If we look at Chalana Arroy in Central Genertela, we find that it is actually a surprisingly big cult – some 140,000 members in total. The cult is most densely numbered in Esrolia, but the Lunar Heartlands is the another major center for the Goddess of Mercy.
Chalana Arroy is strictly neutral, showing favoritism for none. She and her followers are pacifists, vegetarians, and studiously non-political. Her temples are another important source of literacy, and no doubt there are many books and texts on herbs, medicine, anatomy, etc. Her temples form a network of hospitals and healers, charities caring for the sick, wounded, and destitute.
Once again, the Princes of Sartar were important patrons of this cult, even though the cult remained neutral in the conflict with the Lunar Empire.
Chalana Arroy is cherished and loved by Orlanthi and Yelmites alike; by elves, by Praxians, and even by Storm Bull. The Red Emperor even keeps a Chalana Arroy healer in his entourage. She provides another way beyond violence and conflict – one of mercy and love for all.
If you start showing favoritism, you do run the risk of your Goddess sending out the spirit of reprisal.
That this radical movement exists throughout Central Genertela (and Ralios and Fronela as well, and a variant exists in Kralorela) is often overlooked and underestimated. When we look at Chalana Arroy within the larger world, her cult is much more numerous and important than we might think if we local at it purely on the local level.
If we look at the interplay between Chalana Arroy and Lhankor Mhy, we see that the initiates of Chalana Arroy are taught writing and alchemy in the temples of the Knowing God.
Chalana Arroy is one of the Lightbringers cults, and each have their own identity and their own role. Although Orlanth is the most popular of the Lightbringer cults and his cult is generally the ruling god, the other Lightbringers are independent and autonomous. And do not always back up the Orlanth temple in a quarrel. In fact usually they stay out of it.
Except Eurmal, who is weirdly might be the most likely to follow Orlanth’s lead. Those Tricksters stay together.
This why I refer to the Lightbringers Pantheon and not something like Storm Tribe.
Also remember there are another 60-70k initiates in Ralios as well. And it bleeds into Seshnela with the overlapping cult of Xemela.
So again, as with my earlier posts on Issaries and Lhankor Mhy, these cults are probably better understood as being part of larger, supra-tribal world.
Within the Pelorian Basin/Lunar Heartlands, is Chalana arroy still known by the name Erissa, or has this changed now and she is known as CA in Peloria as well? Pelorian is a different language, and in most of the Pelorian languages, she’s called Erissa. But the title Chalana Arroy is used as well. Nobody gets confused by this.
In practice, CA is not fully neutral in the conflict against the Lunar Empire, because they cannot refuse a valid Lightbringers Summons entirely. CA is perfectly adept at doing that while highlighting its neutrality against all except the demise of the cosmos. And I wouldn’t be surprised if the Red Emperor hasn’t backed down when his CA priestess informs him of that.
CA often gets played as an often-frustrated healer in a party of warriors. My suggestion is to turn that around. She’s a radical alternative voice, seeking healing rather than combat. Heal the foe, offer them mercy, and throw yourself on their mercy rather than resort to violence.
A nice example of this is Prince/King Ezran from the Netflix series The Dragon Prince (which I watched with my kids).