Known as the Lady of Everlight, the Dawnflower, and the Healing Flame, Sarenrae is one of the most widely worshiped Deities in the world of Golarian and the Pathfinder setting. She is iconic as a force for good, light, and healing.
But what is her overall motive? Where does she come from? How is she worshiped, and what Deific offerings does she have for her followers?
That is what we are here to discuss today!
First, we can start with the Entity known as Sarenrae before we get into the Church that worships her.
On the surface, Sarenrae is a Neutral Good Deity associated with the Sun, Healing, Light, and Flame. She is symbolized by a flaming Angelic Ankh. She is associated with the dove, and her personal colors are blue and yellow/gold.
The source for much of the information from such an old deity is spotty at best.
The best information available says that Sarenrae was one of the first divine beings given form by the Primordial deity known as Ihys.
When war broke out between the deities of Chaos and Law, Sarenrae stood with Ihys as his right hand. She was present when the Deity Asmodeus slew Ihys and attacked the evil god.
While Asmodeus had the upper hand for most of the fight, he realized that no matter what he did, he couldn’t defeat her. She would never give up.
Asmodeus fled the battle and took up residence in the Pits of Hell while Sarenrae and the other elder deities were left to pick up the pieces.
Sarenrae observed the creation of the multiverse and, being so taken with the beauty of the stars, kindled life on several of them.
During this early time of creation, she tangled with an ancient, sentient devouring force known as Rovagug. During this epic clash, Sarenrae wielded a powerful scimitar known as the Dawnflower.
Using the weapon, she cast Rovagug down to a metaphysical prison at the center of Golarian known as the Dead Vault.
Ages later, Sarenrae’s faithful misinterpreted warnings from her and sought out the place where she had struck down Rovagug.
For centuries the spot was a place for pilgrims to congregate. The Faith built a city on the broken land, and the dreams of Rovagug slowly corrupted their minds. It wasn’t long until the Bastion of Faith became a City of Shadow and Evil.
Sarenrae sent dreams and messages to her clergy, but these were always misinterpreted or twisted by the evil force beneath the world. Finally, Sarenrae sent her most powerful Herald to lead the people away from the corruption that had taken root. They did not take well to this and killed the Herald.
In her Rage, Sarenrae smote the earth. She destroyed the city with Dawnflower, but the stroke of the weapon opened a crack in the Dead Vault. Monsters of Rovagug began to escape into the world.
On that day, Sarenrae learned her most valuable lesson. It is always better to redeem a villain than attempt to destroy it in blind arrogance.
Sarenrae looks like a gorgeous woman with bronze skin and a great mane of flaming hair. She has a pair of Angelic wings that gleam bright yellow.
Sarenrae typically appears with her scimitar, Dawnflower, in one hand and an orb of gleaming yellow light in the other.
Sarenrae’s home is the realm known as Everlight. It exists within the plane of Nirvana, hanging over it like a great sun at the apex of noon. Evil creatures are banned from entering Everlight.
Allies and Enemies
Sarenrae considers almost all non-evil creatures her allies. This includes neutral characters until they prove her otherwise.
She keeps her mind open to make sure that those who deserve a chance at redemption get it. She never wants to destroy those who can be redeemed from their corrupt and evil ways. This sometimes frustrates her more hidebound allies, who don’t see evil as redeemable at all.
She does know that some evil is irredeemable. It is her job and the job of her followers to root out and destroy evil that is beyond redemption. The followers of Rovagug and Asmodeus are both at the top of that list.
The Church of Sarenrae
The Church of Sarenrae is a popular one with the people of Golarion. Their priests are warm and inviting with a deep well of compassion, though they can be holy terrors when challenged by the forces of evil.
“Yet there are those who have no interest in redemption, who glory in slaughter and death. From the remorseless evil of the undead and fiends to the cruelties born in the hearts of mortals, Sarenrae’s doctrines preach swift justice delivered by the scimitar’s edge. To this end, she expects her faithful to be skilled at swordplay, both as a form of martial art promoting centering of mind and body, and so that when they do enter battle, their foes do not suffer any longer than necessary”
Edicts: Destroy the Spawn of Rovagug, protect allies, provide aid to the sick and wounded, seek and allow redemption.
Anathemic Practices: Create undead, lie, deny a repentant creature an opportunity for redemption, fail to strike down evil.
Sarenrae is worshiped by many of the peasant “small folk” of the world. They see comfort in the blessing of healing and light the sun brings to their lives. Growing and farming communities often revere her as a goddess of light and the summer growing season.
She is most often worshiped by Humans but oftentimes is followed by Halflings and Half-Elves.
Priests of Sarenrae are varied, but the majority of them are Clerics. There are a few Paladin Orders that follow Sarenrae, and every once in a while Druids and Rangers are found to be among her priesthood. Particularly spirited Bards may also seek to include themselves as clergy of a type.
Most often the clergy wield the scimitar as a signature weapon of their faith. They dress in bright colors, often gold, blue, and red. They almost always stand out in the crowd. Their clothing is often embellished with symbols of the sun.
Temples and Shrines
Temples to Sarenrae are often open to the sky with little to no ceilings. Their construction consists of marble, silver, and brass and is designed to reflect the light of the sun all around the temple.
Church services are always held outdoors (weather permitting) and are filled with singing, dancing, and joy.
Sarenrae’s church has two major holidays that are always celebrated.
The first is known as Burning Blades. The ceremony of Burning Blades is the culmination of a full month’s festival held in summer.
The ceremony is typically performed by Priests dancing with scimitars that are dipped in pitch and set aflame. It is said that any follower in mortal peril wielding a scimitar on the day of Burning Blades will have their weapons dance with Holy Flame.
The second holiday is known as the Sunwrought Festival. It is held on the Summer Solstice every year and is celebrated with dancing, merriment, gift-giving, fireworks, and kites. These festivals often culminate in a mystery play reenactment of Sarenrae’s victory over Rovagug.
There are a few things that followers of Sarenrae can get in the game mechanically. These spells, classes, items, and feats are all connected to the Church of Sarenrae in some way.
For obvious reasons, these are separated into Pathfinder 1e and 2e.
Pathfinder First Edition
Altar of Sarenrae, Altar of the Dawnflower, Dawnflower Chain Vest, Glorious Flame Ring, Dawnfire, Dawnflower Lantern, Dawnflower Sash, Dervish Sikke, Saliharion, Scabbard of the Lost Kiss, Sunlord’s Feather
Pathfinder Second Edition
- Divine Ability: Constitution or Wisdom
- Divine Font: Heal
- Divine Skill: Medicine
- Favored Weapon: Scimitar
- Domains: Fire, healing, sun, truth
- Alternate Domains: Repose
- Cleric Spells: 1st: burning hands, 3rd: fireball, 4th: wall of fire
Sarenrae often bestows boons for making a sacrifice to do better or taking a risk to redeem another. She typically curses those who betray her mercy.
Minor Boon: Your healing hands are blessed with a warm flame. Once, when you heal another creature, instead of healing it for the normal amount, you heal the creature to full Hit Points, no matter how much damage it has taken. Sarenrae typically grants this boon in extremely consequential circumstances.
Moderate Boon: Your blade burns the irredeemable. Your attacks deal an additional 1d6 fire damage that ignores fire resistance.
Major Boon: You are a voice of peace and rehabilitation. When you roll a success at a check to Request something, you get a critical success instead. In addition, all creatures other than fiends, undead, and mindless creatures allow you one chance to speak your piece and make requests before entering combat. If you or an ally ever use the time from the request to gain an advantage in an ensuing combat (for example, by casting preparatory spells, positioning for combat, or waiting out your opponent’s preparatory spells), Sarenrae immediately revokes this boon or possibly curses your ally.
Minor Curse: The sun burns you for your transgression. You receive a sunburn that causes you to become permanently clumsy 1.
Moderate Curse: The sun shines its light on everything you say. You become unable to tell lies, and if you attempt to do so, you instead compulsively blurt out the truth on the matter in question. You are still able to withhold information or lie by omission.
Major Curse: Sarenrae restricts your ability to harm others. All attacks you make, spells you cast, and other sources of damage you deal are nonlethal except against fiends and undead, and you can’t ever make them lethal. You deal minimum damage except against fiends and undead. All creatures except fiends and undead gain a +4 status bonus to their AC and saving throws against your attacks and other effects.