goddess of Hearth, Home and Service
Called the Beloved of the Gods, the Lady of the Feast, the
Bringer of Plenty, the Lady of Gifts and the Maiden of Sorrow's
Ease, Omara is the goddess of safety, of home, of abundance and
the patroness of servants everywhere. She is an unassuming
goddess who is well-loved by the common people.
She is the daughter of Artorius and Valkrys
and beloved sister of Agaleus and Mordhal. Her great beauty
has caused both Erdhon and Eristemus to court her, but she has
never taken a spouse.
Omara is revered by those who care for the
home - servants, housewives and peasants, as well as those
dedicated to the protection of homes and all small things and
persons. She is well-loved by all the divine
races, but is particularly revered by the halflings.
Frequently the temple of Omara is the only full temple in halfling
communities. Thus her temple serves as the temple of all the
gods, fitting with her creed of selfless service.
It is said that every hearth is a shrine to
Omara, and for this reason, common folk burn small offerings in
their family or communal hearths at each meal in thanks.
This is also common in noble or royal houses, but the food is
given to the servants or the poor, rather than burned.
Omara is Lawful Good.
Omara appears as a curvaceous young woman
with a kind smile and bright eyes. Usually, she is
represented as bearing some symbol of service or plenty, such as a
cornucopia, or torch.
Among animals, she is most often likened to
the faithful hound, and in many cultures south of the Valesian
Sea, she is depicted as a young woman with a hound's
head. Her universal symbol is a fire burning in a
Omara relishes the happiness of her extended family and of the
mortal races. She takes a great interest in small kindnesses
and daily morality, and is far less interested in the great acts
of heroes. She alone among the gods takes close note of the
small folk and peasantry, for she believes that from their ranks
will rise the salvation of the mortal races.
Among Omara's many honors is the title "the gentle
maiden", for she has often been the agent of peace between
her fellow gods, particularly her father Artorius and his brother
Borlamnos and between her mother Valkrys and her cousin
Ilion. However, and despite being the most patient of the
gods, on rare occasions her ire can be raised and then she is said
to be as stern as either of her parents.
Omara has no servants of her own, though she
is intimate with the many members of the Celestial Host who serve
the gods, particularly those who toil quietly in the great homes
of the gods. Of all the gods, it is Omara who knows the
hearts of the Celestials best.
THE CHURCH - The
Hearths of Omara
The Hearths of Omara are highly popular with peoples of all
races, though they are frequented most by those of low
station. They exist to ease the hurts and burdens of
service, and thus are filled with the worship of peasants,
servants, housewives and laborers.
In many rural communities, the Hearths of Omara are more than
just temples, they are in fact the hearths of the community, where
bread is baked and meals are cooked in common. In this way,
they are also the very real hearts of the community, filled with
gossip, village business and gentle cheer.
The Stewards of Omara keep the hearths and also keep a simple
and direct hierarchy. The Great Hearth in the ancient city
of Conorr is the seat of the Supreme Steward, who is served by a
counsel of Elder Stewards drawn from across Vatheria. Under
these Elder Stewards serve a host of High Stewards, each in charge
of single Hearth. Most High Stewards are served by several
junior priests known simply as Stewards. A large percentage of the
Stewards have historically been female, though there have been
many well-loved male Stewards as well.
Once there was a separate order that also served the goddess,
known as the Hearthwives. This ancient order served as a
repository for the countless pieces of wisdom handed down from
generation to generation on the subjects of cooking, cleaning,
comfort, medicine and life wisdom. The Hearthwives were
disbanded by order of the Supreme Steward in the year 2734, and
folded into the Stewards when the great invasions of the Conorrian
Empire made two such orders impractical.
Service - In serving others, we
enrich ourselves. As the gods gave freely of themselves to
mortals, so should the mortals give freely of themselves to each
Charity - There is no higher
motivation than to care for those who cannot care for
themselves. Feeding and clothing the poor and helpless is a
Take Joy in Small Things - True
pleasure and happiness is to be found in family, friends and a
warm home. The pleasures of wealth and power are ephemeral
and bring no lasting joy or contentment.
A week after the Calandran festival of Harvestide comes the
Festival of Omara. On this day, people of all stations come
to the Hearths to make offerings to the Lady of Plenty. This
is not a thanks for the harvest, which belongs to Calandra, but a
prayer for its preservation through the winter. Farmers
bring wagon-loads of foodstuffs to the hearths, where a
portion is burned in offering and the rest is preserved by the
Stewards to sustain the community through the winter.
Merchants and lords bring offerings of wealth and goods to pray
for the healthy continuance of the community.
As Omara bears a staff of service (with which she may stir the
embers of the hearth to life), so the Stewards bear a quarterstaff
in her honor.