Greyhawk 636 CY: The Rise of Asmodeus
|Title(s)||The Ruby Sorceress, the Dark-Eyed Lady, the Witch Goddess, the Stern Lady, the Taker, the Lady of Book and Bone, Death’s Guardian|
|Home plane||Infernal Battlefield of Acheron/Tintibulus/Patterned Web/Acheron/Ocanthus/Cabal Macabre|
|Power level||Greater/ Intermediate|
|Alignment||Lawful Neutral (lawful evil tendencies)|
|Portfolio||Death, Magic, Vanity (Love), Law|
|Domains||Death, Domination, Inquisition, Law, Magic, Mind, Repose|
Wee Jas is the Suel goddess of Magic, Death, Vanity, and Law. Her symbol is a skull in front of a fireball, or just a red skull.
Wee Jas always appears as a highly attractive human female; other than that, details of her appearance vary wildly. It has been suggested that she could appear as another humanoid race if she wanted to, and that her appearance varies by what her followers in the area would consider most attractive. Wee Jas normally wears her holy symbol as a piece of jewelry.
Wee Jas is a daughter of Lendor. She and her sibling Norebo have been romantically linked. She bears great enmity toward Phyton, for his dominion over beauty. She jealously dislikes Myhriss for her claim of dominion over love and beauty. Among the other Suel gods, she is closest to Phaulkon and Bralm, and also considers herself an ally of Boccob, Lendor, Fortubo, and Osprem. She considers Beltar, Dalt, her sometimes-lover Norebo, Phaulkon, Phyton, and Vatun to be her foes because of their chaotic alignment. She is close to all lawful deities, for she favors Law above all things, and will work with deities such as Heironeous and Hextor as the need arises. Demons and other chaotic beings generally despise her for this reason, which makes her on-again, off-again romance with Norebo that much more unusual. She can summon lawful undead or dragons to do her will.
As written in an article in Dragon #350, Wee Jas is uncontested in her domains of Magic and Death. Boccob and Nerull, greater gods with which she shares the domains of magic and death, are not Suel deities; as a Suel deity, Wee Jas is more or less outside their sphere of influence. It has been suggested that this uncontested power means she will one day expand her influence, possibly to other planes.
Wee Jas has two realms in Acheron, in Tintibulus (called the Patterned Web) and in Ocanthus (called the Cabal Macabre).
Wee Jas thinks of herself as a steward of the dead. Though she is a relatively benign death goddess, she has no problem with undead being created – as long as they are not reanimated against their will, and their remains are procured in a lawful manner. Wee Jas is unconcerned with questions of morality; if it can be done within the confines of the law, she will allow it. Jasidan priests teach that magic is the key to all things. Jasidan are expected to show respect towards their predecessors and the departed.
- The Abominable Devastation. This is a short text considered heretical by most of the Jasidin church. It suggests that Wee Jas deliberately removed the defenses of the Suel Imperium, leaving them vulnerable to the Rain of Colorless Fire in punishment for their sins against magic.
- The White book. This tome, over a hundred pages long, explains in a detailed manner the funerary customs of the Suel. Its rites and prayers, which differ according to a corpse’s former status in life, can be used to prevent a spirit from rising as one of the undead.
Followers of Wee Jas are known as Jasidin. Wee Jas is especially popular with Suel wizards and sorcerers, and many necromancers revere her. As a death goddess, more people look to her for safe passage into the afterlife than harsher deities like Nerull. She is also honored by those involved with upholding and interpreting laws (judges, magistrates, justicars, etcetera), and is sometimes even revered as a love goddess.
Wee Jas was worshiped in Lo Reltarma in Lendore Isle before the elven conquest of that land. She is worshiped by many in the Pale. A splinter sect known as the Cult of the Green Lady, which reveres a long-dead Jasian priestess as a saint, operates from a burial cairn near Diamond Lake.
For the last 20 years there has been a group of fire elementalist wizards in Hesuel Ilshar known as the Cabal of the Everburning Flame. They are all worshippers of Wee Jas. They work as battlewizards for the church or their homeland and sustain eternal flames in the temples in the Scarlet Brotherhood lands.
Priests of Wee Jas, known as Karuth, wear layered full-length hooded robes of alternating gray and black. Customarily, their hoods are left hanging in the back to reveal their jewelry-adorned heads. They wear jewelry with skull and gem motifs on their arms and necks as well, and carry staves. Their favored weapon is the dagger, but they will use many weapons of the sort favored by mages.
Temples of Wee Jas are built like wizards’ towers. They are decorated with beautiful art, and each contains an extensive library. Some have permanent magical fires on the tops.
Within the Scarlet Brotherhood lands there is a beautiful temple to the Stern Lady in every major city. Notable temples to Wee Jas can be found in Hardby, Alhaster, and Hesuel Ilshar. There is also a major temple in Sasserine, in the Amedio Jungle, as the town was originally founded by priests of Wee Jas.15
Wee Jas’s temple in Alhaster is known as the Scarlet Spire.
Services to Wee Jas include the reverent flattery of her icons, offering of finery and gems, and magically produced fires. Most temples have extensive magical and law libraries, and all endeavor to preserve what few fragments still remain of the ancient Suel laws. Urban Arcana indicates that sororities and fraternities dedicated to her include large marble altars, used for initiating pledges, known as suitors, and possibly for blood sacrifices of animals.
- Nights of a waxing moon. On those nights when Celene or Luna are waxing, Jasidin light magical bonfires, create illusions, and offer praise and sacrifice to their goddess.
- Goddess’ Blush. On the 4th of Coldeven, Jasidin gather at a temple to burn a piece of jewelry as a sacrifice to the Taker.
- Ruby Convocation. A holiday mainly for clergy and laity of high status, the Ruby Convocation is held every ten years. On this festival, modeled after an extravagant ball, contacts are made and reinforced, stories are told, and knowledge is exchanged. At the end, the guests drink wine out of a goblet with a ruby sitting in it; this is known as the Ruby Toast, and is given in thanks to the Ruby Sorceress. After the drink, the ruby is cast into a fire.
Myths and legends
- The Arcane Well. This myth claims that Wee Jas is secretly a greater goddess, the majority of her divine power hidden in a magical well. Although this is supposedly a secret held from the greater gods themselves, mortal followers of Wee Jas all seem confident of the tale’s veracity. The well is said to be somewhere within the Stern Lady’s realm in Acheron, guarded by powerful servitors and at least one bound demigod. Great wizards are said to be born with a drop of power from the well granted them by the Witch Goddess.
- The Godless Dead. According to this tradition, those who don’t worship any single deity with any particular devotion go to Wee Jas by default after they die. She keeps them in her realm for a time before reincarnating some of them, memories of their former lives wiped clean.
- Love is a Gamble. This is the story of the romance between Wee Jas and her lover Norebo, who was created by Lendor almost as her polar opposite. While some versions of the story hold that he seduced her, in this tale she definitely seduced him, and in the morning he escaped the Taker’s grasp. She pursues him, and he runs, their love sometimes flaring bright and other times her wrath flaring just as vividly. She attempts to bind him with her laws and traditions, and he shows her how love is about risk and adventure.
- The Hellfurnaces. Legend has it that the first argument between Wee Jas and Norebo caused the southern Crystalmist Mountains to erupt into flame, creating the Hellfurnaces.