Baveras is the
Santharian Goddess of the Sea and the
Water. She is one of the Twelve Gods or High Spirits (Aeolía) who sprang from
the Dream of Avá the Beautiful according to the
elven myth as related in the
Jeyriall, the Goddess of Harvest, and
Seyella, the Goddess of Time and Destiny, are related
to the Element of Water as well, Baveras
is the one who reflects Water most, the
Water representing the uncertainty in the
flow of time, the Water as a blessing,
the Water as a threat. None of the other
two Goddesses is as close to the Element of
Water concerning nature, appearance and whole essence.
The Month of the Passing Clouds (Styrásh: Salarí'Herín, Salarí'Herín) is dedicated to Baveras solely. Her star constellation is that of the Wave, her mythical animal is the Silffin and the plant connected to her the waterstar. Symbols are the triangle and the circle, her colours silver and all shades of green and blue.
|Image description. Depiction of Baveras, the Santharian Goddess of the Sea and the Water. Picture drawn by Sandara.|
Names. The following poem of elven origin, spread throughout Sarvonia during the Age of Awakening, is illustrating the nature of the Goddess. From this derive her many names as stated below:
Wild is the sea, the waves are cold,
death comes to sailors young and old!
Baveras, oh Baveras, Wild is your soul, cold throbs your heart,
your death reaches all, foolish or smart.
Fish are aplenty, your water tastes sweet, food is provided, you give us to eat.
Baveras, oh Baveras, Full are your hands, kind your smile
you care for us all, the good and the vile.
Sparkling uprises a jet of water clear, joyfully are screaming the children you hear
Baveras, oh Baveras. Sweet is your laughter and glitt'ring your face,
waves you're whispering, thanks for your grace.
The names we gather from the poem and which are commonly used in literature about the Goddess and of course mainly in prayer are the following:
Baveras, the Wild and Untamed One, the Cold One, the Deadly One
- Baveras, the Helping One, the Kind One, the Caring One
- Baveras, the Playful One, the Joyful One, the Lovely One
Appearance. Baveras - who can find the the fitting words to describe the wild sea, the calm lagoons, the depth of the waters? There isn't a poet yet capable to describe the beauty, the strangeness and horrendous, yet the supporting, caring and loving demeanour of the Sea Goddess, the Goddess of all Water, be it streaming rivers or calm, hidden lakes!
Her face of a white, marble colour seems to look very young, more like a youthful maiden than a grown woman. Her features are even, her nose straight, the often mysteriously smiling lips finely curved and the eyes large with an enchanting look. Looking in these eyes, one doesn't see a young girl, but feels as if one is falling into eternity without return. These eyes, with the colour changing from the sky blue of a calm sea at midday with sunbeams throwing slivers of light over the surface, to the deep green of the depths of her crevasses, to a tumultuous black of a water world in chaos: One will never forget those eyes.
The hair of the Watery Goddess flows like her creeks abundantly down her slender, youthful body or is floating upon the water like her sea-foam, reflecting her element even more than her eyes. The colour of her dresses is ever-changing, from the white of water tossed at the cliffs to the emerald green of a lovely bay, from the deep blue of the high sea, to the characteristic green of a lake in the high mountains, from the ice blue of young rivers emerging from the mountains to far to the north, to the terrifying black of the drowning sea at night.
Baveras is worshipped all over Santharia, but is perceived differently according to where she is worshipped. The biggest difference in appearance is between the people living near and of the sea, and those living inland, be it the human tribes or the elven ones. The seafaring tribes depict her as having a fishtail like the mermaids. The inland tribes see her mostly as the Water Goddess as having legs. The Baveras of the Sea is most times naked, the Baveras of the Streams and Lakes is dressed in long floating clothes of her colours, though there exist paintings as well with her coming out of a well naked. The human tribes as f.e. the Stratanians show her as having a fishtail, but otherwise human features, the elven seafaring tribe of the Sanhorrhim have pictures of her with fishtail, but elven features like pointed ears. The elves of the forest however describe her as young elven woman climbing up a tree to greet the falling water of the rain after a long period of drought.
Personality. And as her appearance, so is Baveras' nature, as is the nature of the sea and all water.
The sea gives from its depths plenitude to all beings living in or near her. There are the human and elven tribes who live off the sea, which provides them with all they need. It is shelter and sustenance to all beings who dwell among her. It offers a path to go, where there are no others ways, bringing wealth to many, as the rivers and bigger lakes do, allowing to travel where dense forests and treacherous swamps allow no forthcoming. A blessing for all beings are the wells and the springs. What makes a flowering meadow or a calm forest perfect if not a little brook running through and making music, a pleasure to every heart?
This is Baveras, as we experience her: Looking after those who live in her element and of her element, giving with full hands to those who are dependent on her, mourning with those who lost loved ones in her depths, Baveras, the Helping One, the Kind One, the Caring One.
But this is only one side of Baveras, as it is only one side of the sea. As the sea itself which may appear to us destructive and murderous, drowning those not careful enough with their meeting of the vastness of water, so sometimes Baveras seems cold-hearted to us, without feeling for others, cruel, dangerous, turning away from those depending on her, Baveras, the Wild and Untamed One, the Cold One, the Deadly One.
Baveras is indeed a force to be reckoned with, dangerous like a tidal wave hitting the cliffs, like a heavy storm on the high sea, like a flood drowning the lands - but as well the font refreshing the thirsty traveller, the stream carrying the many, the deep sea full of wonders. You may find her in the untamed waterfalls rushing down steep mountains sides - or in the untouched mirror of a calm lake's surface. However, there is a third side of Baveras, sometimes forgotten, but present everywhere. So you find her in the waveletts running up a beach, playing with the pebbles, in the water of a rivulet jumping down the hill from stone to stone, in the dew drop reflecting the first light of the Injèrá in the morning, Baveras the Playful One , the Joyful One, the Lovely One.
Baveras is strange and unpredictable:
- kind, helping and caring;
- wild, untamed and murderous,
- playful, joyful, lovely.
She is a mystery, and no sentient being will ever understand her real nature - and though, what makes her so mysterious is not that her nature seems to be difficult to apprehend or even cloaked, no, quite to the contrary: Baveras seems transparent and clear in every respect to everyone, and it is exactly this constant representation of the same clarity in all of her so different appearances why she remains such a mystery.
Mythology. Though not mentioned in the elven Cárpadosía, the following myth is believed to be closely related to it, revealed to us by the elven woman Viresse of the Ifer'hém tribe. It was written down and saved for the ensuing ages by Artheos M. Federkiel when Viresse visited New-Santhala last year.
so the Gods started their work: The creation of the
world. Foiros created the sun, and
Urtengor united the earths
to a single world with the help of Eyasha and
Nehtor and then he later on forged the mountains.
Baveras with her unpredictable
nature is not an easy Goddess to have. So her relations to the other Gods has
not always been without conflict.
Jeyriall, related to the water as Baveras, is so different to her in appearance and character as it can be. And though she seems to be the wiser one and appearing older, Jeyriall nevertheless is bound to Baveras as being dependent of water for the well being of her creatures and the growing of the crops that sometimes causes major differences concerning the flooding of land and destroying crops and other disturbing events. Jeyriall hates the wild and murderous side of Baveras.
Not so Seyella, the third Water Goddess. Her relation to Baveras is a better one. She sees the common things between them, the passing of time in the streaming of a river to the sea, the timeless moments of waves hitting the beach again and again and the ones drowned are guided by her with special care. Seyella sees in Baveras' untamed side an instrument to fulfill destiny. And Baveras, admiring the wise Goddess, chooses sometimes her colour grey to please her abandoning her greens and blues.
Apart from her kin deities, Baveras has three special relations to other Gods, that is Queprur, Foiros and Grothar.
Baveras admires Queprur's cold, distant beauty, but she gets angry when she is sometimes mistaken by drowning sailors for the Goddess of Death. While Baveras' relation to Grothar is always described as very good and they are indeed depicted as loving pair sometimes, Foiros is the god she dislikes most, not wanting to see the blessings he brings, but only his negative side of burning the land. Many lore arose from this conflict.
There are several legends told by different tribes connecting Baveras with
Gean Firefeet, the Santharian historian collected the one which describes the Scattersands Shoals as a bathing place for Baveras. The Shendar refer to the islands as Baveras’ Garden, the place where the Goddess enjoys her time alone with animals. She is, as the legend tells us, often accompanied by Silffin, a mighty white sword whale. In the shallow waters, circulated by the isles and protected from any storm or wave, she plays with her pets and baths.
Other Shendar lore about places tell us how Baveras made the Seven Jewels in the Ráhaz-Dáth or how Baveras fought Foiros and made the Nirmenith Waterfalls and the Oka‘Seri Swamp. Below is the myth on how Baveras brought water to the Ráhaz-Dáth:
How Baveras Brought Water to the Desert.
In the days when the gods were
young and the lands not yet finished, Baveras looked at her seas and the
fish, dolphins and other animals within. She smiled when seeing the
Sarvonian wells sputtering, the Nybelmarian rivers rushing to the sea and
the big lakes of Aeruillin glimmering in the light of Injèrá. She was very
pleased with what she saw, till her gaze fell on a piece of land at the
very south of the Sarvonian continent.
Many tales are about Baveras' relation to other gods, especially to
Grothar, the God of the Weather. So one
elven legend tells us how
Grothar and Baveras came to love each other, another
how Baveras climbed a tree and called Grothar to
bring rain. A third which is widespread under
humans as well reports how Grothar asked
Jeyriall for a flower for Baveras and the
waterstar came into existence.
Worth mentioning is as well the legend published by Artheos M. Federkiel: How Baveras asked the other Gods for Guidance of the Stars.
Importance. Baveras as the Goddess of the Water in general is one of the most worshipped gods throughout Santharia. So many people are depending on the sea or the rivers, on the water in general like the desert tribes, that she is the one worshipped by nearly everyone in southern Sarvonia. Death may seem far and if peace reigns the lands, men tend to forget that it is a valuable good for which one should pray every day, but the water, especially the sea, is a force which people encounter daily. And because the rituals are easy and the lower ones are allowed to be performed by everyone, they are in use daily and frequently.
However, Baveras' degree of respect varies greatly from tribe to tribe and is mostly depending on the occupation of the people.
The merchants of all big seaports like Strata, Varcopas, Milkengrad or Carmalad try to abate her dark side, fear her, see in her mostly the one who endangers their endeavours. Especially in Thalambath, the temple is not done in her usual light colours, but the black stone from the Norong‘Sorno is used to a great extent. And it is not only the fact, that the stone can be found locally here, that such a temple was built. In some respects Baveras resembles here Queprur, as she is said to be responsible for the deaths and losses on sea. Baveras' Wills (their representative) have there a hard life and are worshipped with love only by the some of the poorer women.
The fishing tribes however see this side as well and fear it, but they prefer to worship the giving, helping Baveras. If one of them drowns, it means grief for the relatives of course, but they prefer to see it as inevitably, as Baveras taking the dead in her loving arms.
River people are similar to the fishing tribes, but the aspect of Baveras as the Water Goddess is stronger than by the seafaring tribes.
Desert tribes adore her as the Bringer of Life, opposite to Foiros, whom they worship, but fear. Here Baveras is the Water Goddess, the Goddess who enables life in a hostile landscape. There her dark side is rarely seen. Even when a well doesn‘t give water anymore in dry times, this is not seen as her fault. In this case it is just Foiros who is stronger than her. So worshippers ask Baveras to fight for her right to provide the desert with water. One of the most important tasks a priestess of Baveras has to be able to fulfill is the finding of water.
Inland tribes see only the Goddess who gives life through the water, worshipping concentrated on the fonts, wells; especially on the plain land and by the farmers who mostly appreciate the water more than the people living in towns. Sometimes Baveras is seen along with Jeyriall as protecting the unborn child- which is kept safe by the surrounding water in the mothers womb.
A special kind of worship however has developed in the towns and places, where the people have lost the direct contact to growth and death like the people have who live from and on the land. Though the playful aspect of Baveras can be found in rural places as well, as we see from the numerous toy water wheels in gardens, which are a pleasure for kids and adults alike, the most impressive and sophisticated trick fountains are found in bigger towns like New-Santhala, Marcogg, Voldar, Milkengrad, Nyermersys. Even Strata, where water is scarce and expensive, trick fountains can be found in the smaller of her temples at the central marketplace. So Baveras' importance lies here in enabling pleasure and recreation for all people.
colours are ranging from all kinds of green to blue with even a hint of purple,
more important is the quality of the colour, which is always pure and more
translucent than opaque, again reflecting the essence
of the Element of Water.
Those artists who manage to give the tiles or wall paintings the impression of
depth and transparency are most praised, like the
contemporary Halfnin Grould who is famous for his diaphanous paintings of
the high sea representing Baveras in the town temple of
Strata. And opposite to
Foiros, the God most controversial to
the Goddess of the Sea, silver is part of all the
ornaments in a temple. Very often pearl father is used for the ornaments. In
this she is very close to Grothar, and his colours
grey, white and silver are going well with her green-blues and
are often used as well.
One of the mystical beasts that serve Baveras in order to rule the waters and oceans of Caelereth is the Silffin. It is often presented as a huge white sword whale with silver scales and an iron horn. In many illustrations Baveras is riding him like a horse or he is pulling a wagon of silver and nacre often escorted by dolphins or other creatures of the sea.
The constellation of Baveras, the
Wave, consists of a group of six stars,
forming the sign of an irregular triangle with the tip lying a bit far off. It
represents movement, the impetus which is contained in the nature of
Wave stands for the tides, the unceasing fight between two opposing forces - of
light and darkness, good and evil, of life and death.
Derived from the Wave, the triangle is associated with Baveras and thus can be found in the floor tiling of temples or as a sign of apprenticeship at the temple of Baveras' Will. The number three and its higher multiples are therefore also often used in ornamentation and rituals.
Besides the triangle the circle is the other shape which is found in Baveras symbolism.
There is one plant which is closely related to Baveras and maybe seen as her most important symbol, which is the waterstar. Though triangle and wave are of greater cosmological importance and the Silffin the most impressive symbol, the waterstar is present everywhere and reminds the people day in day out not to forget Baveras.
Festivals. Most Baverian festivals and feasts are held in the Month of the Passing Clouds (Styrásh Salarí'herín, Salarí'herín). They are generally filled with various rituals of giving symbolically back what Baveras donated a year long. Around those rituals eating and drinking, dancing and singing are common. The people enjoy one day or longer a free careless time.
Most times each profession or tribe celebrates its own festival, or signs at least responsible for it. But others members of the village or community are invited and welcome. So it is possible to attend several feasts for Baveras during the Month of the Passing Clouds.
A few exceptions are found, where fishermen and farmer celebrate together or where the festivals are held at another time of the year. In northern Santharia feasts are more commonly celebrated in spring, but in southern Santharia this happens only very rarely. We find both exceptions in the Bay of Smoke, where the "Blessing of the Sea" is celebrated on Midyears Day by the whole community.
Because of its importance we especially have to mention the sea festival the Sanhorrhim elves celebrate every century. During three days, called Baveras Gifts, Baveras Arrival and Baveras Blessing the elves gather at the coast praising Baveras. More details are found in the Santhalian Library in the scrolls about the Sanhorrhim elves.
Rituals. Baveras may be the Goddess with the most rituals performed and prayers spoken throughout the day and the year. She is part of every day's life of most people living in Santharia. Some of these rituals are known throughout Santharia and practised from Strata up to the Tandala Highlands. These are mainly the daily rituals or those covering childhood or maturity. Others are only know in specific places or regions like the one performed by the northern elves when the ice on the rivers is breaking up. Or they vary with the occupation like the rituals of the seafaring merchants differ from those of the coastal fishermen.
Rituals performed throughout
a) Daily Rituals
The life of a girl f.e. living in a family believing in Baveras (though not necessarily exclusively) would look like this:
When getting up she will go to a water bowl and wash her face, praying to Baveras for the first time this day, asking for beauty and health (the order depending how old she is and what expectations and wishes she still has).
Sitting down for breakfast, a family member will speak the prayer for the meal, thanking Baveras for the given water and Jeyriall for the bread. This prayer might be repeated at every other meal.
She may pass a water toy while going to the market and set it in motion - a prayer to Baveras, even if she doesn‘t think at Baveras in this moment.
Going to sleep, she will wash her face and hands and whatever she thinks she needs to and speaks a prayer meanwhile.
b) Occasional Rituals
These rituals may occur weekly or in bigger intervals, depending on how often the work has to be done or on other circumstances.
Weekly washing day: Mostly common in rural regions, the women meet on a given day in the week to do their laundry together. There regularly songs are sung to praise Baveras, though some are more ballads which tell stories about her and Grothar or her fight with Foiros.
Even more filled with laughter than the laundry days are the communal bathing days (where practised that is - they are more common in towns than in the villages, often replacing the laundry day). The songs praising Baveras are merry, and not always liked by men.
Rituals concerning Maturity and Childbirth
As soon as a woman knows she is pregnant, she will go to a Baveras Aid and ask her to bless her and the beginning life of the soon-to-be-born child. This ritual is held privately, only the woman , maybe a sister or her mother, sometimes her husband as well, are attending the ceremony, but it works like a kind of announcement for the community the family lives in.
If a Baveras Aid is her midwife, the new-born child will be washed immediately in a bowl filled with warm water, which is flavoured with the flowers of the waterstar. The mother will be washed by the Aid with the same water. This is seen as a ritual, where the Goddess is asked to watch over both, but especially over the baby, a life long. While the women go into a temple of Jeyriall to give birth, the ceremony of bathing the child can take place at a later time, the mother only washes her face and hands - but people who are used to it feel unwell as long as the ritual isn‘t held, mother and child are watched carefully in this time.
As soon as a girl had her first moon cycle, her mother will prepare a small feast, only the closest family members are invited, her best friend maybe, and the Baveras' Will. The meal will be prepared out of good and well loved ingredients. The last but most important part will be a light bread out of the finest sieved flour of the golden rain, topped by the paste out of waterberries. This jar of waterberry paste is a gift Baveras' Will brings the young girl to celebrate her entrance into adolescence.
After this ceremony is held, the girl may join any other bigger rituals or festivity held from the whole community with the purpose to include the now grown up children to a bigger extent in the world of the adults.
Religious Rituals and Feast Days throughout the Year
All around Southern Sarvonia and on some other places where Baveras is worshipped festivals and rituals are held in the month of the Passing Clouds (Styrásh Salarí'herín, Salarí'herín). On which day they are held varies from place to place.
The fishers at the coasts as well those on the rivers throw all their fish caught in the morning back into the water, accompanied by a lot of singing and praying. On this day, the meals contain mostly vegetables, no fish, maybe it is the only occasion for many fisher families to have meat. Many are fond of the waterstar wine and that makes the feast to a very merry one.
The farmers and the people living in rural regions wander out to the wells and Baveras Temples to celebrate. Baveras' Wills are blessing the wells and rivers, the fountains in the temples. This is one of the rare occasions they act in public. The temples are restored and polished for this special days and are never so frequently visited like in this time. The town people are going to the water plays, enjoying a free day with the family.
The farmers and town folks are not restricted in what they eat, and fish is in contrary to the fisher tribes a well loved meal - here as well accompanied with lots of waterstar wine and Baveras Love.
Where the weather is warm enough, bathing is one of the preferred activities and there are surely some people whose bodies never see this much water the whole year long as on this day.
Some of the most enjoyable rituals are those connected with water plays. Nearly every bigger town away from the coast has at least a small one. The most famous of all these playing with water is in the tri-level temple in Bardavos, it shall serve here as an example for smaller ones elsewhere. It is situated in the middle of the Sharadon, near the foot of the Sharadon cascades. There you find a complicated system of water pipes, waterwheels and other devices set into motion by water running through. These fonts are not always activated except in the time where plenty of water is available. As soon as the water is scarce, worshippers are able to pay a bard or two for the waterwheel playground to run. Then water will be sent through the play and this is seen as worshipping Baveras and attracting her by this means. Necessary part of this ritual is that Baveras is praised with a song, and this is the task of the children. Standing preferable around a small fountain with effervescing water, they hold each other's hands, singing the first lines and surrounding the well, first in the one direction, then in the other, again and again. Finally they lose the patience and one starts singing the last line.
Baveras, Helping One, give the brave men tons of fish
Baveras, Caring One, bring them back to our dish
Baveras, Kindest One, fulfil this dearest wish.
Baveras, Lovely One, come and sing with us!
Baveras, Joyful One, come and dance with us!
Baveras, Playful One, come and clap with us!
With the last line all are running towards the fountain hitting their hands on the water surface, loud shouting: Baveras!
Where the merchants and the fishermen have a prayer as song, the children of the town people sing and dance. Who knows, which one pleases Baveras most?
Temple Design. Coming to one of the temples of Baveras delights every heart, be it the splendid one in Strata or one of the tiny floating reed places on a calm lake in a forgotten forest. The temples' beauty, their symmetry, their whole architecture is a pleasure to see. There are many different types of temples, however, depending mostly on their location.
|Image description. The actual Baveras shrine floor, all complete with a waterleaf plant and fishes. Picture drawn by Talia Sturmwind.|
Most Baverian temples are constructed round, either perfectly round or fitting
in a circle. Those not exactly circular have three, six or twelve corners,
following her symbols, the circle and the triangle. All have slender pillars,
occasionally topped by a capital resembling two waves curling outward, and
standing on a matching foot, in this respect very similar to some of
The roofs are sometimes half spheres, but if it is a cornered temple, it has as many sides as the temple itself has. The most famous example here is the temple in Varcopas with its twelve grey pillars of broken stone from the Nirmenith Mountains and its steep pointed roof with twelve sides, covered with the silvery grey slate found near Varcopas. The floor of every stone built temple - and if there are any walls - are tiled. Beautiful and artistic inlays or other ornaments are showing the water life, animal and plants, and Baveras herself, accompanied by the Silffin or merfolk. Where it is available like near Strata, corals are part of the inlays, while Varcopas is famous for its ornaments mainly out of the pearlfather found in the oysters and trysters in the Gulf of Maraya. Perlfather is used in nearly every inlay - who could resist this glimmering and the light reflecting material? It is sometimes described as "water frozen to stone".
Situated very often outside the towns and abandoned to the sometimes rough weather, no other decoration is found as numerous in these temples as these mosaics. They are at most times the only adornment a temple has.
If there is no proper floor like in some temples build at or in rivers, the roof carries the load of all artistic desire to praise the Goddess. The best example of this is the temple in Marcogg. It is unique, as it is the only temple known which shows a major masterwork of the nearby living Thergerim.
As for colors: Baveras‘ colours - blue, green and silver - are dominating in every temple, though others are found as well.
The slender pillars found in Baveran temples are of a light coloured, often white stone, depending on the region. Sometimes however they are tiled with a great number of very small pieces, showing a waterplant growing up to the roof or little fish dancing round the pillar rising endlessly like in the three level building in Bardavos. Especially the inland temples with the water plays tend to be more ornamented and in need for care than the others.
The most magnificent temples to Baveras are found at the coastline. Here the floor is at a height that it is daily flooded when the tide is high.
Many temples are situated in rivers and aren't capable of such a display. They therefore have a lowered floor, lying beneath the water level and closed openings in the wall. At special occasions or festivals, these gates are opened and the water is allowed to flood the floor. In other temples they have a partial floor to allow the contact with the water in the temple, be it only to see the water or for bathing rituals. An extreme is the temple in Marcogg with no floor at all.
Temples on lakes don‘t have streaming water, so they take a different approach to create "moving water". Here trick fountains of every variety are found, little rivulets running from one basin to the next, little waterfalls representing the playful and joyful side of the Water Goddess.
In some places, where no suitable island is found, like in river deltas or on flat coastlines, the temple is sometimes situated on wooden logs or on circular boats, anchored near the coast. But these temples are constructed differently, their building materials is wood and other materials. Instead of flooding them, they have a circular opening in the floor which serves the same ritual purposes as the flooding. They are often used by not so civilised tribes.
Somebody who looks for the more severe side of the Water Goddess has to visit the only kind of temple of Baveras that has only a small, symbolic amount of water running around the building. These are the well sanctuaries, which are build around some of the major known wells, but above many smaller as well. Every spring, every place where water is emerging from the earth is holy to Baveras. These places have a special meaning to everyone. The water of the well is guided into a basin and from there to an opening in the wall and around the whole building till it is allowed to flow away freely.
Baveras' Retreat. There are some constructions however, which are very different to previously noted Baveras temples, but maybe as important as all her big buildings and present everywhere, especially where no temples are found. They are called Baveras' Retreat . They are built of a circular raft floating on the water, to the rim fastened branches of the willow, bound together at the top, big enough to allow a human to lie inside outstretched. These branches will eventually grow roots and develop leaves. Everybody, one who is simply looking for a rest or hunted by his persecutors, may enter one of these and have sanctuary by Baveras. Nobody is allowed to do any harm to somebody who is inside. Violation will cause death through drowning, may it be sooner or later, so is said.
All temples are cared for by the community they belong to. However if there is a Baveras Will living in this village, she is responsible to a certain extent. She will go to the major of the village or town and ask for tending and caring the temple. She tells the helping people, what has to be done. Every spring and autumn a small temple cleaning ceremony is held, and all those who have helped are blessed. During the year most temples don‘t need any attention. If there was however a big storm and lots of debris was left, f.e. in the temple of Strata, there will be always some worshippers who are glad that they are able to serve their Goddess by cleaning the temple floor.
Temple Locations. Baveras temples can be found in any place with water, and all temples are surrounded by water. Temples therefore can be found in the sea - near the coast like the one in Strata being the most southern building on the Sarvonian continent; in or even above rivers like the famous temple over the waterfall in Marcogg or in the middle of the Sharadon river in Bardavos. Even on an island in the middle of a lake; like the small, but beautiful temple built on a tiny island in Ephirn's Lake just opposite to Holmstedt fortress.
The Baverian temples are built on a rock or small island just outside the main coast line, on a small island in the middle of a river or bigger lake - preferably the whole island is covered by the temple - or floating on a river or lake like a boat or built on a wooden construction. In every case a bridge or a boat is needed to reach it. The river around the temple should never fall dry, this would be seen as a bad omen for the future. Only exceptions are the temples on rocky islands near a coast where the tide may withdraw the water. But in those cases, the temple can‘t be reached at all, not by boat and most times the ground is too treacherous to make it to the island by foot. The floor of the temples are always at or near the water level and are sometimes flooded.
Every place where water emerges from the earth is holy to Baveras. Every well is a place to worship her, but very often there is a building covering and protecting the well.
The little flooding boats called Baveras' Retreat can be found on the lakes, be they big as the Ancythrian Sea, or as small as any tiny forest lake, along the seacoast or near the river benches, tied to any suitable anchor.
There are other holy places apart from the wells where Baveras is worshipped without any building: Waterfalls like the Ravenwing Falls or especially the Cloud Falls. People gather at a place near the water, possibly where the they are covered in the mist coming from the falling water and hold whatever ceremony is common within their tribe.
Priests. The water has no defined form, it takes it of the form it is held in, it is not tangible, it escapes the hands - thus is Baveras, changing, flowing, mysterious - and no one can tie her up in any respect. Therefore Baveras doesn‘t have a cleric like other gods have, but numerous priests, well known, proud and distant. No priests care for her temples, no priestesses are always there to help and advise the seeking. Baveras, though present in every water drop, is not always easy to find. This would be against her wild, untamed nature, unwilling to allow any restriction or boundary.
There are of course individual persons, who act as ambassadors, as deputants of the Goddess, women mostly, who live either within the community, without any wish to be separated from the others through their service for Baveras, or wander around from place to place to help those who are in need for Baveras' aid.
Though most times well integrated in the society of the village or town, those serving Baveras are nevertheless special persons, recognised as "wise women" from the community, though they might still be quite young. Their official name is "Baveras' Aid" or "Baveras' Will"; but they are addressed however as "Mother" as sign of respect. The younger, still learning women kept by the Mothers are called "Sisters". On their forehead or the left temple they have a small tattoo, the complexity is depending on their grade of apprenticeship. The very beginners have just a simple triangle, the ones who have learned nearly all they have to know a circle within this triangle. When a Sister leaves her teaching Mother she gets the final tattoo, a stylised picture of the waterstar placed in the circle.
Tasks and abilities of Baveran priests are numerous:
The most obvious is that of a healer. Baveras' Will is competent in all methods which use water as a remedy, if cold or hot or frozen, she knows how to use the waterstar which is dedicated to Baveras and good for many aches due to her purifying and draining abilities.
Additionally a Baveras' Will is a midwife. Unborn babies are swimming in a protecting hull of water. Therefore people believe that Baveras holds her hands over the unborn and her Will gives the babies over out of the hands of Baveras in those of the mother. Especially where temples of Jeyriall are far away, the villagers tend to rely more on a Baveras' Will, living among them, than on Jeyriall priests.
Detect Water Sources
Another important task and ability of Baveras' Will is that of finding water whereever needed. This is lifesaving in arid regions and for the nomads, especially the Shendar, but elsewhere needed as well. Young apprentices use for this purpose a specially formed branch of a willow, older Wills don‘t need this help anymore, but are able to feel it just with their bodies. Not only the locations of the water can be determined, but the depth of the spring as well as how much water it carries. What is not known widely, is that Baveras' Will is able to detect with this ability caves, their location in the ground and its size as well.
Another task related with this ability is to find "Holy Places", places where temples are build or other important buildings, places where Gods are worshipped best. These places seem to have more cár'áll than others and Wills are able to detect them. They have a natural feeling where magic accumulates and where it is none. They however can‘t use this energy in any way nor manipulate it.
The last ability is not very well known and Wills only learn of them late in teaching. Normal people know it only as rumour and Wills will always try to keep it secret.
Baveras' helpers are able to see into the time - if future or past, or see another place with the help of a mirror of water. That maybe the pure water in a bowl or the calm surface of a lake or spring. Even the soft ripples on the surface can cause an unwanted look behind the curtain of time and place. Younger woman who are about to learn this art, need the help of the specially prepared plant, but older ones do it just by setting themselves into a kind of trance. Baveras' Will however will use this mighty knowledge only in moments of great need.
Baveras' Wills are
chosen ones. One day a wandering Baveras' Will will
come to a village and tell the parents that her daughter - very rarely their son
- is "chosen" to become one
of her apprentices. This is most times no surprise to the young woman or girl -
they may be as young as 15 summers - for dreams of
water or a special affection for
water may have signalised the closeness to
Baveras already. Having to follow the
"Mother" is nevertheless
hard for the girls and not everyone will obey her destination. A
Mother may have up to three apprentices at a time, of
different state of knowledge though. After several years of wandering, the
mother feels that the time has come to settle down and
live for the rest of her life in a village. Her
apprentice girls will stay with her, till they have finished her education and
then become wanderers for themselves, looking for
other girls to teach and follow them. Not all of them will be Baveras'
Will their whole life long, some prefer a husband and
family life, for it is forbidden for a Baveras' Woman
to bind herself to a man. That doesn‘t mean that she has to be celibate, and
some have even a child, though this is very uncommon.
A young girl might have the wish to become a woman of Baveras and go to the local Mother and ask her, but unless the Mother confirms her wish, it is not possible.
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