Peasants and indentured servants, druids, farmers, gardeners
CG, LG, N, NG
Animal, Earth, Good, Plant, Protection, Renewal
A shock of grain (scythe)
The Great Mother, the Grain Goddess, Earthmother
Calewyr is as old as Larsil itself. Hers is the divine spark that gave life to the natural world, the vibrant, caring spirit infused with the planet at the moment of its creation. Originally a deity of wild places and animal life, Calewyr has grown with her world, changing and adapting to its many developments which over the millennia have taught her patience to the point of being, at times, ponderous. Calewyr loves the inhabitants of her world, and she likes nothing more than instructing Larsil’s denizens on how the land itself might enrich their lives. Hers was the hand that guided the first mortal wanderers to give up the uncertainty of the gatherer for the stability of the field. Today, Calewyr is worshipped as the Great Mother of agriculture, the kind benefactor who ensures a strong harvest, healthy meals, and robust country living.
Calewyr rarely manifests herself in physical form, preferring to diffuse her essence throughout the living land of Larsil. Religious icons depict her as a matronly, middle-aged woman with pale white hair a welcoming smile. She wields a sturdy shock of grain as both walking staff and weapon, on the unusual occasion in which she finds herself in battle.
Calewyr is one of the oldest Larsil deities. Jacquith and Maldi predate her, having given her life when they created the world of Larsil. In the ensuing millennia, Calewyr has forged passionate relationships with several deities, many of whom no longer exist in any meaningful form. So too has she battled (and even destroyed) deities who schemed to befoul Calewyr’s world. Some of her worshippers claim that Calewyr is the progenitor of all the mortal races, that the creatures who populate the world first emerged from her womb in the days when the air was quiet and the earth was still. In those early centuries, Calewyr was known as Jannath the Earthmother, a wild deity who ran with animal packs and rejoiced in the unhindered growth of wilderness. Though the people of the Dragonshaes continue to worship this aspect of the Great Mother, the deity herself has moved on, changing as the world changes.
In the last several hundred years, Calewyr has become enamoured with the inhabitants of her world (particularly humans) to the point at which she now focuses her attention completely on helping them live off the land. She preaches a reverence for nature and urges the folk of civilized lands to repair what they have damaged, but she long ago ceded the wildlands to other deities. This development has led to a cooling of relations with Gwaerin—some of his more militant druidic worshippers believe that the Great Mother has betrayed herself and sold out the world to the all-too-rapid encroachment of civilization. Her ties to other nature deities, particularly , Avanus, Adrim, and Darven, remain strong. She shares a fondness for Xenthan that has at times become intimate, and the two deities currently spend a great deal of time together. Calewyr opposes Linisar, Nethes, Wherrs, and Erdin, and she views the return of Iraxar as a dark omen. Velyemor, Lady of Poison, is the Great Mother’s most hated foe, as her propensity to bring blight, poison, and disease to the natural world fills Calewyr with great fury.
Growing and reaping are part of the eternal cycle and the most natural part of life. Destruction for is own sake and levelling without rebuilding are anathema. Let no day pass in which you have not helped a living thing flourish. Nurture, tend, and plant wherever possible. Protect trees and plants, and save their seeds so that what is destroyed can be replaced. See to the fertility of the earth but let the human womb see to its own. Eschew fire. Plant a seed or small plant at least once a week.
Clergy and Temples
Members of the Great Mother’s clergy divide themselves into two factions of roughly equal size. Those clerics who minister to farmers and agricultural workers in cities, towns, and villages refer to themselves as Pastorals, while those of the wilder, older sect that caters to the wilderness call themselves, with a touch of arrogance, the True Shapers. Memebers of both sects recognize no central authority—theirs is a highly individualistic faith. Calewyr sets out a doctrine outlining a general set of values and taboos, but how each cleric adapts this code for herself and her flock is largely a matter of personal interpretation. The church welcomes members of all races, though women vastly outnumber men, perhaps because the religion’s liturgy is infused with references to fertility, motherhood, and femininity.
Clerics and druids of Calewyr often double as farmers or gardeners, and Pastorals frequently hold positions of great respect in rural communities. They were usually born in small villages or country farms, and while few eschew cities altogether, most came to the church through an appreciation of natural beauty, a feeling of peace when standing at the centre of a tilled field under the light of the midsummer sun. They earn the admiration of their peers by strengthening yields and driving away natural blights or predators with magic spells. They also don’t hesitate to pin up their skirts and join locals at harvest time, keeping farming families healthy and providing an additional pair of hands for even the most arduous and menial tasks. Like their deity, most who serve Calewyr are patient and quiet, slow to anger, and prefer passive diplomacy to open conflict.
Surprisingly, quite a few cities sport temples to the Great Mother, usually large, many-windowed structures that double as granaries or impressive open gardens. In the outlands, most ceremonies take place under the light of the sun or moon, with clerics holding special services in their homes, small shrines, or even barns or haylofts. In such places, clerics and druids of Calewyr instruct congregants on proper methods of planting, identification of plant and animal diseases, and herb lore. Many perform marriages and act as midwives for human and animal births. They preach a respect for the natural world and emphasize programs of replanting, careful irrigation, and crop rotation to ensure that the earth is not despoiled.
Militant druids of Gwaerin scoff at these lessons, however, claiming that the very act of agriculture is an affront to nature. It allows more people to live in a given area that can be sustained in the long term, and hence fosters overpopulation and environmental destruction, despite the best intentions of the Pastorals. They assert that over time, Calewyr agriculture, with its diverted waterflow, drained wetlands, and emphasis in supporting cities, will do irreparable damage to the natural balance. The Pastorals have caused a great deal of turmoil among the True Shapers (most of whom are themselves druids). Numbers of the more primal Calewyrans have become Gwaerinites in the last century, leading to a cooling of relations between even the more moderate members of both clergies.