Sefera

Judgement Hour

Before all this, the God of Death was Naurom. Naurom was selfish, vain and cruel, a terrible person in general. He eventually sought to leverage his power over the souls of the dead to claim the portfolios and followers of other deities. This did not end well, and Naurom was slain. In the aftermath, the powers debated what to do next. Many wanted to claim Naurom's title, but many feared they needed someone who didn't to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. Someone reasonable and measured, uninterested in power but able to shoulder the burden.

Sefera was nominated.

In exchange for taking Naurom's place as the judge of the dead, but not his power over their souls, Sefera demanded - and received - several boons from the other gods. The gods of mind and knowledge wove her the Veil of Infinity, a blindfold which allowed Sefera to look into the past when worn. The gods of war and might forged her a weapon to defend herself from the others who wanted her throne. The gods of matter and creation reshaped her realm into something befitting her title. She also received domain over birth, absolutely free.

Sefera has ruled since, judging the dead, keeping careful notes and arbitrating disputes between the other gods. So far, they are not disappointed with their choice.

Sefera

Sefera is the goddess of judgement, death, rebirth, history, divine order and divine law. In her primary role she oversees the process of death and the judgement of all souls who pass through her realm; in her spare time, Sefera studies the laws of the universe, arbitrates disputes between other deities, and peers into the past to record history. Though there are other deities with influence over smaller domains of death, all are answerable to Sefera. She also actively encourages doctors and healers - a wounded body is one in a state of chaos, and medicine brings order and moderation. On the flip side, she views most undead with the same attitude librarians have towards overdue books.

She has always been interested in laws and judgement. She started out as a minor goddess of legal rulings, aiding mankind as they constructed legal systems to improve their lives, cataloguing past laws and decisions to guide later ones and mediating between the other powers. So far, it has made her a good match for her new burden.

Sefera is depicted as a beautiful woman with pale skin and wild dark hair bundled into a long braid. She is barefoot, clad in a blue dress and blindfolded with the Veil of Infinity. She is often holding a sword and golden scales, a book and quill pen, or a violin.

The Church of Sefera

The Lady's Legislature: Sefera's church is relatively small compared to other major deities, but she does not care. Clerics make up most of her flock. Individual shrines form Committees to decide how to interpret and follow Sefera's laws; all are answerable to the church's Upper Chamber. Many of her shrines double as courtrooms, hospitals, libraries and maternity wards, and keep records of local births and deaths. Clerics start off as scribes and record-keepers, and advance in the ranks as they learn further skills. They wear simple blue clothing and uncovered footwear, and often wear ribbons or headbands as a reference to Sefera's blindfold.

The Lady's Judiciary: This branch of the church is for students of magic. Wizards seeking power over life, warlocks seeking pacts with the Lady of Judgement, necromancers seeking power over the dead and bards with very specific tastes turn to Sefera for guidance, though the long and very specific rules and rituals she demands drive many to seek other methods. They are very interested in lost ruins and ancient burial grounds, and will often hire people to find and explore them.

The Lady's Executive: Though she has exceptions, Sefera generally sees undead and those who manipulate them without her permission as owing her a fee she intends to collect. The holy warriors of her church do her dirty work for her, hunting and destroying these aberrations wherever they can be found. Though they are usually rarely-seen, their monasteries in Aldanath have seen plenty of new recruits in the wake of the Lich Wars.

Allies

As the mediator of disputes between the gods, Sefera is on at least cordial terms with most of them. Ioun and Erathis are her closest allies, and she maintains strong ties to gods of order like Eironeous and Iroth. Though she is on good terms with Paiia, through her own abilities (and those of the Veil) she has little need of her counsel. Asmodeus is wary of her, but she rules in his favour often enough to appease him. She has recently begun coaching Seokore at the request of Valen, an act which has brought the two goddesses closer together.

Sefera has many enemies - those who would usurp her crown and steal her powers. Apertos is her mortal enemy, as he was promised the promotion should Naurom ever fall (and, in fact, helped mobilise the greater deities to bring Naurom down) but was denied when other gods argued that he was dangerous. Though his followers attempt to thwart her at every turn, Apertos is unable to move against her directly. Several demon lords also covet her title, though only Abraxas and Orcus are real threats. Though Asmodeus does not consider her much of a threat, some powerful baatezu are always looking for loopholes to use against her.

The bulk of her servants form the Soul Bureaucracy, which processes and judges the souls that pass through her realm. Many of these death spirits are recruited from her followers, or bad people looking to work off their sin and avoid worse punishments. Sefera has plenty of other outsiders at her beck and call as needed, thanks to her pact with the other deities, and several other minor deities are considered her underlings.

Holy Texts

The Judgements of Sefera: The first part of this holy book tells Sefera's tale, and includes many of her teachings from before her time as the goddess of death. The second part contains the rest of her teachings and laws, as well as rambling texts on the nature and purpose of interpretation. At the end of the book is an appendix of notes on Sefera's enemies, essays on important historical events, and rules and rituals surrounding necromancy.

Descriptive and Surgical Anatomy of the Human Body: Originally penned by the sage Herlewin Taupe, this constantly-revised medical work has evolved to include descriptions of and methods of dealing with common undead. Many undead hunters use it as a reference.

Dead Notes: This book meticulously catalogues dates, times and causes of death of people as accurately as possible. It is constantly updated by her followers, and though the "main" book is really a backed-up archive in Kaldor, abridged texts noting deaths of important historical figures are the ones actually in use.

Holidays

Sefera's prime holy day is the Day of the Dead, a surprisingly festive celebration near the end of the year when people remember and honor those who have died. The New Year is also considered sacred to her.