Astra (3.5e Deity)
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|Symbol:||Eight-armed solar wheel, often featuring the visage of a perfect Human female.|
|Home Plane:||Acheron (Far Realms?)|
|Portfolio:||Humanity, Redemption, Fertility, Seasons, Astrology.|
|Clergy Alignments:||Chaotic Neutral, Lawful Neutral, True Neutral, Neutral Evil, Neutral Good.|
|Domains:||Destiny, Healing, Protection, Strength.|
"Astra is the Mother of Humanity, born of the World and by the World alone. Though her grand sacrifice to raise Mankind to the stars left her diminished, the name of the Lady and Giver of Life has not yet been entirely lost." ~Unknown
Clerics of Astra, as those of Zarus, seek out healthy, attractive individuals. They focus their recruitment, however, on those who express greater compassion and comradery for their fellow Man, rather than disdain or arrogance toward those who are weak and in need of aid and sympathy. Astra inspires benevolence and mercy among her Children, from all corners of the World, male and female alike. Those who have sinned against Zarus may seek Astra's tenderness in hopes of achieving penance. Astra also emphasizes Humanity's need to honor and preserve the world. Her followers stage seasonal festivities, celebrating life and fertility while also paying homage to the teachings of their Father.
Astra encourages her followers and Clerics to visit all realms of Man's dominion, healing those who are sick and bolstering those who are weak. It is the will of Astra that her Children cherish and embrace one another, so all may be strong and fit in the eyes of their Father and so that her Children might survive.
Prayers to Astra can encompass a great many things. Some pray to Astra for mercy, others mourn their fallen, while some simply express their appreciation for life. Within the Church, disciples of Astra give rites to newborn children, blessing them to a long and healthy existence.
Often, Astra's temples and altars are with her spouse, Zarus.
In lands where they are not, the Mother's houses of worship are no less elegant or grand than that of her husband. Though depictions of Mankind's achievements and grace are displayed, more prominently so are scenes of healing, redemption and uplifting, where men and women have atoned for their sins in the boundless mercy that is their Mother's love.
Eight major celebrations are held each year in honor of the World, Astra and Zarus. These coincide with particular seasons, each celebration is its own, though all revere Human life and the World by which it was produced.
Minor rites are performed year round, if not daily. Some in esteem of great leaders and their recent passing or perhaps simply the birth of a Human child.
Whatever the occasion, festivities in the name of the Lady Astra are almost always accompanied by a great feast and gathering of men and women alike to share their love and gratitude.
Heralds and Allies
Citing Zarus' claim, Astra requires no herald and responds to planar ally spells with Medium, Large and Huge elementals silhouetted as well built Humans.
Generally, Astra does not concern herself with the affairs of non-Human deities or their followers, leaving Zarus to handle such matters.
She harbors a similar vanity regarding her status as the Mother of Humanity but does not actively impose this upon other deities, Mankind or otherwise. Astra is patient, loving and understanding that all will come to know the truth in time.