Ulaa

ulaaThe goddess of the hills and mountains, it is her life energy that feeds the cycle of life on and around the mountains. It is said she was born of the hills themselves, reflected in her mottled skin, and her hair is verdant green moss dotted with wildflowers. She came forth to defend the wilds from the demons who ravaged the land, destroying the countryside and disrupting the strata in the rocks in which she records the stories of the earth. She fought with the slow, strong power of the hills and was known for maintaining the morale of the gods, her calm and focus kept the troops looking forward. Moradin was so impressed with her strength he fell in love with her after seeing her only once during the battle, but she was unaware of his affections until it was over. It took time for them to finally come together, but they remain happily married. She maintains a friendly relationship with the common pantheon as she spends her time between the Crystal Cave and the Great Mountain. She is closest with Chauntea, and it is said that spring arrives when the two meet for the first time after a long winter, such is the warmth of their friendship.

Ulaa is worshiped by both dwarves and other mountain and hill dwelling cultures. Statues of her are of carved stone often with cultured moss or other local plants as her hair. Her temples are carved in to hills and mountains, and her symbols are rubies, which are said to be a gift from Ulaa herself. Temples are always warm and comfortable, and sustain themselves with having room and board for travelers, and often with a common room used for weddings or other gatherings. Her holy day is the first warm day of spring, and is celebrated with a community bonfire and feast. As this day is often decided hastily dependent on weather, Ulaarians are well known for their ability to plan and execute an enjoyable party on short notice. Invitations to such events sent to non-dwarves are rarely turned down as it is considered a great honor to be invited, and diplomats have been known to become friendly with dwarven settlements for the status of having been invited. Priests wear capes of deep green and a ruby necklace, which they must earn by going on a vision quest. They are released in to the hills after consuming a tea called Raahn, made from a moss known to have psychoactive properties. The tea gives them the sensation of connection with their surroundings, and if they explore this connection and find Ulaa’s truth, she will present them with a ruby as proof. The recipe for this tea is a closely guarded secret as simply making the moss in to a tea is deadly (though it can be smoked harmlessly enough), there is a special process and other herbs added to it to make it safe to drink. Anyone found revealing the secret is banned, and every temple to Ulaa and Chauntea will know and shun them. As the communities often revolve around these temples, being excommunicated can make life very difficult.