Steel And Smoke
Izurria, Mother of Monsters is the lesser goddess of Plagues, Monsters, and Medicine. Her symbol is a blood-red chalice with three drops descending, representing the three pillars of Izurrian faith. Her clerics study the domains of Death, Nature, and Life.
Izurria is the daughter of Heriot, and shares his pale visage, although her form is depicted as half-flayed, torn and bandaged into that of an unnatural horror. At her side is the twisted black staff Bloodline, from which a single touch can bestow agonizing pain or slow wasting disease.
When Izurria attempted to mimic Ahn’s creation of life, the result was horrible monsters and abominations, as well as bringing disease and plague to the mortal world. As a result, she was cast from the heavens and resides in the World of Mirrors, often stepping through to the mortal world to cause mischief.
While Izurria is seen as a goddess of sickness, she is also patron to those chirurgeons who seek the knowledge of healing arts outside of the gods’ favor. While she does not directly bless these heretical scholars with her power, she often grants them knowledge or sudden discoveries in their art.
The beliefs of those who worship Izurria’s power are three:
- That which does not kill, strengthens. Izurria sees her plagues as a way to force mortals to evolve and become stronger. Some devotees see this as advocating survival of the fittest, and act as plague vectors to weed the strong from the weak.
- Pain is the gift of the living. Many Izurrian faithful adopt a stoic philosophy that states pain is nothing more than proof of life. Many engage in ritualistic flagellation as a form of worship, but this faith also gives strength to many a berserker who holds the Mother of Monsters dear.
- Blessed are the abominations, for they are the children of Izurria. The misshapen monsters of the world are Izurria’s spawn, in some cases literally. Her followers venerate them, often forming small cults led by beholders or deep aboleths.
Most people see Izurria worship as something to be loathed, but the chirurgeons who worship the Mother of Monsters take holy oaths to heal the sick and treat the injured, making the presence of Izurrian faith something of a contentious issue in most communities.
Prayers to Izurria often include some form of blood sacrifice, especially when seeking her favor. She has no churches or altars in civilized lands, although her worshippers often find places to congregate in secret even amidst the great cities.