Thieves & Kings
Hydania - Queen of the Oceans
The Storm Queen, Queen of the Deeps, Mother of Waters, the Untamed One – Goddess of the Oceans, Storms, Sea Winds, Waves, Water, Fishermen and Sailors
One of the ancient “Five Gods”, Hydania is the boundless ocean, the mighty river, and the secret waters of the Underdark. She is reputed to be the wife of Korg, the Father of the Fields, often called the Untamed One.
Goddess of sailing, fishing and storms, to those of the lands, she is a distant goddess, more to be appeased than loved. To those who live on the oceans, however, she is “Grandmother Ocean”, and as beloved by her followers as farmers love Korg.
Hydania often appears as a great mermaid or sea nymph, rising from the waters. Her skin is mottled blue and green, and her hair is wild seaweed and sea foam. She bears a massive trident “Drowning Death”, and is often in armor of coral and shells. She is sometimes shown with two faces – both as life-giver and destroyer. Among animals, she is often portrayed as the great whale. Her priests bear symbols of carved shells, coral and pearls, depicting the cresting wave before a ship. They prefer to use tridents and cutlass-like blades as weapons. Scale mail is popular, but even hide and metal armors are often etched like fish scales.
She is impermanence. Ebb and flow and change are her only truths. All things change and all things end. Even the world will one day be swallowed by the oceans. As two sides of the same goddess she is often depicted as two great goddesses at war with each other, She is both loved and feared, taking both love and fear as her due.
Arthys : The great titan of the ocean, Arthys is the celestial being who makes the currents of the oceans. A mighty storm titan and king in his own right, he is said to have challenged Hydania for her dominance of the oceans, during the forging of the world. Although stronger, Hydania proved wiser, and her knowledge of the Walls of Night gave her superiority in the conflict. So it was that Arthys swore an oath of fealty to her, but he remains ever restless.
The Vulairi : The seven daughters of Korg and Hydania who each inhabit one of the great oceans of the world. The greatest of these, Aglothani, is as fickle as her mother, but is also said to love the daring mortals who sail her uncharted waters. It is said, she was the one to first teach mortals ship-building and seamanship.
The Naiads : The spirits of the streams and rivers are subject to the Sea Queen, though they remain capricious and rebellious servants.
“All things are Impermanent” : Nothing lasts forever, and it is false pride to think otherwise. And the Mother of Water punishes false pride above all others. Since nothing truly lasts, nothing belongs to us – all is a gift of the seas and so we must sacrifice our possessions of blood, time or money. Even wealthy merchants sacrifice often, and often give away their wealth before death.
Hydania’s clerical domain is Tempest.
The Fonts of Hydania : Nearly very seaside city or village has a temple or a shrine to the Mother of Waters, and beginning any journey at sea or across large rivers or lakes, sacrifice and prayer are common. Every year, her priests, known as “Waves” bless the boats, nets and other nautical gear of the smart traveller.
The navigators, seamen and fishermen who rely on the waters for a living make her church a wealthy one. However, little of this treasure is kept in keeping with impermanence, spend money freely with much drinking, wild and stormy celebrations, and brawling.
The church has no central structure. Each "_Font"_ is independent of the others, and remains in contact through its Waves traveling from shrine to shrine. However, seniority is respected. Hydania is active in her church, and is the head of all her Orders in a very real sense. Waves view themselves more as guides than as authority figures. Each worshiper is seen as having a very real and personal relationship with the goddess.
Holy Days : These vary by region, but revolve around the start and end of the Storm Seasons. “The Festival of Lamps” marks the time when boats are blessed by the waves, and numerous paper lanterns are let loose on the waters, be they river, lake or sea. Sacrifices of animals and treasure are also common. When ships are laid-up for the season, the solemn “Rites of Aquas” is held, when penitent followers wear sackcloth and remain silent for seven days.
Waves of Hydania : Powerful and influential wherever land meets sea or lakes, they are commonly called upon for advice and blessings. Most Waves travel extensively, are skilled diplomats, and know many languages. Hydania’s priests emphasize humility, but often find this tedious.
The Tempests : The Tempests are a holy order of warriors who follow the concept of impermanence to extremes, living lives as both farmers and raiders, they are common in the coastal villages of Vulcanir and northern Kethira.