Skull & Shackles
Desna (pronounced DEZ-nuh) was one of the first deities, but while her peers burdened themselves with the task of creating Golarion she spent her time building the heavens. She’s changed little since those earlier days, and she and her followers delight in exploring the world.
In her earliest days, the god Curchanus, an enemy of the goddess Lamashtu, was her mentor. Lamashtu laid a trap for Curchanus and stripped him of his beast domain, ripping it from his godly essence. As he died he gifted Desna with the domain of travel; she has traveled the planes and worlds since, opposing both oppression and Lamashtu wherever she encounters them, and spreading her word while making an effort to experience new wonders when she can.
Desna is strongly opposed to Lamashtu due to the murder of Desna’s one-time mentor, and wishes to reclaim the domain of beasts. She also actively hunts the demigod Ghlaunder, who legends claim she freed during one of her many travels. Cayden Cailean is known to be a suitor of hers, but she keeps aloof of most godly affairs; past traumas and her desire for freedom lead her into fewer interactions with other deities and their faiths than most. She is known to have good relations with Sarenrae and Shelyn, and to oppose both Rovagug and Zon-Kuthon for control of the night, which she wishes to be a time of wonder and beauty.
Desna is a Varisian goddess often described as a beautiful elven woman, with butterfly wings containing all the beauty of a clear night sky. She is oft depicted as having dark hair, silvery eyes, and a coy but distant smile, wearing diaphanous gowns and sometimes accompanied by swarms of butterflies.
Additional details vary among the races that worship her; the Bonuwat people of the Mwangi Expanse worship a variant form of Desna, a janiform amalgam with Gozreh, whom they call Shimye-Magalla. The nomadic Kellids of northern Avistan depict Desna not as the elegant elven woman she is generally seen as in the south, but a stately human woman riding an elk.