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|Goddess of Healing and Life, Illumitas’ Shard of Love|
|Dominion:||Restoration School of Magic|
|Precepts:||Serve life; soothe the injured; forgive the remorseful.|
The first aspect of Illumitas, the Mother is worshipped by all manner of person – the fighting man lying wounded in the field, the farmer midwife, the temple healer, brides and grooms. She is known by many names: High Mercy, Grace, and The Grieving Goddess are but a few. She is the embodiment of Illumitas’s aspect of love.
She concerns herself with all things oriented towards life and living. The raising of crops, the birth of children, charity to those in need, the healing of the sick and wounded, forgiveness of wrongs, the feeding of the hungry are her domains. She is always in contention with her sister, The Stranger, and often the dying will see both of these goddesses struggling for their fate. For all her worshippers, power, and praise, in the end the Mother always loses to Grak, to Nox, or to the Stranger.
The responsibilities of the Mother are pulled between the two opposing poles: All life is blessed and should persist, but some life is corrupt and willfully denies redemption. With life, there is hope for change and for the future, yet sustaining a corrupt life may end the lives of unforeseen innocents in the future. Love for the individual and love for the greater good sometimes find themselves in conflict in the life of a disciple of the Mother. Each worshipper finds his own place on this sliding scale.
Prayers to the Mother are simple affairs, devoid of embellishment or ritual, but often begin with the same word spoken in a reverent pleading whisper: Please. She is always portrayed as a matron, simply dressed, either carrying a babe in her arms, tending to a fallen man, or smiling with radiance. Her cathedrals are the most numerous across Novitas, and are both meeting hall and hospital. In the tradition of her mercy, even criminals may find hospitality at these cathedrals, and no soldier or bounty hunter may take them away. Indeed, there are legendary stories of criminals remaining in these houses of healing for decades, with the occasional refugee eventually converting and seeking redemption.
While the Mother has the largest number of worshippers, each organizes her duties and ethics according to her current circumstances. Midwives of the Mother may jealously hoard what power they have to spend it only in aiding the birth of children. Battlefield medics may have to spend hours in atonement after healing only the wounded on their side of the battle, rather than all who cried out for the Mother’s mercies. Pilgrims may spend the Mother’s gifts freely and without thought to whether they heal the deserving or the evil. Judges in Vlean may hold elaborate court-room debates on the merits of reviving a particular fallen supplicant, or not.
The Mother is friend to all her Sept kin, though her work often demands that she focus her attention solely on the mortal realm. It is a wisely held belief that the Mother is closer in friendship with her mortal faithful than with her divine brothers and sisters. The Mother is sometimes portrayed as missing the Elemental, however, with whom she was confidante in the times before.
While always in contention with her sister the Stranger, the Mother loves her kin and does not regard them as unkind. However, the Mother stands opposed to Nox, the great corrupter of life, with a closed fist. Some heretical texts suggest that the Mother need only forgive and heal Nox to defeat him. But the Mother, as of yet, struggles to achieve this depth of mercy within herself. To fail the Mother, a worshipper need only renounce life in some fashion, but fallen acolytes of the Mother are always welcomed back, in time.