Irthani (ear-THAH-knee), from the ancient Tarsian word for “dawn” or “morning light”, is one of the three primary Tarsian deities (the others being Shazira and Praathi.
Irthani, the Queen of Day and Light, is a force of good that struggles eternally with the force of evil (Shazira)—a struggle that is moderated by the presence of neutrality or balance (Praathi). All of the deities representatives of the order of the universe (Law), being birthed from chaos but shaping the universe according to their nature.
Irthani is primarily associated with Light, Goodness, Creation (and Creativity) and Water.
The worship of the Three Queens (as the deities came to be known) dates back to the early days of the Tarsian city-state. At one time the Tarsians worshiped an entire pantheon of gods, each with its own sphere of influence. Eventually the many gods were subsumed into the primary three Queens, the names of the older gods attributed to mere Kakodaimoni (demons) and Eudaimoni (angels).
Irthani and Shazira are nearly polar opposites—their struggle turns the Wheel of Ages. The struggle is both preserved and controlled by the presence of balance in the form of Praathi.
The worship of the Queens is prescribed and codified into law in Tarsas. Indeed, the country is ruled by the Temple that is in ascendance according to the Harbingers. Each year, during the summer solstice (15 Longday), omens are read to determine The Ascendency for the coming year. Whichever of the Queens is ruled Ascendant, her Temple will rule Tarsas until ruled otherwise by the Harbingers.
The Harbingers are a highly secretive sect that choose their members at birth through the reading of omens (of course). Harbingers are raised in the sect and are held to be sacrosanct and above the influence of the temples. They are beholden only to the omens and signs through which they interpret the will and state of the universe.
All three goddesses are proponents of Law, and there schism and denominational-ism are frowned upon and stamped out fiercely. All other gods are simply lesser beings. All other worship is lesser worship.
The religion of the Queens does not address sorcery or its use in any way.
Appearances and Emissaries
Irthani appears in various stories and to her chosen followers in one of several forms:
- A beautiful, blue-skinned woman with flowing black hair and wielding a great falchion of ice
- A handsome young mother, suckling a babe beneath flowing blue robes
- A blue hare or a blue eagle.
Upon death, humans go to meet the judgement of Praathi, who will judge based upon your worship and upon your deeds. Those that deserve it will go to Neraka with Shazira. Others will go to Ja’hana to reside with Irthani. Those that fit into neither category will stay in the Void with Praathi.
Irthani resides in the plane of Ja’hana with her emissaries, the Eudaimoni. A Eudaimon is a benevolent spirit, formed from the souls of those sent to heaven in the afterlife. Often these spirits take on the form of human beings with the lower bodies and great wings of eagles.
Some of the great Eudaimoni:
Worship of Irthani
The pleasure of the Irthani is brought by a combination of acts of goodness in life and adherence to her laws and rituals.
Blasphemy is the rejection of law, order, and the good in the universe—or the perversions of such.
Other gods exist and may be gods—but they are lesser and unworthy of notice.
Worshipers and Clergy
Both men and women may serve Irthani as priests.
Priests of Irthani are expected to shave their heads in submission to her will. They also wear blue robes trimmed in green to denote their status. The head of the Temple, known as the “Light of Ja’hana” wears robes trimmed in gold (or yellow, in a poorer temple). The head of all Temples (and head of State when Ascendant) is referred to as “The Hand of Irthani” and wears blue robes, trimmed in gold, and embroidered in silver with the names of past Hands. All clergy also wear the symbol of the Eudaimon as a pendant.
The Temple welcomes the worship from any human who would seek the path of Light. Irthani is not concerned with the lives of non-humans.
Temples and Shrines
Worship of the Tarsian gods has not spread very far outside of that country. However, with Tarsas, worship of each of the three primary deities waxes and wanes according to Ascendency. When Ascendant, temples to Irthani are frequently full and in use. Shrines multiply. When in decline, shrines dwindle and attendance dwindles—usually due to social (and physical) punishment by the Ascendant Shazira Temples.
Temples to Irthani tend to be ornate and mosaic-filled affairs with statues and columns. All maintain an east-facing prayer sanctuary, with columns instead of walls and floor mosaics depicting the exploits Eudaimoni and other tales.
Shrines tend to be small altars with a depiction of a Eudaimon that faces east.
There are no holy texts or writs in the worship of any of the Queens. Traditions have been passed from priest to priest since the days of the The Scattering. No single revelation has been declared. No one is sure of the source of the religion, save that it must be divinely inspired to have persevered.
Followers of Irthani tend to have private prayers at each sunrise, facing the east even if not outdoors.
They also hold special rites in the Temple on 15 Longnight (winter solstice) and fill their homes and streets with light to battle the long darkness of Shazira.
It is also law in Tarsas that all will attend the Ascendant Temple in their area on each Contemplation day.
Certain devout followers of Irthani perform daily rituals known as “obediences” to receive special blessings from the goddess. Facing east, into the rising sun, contemplate the known order of the universe as you gaze upon your symbol of the Queen of Day and Light, letting it dangle and catch the sun’s rays and reflect them back upon you. Gain a +4 sacred bonus to all saving throws.
Irthani holds that the sacrifice of a regular tithe to the temple is acceptable. Otherwise, the gift of a crafted item to the temple—particularly something useful, is also highly acceptable as “sacrifice” to the goddess.