Stamus Contra Malum: 1013 YE
Ianna the Lioness
Ianna the Lioness
- Titles: Lioness, Veiled Queen
- Spheres of Influence: Love and War
- Holy Symbols: 9-pointed star and Lion
- Sacred Animals: Lion and Falcon
- Major Holiday: Day of the Undying Sun— Esevelen 15th (June 22nd)
Ianna is the goddess of love and war in the Empyrean Pantheon. She is prayed to by warriors and lovers equally. Her temple, The Temple of the Blade and the Veil is actually two orders in one, reflecting Ianna’s dualistic aspects of love and war. The Temple of the Veil employs priestesses as sacred courtesans and advisers to the great noble families. The Temple of the Blade trains Bladedancers to serve as an elite fighting force against the chthonic darkness. There are no male priests of Ianna in the empire, only women.
Ianna is commonly called Istara and Ishtar in the Sunset Kingdoms. As Istara and Ishtar her symbol is an ankh and star. In the north she is known as Hanna to the humans and as Andraste to the elves; both symbolize her with a sword upraised.
Ianna’s main temple is located on the Island of Themyscira located in the Sea of Dread right off the western shores of the province of Thrace. Men are not allowed on the island and the punishment is death for those that do.
Young girls are sent to the island to become initiates. They are grouped together in small groups call “troupes” and stay together training every day. It is after their basic training is complete that they choose which order they wish to follow. Once their order has been selected, the initiates are divided to two shrines on opposite sides of the island were they received additional training.
Enemies of Ianna
Ianna has a chaotic counter-part, Nasga the Serpent, is the demon princess of seduction, adultery, and decadence. Nasga is known as Jezebel, Lilith, the Mistress of Pain, and the Unchaste in the Sunset Kingdoms, and as Loviatar in the North. As Nasga, her holy symbol is a medusa’s head or a serpent with a woman’s upper body. As Lilith, it’s a black rose; as Loviatar, a white dagger in a pallid hand.
Dancers of the Blade, the Order of Bladedancer
Once an initiate of Ianna is inducted into the mysteries of Ianna as the Goddess of War, they are taken to a special shrine where they receive intense martial training. In addition to marital training they are taught advanced rites and rituals that invoke the war goddess. Once they have completed their training, they are then sent to the mainland where they travel to one of a number of shrines of Ianna for their final training. In the mainland shrines they hone their skills and develop individual and personal skills.
After completing a series of test, known as the Challenges, they are anointed as a Bladedancer. Often after this they receive numerous offers from interested parties who want them as bodyguards or members of mercenary companies or adventuring parties.
In single combat or loose formations,
Bladedancers fight with dual 30” single-edged curved blades designed for cutting and slashing, known as warblades. The best warblades are made of folded steel using secret techniques known only to the master smiths of the Temple of the Blade. Ancient warblades may have been in families for generations. In close-order formation, bladedancers fight with glaives: Long, sleek single-edged blades with thrusting tips attached to extremely long hilt. Glaives allow for tremendously powerful attacks from horseback or afoot, and are light enough for use both cutting and slashing.