Shedenul, or Soliel, was a goddess known as the Lady of Health. She was also referred to as the Mistress of Healing. She was said to hold unceasing sorrow for the plight of mortals and to bless those who repaid kindness, but whether she actually fulfilled this mandate was uncertain. She was the sister and counterpart of Poliel, the Mistress of Pestilence.
Soliel was described as having an androgynous body and long fingers.
Temple of Soleil
The walls of Soliel's temple in G'danisban were decorated with "paintings of figures kneeling, heads bowed in blessing, beseeching, or despair." Hanging in folds from "the arched ceiling were funeral shrouds, no doubt intended to prepare worshippers for the worst." Statues of Soliel portrayed a beautiful woman "expressly visualised to encourage notions of motherhood" and lust.
In The Bonehunters
In the final stages of the Whirlwind rebellion, Soliel's sister Poliel joined the Crippled God's House of Chains and spread the Bluetongue Plague on the Seven Cities subcontinent. High Fist Dujek Onearm discovered that the plague was originating at the Temple of Poliel in G'danisban and led a company of veterans from Onearm's Host to strike at the disease's heart. He expected to face no more than a High Priestess, but instead found the Goddess herself. The company was forced to retreat back to the Army's camp, but Dujek and the survivors were all wracked with plague.
Ganoes Paran arrived soon after and took command of the leaderless Host. He entered the city with Noto Boil, a former priest of Soliel, to confront the Mistress of Pestilence. As they made their way across the dead city, they were approached by Naval D'natha, who Paran recognised as a Chosen of Soliel. The girl offered the goddess' aid to lead them to safety, but Paran brusquely declined and rode on alone. Paran held no respect for the goddess, seeing her as one who callously failed to fulfill her responsibilities to mortals.
Overawed by the presence of his former goddess, Noto Boil made clear that Paran did not speak for him. The goddess, speaking through her chosen, made clear she knew of Noto Boil's checkered history within her church. She led him after Paran saying the fate of the entire world hung on Paran and she needed to witness what happened. As the two followed after Paran, Noto Boil fell from his startled horse and the fish spine he habitually kept in his mouth lodged in his throat. The girl saved his life by plucking the bone out.
After dealing with Poliel, Paran dragged Noto Boil to Soliel's temple and kicked down the doors. Using the Deck of Dragons he summoned the furious goddess herself to manifest before him. The goddess' true appearance was decidedly less attractive than her statuary suggested. Paran demanded she cure the disease by investing Noto Boil and Poliel's cast-offs still living in the city with some of her power. While Noto Boil would heal the sick of Onearm's Host, the others would venture out into the rest of Seven Cities. Quick Ben brought his sister Torahaval Delat to the temple to be healed as well. The goddess complied despite her rage at Paran for arranging for the Deragoth to murder own sister.
Afterwards, Soliel's Chosen joined Paran at the camp of the Host.
In The Crippled God
- Ganoes Paran: "Soliel. Mistress of Healing, Beneficence, the Goddess that Weeps Healing Tears. She must have let loose an ocean of them by now, don't you think?"
- Hurlochel: "Is it wise to mock her at this threshold, Captain?"
- Ganoes Paran: "Why not? How has her infamous, unceasing sorrow for the plight of mortals done them any good, any at all, Hurlochel? It's easy to weep when staying far away, doing nothing. When you take credit for every survivor out there – those whose own spirits fought the battle, whose own spirits refused to yield to Hood's embrace.' He sneered up at the tent roof. 'It's the so-called friendly, sympathetic gods who have the most to answer for.' Paran glared at the man standing before him. 'Hood knows, the other ones are straightforward and damned clear on their own infamy – grant them that. But to proffer succour, salvation and all the rest, whilst leaving true fate to chance and chance alone – damn me, Hurlochel, to that they will give answer!"
- ―Ganoes Paran and Hurlochel[src]
Notes and references
- The Bonehunters, Glossary
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.599/613
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.629
- Gardens of the Moon, Glossary, UK MMPB p.706
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.624
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 15
- The Bonehunters, Prologue, UK MMPB p.27
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.629
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 20, US SFBC p.773
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 13, US SFBC p.518-519
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.612-613
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.599
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.613-619
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.628-631
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 15, US SFBC p.632-633
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.66
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.142
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.53