The Flask and Sword
Symbol: A black disk with seven points of light
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Domains: Light, Darkness, Life
Titles: Star-Kindler, The Gentle Darkness
Dogma: A being of seeming contradictions, Veladhwyn was primarily worshiped among the elves, who felt she most embodied their ideals as a species. A goddess of both darkness and light, she celebrates the union of opposites and the necessity of the one to define the other. Humans have always feared the darkness and considered it the domain of monsters and fiends, a time of danger and perfidy.
Elven history, however, remembers a time before, a time of trial in the desert when the world was young and the dark fearless. When life was fragile and the relentless sun threatened to scorch it from the earth. The night was her gift to the world: a time for rest and healing, of raw and unblemished potential, for pursuits of the mind, for music, and for lovers to tend each other, illuminated only by the gentle touch of starlight.
Veladhwyn reminds her followers to take the bittersweet along with joyous, and to lives lives of balance, moderation, and quiet self-reflection. When fell things invaded the dark from Outside, Veladhwyn was foremost among the the defenders of goodness, and stands as guardian over those who travel the by night. As ever, she is looked to by her followers for shelter from the pains of the world and to gather strength in the face of new trials.
Organization: The followers of the Gentle Darkness, or Veladine, seek to impose as little structure on others as possible, to leave them free to tend to their own needs and respect their autonomy. In keeping with their mistress’ tenets, they establish and maintain shrines that double as waystations in the wilderness. These tend to be humble, quiet havens for shelter, stargazing, and rest, rather than bastions with high walls and many torches to drive away monsters. She is still most popular with elves and half-elves, but beings of all races worship her, including the occasional renegade tribe of orcs.
Her clerics adopt no special title and do not attempt to preach any message. They tend to be either itinerant wanderers and guides or shrine guardians, sometimes alternating between the two roles. They value their own autonomy but will fight fiercely to guard that of others.
Attributed to a priest of Veladhwyn: “If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would we believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the miracle which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the world with their kindler’s admonishing smile.”