Mother Chandria is the patron deity of the city of Chandor and the surrounding nation. She is also known as The Guardian of All and The First Mother. Most towns in Chandor have at least one temple devoted to Chandria, which are the focus of a variety of celebrations throughout the year. The first Temple of Chandria was built in the city of Chandor, completed a week before the siege of Chief Magus. The completion of the Great Fountain of Chandria in the Chandor marketplace heralded the beginning of Chandor's great economic expansion.
Celebrations and rituals in honour of Chandria Edit
The Taking of the River Edit
Once a Chandorian child is weaned from their mother, they are brought to a local temple to receive the protection of Mother Chandria. This is symbolised by the Taking of the River, where a priest or priestess of Chandor pours a blessed river of water into the mouth of the child for them to drink. The water is always collected from a local river under moonlight, and stored in the temple away from sunlight.
The ceremony incorporates formal recognition of the child as a citizen of Chandor when the priest or priestess records the child in a register of all citizens in the town. Immigrants to Chandor will also often choose to undergo the ceremony when obtaining citizenship.
Anniversary of Defeat of Chief Magus and Magusnight Edit
During the First Siege of Chandor, the citizens hid in the newly completed first temple of Chandria, using ranged weapons to kill Magus's soldiers. The offerings that had been delivered to the temple as part of it's opening ceremony served as provisions and allowed the town to outlast the besiegers.
The Anniversary of the Defeat of Chief Magus is considered the most auspicious day to make offerings to Chandria. The day is also marked by large public festivals that include games and competitions. At sundown, children chase a local dressed as Magus until they drive them out of town. Children are then rewarded with presents and the evening festivities of Magusnight begin, with parties and balls held in peoples homes and public halls.
The time before her children Edit
Early oral legends of Chandria describe her as a lone wanderer of the earth, finding company in the local spirits of each area. Every night she would rest sitting in a river bed while contemplating the moon, leading to her association with the moon and flowing water. During this time Chandria was lonely and longed for someone of her own kind, despite the kindness of the spirits. She grew her first child, Jendra, after observing the waxing and waning of the moon, allowing her body to grow as the moon does. When she grew so large she could no longer walk, she settled in the river and cut a deep gash in her body, bleeding into the river, to let the child free. The wound never healed, bleeding regularly, but allowed Chandria to deliver all her future children more easily. This is the earliest evidence for water birthing in Chandorian culture, which has continued as common practice.
The Children of Mother Chandria Edit
Mother Chandria has five children, though is usually depicted with only her first four as it is considered unlucky to choose a single identity for The Many Faces. Instead, the Many Faces is often incorporated into the design of temples and statues as a variety of local spirits unique to each area.
Jendra is the eldest child of Mother Chandria and the goddess of warfare, childbirth and storytellers. She was born after her mother cut a gash deep enough to free her. The story of Jendra's birth is recorded as the first chapter in the Book of Jendra where it is noted as the most painful of her mothers. She was present at her mother's two subsequent births, assisting to ensure they were quick and painless. The Book of Jendra also records all the stories of Mother Chandria and her children, serving as morality tales for Chandorians.
Jendra's role as goddess of warfare came later in life when she defended her siblings from attacks by jealous spirits. For this reason she is particularly venerated by soldiers and is frequently depicted on shields and weapons.
Rogan is the second child of Mother Chandria and the god of healing, scholarship and travellers. Rogan's birth was painless, giving him a far more serene and placid nature than his older sister. Rogan was the only child of Chandria's children to travel alone before reaching adulthood. When he was nine, Chandria fell ill, so Rogan left his sister with her and went to find a cure. He travelled the length and breadth of the land, seeking advice from the local spirits of each region. Two years into his journey, a cedar tree spirit named Lilifrel showed him a beehive in her side, the honey from which could cure all illnesses. Rogan took some of the Lilifrel Honey back to his mother, and she was cured.
Schoolchildren will sometimes be given honey-based Rogan Cakes at the start of term or right before exams to snack on while studying for good luck. The second key text of Chandria, The Book of Rogan, consists of short verses of wisdom and philosophy, though some scholars claim not all were delivered by Rogan, but were successively added by wise thinkers of history.
Hemanta is the twin sister of Bravan and the goddess of the hunt, winter and wild places. She and her brother were born on the autumnal equinox, Hemanta only seconds before her brother. As children, Hemanta and Bravan bickered constantly, each always wanting to have slightly more than the other. When they were ten years old, their mother divided time, weather and space evenly between them, each twin taking charge of the half that most appealed to their nature.
Hermanta was taught skill in weaponry by her older sister, and survival skills by her older brother. She is commonly called upon when people wish to safely navigate a wild place, or to bring passion and fervour into their lives and relationships. She is celebrated during the autumnal equinox, when her brother's influence is banished and her presence welcomed to guide people safely through winter.
Bravan is the twin brother of Hemanta and the god of the harvest, summer and the made places. He and his sister were born on the autumnal equinox, Bravan only seconds after his sister. As children, Bravan and Hermanta bickered constantly, each always wanting to have slightly more than the other. When they were ten years old, their mother divided time, weather and space evenly between them, each twin taking charge of the half that most appealed to their nature.
Bravan built his family's home, Chandria's burrow, between the ages of ten and fifteen. He cleverly designed a mechanism whereby the entrance to the caves could move throughout the world, and the tunnels rearrange themselves so that intruders could be kept out at will. He is celebrated during the spring equinox, when his sister's influence is banished and his presence welcomed to ensure a successful harvest.
The Many Faces is the youngest child of Chandria, and the only one who was adopted. The Many Faces represent all other aspects of the divine, including local spirits who are still worshipped in their areas of influence. In the eyes of Chandorians, any other deity is simply a manifestation of The Many Faces.
Chandria adopted The Many Faces after she noticed the spirits growing jealous of her children and attacking them. Recognising their violence for envy, she remembered the kindness they had showed her when she was alone. Chandria gathered all the spirits together to make a new child, as valued as all the others. As The Many Faces is a combination of all spirits, including mischievous ones, they are usually assumed to have a role in any minor misfortune, such as lost items.
There is no single text source for The Many Faces due to the breadth of roles they appear as. However, stories involving some of the more widely known manifestations are often collected into volumes for children.
Historical basis for Chandria Edit
Some scholars believe that Chandria was the daughter of an early Chief, who the city of Chandor was named after, and later became deified. There have been many attempts to identify historical artifacts to support this theory, but none have been found. Some analysis of the Book of Jendra suggests the histories recorded may reflect major events in the lives of early Chandorian people.