Religion

Religion takes a few different forms in The World.

Received Theology

The worship of the gods is usually referred to in scholarly circles as “received theology”. (Common practitioners usually don’t see a need to name it anything in particular.) Received theology is by far the most widely practiced religion because the existence of the gods is very difficult to deny. There is much evidence, empirical, historical and anecdotal, that the gods not only exist, but occasionally get involved in the Material Plane; gods like Valestnaya and Prangdon are often seen at battlefields even today, and there are a lot of accepted and reliable accounts of divine intervention throughout the Second and Third Ages. Received theology is also not a very organized religion; it’s practitioners are united only in their acknowledgment of the gods, but the way the gods are worshiped (if in fact they are) varies from god to god and person to person. While most everyone recognizes that the gods are real, most honor a select few, and an individual may only choose to serve one. Additionally, most of the gods are fairly aloof, interacting with mortals in subtle and indirect ways, if at all, so even among worshipers of the same god there tends to be a lot of disagreement about the proper way to worship that god.

Despite it’s lack of organization, received theology has the most consistent and well enforced canon of any religion. The reason for this is because the study and practice of religion so often interacts with the study of history, which falls under the purview of The Consortium for the Preservation of History, which is notorious for quieting dissenters. The Consortium isn’t very concerned with the nature, character, or machinations of the gods per se, but anyone who denies the appearance of The Lovers at the Great Wedding, for example, is running against historical canon and faces censorship.

Non-clerical scholars of received theology tend to categorize the gods into Major Deities, who are generally gods and goddesses who oversee races, and Minor Deities, who have larger areas of interest. (Clerics, on the other hand, usually see whichever deity they serve as the major one and the rest as pretty minor. Most of the gods themselves seem to have a similar view, and those who don’t are usually unconcerned with such petty distinctions.)

Major Deities

Bahamut – God of good dragons

Corellon Larethian – God of elves

Garl Glittergold – God of gnomes

Gruumsh – God of orcs

Kurtulmak – God of kobolds

Lolth – Goddess of drow

Moradin – God of dwarves

Tiamat – Goddess of evil dragons

Yondalla – Goddess of halflings

Minor Dieties

The Lovers – Dieties of love

Bokonon – God of lies

Valestnaya – Goddess of death

Prangdon – God of strategy

Tadellor – God of the Hunt

Lililam – Goddess of Necromancy

Tayoress – Goddess of Magic

Elnet – Goddess of Medicine

Aquiler = God of Fertility

Ajenam – God of the Sea

Sinetan – God of the Sun

Demorid – God of Pestilence

Ladellal – Goddess of Nature

Silim – Goddess of Swarms

Marondan – God of Storms

Lachedic – God of Assassinations

Nayorel – God of Conquest

Berondan – Goddess of Espionage

Elturea – Goddess of War

Organized Religions

Some settlements have more organized religious practices than the general Received Theology. These organized religions are usually centered around a Domain, and practitioners hold all deities of that domain in equal importance. Most notably, the official religion of Dumnezeustad is based on the worship of Light deities, and consider the worship of Death deities to be heresy.

The Old Faith

The Old Faith is the name commonly given to the worship of nature itself. Practicioners of The Old Faith usually give respect to the gods, but aren’t very concerned with them. Most Druids practice The Old Faith (though many worship Ladellel).

Cults

There are a few small religious groups that have religious views far outside of the mainstream. While these groups are small in number, they are surprisingly wide spread, and can be found all over The World, spreading surreptitiously through word of mouth, and conducting their business through underground networks of priests, clerics, and other operatives. These cults are considered heretical by most people, and in many places membership in a cult faces strict legal penalties, often including execution. Among the more notable cults are:

The Church of The Great Mother

The Church of The Great Mother is a monotheistic cult; they believe that there is but one deity, who they call The Great Mother, and that all other gods are a lie. They claim that originally The Great Mother inhabited The World, and that all peoples showed worshiped her, but an ancient battle in The First Age led her to flee to some other plain, and it was her absence that caused mortals to begin worshiping false gods. They believe that she embodies all domains, and that all divine casters call on her power whether they realize it or not. They dream of a day when all conflict will be eradicated from Morrendesil and then The Great Mother will return.

The Planeswalkers

The Planeswalkers don’t believe that any deities exist at all, and that the domains and divine spells come from the planes of the multiverse. Most Planeswalkers are on a pilgrimage to travel to as many planes as they can, and to gain what knowledge and power they are able to. They see the Material Plane as a kind of prison for the unenlightened. Many Planeswalkers are actually arcane casters (warlocks in particular), and the few who are divine casters are usually druids who tend to view “nature” in a more inter-planar sense than most.

Religion

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