Shizuru

Shizuru
Holy symbol of Shizuru
(Deity)
Titles Empress of Heaven
Adjective Shizuran
Alignment Lawful good
Portfolio Ancestors
Honor
The sun
Swordplay
Worshipers Samurai, Minkai and other Tian
Cleric Alignments
Domains Glory, Good, Law, Repose, Sun
Subdomains Ancestors, Archon, Day, Heroism, Honor, Light, (Revelation[1])
Favored Weapon Katana
Images of Shizuru

Shizuru is the Tian-Min goddess of the sun, honor, ancestors, and swordplay.[2] As she holds swordplay in her portfolio, Shizuru is also the patron of samurai and other noble and honourable swordsmen and women.[3][4]

History

Shizuru and the moon god Tsukiyo are lovers; Tsukiyo is the Prince of the Moon and the brother of Fumeiyoshi. Aeons ago, Fumeiyoshi grew jealous of his brother's loving relationship with Shizuru and, on one occasion, grew so angry he murdered Tsukiyo. A legend holds that the very first stones of jade were formed at this time from the intermingling of Shizuru's tears with Tsukiyo's blood; jade is sacred within the church of the Prince of the Moon and his holy symbol is a crescent moon made of the stone. Shizuru successfully requested the aid of Qi Zhong, the god of medicine, to resurrect her lover. She then recruited Yaezhing, the punisher of the gods and the enforcer of divine justice, to punish Fumeiyoshi by banishing him to his brother's tomb and stripping him of his position. She stated Fumeiyoshi would forever envy his betters as the undead envy the living and, indeed, Fumeiyoshi is now styled the Lord of Envy and his portfolio comprises dishonour, envy, graves, and the undead. In contrast, after his rebirth, Tsukiyo added spirits to his portfolio.[5]

Shizuru's relationship with the Prince of the Moon is not an easy one, however, as they never meet one another, in a symbolic representation of the separation of night and day, save for the times of a solar eclipse; those rare times are, of course, fleetingly fast.[4][5] They are known to have had at least one offspring, the star archon known as the Dusk Ronin. Although Dusk Ronin has not strayed from her original moral teachings, she has been banished from her parents' domain in Heaven due to an unknown occurrence, and now seeks to atone for her transgression.[6]

Holy symbol & sacred animal

The holy symbol of Shizuru is a katana in front of the sun. As with all the pantheon of Tian Xia, Shizuru is associated with a sacred animal; in her case, she adopts the carp.[3]

Relationships

As stated above, Shizuru is the lover of Tsukiyo and an enemy of his brother, Fumeiyoshi. She clearly has good relations with Qi Zhong and credits him with the rebirth of Tsukiyo.[3]

Shizuru has a half-brother: General Susumu, the Black Daimyo. He is also, like Shizuru, a patron of samurai, but his samurai lust for war and glory, rather than heroism and honour. It is unclear whom is their shared parent.[7]

Appearance

Shizuru is a Tian-Min in appearance but, in art, she is sometimes represented as a golden dragon or as a noble and attractive samurai, or some combination thereof.[3]

Servants

Some of the powerful outsiders associated with Shizuru include:

Church of Shizuru

On Golarion, Shizuru's worship is most significant on the continent of Tian Xia where she is classed as one of their twenty major gods. Her faith is particularly strong in Amanandar, Goka (where there are impressive statues of Shizuru and Tsukiyo, some 250 feet tall, guarding the entrance to Xu Hong Bay[9]), Jinin, Quain, Shokuro, Xa Hoi, and Zi Ha.[3]

Minkai

However, Shizuru's faith is strongest in Minkai and she is often portrayed as a Tian-Min in form and acts as the patron goddess of Minkai and of its capital, Kasai.[10] Furthermore, the former ruler of Minkai, Emperor Shigure Higashiyama, claimed to be her mortal descendant, albeit separated by 296 generations; to this day the emperors of Minkai revere Shizuru as their divine ancestor.[3][11][12]

In actual fact, Shizuru took on her draconic form and granted the five imperial families of Minkai the divine right to rule in 2600 IC; subsequently, members of these families became emperors of Minkai.[13] This authority and blessing was made manifest in five Imperial Seals, one for each family.[14] Twelve years later, in 2612 IC, the Teikoku Shogunate was created; it is sometimes called the First Kingdom of Minkai. Shortly thereafter, Shizuru placed her imprimatur on the promotion of the Teikoku family by granting them the right to rule all Minkai over and above the other four imperial families. This arrangement lasted over 3,500 years until corruption grew to unacceptable levels within the Shogunate. In response to this decline, the Perfect Swordswoman Setsuna Kuga raised the armies of the four other ruling families against the Teikoku Shogunate and was victorious at the Battle of Eight Bridges in 6116 IC. Thereafter, the modern empire of Minkai was formed with all five imperial families returning to peer status with one another, sharing the rule of the empire in a fashion which Shizuru had originally designed.[15]

The largest and oldest temple in Kasai is devoted to Shizuru: the Temple of the Sun's Blade.[16]

Aims of the church

The followers of Shizuru strive to lead virtuous lives and, by their example, inspire virtue in others. In recognition of the Empress of Heaven's portfolio, the church teaches people to respect their ancestors; it also teaches honour in sword fighting. Despite this militaristic element to the faith, Shizuru's warriors do not seek out battle, but hope for peaceful times.[17]

Holidays

In both the faith of Shizuru and that of Tsukiyo, the times of a solar eclipse are very sacred, as their worshippers understand this is the short time when these lovers are able to reunite.[3] The links between these two faiths are further reinforced in larger temples to Shizuru by the existence of a shrine to Tsukiyo attached to the temples.[18]

References

  1. Jessica Blomstrom, Adam Daigle, Shaun Hocking, Daniel Marthaler, Tork Shaw, and Christina Stiles. (2013). Champions of Purity, p. 21. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-511-2
  2. Dave Gross. (2011). Master of Devils, p. 398. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-357-6
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 James Jacobs, Dave Gross, Rob McCreary. (2011). Dragon Empires Gazetteer, p. 62. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-379-8
  4. 4.0 4.1 Tim Hitchcock and Colin McComb. (2011). Dragon Empires Primer, p. 27. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-386-6
  5. 5.0 5.1 James Jacobs, Dave Gross, Rob McCreary. (2011). Dragon Empires Gazetteer, p. 59, 62f.. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-379-8
  6. Judy Bauer et al. (2016). Heaven Unleashed, p. 2. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-828-1
  7. James Jacobs, Dave Gross, Rob McCreary. (2011). Dragon Empires Gazetteer, p. 59. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-379-8
  8. Neil Spicer. (2012). The Empty Throne. The Empty Throne, p. 20. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-400-9
  9. James Jacobs, Dave Gross, Rob McCreary. (2011). Dragon Empires Gazetteer, p. 24. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-379-8
  10. Neil Spicer. (2012). The Empty Throne. The Empty Throne, p. 67, 75. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-400-9
  11. Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 33. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  12. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 207. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  13. James Jacobs, Dave Gross, Rob McCreary. (2011). Dragon Empires Gazetteer, p. 3, 16, 32. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-379-8
  14. Neil Spicer. (2012). The Empty Throne. The Empty Throne, p. 7. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-400-9
  15. James Jacobs, Dave Gross, Rob McCreary. (2011). Dragon Empires Gazetteer, p. 46. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-379-8
  16. Frank Carr, Michael Tumey. (2012). Kasai. The Empty Throne, p. 75. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-400-9
  17. Jessica Blomstrom, Adam Daigle, Shaun Hocking, Daniel Marthaler, Tork Shaw, and Christina Stiles. (2013). Champions of Purity, p. 20. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-511-2
  18. James Jacobs, Dave Gross, Rob McCreary. (2011). Dragon Empires Gazetteer, p. 63. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-379-8