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Ravithra

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Ravithra
(Deity)
Titles Mother of Nagas
Karmic Pillar
Chalice-Bearer
Realm Nagaloka, Astral Plane (assumed)
Alignment Lawful neutral
Areas of Concern Nagas, uphold karma
Worshipers Nagas
Edicts Enforce karma's pitiless judgement
Shame fools
Kill traitors
Pursue the Chalice of Amrit
Anathema Make decisions erratically or randomly
Provide aid to Vasaghati or her followers
Engage in treachery
Cleric Alignments (2E)
Domains (2E) Fate, naga, sorrow, truth
Alternative: ambition, soul
Favored Weapon Jaws or light mace
Symbol Gilded sun wheel

Source: Belly of the Black Whale, pg(s). 75

Ravithra is the Vudrani goddess of snakes, the patron deity of the nagas, who once upheld karma over all beings until she succumbed to treachery, and now seeks to return to her rightful role.[1]

History

In the primordial days of the Great Beyond, ancient deities, or perhaps the Monad, charged the danava titan Ravithra with upholding communal karma and maintaining the balance of influence of mortal civilisations on the multiverse. She kept but did not look into the Chalice of Amrit, whose waters displayed all potentialities of a soul, and was assisted by powerful aeons gifted by her peer, the Akashic Guru.[1]

While her kin waged war for dominance, Ravithra continued to fulfil her duties by protecting Vudra and carefully calibrating karma, in the process earning devotion among the people and allies among her peers, chief among them Vasaghati, goddess of destruction and corruption. However, the petty Vasaghati craved the Chalice of Amrit, and plotted against Ravithra, filling her with self-doubt whether her understanding of her role was sufficient to perform it well. Eventually, Ravithra succumbed to her curiosity and decided to look into the Chalice of Amrit to discern her place.[1]

As the waters of the Chalice formed into a vision, Ravithra saw the impending terror as Vasaghati strangled her. The Chalice of Amrit spilled its waters, drowning Ravithra's aeon allies, while Vasaghati decapitated Ravithra herself and held her head aloft, causing her blood to fill the Chalice of Amrit and devastate Vudra.[1]

However, Ravithra yet lived, the knowledge of her true purpose to uphold karma having washed away her doubts.[1] However, corrupted by her rage and failure, Ravithra further devastated Vudra while Vasaghati fled with the Chalice of Amrit. In her single-minded pursuit of her former power and self-certainty, Ravithra started believing herself immune to the consequences of her foul acts.[2]

During the Age of Serpents, Ravithra empowered her naga servants with her power and desperation, allowing them to build an empire across Vudra. She tasked them with recovering the Chalice and adhering to the balance of karma without question, unlike herself.[2]

Eventually, Ravithra learnt that the Chalice was hidden on the highest mountain on Vudra, where the nagas could not reach. She then sought the help of Sudachala, first of the garudas, promising to release his mother Janasini (whom she had previously imprisoned) if he were to retrieve the Chalice and deliver it to the nagas without looking into it or drinking its waters. However, the god Gruhastha revealed to Sudachala that the Chalice of Amrit would restore Ravithra's command of karma and grant the nagas immortality, so they presented a skilful illusion to her. As Sudachala did not look into the Chalice and could not replicate what he did not see, Ravithra immediately discerned the false Chalice's true nature, but not before the nagas had already sipped from it. As they bit into the long grasses beneath the water, the nagas' tongues split, and they quickly fled in pain and rage. Soon after, the naga empire fell.[2]

Home

Ravithra's realm is Nagaloka, which once overlooked Vudra from Nirvana but has since drifted away beneath the River of Souls. Only the souls of her faithful servants and fallen aeons, now called Fearful Ones, occupy Nagaloka. Ravithra usually spends her time in Nagaloka's highest spire, coiled around the pedestal that once held the Chalice of Amrit, and which is still stained by its spilled waters. These stains are also portals to various places across Vudra, and Ravithra immediately knows everyone who uses them and their intentions.[2]

Relationships

Ravithra's arch-enemy is Vasaghati, her first friend and betrayer. One of the naga empire's key edicts was the extermination of Vasaghati's followers.[3] Sudachala, who created the false Chalice of Amrit and smote the nagas' tongues, is another hated rival: no naga deals peaceably with a garuda, out of fear of Ravithra's wrath. Sudachala tells Ravithra that he has hidden the real Chalice somewhere secure and out of her grasp, but Ravithra does not believe him.[4]

Gruhastha, who believes that Ravithra has been corrupted by her rage and whose followers are dedicated to foiling the schemes of Ravithra's, has also been a thorn in her side. His clarity prevents him from agreeing with her dogmatism, while Ravithra believes that Gruhastha knows the Chalice of Amrit's location, even though he claims otherwise. However, Gruhastha's uncle Irori remains cordial with Ravithra: they often speak of the balance of karma and fate, and he understands that even if she could achieve her goals, she would have to hold herself accountable for her acts.[3]

Ravithra is the mother of the primarily Tian Xia goddess Nalinivati, who originally emerged from her throat.[2][4] Other allies include Vineshvakhi, Dhalavei, and Suyuddha.[3]

Appearance

Ravithra's beautiful and horrible face is all that is left of her original form; after Vasaghati beheaded her, she grew a new ophidian body with a cobra's hood marked with a gilded sun wheel. In the Seat of the Golden Moon, she is depicted as a long gold-and-white snake connected to her head only by strands of gore, while in Nagajor, she is portrayed as a stern judge and mother gazing skyward or swollen with eggs.[2]

Church

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Vudra

Ravithra is worshipped widely in Vudra, though the extent of that worship is considerably more than most in the country imagine.[5]

References