Unicorn - Imperial City Jazz
Bringer of death and compassion
The Dark Lady, the goddess Athara, is the bringer of death and compassion. She is known as the Great Mother and the Mistress of Night and Death, and the goddess Aliara is her daughter.
Athara is the bringer of consolation and death. She walks amongst all the mortal races of the lands (even the elves, who revere her but do not worship her), bringing her gift of peace and compassion, lightening the heart and soul from its burden, returning the soul to the Great Journey from where it is reborn unto light. Though she is named the Dark Lady she is no friend of the darkness, nor is her gift always death; her touch of compassion is often felt by all mortals alike.
She is active in the affairs of the humans and walks openly or disguised amongst them, working her will. But she takes no mortal lovers; rather she keeps apart from mortals, though she has been known to form bonds of protection and empathy with families and individuals.
She is the one end of the Bridge of Life, with the goddess Aliara, her daughter, at the other end. And she grants resurrections, both when alone and with her daughter.
The aspects of Athara are compassion and death, silent darkness, emotions and empathy, self-contemplation, soul-searching, solitude, and the soul.
The sign of Athara is a tall woman in a dark cloak with bowed head.
Athara and Aliara are always worshipped together, by the same priesthood and in the same temples. They keep no temple knights.
Their priesthood keeps apart from matters of politics and economy and their temples are small; their temples have no organised policy except for the worship of the goddesses. The help and advice they offer people who turn to them are the will and doings of the individual priest of the priesthood. The wills of the goddesses are thus wrought by single persons rather than larger organisations; the individual priest may be offered advice or help from one of the goddess-es, or they may walk the Earth themselves – as they often do – and work with the people they meet there.
In the Southern Empire there are temples for the Dark Lady and her daughter in Rivergate, Blackburn, Swanlake, Malvern, Turia, and Elfsgate, and some of the northern castles of the Rivergate area.
Whenever you have killed someone, or someone close to you have been killed, it is customary to perform a ritual to Athara for the well-being of that soul (except if the soul more clearly belongs to the realm of another deity of jealous nature, e.g. Uriel in the case of death at sea). This ritual is performed specifically to cleanse your mind of hatred and sorrow, and brings to you the gift of the peace and consolation of the Goddess herself.
This kind of ritual may also be performed in groups, often with as much of the family gathered as possible, or with friends. The ritual enables you to contain and understand your grief, and other emotions, without being destroyed by them.
Those who pray to her may be granted peace and consolation from their sorrows.
She has been known to grant those who have great faith in her, dreams as harbingers of the future.
Those dedicated in her service are sometimes granted great understanding of the minds and emotions of others.