Greyhawk: Return to the Classic
- Title(s) The Sad Maiden
- Home plane Beastlands
- Power level Lesser
- Alignment Neutral Good
- Portfolio Spring, East Wind, Renewal
- Domains Air, Good, Plant, Renewal, Sun
- Superior Velnius
Atroa (ah-TRO-ah) is the Oeridian goddess of Spring, East Wind, and Renewal. Her holy symbol is a heart with an air-glyph within, or a kara tree full of ripe, red fruit.
Atroa appears as a fresh-faced blonde woman, often with an eagle perching upon her shoulder. With her sling Windstorm, she can strike the most distant foe, and with Readying’s Dawn, her spherical glass talisman, she is able to melt all ice in sight.
Atroa is the daughter of Procan and cousin of Merikka. As one of the Velaeri, she is sister to Velnius, Telchur, Sotillion, and Wenta. She once loved the god Kurell, but he rejected her to pursue his brother Zilchus’s lover, her sister Sotillion. She is currently romantically linked with Fharlanghn. She is allied with Ehlonna, Phaulkon, Velnius, and her sisters, but opposed to her brother Telchur. To most other gods, Atroa is indifferent.
Atroa’s realm, the Grove of Perpetual Spring, is in the layer of Brux in the Beastlands. She is also thought to spend time in the realm of Morninglory in Elysium.
As Goddess of Spring, Atroa is the invigorating breath that awakens the world from its slumber. She gifts the world with new love and new life, renews old friendships, and plucks the heartstrings of lovers, travelers, and poets. The Sad Maiden promotes spring as a time for burying old feuds, repairing old items, and eliminating old biases. Spring, like the dawn, presages great things; Atroa urges her followers to look to the future with open minds and hearts in order to enjoy them to the fullest. They believe in taking responsibility for what they have begun, and nurturing what they have planted. It is a great sin in Atroa’s faith to allow a plant to die because of neglect, or to allow a child to go hungry. They believe in the basic good of all people. Celibacy is frowned upon by Atroa, who encourages marriages and pregnancies. Pregnant priestesses of Atroa are considered the holiest of them all.
Atroa is usually worshipped with her siblings as part of the Velaeri, the Oeridian agricultural gods. She is thus revered by farmers and others who depend on the land’s bounty.
There are two sects of the Atroan church: the Planterings and the Bearers. The Planterings concentrate on Atroa’s seasonal aspect, working hard at farming, honoring the spring and preparing for winter. The Bearers concentrate on the aspect of renewal, revering the family and urging the proliferation of the human race. They run orphanages, and are usually women.
Priests of Atroa tend to be optimistic and willing to try and experience new things. They are often wandering spirits, rarely spending more than a year in the same place. By nature, they are very forgiving and count every foe turned friend with pride. They love revisiting old friends and lovers nearly as much as traveling to new places. They are busiest in the spring, when they help plant crops. Many are midwives. Many Atroan priests love exploring strange locales, especially if it’s been awhile since their last journey. The sling is their favored weapon. Specialty priests of Atroa are known as Green Daughters or Green Sons.
Priests of Atroa typcally wear simple farmers’ clothing with green wide-brimmed hats. Often they wear green cloaks with red dots, and they customarily wear leather gloves for agricultural work. On formal occasions they wear green, knee-length robes with short sleeves and hoods.
Places of worship to Atroa are often dedicated to the Velaeri as a whole. The locations are found throughout Oeridian lands, including Ahlissa, the Bone March, the Gran March, Highfolk, Ratik, Sunndi, the County of Urnst, and Veluna. Though worship of the Velaeri is forbidden in the Theocracy of the Pale, they are honored in secret by many farmers and country folk.
Temples to Atroa specifically are usually small chapels or shrines, made of wood and with little decoration. They have many windows, which always face the east. Carved wooden images of Atroa sometimes stand in front of the altars, and bells ring out the hours.
The largest Atroan temple is the Temple of the Children in Gradsul, in Keoland, a large wooden building that competes with the Foaming Tower of Osprem in the same city for followers. Both churches share many followers, as most sailors want the blessing of both goddesses. The Temple of the Children is one of the greatest orphanages in Keoland.
The Trade Wind Chapel in High Mardreth in the County of Urnst is the second largest temple of Atroa. It has grown since the Greyhawk Wars, since much shipping has begun bypassing Nyrond for the Urnst States.
Prayers are recited in the morning. The act of working in the fields is counted as prayer in itself, though devout worshipers of Atroa often recite the phrase “Blessed be this ground” over and over while doing so. Priests of Atroa give blessings at the occasion of births and weddings, and also preach at funerals with messages of hope.
The week of Growfest is particularly important to Atroa and her faithful, when the clergy joins their flock in planting, followed by song, prayer, food, and drink in the evenings. The holiest day is the Spring Feast, on Growfest 4, which is set aside as a day of rest, prayer, and reflection. Her followers leave offerings to the goddess on Great Moon’s Glory (Readying 11th), to beg her to come early and to request her brother Telchur to peacefully leave.