The Golden Hearth
Sarenrae (pronounced SAER-en-ray1) is a neutral good deity, associated with Healing and the Sun.
She teaches temperance and patience in all things. Compassion and peace are her greatest virtues, and if enemies of the faith can be redeemed, they should be. Yet there are those who have no interest in redemption, who glory in slaughter and death. From the remorseless evil of the undead and fiends to the cruelties born in the hearts of mortals, Sarenrae’s doctrines preach swift justice delivered by the scimitar’s edge. To this end, she expects her faithful to be skilled at swordplay, both as a form of martial art promoting centering of mind and body, and so that when they do enter battle, their foes do not suffer any longer than necessary.
Sarenrae is known to be among the early gods that battled Rovagug in defending creation. During this magnificent war of prehistory, the Dawnflower cast down Rovagug to the center of the world. It is believed that after Asmodeus bound the Rough Beast there, Sarenrae placed therein the raging flames of the sun as an eternal torment.
Sarenrae counts all non-evil gods as companions, and even communicates with evil deities in the hopes of converting them from their dark ways. She has some distrust for Asmodeus due to arguing over the souls of the dead.4 Her only true enemy is Rovagug.
Appearance and Emissaries
Sarenrae manifests as a bronze angelic beauty, with golden hair composed of flowing flame. From one hand emits a holy light which trickles down like liquid luminescence, whereas the other holds a scimitar emblazoned with radiant fire. Her holy light provides healing and sustenance, while the scimitar creates gusts of winds that remove disease and fear.
A common depiction of the Dawnflower
Sarenrae has numerous angelic servants. Her herald, the Holy Sunlord Thalachos, is a platinum-skinned angelic minion that is escorted by 11 divine doves.
This servant of Sarenrae is manifested as a wheel of flaming sunlight.
Charlabu is a gold-colored hound archon that often appears in a canine form.
This servant of the Dawnflower is an intelligent animated blade and possesses the same powers as that of a celestial unicorn.
Church of Sarenrae
An artist’s depiction of the goddess
The church of Sarenrae is mostly composed of altruistic priests who are also ready to be stern should it be warranted. The church is known for blessing crops, healing the sick, and reforming criminals and evil doers. They are often consulted to solve feuds and disputes among neighbors and family. The Empire of Kelesh holds her as their patron deity and is responsible for spreading her faith throughout the Inner Sea.
Worshipers and Clergy
A large portion of Sarenrae’s priests are composed of clerics, but within their ranks are also paladins and rangers, as well as a few druids and bards. Some priests work as personal retainers or healers for the wealthy, while others survive on assistance from congregational worshipers. A common form of worship by priests is to awaken with the dawn and give thanks and praise to the rising sun. The scimitar is a favored weapon and its use is held in high regard. In battle, Sarenrae’s clerics become dervishes, ready to destroy irredeemable corruption.
Temples and Shrines
The temples of the Dawnflower are open-air buildings. Priests often travel from one temple to the next. The Everlight Oasis in Kelesh is a popular site of pilgrimage for followers of the goddess.6 Church services are held outdoors and are joyous affairs that feature singing, dancing, and music.
The one book common to all churches of Sarenrae is The Birth of Light and Truth, is the principal holy book of Sarenrae. This text is unusual because it includes stories from times before Sarenrae was a true goddess, describing the creatures she faced and including a long list of names of fiends and horrors she destroyed long before mortals learned writing. The rest of the book is more practical than historical, explaining the beliefs of the church, offering advice on dealing with sin and temptation, and many parables of evil creatures seeing the light of the Dawnflower and turning to good, productive lives thereafter. The book also contains simple folk remedies for common illnesses and injuries, as well as helpful hints for dealing with common supernatural or monstrous evils, such as that vampires are vulnerable to garlic.
Most copies contain extra pages for the owner to record uplifting stories he experiences or hears in order to repeat them to others, and any copy containing a firsthand anecdote from a great priest or paladin is especially prized as a family or church heirloom. It is customary for a hero of the church who performs some great deed for a person or temple to write a brief account in or at least sign a local’s copy of Light and Truth (as it is commonly known) as a memento and historical record.
The most commonly celebrated holidays celebrated by the followers of Sarenrae are Burning Blades on the 10th of Sarenith, and the Sunwrought Festival, held on the summer solstice.