Hello and welcome Pathfinder initiates. Ollysta Zadrian has asked me to give you an overview on the major deities of Golarion, beginning with those from the Inner Sea region. I agreed as long as the first lesson would be about my own goddess, Shelyn.
Shelyn, the Eternal Rose is the goddess of beauty and love, full of endless compassion and forgiveness. She is delighted by all forms of art, and believes in creativity in both artistic and romantic endeavors. The Eternal Rose cherishes all forms of love, familial, courtly, pious, romantic, and any other sort you can imagine. She is a firm believer that beauty comes from within, though this was not always her way...
The stories teach that long ago, Shelyn lived in Elysium and was a fickle and shallow goddess, interested in nothing more than surrounding herself with beings of peerless physical beauty. However, when Shelyn's mother, an unknown and ancient goddess, perished, she bequeathed the mantle of love to her daughter, transforming Shelyn into her self. Shelyn moved to Nirvana, along with some of her most faithful azatas, where she lives in a remote valley, next to an empty one said to have been the domain of her brother Dou Bral.
Dou Bral and Shelyn, the two children of the Prince That Howls and their unknown mother, were once extremely close, but after a quarrel, Dou Bral went on a journey past the edge of the Great Beyond and returned...changed. Possessed and corrupted, Dou Bral, now Zon Kuthon, returned to the Great Beyond, where his father welcomed him with open arms, only for Zon Kuthon to flay his own father into a tortured thing that now serves as his herald. Realizing that the evil glaive Whisperer of Souls was a part of her brother's corruption and that it would soon achieve its own wicked godhood if it gorged upon a few more souls, Shelyn wrested the glaive from her brother and has wielded it ever since. Unlike her brother, Shelyn has proven to be incorruptible, and indeed she has slowing been uncorrupting the glaive instead, softening its spikes and hard edges into a more beautiful form while freeing the souls that would have hastened its apotheosis. Despite the horrors Zon Kuthon has committed and still continues to commit, Shelyn still remembers Dou Bral and holds out hope that he too can one day be redeemed.
Shelyn's holy text, Melodies of Inner Beauty, is a book of song, epic verse, and even dance masquerades detailing many of the stories about Shelyn and her family. The only universal holiday of her faith is Crystalhue on the Winter Solstice. Originally created by bards in Taldor, it was adopted as an official Shelynite religion about 300 years ago. A time for courtship and romantic proposals, you celeberate Crystalhue by exchanging small crystalline trinkets. In some regions, you can even give a Zonzon doll to someone who you have offended as a form of reconciliation.
Shelyn's servants tend to be agathions, though she also has some azatas on retainer from her time in Elysium as well as unique entities such as the singing cloud Harmonia, the avoral bard Phoenix Tail, and her herald, the Spirit of Adoration.
Most of Shelyn's priests are clerics, such as myself, or bards, but she also has notable paladins, rangers, and druids as well. We are to protect and nurture beauty, art, and love in all ways. We help those not born with natural beauty to find their inner beauty and to accentuate their attractive physical attributes with the most flattering styles available. Shelyn's paladins often practice courtly love with the goddess herself, and their code strictly requires them to "lead with the rose before the sword", offering mercy before violence as well as to protect artwork from destruction. As you can see on me, our typical garb is a calf-length dress, or tunic and leggings for men, with green, red, and gold as common colors and white accessories to to emphasize the vibrance of the colors. In addition to her holy symbol of a rainbow-tailed songbird, a rose is typical in iconography, and you will often see at least one rose on any given Shelynite's ceremonial garb. On this outfit, mine is here over my heart.
Do you have any questions for me about the Eternal Rose? Ask them and I shall answer as best I can.