Iomedae (pronounced ahy-OH-meh-day)1 is the goddess of righteous valor, justice, and honor. Having served as Aroden's herald, she inherited many of the Last Azlanti's followers upon his death, and continues to espouse the ideas of honor and righteousness in the defense of good and the battle against evil.
As a mortal, Iomedae was a Chelaxian human born in Cheliax around 3800 AR.3 After joining the Shining Crusade in about 3816 AR, she ascended to lead the Knights of Ozem in the struggle against the forces of the Whispering Tyrant.3 Years of struggle brought about many great feats, including the creation of the artifact Heart's Edge in 3826 AR from the pieces of Iomedae's sword that had been broken by the Whispering Tyrant, an action immortalized as Iomedae's Sixth Act.3 Also in this time, in 3831 AR, Iomedae completed her Tenth Act after ruling Kantaria for a year and a day and battling faceless stalkers under the control of veiled masters.3
In the fall of 3832 AR,45 she became the most recent person to pass the Test of the Starstone and acquire a spark of divinity. Her actions caught the notice of Aroden, who chose her as his herald, replacing the slain Arazni. Iomedae served him in this capacity until Aroden's death in 4606 AR,6 after which she took over many of his followers and legacy, and became known as the Inheritor.7 Aroden was inspired by Iomedae's devotion, optimism, tenacity in the fight against evil and, especially, her goodness which was a foil to his own dark thoughts that grew as the millennia passed by.
Iomedae manifests as a valiant sword-mistress in full plate mail, wielding a longsword and a heraldic shield. Her shield casts a holy light, blinding evil beings, and her aura causes malevolent forces to tremble and falter.
Unlike Aroden's realm on Axis, Iomedae's Realm is located on Proelera, Heaven's second tier. Even though she is a young deity, she has been judged of great importance to Heaven, a fact reflected in the expansiveness of her realm. It is a peaceful land of small keeps that somewhat resembles the previous realm of Aroden, and is a significant source of support for Heaven's archon armies
Iomedae makes her favor known by reshaping ordinary objects into sword-like shapes, the appearance of gold or white light around a person or object, or the magnet-like pull of a longsword or other long metal weapon in a particular direction. Her anger is displayed through flickering lights, the breaking of weapons against formerly yielding material, and the tarnishing and increased weight of gold or silver.
Church of Iomedae
The Church of Iomedae is assertive and vigilant in rooting out evil. Many of its followers are actively involved in the Mendevian Crusades.13 In fact, the threat of the Worldwound gave the church a purpose—finish the task Aroden started years ago and finally defeat Deskari, the demon lord believed to be behind the opening of the portal to the Abyss. The church founded the First Mendevian Crusade in 4622 AR as a way to lessen the loss of Aroden, becoming zealots.1415 Besides Mendev, Iomedae's faithful are also found in greater numbers in Absalom, Andoran, Cheliax, Galt, Lastwall, Molthune, Nirmathas, Numeria, and Sargava,716 and among Chelaxians,17 Taldans,18 and halflings throughout the Inner Sea region.19
Having inherited many of Aroden's faithful, Iomedae and her priests continue to promote his teachings, although they tend to be more progressive in their thinking than he ever was, and feel themselves less inhibited by the events of history.
Personal cleanliness as well as an honorable demeanor are both very important for her followers,2 who are known for their sense of justice, swordcraft, statesmanship, and their desire to bring "civilization" to those "without it". Adventurers who honor Iomedae sometimes wear a narrow white, red, yellow, or gold chasuble.7
Many halflings are treated unjustly on Golarion, or are kept as slaves. Nevertheless, some of these oppressed halflings believe in justice and often worship Iomedae,20 and most halfling paladins serve the Inheritor.21
Young knights who are inspired by classical, courtly tales tend to follow Iomedae. They can be counted on to remain idealistic, even in the face of great evil. Their honor and faith are strong enough to overcome the vices and sins of their enemies.22 Iomedae's paladins are also among the most prominent and well-represented in the Inner Sea region.
Certain dedicated worshipers of Iomedae perform daily obediences in order to receive a divine blessing known as a boons from their god. Iomedae's obedience takes the form of a ritual in which the worshiper holds his primary weapon in front of him with the goddess' holy symbol attached. He then prays for guidance and protection from the Inheritor, while promising to follow her teachings. When performed correctly, the ceremony is said to instill preternatural skills in diplomacy and knowledge of all things pertaining to the noble classes.24
Her priests are composed of clerics and paladins, who perform an hour of prayer a day, in addition to a weekly public worship service.2 Their formal raiment includes a white cassock with gold or yellow trim and mitre, while on non-festival days they dress in similarly colored, if less ostentatious, clothing.7
Temples and shrines
The temples of Iomedae function as both a church and living space for her holy knights. Former temples of Aroden are frequently converted into honoring the Inheritor. Temples are often painted white and feature arched entrances, pillared courtyards, fountains, and statues.25
Main article: Acts of Iomedae
One of Iomedae's best known and most important temples is the Seventh Church in Absalom, site of her seventh miracle (see Acts of Iomedae above).