|Domains||Trandafir, protection, divination, magic, spiritual cleanliness, vitality, freedom|
|Additional Symbols||A rampant griffon|
|Colors or Aesthetics||Reds, golds, greens|
Diana is the Goddess of the Trandafir people, and is the main commonality linking all of them together. Trandafir cultures across the world vary as they take in bits and pieces of the cultures they travel through, but the cord that binds them together as one people is the worship of Diana. She is their primary goddess and all Trandafir are taught a certain reverence for her, though they may choose to worship other gods as well. She demands of her people that they maintain a certain code of spiritual cleanliness, and is often invoked for this purpose, but is otherwise a goddess of divination, life, vitality, and freedom. She is thought to be the source of Trandafir’s special abilities that set them aside from humans, and is commonly invoked in divinations, as Trandafir were one of the few peoples who had this gift historically.
At the beginning of Creation, Thorin created protectors of the major forests, Diana was charged with the protection of the Griffon Forest, which covered all of the land that is now called Doomstadt. She ruled the peaceful forest for eons until the Endrani founded Doomstadt and started tearing up the land to fuel their greed. They the tore up the great and ancient trees for lumber, and hunted the griffons, the magnificent creatures for which the forest was named, for trophies. Diana watched in horror as they tore apart her sacred land, the land she was given by Thorin himself, and wept as the griffons cries out in pain. A great war was fought between the griffons and the Endrani. The griffons were powerful, but hardly more than beasts, and could not combat the intellect and tactics of the endrani leaders. The griffons were pushed back again and again, and Diana, bound by the laws of the gods, could do nothing but watch. Finally, the leader of the griffons called to her, offering himself as a sacrifice to protect their home, and she could act. She called forth the trees, and the wolves, and all living things in the forest, and brought them to bear against the Endrani forces. No more could they push back the tree line, for the trees themselves defended the land.
Though the remnants of the forest were saved, it was too late for the griffons, for they had suffered too many losses. They became near extinct within the Griffon Forest, or Greifswald in the Endrani tongue, and to see one is a great blessing from The Lady, for she took what few remained to her Place, to guard them from the cruelty of the mortal world.
It was many years later when the Trandafir people descended from the mountains, and Diana watched once again as the Endrani drove a people back into her forest and hunted them like wolves who had stolen lambs from the flock. This time she would not wait. She broke The Law, and contacted the Trandafir, offering them her protection, and her gifts. With this act she was cast out by the Gods, who turned their backs upon her. Thorin took his grace from her, and left her with but a fraction of her former power. However, when she gave the Trandafir their gifts, she instilled a part of herself, her power, within them, securing it forever within the mortal lines. In this way she bound her fate to that of her chosen people. She aided the Trandafir, teaching them about the lands they had come to live in, and sheltering them with the power she still held over the living things of the forest. With their adoration and gratitude, she grew stronger, as all gods grow strong with the love of their worshippers, and by the time some of the Trandafir decided to leave the safety of her forest, she had regained enough power to mark them as her own. She gave to them the symbol of the rose, like her beloved sacred tree, which stands a hundred feet taller than the surrounding trees, raining rose petals down upon those holy enough to be allowed to see it. Through this mark, and the passing down of this mark to their children, Diana will always watch over her people. When they are in dire need they can call upon The Lady of Griffon Forest, and she will aid them. It is known.
Most outsiders, or Gaje as the Trandafir call them, believe Diana to be a powerful fae who the Trandafir made a deal with for their abilities. These theories develop from the strange nature of her supposed homeland, the Greifswald, which some experts believe may be partially sunken into faerie. Also the several documented sightings of Diana directly walking this plane, which it is known the Gods must not do. Verax and Vindikari would not suffer a rogue god to continue to walk the mortal realm, even with severely diminished power, therefor the Trandafir legend of her being a disgraced god to gave up her godhood for their people is clearly a clever maneuver on the part of this fae to more firmly secure their worship, which gives her significant power.
Coldoons of Trandafir bands frequently invoke Diana while blessing their members, asking her aid in cleansing them and anointing them with rose oil. A typical alter to Diana consists of a statue of a woman, often winged, and/or with roses adorning her. Trandafir make offerings of incense, roses or other flowers, or statues or carvings of roses if no living roses can be found in the season.
At All Hallows Eve, the Trandafir celebrate ZiuaMortsilor, in which they wrap a letter to a lost loved one around the stem of a rose, and throw it into a bonfire. The belief is that Diana will take this letter and deliver it to their loved ones who are lost beyond the veil.
Major Religious Centers
Trandafir, being generally nomadic people, do not build temples. As such the only major religious "center" of Diana is the Greifswald in Doomstadt, which is considered a holy land. Being that the forest resides in the single most hostile territory for Trandafir to pass through, pilgrimages to the Greifswald are undertaken at considerable risk. If one does travel to the holy Griffon Forest however, the few bands who live within it's shelter will happily take the traveler in. They are quick to teach pilgrims the ancient ways of the forest, for though it is more friendly to Trandafir than to all other races, it is still a wild and sometimes dangerous place to live.
Rumor has it that hidden deep within the Greifswald there lies Diana's Palace, which only the most devoted are allowed to see. It is a magnificent white castle, dwarfed by an enormous tree on which roses bloom year round. The scarlet of the fallen rose petals stands starkly against the white of the spires, and Griffons guard the gates. It is said that any who are allowed to find the palace are blessed, and are often regarded as Priests of Diana.
Coldoons are broadly accepted as "priests" of Diana, but otherwise there is no formal priesthood. Coldoons hold the power to administer Diana's blessing upon her people, and cleanse them of any spiritual taint they may have come into contact with. They specialize in cleansing rituals, because Trandafir believe that spiritual cleanliness is demanded of them by Diana. They frequently also specialize in knowledge of spiritual maladies, and psychology, better to preform their duties as spiritual and mental councilor to the band.
Presence in Alba
Trandafir are found all over the world, and their presence in Alba is much the same as their presence elsewhere. In Warwick they tend to have smaller travel routs than they might have elsewhere in the world, because the inherent dangers of waste creatures mean that it is better to always be aware of your region. There are also some permanent Trandafir communities in Alban cities; in Warwick these are in Blackwater's Rosewood? district, and just outside the walls of Newcastle.