Phaedra is the force of creation in Gwelith. The brings forth the sun to banish darkness and give life to the people. She is worshipped throughout the north as a force of goodness. Her priests perform wedding ceremonies to bless the couple for the future and help increase their fertility. Farmers offer up prayer to bring forth a good harvest. Phaedra's teachings are central to the good folk of the north.
The church of Phaedra is based in Yarn, one of the Pendaran city-states. Unlike their Orlothian counterparts, the Phaedrans do not take part in the rulership of the country. The head of the church is known as the Radiance, the embodiment of Phaedra on Gwelith. She rarely leaves the cathedral in Yarn, other than for state ceremonies.
The Radiance is supported by the Council of Luminaries. Each large city or region has a Luminary, there are about thirty-five serving on the council at the present. Luminaries are often called 'The Rainbows' due to their robes which are coloured all the colours of a rainbow.
The Luminaries are assisted by Officiates, high ranking priests who are responsible for the organisation and operations of the church in a particular area. Officiates can be drawn from any rank of the priesthood, their administration skills are required more than their priestly ones. Officiates wear the same colour robes as their church rank, but have red piping on the hoods and sleeves.
Each church of Phaedra is run by a priest called a Vaildyr. A Vaildyr is an important member of the community the church serves. Traditionally, all village, town and city councils must have a position for the local Vaildyr. The Vaildyr performs all ceremonies at the church. Vaildyrs wear orange robes with red hoods. The rank of Vaildyr is only attainable following at least twenty years as a Deneth.
The majority of the church members hold the rank of Deneth. Amongst their many tasks, they assist the Vaildyrs, teach the novices, run schools and hospitals. Deneths wear yellow robes.
The novices, the lowest rank of the church, wear white robes. Novices are invariably drawn from the richer parts of society. The cost of the Novices training is payed for by their parents or a sponsor. Occasionally, particularly gifted children may be sponsored by the church. The novices are trained at one of three schools, in Yarn, Midwinter and Lorellin.
The church of Phaedra also has a small force of Paladins. They are trained in the Preceptory of Orloth at Eldridge. They are known as the Red Cloaks for the crimson silk cloaks they wear. They also wear red dyed or enamelled armour. Even though well trained they are largely ceremonial, spending most of their time at the cathedral in Yarn.
The holy symbol carried by priests of Phaedra is a circular disc of metal embossed with the shape of a burning sun.
|Dawn Prayer||As the sun rises in the east, priests must pray to the new sun. The ceremony is simple prayer asking for the Goddess' blessing for the current day. It lasts 5-10 minutes.|
|Highsun Prayer||Another short prayer lasting around 5 minutes. The priest gives thanks to the Goddess for her bounty.|
|Dusk Prayer||This prayer lasts longer than the previous two. Not only are prayers given to thank the Goddess for the light and heat of the day, but the prayer closes with a request for her to return the next day.|
|Grace||The same as the Christian prayer, thanking the Goddess for the food about to be eaten. Unlike the other three, this is not enforced.|
|Wedding Ceremony||The joining of two people is a sacred event to the followers of Phaedra. It signals an intent to bring new life into the world, an action central to the worship of Phaedra. The local Vaildyr will perform the short ceremony, 20-30 minutes, which is followed by a lush feast.|
|Planting Ceremony||A 3 day ceremony held at the spring equinox. Priests bless the fields and livestock of farmers etc to bring about a successful harvest.|
|Midsummer Ceremony||This five day holiday lies around the summer solstice. It celebrates the power of the Goddess Phaedra at her highest. Priests officiate at the various festivals and parties held by the common folk across the lands.|
|Harvest Ceremony||Another 3 day festival beginning on the autumnal equinox. A celebration of Phaedra's gifts and the success of the year's crops.|
|Midwinter Ceremony||This ceremony is a mixed Phaedran/Orlothian ceremony held over the winter solstice. On new-years day a vast bonfire is lit at each church and temple. People from the local area come to the fire to light a torch which they will use to light the new year fire in their own homes.|
Phaedra always appears as a woman, though her age varies.
- The Golden Child - In this incarnation Phaedra appears as a radiant,
golden haired teenager. Her hair blazes like captured sunlight as
she dances through fields of spring flowers. Where she steps, grass
begins to grow and flowers begin to bloom. Butterflies fill the air
around her and birds and animals can be seen and heard all around.
She is the epitome of spring and the joy of new, growing life. The
symbolises growth and bounty and good times to come.
- The Mother - People say that all pregnant women are beautiful. The
second incarnation of Phaedra is no exception. At first she appears
nondescript, but closer examination shows she is a woman in full
health. She is a symbol of fertility, from her will spring new life
and the hopes of a new generation. She represents the start of something
new or the fulfillment of a task or ambition.
- The Crone - The last of Phaedra's incarnations is perhaps the least welcome of all. She appears as an old woman, with grey hair, wrinkled skin and gnarled hands. Again, at first glance the vision seems to be of an evil portent, but as the vision continues it can be seen as a celebration of a person's life. In the background will often be seen many ornaments and trinkets, gifts from family and friends. People will be seen visiting the woman, the similarity proves they are her family. The Crone may be old and dying, but life will continue through her children and grandchildren. She symbolises the end of a task or a journey, especially one in which something will continue after the those who began it have left.
d20 Specific Rules.
|A Burning Sun|
|Lawful Good, Neutral Good, Neutral, Chaotic Good|
|Creation, Fire, Good, Healing, Sun|