Compared to the other gods in the pantheon, the Raven Queen is young. Her relative youth in no way reduces her influence in the mortal world or diminishes her importance to the larger cosmology. As death’s queen, the Raven Queen is feared by mortals because through her domain, loosed souls travel to to Letherna to find the fate awaiting them. In her guise as the lady of fates, mortals offer her prayers and sacrifices to alter their fortunes, to make the impossible possible, and to escape a turn of bad luck. And as mistress of winter, she is the killing frost, the biting wind, and the feathery snowflake’s gentle touch. She is the lady of endings, and her presence blankets the world in white, preserving it until that time when all creatures are reborn.
The Raven Queen looms large in folklore, and most mortals have heard tales concerning her rise to power, her victory over the god of the dead, and her subsequent flight to the underworld, that gloomy realm called the Shadowfell. The particulars in each tale vary, but the important elements never change. Their telling and retelling cement the deity’s place in the imaginations and fears of those who dwell beneath her cold scrutiny. The Raven Queen elicits loathing and love, occupying a contradictory place, but a coherent one all the same when viewed through a mythological lens.
All mortals know and fear the Raven Queen. The underlying dread might stem from ancient, perhaps forgotten, knowledge of those ancient days when Nerull the Reaper claimed the dead for himself, or it could be from her cold, uncaring nature as death’s manifestation. Her somber priests do little to soften the Raven Queen’s presence in the world, and they do much to reinforce her shadowy, often sinister reputation. Fear pervades the ranks of her followers, but so too does respect. She might be detached and distant, but she is not an evil figure. Few people worship her exclusively, but all include her in their prayers and petitions when her influence is desired..
The Raven Queen is far more than a death god: She is the Mistress of Winter and Lady of Fate. Her evolution from a powerful soul to her present state has only grown her influence in the world. The three concerns—death, fate, and winter—are related, but the latter two are not just reflections of her role as death’s guardian, but reflect a growing influence over mortal matters.
Deities & Demigods: The Raven Queen’s Misbegotten – Dungeon 171