Naharra the Mother-Mare

Naharra is the final member of the small centaur pantheon mentioned in Dragon Magazine #105, and rounds out the family group that serves Skerrit. She is the centaur deity of lover, motherhood, and fertility, and as a deity of family, represents the ancestor spirits that many centaur shamans contact for advice.

Naharra (PDF Version)
Lesser Power of the Beastlands, CG

Portfolio:                 Fertility, love, motherhood, family, ancestors
Aliases:                     None
Domain Name:           Krigala/the Dam’s Meadow
Superior:                   Skerrit
Allies:                       Brilros, Fanthros, Hathor, Kheiron, Linroth, the Seelie Court
Foes:                           Chitza-Atlan
Symbol:                     Pair of interlocked horseshoes of different sizes
Wor. Align.:             LG, NG, CG, LN, N, CN

Kindly and loving, Naharra (nah-HAHR-rah) the Mother-Mare nurtures life and peace within and between centaur families and communities. Her blessings bring fertility to all members of a centaur community, fauna and flora alike, although she is most closely tied to the motherhood of centaurs and the animals they keep. She looks out for young lovers and encourages them to work together to ensure harmonious growth into old age. She also teaches the importance of honoring those who’ve passed, and keeping their memories alive through story, song, and veneration.

In her role as the centaur goddess of love and fertility, Naharra guide centaurs through romance and into married life, and blesses couples with children. Her concerns are not just with centaurs, however, for she also brings blessings to livestock and pets, complementing Fanthros’s powers over agricultural plentitude. She has a special duty in overseeing motherhood and childbirth in all forms, and teaches that familial bonds, whether chosen or not, are among the most powerful and important bonds in centaur life. Her concern with family extends even beyond death, for she teaches that the ancestral spirits still watch over their descendants, and ensures that their names and deeds are remembered.

While Naharra is friendly with many other deities, she maintains few solid relations outside of the centaur pantheon. Through Skerrit, she is closely associated with the Seelie Court, but has no strong bonds with any members in particular. She has been known to visit with the likes of Hanali Celanil and Sehanine Moonbow, but most of these visits ultimately concern the interests of centaurs. Her only true alliance outside of the other centaur deities is with the cow-goddess Hathor, for the pair are true kindred spirits. Finally, she bares no little antipathy towards the interloper Chitza-Atlan, whom she suspects seeks to usurp her dominion over centaur ancestor veneration. The Mother-Mare is as yet undecided on a course of action to take regarding the Mummified Guardian, and is hiding her time so long as he also takes no direct action against her. Besides these relations, her concern with the domestic lives of centaurs keeps her focus drawn well away from the divine politics that engross many other deities.

Naharra rarely sends avatars to the Prime Material Plane. Most often her appearances are made to share insights into midwifery or the raising of animals, as well as to teach the proper ways to honor and revere ancestral spirits. She may attend the birth of a centaur destined for greatness as well, or to commune with wise elders, but such visits are remote even by her standards. Her only other appearances are made to defend pregnant centaurs and mothers who are unable to defend themselves, although she favors guiding them to safety over direct conflict with predators or enemies.

Naharra’s Avatar (Cleric 27, Mage 14)

Naharra appears as a mature, motherly female centaur with a black coat and dark brown skin. She has eyes of deep green and her long curly black hair forms ringlets around her face. She rarely wears clothing, but is always adorned with a modest amount of non-ostentatious gold jewelry, favoring earrings, necklaces, and armbands. She draws her spells from all spheres save combat and all schools save necromancy.

AC 1; MV 18; HP 153; THAC0 4; #AT 3
Dmg 1d6+3 (staff +2, +1 Str)/1d6 ×2 (hooves)
MR 25%; SZ L (8 feet tall, 10 feet long)
Str 17, Dex 14, Con 20, Int 19, Wis 21, Cha 19
Spells P: 12/12/12/11/10/9/5, W: 5/5/5/4/4/2/1
Saves PPDM 2; RSW 6; PP 5; BW 8; Sp 7

Special Att/Def: Naharra avoids combat if possible, using her magic to misdirect or disable potential foes, allowing her to escape without a confrontation. If she has no choice but to fight, she uses Spiritstaff, a staff +2 intricately carved with the images of dozens of unique centaurs. Any being struck by this staff must make a saving throw versus petrification or be stunned for 1d3 rounds. In addition, the staff deals double damage to undead and instantly absorbs any non-corporeal undead it touches, unless a saving throw versus petrification is successful, with a −4 penalty. Undead absorbed in this manner are effectively destroyed, although Naharra can release them at a later date, which she can do by sending them on to the appropriate Outer Plane as a petitioner.

Three times per day each, the Mother-Mare can cast remove fear, cure critical wounds, and conjure animals. She can charm person or mammal at will, and once per day she can cast a special version of antipathy-sympathy on a single target that affects normal and giant animals of all sorts. Finally, she can summon 1d6 ancestral centaur spirits that can aid her in combat; these spirits are treated as specters without an energy draining attack.

Naharra is immune to nonmagical weapons, as well as caused wounds, level drains, paralyzation, poison, and death magic. No natural animal, including giant varieties, will harm her, and magical compulsion to do so instantly backfires, causing the animals to attack the creature that commanded them to do so. Her emotional state cannot be altered by magic or psionics in any way.

Other Manifestations

The Mother-Mare has been known to send ancestral spirits (see above) to guide, aid, or defend her pregnant centaurs and young mothers. These spirits are always recognizable to the centaur they aid, appearing as a deceased moth, grandfather, or some other relation, even legendary ancestors of their tribe. In other circumstances, Naharra has manifested her power as the distant crying of a young centaur; the tone indicates whether the direction the sound comes from is a place a follower should investigate or avoid. Finally, she has granted an extended duration sanctuary spell (up to a full day) to a lone female centaur in a dangerous location, granting the possibility of a safe escape.

Naharra is served primarily by aasimon, einheriar, and hollyphants, as well as adult female animals of all sorts, donkeys, horses, mules, pegasi, unicorns, and zebras. She displays her approval through the discovery of opaque or translucent white stones of all sorts, especially milky quartz, milkweed plants, and white flowers of every variety. Her disapproval is displayed through the smell of spoiled milk, the disembodied voices of wailing children and elders, and the discovery of white stones split by veins of red stone.

The Church
Clergy:                      Clerics, specialty priests, shamans
Clergy’s Align.:      LG, NG, CG, LN, N, CN
Turn Undead:           C: Yes, SP: Yes, Sha: Yes
Cmnd. Undead:         C: No, SP: No, Sha: No

All clerics and specialty priests of Naharra receive religion (centaur) as a bonus nonweapon proficiency.

Priests of the Mother-Mare often serve as midwives and wise women in their communities. They know the best practices for delivering young centaurs safely, and are well versed in the signs of complications with pregnancies. They also often operate as veterinarians, providing the same services to livestock and pets that they do to centaurs. They are among the most well-respected members of the community, and known for their even tempers and calm, rational approaches to problems. They also speak with spirits and interpret signs of the divine. Most members of a centaur community know they can count on Naharra’s followers to give good counsel in times of crisis.

Temples built for Naharra are rare, but often teach female members of extended communities veterinary medicine and midwifery. Such structures are usually located on the outskirts of a community, if not some distance away. They hold large pasture lands for livestock, and frequently end up as de facto orphanages. These temples often have open, airy architecture, and the clergy favor wood to stone, so they can more easily be remodeled or expanded.

Novices in the service of Naharra are called Yearlings. Full priests of the Mother-Mare are called Holy Dams. In ascending order of rank, priests of Naharra are known as Foal, Matron Foal, Filly, Matron Filly, Dam, Matron Dam, Mare, and Matron Mare. Specialty priests are called palfreys. Naharra’s priesthood has significantly more females (92%) than males (8%), while it is fairly well split between specialty priests (40%), clerics (35%), and shamans (25%). Centaurs dominate the clergy (68%), with smaller contingents of centaur-kin (18%), pegataurs (6%), bariaurs (4%), pegasi and unicorns (2%), chevalls (1%), and other tauroid and equine creatures (dracons, manotaurs, wemics, etc.; 1%) filling out the ranks.

Dogma: Life is precious; nurture it in all places, be it flora, fauna, or centaur. Honor mothers, for through them the divine gift of life is granted. Ensure that all mothers are granted succor and aid should they require it. Peace and  understanding are fostered through strong family bonds, be they blood or not, happenstance or chosen, and always recall that all creatures are part of the greater family of life. Remember those who have passed, and honor their memories. Commune with their spirits, for their wisdom never truly dies, and can aid those living in the present.

Day-to-Day Activities: Most members of the Mother-Mare’s clergy choose to become mothers through natural birth or adoption, and spend a significant amount of their time caring for their young. Other members, especially those whose children have grown into adulthood, become wise-women and midwives, focusing on herbal remedies and folk medicine rather than the more analytical medicine practiced by Kheiron’s clergy, although they are on good terms with each other. Animal husbandry and veterinary medicine are also not uncommon practices for her clergy.

Important Ceremonies/Holy Days: Once per month, typically on the night of the first quarter lunar phase, Naharra’s priesthood holds a ceremony called the Rite of Motherhood. This ceremony inducts young centaur women into adulthood; it is only after these ceremonies are centaur women allowed to marry. After the induction of young women into adulthood, those centaurs wishing to start a family dance a short dance around a fire infused with special incense created from orchids. This dance, known as the Dance of Dams is said to invoke Naharra’s fertility blessing in order to bring healthy pregnancies to participants. In communities with herdsmen or others who keep livestock, female animals that their owners wish to breed may also be led around the fire four times, in order to invoke the same blessing. While the Dance of Dams may be held at any of monthly ceremonies, it can skip multiple months if the season is inappropriate for pregnancies or there are no centaurs who wish to gain the Mother-Mare’s blessing. Finally, the ceremony is completed with a short invocation to a specific ancestor, and a tale about them is told that is deemed relevant to the season or some issue facing the community.

Major Centers of Worship: The centaur city of Korikos, on the world of Torus, is known to be home to one of the largest temple complexes dedicated to Naharra. Named the Meadows of the Matron Mare, this bustling temple hosts a school for young female centaurs teaching all manner of subjects but specializing in midwifery and veterinary medicine, and hosts facilities of those sorts open to all residents of the city. In addition, it is home to the only known orphanage on Torus; the facility has become even more important due to the many clashes between centaurs and the recent human immigrants to the world.

Affiliated Orders: A loose group of wandering midwives and veterinarians known as the Mistress’s Matron Medicians is officially sanctioned by the church of Naharra. This order entirely of women, but with no favor towards any class over another, operates in small groups of no more than three individuals who travel from community to community giving aid where needed. They only take a bare minimum of payments, usually in the form of food and supplies, having sworn off material desires so long as they travel. When they do take money in return for their services, it is usually only enough to pay for passage on ferries, toll roads, or the like if they exist, or to purchase supplies when particular needs are unavailable in their current locales. It is generally considered taboo to harm or cheat these wanderers, and this sentiment is usually strong enough to keep them safe from centaur bandits.

Priestly Vestments: The Mother-Mare’s clergy favors raiments of white cotton or linen, fringed with red or green tassels. They keep their heads bare, but their hair tied back, although the priesthood has no restrictions on hair style or length for either gender. The holy symbol used by the clergy is a silver medallion in the shape of a pair of interlocking horseshoes of deferent sizes.

Adventuring Garb: Naharra’s priesthood eschews armor most of the time, favoring light armor if it is deemed absolutely necessary. They wear typical traveling clothes for their community, although the symbol of the Mother-Mare is always prominently emblazoned on their travel packs or clothing, so those they encounter can easily identify them. The weaponry they carry tents to have other practical uses, such as walking staves or hunting bows, or are non-lethal in nature such as nets and mancatchers.

Specialty Priests (Palfreys)
Requirements:          Intelligence 10, Wisdom 12, Charisma 11
Prime Req.:                Wisdom, Charisma
Alignment:                CG
Weapons:                   Bow, club, dagger, dart, knife, lasso, mancatcher, net, sling, spear, staff, staff sling
Armor:                       Any up to scale, plus shields
Major Spheres:         All, animal, charm, creation, divination, elemental water, healing, guardian, necromantic, time, wards
Minor Spheres:         Plant, protection, summoning
Magical Items:         Same as clerics
Req. Profs:                Animal handling
Bonus Profs:             Healing

  • Palfreys may be centaurs, centaur-kin, bariaurs, pegataurs, or chevalls.
  • Palfreys are not allowed to multiclass.
  • No non-carnivorous normal or giant animal will attack a palfrey, unless magically compelled or attacked. This protection does not extend to a palfrey’s companions.
  • Once per week, palfreys can cast a special form of summon animal spirit (as the 3rd-level priest spell). Instead of an animal, this power summons an ancestral spirit of the palfrey’s community who is able to fight as the spell, as well as offer advice and bestowing a spell effect as a shaman’s spirit of the dead power (see Player’s Option: Spells and Magic or Faiths and Avatars). The spirit matches a minor spirit of that class, although it need not be a close relative. The spirit is only dispersed, not destroyed, if reduced to 0 hit points through combat or a high-level priest’s successful turning attempt. In all other ways it operates as the spell. This rises to once per day at 7th level.
  • Palfreys can cast animal friendship or calm animals (as the 1st-level priest spells) once per day.
  • At 3rd level, palfreys can cast charm person or mammal or speak with animals (as the 2nd-level priest spells) once per day.
  • At 5th level, palfreys can cast cure light wounds and remove fear (as the 1st-level priest spells) up to three times per day in any combination. In other words, they can cast two cure light wounds and one remove fear, three remove fears, or some other combination that does not exceed three total castings.
  • At 7th level, palfreys can cast speak with dead (as the 3rd-level priest spell) once per day.
  • At 10th level, palfreys can cast blessed abundance or animal growth (as the 5th-level priest spells) once per day.
  • At 13th level, palfreys can cast heal or heroes’ feast (as the 6th-level priest spells) once per day.

Naharran Spells

In addition to the spells listed below, priests of the Mother-Mare can cast the 2nd-level priest spell nurture, detailed in Powers and Pantheons in the entry for Hathor, and the 3rd-level priest spell ease labor and the 4th-level priest spell fertility, each detailed in Powers and Pantheons in the entry for Shiallia.

2nd Level
Voices of the Dead (Pr 2; Illusion/Phantasm, Necromancy)
Sphere:                    Summoning
Range:                     30 yds.
Components:           V, S, M
Duration:                 1 rd./level
Casting Time:          5
Area of Effect:         1 creature
Saving Throw:        Neg.

When this spell is cast, a priest summons the ephemeral voices of the target’s dead ancestors to wail and moan at them, expressing constant disappointment and disapproval. Only the target selected at the time of casting can hear the voices, and they instinctively know whose voices they are, even if they have never met them. In cases where the target doesn’t know their origins, they will simply know voices as “grandfather” or “great grandmother” or the like. The target is entitled to a saving throw vs. spell to avoid the effect.

While hearing the voices, the chosen target suffers feelings of inadequacy and depression, and makes all physical attack rolls with a –2 penalty, as are all damage rolls from melee attacks and hurled missiles. Further, any attempt to cast a spell by the target has a 20% chance to be disrupted as the caster questions their spellcasting procedures at a critical point.

As an illusion, these voices can be disbelieved as normal, but only one attempt can be made, and as no other character can hear them, there is no benefit from others telling the target it is an illusion, even if they have successfully disbelieved another casting of this spell. Natural and magical deafness neutralizes the spell, as does magical silence, at least so long as either any such effects last.

The material component for this spell is a small hollow animal horn or brass cone.

3rd Level
Kumis of Healing (Pr 3; Necromancy)
Sphere:                    Healing
Range:                     Touch
Components:           V, S, M
Duration:                 Special
Casting Time:          6
Area of Effect:         1 container of liquid
Saving Throw:        None

This spell transforms a cup or flask of any sort of liquid into fermented milk with magical properties, called kumis. At the time of casting, the priest can choose one of four effects this liquid will confer on an imbiber: Cure wounds as a potion of healing (restoring 2d4+2 hit points), cure nonmagical diseases, cure poison, or cure blindness and deafness (except those caused by a physical injury). For every five levels the caster has achieved, an effect can be added to the mixture; for example, the kumis can cure wounds and disease at 10th level, and all four effects can be instilled in the liquid at 20th level.

The kumis of healing has a cumulative 1% chance per day it isn’t imbibed to spoil and lose efficacy. In addition, it counts as a potion for determining interactions with other magical liquids (see Dungeon Master Guide for more information).

The material components for this spell are the priest’s holy symbol and the liquid to be transformed.

4th Level
Adopt (Pr 4; Alteration) Reversible
Sphere:                    Creation
Range:                     Touch
Components:           V, S, M
Duration:                 Permanent
Casting Time:          1 turn
Area of Effect:         2 creatures
Saving Throw:        Special

When this spell is cast on two willing individuals, it magically adopts one into the other’s family at a position specified at the time of casting. Thus, the first creature could be adopted as the child of the second, the parent, or as a sibling; further relations cannot be specified by this spell. For all intents and purposes, the first creature becomes a member of the second creature’s family, gaining any benefits or penalties of that be they social or magical. This can affect legal claims and inheritance based on the society of the individuals, as well as magical spells or items keyed to that family, such as wards; however, this applies to magical curses that are tied to a family lineage as well.

Divinations that determine parentage or other family relations will reveal the adopted creature’s original blood kin and new adopted kin simultaneously and without any indication of a difference. In order to cast this spell, the individuals must mingle their blood together while touching each other, usually through clasped hands, but any sort of contact will do. The creatures need not be of the same race in order to be adopted, meaning a centaur could adopt a human or vice versa, but both individuals must be of Low Intelligence or greater and fully willing to undergo this process. Besides those detailed above, there are no physical alterations to either individual; a human adopted by an elf would still be human and would not gain an elf’s resistance to sleep and charm magics, for example. In rare cases, such as a curse that prevents the adopting individual from bearing children, this spell will fail, although the caster will not know why. One hour after the adopt spell is successfully cast, the bond is permanent and can no longer be dispelled, nor can it be detected via detect magic.

The caster’s holy symbol must be pressed against the bodily contact point of the two individuals to seal the effect.

The reverse of this spell, disown, sunders the blood-kin bond between two individuals. If both individuals are willing, the spell renders them no longer related; spells and social connections that affect the family will no longer apply to the disowned individual, including familial curses. This spell can affect an unwilling individual, casting them out from a family against their will, but only if they fail a saving throw versus death magic. Further, if there is any objection by other close kin (sibling, parent, or child), or even other close kin who are not present for the casting, the spell will automatically fail; all living close kin to the individual to be disowned must consent to the spell effect for it to work on an unwilling target. The kin bond can only be restored if the disowned individual and one of their close kin are present for the casting of a wish, limited wish, or restoration spell for this specific purpose, or a casting of the adopt spell.

The caster’s holy symbol must be presented towards the individual to be disowned for this version of the spell.

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