|Titles|| The Subtle Hand,
The Twilight Guide
|Portfolio||Travelers, Roads, Souls|
|Worshipers||Travelers, rangers, caravan guards, road builders, the lost, the lonely, the poor|
|Cleric Alignments|| |
|Domains||Community, Good, Liberation, Protection, Travel|
Iovandra is an elven lesser deity. Said to be born of a god of civilization and a goddess of nature, she exists to bridge between the two worlds. She has also become a psychopomp, a deity that accompanies the soul's journey on the HIdden Path through the Twilight Realm to the Other World.
As elves went out into the world and met other races, Iovandra naturally went with them. She proved to be a popular and adaptable deity, more than happy to be taken up by other races, first by the nomadic halflings and then by humans, granting these non-elves her divine powers and blessings. As the races began to settle down, her cult adapted to civilization, as well.
Though not officially part of many pantheons, Iovandra is worshiped in many regions of the Eastern continent including the Landadel Baronies, the Grasslands of the Pell, and many wild areas.
Iovandra is an agreeable deity, getting along with most. She maintains good relations with the good nature deities and she actively opposes the evil nature deities that would harm her charges. In Venza, Iovandran faithful often aid the followers of Hinotheus in patrolling the streets.
Appearance and EmissariesEdit
Many races that adopted Iovandra have made her in their own image. Her most widespread iconography, however, depicts her as a half-elf in traveling clothes: sturdy boots, breeches, tunic, and cloak, with a staff in one hand and a compass in the other. Some aspects of this iconography may change, however, depending on the commission. For example, a guild of road builders might replace the staff with a surveyor’s tool.
Iovandra is seen as one of the gods most active in mortal affairs. Her followes believe she often makes unexpected, though hidden, appearances. The female half-elf that gives one directions out of the bad part of town and then seemingly disappears into the crowd. The stranger that leads a lost child back to her mother. The comforting presence of companionship on a lonely twilit road. The sudden, subtle nudge that warns one of danger from the brambles up ahead.
Church of IovandraEdit
The worship of Iovandra is a very decentralized affair. Though most of the faithful know where to find a local priest, and there are apprenticeships in place for the training of clerics, most worship is done by individuals.
The faith has almost taken two paths, leading to separate but not antagonistic branches. The original faith was based in the wilderness, the dangers and loneliness of the road. This branch tends to interpret the tenets of the faith more literally, as they are often matters of survival. Within the cities, the faith takes on more aspects of community betterment.
Worshipers and ClergyEdit
There is very little true hierarchy within Iovandra’s church. Most titles are based on the duties one has taken on oneself to perform.
Wayfinder: These faithful of Iovandra blaze new trails in the wilderness, opening paths to scattered and isolated settlements. In more civilized lands, the head of a road builders’ guild might be called a Wayfinder. Usually a ranger or druid or someone competent in wilderness lore and travel. There are few, if any, Wayfinders in a city.
Waykeeper: An Iovandran who maintains an open road or path. Usually the head waykeeper is an actual cleric of Iovandra. He maintains a waystation usually halfway along a road, though roads that are much longer may contain several waystations, usually two or three days apart. On a well-established road this may be an inn or caravanserai, though most waystations are simple affairs, often merely a small permanent settlement of daub and wattle huts protected by a thornwall or wooden palisade. The wayside usually houses a couple more junior Waykeepers, often rangers, whose job it is to maintain small shrines that are established at intervals of about a day along the road. In a city, an innkeeper might claim the title of Waykeeper, or the head of a soup kitchen or shelter may be a Waykeeper.
Protector: Faithful who offer their services as scouts or escorts for caravans and travelers are called Protectors. Protectors also often serve as junior Wayfinders and patrol roads for threats to its safety. In a city, a Protector might organize a neighborhood watch or aid in the patrol of the streets or work with the city guard. Often rangers and fighters.
The elven ranger Zinnelis Laediril is a Wayfinder and Protector.
Temples, Shrines and Holy SitesEdit
Iovandra has very few temples. A large city might have one provided by a wealthy follower or group of followers, perhaps an innkeepers’ guild or road builders’ guild. Usually the temple has a more practical purpose than as a worship space. The temple in Vezna is a sprawling affair in the lower class Ranocchio district. It houses a soup kitchen, a shelter, a teleportation circle, and offers funerary rites.
Much more common are wayside shrines to Iovandra. In the wild, these are spaced at around a day’s travel along the road. Each of these shrines is marked by the compass rose and contains a small cache of necessaries like rations, fresh water, and other wilderness gear for travelers in need. They usually also have some kind of simple shelter, like a lean to or bower, for use by travelers. It is expected that a traveler who uses a wayside should leave an item in the cache for a traveler who might need it.
In a city, an innkeeper who is faithful to Iovandra might keep a small, simple room for a person who cannot pay for a room. They might also have a Helper’s Box where patrons can drop in a spare copper or two to be used to offer a simple meal to a hungry beggar or pay for a cab for a traveler in need.
Iovandra has few holy sites. Often her waystations will share the holy site of a nature deity that might be near the road, encouraging devotion to both.
Iovandra has no texts, but her worshipers do have tenets by which they live:
- Self-reliance: Never travel unprepared for the dangers you might face.
-This is a more important tenet to the branch of the faith existing outside of the cities.
-The freedom of the road.
- Help: One can never be prepared for everything. Sometimes you need a bit of help.
-In the wilderness, this takes the form of taking only what you need from a wayside cache and leaving something in the cache.
-In the city, this takes the form of the Helper’s Box, soup kitchens, and shelters. It is also evident when Iovandrans put up street signs at intersections near their homes indicating the direction to important main thoroughfares and public buildings to help the lost regain their sense of direction.
-This tenet also includes a tradition of random acts of kindness. Given the unassuming nature of Iovandra, it is preferred that no one knows from whom the help came, so most are done in secret, like a bag of coin tossed into a poor man’s window, or a freshly dressed deer left on the doorstep of the homestead of a recent widow.
- Share: The road is lonely and dangerous. Companions are worth more than gold.
-Share your fire, your food and water, and share your stories of the road ahead and the dangers it might pose.
-There is safety in numbers.
-This tenet also enjoins one to share one’s time with the lonely, those with no family or friends to aid them, like the elderly or the sick or the prisoner or the dying.
With the faith being more individualistic and decentralized, there are very few holidays. However, in the cities, two have become important.
Midsummer - a celebration of the bounties of the high point of the year, followers of Iovandra might host a large dinner for the hungry and destitute.
Midwinter - on the darkest and coldest day of the year, the faithful often hold food drives for those who might be feeling the shortage. They also open their homes for a night of warmth and camaraderie for those who may not have it.
Devout Iovandrans will often sponsor soup kitchens and shelters in the cities.