CRB is a repository of all the creative things that float through my mind about the RPG Pathfinder. Two major features are random character generation and building characters based on the god they worship. Anything that seems like it adds to the creative aspects of the game will pop up from time to time, including location descriptions, adventure ideas and even short stories. CRB won't just be my own creativity, it will open the floor to anyone who has an idea sparked by what I present to you.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Feminine Mystique - The Warrior Women of Falayna

It’s Saturday and it's time to talk about a god. For those of you who haven’t been a part of my explorations into the religions of Golarion, here’s how it works:

Imagine, if you will, you're making a character for a group. Your only instruction is that you must be a worshiper of a specific god. You do not need to be a divine casting class, although you can be, but the party’s purpose is working toward the goals of this specific divine being. I'd like not just a race/class combo, but a little bit about why the character would choose to dedicate themselves to this particular deity. Feel free to make up secret or not-so-secret orders within the church, or even sects outside of the church that you think might be interesting. With only this one piece of information that must be true, let your imagination go wild with the rest.

Today's god
Falayna, Lawful Good Empyreal Lord of femininity, martial training, rings
Falayna’s Pathfinder Wiki page 
Falayna’s Archives of Nethys Entry 

Across the face of Golarion from Avistan, to Garund, to Tian Xia and Katapesh, traditions of warrior women leave their mark upon the world. Even in places where men have traditionally been the warriors, the hunters, and the protectors of their people women have still sought to prove that they too can fill these roles. Over the centuries most cultures have come to see their women as equals to their men, but the sisterhoods have not fallen by the wayside. Among these warrior women Falayna’s worship still flourishes.

The Ring Brides

For a very long time in the land of Tian Xia women were not given the rank of Samurai. That never stopped them from wanting to take up arms to defend their home and families. A young woman named Shey Wu-Zen was engaged to be married to one of the fiercest Samurai of the land. Her fiancĂ© was a favorite of the emperor and fought valiantly against the many enemies of the empire. Before they could finally be wed Wu-Zen’s intended fell in battle, leaving her with his ring and nothing more.

Shey Wu-Zen would not allow herself to be relegated to the social status of a widowed young bride-to-be. She prayed to the many gods of the Tian pantheon and all the spirits of her ancestors but in the end her prayers were answered by the Empyreal Lord Falayna. Under the auspices of Falayna she stepped up, donning her beloved’s armor to enact her God's vengeance against the oni that killed him. The warrior woman took up the traditional nine-ringed Tian broadsword and add her husband-to-be’s engagement ring as a tenth. With her new weapon she slew countless foes in battle.

Every encounter expanded her legend and before long brave young widows were flocking to her cause. The war against the Oni had left many widows, some young brides-to-be like Wu-Zen, and some older, more experienced, with a lifetime of suffering and a large inherited fortune behind them. Together they were able to build a handful of hidden fortresses in the mountains where they could gather and plan and train.

From those initial dark days to this, the Ring Brides remain. Although many women have made their way into the ranks of the samurai since Shey Wu-Zen, the sisterhood still stands tall. All of the Ring Brides have lost a would-be husband in battle and have chosen to take up arms to honor their families. Their wedding bands added as the tenth ring of their blades in honor of Shey Wu-Zen.

The White Maidens

One of the most visible aspects of the bloody ascension of Queen Ileosa Abrasti to the Crimson Throne of Korvosa was her establishment of her all female personal guard; The Grey Maidens. But when her plans were thwarted soon after, the Grey Maidens were torn asunder and quickly fell into disarray. The one-time royal guard to arguably the most powerful woman in all of Varisia was left splintered and without purpose. Although the organization of warrior women lost much of its power, not every member was content to leave the field of battle altogether.

Janos Helruth was but a minor lieutenant when the all female contingent fell apart. She unwaveringly attended her duties; though she no longer had superiors, clear orders, or direction. She became aware that many of the younger maidens were looking to her for answers and unwilling to let them down, Janos sequestered herself in prayer. Those prayers were answered by Falayna, who imparted to the young warrior that she should take charge of her unit and lead them to greater purpose.

No longer governed by the dark desires of the would-be Korvosan queen, Janos renamed her group the White Maidens. Dedicated to martial training, the small band sought higher causes to follow. For all intents and purposes mercenaries, Janos made sure that their missions fit within the new moral code to be followed by Falayna’s faithful.

The Battlefield Sisters

When most of western Golarion thinks of warrior women they are reminded of the Valkeryies of the Ulfen. The Shoanti, however, also have their own lesser known sect of female fighters,chosen by Falayna through her aspect of the cat—specifically the firepelt cougar. Unlike many of the savage warriors of the Shoanti tribes, these women have strict code of the honor and a strict matriarchal hierarchy within their ranks.

Although many of the other Shoanti only see them in their aspect of feline battle mistresses, in private the sisters show their devotion to a female warrior with flaming wings. Their rites include ritual branding, walking over a bed of white hot coals, and combat inside a ring of fire to determine rank and settle disputes. The leaders of the sisters have survived one-on-one combat with a firepelt cougar within the burning circle.

No matter their secret lives may be, The Battlefield Sisters are respected by all Shoanti —mostly because those who show disrespect are quickly put in their place. Although technically members of the Tamiir-Quah (wind clan), they are respect among all of The People, being welcomed by any of the Shoanti on the field of battle.

Are all of Falayna's warriors women? Who is you're ring bearer? What character would you make for a game of all Falayna worshipers? Let us know.

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