Thieves & Kings
Larani - The Celestial Paladin
The Champion, The Lady of Paladins, The Mistress of Steel – Goddess of Chivalry, Duty, Glory, Guardianship, Honor, and Protection.
Larani is the benevolent goddess of chivalry and battle, the reluctant warrior. Her followers claim she is the ruler of the gods of good, but that she is constrained by honour and conscience beyond the mortal moors of either Sarrok – The Gray Slayer or Agrik – The Harbinger. Seen as a weakness by others, since she cannot strike without warning nor cause, it is also held as a strength by her followers, as it ensures one will never forget whose side they’re on.
Larani appears most often as a tall maiden in a white gown with red trim. About her waist and brow are circlets of platinum; she is fair of face, and strong, although she does not display her power openly. This aspect of the Lady of Paladins, one whom its is an honour to serve and protect, the guardian of knightly virtue, the warrior’s lady, the ultimate object of chaste and courtly love. The Lady of Paladins is symbolic of more than feudal womanhood, she epitomizes the worthwhile aspects of feudalism, duty to one’s superiors and inferiors, striving to attain the unattainable, worthy goal, the quest to excel.
When Larani loses her patience with her enemies or lapsed adherents, she assumes the aspect of “The Terrible Lady of Flowing Red Flame”, and is ready to do battle, no longer protected; she becomes the Protector and does battle on her own behalf. As the Lady of Red, she wears Angcaradina, her blood-red mail. She also bears Hyvrik, her red and white checkered shield, and Avarkiel, “the Sword that Strikes True”, which is often called “Oathbinder” and “Herald of the End of All Things”.
There is considerable enmity between Larani and Agrik – The Harbinger, the evil god of war. Larani once wounded Agrik in battle, severing two claws from his left hand. Some theologians believe that Agrik will eventually attempt to murder Larani regardless of the consequences. This hostility is reflected in the mortal churches of both deities.
Larani provides directly for her servants, as great protector and crusader, leader of the Gods of Good, and during the Divine Wars. She has both strength and wisdom. Her armoru is a reflection of holy earth and streaked with precious metals. Her sword, Avarkiel, forged by Ilmarinen – The Creator from the scraps of his creation of the Earth, and quenched in the blood of combat, symbolizes the paragon of virtue. Indeed, Larani demands uncompromising virtue from her faithful, but rewards amply with protection and a privileged place by her side in the armies of heaven after death.
Victory is important to Laranian followers, but foremost is the need to uphold the law, contest others for the right reasons, and to battle with honour. Those who would follow Larani must be brave, compassionate and honourable. None are more honoured than those who fight without hope of victory for a cause that is just. Theirs are the honoured seats in the halls of Dolithor.
“The Noble is the Servant" : Societal order is an ideal for the chivalric knight. He is the guardian of culture. He is motivated by duty to his vassals and servants, as well as to his lawful superiors and his clan. His is a life of obligation and privilege.
“Fight With Fairness” : It is the duty of followers to strive for victory in accordance to their obligations, but they are bound to fight “fairly”. In battle, quarter must be offered and accepted with honour. IF one opposes your philosophy, even to the point of cruelness and evil, qaurter must be offered, though he may not chose to accept.
“Battle and Strategy Come with Practice” : Followers of Larani recognize the value in “friendly” competition. Tournaments and tilts test the skills of a follower, and should be participated in, to the glory of Larani and the betterment of one’s skills.
Larani’s symbol is usually a platinum dragon, though her blood-red mail, silvery sword and the servants of her reign, act as symbols as well.
Larani’s clerical domain is War.
The origins of Larani remain somewhat obscure, but many claim she was the heroine Larane, She-Wolf, who anciently smote the Queen of Dire Wolves, saving her village from the beast’s pack of demonic wolves. Larane had many adventures, which eventually led her to claiming the portfolio of Guardianship, and eventually led her to leading the Celestial Hosts in their wars against evil and the ever-present hordes of demons and devils from the Primordial Realms.
Larani dwells in Tirithor, translated from Ancient Dethek as the “Kingdom that Guards”, or “Land of the Mighty”. Tirithor is in constant war with the realms of Agrik and the other hosts of evil. Organized as a feudal state, Larani is its queen, her barons its demi-gods, and her knights the slain warriors who were faithful in their actions unto death. The fertile land is worked by happy, toiling yeoman in manors, living virtuous, wholesome lives. It is considered the Argothic ideal.
The heart of Tirithor is the legendary castle of her realm, Dolithor seat of the goddess and haven of her followers. Considered the strongest and fairest structure of the Two Realms, even though Agrik’s followers claim Balgashang to be the ideal. Dolithor rises high on the central mountain of the realm (sometimes known as the Seven Heavens), with a panoramic view of her infinite realm, allowing her to marshal the realm to war if ever invaded.