“To exact revenge for yourself or your friends is not only a right, it’s an absolute duty.”
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, they say, and Calistria is the walking embodiment of that.
She is the Lady of Lust, worshiped by those who seek freedom for their urges. She is also the patron of the scorned lover who sabotages the relationships of the one who cheated.
She is freedom and slavery all in one. She is a slave to physical desire, and the freedom to indulge in that desire.
Calistria’s Deific Lore
Calistria is known to take many faces and aspects throughout time. She prefers the subtle way of working but is not against wielding her powers openly when she is full of wrath.
She is a Chaotic and willful deity, easy to anger but just as easy to please.
She is known by many names: the Savored Sting, the Lady in the Room, and the Unquenchable Fire.
Her symbol is three daggers arranged in a circle with their blades pointing out and their pommels touching.
Her favored weapon is the whip, and her sacred colors are black and yellow.
Her favored animals are wasps, but she also has favor for other venomous animals like snakes and scorpions.
Much of Calistria’s history is not documented. It is known that she is an older goddess, being present during the Age of Creation.
She took part in the battle against the Rough Beast Rovagug, distracting the monster while Torag and Gorum created the prison that would hold him until the end of time.
When she appears to mortals, Calistria often takes the form of an Elven woman of ethereal and otherworldly beauty. She is graceful with long ears and slender limbs. Her hair is like gold and rolls down from her head in gentle waves.
She is often seen dressed in very revealing clothing that leaves very little to the imagination.
Calistria is often seen wielding a whip and in the company of a swarm of large wasps.
Calistria has a small holding on Elysium among the other Elven deities. At the center of a place known as the Gardens of Deceit and Delight is her small palace.
In her palace, all known carnal delights are indulged in and practiced, including their darker sides, which are embraced wholeheartedly.
Allies and Enemies
History is full of tales involving Calistria and her trysts with mortals and gods alike. She is seen as one of the most desired partners amongst the gods of Golarion.
There is a legend that Cayden Cailean, the God of Freedom and Alcohol, undertook the Test of the Starstone on a dare when he was attempting to get Calistria’s attention.
Since then, they have had a flirtatious relationship. However, if Cayden has had the option to be with her in any sense, he hasn’t spilled the beans.
She counts Desna, Norgorber, and Shelyn among her allies.
She has few true enemies, but it is known she has a rivalry with Urgathoa. While Calistria represents unrepentant lust, Urgathoa is the Goddess of all Physical Excess.
As a Goddess of Lust and Vengeance, there are many who seek to serve Calistria. There are some specific servants to mention though.
- The Empusa are a race of shape shifters who act as handmaidens for Calistria. In their true form, they resemble tall and powerfully built Elves with red antennae and gossamer wings. They carry whips and can often be Calistria’s elite agents when she takes revenge.
- The Azata are a race of outsiders from Elysium. They represent both Freedom and Goodness. Some have come to serve the Unquenchable Fire in her aspect as a defender of freedom.
- The Vendenopterix are Calistria’s divine servitor race. They are divine seducers who often trick guilty mortals and exact the Goddess’s punishment.
- Threv is a shape-shifter whose natural form is that of a large frog-like being. He is a sorcerer who serves Calistria and is a specialist in poisons and murder.
- The Velvet Wing is an Elven woman who has developed large insectile wings. She is lovely and often seduces other mortals in the name of Calistria. Many have thought she is a Succubus, but in truth, she despises Succubi who play with mortals and destroy them unnecessarily.
- Menotherian is Calistria’s Herald and the personification of the Goddess’s Lusts. In her natural form, she is a giant wasp, but she often changes into a beautiful elven woman like Calistria. She is the goddess’s most loyal servant.
Calistria’s Church is rather widely followed. She is known almost everywhere. Her name is known in some way by many, and she is even called upon as a curse for the scorned or as a blessing for lovers.
Calistria is a vengeful deity who delights in subtle and unsubtle forms of revenge upon those who have wronged her.
Therefore, she asks her followers to do the same. Exalt in your freedom and punish those who have wronged you.
You should not let your lust or hunger for revenge overcome your good sense though. Keep your rationality, and understand that delayed gratification can in fact be just as sweet as something taken within the moment.
Edicts: Pursue your personal freedom, seek hedonistic thrills, take revenge
Anathema: Become too consumed by love or a need for revenge, let a slight go unanswered
Calistria’s worshipers are numerous, and there are many people all over the world who call on her in moments of passion or anger.
She is most commonly revered amongst Elves and Half-Elves as she is a part of the Elven Pantheon.
However, she is known and worshiped just as widely among humans. She is even revered by many of the plane-touched, especially by Tieflings.
For the vast majority of human lands, she is revered for her hedonistic and freedom-loving qualities.
Many of her worshipers are prostitutes, hedonists, performers, and other sex workers, though she does have some Thieves guilds who unite in her name.
Among the Elves, Calistria is more revered for her Trickery and Vengeful nature rather than for hedonism. Many Elves who worship Calistria are Thieves and Spies, but they often double up as divine prostitutes or concubines.
There are some Antipaladin followers of Calistria who have a specific oath they follow:
Antipaladins of Calistria do not demand great things of others but rather seek to emulate the Savored Sting in their manner. Most are women; their ranks are filled with those devoted to bloody vengeance and the shining lusts that spark it. Their tenets include the following adages:
- My life is my path, and none will sway me from it.
- I devote myself to the pursuit of my passions.
- I take what I desire by trick or by force. If others resent my actions, they may attempt to take vengeance against me.
- All slights against me will be repaid tenfold.
- I am the instrument of my own justice. If I am wronged, I will take vengeance with my own hands.
There are a pair of organizations that follow the Savored Sting:
The Wasp Queens are an elite group of women elves and half-elves that are thieves and assassins. They are known for taking on the most impossible of jobs in the name of trickery and vengeance.
The Order of Vengeance is a secret society that wishes to take back their home through murder and revenge.
Priests of Calistria are more often than not Clerics. There are a few other divine casters who might rise within the church as well as a few sorcerers and bards.
The majority are women, though there are a few men who have taken up the vows. They often dress in very scant and revealing clothing consisting of the goddess’s favored colors of yellow and black.
Many times clerics will also use henna dye to cover their bodies with intricate designs.
Temples and Shrines
Temples to Calistria are often thought to double as brothels. This is untrue, though many do offer housing for sacred prostitutes.
In human lands, temples to Calistria are places of worship as well as places where you can hear the local news and gossip from a kingdom.
In Elven lands, temples to Calistria are more thieves’ guilds than temples. People can hire thieves and assassins here as well as get secret information for a price.
Among the faithful, there are two important written texts:
- The Book of Joy is a tome that holds the sacred passions of the goddess. It is often referenced for information on how to enjoy oneself to the fullest.
- Blood for Wine is a book of divine poetry favored by the goddess and highlights her love of vengeance. Many assassins in her service quote this book before making a kill or taking a contract.
The church as a whole does not recognize any specific day as holy, but the second month of the year (late winter) is named in honor of the Lady and is known as Calistril.
There are many ways in which a player or an NPC can show off their devotion to the Savored Sting.
From Archetypes to Magic and devoted boons, Calistria can be a source of inspiration and consternation to many players and their characters.
It should be noted that while Calistria is not evil per se, some of the acts she inspires can verge into the territory of evil acts.
GMs should make sure to have frank and mature conversations with players when they are undertaking something of dubious alignment.
Pathfinder 1st Edition
Pathfinder 1st edition has a myriad of options available to be both a secret worshiper or open devotee of Calistria.
Below is a list of possible character archetypes for builds based around Calistria worship:
Calistrian characters might have one of the following feats:
The following list of magical items is either directly or indirectly related to Calistrian Worship:
- Altar of Calistria
- Armor of the Unquenchable Fire
- Ring of Unquenchable Passions
- Calistrian Kiss
- Hateful Sting
- Vengeful Kiss
- Elixir of Emulation
- Elixir of Love
- Eyes of Charming
- Scarves of the Stinging Dancer
- Stinging Stiletto
- Feather Token (Whip)
These creatures are servants of Calistria. They can be potent allies or deadly enemies:
Domains and Subdomains
These are the normal Cleric domains and subdomains for Calistria:
* Requires the Acolyte of Apocrypha trait.
Devotees of Calistria are likely to have these spells as a part of their repertoire:
- Betraying Sting
- Calistria’s Guardian Wasps
- Cape of Wasps
- Harvest Knowledge
- Incessant Buzzing
- Lover’s Vengeance
- Painful Revelation
- Phantasmal Revenge
- Pillow Talk
- Reveal Secrets
- Secret Speech
- Seducer’s Eyes
- Unnatural Lust
- Vengeful Stinger
For more on how traits work, check out our article here.
Below is a list of trait options for characters who are a part of the Calistrian Church:
Pathfinder 2nd Edition
- Divine Ability: Dexterity or Charisma
- Divine Font: Harm or heal
- Divine Skill: Deception
- Favored Weapon: Whip
- Domains: Pain, Passion, Secrecy, Trickery
- Cleric Spells: 1st: charm, 3rd: enthrall, 6th: mislead
Ancient laws and agreements between the gods make it very hard for one of them to interact directly in the mortal world.
To do so would violate the free will of mortal individuals and possibly invite similar escalation from other opposing deities.
To that end, the gods and goddesses of creation can do subtle things like granting spells to their clerics and using Divine Intercession.
Divine Intercession grants a small boon to a faithful individual or levies a curse on a member of the flock who has done wrong. Using these, a god can ensure his followers toe the line and seek their favor at all times.
Calistria is no stranger to Divine Intercession and has a specific set of ways to use it.
Signs of favor or displeasure from the Savored Sting are sometimes subtle and at other times incontrovertible.
Calistria typically grants her boon to those on the path toward great vengeance and curses those who slight her followers, particularly if those followers are sex workers, though her fickle heart rarely commits to any absolute guidelines.
Minor Boon: Calistria smiles on the riskiest deceptions. Once, when you roll a failure on a check to Lie, you get a critical success instead. Calistria typically grants this boon for an extremely consequential lie.
Moderate Boon: A foot-long wasp finds and befriends you. It serves you as a familiar as long as you maintain Calistria’s grace. The wasp always has the burrower and flier familiar abilities.
Major Boon: Calistria guides you toward vengeance. You always know the direction and distance of the nearest creature that has wronged you and thus far gone unpunished.
Minor Curse: Whenever a new person desires vengeance against you, you suffer a painful sting and are afflicted with giant wasp venom at stage 1.
Moderate Curse: People react as though you’re insulting them, even in normal conversation. Whenever you attempt to Make an Impression, the outcome is one degree of success worse than the result of your roll. If you converse with someone over a long enough period of time but don’t attempt to Make an Impression, you still insult them, and you suffer the effect of a critical failure to Make an Impression.
Major Curse: You have wronged those unable to obtain revenge for themselves, and Calistria’s curse grants their revenge its own life. Whenever another creature imagines vengeance upon you but can’t pursue that vengeance because you are too powerful, well connected, or otherwise untouchable, a creature of roughly your level manifests out of their imagination and performs their desired revenge. Once the revenge is complete or the manifestation is destroyed, the summoned creature vanishes from existence.
Source: Gods & Magic pg. 17 2.0