Religion - Building a Home
There is only one religion that covers the whole of the known world, the religion is panthionic containing about a dozen core gods plus hundreds of demi gods and saints that are worshiped in small areas. It is rare to find a town or even a village that does not state that at least one divine being was not born or once visited it. All of the gods were once mortal with the core pantheon having obtained divinity from the demons at the time of freedom and have since shared their power with various deserving mortals.
The vast majority of the population worship the whole pantheon in general and giving praises to specific gods as the situation warrants, thus a farmer might worship Ehionna and Pelor most of the time but pray to Fhariangh if he goes for a trip to market and Nerguil if he gets sick. Most priests and temples likewise give praise to most of the pantheon although depending on their preference and location may show one god above the others. The few individuals who choose to only follow a single god are generally seen as asking for trouble from the other gods.
It is general knowledge that the gods wander the world from time to time. Their rarely take part in major events or appear in their true forms apart from to their most devout priests at times of great need. Most recently Pelor is believed to have appeared at High Meath after the orc raid to bless the founding of the Kings council, however, many tell tail of strangers met on the road who turn out to be the gods in disguise.
The major gods of the pantheon are as follows: -
Boccob – God of magic. Boccob is considered to be the patron of mages and some priests. He is seen as being very detached from the world often spending many centuries researching some small aspect of creation and ignoring his other godly duties. Thus not well represented in many temples although technically the patron of the Kirin Tor.
Ehionna – Goddess of nature and wife of Obad-Hai. She is considered more understanding and human than her husband. Often worshiped by those who live with the land such as hunters and farmers making her one of the most prominent deity’s.
Erythnul – God of slaughter on the battlefield, brother to Kord. A dark god most commonly prayed to be soldiers on the battlefield in the hopes he will pass them by or smite their enemies.
Fhariangh – God of roads and travel. Said to spend much of him time in the world of mortals disguised as a wanderer who rewards those of help him and punishing those who hinder. Worshiped by travels, it is common to find small wayside shrines to him along most major roadways tended to be wandering priests.
Heironeous – God of valour and honour. Son of Pelor and brother to Hextor with whom he often fights. Seen as a patron to the nobility and Royal Meath although it is often felt that few stand up to his examples.
Hextor – God of ambition. Son of Pelor and brother to Heironeous with whom he often quarrels. Hextor is the patron to those who wish to improve their lot at any cost; few openly worship him but may follow him behind closed doors. Patron of Catham.
Kord – God of strength, brother to Erythnul. Worshiped by many soldiers and mercenaries, characterised as a large clumsy by friendly warrior loyal to his friends particularly his often companion Olidammara. There are many tales of him defeating monsters to save small communities.
Luna – Goddess of the moon and secrets. Mother to Hextor and Heironeous, ex-wife to Pelor and currently married to Nerguil. Shown to have a variable temperament from sweet to vicious, she is inquisitive and left Pelor for Nerguil in order to investigate death. Sometimes called the goddess of gossip as she seeks to know all the other gods secrets.
Moradin – God of metalwork. Often portrayed as a cripple he forged many of the weapons used by the gods to defeat the demons, it is said that he was acting as the gods vanguard when they attempted to obtain divinity and was overcome before it could fully affect him leading to his ailment. He is the patron in weapon smiths and some artists was well as Ironforge.
Nerguil – God of disease and death. Often worshiped to protect the worshiper and their family from his powers. Characterised as highly officious constantly keeping track of the number of diseases and their sufferers. Married to Luna who agreed to their union in exchange for the secrets of the dead and dying.
Obad-Hai – God of nature and husband to Ehionna. Odad-Hai is shown as a variable force of nature often hostile to humans. He is often prayed to for protection against bad weather and wild animals. Said to often wonder the world in the most wild of places. Worshiped by many Sorcerers.
Olidammara – The trickster god. Spends most of him time in the mortal realm often with Kord playing pranks on those who are to self-important. Not generally considered evil only punishing those who cannot see the joke, those being punished may not see things this way though.
Pelor – God of the son and leader of the gods, father to Heroneous and Hextor. Led the gods in rebellion against the demons and was the first be become divine. Often seen as a harsh and distant father figure.
St Cuthbert – Not one of the original gods but raised to among their ranks for his deeds during his life. He is the god of religion involved in the organisation of worship and the keeping of laws. He is often show smiting those who harm priests or act against the current order, often at odds with the more chaotic gods such as Olidammara, Kord and Fharlanghn. Allied to Pelor and Nerguil. Patron of Kimballa.
Vecna – Like St Cuthbert was raised into the ranks of the gods after freedom. Vecna was a powerful mage who ruled over a large part of the known world through the power of necromancy and may have been a Litch. When he was finally overthrown he called out to Nerull, Hextor and Boccob who agreed to raise him to godhood for his deeds. Worshiped by some Mages in exchange for his knowledge as well as some of those who hunt the undead as well as the undead themselves.
Daedalus - Though not one of the original pantheon, Daedalus was raised to a demigod after his achievements in life. He is now the god of architects, stonemasons and builders. No one is sure just when Daedalus lived, some say during the Time of Legend, others in the ancient times after the demons where over thrown, but his story remains the same no matter when people say it was set. Daedalus' home was under attack by a demonic entity, the city was being terrorised for years before the ruler came to Daedalus asking him to build a great labyrinth, he did and inscribed it with some form of binding sigils, once the labyrinth was built he tricked the demon into entering. Once inside the demon was trapped, Daedalus was murdered by his ruler so that the only person who knew how to navigate the labyrinth was unable to release the demon.Though in death he was raised to a demigod, as his reward for what he had achieved.
Religion at the local level is generally unorganised with a local priest in most villages only carrying out his role part time while also having a day job often as head man, herbalist or craftsman. Once in the larger towns and cities does religion become organised and permanent shires and temples are built. Following most of the rest of the culture in the known world religion tends to be feudal in structure with local priests administered but higher ranking priests in larger cities and so on up to the kingdoms high priest who are considered to be subservient to the Hierophant in Kimbala although the amount of power he actually has varies from time to time depending on political considerations. The level of separation between church and state varies significantly from country to country. In some such as Frisia and Ironforge the church has little control in the day to day running of the country where as in others such as South Tombia and Kimbala the church is a powerful force and may even have its only military to enforce its power.
Only a small proportion of all priests actually have magical powers granted to them by the gods. These priests, often referred to as Clerics are generally considered to be required by the gods to travel and provide aid where they can and as such are generally poorly represented in the church’s highrachy which often requires its members to stay in one place long term.
The concept of an afterlife is well established in the religion of the known world. It is believed that everybody has an invisible guardian angel called a watcher who follows their appointed mortal for their whole like. The Watchers rarely interact with their charge but may be seen during near death experiences or at times of great danger or importance instead they spend most of their time recording the events of their mortal’s life. The religion is not clear as to what the watchers are, some say they are the dead allowed to return to the world for a time, others than they are the not yet born or fragments of the gods themselves but most have them as a separate spiritual species as old as the gods or maybe older.
Upon their death each mortal’s soul travels to the gods city of celestia where they all experience paradise for 10 days. During this time all of their wants are provided for and they can do whatever they want regardless of their behaviour during life. The wise spend this time communing with their watcher as at the end of this period they are taken to the market of judgement. Here along with all the rest of the recently dead their watchers loudly proclaim their deeds during life. The gods, or their representatives, also meet here and bid on the souls based on their watchers pitch. The highest bidding god wins the soul and can do with it however they want. The money bid by the gods is created by mortal’s sacrifices to the church so it is somewhat possible to buy your way into heaven although no mortal can control what a god decides to do with their money.
The fate of those not bid on is not clear but generally it is decided that their either reincarnate back to a mortal life or exist for ever in a limbo situation, some even say these poor souls become then undead.
Those won by the gods are taken to their part of the afterlife and provided with their own heaven or hell. A god may decided to bid on a soul for the souls good or to punish it, thus the importance of treating all the gods well, you might follow Heronious in life but if you have scorned Hextor he might bid more on your soul and get control of it for eternity. Most gods combine their heavens and hells with blessed and dammed soul having different roles. For instance in Kord’s realm the blessed are allowed to fight all day and party all night while the dammed are forced to work as servants cleaning the halls while the fighting takes place and acting a training dummy’s for the blessed to practice their skills on for all eternity.