Time for another patrons-only World Building post, dear readers! (Remember, these bonuses are available to ALL patrons, no matter what level, so I hope you all get curious!)
This week we're returning to the Gnomes a little bit, to look more at religion - specifically, that of their goddess of Love and Creation, Carwen.
Here's what I had originally established about her:
Carwen, Goddess of love and creation, rules the arts, romance and creativity. Has the most varied and individualistic worship out of all the Major churches.
Pictured above is an ancient shrine to Her Compassion (as she is often called, kind of like 'your Grace'). It's built into the wall of one of the Gnomish cities, and has been there since before steam technology really took off - thus, here is a slightly different interpretation of what she looks like, as opposed to the more steampunk elements common in her design today. The woman on the left is one of her priestesses, and the woman on the right has come to the shrine for help.
The role of a priestess of Carwen is varied - just as each of her followers is welcome to worship her as they see fit, what it means to be her priestess or priest is often up to the individual who takes those vows. Some do serve in established, physical churches, while others tend to shrines like these instead, moving from one to the other to make sure each is in good condition. As such, those devotees move about the city, a less imposing but more physical reminder of her presence - and her Love - than one would see if they just walked past a building.
Priests and Priestesses* can be recognized by their attire. They dress in her colors - red, whites, pinks and yellows (with peaceful light blue or green accents) - and wear pointed hats all the time (like the Upper class does), marked with spiraling hearts like her original divine hat. They also tend to wear corsets without anything underneath, regardless of gender, and show more skin than may be socially acceptable if they weren't in Carwen's service - to reflect that, even though Gnomish society may be getting more restrictive, everyone is still equally beautiful and loved underneath. If the priest or priestess tends towards skirts in their attire, they do tend to wear full bustles and flowing layers on their bottom half. Bare feet are not uncommon, too.
Notes: bare shoulders / bare feet / hair very rarely bound / <3 / Some of them do wear pants. Just not today :)
Those who prefer for direct worship of her (instead of going to a contained place of worship) often visit these shrines, too, and leave offerings as pictured above.
More to be revealed in the future....
*The terms 'priest' and 'priestess' are not meant to be gender specific, as Carwen acknowledges all genders. Gnomish society in general, however, is one of the more ignorant in terms of gender diversity - they assume the binary, so both titles are in use in Tock's time.