|"The Ice Lady, The Winter Witch"|
|AoC:||Winter, Hardship, Beasts and other horrors of the cold wastes|
|Symbol:||A White Hand|
Stygia / The Steadfast Chill
|Aliases:||Kriestal (Brechtür), Karesha (Rjurik), Kriesha (Vosgaard)|
Kriesha (KREE-sha) is the goddess of winter ? long, bitter, harsh winter ? the sort of season in which the cold seeps into the warmest homes and in which the wolf packs sate their terrible hunger on those foolish enough to brave the storms. Kriesha is without mercy; the harsh winters she sends against the Vos work to strengthen them as a people, for none but the strongest survive. Belinik teaches the Vos males to attack their enemies with fire and fury. Kriesha teaches the Vos women to plot. The Winter Witch shares the patronage of the Vos people with Belinik. Although the worship of Belinik seems to dominate the church of Vosgaard, the Vos women believe that Kriesha holds the true power. Kriesha's worship extends from Vosgaard across the breadth of northern Cerilia; she is known in any land where winters are long and brutal. Kriesha's clergy are almost exclusively women, often the "wise-women" of their clans. It is difficult to wield power without the support of a clan's circle of wise-women and few dare to cross them, for their revenge is slow, thorough, and nearly always fatal. Priestesses are trained in matters of money and trade from early on in their service, and they manage a clan's wealth and supplies.
Dogma: Kriesha demands complete loyalty. The ties of family and clan are secondary priorities. Be willing to betray anything and anyone you hold dear if necessary. Friendship and love are dangerous luxuries and must be forsaken. Destruction awaits those who lack the discipline to obey. Ensure that the clan remains strong. Be patient and ruthless when dealing with foes. Nurse your hatreds and launch your attack only when you can destroy everything your foe values, for only then can you truly exult in your victory.
The Winter Witch is a goddess of the Cerilian Pantheon who dwells in Stygia, the fifth layer of the hells of Baator. She is a cruel goddess who permits only the strong to survive and demands absolute obedience from her followers.
Her Realm in Stygia is a place of breathtaking, icy beauty, where crystalline glaciers terminate in palaces of ice and frost where her favored souls are permitted to dwell. Outside are the cold wind and the wolves.