robbed over the centuries, the sacred precincts of the Twelve Madonnas, be they the humblest fountains of healing waters or the elegant cathedrae erected by impious emperors seeking forgiveness, none of these sites have ever been defiled.
For Good Reason.
Served by kindly apsaras, sweet nymphs and gentle healing presences they may be, but they are also revered and protected by martyric furies, poetwhore-maenads and unseen ecstasies that teach the lessons of wrath and repentance with fire, brimstone and worse if need be, but always -- always -- with loving compassion. The sacred places of the Twelve Ladies are healing places, sources of inspiration and the eternal bastions of hope, love and charity. They endure the worst and continue ever onwards delivering a message and a teaching that transcends all petty tyrant godlings demanding belief, fear or servitude and vacuous ego-bound cults offering false doctrines and even worse slavery. Our Ladies of All Things and Worlds Without End demand nothing, ask little and care nothing about beliefs for they are as ephemeral as the weather and humanity is entitled to believe whatsoever they will, such things are of no consequence to the Twelve Ladies. They grant healing, real healing that reaches past the blood and the bone into the soul and the deeper aspects of those who come to the Ladies for a surcease from sorrow and shame. They grant a real comfort in all times whether those times be deeply troubled or only just troubling.
Timeless and beautiful, incorruptible and immaculate they are the mystical mothers of all Life, Our Ladies of all that is, was or ever shall be, and the Twelve Madonnas watch over all the Worlds Without End.
Twelve Madonnas of Devukarsha
The Lady of the Red Garment
Most often depicted in iconic-statuary as veiled, and often armored with a baroque cuirass or breastplate etched with spiralling flames. A young female, with eager, enthusiastically shining eyes and an infectious exuberance that invigorates and excites everyone who gets caught-up in Her Prescence. She demonstrates inspired action and the need to do the right thing. Always in motion, her red tresses are said to flicker with flames of passion and ambition and petitioners come to Her shrines to break old habits, overcome obstacles and to begin new undertakings. She is known to grant visionary fevers, shed a searing hot radiance upon darkly festering matters and when the time is right She can send forth a wrathful host second only to the Radiant Lady Herself. She cannot abide tyranny of any sort and has granted aid to freedom fighters in the past. Curiously, it was Her refusal to come to the aid of the Communards that led to their defeat during the Second Revolution; people saw it as an open refutation of their pretensions to be concerned with anything other than establishing their own hegemony. She is honored in the Spring most especially and at the outset of new ventures particularly.
The Gentle Lady of the Pink Blossom
Kind, patient and calm in all Her dealings, this Madonna is the patroness of all animals, all who work or live amongst animals and so on, as well as agriculture in all its forms, including gardens, farms and arboreums. She takes an especial interest in the well-being of the various chimerae, hybrids and Urfolk as though they are somehow special in her eyes. Slow to respond, noted for a dreamy expression, She is determined and persistent and quietly advocates of long-term sustainability for all living things. She smiles upon all partnerships and unions, and is most often petitioned for assistance with money, wealth and matters of prosperity and domestic abundance. Pastoral in Her outlook, She inherited all forms of domestication and the concerns of a rustic nature but make no mistake, She is also a Patroness of settlements, villages, towns and cities. The Wilderness is not Her concern.
The Lady of the Brazen Mirror
Patroness of clever fools, actors, pantomimes and so forth, this Madonna revels in wordplay, contests of skill, witticisms and all forms of intellectual enterprise. She watches over teachers, schools, academies, as well as all forms of knowledge and learning. The winds are Hers to command, though She would never abuse their trust and always gently requests their assistance on behalf of petitioners. Rational and eloquent, She facilitates communication, amusements, and lively entertainments. It is said that Her mirror shows the truth of things and that it is the only thing that frightens the Mob and captivates the Spectacle.
The Lady of the Blue Pearl
Demurely robed and with a single pearl ornament upon her brow or ample breast, this Madonna is the mother of oceans and the patroness of all things aquatic. The meanest, most inconsequential creatures of the waters of the worlds respond to Her and the more highly developed inhabitants pay Her loving homage as She watches over all the waters or all the worlds. Her icons tend to be shrewd-eyed, yet cautious and exude a protectiveness and a sense of sympathy that can soften even the hardest heart and have been known to precipitate more than one necrosophic to renounce their undeath and to either seek rebirth or to accept final obliteration so long as it meant they could become one with the oceans which are said to be Her tears. Tiny silver medals of this Madonna are in circulation, supposedly they aid one's powers of intuition and imagination. It's probably a scam.
The Radiant Lady
Generous, always smiling (even when wrathful), and glorious as a pregnant woman sculpted from the archetypal Sun of all suns itself, this Madonna shines hot and bright even in the darkest, bleakest, most horrific of circumstances or times. She sheds amber tears over the unnecessary suffering of all Her children and Her sacred sites are places of protection, cessation from all hostilities, and sanctuaries of peace so profound that not even the Infernals will infringe upon for Her wrath is the most spectacular -- and final -- of all the Twelve Ladies. It has only been witnessed and recorded once in the entire history of Devukarsha and those records have been somehow transcribed into a hard-copy book which has been placed under powerful seals for fear of the repercussions to anyone even so much as looking upon them. Even handling the hard-bound tome within which they are kept draws blood and strikes one blind. There's no telling what opening the thing might do.
The Lady of All Good Green Things
Beatific and modest in Her pleasant, welcoming gaze, this Madonna is concerned with all growing things and so often shares quite a bit of Her domains with rest of Her sisters, which is only appropriate for the advocate of sharing, cooperation and community. She watches over the wildernesses and those worlds that are coming into Life and all the processes and constituent creatures involved in such things. Patroness of terraforming and genartistry, revered by the dryanni and floralisti over all others, this Madonna is always wreathed in flowers, vines, and fruit-bearing stalks that find their way into Her shrines no matter how meager, modest or minor they may seem to anyone else. She provides sustenance for All and is the Lady of Wild Abundance, the overflowing bounty that surrounds all the worlds of the Deep Infrastructure which many consider to be a mechanistic reduction of Her, since the mechile have a profound inability to see the mythic outside of the virtual realms.
The Fair Lady or She of Just Deserts
Sometimes blindfolded, other times wither her eyes wide open, this Madonna holds forth a pair of golden scales that denote Her ability to discern Truth, get to the heart of matters, and settle disputes fairly, justly and equitably without compounding injuries or adding to bad feelings. Far more than simple, barbaric justice armed with a sword to carve-up the guilty this Madonna is concerned with overcoming the impulse to punish and the hateful lust for revenge. She dispenses a sort of justice, but more than that, She solves the core issues that spur on violence, cause animosity, provoke hard feelings and fester deep inside of all aggrieved parties like toxic seeds which She dissolves and replaces with gentle guidance and a nudge towards mutual respect and the establishment of trust. No weapons can enter Her precincts, no violence can take place under Her gaze, and no untruth can be spoken in Her presence. Better to seek out the blind idols of justice than to come before this Madonna dishonestly or with a burning need for violent revenge -- for She will not grant such things.
The Lady of the Poisons That Heal
Vivid panes of cultured opal set within red-enameled steel and meteoric iron allow sunlight to stream down upon secret fountains and hidden pools where all manner of toxins are drawn out and transmuted into other, beneficial and helpful substances. Quiet as a grave or airless library, these sacred places are in and of themselves alive with millions, if not billions of insects which form a densely interlocking structure of constantly renewing creatures who sacrifice themselves for the good of all others. These places are humbling to all but the most profound narcissist, yet even such as they might find healing in the darkly glimmering pools below.
The Walking Madonna
The only Madonna to occupy a single autonomous Colossi, the Walking Madonna watches over travelers and is rarely encountered in the same place twice without very good reason. Blue and purple robes of tinted meta-topaz allow the sunlight to shine through Her colossi, creating a soft radiance that reveals the way ahead both for Her and for those who follow in Her wake.
The Amethyst Madonna
The shrines and niches set aside for this Madonna tend to be simple to the point of appearing almost harsh, diligently arranged and often located in places of austerity, discipline and commerce. She looks out upon those who commit commerce with her eyes of lead and amethyst and reminds them of their responsibility to trade honestly, fairly, prudently and not get caught-up in faddish ideologies or outmoded doctrinal 'isms.' In a time of plenty, there is to be plenty for all. In a Civilization based upon diversity and sustainability, there is a place for everyone and a time for everything. She advocates a balanced approach to giving in order to get, putting the needs of others before onesself, and the careful commingling of ambition with compassion.
The Mother of Invention
Turquoise and aquamarine gemstones set within elaborately cast and extruded aluminum panels which float about like rectangular birds or fish that meander throughout the city, sometimes in schools or flocks and others all alone. Each one is unique, independent and a repository of all humanity's knowledge in miniature which they make freely available to anyone descending from humans. Many synthetic species make pilgrimages to those places where the floating shrines of the Mother of Invention are said to congregate or visit just to test out their theories of identity, to learn if they are truly the children of humanity, descendants of humans, or something else. All are granted their inheritance by this loving and welcoming Madonna who watches over all forms of technology and advocates for the responsible utilization of knowledge in service to the common good.
The Lady of All Rivers
She watches over all the waters that flow, including the blood of all Her children, whom She watches over in Her dreams. Her statues are often bedecked with pearls, even the blue pearls of Her sister-Madonna, with whom She shares the waters of all worlds. Where Her sister tends to be concerned with the larger oceans, seas and lakes, this Madonna is especially fond of rivers and all River Gate Networks. The most mystical of the Twelve, this Madonna is known to give prophetic dreams and Her petitioners tend to be those seeking after mystical experiences, artistic inspiration or some sort of escape from an unpalatable or untenable reality. She can grant a form of renewal that washes away all the recipient's past, or She can lead those who would please Her most to make their dreams real by their own efforts. Her shrines all have a profound, oneiric component, and the majority of them are to be found in dreaming, only a few have any real, tangible existence. She is the Patroness of the Virts and watches over all forms of softborn.