Raiders of the Savage Coast
GODS OF THE GREAT EMPIRE
The Empire is a melting pot of religions and cultures; as such many gods from variant cultures absorbed are worshiped in one corner of the Empire or another. However, there is a core pantheon and creation myth that’s been spread throughout, and part of the dominant culture:
Almost all of the major religions of Aldavir share the same Creation Myth, though each has its own spin. They all maintain, in some form, that the peoples who came to populate Aldavir were fleeing from a Great Enemy on another world, and that the Gods created Aldavir to be for them a haven, and brought them safely thither. As a pantheon, the Gods of Aldavir are collectively known as the Travelers.
Followers of Arvash maintain that the First Sailors were fleeing in a huge fleet that stretched for miles, and that while most of the people fleeing the Enemy were killed, those on the ships were sucked into a whirlpool a mile wide, and brought up on the other side, into the Great Western Sea.
The Clerics of Maya tell that, just when the armies of the Bright Demon were going to slaughter the masses, Maya heard them cry out for help, and so cast a great cloak of Darkness around the world. And while the Demon was blinded and confused, she caught up the people is a net of starlight and shadows, and placed them down in a place on which later was built Kallor, the City of Night, which to this day is shrouded in eternal twilight, and which is the home of the Church of Maya.
The Knights of Dhruv know that in the Penultimate War, Dhruv himself fought hand to hand with the Cursed Warrior, giving his armies a chance to escape through a tunnel of His own making. Now they train, so that when the Cursed Warrior comes again to fight the Last War of Cleansing, the followers of Dhruv will crush His foes. (Once, long ago, the Cursed One sent an invading army to test their readiness, and the Foe was beaten back.)
Followers of Pikon maintain that the World was not created as a haven for those fleeing. Rather, according to His doctrine, Aldavir was already there, created by Pikon himself with His own hands, for His worshippers to live upon. The other Gods brought their own people from some other world, but they did not create it.
Those who worship non-human deities such as Yondalla and Morradin are somewhat divided in their opinions. Yondallans tend to side with the Travelers, believing that the Halfling folk fled with the others from the Enemy. The Dwarves agree with Pikon (insofar as maintaining that the world was not created by the Travelers), and claim to be the eldest living race on the planet. The Elves do not reveal overmuch of their Gods, and care little for the religious doctrine of others.
*The Travelers are: *
Arvash, God of the Sea, Master of Winds, Patron of sailors and fisherman. Arvash is often called The Tidal Master, the Sea King, and Waveguide by his worshippers. The holy symbol of Arvash’s church is a simple outline sketch of a fish.
Churches of Arvash are only built on the shores of seas, rivers and lakes. Priests are expected to spend 50 days of each year at sea, ministering to sailors, and praying for favorable winds and catches. Arvash has a tremendous following in Liberty (only Arvash’s cathedral in Quell is larger); in fact, not even Pikon has as bountiful patronage as Arvash in the Great City)
Domains/Sub Domains: Air (Cloud, Wind), Water (Ice, Oceans), Weather (Storm), Travel (Exploration, Trade)
Maya, Goddess of Night, Queen of Sleep, Keeper of Dreams, The Dark Shield. The Dreamkeeper’s holy symbol is a flat black inverted triangle.
Clerics of Maya must become completely nocturnal, and tend to avoid direct sunlight. Churches of Maya are only open for services and visitors between sundown and sunrise; during the day, all windows are shuttered, and during the night they are flung wide. Clerics of Maya will only offer succor to those who ask, and do not volunteer their aid. Although many people fear Maya, and mistake her for a Goddess of Death, She is actually a protector of sleeping folk, and it is She who restores health during sleep.
Domains/Sub Domains: Darkness (Night), Healing (Restoration), Protection (Defense, Purity), Knowledge (Memory, Thought)
Dhruv, God of War, Lord of Conflict, also called Stormwrath, and the Blood-Taker Followers of Dhruv know that war and violent conflict is the only true means to settle disputes between cities or kingdoms (and for some, disputes between individuals, though this is not official doctrine.) When the next War of Cleansing falls upon Aldavir, it will be the Stormknights who will lead the Kingdom’s forces against the invader (indeed, they claim that this has already happened once millennia ago, and will happen again.) Clerics of Dhruv are officially called Stormknights, and spend as much time sparring and practicing with weapons as praying…often the two are the same. Knights of Dhruv cannot cast healing spells.
Domains/Sub Domains: Glory (heroism, honor), Law (Inevitable), War (Blood, Tactics), Strength (Ferocity, Resolve)
Galdrinn, God of Healing, Patron of the Unwilling Soldier, the Healer, Star of the Soul, the Scarbearer, the Woundtender, the Soulmender, the Veteran.
Galdrinn is pictured both as ever-young and fair healer, and as a scarred battle veteran. In both forms, his right eye gleams with the light of his manifest power, and his left eye gleams with the light of the supplicant’s soul.
There are three main branches to the Mother Church of Galdrinn, known as the Scarbearers (or Martyred Brethren), the Woundtenders (or simply Healers), and the Soulmenders (the Revered). Contrary to most healing spells, those of Galdrinn’s clerics (Soulmenders excepted) leave a scar behind as if the wound had healed normally.Domains/Sub Domains: Healing (Restoration, Resurrection), Nobility (Martyr), Repose (Ancestors, Souls), Good (Archon)
Shilla, Goddess of Gamblers, Mistress of Thieves, Lady Luck, the Puppeteer, the Hand of Fate, the Shepherd of Fortune.
It is common for thieves to worship the Hand, and many taverns will have her holy symbol, a six-sided die balanced on one corner, over the door. Most people consider her a Goddess of good luck only, though, as her clerics will attest, She is not biased toward good luck or bad. She will sometimes bestow fortune as befits a person’s character, though this is not often so…story has it that the first High Priestess of Shilla was struck down by a bolt from the Heavens, not for any misdeeds, but rather as a demonstration that Fate is controlled by no one, and one’s actions in the material world cannot guarantee favor or disfavor in Her eyes.
Uthol Inga, The Silent One, Goddess of the Faithful, The Watcher, She Who Waits
Clerics of Uthol Inga maintain that Her church is dedicated to “preparing for the Awakening,” though they are not permitted to speak of what exactly that means. Despite seemingly peaceful operations of Uthol’s church, other religions are exceedingly hostile towards this group, especially the Stormknights. This is because they believe that Uthol Inga was the Consort to the Great Enemy, and only fled with them to this world because she feared that the Enemy would slay her once the battle was won, seeing her as a future threat. Uthol Inga has very few followers among lay persons. There are no towns or cities in Aldavir with churches of both Dhruv and Uthol Inga.
On Kivia, followers of Uthol Inga know her rather as a patroness of music and crafts, and call her the Skilled One and Lady of Songs. They maintain that Uthol Inga only pretended to love the Great Enemy, to distract Him and give the other Gods time to escape His wrath.
Domains/Sub Domains: Magic (Arcane/Divine), Charm (Love, Lust), Chaos, Rune (Wards)
Other Human Gods of Aldavir
Pikon, God of the Common Man, Watcher of Peasants, the Protector, Lord of Farmers, Bringer of the Harvest.
Pikon is the most worshipped Deity in Aldavir, being the patron of all who toil, especially farmers. Without him, even the Gods would starve. Followers of Pikon tend to hold the nobility in some contempt, although no official church doctrine condones rebellion. Rather, peasants and farmers are taught that appreciation for their labors is not relevant — it is the toil itself, and the good that comes of it that are important. Anyone healed in a church of Pikon has their hands examined by the healer; the effectiveness of the healing is greater for those who have the hands of a laborer. After any major healing, the recipient must pay with sweat from his or her brow; that sweat is used as a component for future healing done there.
Domains/Sub Domains: Community (Family, Home), Protection (Defense, Purity), Plant (Growth), Good (Angel), Weather (Seasons)
The Black Circle, Symbol of Knowledge
The Black Circle is an uncertain object of worship. It is revered by some as a symbol of knowledge and power, necromancy and dark magic, a universal embodiment, rather than a conscious God. Others maintain that there is a God behind the Circle, who never reveals his true aspect to mortals. Whatever the case, Its Clerics are granted powers from some source. The Black Circle is considered more of an evil cult in the modern day, though it is somewhat on the rise, after being thought gone for good a few hundred years ago.
On Kivia, the Black Circle is considered by most non-worshippers to be benign, and its Clerics are willing to offer information and knowledge to those who seek it. Some on Kivia, however, clearly do not trust the Black Circle or its followers.