Aya is an ancient goddess of Mesopotamian origin, one of the oldest deities present in her pantheon of gods. A goddess of dawn, the eternally young Aya represents the renewal that comes with a new day, though she's lost some of her other metaphysical orbits over the years.
Emotion Control / Love and Lust (w): though Ishtar stole her proverbial thunder somewhat, Aya is a goddess of sexual love in addition to her other spheres of influence. As such, she excels at inspiring both of these feelings, doing so with intensity 13 ability.
Immortality (s): one of the Igigi, ancient entities borne from the union of Abzu and Tiamat, Aya is immortal. Old beyond the reckoning of even most of her fellows, Aya is ironically eternally young, and will remain so in perpetuity, no matter what calamity befalls her.
* Boon (i): though she isn't extremely powerful, Aya was quite popular even before the advent of writing. Possessing this power at intensity 13, she often grants entreaties related to emotion control (love and/or lust), longevity (agelessness), and light generation.
Light Generation (a): the goddess of the dawn, Aya can shed a powerful, pastel rainbow of light to signify the day's beginning. She may do so with intensity 17 might, generating a glow which seems to issue forth from just behind her body, burning her outline into one's vision.
Her signature power, this ability allows Aya to fulfill her deific purpose, the dispersal of darkness before the sun's journey across the sky. As such, darkness, whether natural or induced, suffers from four increased levels of difficulty for the purposes of resisting the light of Aya's dawn.
Hindrances / Augmentations:
Business / Finance (w): one of Aya's many duties is to oversee financial transactions, such as field or house rentals, or temple loans. Expert in determining whether or not such exchanges are sound business, Aya can apply her Willpower to actions concerning trade.
The loving wife of Shamash, Aya can presumably rely upon her husband for aid in any matters. Furthermore, as one of the oldest of the Babylonian goddesses, Aya can likely call in markers from any of her fellow Igigi - or the Anunnaki themselves.
Youthful Exuberance: a veritable exemplar of this calling, Aya is the epitome of young women - it's literally something she is worshipped for! Though thousands of years old, one could easily mistake her for a teenager, considering how in tune she is with the latest fads.
Aya generally wears simple clothing, but then she usually wakes up before everyone else. Her ensembles generally consist of long, sleek robes that show off her curves, sandals, and a horned headdress that signifies her divinity.
While she appears quite young, Aya is wise beyond measure. Though she is often distracted by current trends, Aya can apply thousands of years of practical experience among mankind to almost any situation, which she invariably handles with an almost innocent optimism.
Real Name: Aya
Occupation: goddess of the dawn, youth, marriage, sexual love, motherhood
Legal Status: the citizen of no mortal land, Aya can be considered one of the people of extraplanar Ubshukkina
Marital Status: married
Alias(es), if any: Sherida
Group Affiliation: the Igigi
Height: 5' 6"
Weight: 135 lbs.
Other Distinguishing Characteristics: Aya is known for her beauty and her voluptuous curves, which serve to accentuate several of her (former) spheres of influence.
Despite being one of the oldest of the Babylonian deities, little is actually known about Aya. Originally known as Sherida to the Sumerians, Aya was one of their primary goddesses, representing marriage, sex, love, motherhood, war, youth, and the renewal that comes with the dawn of a new day. This is a plethora of concerns, however, and over time other gods and goddesses moved in on Aya's turf.
In particular, the goddess Ishtar took over several of the more interesting spheres of influence that folks used to attribute to Aya, diminishing her popularity considerably. In time, Aya went from being a major deity to one of lesser import, and eventually fell into the orbit of Shamash, god of the sun. A spark quickly grew between the two, and before you knew it they were blissfully wed.
Quickly settling in together, the two reside beneath the earth, but their followers were focused within the cities of Larsa (near modern Sankarah) and Sippar (near modern Tell ed-Der), where they maintained a temple in each. These temples were known as E-babbar, which translates into either the White House or the Shimmering House, and these centers of worship for Aya and Shamash were truly wonders to behold.
From the E-babbar, Aya assists her spouse in the dispensation of justice. In particular, Aya oversees rental contracts of homes and fields, and witnesses the signing of temple loans. She thus has a fine financial acumen, and often aids Shamash in determining whether or not propositions brought before him (or their priests) are on the level, not to mention more likely to turn a profit in the end.
When not bringing about the new day or attending to her fiduciary duties, Aya has a full family life. With Shamash, she is known to have had at least three children, all of whom have become minor deities of note, as well. These descendants include Mesharu, a god of justice, Kittu, a god of truth, and Bunene, Shamash's sukkal, and the driver of the chariot he rides across the sky.
Unlike most Babylonian deities, Aya's lineage is altogether unknown. Most of them relay this information as a point of pride, but Aya's family history is unrecorded. As one of the oldest known goddesses, it is possible that she's from a much earlier generation of gods than most of her fellows, possibly older than even Anu himself, but currently such musings about Aya's ancestry are mere speculation.
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