Mistress of the Moon
Lady of Night's Embrace
Never forget. The sun is a radiant beacon during the hours of the day, bathing all in an eternal grace. Yet it is the moon which sheds light, showing the way home in the dark of night.Often seen as a "minor deity" among the Rhyliss Pantheon, Velei Delune is not as omnipresent as many of the others in the Pantheon and lacks a portfolio of influence which many would pay attention to. However, the lack of attention serves Her purposes just fine - it makes it so much easier to pull those in who would otherwise be unnoticed. Her two titles, 'Mistress of the Moon' and 'Lady of Night's Embrace' are meant to be simple and unassuming claims to grandeur as befits a deity.
Moon. The teachings of Velei unerringly center around her connection to the moon, its course through the sky (day or night), and its phases. Most incantations and rituals which are linked to Velei derive their potency from the phase of the moon and its location in the sky.
Love. While often associated with lust and abandon, Velei is seen to not entirely discriminate on the matter. Be it momentary lustful attraction or a soulbond which could last into the last days of someone's life - the Mistress of the Moon approves.
Life. Life is meant to be celebrated, and a lesser focus of the Mistress is helping people remain alive in order to do so. Similarly, she is said to be connected to those born from unions of passion but discarded for whatever reason. Such people often enter the service of the church, serving as scribes or Delune Priestesses.
Holy Books & Codes
The Priestesses of Velei have long circulated a work titled "The Annals of Delune" as divinely-inspired parables and tales meant to teach about the core tenets of the faith. The full volume itself is only found within temples, painstakingly copied down by scribes in service to the priestesses as opposed to outside efforts. More commonly found are scrolls of parchment upon which individual tales are told, ending with the moral stated in an ornate calligraphy. Attempts to compare contents of these scrolls to tomes in the temples have been met with considerable resistance, and unofficial compilations have been published across the empire. Rarely are these compilations challenged, except in one particular case.
Labeled by the priestesses as "The Heresy of Shade", a compilation of the fables and parables was made by a traveling bard known by the name she gave to audiences and officials: "Shade Lunei". A cursory glance at the contents is not enough to understand why these books are disliked, as the 'heretical' content is ingrained in the finer details. Most of the changes are aimed at painting Velei and her followers as endorsing personal freedom and distancing the self from rules of authority meant to curtail behaviors which might be harmful to others. Naturally, the compilation is extremely popular with the younger people in recent generations, even if attempts are made to seek out and punish those who knowingly circulate it.
Divine Symbols & Sigils
Velei's chosen symbol is "the moon", but this has been reinterpreted many times over generations to be everything from a white disc to the current crescent shape. Most established temples are marked with this symbol, but variations of the crescent are often used for smaller cults and gatherings. It is widely understood to see the crescent moon with the points downward is a sign of a "house of ill repute", and some establishments who cater to that particular need - and seek to hide it - choose to incorporate it inside their establishment's decor in some fashion. Far more archaic is a full circular disc with a light-colored crescent on one side, and a female face in profile facing the center of the disk along the opposing curve. The source of this particular symbol has been debated to represent another deity entirely, a demigoddess serving Velei; no official word has been ever given on the matter from the clergy.
Offerings to Velei are often made in silver tokens stamped with the mark of this crescent, or rounded moonstones polished to a brilliant shine. Established temples often partner with local artisans to provide such small tokens of reverence, eschewing simply taking coins or other objects in trade. Priestesses adorn themselves with moonstone jewelry, usually in silver or similarly bright metals.
Tenets of Faith
"Honor and cherish those who love you."
According to the scriptures of Velei, it is a grievous harm to return love with spite (or even indifference). The interpretation of this has strayed far afield over generations, with modern interpretations indicating it is preferable to turn aside unwanted suitors rather than lead them on. It also has come to encompass the love of family, instructing the faithful to show honor to those who are supportive. Interestingly enough, a portion of what the Fortunate Son has taught also found its way into these interpretations: "Family is not solely a matter of blood, it is also a matter of friendship and camaraderie."
"Time in a life is too precious a time to waste."
Velei's priestesses have often given counsel on seizing the moment, and living life to its' fullest extent. The Mistress of the Moon is said to be keenly aware of how easily a mortal can avoid time spent "doing nothing". This aspect of the faith is interpreted as diverting people from simply giving too much time serving others instead of caring for their own needs and desires. But modern guidance also uses it to counsel on simply making a decision instead of wondering too much on the consequences of the choices in question. This is focusing more on the "wasted time" aspect of this tenet.
"Do not deny the heart its passion."
This particular tenet is responsible for many of the younger devotees being known for carousing and being more troublesome. However, the priestesses caution this is merely meant to tell a person to do what fulfills them instead of blindly binding themselves to duty and service. Unsurprisingly, this tenet is seen as the most contentious of the Velei's among those who take such ideals seriously.
As with many members of the Rhyliss Pantheon, the Mistress of the Moon is not depicted in any singular form. However, there are three universal aspects to her appearance which always are given to be true. First, and understandably the easiest, is always appearing in a feminine form. This form can be flawed, attractive, enticing, and of any age or race - but it will be feminine in general. Secondly, references to her always reference "eyes of striking and unclouded blue" which are often not disguised in any fashion. Lastly, Velei is known to employ objects or symbols related to her - moonstones, silver, or images of the moon are always present when she manifests in person. This can be anything from a noblewoman clad in a black gown embroidered with silver to an old crone wearing a thin silver band on either hand.
- Divine Classification
- Goddess of Rhyliss