Under Feet of Clay
Lawful Neutral Goddess
Other Names: The Stolen Queen, Lady of Shades, Blade of Mercy, Flower in the Dark
Domains: Darkness, Healing, Law, Repose, Weather
Subdomains: Loss, Loyalty, Resurrection, Seasons, Souls
Favored Weapon: Morningstar
From her prison and palace, Eleusinia is the beloved Queen of the Dead. Wife of Thantadeus, she dwells ten months of the year in the dismal halls surrounded by the petrified trees and mournful wails of the lonely shades. Thesmaphora‘s daughter was once a goddess of light and flowers, but he was stolen away out of jealousy by the Bonelord, and now is imprisoned within the palace and its courtyard. Her love of growth and good nature remain, but behind a veil of sorrow for the world she can no longer know. In her caverns, only the orchid grows, and this flower is her favored token. Unlike her husband’s tyrannical rule, Eleusinia can be swayed by the plights of mortals, so those facing death do not look to Thantadeus for mercy, but rather his bride. By concession to the other gods, Eleusinia is allowed to return to the surface once each year for two moons, and the world is so delighted at her radiant return that the dismal winter breaks and flowers bloom. Pallas in particular delights in the return of Eleusinia, who was going to be his wife before Thantadeus intervenes, that he slows his chariot so the days are longer in hopes of prolonging her stay.
On a rare few occasions, Eleusinia has defied her husband and allowed a mortal to pass through the Underworld without perishing, or a shade to glimpse the world above. In every case, this has been done to reunite lovers, and in many of these cases, a new line of Fetchlings is the result. Because they represent the subordination of his wife and a weakness in his authority, Thantadeus has no love to spare for the race of half-shades, though most dedicate themselves to the service of the twin thrones of the Dead Halls.
Eleusinia’s clerics dress without armor, preferring whites and light blues for their robes and tunics. They cultivate orchids and tend the forgotten dead, carrying morningstars only for self defense. While such services are never advertised, it is known that the high priestesses of Eleusinia know the incantations to beckon a shade back to its body, and what few times a mortal has been brought back to life has been through their intervention. Her temples never stand alone, as they are always kept under the same roof as a temple of Thantadeus, but the clergies keep in separate quarters. Clerics are by far the most common adherents of the Flower in the Dark, but a select order of paladins known as The Eternal Orchids stand vigilant, protecting the dead with no mourners left and guarding ships and travelers visiting graves. Sometimes known as the Knighthood of Mournful Ladies, the Eternal Orchids wear armor buffed and stained to pure white, with lace patterns in mimicry of bridal dress. Their faces are covered by veils, and the spikes of their morningstars rise from floral patterns on a weapon shaped like a bouquet.