Chauntea, the Grain Goddess or the Great Mother is the goddess of life and a parallel deity to Silvanus, who is considered the god of wild nature, while Chauntea is seen as being the embodiment of nature as cultivated and enjoyed. She is a goddess of agriculture, cultivated plants, farmers, gardeners, and summer.
Her worshipers claim that her divine glimmer gave life to the natural world, and some contend that she is the creator and source of all mortal races. In some sense Chauntea is the manifestation of the earth itself—the Avatar of the twin worlds Abeir-Toril. Her most despised enemy is Talona, the lady of pestilence, since she has a disposition to wreak suffering, disease and decay upon the natural world.
Worshippers and Clerics
Chauntea is seen by Faerûnians as a critical aspect of the assumed cycle of life. Private land owners and destitute farmers visit the clerics of Chauntea for any divine suggestions for abetting the harvest. If at any time plague or malnutrition strikes the crops, farmers look to Chauntea, since they hope she will save the harvest, due to her love of nature.
The church is an approachable one, in that it welcomes all irrespective of gender or race. The liturgical doctrine of the church is that it attracts more females than males, due to its preoccupation with femininity, and while female attendees outnumber men, there is still a range of males that worship Chauntea.
Chaunteans maintain simplicity when it comes to apparel. Druids prefer brown robes, and priests prefer wear a brown or ivory cloak with more standard livery such as tunic underneath.
Though she has a diverse collection of followers, Chauntea is fanatically worshiped by peasants, servants, Druids, gardeners, and any others who earn pay from working on farmland.
Clerics pray for their spells at sundown, as do druids. They usually lead dual lives as either gardeners or farmers, and are industrious people. They are expected to appreciate natural beauty and a feeling of meditation. The clergy instruct Chauntea’s followers that they should entreaty her every sunrise. Compared to other faiths, ecclesiastics appoint few holidays. One holiday which is observed a festival during Greengrass, which is a festival of almost depravity and indulgence, where excessive consumption and uninhibited behaviour is encouraged. Abundance is an important part of life worshiping the Great Mother. A rite of passage for many of the faith is concerned with Holy Communion. Newly married couples are instructed to spend their first night in fresh fields, supposedly to guarantee a fertile marriage.
Chauntea is estimated to be one of the eldest gods in Faerûn—she was born when Toril was created by the primeval battles between Shar and Selûne. Selûne favored her and nurtured her with her light, with the help of Mystra. Chauntea has battled deities, who seek to desecrate and expunge nature, and she opposes evil deities such as Malar and Bane, and views the latter’s resurgence as portentous. She has also been known to have romantic affiliations with Lathander.
Before her days as the “Great Mother”, she is said to have been named Jannath, and in her early days, she frequented places of overgrown nature, wilderness and packs of animals. This role is now much more Silvanus’, though in the Moonshae Isles Chauntea is still worshiped as Jannath. In the wake of the Spellplague, Yondalla, patron deity of halflings, was also revealed to be an aspect of Chauntea.