Lady of Fortune, Goddess of Wealth
Aliases:Sarimie (Anuire), Sera (Brechtür, Rjurik), Sarma (Khinasi), Sirova (Vosgaard)
Symbol:Silver scales on a green background
Spheres Major: All,
Chaos, Divinition, Healing, Necromantic, Protection, Summoning
Spheres Minor: Charm, Combat, Numbers
Domains:Chaos, Luck, Trade, Travel
Favored Weapon:"Scales of Fortune" (light flail or heavy flail)
Sera (SAIR-ah) is the deity of fortune and luck. Prior to her ascension, she was the highest priestess of Brenna and the spiritual leader of the Brecht people. The goddess of fortune is the patron to the Brecht people, who believe that she guides her favored towards profitable economic pursuits and provides omens that help the faithful avoid unwise endeavors. She is said to hear every bargain struck, every prayer murmured over a game of chance, and every scheme to realize a profit, although she responds only rarely. The Brecht do not believe that Sera brings fortune or misfortune, but they do believe that she sees that her faithful are rewarded for diligent effort and that good things come to those who overcome difficult odds not of their own making.
Due to the wide-ranging interests of the Brecht guilders, Sera's church has become international, with temples throughout Cerilia. Temples to Sera can be found wherever trade exists. To Sera's clergy, the achievements of temporal goals are every bit as important as the achievement of spiritual goals. They are as practical a group of people as the goddess that they serve. As a result, they are involved in mercantile and craft matters as well as ones dealing with the church itself. They advise tradesmen, influence political and economic events to their favor, and seek out profitable opportunities for trade. Sera's temples are also sources of training and education; many teach crafts and trades to local citizens in return for a tithe of earnings in the new trade once they reach master status. Trade agreements are often witnessed and recorded by members of Sera's clergy. Copies of these agreements are kept in secure vaults to guarantee a verbatim copy of the contract. Sera's clergy also help arrange marriages between the scions of great houses. These are treated exactly as business agreements, with set financial arrangements based upon the prestige of the houses, the strength of each house's bloodline (a valuable asset), and penalties (such as dissolution) for fraud.
The Brecht celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of Mount Deismaar as Ascension Day, focusing on the ascension of their goddess rather than the disaster that brought it about. They also celebrate the Day of Rebirth as both the first day of spring and the opening of a new trading season. Sera's clergy pray for their spells at whatever time of day is most convenient for their schedules (usually early evening); thus, the specific time of prayer varies from priest to priest but, once selected, is fixed.
Dogma:Sera is mistress of the true bargain. She knows that diligent effort and careful planning make the best luck, not divine intervention. Those who wait for fortune to fall into their lap earn their misfortune. Wealth comes from industry, not from chance. Wealth is the key to all doors; without wealth, one is not free to engage in leisure activities, to pursue artistic endeavors, or to wield true political power. Use what wealth you have earned to buy happiness for yourself and to guarantee your future happiness. Do not squander your profits in an attempt to bring happiness to others; true happiness must be purchased with diligent labor - freely given it has no value and is soon squandered.
Allies:Our daughter, Eloéle, pursues her goals relentlessly and regardless of consequence. No lasting harm can come to those who diligently strive for their betterment. We must be aware of this aspect of the true bargain, but always keep in mind that it is but one aspect; wealth and happiness come most surely to those who strive by both night and day. Nesirie comforts those on whom misfortune has fallen and helps them find value in themselves. This is necessary, for recovery from misfortune requires positive action. It is also true that forgiveness alone merely encourages others to take advantage of you in the future. Thus Nesirie has not mastered the full truth, and she stumbles along in poverty.
Foes:Haelyn claims that loyalty to one's superior is the highest virtue. His "chivalry" denies the true bargain - true wealth and power should not be gifted by inheritance, but won by one's achievements. Loyalty is a fine virtue if it ensures your own happiness, but do not fall into the trap of believing that your master's or family's prosperity is your own. Cuiraécen earns nothing and squanders what he was given. Glory and honor cannot buy bread. Honor is a fine thing if your opponent obeys the same rules, but why should they do so? Honor is a poor contract, and glory a hollow prize. Belinik kills for pleasure and glories in dominance through fear. This is strange enough, but made worse in that he prizes only this form of pleasure. Let him remind us always that a friendly coin purchases more bread than a bloody knife.
Others:Our husband, Ruornil, is not concerned with affairs of wealth and power. He is clever and often useful. Surely, there is no profit in the dominance of Shadow. Leave his secrets be, for their price is too high. Avani lays claim to wisdom, but does not wield it. Reason is a tool that can be helpful, but it can also be the instrument of deception and betrayal. She wastes her efforts puzzling over issues with no relevance to life, talking in jargon that conceals her lack of useful knowledge. The waste in which her people dwell is purchased with such folly. Erik lives in squalor and ignores the beauties of civilization. Worse yet, he jealously attempts to deny us our fair share of nature's bounty. There is no profit in such behavior. Laerme can blind even the wise with passion. Such passion is not without cost. We must reward ourselves for work well done, but in moderation. Excesses lead to misfortune. Kriesha offers nothing in return except hardship. Who would accept such terms? She is utterly misguided and not to be trusted.
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