Tales from the Inner Sea
Ciha is the God of Healing and Solace and as such is greatly esteemed by all; his titles are Golden Handed Ciha, Merciful Lord, Pain Taker and Life’s Champion. His depiction is normally of a beautiful young man with long flowing fair hair and unsmiling countenance, and his hands glow with a warming golden light at all times. His worship is universal, and whilst he has comparatively few Initiates compared to Nerukata and Sensu for example, he has many lay followers who all acknowledge his power and good deeds.
He was born of Sensu and Nerukata, and is the last of the major gods born to the King and Queen of Heaven, being the youngest amongst Satrom, Bumi-Bijiran and Perang. His birth was necessitated by the existence of Perang and Yesan, for in the aftermath of their battles, the peoples of the world suffered greatly. His birth heralded a great wash of healing across the Planes and all, both God and Mortal finally knew an easing to their suffering and pain.
The tenets of his faith are that his Initiates and Priesthood take on a vow of pacifism and to aid all who come to them in genuine need of healing and solace. No weapons or armour may be carried or utilised by the Initiates and Priests of his clergy, but they are far from defenceless; there are tales (and some reliable rather than apocryphal) of those who attempt to harm or slay his followers and those they have sworn protection over being unable to heal the smallest of wounds and becoming horribly sick from the mildest of illnesses. In their simple plain cotton and wool robes in plain white with yellow sleeves, they are familiar sights in any area where sickness and injury is commonplace. Their temples are simple and practical structures that are infirmary and hospital as much as they are places of worship. Many also take the aspect of orphanages, and orphans are often placed under the care of his clergy. There is no central temple for the cult, with each one operating individually but trying to stay in loose contact with nearby ones, resulting in a loose network of congregations and centres of healing.
His High Holy day is called Mercygiving and is observed on the last Cihamal of the 10th month; it is a sombre and peaceful day given over to charitable acts and deeds by lay members and other cults, for the clergy and church of Ciha never stop helping and caring for the hurt. There are services of course, but the services are much simpler than all other cults and it is not unusual for the High Priest of a temple to perform the Rites of Worship at the same time they are tending to the sick.
They do allow marriage for the clergy, but the vocation of healing and the duty of the cult always comes first, and it is a rare person who can marry a Priest of Priestess of the Healing god and accept that; for this reason it is often that relationships of a romantic kind develop within the Cult members, for often only another healer can understand their depth of commitment.
Cult skills are First Aid, Human Lore, Treat Disease, Treat Poison, Craft (Healer), Plant Lore. Wherever there is at least an Initiate of Ciha present, training in some of these skills is possible.
Cult magic is strong but almost totally pacifistic; the spells Befuddle and Sleep is their only defence, and any who have been rendered non combatant by its use are considered under the protection of the caster and Ciha, with dire reprisals visited upon those who break this. Unlike the Initiates of other cults, the Initiates of Ciha gain their Divine magic on a reusable basis; it is never one use, though only Priests can receive the Resurrect spell. Also of note, the Divine Heal Wound spell for Priests is always available providing they have sacrificed for it, and they never need to pray in a temple to regain the use of it after casting.
Spirit – Befuddle, Dullblade, Endurance, Heal, Light, Shimmer, Sleep.
Divine – Comfort Song, Resurrect, Heal Body, Restore Health (all), Regrow Limb.
The attitude to the Cult of Ciha is favourable from all of the good and neutral gods, though unusually the relationship between Ciha and Perang is warmer than one would expect between the War God and the God of Healing; it is believed that Cihas merciful nature and boundless compassion has moderated Perang and been a positive influence on him. Ciha is opposed to the evil gods for the suffering they bring is wilful, calculated and intentional, and this is something even he cannot forgive.