“Valor is stability, not of legs and arms, but of courage and the soul.”
-Michel de Montaigne
Goddess of Paladins, Noble Warriors, and people of Honor, Iomedae is the light of Justice for the people of Golarion. Those of a Knightly sort often find themselves in her service.
She is known as the Light in the Sword, the Lady of Valor, and the Inheritor.
Today we are going to take a closer look at the Lady herself, her history, her church, and the powers she bestows upon those who follow her into battle.
Iomedae’s Deific Lore
As a younger deity, Iomedae has a shorter history than most of the world’s gods and goddesses, though that does not make her any less popular with those who choose to take vows of knighthood or take on the role of Paladins and Champions.
Iomedae is often associated with eagles, lions, and other animals often ascribed nobility or lordship. Her colors are white, silver, and red. Her holy symbol is also her chosen weapon: the Longsword.
Iomedae’s Personal History
Iomedae was once a mortal woman born in Cheliax. She grew up to become a powerful Knight, joining in an event known as the Shining Crusade.
During the crusade, she rose to become leader of the Knights of Ozem and led them to victory in many battles against the evil Tar-Baphon who was also known as the Whispering Tyrant.
She attracted the attention of Aroden, the patron deity of Humanity itself.
He followed her exploits, watching from afar as the Warrior woman performed what is known as the Acts of Iomedae: twelve miracles of heroism and valor, the twelfth and final act being the Test of the Starstone, which led to Iomedae rising to Divinity.
Aroden took her on as his deific herald, and they served together for centuries until Aroden passed away. Iomedae took up Aroden’s position as full Goddess, gaining the title The Inheritor. Since then, she has been a tireless fighter against evil and injustice.
When she appears in person, Iomedae appears as a tall woman with short black hair and pale skin. She wears full plate mail armor and a flowing red cape. She wields a shining silver longsword and bright kite shield.
Her holy aura of light drives evil creatures away from her presence.
When she wishes to make herself known but not fully manifest, she often causes flickering light to appear around chosen objects or transforms malleable items into the shape of a sword. Those who speak in her voice shine with a silver or golden light.
When she is angered, her light will tarnish precious metals in her presence or cause solid objects to shatter against soft surfaces.
Iomedae’s Realm exists on the second layer of Heaven, known as Proelera. It is a peaceful realm of castles and keeps. It acts as a training ground and place of support for the Angelic and Archon armies of Heaven.
Allies and Enemies
Iomedae views many of the good deities to be allies, including Sarenrae, Torag, Erastil, Abadar, and Cayden Cailean. She has a rivalry with the god Irori, who considers Iomedae to have “cheated” her way to godhood by using a magical artifact.
She also regards Pharasma with disdain because of the deity’s refusal to share the reason for Aroden’s death.
Iomedae refuses to associate with evil deities or fiends and will often attack them on sight. The one exception to this is Asmodeus, who she is forced to have to be around from time to time on godly business.
Iomedae is served by her own Angelic race of beings known as the Iophanites. These messengers serve among armies of Angels and Archons who make up Heaven’s forces.
Iomedae has a select few special servants who used to be mortal companions when she was just a follower of Arodan.
- Queen Galfrey was once a Mortal Queen and Paladin who led multiple crusades against Demons and Devils. She arose to be a Herald of Iomedae after abdicating her throne.
- Hand of the Inheritor was an Angel in service to the Empyreal Lord Ragathiel as the Hand of Vengeance. When Iomedae took over for Aroden, he passed into her service as Iomedae’s Herald. He was captured by Demons and tortured during the Mendevian Crusades, leading to Iomedae letting him retire and replacing him with Queen Galfrey.
- Jingh is an Iophanite who manifests as a burning metal wheel or sometimes a flaming chariot.
- Peace through Vigilance is a gregarious and headstrong Celestial Gold Dragon who serves Iomedae faithfully.
- Lymirin is a former priestess of Iomedae who was raised to be an Angel in the goddess’s service. She appears as a winged humanoid woman or sometimes an Angelic being with the head of an eagle and raptor talons.
The Church of Iomedae is a force standing against all evil. They often commission crusades against Demons and Devils, raising troops to help defend against the encroachment of evil outsiders.
The church is possessed of constant vigilance against evil and injustice. They root out any darkness they can find and expose it to the light of truth and good.
Edicts: Be temperate, Fight for justice and honor, Hold valor in your heart.
Anathema: Abandon a companion in need, Dishonor yourself, Refuse a challenge from an equal.
Paladins are often called to the worship and service of Iomedae’s church, and because of that, they have a specialized oath:
“- I will learn the weight of my sword. Without my heart to guide it, it is worthless.
– My strength is not in my sword, but in my heart. If I lose my sword, I have lost a tool. If I betray my heart, I have died.
– I will have faith in the Inheritor. I will channel her strength through my body. I will shine in her legion, and I will not tarnish her glory through base actions.
– I am the first into battle and the last to leave it.
– I will not be taken prisoner by my free will.
– I will not surrender those under my command.
– I will never abandon a companion, though I will honor sacrifice freely given.
– I will guard the honor of my fellows, both thought and deed, and I will have faith in them.
– When in doubt, I may force my enemies to surrender, but I am responsible for their lives.
– I will never refuse a challenge from an equal.
– I will give honor to worthy enemies and contempt to the rest.
– I will suffer death before dishonor.
– I will be temperate in my actions and moderate in my behavior.
– I will strive to emulate Iomedae’s perfection.”
Often the worshippers of Iomedae are called to strive for perfection and cleanliness. They are called upon to always carry an honorable demeanor and project a stoic front at all times. Often they practice swordplay, statecraft, and strategy.
Iomedae’s worshipers are most often Paladins, Champions, Knights, and other holy soldiers. Many nobles will follow Iomedae, or at least make lip service to the church when they honor other deities.
Adventurers sometimes follow her, especially if they are former military or from the noble class.
Often younger Knights will be drawn to the worship of Iomedae and seek to emulate the Lady in their own ways. They will attempt to live by her example and often reference the Acts of Iomedae as a guide on how to live.
Iomedae is most often worshiped by humans, but she is not race-exclusive. Halflings will also take up with the Church, most often halflings who were held as slaves or oppressed.
Her worship is strongly associated with Good and Law. None of her followers are Chaotic, but many of them are Neutral Good.
The church is served mostly by Paladins and Clerics. Often the priesthood is filled with those who have been on crusade or served time with the military. Rarely will there be priests who are also Rangers or Knights.
Non-divine spellcasters are rarely involved with Iomedae’s Clergy.
Much of the Priesthood, especially the old guard, are former clerics of Arodan who have taken up the worship of the Inheritor.
The Priesthood will often hold public services once a week in addition to an hour of prayer and devotion each day.
Temples and Shrines
The overwhelming majority of Iomedae’s temples double as commanderies for housing and training the faithful to fight against evil. They are often whitewashed on the outside and feature fountains, arched entrances, and large courtyards.
Many of her shrines and temples are adapted from the former worship of Arodan.
The church has several high holy days where they celebrate their faith.
- Ascendance Day marks the day Iomedae completed the Test of the Starstone and ascended to divinity. This is a joyful time where pledges are renewed, friendships are rekindled, and old grudges set to rest. There are mock battles and passion plays to reenact the Acts of Iomedae.
- Inheritor’s Ascendance marks the day when Arodan accepted Iomedae as his herald.
- Day of the Inheritor marks the day Arodan passed away and Iomedae took up his mantle as a full deity. This is a solemn occasion where the clergy mark those who have passed away in battle over the last year. Often there will be at least an hour of silence on this day.
There are multiple ways for player characters to interact with the Church of Iomedae or show their devotion.
Below is a list of classes, items, feats, and traits associated with Iomedae to customize your character with. These are separated into first and second editions for easy reference.
Pathfinder 1st Edition
Character Archetypes for building characters based on Iomedaen Worship:
- Battle Scout (Ranger)
- Crusader (Cleric)
- Iomedaen Enforcer (Paladin)
- Shining Knight (Paladin)
- Standard Bearer (Cavalier)
Feats for Iomedean characters:
Iomedae’s Cleric Domains:
Magic Items associated with the worship of Iomedae:
There are great accessories for characters who worship the Inheritor. Some of these items are associated specifically with the Mendevian Crusades, so make sure you work that into your character’s story if you use them.
- Altar of Iomedae
- Icon of Order
- Inheritor’s Breastplate
- War Commander’s Field Plate
- Knight-Inheritor’s Ring
- Crusader’s Longsword
- Inheritor’s Light
- Iomedae’s Needle
- Knight’s Pennon (Battle)
- Cloak of the Crusader
- Lord’s Banner (Crusades)
- Glorious Tabard (Greater)
- Knight’s Pennon (Honor)
- Inheritor’s Gauntlet
- Glorious Tabard (Lesser)
- Medal of the Hero’s Heart
- Knight’s Pennon (Parley)
- Lord’s Banner (Swiftness)
- Lord’s Banner (Terror)
- Lord’s Banner (Victory)
These creatures associated with Iomedae and can be used as allies or enemies:
These Prestige Classes are options for PCs who want to play high level worshippers of Iomedae. Otherwise, they can be used for high members of the Clergy:
Iomedae has several spells associated with her worship. These can be used by her faithful, most often Clerics:
- Bestow Grace of the Champion
- Burst of Glory
- Inheritor’s Smite
- Light Prison
- Litany of Righteousness
- Spear of Purity
- Weapons Against Evil
Iomedae’s worship has some Traits that are associated with it as well. Remember you can normally only take one Trait depending on how your GM is running their game:
Pathfinder 2nd Edition
Pathfinder 2e is somewhat more limited in its character options than 1e, but that can mostly be attributed to its newness.
These benefits are mostly for Clerics.
- Divine Ability: Strength or Constitution
- Divine Font: Heal
- Divine Skill: Intimidation
- Favored Weapon: Longsword
- Cleric Domains: Confidence, might, truth, zeal
- Alternate Domains: Duty
- Cleric Spells 1st: True strike, 2nd: enlarge, 4th: fire shield
The Divine Intercession mechanic is a way for deities in Golarion. At the GM’s discretion, they can provide a boon or a curse on someone who may have somehow pleased or angered a deity.
These blessings or curses should not be given out willy-nilly, and they can often stimulate the start of an adventure. Maybe the god is blessing you for a deed that will need to be completed, or perhaps they are punishing you, and you have to go on a quest to relieve the curse.
Again all of this is at the GM’s discretion.
Full rules are found in the link above, but below is Iomedae’s Boon and Curse.
Iomedae’s Boon and Curse
Iomedae grants her blessings to those who show valor in trying times.
Minor Boon: You always present yourself at your best. Your clothing and person are always clean and unrumpled, the metal of your blade and armor shining and unblemished. This doesn’t prevent you from being exposed to diseases and other afflictions via filth, but it protects you as well as if you had washed thoroughly right away.
Moderate Boon: Your heart beats with determined valor. Once, Iomedae ends all negative effects affecting you, unless they are from an artifact, deity, or similarly powerful source; she also restores all lost Hit Points and replenishes your spells, Focus Points, and other daily resources.
Major Boon: Iomedae imbues your blade with great power. Longswords you wield gain the axiomatic, holy, and major striking runes while you hold them. These property runes count toward the number of runes you can have on your weapon, and if this would cause your weapon to exceed its limit, choose which ones to keep each day when you prepare. You gain a +2 status bonus to attack rolls with longswords.
Minor Curse: Your blade and armor have dulled like lead. Your weapons, armor, and shields have half their usual Hit Points and Break Threshold.
Moderate Curse: Tactical advantages never seem to work the way you planned. You can’t receive a circumstance bonus to your attack rolls, and enemies don’t take any circumstance penalties to their AC against your attacks.
Major Curse: All blades reject your wicked heart. Any weapon you wield automatically becomes broken after you Strike with it. This curse can’t break artifacts or similarly powerful weapons.
Source Gods & Magic pg. 29 2.0