Praathi (PRAH-thee), from the ancient Tarsian word for “shadowed time” or “dusk” or “twilight”, is one of the three primary Tarsian deities (the others being Shazira and Irthani.
Praathi is the Queen of Dusk and Twilight, a force of balance and neutrality that mediates the eternal struggles of the forces of evil (Shazira) and good (Irthani). All three of the deities are representatives of the order of the universe (Law), being birthed from chaos but shaping the universe according to their nature.
Praathi is primarily associated with Shadow, Neutrality, Preservation, and Earth.
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 terms 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
Praathi appears in various stories and to her chosen followers in one of several forms:
- A stern faced, graying woman in gray robes holding a tablet
- A gray-haired woman warrior with a shield and great hammer
- A great turtle with mystical symbols growing on its shell
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.
Worship of Praathi
Followers of Praathi attempt to live a life of balance, tempered by Law.
Blasphemy is the rejection of law and order 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 Praathi as priests.
Priests of Praathi are expected to shave their heads in submission to her will. They also wear plain gray robes. The head of the Temple, known as the “Shield of the Balance” (or just Shield) wears robes trimmed in silver. The head of all Temples (and head of State when Ascendant) is referred to as “The Hammer of the Goddess” and wears silver robes, trimmed in gray, All clergy also wear the symbol of the hammer and shield as a pendant.
The Temple welcomes the worship from any human who would seek the path of pure order. Praathi 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 Praathi 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 Praathi tend to be austere and plain with rough-hewn columns. All maintain a prayer sanctuary, simple and comfortable, attended by gray-robed priests.
Shrines tend to be small altars with a depiction of a shield somewhere upon them.
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 Praathi tend to have private prayers at each dusk and twilight.
They also hold special rites in the Temple on the vernal and spring equinoxes.
It is also law in Tarsas that all will attend the Ascendant Temple in their area on each Contemplation day.
Certain devout followers perform daily rituals that bestow the goddess favor upon them. At twilight, take tokens depicting your representation of good and your representation of evil and place them on a set of scales. Place other stones in each cup to bring the scales to balance and contemplate the role of order and law in society as you do so. Gain a +4 sacred or profane (your choice) bonus to either all saves or all skill checks (your choice) in order to tip the balance.
Sometimes sacrifice is necessary to maintain order. Sacrifice can take a great many forms, but seldom does it take the form of outright evil acts such as blood rites.