Eyvra

Title The Dawn flower ,The Everlight, The Healing Light, The Healing Flame
Portfolio Sun, Redemption, Honesty, Healing
Alignment Neutral Good
Worshipers Healers, farmers, redeemed evil-doers
Worshiper Alignment LG,NG,CG,N
Domains Fire, Glory, Good, Healing, Sun
Subdomains Agathion, Day, Heroism, Light, Restoration, Resurrection.
Favored Weapon Scimitar
Symbol Angelic ankh
Allows creation or rising of undead: No
Favored Animal(s) Dove
Sacred Colors Blue,Gold

Obedience

The Dawnflower values the redemptive powers of compassion and patience, and extends them to all who might be capable of good. Offer to heal a stranger of his wounds, either by using the powers granted to you by Eyvra or with a potion, scroll, or other item you possess. Tell the stranger it is by the will of Eyvra that you share your healing gifts. You may also use your Heal skill to perform this act of healing service. If you can’t find a stranger who will accept your offer, stand beneath the open sky during the daylight hours. Blindfold yourself with a red-and-gold scarf and try to locate the sun in the sky through the layers of fabric. Gain a +2 sacred bonus on Perception checks.

Dogma

Known to her faithful as the Dawnflower, the Healing Flame, and the Everlight, Eyvra is a goddess who teaches temperance and patience in all things. Compassion and peace are her greatest virtues, and if enemies of the faith can be redeemed, they should be. Yet there are those who have no interest in redemption, who glory in slaughter and death. From the remorseless evil of the undead and fiends, to the cruelties born in the hearts of mortals, Eyvra's doctrines preach swift justice delivered by the scimitar's edge. To this end, she expects her faithful to be skilled at swordplay, both as a form of martial art promoting centering of mind and body, and so that when they do enter battle, their foes do not suffer any longer than necessary.

Eyvra is one of the most popular deities on Xilrin, and followers of many other faiths respect her power, dedication, and generosity. Eyvra is kind and loving, a figure of light, guidance, and healing, and has great patience with those who choose to be blind but may one day see. Yet for all her compassion, Eyvra is also a powerful force against evil, and strikes down the irredeemable without mercy. Her faith is ancient; it first became popular among Ancient Maj`Dul humans and into other human and nonhuman civilizations as well.

Eons ago, Eyvra was an angel guiding the energies of the sun and battling evil beings that sought to plunge the newborn world of Xilrin and its sister planets into eternal darkness. Other angels lent her their support and turned to her for leadership in these battles, and eventually gods joined them as she grew in power to become one of the mighty empyreal lords.

Eyvra is a goddess of boundless love and exquisite kindness, a caring friend, mother, sister, and protector of all in need. She delights in healing the sick, lifting up the fallen, and shining a guiding light into the darkest hearts and lands. She brushes off insults and deflects attacks, patiently trying to convince those who perceive her as other wields a scimitar against those who would spread darkness, hatred, and pain. The church does not teach that Eyvra is the sun itself; rather, she is its guardian and conduit for its power, and while fanciful art may show her face in place of the sun, the mainstream faithful recognize the difference between the star and the goddess. The Dawnflower's faith is a broad one, and the majority of her worshipers are everyday folk who recognize the power of the sun, take comfort in the idea of a deity's love and compassion, and believe strongly in both redemption and righteous action. Her faith attracts those with kind hearts who are nevertheless willing to harden them when kindness is a dangerous weakness. The faith makes few demands of its everyday adherents beyond these tenets, and its clergy are usually seen as valiant protectors and enlightened teachers.

Eyvra indicates her favor with sightings of doves, rays of dawn or dusk sunlight that last far longer than they should, the discovery of yellow stones or gems, or the sudden soothing of aches and pains. Her displeasure is most often made apparent through unexplained sunburns or periods of blindness that can last anywhere from only a few moments for minor transgressions to a lifetime for mortal sins. Her holy symbol is an ankh, though more stylized versions show a winged ankh or a winged female figure with arms outstretched and a halo of flame. Her titles include the Dawnflower and the Cleansing Light to her enemies, she is the Warrior of Fire.

The Church

Services are joyous events incorporating singing and dancing, accompanied by upbeat music; they always take place outside and during daylight hours. The church is very supportive of marriage, and a wedding in a temple is always cause for celebration. There is no stigma attached to divorce, and the delight over a second or third marriage is just as heartfelt as for a person's first. Worshipers in many regions reconsecrate their vows every 10 years. For Eyvra's congregations, faith is not merely a theory, but an active force that underpins their actions; they try to see things in her light, which reveals the hope and potential for goodness in the people they encounter.

Eyvra encourages her faithful to speak out and take stands for what's right-a practice that leads many to characterize Evyrites as fiery zealots. In truth, however, the other half of Eyvra's teachings-that one should always seek first to understand and redeem foes rather than immediately write them off-means that while Evyrites may be passionate and outspoken, their finely honed sense of right and wrong is tempered by compassion.

Temples and shrines

Temples are open to the sky, though larger temples may be enclosed buildings surrounding an open central courtyard where worship is held. Most hang large brass or gold mirrors on high points to reflect more sunlight toward the altar, though they are carefully positioned so as not to blind worshipers. Sun motifs are common decorations, as are white or metallic wings and images of doves. Most temples have a sundial, and gold decorations are often set against light blue silk hangings that evoke sunny skies.

Sunflowers and other plants with large golden flowers surround many of Eyvra's sanctuaries. In poorer communities, these sunflowers' seeds are often eaten, either whole or as a nutritious paste, or are dried and ground into flour to make bread. Believing in charity and supporting the community, churches often bake small loaves of filling, nutritious bread marked with an ankh on top, known as "Dawnflower bread," to distribute to the needy.

Eyvra has many typically a single stone with a sun-ankh, though shrines, marker trios of carved standing stones may mark the summer and winter solstices. Shrines may have niches for candles or small handwritten prayers, and visiting pilgrims typically scatter sunflowers or seeds at the base. In hotter lands, the stone might be part of a small shelter or have an overhang to create a bit of shade for weary travelers.

Taboos

There are few taboos in your faith, and most of them deal with casual cruelty or thoughtlessness that might harm others. When you have been thoughtless, or when you have unnecessarily crushed hope or joy—whether on purpose or inadvertently—you must seek out the wronged person and obtain his forgiveness. If he does not forgive you immediately, you must (within limits) serve him for a period, depending on the severity of the offense. If he asks you to harm another, your service is ended: you serve only the good.

A Priest's Role

Eyvra's faith is one of kindness, healing, honesty, peace, and forgiveness. Her clergy believe wholeheartedly in redemption, and are patient and compassionate in attempting to persuade evildoers to mend their ways. Hers is not a passive faith; the Dawnflower's servants teach that goodness is more than simply not doing harm. They see no point in punishment for its own sake-loving kindness and acceptance draw the lost back to the path of goodness far more effectively than threats or pain-but they do not confuse patience with allowing evil to work its will unopposed. Force may be a last resort for a priest of the Dawnflower, but when she draws her scimitar, her justice will be swift, implacable, and complete.

Those who wage war in Eyvra's name attempt to ensure that it is as clean as they can make it, and that it ends as quickly as possible. Eyvra's acceptance of all who strive toward virtue attracts a diverse clergy: clerics, inquisitors, rangers, sundruids, paladins, monks, and bards are common, as are any spellcasters or warriors who wield magic to defeat evil, bring light and hope to the beleaguered, and aid the sick, poor, and downtrodden.

Her paladins tend to be adventureseekers, many of them searching out downtrodden innocents to defend or questing as penance for past failures or perceived flaws. Eyvra's status as an angel who ascended to full godhood makes her church an attractive choice for those with celestial heritage, and clergy so blessed are often a source of pride for their congregations. The church's message of redemption for all also makes it a compelling choice for those struggling to remain virtuous despite fiendish blood. Whatever their origins and skills, those priests who devote their lives to Eyvra's service rarely seem to sunburn, even if they have fair complexions, and they tend to tolerate heat easily, even if they hail from cold climates. Eyvra's clergy are devoted to serving their communities, administering to their flocks with a gentle hand and wise words. They provide healing and counsel
to those who need it, listen to the confessions of those who wish to bare the wounds of their souls to Eyvra's healing light, expose injustice where they find it, arbitrate disputes, and rehabilitate criminals.

They promote law and order as long as these benefit everyone, but are not afraid to help organize communities against unjust rulers. Priests view casual cruelty or thoughtlessness as genuinely harmful, and if they accidentally engage in one of these behaviors themselves, they seek out the wronged person and attempt to obtain his forgiveness. They understand that goodness takes practice, and regular daily acts of kindness and virtue aid one in building the moral strength to do what is right when one's goodness is challenged in more serious ways.

Such kindness vanishes, however, when the church is stirred to action against an evil that cannot be redeemed. At such times, Eyvra's priests become dervishes, dancing among foes while their scimitars mete out final justice, and even lay worshipers may take up arms. Swordplay, particularly with the scimitar, is considered an art form among Eyvra's priests, and martial-minded priests train rigorously in its intricacies. The church ; while they don't wish to take away free will, they aren't averse to providing extra encouragement to help others choose the correct path.

Most non-adventuring priests live on donations from their congregations. Nobles and wealthy merchants sometimes sponsor or hire priests as healers and peacekeepers. By tradition, most priests will not refuse someone in need of healing even if the person cannot pay, but they are quick to assess who urgently needs medical attention and who will recover naturally, which prevents most exploitation and allows priests to focus their magic on those who really need it.

The Dawnflower's church allows its priests a great deal of mobility between temples-a legacy of its early popularity among the nomadic tribes. This practice helps diffuse pressure from personal feuds, as one priest can relocate to another temple until tempers cool. The head of a particular temple is called the Dawnfather or Dawnmother; members of the temple are expected to follow the decisions of the leader, though normally he or she encourages input from junior members.

Priests of Eyvra are usually skilled at Diplomacy and Heal. Many also learn Knowledge (nature) or Profession (herbalist) to better understand medicinal plants. Those who make a habit of confronting evil usually learn Intimidate, as they prefer for foes to surrender, so they need not beat all their enemies into submission. A priest normally wakes around dawn and salutes the rising sun with a prayer to her goddess. A quick meal follows, as does a short period of introspective prayer, no longer than an hour, after which the priest goes about her work. Priests pause to pray for a few minutes when the sun reaches its highest point in the sky and again shortly before sundown priests who cannot see the sun, such as those in a dungeon or cave, estimate the appropriate time for these prayers.

Holy Text

The one book common to all churches of Eyvra is The Birth of Light and Truth. This ancient text includes stories that date from before Eyvra's ascension to a true goddess, describing the creatures she faced and including a long list of fiends and horrors she destroyed long before mortals learned writing. The rest of the book is more practical than historical, explaining the beliefs of the church, offering advice on dealing with sin and temptation, and providing parables of evil creatures turning to the light of the Dawnflower and living good, productive lives thereafter. The book also contains simple folk remedies for common illnesses and injuries, suggestions for dealing with undead and other evil creatures, and advice to aid those who wish to return to a virtuous path. Most copies contain extra pages for the owner to record his own experiences or uplifting stories he hears so that
he can repeat them to others, and any copy containing a firsthand anecdote from a great priest or paladin is especially prized as a family or church heirloom. It is customary for a hero of the church who performs some great deed for a person or temple to write a brief account in or at least sign a local's copy of Light and Truth (as it is commonly known) as a memento and historical record.

Holidays

Eyvra is the patron goddess of summer, and the high summer month of Eyvris is named for her. The church has several universal holidays, though regional temples may hold additional holidays to celebrate local events, such as the appearance of a saint.

Burning Blades: This holiday takes place on 10 Eyvris, although technically it is the apex of a summer-long celebration in the Dawnflower's name. The holiday represents the light of Eyvra and her power to heal both physical and spiritual injuries and malaise. It is named for the dance of the burning blades, a performance in which the faithful coat ceremonial weapons in slow-burning pitch and dance with them.

Candlemark: This is a personal holiday for members of the faith, a remembrance of when and why they joined the church. By tradition it is held at the winter solstice, representing that even during the sun's weakest day, Eyvra's power to heal and redeem is still with her faithful. In most human cultures, children may declare themselves members of the church on the first Candlemark after their fifteenth birthday. How they celebrate is a matter of personal taste; some hold a feast, some go on a pilgrimage, and some spend the day in prayer. This holiday is particularly meaningful to redeemed evil folk who have found forgiveness in the light of Eyvra.

Sunwrought Festival: The summer solstice celebration honors the longest day of the year. Worshipers dance, give each other small gifts, light fireworks, and sell or trade their finest crafts in a market-like gathering. Fireworks, paper streamers, and simple kites are popular amusements.

Relation With other Religions

The goddess is warm and welcoming toward all nonevil deities. She is also gracious to most of the evil ones, hoping to convince them to turn to the light, and none of them doubt that she honestly wants their redemption-and even their friendship, whether or not they reciprocate that feeling. Though it is rare for either of them to speak of it, her rivalry with Yarnos is passionate, and goes far deeper than their constant battle for mortals' souls. The Dawnflower restrains her disgust for Zephyra's actions in the interest of trying to find a way to help the other goddess become whole again.

Once an empyreal lord herself, she often lends the others support in their causes, and in some lands, empyreal lords are worshiped as saints of the Dawnflower's church, though Eyvra herself makes no such claims.

Eyvra's faithful try to mirror her open armed generosity of spirit and compassion. They teach that redemption is rarely a swift process, and those who would worship her must learn to hold their tempers and patiently guide others to the path of righteousness.

Paladins of Eyvra

The Paladins of Eyvra are fierce warriors, like their goddess. They provide hope to the weak and support to the righteous. Their tenets include the following adages.

  • I will protect my allies with my life. They are my light and my strength, as i am their light and their strength. We rise together.
  • I am fair to others. I expect nothing for myself but that which i need to survive.
  • The best battle is a battle i win. If i die i can no longer fight. I will fight fairly when the fight is fair, and i will strike quickly and without mercy when it is not.
  • I will redeem the ignorant with my words and my actions. If they will not turn toward the light, i will redeem them by the sword.
  • I will not abide evil, and will combat it with steel when words are not enough. I do not flinch from my faith, and do not fear embarrassment. My soul cannot be bought for all the stars in the sky.
  • I will show the less fortunate the light of Eyvra.
  • I will live my life as her mortal blade, shining with the light of truth.
  • Each day is another step toward perfection. i will not turn back into the dark.

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