Legend says that the Free Lady was a mortal female that freed her fellow slaves and taught them how to survive and started the city of Freehaven using her Gifts and astounding knowledge of just about everything. Experts in the Church of the Free cannot agree on her race, as no written evidence exists, thanks in large part to the Great Cataclysm of 102 F.R. which all but wiped out the first city of Freehaven. You will find statues of the Free Lady in all districts of the city, and all races are represented, as each race strongly believes she was one of them. She is always depicted as being dressed in flowing robes, her arms raised triumphantly in the air, her wrists shackled but broken lengths of chain hang from each one, as if she had just freed herself in a great show of strength. Sometimes she has an item in her right hand, usually a weapon of some sort or a thick tome, sometimes even something as simple as a flower. Each statue also has a saying carved into the base, the most popular one being a quote from the Lady herself: “Let all peoples be Free and within these walls live their lives as they see fit”.
Worship of the Free Lady began when she disappeared during the Great Cataclysm. No body was ever uncovered and the popular belief was that she had given her life in sacrifice to stop further destruction and was rewarded with Godhood. As the years went on, the Church of the Free became fractured as beliefs in what the Lady really stood for became mired in religious arguments. The Church became split into five distinct views:
- The Mother: Followers of the Mother believe that the Free Lady was the protector and provider of the entire city, and that she existed solely to see to the well being of its citizens, raising them, nurturing them and caring for them just as a mother would her children. Followers of the Mother depict the Free Lady as a kindly looking older woman, often holding flowers in her hand. This aspect of the Church is closely associated with healing arts, the community, and birth.
- The Warrior: Followers of the Warrior believe that the Free Lady protected the city through strength of arms and combat prowess. They believe nothing is more important than the ability to wield a trusty weapon, whether for glory or to protect oneself or others in need. The Church of the Warrior teaches its followers the glorious art of combat and one would be hard pressed to find more deadly or disciplined warriors anywhere in the city. They depict the Free Lady as a strong and serious looking woman dressed for battle and with weapon in hand. This aspect of the Church is closely associated with combat, strength and tactical thinking.
- The Builder: Followers of the Builder believe that without buildings, walls and craftsmen, there can be no city. While they believe that the Free Lady was many things to many people, she was a master architect at heart. After all, she planned out the entire first city of Freehaven before the Great Cataclysm, and they believe she had a direct hand in building the city that exists today. No architect or craftsman succeeds without influence from the Builder, as if she is a divine muse of a sort. They depict the Free Lady as a wise looking, inquisitive woman, often with some sort of tool or even scroll and ink in her hands.This aspect of the Church is closely associated with crafting of all sorts, architecture, and inventive thought.
- The Sage: Followers of the Sage believe firmly in the expression, “Knowledge is Power.” The tales told of the Free Lady give great examples of the enormous amount of knowledge she had on all subjects. Simply put, followers of the Sage revere the Free Lady as an all knowing being and aspire to be just like her by amassing all the knowledge they can get their hands on. Followers of the Sage also happen to possess at least one Gift. They believe that the Free Lady’s extensive knowledge on how the Universe works granted her any Gift she desired and they seek to uncover this secret by drawing in Gifted followers from all races and studying them. While each Church that follows the teachings of the Free Lady has Gifted followers among the faithful, only the followers of the Sage are required to possess a Gift before they are accepted into the Church. They often depict the Free Lady as a powerful and regal looking woman with a tome in one hand and a flame held in the palm of her other hand. This aspect of the Church is closely associated with knowledge, supernatural Gifts, and academic pursuits.
- The Keeper: Followers of the Keeper believe that the Free Lady was directly responsible for the Great Cataclysm. They believe that the Free Lady was already a powerful being in her own right but required a great sacrifice in order to join the ranks of Godhood and thus engineered the creation of the city in order to meet her own needs. The Church of the Keeper was created in order to appease the Free Lady and hopefully prevent another Cataclysm, or worse, from occurring. In their eyes, the Free lady is a powerful, vengeful God that must be worshipped to prevent her wrath. They depict the Free Lady as an angry, hooded woman holding a skull in one hand, often looking down on the viewer. This aspect of the Church is closely associated with secrets, death and funerals.
Of course, some citizens of Freehaven worship the aspect of the Free Lady that best fits their needs at the time, not settling for exclusive worship of one aspect or another. There are still those who don’t believe in segregating her different aspects at all, instead preferring to worship the woman, not the ability she possessed. As with most things in Freehaven, people are free to choose what they will and that has caused no end of turmoil and strife among the city’s collective masses.