Monday, October 14, 2013

Religion in Eradu

The Divine Diaspora

There are some that claim there is but a single divine pantheon and all gods that are worshiped are aspects of those gods.  Spend time with those who adhere to that belief and it will surely be obvious that this is true.  Others feel that the gods are fragmented parts of a great spirit that has been shattered, the gods exist because people believe in them, or that each god is the reincarnation of a previous god and they are part of an endless cycle.  Spend time with those who adhere to these beliefs and it will surely be obvious that they are true.

The nature of the gods will always be a subject of debate for the pious and devout.  Any statement as to the absolute fact is likely claiming knowledge that they simply do not have.  Of course, at the same time, all religions are true because someone believes in them.  Good and evil are straight forward, but those gray areas are still a bit tricky to navigate.

Clerics & The Celestial Council

The Celestial Court is a pantheon of gods that the player characters have the ability to become clerics of.  A character can worship, venerate, or give thanks to any of the gods they know about - and in fact it is often a good idea to do such a thing - but there are only four available as class choices. The Celestial Council seems to have spread, at least in word, to most reaches of Eradu.  While there may not be a temple, finding a shrine is usually an easy task.  The excepts below are from Divine Masters.

The Courts of Justice
“Justice and truth! These watchwords should adorn every city. We bring order and structure to every city, town and home we inhabit. Without our influence, the kingdoms would crumble, the lawless would rule, and chaos would engulf the world. We are the backbone of society, and you are safer for it.”

The Cathedral of Light 
"We bring our Faith with us everywhere we walk. The only thing that can make one pure is to be Illuminated by the Light of Radiance, for evil lurks everywhere, and we must shine the Light in every corner. The Lord of Light is the only thing holding back the darkness."

The Church of Everlasting Hope
“Striving for mercy is what we do. We are no different from anyone else except that we have accepted mercy and hope as our responsibilities. We help those in need no matter what, and it is hard, but it is worth it. We are helpful and kind, so everyone knows the mercy of the Caregiver."

The Face of the Free
“We are the freedom fighters of this land. We Messengers of Liberty organize the people so they can be freed from tyranny. We wish nothing in return, for the freedom of those we help is payment enough. Though some view us as troublesome, we are confident in our faith. Only one who has been freed will ever be truly grateful and appreciate the Face of the Free."

The Darkness

There are dark gods of the underworld, demons, Patchwork lords, devils, and manner of wicked thing that are worshiped.  Some are obvious monstrosities - the followers of The Black Hound infect themselves with a form of lycanthropy and go on "pack hunts" to feast on the flesh of the Cattlefolk (by which they mean everyone else).  Others are a bit more insidious - those members of the House of Shackles often seems as normal members of society until they have cajoled and manipulated entire villages into slavery.

Local Gods

Most villages and towns have a local god or two tucked away - a spirit of the forest who demands sacrifice, a god of hearth that lives within each home and protects the children, or a power that needs worshiping to ensure the harvest.  It is advisable to adventurers to quickly understand the ins and outs of local religion.

For example, Narkul is only worshiped in Aldsburg and a few surrounding villages - his law is secret and known only the priests of Narkul, but its enforcement is applied to everyone.  The priests are the lowest caste and live in abject poverty, but to cross one is almost certain death.

Naturalists: Animus and Element

From time to time you'll find those who venerate nature - the spirits of the earth, the animals, trees, mountains, wind, sun and so on.  Some follow the forces of nature itself - fire earth, air, and water.  The naturalists are often a strange lot and are rarely found outside of small remote villages.  From time to time there is some association with some of the Celestial Council.

Conventicle of the Great Tree
“We are the protectors of the forest, awaiting the time when the so called "intelligent" races destroy themselves, and nature again rises to rule Tellene. We do not attack civilization – that is not our purpose. We merely protect… and wait."

Temple of Stars
“Worship of the Wanderer is a personal thing. Each person must find their own path, and that means worship as well as life. I wander and I watch, and I learn and worship by doing so. Others may regard the world differently, but that is because they have not seen what I have seen.”

Elder Gods

The elder gods ruled in a time before, a time of darkness and madness, a time when even the elf and dwarf were fresh new beings and men were little more than cowering imbeciles huddled in caves.  Cults to these elder gods are horrific, demanding sacrifice that make even the gods of darkness take pause.  The elder gods are said to be sleeping under the sea, or waiting in the Patchwork Kingdom, or crawling through the lowest levels of the dungeons.  But all who worship them want them to come back into the light and take what was once theirs.  The followers dont believe so much that they will gain power, but hope beyond hope that when the nightmares return, they will be the first to be devoured and avoid the most dire of torture and punishments.

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