Alpan is a minor goddess in Etruscan Mythology. She's the goddess of spring, flowers, love, fate, and death, but in a "jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none" way. She's not the most important Etruscan goddess of flowers, that would be Horta. Nor is she the most important Etruscan love goddess, that would be Turan. She's certainly not the most important Etruscan goddess of death or fate, but Etruscans had so many death and fate goddesses, it's not immediately obvious who's in charge. Instead, Alpan is one of the Lasa, winged handmaids to Turan.
So she's a little bit Aphrodite, and little bit Persephone, but holding a lower station than either of them. The Etruscans liked the Greek myth of Persephone enough to adopt her as a distinct figure (the Etruscan name for Persephone is "Persipnei" or "Ferspnai"). As a Lasa, Alpan directly serves Turan, the closest Etruscan equivalent to Aphrodite.
Alpan is depicted as a nude woman with wings. As do all the Lasa, she frequently carries a perfume bottle. Her lack of clothing, along with the fact that her name is literally the Etruscan word for "willingness" or "willingly", probably says a lot about her personality (and perhaps her hobbies).
While the Etruscan mythology and religion has largely been lost to us, there is a character in the folklore of Tuscany, a sylph or winged fairy named Alpena also known as La Bellaria. This Alpena La Bellaria is thematically associated with love, flowers, springtime, etc, and thus could logically be a continuation of the earlier goddess character. La Bellaria is one of a group of fairies, the Bellarie much as Alpan was one of the group of Lasa. La Bellaria also has powers associated with clouds, fog, rainbows, light, air and the like… as if Alpan didn't already have a broad enough portfolio.
Game and Story Use
- Perhaps both the ancient goddess and the 19th century "la bellaria" folklore are merely poet's descriptions of the same muse. You could cast Alpan as a Time Abyss, the beautiful woman who never ages, and just roams Northern Italy forever. She's probably harmless, unless a PC catches her eye. If she became infatuated with them, some drama would surely come of it.
- But then, who's every known the fair folk to be entirely harmless?
- She may also long for days gone by, when she was worshiped. PC deary, could you possibly arrange for that again? I haven't had a good sacrifice in centuries.
- Given her name, longevity, and godly purview, she's probably not going to be faithful to her new PC lover. A flower does not chase away what is merely the lastest bee to come asking after pollen, does it?
- For more ideas, see Etruscan Mythology.