|“||Enjoy life to the fullest, be brave, be honourable, but never allow the rules of man to get in the way of having fun||”|
–The Vinters Handbook
Ione is one of the twenty deities of Imbringen, a former mortal changed to a powerful figure that gained the status of a god in the eyes of those that came after her. Formerly a good-natured shieldmaiden, the change that turned her into what she remains to this day has done little to alter her behaviour as a whole, as she continues to fight for just causes (although not always righteous ones), journey among the living to sample the various drinks that they create in her name, all while surrounded by an air of laziness to ensure that she avoids doing anything that she didn't want to do in the first place. As a result of this behaviour, Ione has become the patron saint of freedom fighters, brave adventurers, all forms of alcohol, and the very concept of freedom. Like all the gods and goddesses that she considers to be her brothers and sisters, she expects her followers to uphold certain virtues, such as the willingness to be brave in the face of any potential threat and to remain in control of their wits so that they do not succumb to suicidal thoughts or challenges, although as the patron saint of freedom, she also respects the choices that her followers and other mortals make, even if it would put them unnecessarily in harms way.
As far as her personality is concerned, Ione is an outgoing, friendly, unashamed, and flirtatious goddess, and those traits are amplified when she has drunk deeply from the cups. She loves a good toast, as well as the occasional brawl and her followers exemplify this while also standing up for the disadvantaged whenever possible. She is not fully benevolent, however, and her anger can be furious indeed, especially when she is confronted with aspects of society that she loathes such as slavery, bullying, and restrictive laws and customs. Despite this Ione rarely chooses to intervene in the world of mortals, as she is one of the laziest goddesses of the twenty, and so acts of her power are not as frequent as the others, but she has been known to step in in order to preserve spoiling brew or ensure that taps never run dry and she has been known to amplify the courage of the meek in order to help the underdog rise above the challenges they face.
As the goddess of ale and wine, Ione has a vested interest is in enhancing the merriment and socialization of those who imbibe in various types of alcohol and her followers, when able, attempt to facilitate such merriment and joy rather than allowing those around them to use alcohol as a means to drown or forget their ailments. To this end she has been known to inspire the occasional tipsy reveller, encouraging them to confess any secret which is better aired than left to fester and create potential resentment, and she encourages, mainly through her writings, her followers to perform various acts of daring and greatness via what has become known as an 'Ionian Challenge'. These challenges are considered to be any act which initially appears to be foolish but after being performed turns out to have some beneficial turnaround for the challenged.
Given her inherent laziness and the apparent flexibility of her creed, one might be forgiven for thinking that Ione is just as flexible in all aspects of her worship, yet this is not the case. While she may be malleable in certain areas of worship when it comes to the concept of freedom, Ione is as hard as the purest diamond and she acts strongly against anyone attempting to stifle the freedoms of others. She is a firm believer in law and respect but sees absolutely no cause for laws which strip an individual or a group of their rights or ability to act. This has put her in direct conflict with her brother Uvthar and the followers that serve him, as while she works hard to counter slavery and all the horrid crimes that are associated with it, Uvthar and his followers attempt to spread such dark practices to every corner of the known world.
Ione's holy symbol is a decanter of wine, displayed sometimes with or without a cork or glass seal. She is often called the Drunkard or the Giver of Wine and is amused when those who revere her use her name as part of a 'colourful' oath. As such, many of her clergy members are known to be extremely creative and prolific in their swearing. While most of her true “clergy” are vinters and bartenders, she is also honoured by mercenaries and other adventurers, many of whom seek to spread her faith, despite having never been chosen as a recipient of one of her gifts or blessings. Usually, these individuals are light-hearted, pushing to emulate the goddess in the best way they know how, yet her priesthood also includes inquisitors and a military branch. While these men and women who make up both branches are usually found maintaining and protecting various vineyards and wineries, they also can be found on the front lines attempting to free slaves and cast down cruel tyrants.
The Church of the VintersEdit
Most people who worship Ione come from the ranks of the ordinary common folk, the men and women of the world who seek the simple pleasures of life, and are happy to relax at their local dive for a drink with friends or workmates after a long day of service. They are a happy group of people, who prefer to see the glass as half-full rather than half-empty.
Of the ranks of her worshippers, most come from the wine or ale industry; Brewers, vintners, bartenders, and innkeepers of Imbringen and beyond pray to the Drunkard or the Giver of Wine for tasty casks and no spills, which often brings good business that benefits their place of employ. Within her faith, the happy drunks and common revellers toast her name regularly, and it is rare indeed to see a toast performed without acknowledgement of the goddess which put the wine or ale in everyone's goblets.
Worship of Ione is not restricted to just the common folk, although they are by far the most numerous among her faithful, for the wealthy can also be found honouring the goddess, often by sharing portions of their own private store of wine or ale, which is considered an especially fine gift during times of drought when the crops that are required to create the labors of the goddess do not grow in significant numbers.
As a goddess of bravery and freedom, Ione is a popular deity among the mercenaries who frequent the bars and taverns that her faithful reside in, although she is also respected by those who do not have a drive for the adventuring life, and instead work as guides or simply choose to explore and see what the world has to offer. Dwarves, Humans, Half-Elves and Half-Dwarves make up the bulk of her worshipers, as her faith is welcoming to all, provided they fancy a drink, meaning that there are no racial biases among her ranks. Given that her faithful are promoters of freedom and revelry, there is little interest among her faithful for strict holidays with organization and etiquette, therefore what holy days she does have are created to resemble small or large festivals rather than days of solemn worship and prayer, however when such services do occur they always include a loud toast or bawdy song, which typically involve everyone in the area shouting choruses, stomping feet or clapping hands, and the clanking of various goblets or glasses.
Ione's church, the Church of the Vinters has no hierarchy to speak of, although on occasion the goddess will send visions or dreams to those among her faithful which are greatly respected or seen as community leaders, encouraging them to meet at one of her halls so that they can address issues which the goddess considers to be critical. No single community leader or honoured individual has the ability to order the others, however, for perhaps amusingly no worshipper of Ione enjoys being ordered around and they will often refuse to do what other people tell them to do, even if what they're being told to do is for the greater good or best intentions.
The Temples and Shrines of IoneEdit
Most of Ione's temples are actually little more than taverns or inns run by those who consider themselves part of her church and they are almost always identified by the imagery of the goddess being found inside or by a shrine located near a fire or above the bar. Within larger breweries dotted around Imbringen, there is almost always a room, some small and others large, which is set aside specifically for the Church of the Vinters and their worship. Those who own the brewery often request that members of their own family become part of the Church of the Vinters in the hope that such acts will give them a blessing from the goddess and secure good produce for the brewery for many years.
Within the cities of Imbringen, save for those located within Inferex or Khemesh, the occasional longhouse or feasting hall might bear the symbol of Ione which is carved into the wooden doors of the establishment or in the wood above the doors. These halls which honour Ione send the majority of the earnings to various community services, such as orphanages, or they send their funds to mercenary groups who combat the foul act of slavery.
Given the extremely casual nature of Ione's faith, combined with its popularity, especially among the average adventurer who may not have access to magic, the church is not one which is strong in the healing arts. While there may be the occasional priest that serves at an alehouse or feast hall, these are exceptionally rare, although most barkeeps do know basic first aid skills, which are often employed to patch up revellers after a hearty bar brawl.
The Keepers of VintageEdit
The Keepers of Vintage serve as Ione's military arm, and are quite large in number, as there are many among Ione's faithful who are familiar with the use of standard or exotic weaponry. As with the rest of her church, there is little in the way of a hierarchy, so rather than act like a unified militia, the Keepers of Vintage choose to travel across the various kingdoms of Imbringen and beyond, fighting against injustice and slavery wherever it is found.
The Role of the Church Edit
Clothing of the Faithful Edit
The Holy Texts Edit
Celebrated Holidays Edit
Relations with Other Faiths Edit
Relics of the Faithful Edit
Ione is loosely based off of the god Cayden Cailean from the Pathfinder Universe.