The young priestess walked towards the dark altar that was coated in the black stains of old blood. She was a picture of beauty, pale white skin, white hair, black robes and painted black lips and nails. She bowed near the altar, offering a prayer to her god, and then laid the small animal on the altar.
The old dog whimpered, its tail tucked between its hind legs. Its eyes were white with blindness and most of its hair was lost to a skin disease. The animal whimpered again, shivering.
“Arehen! Goddess of life and death, take this wretched creature such that we may use its energies and guard our sanctum!” cried the priestess. She reached out her hand, muttering words of power and touched the beast. With a shriek the animal died and collapsed onto the altar. The priestess spat out words of power again, and touched the carcass with her other hand. A shimmer of green energy swirled around the dead beast and it stood up, shuddering, baleful red energy glowing from its eyes.
Arehen started her incarnation as the wife of Rhe and the mother of all gods. It was not long however before Voll, the eldest of the three younger gods grew jealous of Arehen and slew her. In return, Pyre, god of justice, cast Voll from the heavens and into the icy pits of hell. Arehen, being a god, did not die, but instead rose spontaneously as the undead goddess, Arehen, Mother of the Dead.
What do I not like about the goddess as it stands? I don’t like the idea that Voll slew her, or the fact that she is the wife of Rhe, it suggests too much familial ties to sons and gods, and so on. I prefer the concept that Arehen is a single standing deity, a goddess that watches over the dead as opposed to a god of death.
What do I like about the goddess? A lot. In the adventure that started this world, Azael and Aaron have both had mettings with the goddess of death and she has come across as being a truly mysterious figure, more so than most other run ins that they have had with gods or goddesses. She is evasive, yet loving, she seems to care the most of all the gods, yet she is sinister in her nature.
Arehen resides in a place known as The Black Pools. This are mirror-still lakes of inky darkness. Within this darkness all souls are sent. From here they are judged by Arehen and sent to their final destinations.
I’m not entirely sure that I like that, and will probably change it as soul-energy will become an aspect of the magic world of Kae’edra. especially since I got my hands on Magic of Incarnum and have done some very brief skim-reading.
So what should Arehen (AR – reh – eN) be like? What are her desires and her focus on the world of Kae’edra? Does she walk the lands like some of the other gods or is she a goddess in the true nature of the word and is something existential and out of reach of the usual mortal?
I feel that Arehen should be something out of reach for most normal mortals. She should not exist on the lands. As such she resides in her own plane of existence, known as the Black Pools. A desolate plane with craggy peaks of grey stone and massive glass-like pools.
Arehen is not evil however. She is very much neutral. all things must die at some point, and she governs that. She can also be seen as a life protector as she does not condone murder. She is also the goddess of necromancy as undeath is not something offensive to her, in fact, her teachings explain how undead are to be created and managed. She does not tolerate those that create undead armies and the like however. Spontaneous undead are also said to be those that Arehen has turned her back upon, and her priests are often sought out to remove undead problems.