While waiting for kids, I finished out my deity for the DND game. We're recreating the game, and I'm playing a cleric. The contraits that I worked out for myself: fire, craft, and luck. Please excuse all the typos and unreadable bits.
AKA the Little Sister, The Youngest Sister, Fire Bringer, Hearth Tender, Bird Waker, Dawn Bringer
Honorifics: Burning Hands, Many Colored, Curly Haired, Green Eyed, Clever Handed, Impetuous
Symbol: Burning Torch wrapped with cloth. (The burning torch is usually symbolic.)
Intermediate Goddess of Fire, Cooking, the Hearth, Crafts, Good Fortune, the Dawn
Domains: Good, Fire, Craft, Luck
The youngest daughter of the Sun and the Moon, Anastaya (literally “early light goddess”). From An-Asta-ya. literally “early light goddess”. An- “early. “Asta” light. “-ya” archaic honorific for female dieties.
The Daughters of the Sun and the Moon
The first daughter of the sun and the moon is Castaya (the Boatswain). From Casta (boatswain) and -ya (a feminine divine honorific). She guides the boart through the underworld that the Sun and the Moon travel when they are not in the sky. She also transports souls to the lands of the dead. She is the third wife of the Lord of the Underworld.
The second daughter of the Sun and the Moon is Beraya (the Dusk). (From Bera - the Dusk, and -ya, a feminine divine honorific.) Beraya receives her parents on the far side of the world, cares for their steeds, and sees them saftely about Castaya’s boat. She also brings the cloak of night upon the world. She is the only wife of the West Wind.
The third and youngest daughter of the Sun and the Moon is Anastaya. The Youngest Sister prepares for the celestial journey. She prepares the steeds for the celestial ride. She brings light to the land. She awakens her parents from their slumber and sees them on their way. She is married to the East Wind.
The Myth of Anastaya Fire Bringer
One day, as she rolled back the night, Anastay noticed that the people below were huddled and shivering. She felt pity in her heart for them, resolving her heart to do something about this. In those days, the Sun and the Moon met more regularly, leaving the darkened sky to the stars. In that darkness, Anastaya crept into heaven while her parents trysted on the Dark Ship that carried them to a new day. From her mother’s bed, she stole the secret of cloth, and from her father’s throne, she stole fire. She traveled down to the land and gave these things to the shivering men.
When Anastaya’s parents found these things out, they were outraged. Anastaya was brought to trial. The Wise Father himself found this disturbing. He ordered that his the Sun and Moon should be more vigilant. No more could they tryst as they once did. That is why the Sun and the Moon spend so much time in the sky, but rarely meet. As to Anastaya, he bashed her from the heavens. Now she only creeps up to the edge of the sky, but may never show herself fully.
The Legend of Anastaya Burning Hands
Several hundred years ago, the cities of Thean and Umbra were at war. Thean camped before the walll of Umbra, beseiging the city. Each side build walls, attempting to outmaneuver each other in this way. Walls and counter-walls went up quickly. Umbra’s leader, Boll the Smith, lead many sorties against the enemy wall. One night, in a daring raid, he lead twenty warrior, without armor, across the fields between the sides and attacked the enemy in their camp. The warrior were spotted before they could attack. During the fight, Boll fell. His compatriots drug his body back to the city, where he died shortly afterwards.
Eru, his son, sent word to Kless, the Thean general. He asked for a truce, so that a pyre could be raised for Boll, and his death properly honored. Kless found this right and proper. He ordered his own men to bring up wood for the pyre. Before the evening, a bier stood a hundred yards from the wall, halfway between the walls and the enemy.
In the dusk, which is the proper time for a funeral, Boll was laid on the pyre, surround by the many swords and armors that he had taken from his Thean victories. As the pyre burned higher and brigher, a miracle occured. Anastaya appeared in the fire, hands face up, flames shooting forth from her palms. All who beheld her cried tears of fear and joy, falling on their faces in humility. As quickly as she appeared, she left. Even the Theans, who watched from far away, saw the Little Sister in the pyre.
In the morning pre-light, the ashes were gathered, for with the first light of dawn, the truce would end. The mourners, to their surprise, found that all the armor and weapons that had been placed in the fire were now marked with the sign of Anastaya. None showed any sign of fire or smoke. Boll’s own forge hammer now shimmered and cracked, glowing from the inside like red hot metal.
The Umbrans took this as a sign. Eru gathered the people together and attacked the enemy. In the fierce fighting that followed, they seized General Kless, taking him back into the city as a hostage. Being well loved by his troops, the Theans were hesitant to risk his life. In the negociations that followed, a peace was arranged. The Theans would withdraw from Umbran lands, renouncing their greavances for five years. To seal the deal, the King of Thean sent his youngest daughter Fila to marry Eru the Smith.
After the war, Eru pleged himself to the new aspect of Anastaya that she revealed in Umbra: Flaming Hands. He built a forge on the site of the miracle. The weapons that come from this place are natually magical, imbued with the power of the Youngest Sister. Around this forge grew a new temple; the Cult of Anastaya Burning Hands.
Since those days, Umbra’s fortunes have risen. The forge, once a hundred yards from the wall, now sits inside the Third Wall. The alliance between Umbra and Thean grew strong despite their differences, leading to an unusual stabillity in this region. They have only gone to war twice in a hundred years. In both cases, the wars were only seasonal and resulted in few battles. Equally important has been the pressure from their expansionst neighbors.
Wordship of Anastaya
Anastaya is usually worshipped in the home. Although she has a few temples, these are not the norm and pose themselves as unique cults. The city of Rega has adopted her as their patron goddess. This is unusual, as most cities only adopt the greater gods for patrons. They do not hold her as one of three sisters, nor as the dawn. Instead, they hold her as the patroness of arts and learning, and protectress of mankind. They also hold Cataya as the Dark Queen of the underworld and Beraya as patroness of sorcery and magic.
Anastaya is mostly worshipped by women. She is patron of all the womanly crafts, the tending of the hearth, and the protection of the home. The Little Sister also represents cleverness and sneakiness, as demonstrated in her stealing away fire from the gods.
Typically, the youngest woman of the family is tasked with caring for her worship, which involves small offerings of food into the hearth as it is rekindled in the morning. This act reminds the family that Anastaya protects them, brough them the secrets of fire and cloth, and guards their homes. This shows a family’s respect for the goddess.
On her Anastaya’s festival day, which falls on the first new moon following the Solstice, a festival takes place. The young women of the town dress up in elaborate costumes of reed, old cloth, paint, and anything else that is handy. Using pantomime, they reenact the stealing of fire and cloth, Anastaya’s trial before the Wise Father, and her subsequent punishment.
Following the performace, the married women bring forth the Dawn Mantle, a work of wonderous stitchery that every woman on the town has worked on. The shawl is offered to the goddess, then burned on a fire in dedication to her. Following this, the pantomimers throw in their costumes, allowing them to burn as well. Finally, one or more sheep are offered in sacrifice to her, followed by a feast.
Worship Anastaya Burning Hands
The Temple of Anastaya Burning Hands hosts a magical forge and a number of skilled tradesmen. The universal association of these crafts is that all are fire based: smithing, jewelry, casting, glasswork, etc. The lure of the magic forge is enough to entice many many mastercraftsmen from nations away. They take it as their holy duty to teach others the difficulties of their craft.
In addition to this, the temple is also home to a reputable fighting school.
Most of the students go on to take their trade all over the civilized world. Some stay and become priests of Anastaya. They take it as their holy task to go forth into the world and learn the secrets of their craft, and if fortunate, find lost secrets. They bring these skills back to the temple.
Many craftsmen make pilgrimages to the temple. They bring with them mastwork items of all sorts to dedicate to the goddess. They do not expect these items back. These sacrifices are proper obeisance to the Little Sister. The temple sells these items to pay for its upkeep. Sometimes, the goddess enchants the item when it is oftered. This is considered very lucky. For such lucky craftsment, they gain a permanent +2 divine bonus to their best craft skill. Few gain such favors, but those who do go on to work for Archmages and Kings. Likewise, this favor gives them access to the holy forge. Of the men so chosen by the goddess, all but one have returned in their old age to work at the forge.
The general public does not generally visit the temple of Anastay Burning Hands. When they do, they generally bring broken metal items.
The Temple of Anastaya Burning Hands is not a church. They do not hold regular services. They do not seek converts. The priests do little more than guide the supplicants in their own offerings and otherwise regulate access to the forge. Whether anyone chooses to worship their goddess is their own business.
The temple itself is well walled, with a regular contigent of dedicated guards. The families of the city take it as a point of pride to provide guards for the temple. With the addition of a regular fighting school, a large number of trained smiths, and a small clergy, this seemingly open temple is far better defended than it may seem. More than a few thieves have discovered the hard way that behind the magical doors with masterwork locks are men and women ready, willing, and well able to fight. A little help from iron, bronze, and other metallic golems of varied size and shape helps, too.
On the goddess’s holy day, the temple holds the normal festival for Anastaya. On Defending Day, they hold their own festival. Young, unmarried women dress up in reed headdresse, carrying sticks with colorful cloth wrapped around them and carrying baskets as sheilds. In these outlandish getups, they stand before the gates offering battle. The apprentices toss wicker ammunition at the assembled host. They refight the battle before the gates, with the eldest apprentice being Boll, the youngest apprentice as Eru, the eldest unmarried woman as General Kless (complete with fake beard), and the youngest unmarried woman as Kless’s daughter, Fila. They ceremonially refight the battle, the hostage taking, the negociation, and the wedding of Eru and Fila.
The day ends with a large bonfire to the goddess where the costumes are burned. Although it’s not an official part of the ceremony, many impromput couples wander sneak off into the night.</ljcut>