|Titles||Empress of Heaven|
|Realm||Palace of the Eightfold Mirror, Clarion, Heaven|
|Areas of Concern||Ancestors|
|Worshipers||Samurai, Minkai and other Tian|
|Cleric Alignments (1E)|
|Domains (1E)||Glory, Good, Law, Repose, Sun|
|Subdomains (1E)||Ancestors, Archon, Day, Heroism, Honor, Light, (Revelation)|
|Symbol||Katana in front of the sun|
|Images of Shizuru|
Source: Faiths of Golarion, pg(s). 52–57
Shizuru is the Tian-Min goddess of the sun, honor, ancestors, and swordplay. As she holds swordplay in her portfolio, Shizuru is also the patron of samurai and other noble and honourable swordsmen and women.
Shizuru and the moon god Tsukiyo are lovers; Tsukiyo is the Prince of the Moon and the brother of Fumeiyoshi. Aeons ago, Fumeiyoshi grew jealous of his brother's loving relationship with Shizuru and, on one occasion, grew so angry he murdered Tsukiyo. A legend holds that the very first stones of jade were formed at this time from the intermingling of Shizuru's tears with Tsukiyo's blood; jade is sacred within the church of the Prince of the Moon and his holy symbol is a crescent moon made of the stone. Shizuru successfully requested the aid of Qi Zhong, the god of medicine, to resurrect her lover. She then recruited Yaezhing, the punisher of the gods and the enforcer of divine justice, to punish Fumeiyoshi by banishing him to his brother's tomb and stripping him of his position. She stated Fumeiyoshi would forever envy his betters as the undead envy the living and, indeed, Fumeiyoshi is now styled the Lord of Envy and his portfolio comprises dishonour, envy, graves, and the undead. In contrast, after his rebirth, Tsukiyo added spirits to his portfolio.
Holy symbol and sacred animal
As stated above, Shizuru is the lover of Tsukiyo and an enemy of his brother, Fumeiyoshi. Shizuru's relationship with the Prince of the Moon is not an easy one, however, as they never meet one another, in a symbolic representation of the separation of night and day, save for the times of a solar eclipse; those rare times are, of course, fleetingly fast. When they are separated from each other, Shizuru willingly lets him go without knowing why, and views their separation as a bittersweet torment: she is proud of him and understands his role of giving comfort to those her light cannot reach. They have had at least one offspring, the star archon known as the Dusk Ronin. Although Dusk Ronin has not strayed from her original moral teachings, she has been banished from her parents' domain in Heaven due to an unknown occurrence, and now seeks to atone for her transgression.
Shizuru views the other Tian Xia deities as her subjects, but seldom presses the issue, and in turn all other Tian Xia deities acknowledge her as their leader. As long as they obey her edicts, she is bound to allow them to handle their own affairs, including evil ones like Yaezhing and Lady Nanbyo. Foreign gods are not accorded this treatment; Shizuru only respects civilised deities as fellow heads of state, not evil ones.
Shizuru is friendly with Abadar, Irori, Qi Zhong (whom she credits with the rebirth of Tsukiyo), and Shelyn, due to their importance in a stable society. Shizuru has much in common with Iomedae and sees her as a younger cousin, viewing her zeal and idealism with fondness.
Shizuru has a half-brother: General Susumu, the Black Daimyo. He is also, like Shizuru, a patron of samurai, but his samurai lust for war and glory, rather than heroism and honour. It is unclear whom is their shared parent.
Church of Shizuru
On Golarion, Shizuru's worship is most significant on the continent of Tian Xia where she is classed as one of their twenty major gods. Her faith is particularly strong in Amanandar, Goka (where there are impressive statues of Shizuru and Tsukiyo, some 250 feet tall, guarding the entrance to Xu Hong Bay), Jinin, Quain, Shokuro, Xa Hoi, and Zi Ha.
However, Shizuru's faith is strongest in Minkai and she is often portrayed as a Tian-Min in form and acts as the patron goddess of Minkai and of its capital, Kasai. Furthermore, the former ruler of Minkai, Emperor Shigure Higashiyama, claimed to be her mortal descendant, albeit separated by 296 generations; to this day the emperors of Minkai revere Shizuru as their divine ancestor.
In actual fact, Shizuru took on her draconic form and granted the five imperial families of Minkai the divine right to rule in 2600 IC; subsequently, members of these families became emperors of Minkai. This authority and blessing was made manifest in five Imperial Seals, one for each family. Twelve years later, in 2612 IC, the Teikoku Shogunate was created; it is sometimes called the First Kingdom of Minkai. Shortly thereafter, Shizuru placed her imprimatur on the promotion of the Teikoku family by granting them the right to rule all Minkai over and above the other four imperial families. This arrangement lasted over 3,500 years until corruption grew to unacceptable levels within the Shogunate. In response to this decline, the Perfect Swordswoman Setsuna Kuga raised the armies of the four other ruling families against the Teikoku Shogunate and was victorious at the Battle of Eight Bridges in 6116 IC. Thereafter, the modern empire of Minkai was formed with all five imperial families returning to peer status with one another, sharing the rule of the empire in a fashion which Shizuru had originally designed.
Aims of the church
The followers of Shizuru strive to lead virtuous lives and, by their example, inspire virtue in others. In recognition of the Empress of Heaven's portfolio, the church teaches people to respect their ancestors; it also teaches honour in sword fighting. Despite this militaristic element to the faith, Shizuru's warriors do not seek out battle, but hope for peaceful times.
In both the faith of Shizuru and that of Tsukiyo, the times of a solar eclipse are very sacred, as their worshippers understand this is the short time when these lovers are able to reunite. The links between these two faiths are further reinforced in larger temples to Shizuru by the existence of a shrine to Tsukiyo attached to the temples.
For additional resources, see the Meta page.
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