Flames and Steel: The Chromatic War
Goddess of Stars, Dreams, Travel, and Luck
(modified for this campaign)
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Domains: Good, Chaos, Travel, Liberation, Luck
Epithets: “The Song of Spheres,” “Starsong,” “The Great Dreamer,” “The Tender of Dreams”
Terms of Address: “My Lady,” “Desna,” “Great Dreamer,” etc.
Associations: Butterflies, especially a blue swallowtail with the sun, moon, and stars on its wings
Appearance: An elven woman with butterfly wings containing the beauty of the night sky
Herald: The Night Monarch, a divine creature (the only one of its kind)
Home: The Sevenfold Cynosure
Desna is an ancient goddess of liberation, most beloved by the human desert tribes. While other deities were busy creating the earth, she built the heavens and the stars for future creatures to enjoy, and to aspire of reaching. She wants everyone to dream—figuratively, not just literally.
The Desnan Faith and Its Faithhful
As a chaotic, freedom-loving goddess, she has few organized forms of worship. Her faithful mostly pray on their own, and, if not born to the faith (as those among the nomadic tribes are), they discover the Great Dreamer through word of mouth. Many come to her through their professions and hobbies, so she is commonly worshiped by explorers, sailors, gamblers, and those who stargaze or frequently travel. Others are more inclined to follow her by their nature. This includes outsiders, like some night fey, avorals (which are bird-like), and artistic, freedom-loving azata called lillends.
The Desnan faith, though unorganized, has a holy text it distributes. “The Eight Scrolls” details her origins and describes the basic Desnan precepts. Each copy is magically made or hand-copied by priests and clerics, then given out as gifts or purchased through the temples. Texts probably exist in all the arcane and mundane libraries of the continent. Most other writing considered holy may be described as divinely-inspired graffiti at road-side shrines.
As for sacred structures: Desna wishes people to explore and enjoy nature, so her few constructed temples are crosses between travelers’ rests and open-air observatories. These temples have maps, and bulletin boards for worshipers to advertise goods and services and to exchange messages and warnings. Travelers also treat the little road-side shrines (which are all over the continent) as message boards, in addition to the slightly more frequent usage of these shrines as places to pray for safe travel and leave offerings.
Followers of Desna admire free flying creatures like butterflies and hawks, as well as Desna’s divine servants: her herald, the Night Monarch; the Lyrakien, which are her nomadic, fey-like messengers; and the star monarchs, a race of semi-divine and insentient butterflies, possibly created as the Night Monarch’s miraculous offspring.
The Great Dreamer’s followers also celebrate two special events: the Swallowtail Festival (twice a year), and the Ritual of Stardust.
Desna’s Relations with Other Deities
Desna tends to be somewhat aloof from other deities, so has few friends and few enemies, if any of either. She is on good terms with Shelyn (the Love Goddess of Beauty and Art) and Sarenrae (the Sun Goddess of Healing and Light). Desna and her followers have had frequent, positive encounters with Shelyn and Sarenrae and their followers, and so will work together without much hesitation.
While no deity holds particular hatred for Desna, she holds great one-sided animosity for Lamashtu, the twisted goddess who killed Curchanus, Desna’s mentor god, and stole his domain over Beasts. (The Travel domain was, in fact, Curchanus’ dying gift to Desna.) She also hunts for the evil demi-god creature Ghlaunder, whom she mistakenly released from his prison. In general, she opposes deities who pervert the night with fear, as it should be “a time of wonder and beauty.”