Pharika, God of Affliction
"In Pharika, we find comfort in affliction and solace in suffering, for it is through these trials that we are strengthened and our devotion to our god is tested."
A god of dichotomies.
Table of Contents
Pharika is a god most associated with the deadly nature of poisons and venom. Despite this, she is also the god of healing medicines and cures. She is the keeper of apothecary knowledge and the guardian of the sources of dark magic. Pharika controls the domains of grief and old age and is the mother of all gorgons and Naga. Her followers see her as a powerful force that brings wisdom and understanding through the trials of life, including pain and suffering. To worshipers of Pharika, the power of toxic substances, the knowledge of medicine, the arts of alchemy, and the strength and wisdom that come with age are all sacred and to be respected. Grief, pain, and suffering are all a part of life and not necessarily something Pharika wishes to directly inflict upon others for its own sake, for after these things have passed come tranquility, relief, and acceptance. Worshipers strive to embrace these harsh truths of life.
Rise of the Gorgons
In Ravnica's old history there was an unprecedented event that shook much of the civilized regions. This event, known as the Rise of the Gorgons, was the first chapter in what can be ascribed to be as an awakening of Pharika. During this time Gorgons and Naga began to rise in prominence, becoming utterly powerful with unknown magics and deadly miasmas that shook even the strongest nations to their knees. Stheno was a dominant Gorgon leader who quickly rose to power and led many of her brothers and sisters into a fearsome, drawn out war against the old Empires of Ravnica.
As Pharika grew more powerful and her domain rose in strength, so too did the potency of the natural poisons and sicknesses of the world. Taking advantage of this fact, and using the secrets of Pharika's dark magic, the Gorgon and Naga alliance launched a series of deadly plagues and miasmas across the land, causing widespread suffering and death. Most of the casualties of this war were caused from these plagues and sicknesses and nearly brought civilization to its knees.
The apex of this war began to quickly wind down as immunities were developed and breakthrough cures were discovered, provided by the very god who produced these ailments. The once shockingly effective war that the Gorgon-Naga alliance was simmering away and the dark magic that these creatures were using was being taken away for unknown reasons to once again become closely guarded secret. As communities and empires rallied, the Gorgons and Naga were fought back with ferocity and prejudice. Though Pharika's chosen people were beaten, she held a firm grasp of domain on the world. Today the scars of the past continue to mark Gorgons and Naga for the sins of their ancestors, and many are looked upon with mistrust and suspicion.
“Some poisons enter through the blood. Some are ingested. Some are inhaled. All ways through which mortals draw strength are paths for poison.”
The Day of Remedies
The Day of Remedies is held on the 1st day of November to mark the beginning of the cold weather. This holiday is dedicated to the art of medicine and the creation of remedies. Though history has left a stain on the world, much of modern Ravnica's scientific literature can be attributed to the desperate advancements from those who lived during the Rise of the Gorgons. This holiday is celebrated also as a remembrance to those times, and the brilliant alchemists and apothecaries who paved the way for these medicinal advancements.
On The Day of Remedies, people come together to share their knowledge of herbal remedies and other treatments, exchange potions and remedies, and offer prayers of offerings to Pharika in honor of her own contribution to medicine. Non-worshipers of Pharika may participate in this holiday as a way to learn about and share knowledge of remedies and treatments for common sicknesses. For worshipers, it is a day to connect with their deity, ask for guidance and blessings, and celebrate the power of medicine and the arts of alchemy. Regardless of one's religious beliefs, the Day of Remedies is a time to come together and celebrate the power of remedies and the healing arts.
During the latter half of the holiday, all the greatest alchemists come together to compete in a friendly competition. They are tasked with creating a potion, the exact qualities and parameters revealed once the competition starts, and the participants must create the most effective potion they can with the selected ingredient. Potions are then judged on a variety of different metrics, such as taste, color, consistency, but most importantly by how closely the potion's effects are to the original prompt of the competition. The winners are usually given an amount funding by the religious heads of Pharika to continue
Guild Affiliations:House Dimir
Holy WeaponThe Kris blade
Divine SymbolTwin Serpent Staff
Sacred AnimalSerpents and Basilisks
Religious ColorsGreen, gold, red
Edicts and DomainsGrief, old age, poisons, potions, medicine, alchemy, dark magic, gorgons, naga, basilisks and serpents
Professional SkillsSkills that Priests may teach at major temples and gatherings
Devotion, Exhort, Healing, First Aid, Craft (Poison), Craft (Potions), Literacy, Lore (Plants and Fungi), Lore (Poisons and Venoms)
Clerics of Pharika are given access to the powers she offers. Some miracles are restricted to more trusted or higher ranking members of this religion. (WIP)
CommandmentsTrue worshipers of Pharika follow her commandments carefully, with those who ignore, or are ignorant of, such laws may find themselves praying to deaf ears... or worse.
- Give yourself a small dose of poison before you go to sleep every other night. Your dreams may contain omens and signs from Pharika herself.
- Embrace Old Age by recognizing the wisdom and power that comes with age and work to help others embrace this stage of life.
- Master Poisons and Potions and study the arts of alchemy and toxicology to better understand Pharika's teachings and to use her gifts to inflict harm on her enemies, and to heal her allies.
- Respect Serpents. Care not to harm them, and know that they provide the powers of healing or harm.
OfferingsExamples of offerings one could give to Pharika.
- Alchemical Components, such as rare herbs or minerals.
- Offerings of medicine and other remedies, such as herbal remedies or healing potions.
- Poisons: Offerings of toxic substances, such as deadly plants or potions
- Serpents, live or dead, especially those that are venomous, are a powerful symbol of Pharika's connection to these creatures and her power over them. To offer a serpent that you have killed yourself would be a great offense, however.
- Vialed tears, especially those shed during moments of true grief.