Saera'Ghul (3.5e Deity)
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|Symbol:||Broken Scythe with a white and black feather resting on blade.|
|Home Plane:||Material Plane|
|Alignment:||Lawful Good/Chaotic Evil|
|Portfolio:||Law, Protection, Destruction, Corruption|
|Clergy Alignments:||Any Good or Evil|
|Domains:||Death, Destruction, Healing, Protection|
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Saera'Ghul is often referred to as the broken or mad goddess. She has two distinct personalities within one divine form and one mind; one is pure good, the other pure evil. Saera, the good half, favors the magical and healing arts, and is constantly trying to atone for the actions of the Ghul half. The Ghul half revels in personal violence and killing for amusement, favoring a blackened scythe as a weapon. Both halves loath the other, each alternating control from one week to the next. On the one odd day, the 365th day of the year, the personalities merge for a day. In this one day, she travels between several spiritual planes to renew her agreements with other gods(her agreement doesn't recognize leap years). Saera'Ghul is described as either a beautiful, golden haired woman wearing a white cloak and robe, with shining, sapphire eyes, or as a tall, black haired woman in an armored black dress, wielding a blackened and bloodied scythe, with flames for eyes. The only thing both halves hate equally is infernal outsiders.
The good half promotes the protection of the weak above all else, and does not permit stealing or killing out of vengeance. The Evil half, however, requires that at least one evil act (theft, murder, etc.) be performed per day, or an object of violence must be sacrificed. The followers of Saera'Ghul may erect a temple once every ten days, essentially declaring a space "holy ground" and thus protected. This lasts only as long as the caster remains alive and occupying the "temple", during which time they can perform no other action. This space can be used to protect allies in battle, but a penance of 10gp per character level is paid to the goddess each time a party member is protected by the temple.
Clergy and Temples
Clerics serving one of the dual faces of Saera'Ghul will uphold the dogma of that side, and consider the other half's dogma as separate. Other classes worshiping Saera'Ghul must follow the prime edict of the dogma, or loose all benefits granted by the half they follow. Temples are universally founded at the peak of mountains, with normally only a few individuals in residence. These temples are normally quite poor, but at the same time are directly protected by their patron goddess, causing any entity hostile to the temple to be destroyed on entering the grounds.
Saera'Ghul was originally one of the primordial gods, with domain within the softer emotions(compassion, love, etc) and was one of the very few who bore witness to the creation of the Multiverse. Soon after the creation of the material plane, the non-gods, at that time mostly limited to the few remaining primordials and other outsiders, began the slow process of invading realms the few existing gods had managed to claim after the early battles with the primordials. At the same time, they began spreading throughout the material plane, promising to crush the first vestiges of life taking root there. Among the gods alive at that time, all but Saera'Ghul were occupied with the protection of their own lands. As the landless goddess, she lent aid where she could until the enemy was repelled from all but the material plane. However, when she sought the aid of the other gods, she was turned away, even by Ao(though that's hardly a surprise), as each was too concerned with the protection of their own realms to bother with the currently uninhabited materiel plane. Alone, Saera'Ghul stood against the onslaught of infernal beings, eventually standing triumphant, but at a great cost. During the battle she created a second personality, one that could fight endlessly and tirelessly with no consideration for the destruction of the creatures around it; after the battle, this new personality was not willing to rejoin with the original, thus the good and evil halves were born. When the other gods learned of this change, they forbade her from entering the celestial realms save for once a year, on which day the gods would help unify her mind for that one day. Since then, she has continued to reside in the material plane, constantly traveling from one place to another, eradicating any outsider she encounters(including gods, occasionally)and either killing or protecting the mortal races.
Regarding the Time of Troubles: During the Time of Troubles, Saera'Ghul was elevated to the celestial planes and given back her sanity by Ao, primarily to keep her from hunting down the god-avatars and killing them, but also so she could clearly see the changes within the material plane and celestial planes alike. At the conclusion of the Time of Troubles, she was returned back to the material plane and returned to her split personality state. She has, from this point on, been much more lenient when dealing with the Gods. She also does not require worshipers like other deities(except Ao) post Time of Troubles, and cannot be weakened by eliminating the few she does have.
Regarding Portfolios: Due to Saera'Ghul's status as a pre-multiverse deity, she is not subject to Ao's restrictions on portfolios. This is also partially due to the extremely small number of followers she has and the fact that she's less known than virtually any other deity. In addition, she is not required to act on her portfolios in any way, but rather they define her personal actions more than anything else.
As Saera'Ghul is a deity residing on the material plane, she can be encountered in the flesh. Saera'Ghul may be encountered anywhere in the material plane at a battlefield after the battle has concluded, within an impoverished or entrenched city, or at any break between the material plane and any other plane. Her appearing is still extremely unlikely, as she may simply be elsewhere, or unwilling to reveal herself to mortals. If there is a follower of Saera'Ghul among the party and she is present, that party member will be able to see and interact with her, but not be able to speak with any of his fellow party members about her presence. If the party offends the goddess and she is later in proximity, she will either place a geass on the party to perform some difficult task, or she may simply kill them all(depending on which personality is in control). If the party directly pleases the goddess, she may bestow either defensive or offensive buffs(once again, dependent on which personality). Note: as with any divine encounter, it's entirely up to the DM how Saera'Ghul acts towards the party if he chooses to have the party encounter her.