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Goddess of Warmth and Hope
Arisetsu is the goddess of hope and warmth, so she gets a lot of prayers around here -- it being so cold and all. She loves the god of death... it's complicated. And she hates the god of hopelessness, Talerra. That's all you need to know, really.
In the distant past, Arisetsu was the minor Elven goddess Aris, the Goddess of Warmth. After the Autumn Felling, Aris protected the remaining Elven population in the city now known as Arisolme along with her brother Irhetsu known at the time as Ir-hetsu. As the elves regained their strength, their worship of Aris made her stronger in turn and she became Arisetsu, Goddess of Hope and Warmth.
The settlers who lived in the houses outside were adherents of Arisetsu, the goddess of hope and warmth. You know what that means, right? Blankets! Arisetsu nuts always bring tons of blankets to give to the needy. Well, they're dead, and we're the needy. They brought a lot of their stuff into this cave when they fled, but when they died, they were buried in... you guessed it: blankets. So now we're very low. I'm betting that there's more blankets in those houses, though. Sneak past the ghosts and get us some!
Long ago, the gods fought. Tast's allies had battled Dreva's allies, and many gods died. Dreva had won, but at such cost as cannot be understood by mortals. Dreva's own mother, Arisetsu, the ancient god of hope, lay dying in a field, her warm light almost faded to darkness.
It was here that Vol found her. In a swirl of rose petals he appeared next to Arisetsu. Glancing with pity over her ancient body, broken and withered, he muttered "Death is my gift," as he had countless times before, and began bestowing his mercy upon her. But it was not the face of gratitude.
"Vol, you cannot kill hope." Her eyes fluttered open. "Begone."
But the light around Arisetsu grew brighter, pushing Vol away with a great force, and Arisetsu rose, her ancient body looking stronger than he remembered her being for a thousand years. "Vol, you cannot kill hope. When you try, you only make me stronger."
Vol is a gracious god, and a good god, but he is prideful, and nothing -- neither god nor mortal -- dared disobey him when he decided the time had come. Vol snarled with surprised anger. "You embarrass yourself. You embarrass the legacy of hope. IT IS TIME TO DIE!"
But Arisetsu grew even brighter, and the two took to the heavens, battling back and forth, light and darkness playing across the stars. Both had fought hard in the great war, and they were tired in ways that you and I cannot understand, but now they fought with renewed energy. Other gods nursed their wounds and watched with wonder as the two battled.
Vol began to consider, for the first time, that he may not be able to bestow his gift, and it made him angry. With all of his power summoned into one command, the world shook as he bellowed. "ARISETSU, EMBRACE DEATH!" And with a wry smile, Arisetsu did so. But she did not die. Instead, in front of god and man and elf, Vol and Arisetsu kissed. It was a surprise to them both, and the other gods turned their glances away as death and hope became intimately intertwined.
And so began the romance of Vol and Arisetsu which continues today. Theirs is a rocky love, with many setbacks and battles, and often they refuse even to speak to each other. But so far, they have always returned to each other's embrace. For our sake, may it always be so.
- An apocryphal story told by human bards in Statehelm.
Notes for bards: this story should be adapted to your audience. In a solemn tavern, you can get amazing results with some simple props. A classic setup involves a candle, rose petals, and a fan. But in rowdy taverns, make the story as lewd or as gory as necessary. In a dwarven hall, play up Dreva's embarrassment for laughs or pity. In elven lands, it's wise to bring in Errana in one way or another to add more sex. And remember the bard's rule #6: never tell a story the exact same way twice!
History of Arisetsu (Council Annotated Edition) The Fennyra Crystal, the treasured memories of a million long-dead elves, shows a time unlike ours. In the age when humans and orcs were simple primitives, elves were more magical, more in tune with other realms, and their lifespans much longer. Although some sang songs of worship to Cae-a-lee, most elves cared little about gods, so the other elven gods were small. The Crystal's last memory ends with the Autumn Felling, when half of all elves died and the rest were left in agony and despair. Cae-a-lee died too, right when elves needed her most. As elven lands rapidly fell to other races, two minor gods came to their rescue. Ir-Hetsu, god of Wind, and his sister Aris, god of Warmth, guarded the last million living elves in the city now called Arisolme. As the elves regained their strength, these gods became strong too. Irhetsu took on speech, then spoken stories, and soon enough all stories. Arisetsu remained the god of warmth, but also hope. Stories, hope, dreams, and time -- these things guided the elves back to a place of strength. And in a few short centuries Arisetsu had become a force beyond all recognition, the god of so many concepts that listing them became an ordeal. The other gods of the world were dwarfed by her magnificence, and their resentment grew. But elves hope for peace, and not peace through excess strength. So Arisetsu in her grace and wisdom gave birth to new gods to represent concepts elves most respected. Her first child was Elshana, god of Creativity. Next came Errana, god of Food and Sex. Third was Dreva, god of Balance in Nature. And finally, Arisetsu could focus on simple Hope once again. Her light dimmed, but it will never expire, for Hope shall always light our darkness and save us from despair.—
Councilwoman Irasce's notes: this history is exceptionally self-serving. It was written anonymously but it's easy to guess that a priest of Arisetsu is behind it: as is typical of her priests, this story makes her sound weak! This story would have you believe that Arisetsu gave up most of her power and became a minor god. But the sheer scope of Arisetsu's power at its peak was incomprehensible, so the fact that her power level is now 'comprehensible' does not mean it is small. Arisetsu is a class 1 nature spirit, capable of massive creation or destruction. Her priests bring comfort and healing to the sick and the needy around the world, and they are welcome in all Council cities. We are proud and honored to facilitate the worship of this kind spirit. However, the Council monitors her priesthood carefully, for although Arisetsu is ideologically a pacifist, she's also extremely pragmatic. Her paladins guard against "threats that would extinguish hope among the faithful," which might as well mean "anybody that angers Arisetsu." And the occasional news of combusting villains reminds us that Arisetsu is still the god of Warmth, and her priests can make things very warm indeed. Lastly, for those not trained in classical Elvish, I want to bring attention to the seeming absence of the two other elder elven gods: Miraverre, goddess of Dreams, and Laeth, goddess of Time. These two stood alongside Irhetsu and Arisetsu in the crucial years after the Autumn Felling, so why are they ignored here? The answer is that they are referenced in an idiomatic form: “Stories, hope, dreams, and time -- these things guided the elves back to a place of strength.” This line, or a similar one, is used in many ancient Elvish poems to pay homage to the four old elven gods."
Relationship with Vol
Arisetsu was super angry and she said to Vol, "to protect Hope, I would end Death if I must. Do not doubt my conviction or my power," and so that started another fight, because Vol said... well, we're out of time and it doesn't matter what he said.
To sum up, there's been a lot of lover's spats over the centuries, but amazingly, Vol, the god of Death, is still Arisetsu's lover, eighteen thousand years later! That's really weird, right? Hope and Death as lovers? I know!
Have you ever heard the folk tale that says if your situation is truely hopeless and you pray to Arisetsu, you'll die in your sleep? Well, don't go spreading this around, but it's true! As a gift to Arisetsu, Vol changed reality so that you really will die peacefully in your sleep if your situation is truly hopeless. Arisetsu was pretty upset about that for a few hundred years, but she's gotten used to it.
They say Arisetsu has made Vol kinder, but I think Vol has rubbed off on Arisetsu a lot more. Arisetsu hates the undead... really seriously HATES them... and I think it's all because Vol hates them. If she didn't care for Vol I don't think she'd care about the undead either.
Okay... that's enough for today. You did great!