|CG, N, CN, CE|
|Chaos Domain, Charm, Knowledge, Luck Domain, Trickery|
Calistria is one of Pathfinder deities.
Description[edit | edit source]
Calistria, also know as "The Savored Sting" and "The Unquenchable Fire", is the goddess of lust and revenge who takes on many faces and guises. She is held in especially high regard by elves, who often identify with her mercurial moods and changeable nature. A fondness for wasps has earned this vengeful deity the title of "Savored Sting"; such creatures live on after harming their enemies, a trait Calistria's followers hope to emulate when pursuing their goals.
Background[edit | edit source]
Calistria is the most widely worshiped elven goddess on Golarion — an ancient deity with a long memory for old slights, at once mysterious, alluring, temperamental, and passionate. Although most of her worshipers are elves, she is popular with other races as well, for at some point almost everyone has felt the fire of lust, engaged in trickery, or been driven to revenge. She is not so much a spiritual guide for the elven people as a cornerstone for their culture, never pushing them to act but always ready to assist when the time comes for action.
The Savored Sting is a sultry manifestation of everything in elves that is fascinating to other races, attracting men and women alike with her raw sexual magnetism. Her beauty is typically characterized as sensual, desirable, and arousing, or described in more vulgar terms. Gazing on Calistria's clothed body, viewers wonder what she looks like naked; her nude form drives their curiosity to even more intimate places. Although she considers herself female, Calistria has been known to take on a male form that is attractive enough to make any mortal flushed and weak in the knees.
She is mischievous, perplexing, devious, and silver-tongued, disarming her most powerful rivals with pretty words that, upon careful reflection, reveal themselves as humiliating insults. She "surrenders" by convincing enemies to hand over their weapons, leads suitors on for decades with hints of outrageous rewards, and outwits the most brilliant mortals as an afterthought. Though her sense of humor is rich and sharp, she considers silly jokes and crude pranks beneath one who can convey an hour's speech in one small gesture and a lifetime of emotion with a careful look. Lies are her meat and drink, half-truths are her favorite wine, and double entendres are a luscious dessert.
Calistria enjoys a quick resolution to petty affronts, but she is patient, unforgiving, and merciless when more seriously offended, willing to punish the offender with exacting artistry beyond the ken of mortals. Calistria does not forgive, she does not forget, and any evidence to the contrary is part of her plan to sting a foe in the most painful way possible after he believes the threat of vengeance is long past. She is a goddess of vengeance, not justice, and feels no compulsion to stop at taking an eye for an eye; if she pushes beyond a response others might deem appropriate, it should serve as a lesson to those who get in her way.
Though gracious and personable to those who haven't drawn her ire, Calistria is fickle, changing loyalties as suits her needs and whims. Her changeability is not malicious; rather, she is uninterested in relationships becoming too strong or too emotional, believing such bonds to be foolish. Most of her partners and allies accept the affection she grants them and then move on, but those who persist in the chase after she has tired of being the prey find her claws sharp and certain. She sees love only as a weakness, a needless by-product of physical pleasures.
Calistria welcomes the worship of any mortal who lusts, deceives, or seeks revenge; she hears the prayers of the good, evil, unjustly accused, selfish, moral, criminal, and love-struck alike. Regardless of methods or motives, if a mortal's actions touch her concerns, she takes an interest in the outcome and may aid in achieving it. Her worshipers are thus diverse, but mostly transitional, only seeking her attention when they need her. As she in turn only engages with others when her interest is piqued, this satisfies her, and she does not ask for more.
Some mortals, unable to emulate or understand her shifting interests and allegiances, accuse Calistria of being evil, but in truth, she is simply amoral, eschewing right, wrong, and justice because she knows that the universe is not a fair place. If others choose to follow her path, so be it; if some are hurt by such a decision, she stands as a reminder that every creature has the right — and the responsibility — to avenge their injuries.
Calistria is usually depicted as a beautiful elven woman wearing a figure-hugging black dress accented with gold, often with a black or golden silk drape falling from her arms or drawn seductively across her face. Her eyes are dark and mysterious, but sometimes flash gold with passion or anger. She is commonly shown with giant wasps, her favorite creature — for unlike bees, wasps can sting again and again without dying. In her male form she usually wears a masculine version of her normal shape, with black leggings and a loose golden jerkin and cape, eyes smoldering with barely contained passion. Depending on the views of the surrounding society, Calistria's worshipers are also not afraid of depicting her in more scandalous attire or situations, and sexually explicit art featuring the goddess is common.
Calistria's holy symbol is three daggers pointing outward from a circle (representing her three aspects); many of her clergy carry daggers in her honor. Most of her priests are clerics or bards, though in some places more exotic spellcasters are the norm for her clergy, and even some non-spellcasters reach positions of moderate importance in her priesthood based on their cunning and achievements. Her titles include the Savored Sting, the Lady in the Room, and the Unquenchable Fire, as well as many vulgar epithets bestowed by those outside the faith.
Appendices[edit | edit source]
Notes[edit | edit source]
- In the original pen-and-paper game, Calistria's favored weapon is the whip, which is not implemented in this game. Rapiers are substituted.