Wrath of the Righteous
The Eternal Rose, the Lady of Chrysanthemums, The Incorruptible
Shelyn is the half-sister of Zon-Kuthon. She started life as a relatively minor deity of beauty, art, and music, but with the death of her mother, she inherited the portfolio of love and became a much more powerful deity. Shelyn continues to focus on beauty and the related areas of art and music, expanding upon love to include all forms of the emotion. Shelyn’s major centers of worship are Absalom, Galt, and Taldor.
Shelyn’s is a unique beauty unparalleled in the multiverse, for she is beautiful both without and within; all who see her see what they envision as the most perfect beauty. Shelyn focuses just as much attention on internal beauty as external, and she is considered also to have the most beautiful personality. She encourages the growth and appreciation of beauty, regardless of its source or admirers, and is never jealous. She surrounds herself with flowers, colorful birds, artworks, and other things of beauty.
Nearly all deities are friendly to Shelyn, and many are actively in love with her. The relatively recently ascended god Cayden Cailean frequently attempts to win her over (and always fails), and has contributed greatly to her art and violin collections. Shelyn does not use her beauty as a weapon, and punishes such behavior in her followers. She gently and kindly rejects all potential suitors. Some call her an eternal maiden, while others claim she is the lover of several gods, goddesses, and lesser beings.
As the goddess of love, Shelyn encourages the proliferation of the feeling in all its forms. She is not the goddess of sexuality, lust, or fertility, and makes a very clear distinction between love and sexuality, though she does not in any way discourage erotic love. The few paladins who worship her practice courtly love, attempting to win the attentions of attractive young noblemen or noblewomen. Shelyn and her clerics treat homosexual love as equal to heterosexual love.
Paladins of Shelyn are peaceable promoters of art and beauty. They see the ugliness in evil, even when cloaked in the form of beauty, and their job is to prevent the weak and foolish from being seduced by false promises. Their tenets include:
I am peaceful. I come first with a rose. I act to prevent conflict before it blossoms.
I never strike first, unless it is the only way to protect the innocent.
I accept surrender if my opponent can be redeemed—and I never assume that they cannot be. All things that live love beauty, and I will show beauty’s answer to them.
I will never destroy a work of art, nor allow one to come to harm unless greater art arises from its loss.
I will only sacrifice art if doing so allows me to save a life, for untold beauty can arise from an awakened soul.
I see beauty in others. As a rough stone hides a diamond, a drab face may hide the heart of a saint.
I lead by example, not with my blade. Where my blade passes, a life is cut short, and the world’s potential for beauty is lessened.
I live my life as art. I will choose an art and perfect it. When I have mastered it, I will choose another. The works I leave behind make life richer for those who follow.
The goddess Shelyn was born brother to Dou-Bral, with whom she shared the portfolios of beauty, love and the arts. Fearing that they would one day grow jealous of each other, the siblings swore an oath that they would never war against each other, nor would they stand by if others tried to harm them. In exchange for making the such an Oath, they received the Whisperer of Souls.
However, this powerful weapon drive them apart. They were worshiped in early Taldor, until they fought over the Whisperer of Souls, and Dou-Bral abandoned Golarion for the far dark places between the planes.
When Dou-Bral returned to Golarion, he had become the Dark Prince: Zon-Kuthon. Believing that Dou-Bral still existed within Zon-Kuthon, Shelyn reached out to her lost brother, but he pierced her hand with his black nails. Doing so caused his oath to take its toll on him, in anger he struck out at Shelyn’s followers, including a race of riverfolk, which Shelyn later remade into the otteroys. For these crimes, the Gods of Golarion banished Zon-Kuthon to the Plane of Shadow, there to reside for as long as the sun hung in the sky.
After a cosmic event struck Golarion and brought about a thousand years pf darkness, Zon-Kuthon returned, wielding the Whisperer of Souls. Seeing the horror he wrought with the weapon, Shelyn wrestled the Whisperer of Souls from him. Due to the oath he struck, Zon-Kuthon did not retaliate.
To this day, clerics of Zon-Kuthon will not harm known clerics of Shelyn, and sometimes try to protect such clerics if they are in danger. For their part, clerics of Shelyn return the favor by looking the other way when they meet known clerics or cultists of Zon-Kuthon.