Like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, Avaruum lulls her followers into a false sense of security and then springs her inescapable trap on them.
Favored Weapons: Flail, Pilum
Avaruum, Lady of Greed
The daughter of Halgar and Hylarr, Avaruum was born to twist the intentions of others and mercilessly hold them to their word. Avaruum is often erroneously identified as the twin sister of the god Vigos, a mistake that she chooses to exploit rather than dispel.
Avaruum has one policy - to always receive back more than she gives. She is the embodiment of greed, but not the blind greed of fools. She is cold and calculating, meticulous and intelligent. She does not simply wait to receive what is hers but actively seeks it out and takes it. This is unfortunate for many, as Avaruum believes that everything ought to be hers. She is a cruel and jealous god, striving to one day surpass even Uhel in power. It is for her blasphemy against Uhel that Avaruum was cast from the holy mountain.
Her primary source of power is the desperate. Avaruum’s guiding philosophy does not preclude her from being very giving. On the contrary, Avaruum will give to whomever is bold enough to ask her, and in whatever measure they desire. But there is always a clause, a catch, in the contract that ensures that, in the end, she comes out more powerful than before. With many such cases, the Lady of Greed simply requires a large sacrifice or a period of devotion, but in extreme cases, she may steal the very soul of the individual to become a devil in her employ.
Avaruum is known, from time to time, to disguise herself as Vigos to try to sway some of his followers away from him. Many once reputable merchants are wooed by her calls of riches and power at the slight cost of a little moral flexibility. Avaruum never demands much to begin, just a slight altering of wording or an obfuscation of motives - never anything blatantly evil and always things that are entirely legal. She slowly encourages increasing the exploitation of loopholes and red tape. She plays the long con, slowly reeling in unsuspecting victims until they are too embedded in her ways to escape. Then she begins to take her rewards from them.
Avaruum and Archgate have a tenuous, but positive, relationship. While he does not condone her usury, and she does not care for his generosity, they find a kinship in the love of strict order and well worded contracts. Avaruum often turns to the Runelord to confirm her dealings, as she knows him to be honest and just. Archgate continues the relationship in hopes that one day, Avaruum might be reformed and turn from her ways and use her power for the benefit of others.
Mishya and Avaruum have a somewhat tumultuous relationship. While the Lady of Greed and the All-Wise might see eye-to-eye on both moral and ethical principles, especially in regards to others besides themselves retaining secrets, they are often at odds regarding which of them ought to have access to that information. Mishya claims that it should be hers and in possession of her Dark Mishyans, to be used against her enemies. Avaruum claims that she has rights and that she ought to use it to blackmail others to increase her power. The two often work side-by-side to unearth hidden information, but do so warily, hoping to find reason to betray the other and keep the reward for themselves.
Avaruum is depicted as a beautiful woman, often reclining on a couch. Her face is never shown, either covered by an object, turned away or hidden behind a dark veil.
The Missing Aspect
Unlike most of the other minor gods, Avaruum’s portfolio only contains one known aspect. This is the only similarity she shares with Braeya. However, unlike Braeya who is complete in her single aspect, Avaruum was created for two aspects and one is simply missing. Avaruum is very aware of her handicap, and views her missing aspect as an amputee views his missing limb.
Many believe this missing aspect is the source of Avaruum’s insatiable greed and cruelty. Some even believe that discovering this aspect would unify the Lady of Greed and cease her constant affliction of the people of Galhadria. There are groups of priests (whom she exploits) seeking to find and return her missing half.
Symbols, Priests and Temples
The symbol of Avaruum is a serpent. Often this serpent will be coiled around a staff, the haft of a spear or flail, or worn around the upper arm.
Avaruum’s colors are black and brown, though many priests of Avaruum will incorporate orange into their robes so as to appear like follower of Vigos. The priests may wear any type of garments they wish, but they always cover their faces in some manner.
Priests of Avaruum are a cruel and sinister group, always seeking legitimate opportunity to ascend the social and political ladder. High priests of Avaruum don’t last very long as opportunistic priests are common; those that do manage to remain in power are quite adept at both martial and magical combat and will often destroy perceived threats with little warning.
Temples of Avaruum are uncommon. Most places of “worship” to the Lady of Greed are little more than small shrines with very secure money boxes, an incense censer and a depiction of Avaruum. There are several large temples to her, but each is rather unique. All are constantly filled with the smoke of incense, feature a very prominent depiction of the goddess (either a painting or a statue), and contain a secure vault and large altar.
Avaruum is served by the Avari - lost souls who bargained away everything to her. They now serve her every whim, unable to rest in the afterlife.
Avaruum demands a strict tithe from all her followers. Twenty percent of all they own or receive (or the monetary equivalent) must be given to her in tribute. This includes income, purchases of land, food or slaves, agricultural produce, even children. When sums are not well divided into fifths, followers must ensure that the Lady receives no less than her due.
Followers of Avaruum may never pay full price for anything and may never accept less than full price for anything they sell. They may never give anything away for free, but may accept an exchange of goods or services if such payment is more beneficial to them or to the goddess.
Followers are beheld to every word of a contract and may not break any contract or agreement without reason. These reasons may be convoluted and directly contradict the intent of the agreement, but it may never contradict the letter. No mercy should be offered to any who are found in breach of contract.
Sacred Animal: viper or constrictor