Goddess of Passion, Love, and Beauty
Favored Weapon: Rapier, Dart
Alyssa, Fair Queen
Daughter of Vultan and Cheleria and mother to Akarai, Archgate, and Dra, the goddess of passion, love and beauty is one of the most commonly worshiped of the generous gods. The Fair Queen encourages her followers to live fully in her domain, giving fully of themselves to each other. Though she dislikes rules and laws, Alyssa loves developed communities and strong family ties. To her they are not bondage but freedom; where there is trust and openness one is truly free to love and be loved. This communal freedom is her desire for all peoples.
Alyssa is the goddess of all the things that make polite society function: charm, wit, grace, deference, trust and tolerance. She is present both in courtly ceremony and the lowliest of gatherings, though she prefers the lower. It is there, she believes, that love can be true because it is not bound by tradition and etiquette.
As the goddess of family and community, she was honored by Marya and given the right of domain over marriage and childbirth. Marya realized that she was becoming increasingly detached from the peoples of the world as she became more and more caught up in her role as creator. Alyssa acts as a mediator to Marya for those seeking children. While priestesses of Alyssa are not the only who perform marriage rites, in all rites Alyssa is invoked to maintain the matrimonial bond or to bring healthy offspring.
However, it is not for these reasons that Alyssa is known as the Fair Queen. In the wilds, the roles of love, community, charm and beauty are different. They fringe on Seiba's realm. The goodly fey worship Alyssa as their queen. They don't turn to her for laws or to settle disputes, but rather as their ideal form. Where she is beauty, they pursue beauty. Where she is love, they pursue love. Where she is charm and grace, they pursue charm and grace. Some even say that sylvan was created simply because there were not words beautiful enough in any of the primal languages to describe the Fair Queen.
Alyssa, Mistress of Pleasure
The Dark Mistress, like the Fair Queen, is said to be of unmatched physical beauty. To see her in her true form is said to strike mortals blind; having seen her, their eyes wish to see nothing else. She is the goddess of physical beauty, carnal desire and lust. Passion and pleasure are to her the ultimate. Any pursuit must either be for passion or to produce pleasure. The life of a mortal, even the long-lived elves, is too short to waste on anything else. One must strive to please oneself in any manner possible. She discourages pursuits that harm others, as that diminishes their ability to experience pleasure for themselves, but she does not forbid it, as doing so might limit the capacity for some to find joy. Unlike the Fair Queen, she does not encourage the aid of others unless doing so brings pleasure to the individual providing the help.
The Mistress encourages living in the present. The past contains only pain or the dim shadows of pleasure remembered. The future holds too much worry and delays the wonders that could be experienced today. It is only in the present that we truly live, and only there that we can live to the fullest. This does not mean that the past is worthless, as pleasure remembered is better than nothing and it is memories of good things that carry the downtrodden through trials. Neither does it mean that preparation for the future is useless as many wonders require preparation and planning. Rather, the Mistress wants the past and future to not be hindrances to what is present.
Alyssa encourages her followers to give into their passions for each other. They are to enjoy each other, preferably consensually. Marriage, even short-term marriages, are seen as a hindrance. Children are encouraged only for those who find joy in the raising of children and not for everyone. Even laws are only encouraged to be followed so long as doing so does not limit pleasure and forestalls pain.
As the Fair Queen is considered the ideal of the fey, the Mistress of Pleasure is the progenator of vampires. In a way, it is from her that they were formed. The first vampire was a woman after whom her kind were named. Vampire was an elven maiden and the lover of Chatalize who caught the eye of Alyssa. Vampire was said to be the most gorgeous elf to ever have lived and Alyssa wanted her. She used her incredible beauty and supernatural charm to entice Vampire away from Chatalize. Absolutely crushed, Chatalize killed Vampire so that she would forever be in Chatalize's realm. In order to not lose something she desired, Alyssa charmed the dread god Phane into turning Vampire into one of his undead before Vampire could cross Geth's gate so that she might spite Chatalize. The Mistress imbued Vampire with her wit, charm and beauty. Soon, however, Alyssa tired of Vampire and abandoned her.
Symbols, Priests and Temples
The symbol of Alyssa is an apple or a similar regional fruit.
The temples are always incredibly beautiful, in whatever manner best exemplifies beautiful construction. Though not nearly as well built as the temples of Archgate, they are always as well maintained. Nearly all of them are draped in red cloth, red wood or red paint, the color of Alyssa.
Priests of Alyssa generally fall into one of two categories: married couples who join together to administer the religious rites or temple prostitutes intimately connecting people with the gifts of the goddess. Though some dress more provocatively than others, all priests of Alyssa are physically attractive and dress in such a way as to accent their physical beauty.
Zanasta, the Sirene of Alyssa. She serves a dual role both as the bringer of love and the inspiration of lust. It is said by some that her singing will make two people love each other, but the touch of her hand will inspire insatiable desire.
Priests of the Fair Maiden must always perform a marriage ceremony for any couple professing to be in love.
They have no other formal tenets, as each follower of Alyssa is expected to follow their own heart in all things.
Sacred Animal: leopard