New Corruptions and Old Enemies
Good Goddess of Agriculture and Life
Chauntea (pronounced Chawn-TEE-ah), the Grain Goddess or the Great Mother was the goddess of life and a parallel deity to Silvanus, who was considered the god of wild nature, whilst Chauntea herself was seen as being the embodiment of all things agrarian or agriculture. She was a goddess of agriculture, plants cultivated by humans, farmers, gardeners, and summer.
Some of her worshipers claimed that her divine glimmer gave life to the natural world, and some contended that she was the creator and source of all mortal races. In some sense Chauntea was the manifestation of the earth itself—the Avatar of the twin worlds Abeir-Toril. Her most despised enemy was Talona, the lady of pestilence, since she had a disposition to wreak suffering, disease and decay upon the natural world.
Chauntea was believed 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 battled deities who sought to desecrate and expunge nature; she opposed evil deities such as Malar and Bane, and viewed the latter’s resurgence as portentous. She was also known to have romantic affiliations with Lathander.
Before her days as the “Great Mother”, she was 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.
She had strong ties with other deities concerned with nature, such as Shiallia and Mielikki, and she shared a close relationship with Silvanus. As mentioned before, she opposed Talona with the utmost vehemence, due to her malefic intent in spreading poison and disease to the natural world. She was always in conflict with Talos.
Chauntea was seen by Faerûnians as a critical aspect of the assumed cycle of life. Private land owners and destitute (perhaps as a consequence of an unproductive harvest) farmers visited the clerics of Chauntea for any divine suggestions for abetting the harvest. If at any time plague or drought struck the crops, farmers looked to Chauntea, since they hoped she would save the harvest, due to her love of nature.
The church was an approachable one, in that it welcomed all irrespective of gender or race. The liturgical doctrine of the church was such that it attracted more females than males, due to its preoccupation with femininity, and while female attendees outnumbered men, there was still a range of males that worshipped Chauntea.
Chaunteans maintained simplicity when it came to apparel. Druids preferred brown robes, and priests preferred to wear a brown cloak with more standard livery such as a tunic underneath.
In Rashemen she was worshiped as a member of the triumvirate of goddesses praised there known as The Three with Mielikki (Khelliara) and Mystra (The Hidden One). Here she was known as Bhalla. She was worshiped as Pahluruk in and around the Great Glacier.
In Kara-Tur she was worshiped as Chantea but only by an underground sect of paladins who were viewed with distrust or outright hostility depending on the country they were found in. In Wa, followers of Chantea were immediately put to death upon discovery. The Juzimura rebellion was noted as the official eradication of her religion in Wa, but there were suspected cells of underground worshipers in isolated areas.