My mother lived every note of life's song - bringing me into this world was her last verse. For this, my father scorned me and abandoned me, and for this very same fact, my town's midwife and adherent of Hylea raised me as her own. When I came of age, I learned that Hylea visits us on the screams of women in childbirth - and when a woman dies giving life to her child, her soul is carried away and reborn as an avian attendant of Hylea's Court. Through the miracle of the Queen of Birds, my mother has been with me, watching over me my whole life.
I wear the fetish charms of the Cloudsinger - the bird I dreamt my mother became. My feathery trinkets look gaudy and unbecoming, but it is a signal fire to women in need that I am a trained midwife, blessed by Hylea and living every note of life's song. The Queen of Birds wills us to shepherd new life into the world, and not, as the other gods so often desire, to end it.
A follower of Magran once mocked my faith, saying I worshipped paintbrushes and birds - piddling things beneath the gods. I do not resent the other gods and the brutal necessities that they must oversee - but is not language, love, the arts, and creativity that which separates us from simple beasts? Hylea allows us to rise above our savage, feral selves. I am often amused that, upon seeing our holy aviaries, visitors frequently ask "This is nice, but where is the REAL temple of Hylea?" Perhaps they think hallowed ground requires oppressive stoneworks and ceilings that hide the sky. They do not realize the Bird Queen stands not on ceremony, she makes herself manifest in the music of birds and in beauty of the ubiquitous open sky.
Hylea prefers the worship of two children singing over a thousand petitioners silently praying for victory. The Sky-mother asks so little of us, and yet so much - we are charged to live every note of life's song... it surprises me how many fail to embrace this divine calling.