Chauntea

chaunteaThe goddess of agriculture, plants cultivated by humans, farmers, gardeners, and summer. Some of her worshipers claimed that her divine glimmer gave life to the natural world, and some contended that she was the creator and source of all mortal races. In some sense Chauntea was the manifestation of the earth itself; before the Battle of the Old Ones, while the demons were still converging upon the planet, her form rose from the barren ground and she brought forth life to mortals, raceless beings that were the first attempt at humanoid life. She gave them food and shelter, but the ancient demons that eventually ruled the planet wanted no competition and crushed every settlement they could find. She attempted to keep pockets of mortals alive, but found herself overwhelmed by the demons. Calling upon Iomedae, the two then roused the rest of the gods against the demons, starting the Battle of the Old Ones. The churches, while quite different, are still friendly to one another to this day, as are the gods. With the battle over and the demons dead or banished, Chauntea went back to recovering the earth in greenery. Many generations of elves and dwarves passed before Chauntea was finished, and created her own life forms: humans and halflings, who spread throughout the earth and brought their knowledge of farming and community with them.

The church of Chauntea is free, open to all, and popular among all agricultural communities and contains many druids who use their divine skill to enrich crops and keep communities from starvation. Successful druids of Chauntea are practically celebrities in their communities and are often afforded luxuries in trade for their duties, but they always have a duty to perform and are never idle. Her temples and shrines vary in size, complexity, and age, but all share a common theme: grain. Her shrines and temples are easy to identify due to the carvings and paintings of both grain and locally grown crops. There are no higher-level clergy or formal organization, each community worships the Grain Goddess in their own way, but the common tenants of the faith are the expectation that they nourish one living thing daily and that they minimally use fire or eschew spells that use fire. In terms of correct agricultural practice, the church advised that campaigns of replanting, prudent irrigation and crop rotation were necessary to ensure that the land was kept fertile. The church serves as a place of worship, a local gathering place, a seed bank, and agricultural school. Her priests have no special vestments but a long scarf with sheaves of grain on the ends. Her holy day is the vernal equinox when the warmth and life returns to the earth and is celebrated in a festival called Greengrass. This is the only time of year worshipers not only indulge but overdo it, moderation being usually practiced by Chaunteans. They eat, drink and dance to their heart’s delight. Many children are born as a result of Greengrass, and most of the locals expect this to be the case.