins still revere him as Gich, the great fertility god, and he is often used as a symbol of virility.
Gich has few ambitions. More correctly, Gich has one ambition, and he passes it along to his followers. Shadowkin smirk when they talk of him, swear using his name, and tell dirty jokes and unseemly stories about him. Yet priests of Gich are always in demand from infertile couples or aging Orcs who can use a Potion of Might, if the priest understands their meeting. He is mostly seen in legends as allying with Kud’gar for ill-fated schemes, though he also has a well-known feud with Dewen and frequently fights with Tandos.
- Titles: The Goblin Father, The Dirty Old Man
- Race: Goblin (formerly Dwarf)
- Favored Weapon: Polearm / Spear
- Holy Symbol: (Unfit for Print)
- Colors: Red and Green
That’s it for this section of Arth’s Pantheon. You can get a good overview of the gods of Arth here. There’s more Arth Lore available on the blog as well. And in case you haven’t journeyed to Arth yourself yet, check out my books for some fantasy adventure that’s so funny, it’s epic.