Shae and The Shae Bearers
Shae is the hermaphroditic goddess of life, birth, fertility, growth, harvest, and variety. Her symbol is the crab claw. She is highly associated with the ocean given its plentiful supply of food, its vast variety of life, and constant movement of the water.
Her tenants declare that all life is sacred and should be protected, Murder is the highest sin. Wasting food is sin. Destroying crops and hunting for sport are sin. Shae also gives great value to women, as they bear the children of the world.
The followers of Shae come in many varieties. Average followers pray to her for good harvests or healthy children, following her tenants at their most basic form. However some groups believe her to be the most righteous goddess and follow her tenants to extremes. One of the most prominent groups following Shae are The Shae Bearers.
The Shae Bearers are a near monastic order who uphold Shae’s doctrine with incredible zeal. Members dress plainly, Men shave their heads, women never cut their hair. All members wear weighted “bumps” over their bellies giving them the appearance of pregnancy. This bump is only allowed to be removed if the member is both female and pregnant.
The Shae Bearers are non violent, but train in the art of non-lethal combat. Their religious work is backed up by impressive skills using quarter staves, Saps, and even palm strikes. Many describe the fighting style of The Shae Bearers to be amusing given the swollen bumps they wear.
The Shae bearers outlaw any form of birth-control, as all life is sacred. As well they encourage people to follow their natural instincts. “All life is sacred and Shae will provide”. Many members raise orphans or children who’s parents cannot take care of them. Most members work partially as social workers, partially as farmers. Often times new members of the order will make pilgrimages to farms both within Meridian and outside Meridian serving as a free farmhand. These members are encouraged procreate on this journey so that they can experience the gift of life.