Oriana, Goddess of Love and Passion
|Sphere of influence:
||Love and Passion
||Shades of Red and Pearl
||Heart made of pearl inset with a teardrop ruby
||cast charm person once per day
||any neutral and good
||any bludgeoning and short sword
||Bloom of Sarhania, Lady of Hearts, Scarlet Lover, Lost Dream, Elerose by Chindari, Arna'arvandor (Stormy Heaven) by Sylvari, Caklugzaza (Fool's Hag) by Khordaldrum, Lovely Laney by Cidals
||Charm, Illusion, Good, Divination
||The Sting of Love (short sword)
Under the shining eyes of Shinara, Oriana entreats as a soft light upon vibrant petals. She is the lilting song lingering the in the air. The scent of a woman upon the pillow. All that is lovely and loved is the purview of Oriana. Her worship attracts a variety or worshippers from the lady of an aspiring lord to the mistress waiting for the lady's husband. Oriana brings the love of the heart, the care and affection between mates and fellows together. With a winning smile and soft caress, she awakes kindred affection and desire to the willing. But as open and joyous as she can be, the Lady of Hearts is also fickle and biting, engendering lust and desire in those who may not wish it.
Many of the powers within the pantheon have also felt the touch of Oriana. As they answer the call of their worshippers, they sometimes find themselves enamored to one in particular or feel a fondness for their fellow deities. And every time, Oriana smiles and dances away within the glow and friendship of her patron, Shinara.
Across Audalis, shrines are found to the Lady of Hearts. Places devoted to Oriana are sites of great loves found and lost. Those who are deeply in care, declaring their heartfelt intentions seek beautiful waterfalls and secluded gardens. Some of the most beautiful of these shrines are found in lands of Alloyen, Azbed Lisel of Khordal, and the ruins of Amurun in Ertain. However, so to are sites where loves are lost, places of darkling gloom, weeping willows, and black roses. Yet always, there is a sense of love and care. And in each, a pair of lovers knows they are blessed when they find the Bloom of Sarhania.
The Sarhania is a rare rose with petals that gleam gold in the center and fade into brilliant shades of pink and red. These roses never die until the love dies. Bards tell rumors and tales of tombs of kings and queens covered in such flowers. But only one has ever truly been seen. In the logging town of Jaycern, a singular grave without a marker grows these blossoms in the spring. And as winter arrives they become silver in the center fading into violet black. Many faithful believe this is the tomb of the goddess herself when she once lived the world as a mortal.
Joining the Pantheon
Oriana was a lovely girl born to the logging tradition of Jaycern. Saddened for having a daughter, not a son, her parents thought their lives would be doomed without an added pair of strong arms for the chores of logging. But Oriana was strong in other ways. At a young age, she had a touch of the earth. With murmured prayers and thanks to the world, flowers bloomed and sickened trees did not wither but grew strong. Her parents were proud of their child…until tales began of the witch. Oriana was a child of nature, of the druidic faith. None questioned her passions until she feel helplessly in love with a lad. Strong and tall, he could fell a tree with a few mighty swings of his ax. But his eyes were not hers to have.
Scorned, she entered the woods to search out the roots needed for love. Shinara, not one to typically be found in the wood, felt the tricky stirrings of desire, passion, and anger. Watching, she noted the girl and wondered how love could drive one so. Obstacles she placed in the path of the girl. But she never failed to gather the herbs needed. With the potion brewed, she returned and stealthily gave it to the lad. But not all hearts can be won in such a way. And he fell into a raging passion of pain and terror for Oriana. His madness drove him to an early death.
Tales of the witch grew, one who haunted the woods and killed the lad. Fathers gathered to find and burn the witch. Oriana, distraught and terrified escaped further into the wood. Here she fell into a slumber under an ancient oak. During the night, whispers assailed her. And what she thought was dream was real. Her patron Kith-Jora spoke to Shinara over the blight of his follower. He did not accept her ways and turned from her. But Shinara, understanding something within Oriana, pled for her case. In the end, Shinara awoke to greet laughing green eyes. In a heartbeat they were gone.
Around her neck was a pearl and opal heart on a thin chain of rubies. It was warm and hummed with a power to will her to her feet. A new purpose filled her as she left the wood. Upon leaving, she cut a lock of her hair, burying it and her possessions as a final farewell to her family. She traveled the world to see all she could. And one day, while sipping wine at a lovely garden park, a green-eyed gentleman stopped to visit. They spoke for hours on end of Shinara and the fickle way of love. They embraced and lain with each other the evening through. From that day and night, she was fully a priestess of the Lady Luck.
In time, she joined the Lady in the heavens. And on that day, the grave in the small village of Jaycern bloomed with Sarhanias.
The heart burns with need and ache setting to fire the skin and alighting the eyes. Electric as storms in a nighttime sky, high above forests of silvered leaves and a dove’s call. As potent as any brew that heightens the senses and tickles fancy. Love is the longing to be and to be had. -Orlando de’Lievan, Troubadour of Passion’s Embrace
The sense of the mind can never truly be understood without tempering by the heart. To feel is to become passion, to embrace the shocks of happiness and grief felt deeply from the simple glimmer of a smile or touch of a hand. Love moves worlds in the motion of sighs and laughter. It aches the heart to bitter tears. It frightens the temperament into a wandering of cause and effect. It is magical.
Oriana appears as a youthful woman, a courtesan, and a dame. She is one moment refined and aloof with laughing eyes. The next she is a lustrous temptress smelling of spring breezes and incense. Her eyes are golden hued seas at daybreak. Her hair unfurls in a streaming of rose and midnight. She is desire in all of its form, enchanting lovers across Audalis to follow their hearts, not their heads. Her form shifts based on desire. Around her neck is a pearl and opal heart on a chain of rubies. And on her hip rests a beautiful short sword with a blade of steel on one side and ruby on the other.
For one day a year, she takes the form of a man to understand romance and entertain love in all its forms. But the rest of the year, she appears as a lady.
Clerics and followers of Oriana tend to use magics to enchant and entrance mortals. The way of the heart and spirit is of the greatest of understands. These magics include enchantment, divination, and transmutation. These followers use their gifts to awaken the world to desire.
The fellowships of Oriana include the following:
Troubadours of Passion: Creation is the ultimate form of expression. Through the crafting of sculpture, song, poetry, paint, and dance, the Troubadours seek to revel the world into a dance of beauty and heartache. Bards, artisans, druids, and various others seek this fellowship to prove their loyalty, desire, and devotion to lovers across Audalis. To own, take part in, or witness such works brings favor upon a relationship, if only for a night or for a lifetime. The Troubadours find themselves constantly following and passionately seeking the followers of Telamor.
Order of Sanguine Ardor: The Order provides counseling and conviction to the fellowship of lovers. They spend the entire year devoid of pleasuring the body. In their studies and travels, they speak with the troubled of the heart. All they ask in payment is a simple smile or hug. The order includes a majority of women, though men have begun to join in recent years. They remain in shrines to the Lady of Love. These shrines are homes with beautiful gardens, natural springs, and other natural wonders. Once a year, when Oriana takes the form of a man, she visits the shrines to bless her chosen with love, granting them an evening for passion.
Eyes of the Beloved: Although loves are won, most times than not they are lost. The Eyes seek justice for lovers who have been spurned, hurt, or killed in their passions. They speak to those who are found as victims of painful love, those who remain after raids by bandits, attacked on streets, forced into working in brothels, or withered in the courts of royalty. At times, they seek the ghosts of the fallen heroes and loves lost. For each of these, they seek a clearing of crimes, balancing the scales between the victim and aggressor. The goals and actions of the Eyes differs between each follower, becoming a personal quest between the victim, the faithful, and Oriana.
Special thanks to Lori Krell, without whom this article would have been lost!
Thanks to t_catt11 for this contribution!