Ertha

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  • Titles: Earthmother, Groundshaker, Mastersmith, the Celestial Smith, Forgemistress, Dvergmother, Darkmother.
  • Aspects: Earth, metal, gems, crafting, smithing, underground warfare, subterranean realms.
  • Symbol: A hammer with a multi-faceted gem as the head.
  • Priesthood: Forge Sons/Daughters (priests); Stonehands (paladins)
  • Herald: A larger than normal frost dwarf.
  • Holy Day: The first day of each Deorcmonan phase.
  • Festivals are usually held at the start of Plohmonan and Werremonan, when smiths are busy making and repairing farming tools and weapons respectively.
  • Duties: To explore the subterranean realm, to use metal wisely, to ensure metal and gems are returned to
    the earth.
  • Sins:
    • (Minor) swimming or using a boat when it can be avoided, washing more than once a week, using nonmetal weapons or armor, harming a frost dwarf;
    • (Major) not returning at least 200 gs of metal or gems to the earth each year, sleeping outdoors when there is a cave or dwelling nearby;
    • (Mortal) willfully despoiling a cavern or other underground feature, cremating a corpse (undead and trolls don’t count).
  • Signature Power: Burrow.
  • Powers: Armor, barrier, beast friend (land creatures only), bladebreaker, bolt, boost/lower trait (Strength, Vigor, Climbing, and Knowledge (smithing) only), bridge, champion of the faith, detect/conceal (metals and gems only), elemental form (earth only), elemental manipulation (earth only), energy immunity (air and earth only), entangle, environmental protection, ethereal/corporeal (no ethereal), glyph, growth/shrink, quake, refuge, sanctuary, sphere of might, summon elemental (earth, mud, or sand only), summon herald, wall walker, weapon immunity, wilderness step.
  • Trappings: Clergy must use a darkness or earth trapping where appropriate. They cannot take air or necromantic
    trappings.

Ertha is the patron god of the frost dwarves, as well as smiths, certain crafters (those using rock, clay, or gems, mainly), and miners. Where Eostre governs the upper world, Ertha controls the dark depths of the earth. Humans depict her as a muscular woman carrying a large hammer. Frost dwarf representations show a female dwarf of advanced age. Statues are always carved from stone and often decorated with precious gems.

Her temples are always underground, preferably in natural caverns. When worked, they are constructed to blend into the natural curves of the rock. Altars are usually made of rock, polished to a fine hue to bring out every vein of color. As well as being places of worship, they also serve as workshops for smiths and jewelers.

Surface smithies and jewelers’ workshops often have a holy symbol engraved above the door or on tools. Ertha’s priests see themselves as farmers of the earth. Each year, a portion of all the gems and metals mined in the region are returned to the nearest temple and deposited into a deep crevasse, in the belief that, as with crops, some of the crop must be used to ensure a good harvest the following year. Greedy merchants and thieves who hoard coins are among their enemies, for removing too much metal weakens the earth for future generations.

Paladins of the faith act as guards for miners and subterranean explorers, and are often engaged in leading forays against goblin and orc lairs. Festivals are held underground or in windowless rooms. Only a single candle is allowed for illumination. Music, formed by striking hammers against anvils or rock, forms an integral part of festivals. Tunes vary immensely, depending on the nature of the ceremony, but there is always a slow, deep beat, “the heartbeat of the world.”

Clergy hold that gems and precious metals grow in the earth as seeds grow in the soil. As such, clergy regularly throw coins, weapons, pots, gems, and such like into deep holes, believing the sacrifices will grow into new deposits elsewhere beneath the earth. Typically this is done during festivals.

Worshippers seeking her blessing write prayers onto small stone tablets (sold for 1 gs each at temples), which are then thrown into deep crevasses. If the worshipper can hear the tablet hit the bottom, the goddess has rejected the plea.

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Ertha

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