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|LG, NG, CG, N|
|Air, Charm, Good, Luck, Protection|
Shelyn is one of Pathfinder deities.
Background[edit | edit source]
Shelyn has watched over the multiverse with a gentle heart and generous eye since the beginnings of sentience, encouraging mortals in peace and love and reveling in even their crudest artistic awakenings. A passionate and creative artist in both matters of the heart and works of beauty, she teaches that true beauty takes many forms, that kindness is its own form of strength, that no force is more powerful than love, and that every person is beautiful in some way. She has experienced enough pain herself to recognize the sting of sacrifice, and has soothed enough broken hearts to know that love and beauty are not easy things. Yet despite the realities of pain and loss, she remains an eternal optimist, helping to mend the deepest pains and turn the coldest hearts toward love and light. No mortal, monster, or deity is immune to her power.
Shelyn represents all aspects of love, whether a parent's devotion to his child, companionship with a beloved pet, the steady tenderness of an old couple, the chaste adoration of a paladin for a deity, or the passion of new lovers. She prefers relationships based on more than just carnal desire; while she does not oppose such relationships, she hopes that such physical trysts blossom into something deeper. Likewise, she does not consider greed or craving true love, whether directed toward riches or an uninterested person.
Shelyn is always shown as a young woman with eyes of blue or silver (or sometimes one eye of each color) and ankle-length hair adorned with colorful strands. She is usually depicted as a human, though other races often illustrate her as one of their own, from elves to half-orcs. Shelyn always wears tasteful clothing and jewelry that accentuate her beauty without revealing too much of it. Her physical proportions vary depending on the artist and regional standards for beauty: she is strong and sturdy in some depictions, voluptuous in others, and slender in still others. When she chooses to appear to mortals, it's usually as a brown-haired Taldan woman of average proportions and exceptional beauty, dressed in attractive but comfortable clothing. Her avatar is the embodiment of passion, energy, and devotion, and nearby objects and even the air and light themselves bend toward her as if in ecstasy.
Shelyn is the daughter of an unknown mother and the spirit-wolf Thron, the Prince That Howls. In primordial times, Thron roamed the mountains, forests and skies, singing his feral ode to life, song, and love. From his many unions came two children greater than he: his daughter Shelyn and his son Dou-Bral, who as the only close relatives among the major deities of Golarion shared the divine portfolio of love, beauty, art, and music. Ages ago, the siblings quarreled, and Dou-Bral departed to regions past the edge of the Great Beyond, abandoning his divine interests and responsibilities. When he returned, he was transformed into the dark god Zon-Kuthon, twisted by the things he'd experienced beyond the borders of existence into a dark mirror of his former self. His devotion to beauty had become mastery of mutilation, love had become misery, music had become screams, and the art of creation had become the craft of torture. He mutilated and reshaped his own father into his herald, a thing of pain and horror (see page 314). When Shelyn reached out to greet her lost brother, he pierced her hand with his black nails, and responded to her tears and pleading with violence. The siblings battled again, and eventually the goddess wrested his glaive from him (thinking it was the source of his corruption). The two declared a truce, a tenuous peace of silence and avoidance. Despite the hurts he has caused, Shelyn believes that her brother still exists within the twisted thing that he has become, and hopes to someday redeem him. Her story of love and devotion despite sorrow inspires mortal friends and lovers to persevere in adverse circumstances, bards to craft epic songs and tragedies, and artists to create works that touch the soul.
Shelyn sometimes contacts her faithful directly, but she prefers to work through reassuring thoughts, reminders of loved ones, or memories of favored music. Songbirds are sacred to her church, their presence being considered good luck. Most of her temples include feeders on the roof or in nearby trees to encourage birds to visit and nest nearby. Especially blessed artists may receive visions of Shelyn's realm to inspire their works, and bereaved lovers may experience dreams of walks in the realm's rose gardens with their deceased loves. Shelyn's displeasure manifests in a number of ways, such as a brief glimpse of a repellent reflection in a mirror, a lover's quarrel, a bird singing off-key, or wilted roses. She is greatly saddened by those who betray the ones they love, and haunts such folk within her congregation with guilt and the subtle sounds of those they betrayed until they either genuinely ask for forgiveness or abandon her faith entirely.
Shelyn's holy symbol is a songbird with rainbow feathers, and her weapon is the glaive Whisperer of Souls, seized from her brother Zon-Kuthon and claimed as her own. She keeps the weapon as a reminder of her brother's transformation and to show her worshipers that it is sometimes necessary to fight for the things you love.
Gameplay[edit | edit source]
Contrary to her portfolio, Shelyn is one of the better choices for a "battle Cleric" character. Glaive is an excellent weapon while Luck and Protection are solid choices for domain.