Religion

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Author note: As you might expect from a setting that focuses on discovery, the gods have more than a few mysteries about them. This article provides a summary of what is commonly known by the PC races, and hence what your characters might expect to know. IC, expect characters to know less about the other factions' deities than they do about their own.

Deities of Nature[edit]

The Antlered One[edit]

The true name of the Antlered One is lost to time. An ancient fertility god, he often attracts followers drawn to the physical aspect of his power, but accepts the worship of all who seek to see life spread and grow. Many farmers worship him first above all.

Depictions of the Antlered One usually have a craggy, lined face with strongly animalistic features and long, tangled hair. Beyond this, they vary wildly, from Bacchanalian festivals through to dramatic poses against natural backdrops surrounded by peaceful animals.

RL cults you could draw on for inspiration include Bacchus/Dionysus for grapes and love, and classic Druidic cults.

Domains: Hearth and Home, Nature

Gygos the Green[edit]

Also known as the Green Knight, Gygos is often turned to by those who fight to protect nature or the balance. He has been known to appear occasionally to turn the tide of a battle or to protect a threatened glade, but otherwise is not known for answering prayers or speaking with his followers.

While The Antlered One is definitely a social god, Gygos is solitary. Rangers who spend long stretches of time alone in the wilds, defending the sanctity of wild places, often turned to him, the romantic depiction of a natural warrior, who takes the side of those who live in harmony with nature rather than seeking to impose their will on it. He is especially popular among Elven rangers and Halfling wardens, and is frequently depicted as belonging to one of those races. However, in recent history he has barely been heard from; natural destruction has taken place on a large scale due to the war, and his worshipers have become fewer as peoples banded together to fight for their survival.

The poem of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is one RL inspiration to draw on here, key is that the Green Knight is mysterious and rarely if ever removes his helm or reveals his true nature. It is possible that some stories of the Green Knight were simply a ranger wearing green who performed some minor act of local heroism; certainly, his cult promotes the view that the Green Knight will not come to the aid of those not willing to stand up in defense.

Domains: War and Destruction, Nature

Elakadencia, Queen of the Fey[edit]

The fey have many kings and queens, each ruling over their own pocket of the Feywilds. Elakadencia is tall, wise and beautiful with feathered wings of raven black; a powerful and uncompromising champion of the Balance, she receives the unquestioning fealty of her subjects.

Aristocratic and powerful, Elakadencia draws on the Fey themes of glamour and command. Her Fey servants include many warriors, and many among the Ents revere her especially. Elakadencia is the threat of punishment should you despoil wild places. As such, her name is feared among mortal races, and never spoken aloud lest one draw the attention of her and her servants. She is much better known among halflings than the other races, for in recent times her name has been whispered on their borders.

RL inspirations here obviously include Maleficent, though there are no tales of spinning wheels or golden haired human children in her mythos, and Titania from A Midsummer Night's Dream. But the fey who steal children or replace them with changelings, and who lead astray travelers in the woods and entrap them forever... those stories are the ones that are whispered when Elakadencia's name is in the wind.

Domains: Hearth and Home, Nature/Fey

Queen Trixiveria[edit]

The fey have many kings and queens, each ruling over their own pocket of the Feywilds. A playful spirit, Trixiveria's lighthearted manner does little to conceal her magical power. Perhaps more in tune with the twisting magics of the Feywilds than any other, she is often sought out by mortals.

If Elakadencia draws on the darker fae traditions, Trixiveria is patron to many of the lighter ones. She is more likely to be surrounded by tricksters, who while they may cause harm from their pranks are not seriously intending to do so... merely unaware that mortals have limitations they do not share. Informal and approachable, Trixiveria is one to whom mortals might turn should they have reason to seek the guidance of the Fey. She is much better known among Elves than the other races, and oft spoken of among the feyborn races that live among the Elven people.

In RL terms, Trixiveria is Puck to Elakadencia's Titania, though perhaps more willing to unveil her considerable power. A natural force, the Elves respect her but do not wish for too close attention, in case the nature of reality gets changed for them on a whim.

Domains: Nature, Magic/Fey

The Balance[edit]

Halflings, and occasional others, revere the Balance above all. By making pacts with the elemental spirits of land, sky, river and flame, druidic servants of the Balance can direct natural power. However, elemental spirits do not all think alike; some may refuse pacts, or may feel that serving the Balance requires a cull...

The Balance is the elemental force that druids acknowledge as the font of their power. Its exact nature is mysterious, since among other things its power can be used to conjure any of the Elements, but it definitely seems to be elemental in nature. Some druids believe it is simply an extremely old and powerful elemental, others believe it is actually a council of four elementals, one of each of the main types, and so on. Druids never speak with it directly, instead making pacts with individual elementals.

RL inspiration here is closes to the Japanese Shinto tradition of kami - spirits that inhabit the land and may be bargained with. Unlike Shinto, however, ancestor spirits are not a part of the mythos and nor is shinkai. But bargaining with the kami for a good harvest, or giving thanks to a spring when one drinks from it... these would be the sorts of rituals that a follower of the Balance would embrace.

Domains: Hearth and Home, Nature/Halfling

The Seven Divines[edit]

The Seven Divines are the heroes who saved humanity. They were among the leaders of humanity during the Great War, and ascended in a ritual on what is now called Sunrise Isle. Sanctifying the ocean against Elven encroachment, they established a safe haven for humans on Sunrise Isle and its larger neighbour, Sunset Isle, and helped secure the Retreat by defending the Wall from early attacks.

Inspiration for the Seven Divines is drawn from Morrowind's Almsivi, Warhammer 40k's Primarchs and many other similar sources.

The Emperor[edit]

One of the Seven Divines, responsible for saving Humanity from extinction. The Emperor still rules the City today, though rarely shows himself in person. Those involved in maintaining the city's law, guards and magistrates, are the most likely to worship the Emperor directly.

A real and tangible presence in the City, many in the upper City have seen the Emperor in person at least once at a festival or other public event (though he attends such infrequently). The literal and figurative center of the City's government, he is also its protector and shield, his very presence a watchful guardian against any threat... most notably the Dark One below. A handsome man in his prime, he has appeared in his 40s since his ascension.

Of note is that he has never taken a consort, and while he has never indicated any desire to do so, that hasn't stopped this being the secret or not-so-secret dream of many ambitious or romantically-inclined ladies (and occasional gentlemen).

Domains: War and Destruction, Knowledge and Invention

Morrian, Lady Moon[edit]

One of the Seven Divines, responsible for saving Humanity from extinction. Morrian is the mother figure of the official pantheon, the soft light of the Moon governing the times when families are together under their own roof. Many families have a small shrine to Morrian even if their primary devotion is to another of the Seven, while she is the most popular divine patron for members of House Renerrin.

Her popularity among House Renerrin is because she was a member of the House in her pre-ascension life, the wife of Aliando. She remained in the City until he passed away, and is now believed to wander the Perenor peninsula, bringing her blessings to the villages there. In the early years in particular many Halflings reported her visits, though reports have been scarce of late.

Elegant and cultured, Morrian is very much the noble lady, but also a charismatic leader and played an important role reassuring refugees that the island retreat plan was a good one. It's fair to say that the City would hardly exist in its current form without her.

Domains: Hearth and Home, Knowledge and Invention

Solkin, Lord Sun[edit]

One of the Seven Divines, responsible for saving Humanity from extinction. Solkin's primary sphere is that of war, and most of House Drannis grant him their primary devotion. However, he is also the god of passion, worshiped by lovers and craftsmen alike.

Solkin's followers tend to be sober and serious in public, and more relaxed behind closed doors. Public face is important, after all. He has not been seen in the City for some time; his priests report that he battles with the Elven gods beyond the Wall, ensuring that they do not interfere with the Alliance's defenses to possibly catastrophic effect.

His inspiration is largely drawn from soldier deities; his craft sphere is mainly focused on things needed for the war effort but acknowledges the value of non-combatant crafters who supply the defenses.

Domains: War and Destruction, Knowledge and Invention

Nocturne, Lady Night[edit]

One of the Seven Divines, responsible for saving Humanity from extinction. Nocturne is a common choice for those involved in secretive matters, such as espionage or scouting. Praying to Nocturne that your passage may not be noted by others is a common prayer, even for those who are not normal devotees of the Lady of Night.

Nocturne's cultists tend to be private people, and are more inclined to be dreamers than doers... or at least, to give that impression. Her past life is less well known than many of the other Divines... there is one one rumour, the sort that the Inquisition frown heavily upon, that she was the lover of one of the other Seven and that was how she came to join with them in ascension. She is, perhaps, more Chaotic in nature than the other Divines, which in turn has an impact on how quickly her followers are trusted by others.

She doesn't draw from any particular inspirations, in particular while being a goddess of espionage her church is not Evil in the Maskite bent. Stealth is a weapon, that can be used for good means or ill.

Domains: Knowledge and Invention, Trickery and Deceit

Trannos, Lord Twilight[edit]

One of the Seven Divines, responsible for saving Humanity from extinction. Trannos is the usual patron of scholars and those who seek to uncover mysteries. For this reason, many craftsman prefer Trannos and his measured philosophy to the passion of Solkin.

One of the last refugees of a decimated people, Trannos was the principal architect of the Wall, perhaps the greatest feat of engineering accomplished in the world. His followers tend to be scholars and craftspeople rather than warriors, inhabiting the libraries and workshops of the City. It is not uncommon for libraries to have a small shrine to Trannos in a corner somewhere.

Again, no particular deity served as inspiration for Trannos, though perhaps you can think of him as the god of geeks!

Domains: Hearth and Home, Knowledge and Invention

Serrian, Lord of Stars[edit]

One of the Seven Divines, responsible for saving Humanity from extinction. The messenger and guide of the gods, Serrian is the usual patron of sailors and others whose life sees much travelling. Those who follow another patron will often offer a prayer to Serrian before embarking on a journey.

In any war, information is vital, and Serrian was one of the bolder and more fortunate message carriers. He was also the one who secured the ship that the Divines used to first reach Sunrise Isle... there are many tales of the travails he went through on his various journeys.

His antecedents include Hermes and Shaundakul; he is generally depicted as one of the junior members of the pantheon, but loyal and diligent, and his servants are seen to hold those traits.

Domains: War and Destruction, Knowledge and Invention

Verria, Lady Void[edit]

One of the Seven Divines, responsible for saving Humanity from extinction. Verria is often turned to by those dealing with loss or heartbreak; her devotees accept that the world is a hard place, but find solace in Her worship. Devotees of Verria are often fatalists, praying to Verria to alter their fate.

Verria's background is a tragic one. Lover to an Elf before the war, when his people started the war, he tried to betray her to her death. Escaping the trap, she rallied the local people and got them to safety. Thus at the heart of the war from the beginning, she was ever there to provide succour and comfort to the human and halfling forces, mainly working as a healer though there are many tales of her stepping up to lead when a situation went bad.

The starting point for Verria's development was "Shar, without the evil magic" - loss and solace are powerful concepts and give a lot of space for exploration.

Domains: Hearth and Home, Knowledge and Invention

Deities of Magic[edit]

Deities of magic are mainly Elven in origin, but there is one human.

The Dark One[edit]

The cancer below the City, the source of forbidden blood magics. Those who desire the power to overthrow the rulers of the City sometimes seek it in the darkest of places. Worship of the Dark One is strictly outlawed.

The Inquisition regularly conduct purges in the Undercity, seeking out nests of heretics who have fallen into worshiping the Dark One. Her name is never mentioned; if speaking it does not bring Her attention down upon you, it will certainly bring that of the Inquisition.

Stories of the Dark One are confusing, in part because speaking of them openly is a Bad Idea. But it's generally accepted that she was the one who guided the Seven on the path to ascension, only to turn on them and attempt to claim their power for her own. Successfully overcoming her, the Seven banished her into the depths, and remain vigilant in case she seeks to challenge them once more.

Domains: Trickery and Deceit, Magic/Human

Seravithia the Star-Eyed[edit]

Also known as the Star-Eyed Lady, Seravithia is often hailed as the inventor of magic, the first wizard among the Elven people. Teaching her first followers how to tap into natural power and weave it into spells, she spent her natural life span discovering and teaching. Death never claimed her, though her followers now hear from her but rarely, and most often in dreams.

Conservative and traditional, Seravithia's nature is to protect and preserve. Rarely roused to action, the tales speak of her thoroughness and attention to detail in her planning. Truly, a patron worthy of wizards.

Domains: Hearth and Home, Magic/Elf

Akavos the Firelord[edit]

Ascending to godhood during the Great War, Akavos was a mighty battle mage. His ascension occurred in the middle of a battle during which he was channeling great power... those who have attempted to replicate the feat have not survived. Naturally gifted with fire magics, he is often worshiped by other pyromancers.

Where the Star-Eyed is measured, Akavos is impulsive. A young god, his ascension having come during the war against humanity, he is often the chosen patron of sorcerers and warriors.

Domains: War and Destruction, Magic/Elf

Sabatha the Sneak[edit]

Sabatha is hailed in Elven mythology as the one who stole the secret of fire from the gods. An ancient deity, she is hailed as something of a trickster, and her overt worship is looked down on by traditionalists. Scouts, jesters, those who challenge the status quo, and those who have something to hide often take Sabatha as their patron.

Her open worship is generally frowned upon in polite society (i.e. all of it); she is seen as in opposition to Seravithia, whose will has guided the Elven people to flourish for most of history. Despite this, her worship is not outlawed, and her followers do not go against the will of the Elders. Neither her power nor her Elven nature are disputed, and hence while she is content not to challenge the People she and her followers remain welcome.

Domains: Trickery and Deceit, Magic/Elf

Beast Cults[edit]

Less civilised races often worship so-called "Beastlords". Little is known about Beastlords in detail; they come and go, and occasionally lead crusades out of the Northern tundra to invade more southern lands. It has been a long time since the last such crusade, however.

Magthar the Mighty[edit]

Little is known about Magthar at this time. His name is carried south on the lips of traders and trackers, worshiped by many in the frozen North.

Domains: War and Destruction, Nature/Monstrous

Valaros[edit]

Rumoured to be the First Shapeshifter, and hence the official or unofficial patron of shapeshifters across the world. Highly secretive, there are very few tales of him... or her... or whatever!

Domains: War and Destruction, Trickery and Deceit