Alcyone (3.5e Deity)
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|Symbol:||A red rose, encircled by a golden band|
|Home Plane:||Material Plane|
|Portfolio:||Fey, Elves, Forests, Secrets, Magical Creatures|
|Clergy Alignments:||LN, LG, LE, N|
|Domains:||Nobility, Plant, Secrets|
|Favored Weapon:||Dart, Dagger, Ranseur, Two-Bladed Sword, Rapier, Longbow|
A goddess of impeccable beauty and presence, Alcyone is the creator-deity of the Fey, a collection of sentient creatures who reside deep in the natural forests of world of Tirr, mostly on the continent of Halimeda. In some myths, she is also considered to be the patron deity of the Elves, although the truth of which has never been ascertained. Nevertheless, it is a widely believed legend, which bolsters the mutual kinship that the elves of Halimeda often have with the Fey, even to the point of cohabitation in the Holy City of Ashalorien.
When Alcyone originally left the Pantheon of Tirr along with the rest of the exiled Aesir, she did so begrudgingly. While quite reserved, often only ever speaking in few utterances, though always with a regal and powerful presence in her words, she had no desire to leave the divine realm, but refused to bind herself to the Oath, as subjecting herself to what she saw to another power would violate her ideal of Sovereignty.
She is a reclusive deity, usually only appearing to those of Fey or Elven blood who are faithful to her ideals, and even then, she is true to her reputation in that her speeches are often short, precise, yet extremely powerful and influential. She is often appears and is depicted as a winged Nymph of immaculate beauty. Bards sing of her colossal form, often depicted as nude, but cloaked in the colors of the rainbow, itself, adorned with a crown of roses upon her head.
As one of the Aesir, Alcyone shares the burden met by the other deities who have been removed from the divine essences of their former realm for too long, forcing themselves into a deep slumber in order to conserve and accumulate the resources needed to fuel their divinity. She tends to sleep for longer periods of time than most of the Aesir, which coincidentally aligns with the natural longevity of her most common worshipers' lifespans. She also takes the shape of the great Yggdrasil, the gigantic tree that presides over the Holy City of Ashalorien, when she sleeps.
Embodying the ideal of Sovereignty, Alcyone is the greatest supporter of autonomy and individual responsibility. Her philosophy is that all creatures are responsible for their own kingdom, and their own actions, and that the natural law of the world requires them to mete out their own ethics, codes and laws to govern themselves by. This does not mean that she forbids the construction of social hierarchy, as she, herself, governs over others, but rather that society itself also must be willing to be self-reliant and must not fear isolation as a result, and must also be willing to defend itself and claim what is its own.
Accompanying values tend to manifest in her followers as high self-worth, national and ethnical pride, as well as fierce territorial attitudes, although the deity, herself, does not endorse nor condone any specific level of aggression or lack thereof. Her moral compass is ambiguous, but not necessarily absent, entirely, after all. She cares for her followers, and often is willing to serve as a benevolent ruler, but is coldly indifferent to outsiders or those who would challenge her philosophy. The latter is often seen in her followers, as well, which has led to Volare's inherent isolation from the rest of the world, and often unfriendly attitude towards outsiders.
Those who draw divine power from Alcyone are often Druids who devote themselves to their goddess' teachings, living within the forests and assisting the Fey in driving evil and ugliness from their sacred groves. Sometimes, however, this also includes outsiders who may have wandered into the wood, unknowingly. Fortunately enough, like most Fey, they will warn others to remove themselves before attacking in earnest.
Clergy and Temples
Most uniformed and official clerics are of elven descent, based in the Holy City of Ashalorien, where the major temple to Alcyone exists, just outside of the grove from which the Yggdrasil springs up. Clerical orders are often tasked with being emissaries to the druidic and shamanic cultures of the wild elves who live in the planes of the region, as well as to settlement leaders when dealing with affairs between the government of the nation and its many local governments.
Clerics are not opposed to witnessing to others about the greatness of their deity, and do typically look down on followers of deities other than their own, though they may individually be different or might well respect the other deities, themselves. By extension, most who worship Alcyone associate her with the state of Volare, the place where her chosen peoples congregate, and her current resting place.
Paladins are often reserved as the Holy Guard of the Archpriest and the Holy City of Ashalorien, but can often be dispatched to conflict zones that require immediate or speedy resolution, as well as those that are sensitive to the state. Those who follow Alcyone wield their blade in service to her ideals, often characterized as being strict, worldly people, bearing the weight of their reputations and house-names with pride and solemnity.
Alcyone has maintained complicated relationships with most deities of both the Pantheon and of the Aesir throughout time immemorial. She is often aligned with the likes of Tirros and Bestia, both of which embody philosophical elements that are highly compatible with her own, with the former espousing the bounds of territory and the other advocating self-reliance through sport and hunting. Mara has supported her, at times, having some similarities with her in regards to her dedication to her own nation and national pride, but Alcyone's lack of compassion towards others often gets in the way of the two seeing eye to eye. The same can be said of her relationship with Isis, a deity who also founded and cares for a nation, and Bahamut, who lectures her when he meets her, but will largely leave her alone so long as she doesn't transgress any others.
She reluctantly receives some one-sided support from Gahss in that her people's fervor towards her ideals lead to the Halimedan Campaign, and the constant conflict between themselves and other races. Jubila sometimes finds some love for her people, since they tend to be culturally rich, but has little love for the serious and aloof deity, herself.