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ASTRAEVA, GODDESS OF LIGHT

Astraevan History
Astraeva was once a highly regarded elven High Priest of Kaleith, the God of Water. It is rumored her mastery of Light came as a gift from the gods in an attempt to counter the emerging threat of Itzal. As word spread of Astraeva's blessing, the rumors transcended into the legend of a mortal coming face to face with the four elemental gods, unwavering in their presence as she calmly sought the power to fight back the shadows. Stories passed down through families that had fought alongside the future Goddess say when asked how she was able to remain so calm in their presence, she replied, "I knew this day would come; I have been preparing for it my entire life."
Leaving her position as High Priest of Kaleith and championing the banner of Light, she began learning all she could about her new abilities. Astraeva called upon both the argali and sylves to aid in protecting her while she made battle preparations and mastered the manipulation of Light. Finally, after more than three years of battle against Itzal's army, both champions squared off in a battle that would lead to their deaths, the destruction of Archai, and the dawn of a new age in which Astraeva rose to become something greater than her life's accomplishments. Her devoted followers had lost their leader, but gained a Goddess whom could now protect them divinely.
Accepted Races
Those races that stood beside the mortal Astraeva as she ascended to godhood were rewarded for their devotion. Even though Astraeva herself was an elf, there are no elven races that worship the Goddess of Light. Humans and dwarves make up the largest population of the Astraevan faith, although many sylvan families pass down their stories of fighting alongside Astraeva, giving sylves a sizeable share in Astraeva's following. The argali, bolinaus, gavials, gargoyles, and vukasins also follow the element of Light, though most of these races live in areas outside of Astraeva's main stronghold--the City of Pearl.
Accepted Professions
The large majority of Astraeva's followers are of a military background. Many family lines can be traced to those who fought alongside Astraeva during the Battle of Shadow and Light. Their home city, Pearl, has been ruled by Astraevan kings since it was established, with a few exceptions of Itzalite Bayesian family descendents. Warriors, templars, and scouts most prominently serve due to this lineage and are among those groomed for knighthood and marshal duties in service to the crown. Priests and diviners, along with the more devout templars, make up the temple hierarchy and from this group an Illuminar is selected to lead the temple. Barbarians are not as commonly found in the service of Astraeva, though their ranks swell during times of conflict. Astraeva does not accept thieves or assassins, dating back to her mortal decision to refuse their guild's offer for help against Itzal.
Colors, Sigils, and Other Representations
Astraeva is most often represented in colors of gold and blue, reflecting the combined might of the Crown and the Archai Trading Company. The king's fleet flies blue flags marked with a gold dragon, and this has gone on to become the banner of many households that worship the Goddess of Light. House Sauntere, and many of those whom have sided with their family over the Dividicus family in the fight for the throne, fly a banner of a golden bear. Others have elected to symbolize Astraeva's pyramid as their sigil of choice. Astraevans most often wear colorful pearls as a symbolic representation of Astraeva's link to the City of Pearl. Others have adopted the sunstone as their gem of choice for reasons of both name and color. Sandstone is commonly used in Astraevan structures such as Astraeva'’s Pyramid and the surrounding arches in Pearl. Persarium is unofficially considered the metal favored by Astraevans, largely in part to the King's highest ranking knights wearing full sets of persarium armor.
Beliefs and Characteristics
Astraeva represents all of those whom serve as a shield to the people, and when called upon, put down that shield and raise their swords. Astraeva's sacrifice is reflected in many of her followers' compassion for others and willingness to forgive, though not forget. Followers of Light tend to be judgmental and passionately methodical, relying on proper planning before use of brute force. However, few will stand down when something of great ethical or monetary value is on the line. Astraevans commonly share a desire to be well-informed in making the best decisions possible. With the gathering of such large quantities of information, many become knowledgeable scholars. Centuries of control over Pearl have left Astraevans blind to the corruption caused by power, often being viewed as naive in their trust of those in positions of authority.
Interacting With Other Religions
The constant battle for control over the City of Pearl between shadow and light--Itzal and Astraeva--is the largest problem facing Astraevans. Although control of the city sides with the Crown, the opposing side is always ascending the ranks of power to strengthen their hold on the city. There have been times throughout the history of Pearl where the two sides have raised arms against one another, but in more recent years the hardest fought campaigns have occurred in politics, not on the battlefield.
Astraeva has an uneasy relationship with all but Aerthane, thanks to the role of the Archai Trading Company and the strategic value of Pearl's location. Pyresians have tried to seize control of Pearl multiple times, and issues with the Tetherians date back before the Great Shattering when the old capital city of Valar was at odds with the Tetherians over territory disputes. Kalesians have resisted the widespread control of the Archai Trading Company more than others, and have twice rebelled against the merchant navy and their bolstering claims of sea domination. There have been times of peace with each, and those that work outside the political arena to repair damage done in the past. Astraevans have always been known for their ability to quickly forgive in order to move forward, but the damage done is never forgotten.

Read more about Astraeva in the following selections from the libraries of Archai:
Before the Shattering: Itzal and Astraeva
 
RACES CLASSES RELIGION REFERENCE SUPPORT

Argali

Avardi

Bolinau

Devalin

Dragon

Dwarf

Gargoyle

Gavial

Goblin

Human

Nydine

Sylph

Verdani

Vukasin

Wyvern

Air-mage

Assassin

Barbarian

Earth-mage

Fire-mage

Priest

Scout

Templar

Thief

Warrior

Water-mage

Aerthane

Astraeva

Itzal

Kaleith

Pyrous

Tetherias

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