Goddess of Life
Favored Weapons: Morning Star, Bolas
Marya is depicted as a voluptuous woman in simple robes, whose breath creates the living creatures of the world. She is the mother of Braeya, the courts of the Azata, and the source of all mortal life.
Wife of Athor and sister-wife to Skylae, Marya is by far the most comfortable of the light gods with her marriage to Athor. Marya and Athor share a deep and abiding love of all things good, and easily put aside their differences of method in promoting the greater good among the lesser gods and mortals. She and Skylae conflict more often; though both desire the greater good, Marya cannot understand Skylae's inflexibility of means. For all their minor conflicts, the three light gods are staunch foes of their dark opposites.
Marya leads the courts of the Azata, celestials dedicated to the defeat of evil. The Azata learned their love of poetry, art, and song from Marya. The All-Mother delights in the act of creation, and admires what her creations create in their own way. Marya rarely requires anything from her followers, showing them her desires through example, and trusting them to serve her best in their own way. She holds the same standard for the mortals who choose to love the same things she loves - encouraging them to choose good and find their own path to it. Marya is subtle and indirect, knowing that the true battlefield of the gods lies in the mortal world, where Marya encourages the increase of life - all life - trusting that the mortals will sort out for themselves the battle between light and dark. She is the greatest champion of freedom; freedom to think, to choose, or to act as each individual sees fit. Marya believes that, if given the choice, most mortals will choose rightly and do good to those around them.
Of all the nine, Marya is the most concerned with the well-being of mortals, and seeks always to increase mortal life. In contrast to Skylae, her touch is light and influence subtle. She rarely presents her servants with black and white choices, instead asking them to determine for themselves what would serve the best in a given dilemma. She is greatly enamored of beauty and loves all beautiful things, especially those that live. However, she is jealous that other gods are capable of the act of creation, and dislikes creatures such as dragons or giants that are not her creation. Always, she strives to create more and more beautiful life.
Marya opposes the depredations of Phane with passion and determination. Though she also defies the evil of Gathal and Hylarr, Phane is her especial foe. Phane's hatred of all life and promotion of undeath is anathema to Marya's core love of life and living things. She also shares a close friendship with Seiba. Though they do not always see eye to eye, both respect life - though Marya argues that the precision of the Balance is unnecessarily harsh. Among the minor gods, Marya enjoys Alyssa and Dra, occasionally supporting their efforts.
She is thought to dwell in the light fortress of Lyn-Tir, far to the north. Marya's third of Lyn-Tir is graceful and curving and beautiful, with asymmetrical towers soaring above the ice. Her parts of the fortress seem more organic and alive, sometimes shifting and re-aligning to suit the whims of their mistress.
Marya is often attended by a choir of Azata, all of which serve as her Avatars. She enjoys hearing them sing, and often sings along with them, filling the halls of Lyn-Tir with joyful music.
Symbols, Temples and Priests
Marya's symbol is the dove. Her colors are usually red and gold, sometimes green and gold, sometimes red and silver, though this preference is subject to change.
Her priests tend to be passionate and active people, promoting life and enjoyment when possible. Rank in Marya's service is often connected to musical talent, poetic skill, or sheer charisma. Priests are encouraged to marry and have children where possible, or to adopt orphans. Many of Marya's priests are also midwives.
Marya's temples are often ramshackle affairs, blending architectural styles and colors in wild patterns which, nevertheless, have their own organic beauty. They are usually riots of color and shape, richly and luxuriously furnished. Most temples in major cities include an orphanage as part of their grounds. Her temples are usually centers of music and art, and concerts of famous operas or recitations of famous sagas are encouraged among her faithful.
Followers of Marya are forbidden to take life without good cause; either food for survival or in defense of their own life.
They are forbidden to prevent the conception of children, and are encouraged to have their own families. Marya is pleased by the adoption of orphans, and is said to bless those who nurture young life.
Followers of Marya must choose a life's passion, be it art, song, poetry, sculpture, or another craft, and pursue it with all their power.
A priest of Marya's daily prayers must be sung; mere recitation is too dull for the goddess.
They must answer any request to assist in childbirth.
Marya's sacred animal is the goldfish.