Bethany is the Goddess of Death in the D-Verse, and one of the original members of the Pantheon.
Physical appearance Edit
The most well-known description of Bethany is found in the work titled "Of All Creation", which has the following to say about the goddess.
She of the long and wild hair, a pure black beyond the all-consuming darkness of the Void;
- the sharply pale skin, its soft luminescence implying a fragility which does not exist;
- the blue-gray eyes which may go from the softness of cool seafoam to the merciless edge of bright metal in a flash.
While this is technically correct in most situations, "Of All Creation" - like most works in the Divine Archive - tends to omit the less epic or impressive details. Bethany ('Beth' for short, though only the other members of the Pantheon would dare and still only rarely do) is graced or cursed with a small set of freckles under both eyes which never go away, despite her numerous attempts to remove them; she is also unable to tan to any significant degree, her skin staying firmly in a range between bone-white and mildly pale. The "soft luminescence" is simply an illusion, one of the goddess's few concessions to the import of her role. Her hair is maintained only by judicious amounts of gravitational therapy; though painful, the careful use of black holes ensures that it is completely stripped of all colors, visible and otherwise. Without this care it tends to acquire long, dark gray streaks, which causes the goddess no end of trouble and insecurity. As for her eyes, the transition from blue to gray is actually quite gradual, as it is a reflection of the goddess's mood which tends to change quite slowly. However, the illusion of luminescence may have something to do with this misconception, which has persisted and been reinforced for a very long time and is thus unlikely to be corrected.
"Of All Creation" has this to say about the goddess's persona.
Slow to anger but swift in vengeance, Bethany holds all inevitably doomed lives in the palm of her hand, she the determiner of which ones should be extinguished and which should be granted more time. Yet even with this responsibility, she is a lover of life, however understated.
Once again this is closer to mild exaggeration than actual and complete truth.
Although the "slow to anger" bit is true for the most part, Bethany occasionally procrastinates and lets events continue for longer than they probably should. As for determining fates, when in her mortal guise she often resorts to flipping coins, throwing dice, or playing various games to pass the time and add some variety to the more routine of her duties. The goddess is actually quite fond of life, and though it is rarely reported (as no one is there to see it) she will frequently grant the soon-to-be departed a last wish or some other sort of treat, assuming she has no reason to dislike the individual in question.
The Goddess of Death has appeared in a variety of forms throughout the course of history, but she is most often depicted as a gray-robed woman shrouded in a deep mist, armed with a tall staff topped with a circular blade. This is a remarkably accurate depiction, in fact; the hoodless robe allows Bethany to show off her black hair, the mist enhances her aura of luminescence, and the Messenger - as the staff is called - is one of her favorite implements, as far as her favor goes in that area. Though her chosen outfits vary as much as anyone with mild to moderate vanity, the first two items remain constant; she never wears any sort of head-covering, and the mist follows her constantly. Her tools tend to vary a great deal more, in keeping with her current assignment, but as mentioned the Messenger is what she prefers.
The Messenger Edit
Bethany's work equipment, apart from whatever clothing she decides to wear, is more or less any tool with a sharp cutting edge. Anything will do as long as it can be made sharp - but there is nothing with a finer cutting edge than the Messenger, her weapon of choice.
The Messenger is one of the few things the Goddess of Death has created for herself. Back when she was first created and told of her duties, Bethany accepted under the condition that she could write some of the rules. The end result, among other things, was a tool with a faint sentience of its own; very faint, to keep it from getting out of hand, but strong enough to give it a decided attachment to its mistress, much like that of a domesticated animal.
The staff very closely resembles an upside down version of the astrological symbol of Mercury when in the closed position; the semicircular guard is rested on the ground to keep the edge of the disc blade from coming in contact with it, to protect not the blade but rather the ground itself (or any other supporting surface). When opened, the guard (and its attached support) rotates around the crosspiece on the other side of the blade and locks after 180 degrees of rotation; the guard now forms the butt end of the staff, and the blade is ready for business.
Visually, the staff is somewhat variable; the disc blade is almost always a bright silvery mirror, but the rest of the staff is a dull gray or black iron that at certain times changes to more closely resemble gold or another precious metal, or even some form of crystalline material. The artwork on the flat of the disc blade changes on a regular basis, usually according to Bethany's mood but sometimes apparently at random.