Drynlara

Drynlara is one of The Eight Divines, and the primary religion of Lyrna.

She is the goddess of Life, Family, Fertility, Potential, Plants, Animals, and Instinct. She is also, in a way, the goddess of death, for all living things must eventually die. All life is a struggle to survive – a struggle with other living things – and all that is left behind is their offspring. As such, breeding is exceptionally important to Drynlara’s worshipers – never beyond their means, but the devout are expected to become a parent at some point in their life – preferably long before becoming middle-aged. This is often troubling for homosexuals, as there is some religious debate over whether adoption counts for this or not. Adopted children are recognized as family, but not necessarily propagation of the individual. A common solution is non-monogamy; few creatures of the world practice monogamy, and Drynlara is more concerned with the love of a family than the shape of it. Public opinion of such families varies by location.

Followers are also expected to care for at least one plant or animal during their childhood or adolescence – pets and gardens are a matter of dogmatic necessity.

Drynlarans are not prudes. There is beauty in the naked form, and they recognize it and its place. Sex education is pragmatic and straight-forward, right down to the man- or woman-making night: The passage to adulthood is a sexual encounter, on holy ground, at night, with a stranger. Obfuscation rituals ensure that neither party knows who the other is (and also prevent pregnancy, in most sects), but two adolescents usually go through it together. If no suitable, willing, of-age candidates can be found, a priest or priestess usually carries it out, as necessary. Many a youth has found this just as creepy as it sounds. Others have truly looked forward to it. Either way, a celebration follows, complete with gifts and the like.

The dead are either buried under a tree (or have one planted on their grave), or they are eaten by their family and friends, in an effort to remain a part of them always. Sometimes a mix of both. This is normally decided by the deceased prior to their death, with the occasional argument over which ceremony to perform. In any case, death is the food of life; all living things exist at the expense of others.

Drynlara is usually represented as a young woman with ferns for hair and stripes on her skin, carrying a seed in one hand and an egg in the other. She may, alternatively, be pregnant. If she is depicted with a weapon, it is a spear. Flowers spring up around her, and she may be depicted with an animal common to the region, whether a respected game animal or an apex predator.

While Drynlara has some followers in Crylax – enough that a grove has been set aside for her within the walls of Vexbright – the stranger practices of the religion are scandalous, at best, and clashes often arise with followers of Lumisca, who certainly are prudes.

Drynlara

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