Valendria, goddess of love, beauty and music
Most beautiful and radiant of the gods, Valendria is the goddess of all that is fine and beautiful in life, including love, music, poetry, marriage and art. She is the daughter of Ilion and Borlamnos, and twin to Eristemus and wife of Agaleus.
Valendria is a highly popular goddess amongst all the races, but particularly so among the elves, who most love song and poetry. The dwarves pay her less heed, revering Mordhal as lord of crafts in her stead.
Valendria is Chaotic Good.
Valendria is usually represented as a beautiful young woman of the artist’s race, often with radiant golden skin. South of the Valesian Sea, however, she is portrayed as having the head of a snowy egret. In the Successor States, she is often portrayed as a young woman with snowy white wings.
In all of these renditions, she is often portrayed holding a musical instrument, such as a lute or lyre, and her symbol is a golden lyre.
Valendria is patroness of the arts, artists, lovers and musicians. She seeks to inspire love and beauty in mortal hearts and to preserve great works of art or tales of love. Above all things she values true love, and in many tales she secretly tests the commitment of lovers before bestowing her blessings upon them.
Valendria hates the works of Malbor, who desires to possess all light and beauty for himself alone.
Eleiros – This celestial appears in many guises, now as a man, now as a young girl, or a songbird. But in all his forms, he goes among mortals, encouraging love with a word here, a whisper there. Some of the most famous love ballads are said to have been based upon the actual words of Eleiros.
The Nine Graces – There are many different tales as to the origin of the Graces. Some say they are her daughters by Agaleus, others that they sprang forth from her bosom full-formed. Still others say that the Graces were already in Theeurth when the Celestial Host arrived from beyond the Walls of Night. Whatever the truth, these nine divine beings are the embodiment of the arts, and are said to inspire mortals to great creations and performances.
THE CHURCH – The Glades of Valendria
The Glades of Valendria are among the most beautiful of all churches. Since their patroness is the goddess of beauty and music, the Glades are frequent hosts to concerts, fairs, plays and performances of all kind. Most cities of any size have a Valendrian glade with a theater or amphitheater nearby.
Since their goddess is the patroness of love, Valendrian glades play host to many marriages, particularly in towns and cities (marriages in the churches of Calandra are more common in the countryside).
The church of Valendria is an informal and widespread affair. Each church makes its own way and has only casual contact with the other Glades. The Celebrants of Valendria and respond only to local authorities.
Or so it appears to the outside world. Some say that there is another, quieter order unknown to most, even within the Glades. Whispers say that this shadowy group has for centuries uncounted directed the actions of the Glades. Some say this secret order opposes the works of Malbor, others say that the Lord of Hate himself is the true master of the secret order…if it exists at all.
Valendira teaches that the creation and preservation of love and beauty is the true purpose of life. Her church believes deeply that these two forces must inevitably prevail against the will of darkness.
The church of Valendria has no one holy day. They hold festivals annually in the Spring and Summer. These festivals are celebrations of song, dance, and all the arts. Many bards travel from festival to festival, learning the latest ballads and contesting with each other for prizes and renown.
The beauty of one’s fighting style is of equal concern to Valendrians with its efficiency. Thus, the rapier is the preferred weapon of those Valendrians who deign to carry one.