Thieves & Kings
Galana - Lady of the Forest
The Queen of the Forest, The Huntress, The Forest Queen – Goddess of Forests, Nature, Hunting, Travelers, Story-Tellers and the Seasons
Galana is a good-natured deity who is quick to smile and confident in her actions. She is fiercely loyal and protective of those she calls friends, but considers carefully before including someone within that circle. While death is an accepted part of the cycle of life, Galana is not as hard in her views as her brother Korg, and often intervenes to care for the injuries of wild creatures because she finds their wounds hard to bear. Galana often appears as a robust, russet-haired, brown-eyed woman of shapely form and lithe grace, garbed in leather armor of green or brown.
The church of Galana is well-regarded in border and wilderness regions, where rangers are often the only shield against the dangers of frontier. Correctly or not, most clergy are more willing to seek an equitable balance between settlement and preserving nature than the elves who have long stalked the forests. Moreover, Galana’s church sees itself as the sole counter to the depredations of the Beastlord’s followers.
Clerics and druids of Galana pray each morning and evening, and are required to observe both. They listen to and understand the whispers of the woodlands, after a period of meditation and extended introspection. Once per month, they perform the Song of the Trees, wherein they summon forth a treant or a dryad and serve that being for a day. They hold the various equinoxes as the holiest of their days, with the “Festival of the Doves” (3rd of Larane) as their most commonly observed holiday. During these times they visit the deeper woodlands and celebrate the sensual side of their faith, with rumors of wild bareback rides on unicorns, and consorting with forest creatures such as nymphs and satyrs.
Creed : Our Lady of the Forest requires her clerics and druids to defend the trees, and keep the Balance. Her priests should drive out to destroy magical and unnatural blights and evil beasts not native to the forests. Each should live in the woods, as one with the woods, and teach others the ways of the woods. All should be taught to love and respect life, not fear it. Plant anew wherever the woods are lessened or harmed. Protect, support, and when need arises, obey the clergy of the gods that protect others.
Galana’s clerical domain is Nature.
Forests must be kept healthy, and accomplishing that might require manipulating or bargaining with rulers and governments. Priests might allow local authorities to harvest dead and dying trees along the edges of a forest, so long as they leave alone the heart of the woodlands. Priests of the Forest Queen maintain hidden-vale nurseries of seedlings of all sorts of forest plants, and defend deep-forest preserves where rare forest animals can breed and flourish in peace.
The relatively few elves that live in the Grandwood work hand in hand with priests of Galana, often relying on them to be “our shields”. The term arose because if a priest fell in battle, there were many more humans to replace the victim – whereas if an elf perished, there were no replacements to be had. A decade or so of battle-companions forged a deep and abiding trust between Galana’s priests and the local elves to this day.
Many priests use the coins recovered from forest ruins to set aside large tracts of “royal forest”. Planted with swaths of rare forest plants and trees, they are referred to as “forest shields” to provide ready plots of lumber for markets and thus protect actual woodlands and forests from timber cutters. Sometimes, when wood cutters refuse to use these shields, the result is violence.