Cult of Rhya

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The Cult of Rhya is the organised worship of the God Rhya across the Old World. [1a]

Rhya is well-loved by the rural people of the Empire but those in towns and cities often give the goddess little thought until they need her — to ease the pains of childbirth, fill the granaries or bring an end to a harsh winter. [1b]


The primitive humans, later known as the Belthani migrated to what would become known as the Old World worshipped a dual natured god-goddess known as Ishernos. It later split into Rhya and Taal with the Belthani being given the secrets of farming by the goddess. In gratitude, they worshipped her within the mysterious stone circles they discovered across the land. [1a]

Later arrivals - the Asoborns, Bretonni, the Brigundians and the Menogoths gave Rhya special reverence and whilst the Taleuten tribe gave Taal a dominant role, they also worshipped her as his divine consort. [1a]

The worship of Rhya remained important as Sigmar created his empire but as priests of Ulric, Taal, and later Sigmar became wrestled politically, Rhya’s cult remained pragmatic, focusing on the eternal earthbound concerns. [1a]

In Bretonnia, Rhya’s cult was displaced by that of the Lady amongst the ruling classes but peasants stayed loyal to the fertility goddess, [1a] each village having a shrine to the goddess. [1c]

Holy Days

Rites are conducted in the open with wheatfields and ancient stone circles playing host to timeworn, familiar, and joyful rituals. Singing, dancing and laughter follow prayer and both children and young folk play a key role in the rites, embodying new life whilst statues are draped with flowers and fruit. [1d]

  • Mitterfruhl: - Spring growth: The beginning of Rhya’s time in the year is the spring equinox which she shares with her consort Taal and her son Manann, all of whom expect sacrifice. Rites to the goddess take place in the fields, where songs are sung to implore her for a fruitful year and a portion of food left over from winter is ploughed back into the earth. Those hoping for new love or children present personal gifts for Rhya. [1e]
  • Sonnstill: The Summer equinox and the longest day is Rhya’s holiest and when the goddess is at her most radiant. Every Each village has its own traditions for celebrating the festival day and which may be alarming or bizarre to outsiders. [1e]
  • Mittherbst:Less growth: The autumn equinox where Rhya gifts the world to Ulric. a sacrifice is made in gratitude to Rhya, asking that stocks last the winter. [1e]


Although cultists seldom known much of the Elf Goddess, those that do see her as kin to Rhya whilst the Elves themselves treat Rhya with unusual respect. [1e]


There are a handful of abbeys scattered across the land but no grand temples. [1b]

  • The Ring of the Maiden: One of Rhya’s most sacred sites to which priestesses travel to make offerings and commune with the goddess and even passing Elves pay tribute to the site. It is located ten miles north of Wolfsbach in Stirland. [1f]
  • The Röten Gorge:From spring to autumn, its slopes become a a sea of flowers which provide nectar to the many beehives tended by Rhyan nuns. [1f]
  • Sacred Pool of the Mother: A round pool with clear green water, fringed with fruit trees. The home of the hierarch of Ostland. [1f]


The most exalted priestesses are known as Hierarchs or Green Watchers. [1b]

  • Blessed Phoebe: In the famous Divine Dialogues Phoebe debates with the Morrite priest Ortus Szich on life and death. [1c]
  • Green Watcher: All the tribes of what would become the Empire had traditions of a very tall woman who travelled the land, bringing them seeds, taming beasts and clearing stone circles for Rhya’s worship. [1c]
  • Harvan von Heine: A noble of Averland who in the early 2200s IC favoured Rhya above all other gods and was rewarded by many children and abundant yields on his estate. His descendants follow his wisdom. [1c]
  • Jeska Schopf: The Green Watcher of Reikland who represents the goddess on the Emperor’s Grand Conclave. [1c]
  • Katrinelya: Hierarch of Rhya in western Talabecland and companion of
  • Niev, hierarch of Taa. [1c]
  • Mother Frasach: In 1623 IC, she led a month-long ritual to banish the blight affecting the crops, restoring life throughout the southern Empire. [1c]


  • The Bringers of Bounty: Priestesses who perform rituals of fecundity for crops and livestock, lead festivals and public rites at the equinoxes. [1b]
  • Corn Mothers: A secret coven who preserve Rhya’s greatest mysteries. [1b]
  • Daughters of Rhya: Priestesses who have all themselves given birth at least once in their lives and now dedicate themselves as midwives for mothers-to-be. [1b]


A Priestess of Rhya rises at dawn, washes herslef in rainwater, and then begins their ministrations as the land wakes. Typically they provide practical advice and assistance within the comforting regularity of rural life, varying only with the seasons. Ceremonies and rites are held several times a week and they remain vigilant for threats to land and life, especially famine and blights.

The servants of the goddess are able to use their understanding of people and psychology to identify and limit strife or unhealthy changes in their community and although sympathetic they are also honest and direct. Clothing is chosen by the individual priestesses who favour green and brown fabric and sheepskin for warmth in winter. They may carry a staff as a badge of office, usually carved to resemble a head of wheat. During ceremonies, she may wear a crown of barleyand some insist that they must greet their goddess skyclad. [1g]

Male priests are rare but not unknown but there are no Warrior Priests or Witch Hunters of the cult.[1g]


Many rural communities believe they must put something back into the earth to repay Rhya for her generosity which varies from settlement to settlement. Some gift the first fruit to ripen, or the firstborn of their livestock and rumours abound of blood and even human life given in exchange for blessings of the goddess. Rhya has no interest in material wealth so any sacrifice must be something which can provide sustenance to life but fish and wild animals are forbidden, as they belong to Manann and Taal. [1d]



  • 1: Archives of the Empire Vol III
    • 1a: The Cult of Rhya, pg. 66
    • 1b: The Cult of Rhya, pg. 67
    • 1c: The Cult of Rhya, pg. 68
    • 1d: The Cult of Rhya, pg. 69
    • 1e: The Cult of Rhya, pg. 70
    • 1f: The Cult of Rhya, pg. 71
    • 1g: The Cult of Rhya, pg. 73