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She took the form of a tanned, lithe giantess with long legs, wearing leather armor and carrying a spear that flamed on her command, a bow, and a quiver of arrows. Her hair was red-golden, and her large eyes were hazel brown.
Hiatea was the daughter of Annam. Her mother was an unnamed sky goddess or, according to some myths, a mortal giant. Annam originally preferred sons over daughters, and used magic to ensure the gender of his offspring was male. Hiatea's mother hid her pregnancy from Annam and had her daughter raised by firbolgs so that Annam would never learn of her existence.
When she came of age, a messenger was sent from her mother's deathbed to tell Hiatea of her true parentage. Hiatea proved herself with a series of daring feats, culminating in an epic battle with a great monster, sometimes named as a Lernaean hydra with fifty heads and sometimes as a tarrasque. She was sometimes said to have used her spear to slay an enormous hydra, preventing its heads from regenerating by cauterizing them with fire.
She brought a trophy of her kill to her father, who recognized her valor and worth, accepting her as one of his own offspring. Upon learning of her existence, her brother Stronmaus was overjoyed and celebrated by creating mighty storms that flooded the worlds, washing away great evils in the process.
She was strong, confident, and an exceptional hunter.
Hiatea had two aspects. From her firbolg upbringing, she had an affinity for community, agriculture, and family. Once she discovered her true patrimony (another myth said it was due to Stronmaus' teasing), she reinvented herself as a mighty hunter and protector.
Hiatea lived in Woodhaven on the wild, rugged layer of Eronia on the plane of Elysium. She often journeyed to the Beastlands on hunting expeditions, impressing all who dwelled there.
Hiatea communicated frequently with her priests and shamans, sending omens in the form of distinctive shapes in the fires, or in flaming spheres within dying embers. Her community priests might see omens in the dreams of children. She might also send omens in the form of a gigantic (2-foot wingspan) yellow-gold moth that would spiral around flame. Her priests perceived messages in its path of flight. Those who captured the moth alive would be invisible in woodlands for up to six days.
Hiatea was worshiped by giants of all species, especially females. Firbolgs and voadkyn (wood giants) of both genders were particularly fond of Hiatea, and considered her to be their special patron.
Hiatea taught that nature was both creator and destroyer, and that admitting defeat was the worst shame a giant could bear. Still, some prices were too high to pay even for victory, for Hiatea was a goddess with tendencies toward good.
Hiatea's priests typically had one of two roles, although the boundary between the two could occasionally be fuzzy. There were the community priests ("priests of the steadings") who tended to agriculture and the raising, protection, and education of children, and there were the protector (or sentinel) priests who patrolled woodlands and forests and kept an eye on other races. Her voadkyn protector priests went out of their way to maintain relations with the wood elves.
Among the firbolgs, female clerics might be somewhat more numerous than male ones, though males and females were considered of equal merit in all of Hiatea's sects. The highest priests of Hiatea belonged to no community, instead visiting the giant steadings only to issue orders to the priests of the community.
All of Hiatea's clerics must be capable of surviving and hunting in the wilderness. Those who lost this ability because of age, injury, or other ailment had to retire.
Once a month or so, the community priests accompanied the sentinel priests and the faithful on a ceremonial hunt. Once a year, usually in the spring, they selected a particularly challenging creature to kill.
Making family decisions without consulting a community priest of Hiatea was considered a minor sin by the faithful.
- Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 221. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
- Carl Sargent (May 1992). Monster Mythology. (TSR, Inc), p. 77. ISBN 1-5607-6362-0.
- Ray Winninger (September 1995). Giantcraft. Edited by Karen S. Boomgarden. (TSR, Inc.), p. 49. ISBN 0-7869-0163-2.
- Colin McComb (1996). On Hallowed Ground. Edited by Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc), p. 175. ISBN 0-7869-0430-5.
- Ray Winninger (September 1995). Giantcraft. Edited by Karen S. Boomgarden. (TSR, Inc.), p. 48. ISBN 0-7869-0163-2.
- Carl Sargent (May 1992). Monster Mythology. (TSR, Inc), p. 73. ISBN 1-5607-6362-0.
- Ray Winninger (September 1995). Giantcraft. Edited by Karen S. Boomgarden. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 48–49. ISBN 0-7869-0163-2.
- Eric L. Boyd (September 1995). “Forgotten Deities: Grond Peaksmasher”. In Duane Maxwell ed. Polyhedron #111 (TSR, Inc.), p. 4.
- Dale Donovan (December 1995). “Liber Benevolentiae”. In Michele Carter ed. Planes of Conflict (TSR, Inc.), p. 50. ISBN 0-7869-0309-0.
- Ray Winninger (September 1995). Giantcraft. Edited by Karen S. Boomgarden. (TSR, Inc.), p. 50. ISBN 0-7869-0163-2.