Almost all of Rasenna knows of Theht, and who she is, but not quite so many know her all that well. Most are aware of her as the goddess of death and time, and seek to learn nothing more; the superstitious are fond of saying that “asking too many questions of the gods attracts their attention,” and it’s commonly held that no god’s attentions are so final as those of Theht. She is the goddess of death and time, of endings and, paradoxically, of ever-turning cycles. To a lesser extent, she’s an earth goddess, but obviously not the embodiment of the fertility and growing things aspect of earth. Although technically ranked as one of the Centered Nine, Theht seems to have no real allegiances or rivalries among her fellow deities — she simply is. She is not a popular deity in Rasenna: she features heavily in many folktales and parables, but rarely as a welcome figure. This is particularly true among the merchant and aristocratic classes, who are naturally resistant to the moral that wealth and power ultimately come to nothing.

In Rasenna, Theht’s symbol is typically one of three things: a candle, burning or snuffed; an hourglass; or an unbroken circle. Animals associated with her include crows, whippoorwills and black dogs; her plants are the ash tree and the white lily. Gold and silver are the metals most often used for Thehtite paraphernalia, and her gemstone is jade. She is not popularly known to send omens.

Depictions of the goddess herself are rare, but the Rasennans usually portray her as a lovely woman with an endlessly patient, collected demeanor. She is often portrayed with simpler, though still elegant, clothing than most deific representations are given. A few paintings or sculptures show her offering her hand as if expecting the viewer to take it. Many people acknowledge a more bogeyman-like figure in the form of the Reaper, a skeletal harvestman often depicted with scythe, sickle, sword or grain flail, sometimes with a horse-cart to carry newly harvested souls off to the hereafter. Rustic folklore has it that the Reaper and Theht are not one and the same, and that the Reaper is simply one of Theht’s vassals, the one charged with the day-to-day office of collecting the fallen; others call Theht the Reaper, and depict the skeletal figure in more feminine robes.

In most cultures, Theht is invoked during funerals or at the sickbed (or deathbed) of a loved one, and beyond that, rarely at all. Her priests lead services on each equinox and solstice to mark the continued progression of time and the seasons, but apart from that, Theht has no holy days that require the communal worship of more than her most dedicated followers.

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Rasennan Summer Barastrondo