Pariya is one of the four lesser
Aeruillin High Gods. She has power over the
Element of Fire.
She symbolises destruction, but also a new beginning, as after the
fire has died down, new life shall come
forth. It is said that she can control the ferocity of the
sun, and thus in many pictures is seen
working closely with Sheára, concerning the seasons.
Names. Pariya's official title is the High Goddess Of Destruction, but is also known as the Destroyer, the Renewer, the One Lady (but only by her priestesses and strong-willed women) and, in times of great annoyance, the Quick-Tempered One (i.e. should something have gone wrong in relation to Pariya, a person may cry out "The Quick-Tempered one has surely burned her wrath into me!")
Pariya’s appearance is said to truly echo her destructive nature. She is often
depicted in picture with her short hair ablaze, and there are tales that say
her narrow eyes will burst alight if she is angered. Her ears lengthen at the
tips into a small flicker of fire, and
more artistic representations give her a jewel central of her forehead, a small
gem which branches out in three directions – one directly up towards the sky,
the other two in opposing upward diagonals. It is also believed that her skin
is also a red colour, quite a contrast from the traditional milky white. Her
wings are lick of flame bursting from the shoulder blades, and she generally
holds a ball of her fire in her right
Often, Pariya is in pictures with Sheára, the Goddess of Destruction controlling the sun whilst taking direction from the Goddess of Death concerning the ferocity, for the seasons are closely linked with the heat of the sun, as all Aeruillian people know.
Mythology. Pariya was one of the easiest of the Gods to convince of rebellion against the Void by Nakashi. However, she was not happy when the Goddess Of Light became the leader of the ten, she felt that she would be far more suited to the task. She tried to convince Har’wyn and Arkon to rebel against Nakashi with her, but they refused and it was from this that Pariya denounced the male race. Also, as punishment, Nakashi declared that she would take control of the rising of the sun, Pariya’s creation for Caelereth, which angered the Goddess greatly. She went on to fight her counterparts, threatening to make the sun so hot that all on Caelereth would die. It was only when Nakashi intervened and challenged the Goddess to a battle between Light and Fire, which she won, that Pariya accepted her punishment and stepped down.
Lore. Most tales concerning Pariya are concerned with her quick temper and punishments she has wreaked upon Caelereth. Also, her relationship with her fellow Gods is a source of many a story.
She is said to ignore Arkon and Har’wyn even after accepting that she would never lead the Gods, for their refusal to co-operate with her plan to take Nakashi’s leadership. Also, she is the first to defy the words of Nakashi as she feels fit, something which has caused her to be punished greatly over time.
It is said that in ancient times Pariya used to walk Caelereth in the form of a beautiful elven maiden, seducing men and then causing them harm, echoing her vehement hate of the males. Although this was said to have been stopped by intervention of Kashmina, who detested her abuse of the heart, any strange elves that enter the towns and cities of Aeruillin (although this is rare) are generally regarded with great suspicion.
Importance. Pariya is known as a Goddess with a quick temper, an anger that can cause great destruction. Due perhaps to her unfriendly nature, she is not a popular God; more time is spent by the people of Aeruillin attempting to placate her than to worship her. Most people hold to a superstition of burning a small piece of any food each day, even if it were only a crumb, in honour of the Goddess, so that she knows she has been remembered by that person or family.
Pariya has become a personal Goddess to women who wish for more power amongst men, and secretly to those who may be in abusive relationships. There is a definite feeling of unease in a husband should his wife start to show interest in the Goddess – none want to be confronted by the priestesses of Pariya should their wife have visited them, to ask for help!
However, the Renewer is also a reminder that following her destruction there is a clean slate to start upon once more, and can be looked upon favourably by for this fact.
Symbols. As could be
expected, orange and red are Pariya’s symbolic colours, representing her
Fire and destruction. It is not unusual to
see green however in relation to Pariya, as, whilst green is the colour of
Arkon, it can also represent
the renewal that the Goddess of Destruction can bring following her
symbolic animal is the Drakona, a tiny, mythical
dragon. It is often depicted as being by
her side, belching forth Fire from its tiny
throat. Also, the three-pointed gem that has recently
been attributed upon the forehead of the Goddess has become a symbol for her,
and her priestesses are not unknown to paint this upon
their own forehead, in order to show their affiliation with the
Celebrations. The day for Pariya is called the Festival of Rebirth. Despite Pariya not being the most popular Goddess, her festival is one that is perhaps enjoyed the most, bar maybe the Festival of Celebration held in honour of Jenevére.
The day previous to the festival everyone will collect unwanted items and many piles will be made throughout the city. The morning of the following day, the people assemble by one of these piles, and light them collectively. A sacrifice (commonly an inja goat) is made, and the meat is shared between all the people, which can mean that only a small portion is eaten when a gathering is large! The rest of the day is spent in jubilation; it really is an excuse for a big party, although people are sent off at regular intervals to search for more items to keep the large bonfires going. Recently, there has been a custom of putting a straw effigy of Pariya upon the bonfire, perhaps started by a group of people who dislike the Goddess, but it has developed into something done by all.
Temple Design. Few people will choose Pariya as their personal God. This is mainly due to her nature, and with the other Gods generally being fairly good-natured, why choose Pariya? Those who do tend to be strong-willed women, as Pariya seems to have become their personal God, stand for female will and independence which is sometimes lacked throughout Aeruillin. Shrines are lined with orange or red cloth, and there is a slow-burning candle for which every effort is made to keep alight. As with most shrines, there is a representation of the Goddess within it.
Temples to Pariya are few and far between, but when one is found, they are discovered to be elaborate and wild buildings. They are typically conical in shape, representing a flame, and will be engraved in such a way to enhance that effect on the outside. The temple to Pariya in Phalagor, built by the Nyvians, have at the rim of the building tiny Drakona, each with fire exploding forth from their tiny mouths.
Inside a temple to the Goddess Of Destruction, the heat from the Fire within can be so hot it has not been unknown for people to strip. Statues generally show her with her hands outstretched, upon the palms of both live fire is burning. At the apex of the temple, there is a glowing ball of fire, which must be forever maintained by the temple's priestesses, it is said that should one be quenched then the wrath of the Goddess would be unmeasured.
Only females are accepted into Pariya’s service – it is told that the Goddess is fed up with men, and so banned them from serving her personally (although they may of course worship her). The girls that are chosen to enter her service all show the same personality that echoes that of the Goddess – a fiery nature, quick tempered and strong willed. They wear robes of red and orange intertwined, and many paint Pariya’s symbol upon their forehead. Jewellery is also common amongst these priestesses, elaborate earrings and necklaces are something these women seem to enjoy. They have become common confidantes for women who have come to the end of their tether regarding men. Many use their influence to confront men who have perhaps been abusive towards their wives, and often cause a change for the good, as no man would dare hit or defy a priestess of Pariya.
Also, many of these women choose to become clerics, learning the ways of fire magic, and it is commonly thought that this outward representation of inward power that can cause people to fear them is what drives them to have this talent. Some say that the Priestesses of Pariya are power hungry (although these are normally disgruntled men).
Temple Locations. [...]
Information provided by Artemis