Chiuta is a dual-natured goddess, granting life in the form of rains, bountiful fishing, and mazes built of dense reeds. She also takes life with storms, flooding, and deadly water creatures. She guards her lands from outside attacks, causing the waterways to shift in confusing ways, leaving invaders unable to find her chosen people, or trapped in monster-filled lagoons. Chiuta is typically depicted in native art as a dark-skinned, feral woman, wielding a pair of flint sickles, and wearing a necklace woven from water reeds and bones. Ancient stories name Chiuta as the first female tribal chief, who sacrificed her life to protect her people from an invading horde, an unnamed army arriving with the Lost Gods. Her body sank into the swamp, and rose again, as Spirit of the River, one of the first native gods. This legend is reflected in the funerary customs of Chiutans: The River Mother looks after the mortal remains of her followers, ensuring their proper decay, and return to feed the waters that supported them in life. The most devout are entombed in rich river muck during times when water is low; when the waters return, their bodies disappear without a trace. Their spirits are believed to inhabit the reeds that grow in sacred pools, and indeed these plants seem to respond to the words of Chiuta’s clerics. Great warriors are thought to be reborn as shambling mounds that both defend her people and enforce her laws.
Chiuta has no temples; wherever her clerics happen to be is sacred. Chiuta’s worshipers are typically tribesfolk living on the banks of a great river or swamp, although fishermen, river guides, and smugglers frequently offer her prayers as well. Most tribes that follow the River Mother simply want to avoid outsiders, even when they are a typically aggressive race, such as gnolls or orcs. When friendly relations can be established, few beings make a better river guide than a cleric of Chiuta. Worshipers of Chiuta often have an odd relationship with lizardfolk. While the reptiles do not worship Chiuta, they accept her followers as tribesmembers, and work together for mutual defense. The lizardfolk are able to navigate Chiuta’s waters freely, without fear of getting lost or encountering the plant monsters that so often attack non-worshipers. Boggards hate and fear Chiuta’s followers, and attempt to harass them at every turn. A boggard tribe often migrates rather than engage in warfare with the people of Chiuta.
Clerics of Chiuta hand down rituals for nearly all activities, from bathing in the waters, to fishing and harvesting the roots of plants, to the disposal of the dead. These rituals, as well as the daily preparation of spells, always include a simple washing with fresh water, while chanting a hymn to Chiuta. This can be inconvenient when a Chiutan priest travels outside of the wetlands. Failure to perform the rituals properly means failing to catch enough fish, boating accidents or attacks by crocodiles. Rituals vary from tribe to tribe; despite this, followers of Chiuta never war with one another.
The following religion traits may be chosen by worshipers of this deity.
You are most at home at the water’s edge.
Your tribe is allied with the lizardfolk.
The Gods of Porphyra © 2012, Purple Duck Games; Authors: Christopher Kaiser, Perry Fehr, Mark Gedak, August Hahn, John Hazen, Sean Holland, Sam Hing, James H. Lewis, Chris Longhurst, Scott Messer, Sean O’Connor, David Nicholas Ross, and Jeremy Whalen