In Etruscan Mythology, the Lasa were the handmaids of Turan (the primary Etrsucan goddess of love). They form Turan's entourage and court. We don't know much about them, because so little of Etruscan language has survived the ages. They appear to be relatively minor goddesses of Love, Fate, and Death.
The Lasa appear as naked or semi-naked winged women, often wearing nothing but jewelry and boots. They carry alabastrons (perfume bottles) and scrolls commonly, and more rarely hand mirrors or funeral wreaths. The scrolls are associated with destiny, having people's pasts and fates inscribed upon them.
There are however, a few depictions of Lasa as naked winged men, as well. especially Lasa Evan. Gender in Etruscan deities is sometimes poorly defined. The same deity is presented as male in some works, and female in others.
Artwork (such as the backs of mirrors) in Etruscan tombs frequently depicted Lasa. They were associated with tombs and graves, helping to protect the dead. Apparently, the Etruscan afterlife was soft and lovely enough, that your safety could be assured by a sweetly-scented naked woman armed with no more than a perfume bottle.
A list of Lasa:
Sources differ a bit on exactly who qualifies as a Lasa. Here's a fairly exhaustive list. If they are known to be the goddess of something specific, it will be listed in parenthesis.
- Lasa Achununa
- Lasa Akhuvitr - (healer)
- Lasa Alpan - (flowers)
- Lasa Evan - (time, duration, and personal immortality)
- Lasa Meanpe - (often puts crowns on other characters)
- Lasa Recuneta
- Lasa Rescunia
- Lasa Sitmica
- Lasa Thimrae - ("she who punishes")
- Lasa Vecu - (prophecy and divination)
- Lasa Vegoia - (prophecy, divination, and lightning)
Some sources list Lasa as a single individual goddess, and either see the various versions as avatars or incarnations of this one goddess, or see an individual goddess Lasa as the first among the several Lasas. As is common with Etruscan myths, the details are poorly understood and open to interpretation.
Note that there are several winged semi-nude Etruscan goddesses of death and fate, but not all of them are Lasas. Vanth, for example, is a topless winged death goddess, who is most definitely not a Lasa. The distinction seems to be that the actual Lasa have love as part of their portfolios, and serve Turan. Even more confusingly, Malavisch is sometimes described as a goddess of marriage and servant to Turan, but no sources ever number her amongst the Lasa.
Game and Story Use
- The combo of love, death, and fate is more than a tiny bit creepy. The GM could use this to keep the PCs off-kilter, and demonstrate the mysterious or alien nature of the Etruscan gods. See values dissonance and squick.
- The Lasa may serve as Eros and Cupid do for the Greeks and Romans, being heralds or messengers for Turan, and making people fall in love.
- Like the Roman Lares, the Lasa may serve a guardian angel role, watching over a character, especially one with a reputation as being desirable or a skilled lover.
- Lasa can help the GM define the Etruscan underworld and contrast it to the corresponding location in other mythologies cosmology. Whereas in many belief systems the land of the dead is a miserable or terrifying place, to the Etruscans it's populated by sexy naked angels.
- You know how sometimes PCs do silly little things like attack the gods? Yeah, so, if need be, the Lasa could be bodyguards to Turan, or any of her lovers such as Atuns, Laran, or Maris.
- A Lasa could make for an interesting non-combat encounter in an Etruscan or Italian graveyard.
- Exactly what makes one a Lasa seems nebulous. The GM is probably free to define just about any Etruscan deity as a Lasa if they wish.
- Lasa might be sort of a job or title, something you earn by making Turan happy. Therefore, plots could be built around a mortal ascending to such a title for their efforts at promoting love, death, or fate.
- Considering the physical and wardrobe requirements, and the doubtless change of lifestyle, someone about to be "promoted" to Lasa might not be entirely happy with the idea. They might runaway or deny the goddess, and all sorts of drama could come from that.
Building this Character
We don't have a lot of stat-related details on the Lasa, but here's a few ideas towards possible special powers and attacks: