Face of a brown-haired, ivory-skinned beautiful woman
Olympian Glades of Arborea
Beauty, love, passion
Lovers, artists, half-elves, adventurers
CG, CN, LG (paladins only), NG
Chaos, Charm, Good, Protection
A silken sash (whip)
Fairest of the deities, Kharie is benevolent and sometimes whimsical. She always appears as a radiantly beautiful brown-haired woman of incredible charm. She alternates between deep passions and casual flirtations and has been romantically tied to many of the other Larsil deities. Kharie enjoys attention and sincere flattery, and avoids anyone who is horrific or boorish. Lady Fireheart loves and protects her followers, who in turn manifest and protect the beauty of the world.
Kharie shares the waters of the Evergold, a sacred pool, with Hanali Celanil, the elven deity of beauty, and Delynne, the lusty feline temptress. Kharie is also allied with similarly minded deities such as Maldi, Aelfur, and Xenthan. Kharie is served by Quila and was once served by Maldi, but the Moonmaiden has now once again gone her own way. Kharie nature makes it difficult for any being to be angry with her for long, and so she has no true enemies, although she dislikes Linisar, Nethes, Wherrs, Erdin, Velyemor, and Bannat, for they are often responsible for the destruction of beautiful things. Bannat finds her dislike not worth reciprocating, since he considers her irrelevant, flighty, and not worth the conflict.
Beauty is more than skin deep. It issues from the core of one’s being and reveals one’s true face to the world, fair or foul. Believe in romance, as true love will win over all. Follow your heart to your true destination. Love none more than yourself except Kharie, and lose yourself in love of the Lady Fireheart. Perform a loving act each day, and seek to awaken love in others. Respond to love at least once a day. Encourage beauty wherever you find it. Acquire beautiful items of all sorts, and encourage, sponsor, and protect those who create them. Keep your own body as comely as possible and as attractively displayed as situations warrant. Let hairstyle and clothing best suit your personal appearance, striving to stir and delight others who look upon you. Moreover, hide not away, but always seek to present yourself to those around you in a pleasing variety of garbs and activities so as to move them with love and desire. Love those who respond to your appearance, and let warm friendship and admiration flower where love cannot or dares not.
Clergy and Temples
Aside from those who despise love and beauty as a manifestation of weakness, the church of Kharie is widely loved throughout Larsil and has many adherents to its teachings. However, as most Kharites are seen as flighty, vain, and superficial but basically harmless, the church of Kharie has less influence than its prominence might otherwise suggest. Kharites have an intense rivalry with the followers of Hanali Celanil, the elven deity of beauty.
Kharie’s clerics pray in the morning after a refreshing scented bath (or after at least washing their hands). Greengrass and Midsummer Night are both Kharite holy days, celebrated with a great deal of outdoor frolicking and with night-long flirtatious chases through forests and parks. Individual temples celebrate numerous local holy days as well. At least once a month, the church of Kharie holds a Grand Revel, a large party with dancing, poetry recitation, and heartrendingly beautiful or soulfully rousing music to which outsiders are invited with the intent to attract converts. A Feast of Love is a more intimate, quiet affair, open only to the faithful, who lie on couches and indulge in liqueurs, appetizers, and sweet pastries while lone dancers perform. These dances are interspersed with readings of romantic verse, prose, and songs of love sung by skilled minstrels. Such rituals always break up into private gatherings, though bards are always on hand to relate tales of courtly love or mysteries of Larsil for those who do not feel like socializing more privately. Kharites also offer personal prayers to Kharie by standing in a pool or bath and looking into a mirror lit only by natural light or candles. Kharie sends guidance to them by visions visible in the mirror, often by altering the reflection of the worshipper in some way. The influx of adventurers into Kharie’s clergy in recent years has reduced the huge former gender disparity in the church so that now females only outnumber males four to one.
Kharites are aesthetes and hedonists, who actively seek out pleasure and beauty in all things. The pursuit of aesthetic enjoyment is their life. Kharite clergy buy beautiful items of art, sculpture, and handiwork whenever they find it, sponsoring good artists where necessary and overpaying for such items so as to drive prices up, creature more demand, and so increase the supply of things of beauty. This is to be done as often as funds afford and subtlety permits, and in disguise if need be. Whenever Kharite clergy must perform dirty tasks, the use of disguise is encouraged to protect the body as well as to conceal identity. The devout clerics always hires or supports adventurers and others to destroy things who vandalize beautiful creations. All clergy of Kharie also strive to create beauty in a personal way, preferably as a creator of static fine art (blown-glass ornaments, paintings, or tapestries are all fashionable), but as a dancer if one fails at all else. When one of them gains expertise in crafting things of beauty, she or he is obliged to pass on such learning by training others and turning away no one who shows genuine promise. Any money made through such trainings should be given to the church to further the growth of beauty and love everywhere.
Although Kharite clergy can rebuff unwanted advances, they generally strive to build friendships and romantic feelings between themselves and others in general wherever they go so that love may prosper everywhere in Larsil. As the lonely are in most need of such things (and the most likely to join in love of the Lady Fireheart), they are sought out by diligent clergy for friendship. Everyone, no matter how homely or disparate in faith from the path of the Lady, should be assisted by gifts and advice to make themselves as beautiful as possible. Kharie’s clerics sponsor artisans, build friendships and romances with themselves and among others, and destroy those who vandalize things of beauty. Kharie has seen the benefits of Dovan’s patronage of adventurers and wishes to tap into this source of worshippers, so the church supports gallant knights and explorers who are willing to search for lost jewels and priceless works of art or who are on missions to rescue their true loves.
Kharite temples are either stunningly beautiful edifices of fantastic design or classically elegant structures strategically enhanced by sculptured landscaping constructed with numerous picturesque paths and promenades and surprising and enchanting nooks in which to share moments of love, beauty, and passion. Many Kharite temples sport formal gardens with gorgeous flower beds, trellises and bowers of well-trained vines, and carefully pruned trees and topiaries. Fine sculptures and sumptuous fountains that play with soft, magical lighting provide focal points in most Kharite temple gardens.
Kharites are not bashful about their bodies. The standard ceremonial garb of Kharite clerics is monastic robes for men and habits for women, both cut to show off the figure of the wearer and dyed a deep crimson. Hair is normally worn long and allowed to fall free during rituals. At other times, clerics bind their tresses back with crimson scarves and wear clothing appropriate to the situation but always flattering to the form.
The Kharite church’s organization is loose and informal, and its leadership changes regularly with the whims of its clergy. The most attractive and charismatic Kharite clergy are usually the high clerics. Little is thought of a cleric dropping everything and going bounding off into the wild, particularly if the goal is some beautiful object or some beautiful individual, and such behaviour creatures little scandal in the church.