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Petra

by Marco Dalmonte

Warden of Traladara, Patroness of Defenders, Patroness of Besieged Cities
Level, Alignment, Sphere: 17 (Celestial), LN, Time
Symbol: a round shield with a boss in its centre; some may consider it a potter's wheel viewed from above
Portfolio: defence and safekeeping, patriotism, courage, resistance, virtue, fighting clerics, besieged settlements, Traldars, Milenians, Traladarans
Worshipped in: Known World (Karameikos), Hollow World (Traldar Kingdoms, Milenia)
Appearance: a petite woman with light complexion and short dark hair sporting a determinate and severe outlook, wearing an ancient bronze cuirass of Traldar or Milenian tradition and wielding a round shield in her left arm and a heavy mace in the right hand.
History: Petra was the Queen of Krakatos and the most influential and charismatic priest of Khoronus in the Traldar lands when the gnollish invasion began in BC 1000. After losing her husband in a humanoid ambush, she sided with Halav in his effort to unite the Traldar Kings and withstand the beastmen's mayhem. Her help was indeed pivotal in convincing most of the other Traldar rulers to support Halav's battle plan, and because of her charisma and wisdom, she became first Halav's second in command and later his lover and Queen. During the dark years of the Beastmen's Invasion, Halav organised the offensive tactics and the assaults against the gnolls, Petra was in charge of preparing the Traldars' defences, while Zirchev monitored the enemies' moves and kept the communications among the Traldar cities. When the final showdown came and Halav killed the gnoll warleader at the cost of his own life, Petra herself held the funeral with high honours and a mask of grief on her face. Later however, she and Zirchev stole Halav's body and she raised him as her final demonstration of love. Once the gnoll menace had finally faded, Halav decided to continue his war against the beastmen in the unknown north, so he left his homeland and the crown to his beloved Petra, sure that she would have ruled wisely and protected the kingdom in his absence. And Petra did as she was expected, strengthening and enriching Krakatos despite the miserable conditions of the surrounding Traldar lands. Only later did she understand that she was only a few steps from immortality, and following the indications of her patron Khoronus, she found a time travelling artifact which she used to assure that her lineage continued to rule Krakatos for five generations, thus completing the Path of the Dynast in the VIII century BC, just before the fall of the last true Traldar settlements. In the upper spheres she grouped with her old friends, Halav and Zirchev, and they banded together to protect their descendants all over the world.
Personality: Petra is a very practical immortal who doesn't like nonsense and trivialities. She does not feel pity for those who do not have the courage to challenge fate and adversities and prefer instead to cry and mourn. She prefers those characters who go on despite the hardships and never fear to face the impossible. Petra is patroness of many warrior clerics, of those who defend besieged settlements and of Traldars and Milenians (and their descendants) all around the world. She is often in open conflict with Vanya because of Vanya's mood for conquering anything (including Karameikos) and because Vanya is sworn enemy of the Milenians. She also despises Leptar (aka Hircismus) who had a big part in the collapse of the last Traldar cities.
Patron: Khoronus*
Allies: Halav (her mate), Zirchev
Enemies: Vanya, Leptar
Classic D&D Stats:
Followers' alignment: any; clerics must be Lawful
Favoured weapons: mace (allowed all bludgeoning weapons, armed shields and short sword)
Clerics' skills & powers: +1 bonus to Strength, +2 bonus to Leadership and Military Tactics general skills
Paladins' skills & powers: +1 bonus to Strength
D&D 3E Stats:
Domains: Time, Law, Protection, War, Courage
Preferred weapon: heavy mace
Sources: GAZ1, HWR3, HW, WotI

* Note: WotI says that Vanya was Petra's sponsor. However this is impossible, since Petra lived around the XI century BC, while Vanya lived 400 years AFTER (she was responsible for halting the Milenians and allowing the ancestors of the Thyatians, Hattians and Kerendans reach the Thyatian mainland in BC600!). For this reason I have changed Petra's sponsor to the most likely Khoronus, who also happens to be a very valid choice as head of the Traldar pantheon. It's really strange that with all the Time immortals sponsored by Khoronus, the most obvious choice (Petra) was not used