The Red Goddess

This section gives a brief description of the history and nature of the Red Goddess

History

The Red Goddess began as almost nothing, a petty spirit amongst many that sought power in the world. Aided by sorcerers and a priest of Gbaji her spirit possessed an innocent girl to gain life. She was called Shepelkirt, or ‘Poison Blood’, when the Orlanthi priests saw her in their dreams.

Shepelkirt gained followers and a country. She courted those who were enemies of Orlanth and those who had allowed Gbaji into the world. She went out of the normal world to the Other Side and gained great and terrible magics. She brought monsters back into the world: the Crimson Bat; the Stone Soldiers and the Scarlet Wave. With them she spread her power, gaining allies through conquest, alliance and seduction. So she established her Lunar Empire.

At this point she was not a god. But when she angered the Queen of Castle Blue she was drawn into a great battle with the assembled deities of the Cosmos to decide if she was a god.

Orlanth tried to best her in contests of music and dance, and the results were even. Then there came the war challenge, a great battle in which the Storm Gods made their last stand. They inflicted hurt on the goddess, erasing one of her mothers from existence so that even her followers could not remember her, but Shepelkirt won. The old gods say she won by cheating, by doing things they, bound by the Great Compromise, could not. She left Orlanth wounded and made her own entry into the World of Order.

Then the goddess danced her last dream on the face of the earth. Wrapping the ground she stood on around her, she ascended to the Middle Air where she took the form of the Red Moon. Now she is immortal and it is only the last secret of Orlanth which keeps the world from Chaos once again.

She left behind her son, the Red Emperor, to rule over her empire while she watches overhead.

The Lunar Religion

The Red Goddess founded the Lunar cult, a religion which is a strange mixture of mysticism and practical magic, of barbaric cruelty and dignified beauty, of freedom and of tyranny. Its philosophies are unique and complex. The Red Goddess worked, danced, and fought her way into the fabric of the world. She has taken for her domain the Middle Air, and so earned the eternal enmity of Orlanth and other air gods. Her cult spreads far beyond the bounds of her Empire and is very powerful, including many lesser deities within it.

She is often portrayed with red skin, sitting cross legged, draped in a white gown with a neckline which plunges in a V to her navel. Her hands are formed in the signs of welcome and of peace.

The creators of the goddess have their own cult, The Seven Mothers. On the frontiers of the empire these gods and goddesses often co-opt local traditions of worship, replacing local gods in the pantheons of converts.

The Red Moon

The Red Moon hangs in the northwestern sky and unlike the rest of the sky, which spins around the Pole Star, it does not move, day or night. Its height in the sky varies with proximity to the centre of the Empire, so that it rises into the middle and upper sky as you travel closer to Glamour, the capital of the Empire. It drops towards the horizon as you travel away from the Empire.

Unlike the stars the moon is visible all day while the sun shines. It’s normal colour is bright red. However, a black shadow spins across the moon’s face, so that it seems to wax and wane every seven days. On those days when the moon is full, Lunar Magic is most powerful. On those days when it is black, magics are weak or non-existent. The black moon is visible by day, but not at night.

Far from Peloria, in Dragon Pass, the moon can be seen, but only low above the horizon. Still, on full moon nights it illuminates the land with a red cast. It is said that if a new Temple of the Reaching Moon is built in Sartar then the moon will rise in the sky and its magic become more difficult to resist.

Resources

This article is a detailed history of the Red Goddess. Follow the links there to read the history of the Lunar Empire up to the Fifth Wane and discussions of the gods of the Lunar religion.

This is a timeline of Lunar history.

This is a description of the cult of the Seven Mothers.

The Red Goddess

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