Religions

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Everyone in the world of Ereda worships a God or Gods. Their existence is undeniable; they made the world around you, their ordained followers can be seen all around wielding their powers, societies are made stronger and closer by their worship. From the moment of birth to the moment of death, Gods and religion play an integral role in the lives of the people of Ereda.

Societies are built around religions. Communities will come together weekly at church, important moments of a person’s life will take place at church or at least at the hands of a priest. A child’s baptism allows a community to greet them as much as to introduce them to the church; a wedding is blessed by the Gods so that it might be binding, and prosperous. The Gods teach that those who are good and benevolent will be granted eternal paradise at their sides in heaven, while the wicked will be condemned to hell, the domain of demons, as punishment, and thus do the Gods play an integral role in death as well as life.

Most people will worship one God, or grouping of Gods - such as the United Church or Amirr and Isall - predominantly, in everyday worship. But for most Gods it is not forbidden, and may in fact be encouraged, that deference be given to their fellows in the right situations. A student at an Anderian university might have been raised to worship the United Church, but before exams they might offer their prayers for a time to Saralyne for her aid in using their knowledge. An elven merchant might worship Thoron, as with all his people, but before a long journey a prayer to Ferodir the Trailblazer for guidance and safety along the way would be considered normal. A God who is jealous at respect given their fellows is the exception, though their followers are plainly shown right from wrong in such a matter.

Although hypothetically people will worship a God who represents their interest bests, for common people that is often impractical. The assumption is that a peasant of the Realm will worship Gebrick, but if the local church is of Olcan because that was the denomination of the priest who built it, and the nearest church of Gebrick is ten miles away, the village will most likely worship the High Bard instead of the Humble God, as it is his teachings and his church that is accessible.

Worship has not taken a significant blow since the Fall. It is hard to chart the progress of religion over the war, since people had less time for church regardless, but just as there were those whose faith faltered as the Gods did not save them, there were those who clung more desperately in hope in those desperate times. The Last Stand of Starkholm, however, where the Gods came down from Heaven itself to wage war on the Legion, was enough to reinvigorate the faith of most.

A non-worshipper is likely to be a pariah in modern society. Church remains the place where people gather as communities, as places of hope and and the promise of prosperity for the future. Even less mainstream religions like those of Zartosht or Ryniss have become more open since the Fall and since the Last Stand, and as such, one who does not worship the Gods is generally considered selfish at best, stupid at worse. At the very least it is all but impossible to advance in society if one does not go to church, for there is so much cultural and social import in the church-going community, from the nobility to the army to even the peasantry.

If nothing else, the Gods’ presence can still be felt in the world. Their pious followers are still granted their powers, and may still lose them if they displease their patron. There are still the occasional reports of those who have angered the Gods being punished, although these are less documented and generally unproven freak occurrences. The presence of the Gods tends to be more of a comfort than something to be feared, however, and most of the people of the Alliance believe they are guiding them, looking out for them, and will bless them when their rebuilding is done.

The United Church

(See main article)

The primary religion of the Realms and humanity, the United Church of the gods Gebrick and Tyaus, Vaitera and formerly Aethon, was formed in 443 PF to combat the ever increasing threat from Sahradia.

Gebrick

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God of Agriculture, Trade, Crafting and Community

Gebrick is the God most often worshipped by the common folk amongst humanity. Representing important aspects of their everyday lives rather than grand ideals, he is a humble deity more interested in ensuring that trade and agriculture, and ensuring that a community is stable and productive. It is rare for Gebrick to be worshipped by those outside of peasants and merchants; he has little to offer most nobles, soldiers, or politicians.

Tyaus

(See main article)

God of Leadership, Order, Justice, and Duty

As the God most often associated with government, Tyaus is regarded as the unofficial head of the United Church, and thus of human religion. Considered a serious, severe God, he takes his responsibilities seriously, and likewise expects his followers to be the same in their pursuit of justice and order. Tyaus is the God most commonly worshipped by the ruling classes of human societies, and has a special regard for humble enforcers of justice.

Vaitera

(See main article)

Goddess of Healing, Sacrifice, Hope and Perseverance

The Goddess Vaitera is seen as a deity of both healing and self-sacrifice. Gentle, kind, and compassionate, her care for others is only compounded by the fact that she takes upon the illnesses and wounds that her followers heal others of. This encourages her and her worshippers to encourage peaceable solutions to problems, in personal interactions and in politics. Vaitera has a smaller following than the rest of the United Church; in contrast, she is often offered casual prayer, and her worshippers are amongst the most devout.

Elven Gods

Thoron

(See main article)

God of War, Wisdom and Order

Thoron is considered the father of elven society, and worship of him is the foremost religion amongst high elves. He represents a strong leader, wise enough to learn much of the world around him, and bold enough to do battle when it is needed, all for the betterment of those he is responsible for. Even elves whose direct allegiance is to other Gods will often give him prayer.

Dwarven Gods

Dredden Stonehelm

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God of Governance, Duty and Crafting

Dredden has often been the sole God worshipped by dwarves. Representing the strict dwarvish social hierarchy, and the work the dwarves do, he is a rather dour God of singular focus. Worship of him has considerably decreased since the overthrow of the dwarven kingdom of Kordurren.

Goblin Gods

The two primary gods of the goblins, Amirr and Isall are usually worshipped together, but in prayer and offerings men will pay homage to Isall first, whereas women first pay homage to Amiir. They are believed by the United Church to be heathen gods that are spreading heresy to their followers.

Amirr

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Goddess of Life, War, Power and Death

Amiir, divine wife of Isall, is a dual-aspected goddess that represents the domains of women and all that is binary in the world. She is constantly fluctuating between extremes, sometimes forgiving and sometimes wrathful, but is usually tempered by her divine husband. Recently, however, she has been more prone to her more violent aspect than her passive.

Isall

(See main article)

God of War, Glory, Order and Fire

Isall is considered by those that follow him to be the light of the world. Whereas Amiir represents extremes, Isall is the light of guidance that will temper Amiir's extremes. He is the focus of those that follow him, traditionally representing pride and advancement, but more and more these days interpreted by his followers to favour conquest and war.

Other Gods

These are Gods whose identity and actions are not wrapped up with any one nation or race. As such, they have seen worshippers from all sorts of races - but it is uncommon to see them being worshipped by any other than humans or elves.

Ferodir

(See main article)

God of Travel and Exploration

Ferodir is the God worshipped by both those who feel wanderlust and those whose travel by necessity. Although it is Ferodir's instincts to encourage his followers to see new lands and new roads, he is nevertheless considerate of more mundane obligations such as keeping the roads free of impediments, and respecting fellow travellers and providers of hospitality. Unsurprisingly, Ferodir is most often worshipped by explorers and merchants, and is often given a prayer before anyone undertakes a long journey.

Lord of Nature and Mother of Earth

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Manifestations of Nature

The Lord of Nature and Mother of Earth are vague and incoherent in comparison to other deities. They do not seem to hold any manifestation other than being entities that personify, respectively, the wrathful and the nurturing aspects of nature. Druids pay homage to these two entities in their rituals and their incantations, bestowing the Mother during pregnancy or conception, for instance, or inciting the Lord to enact vengeance on their foes. They are deities that are connected to the Fringe in some manner, though it is often debated to what degree. It is generally considered taboo for non-beastkin to worship these deities.

Olcan

(See main article)

God of Art, Innovation, Creativity and Inspiration

Olcan is most often viewed as a God of art, and indeed a lot of his focus is upon creativity. He is, however, not just focused upon matters such as literature or painting, but is also turned to by craftsmen and students who view their work as something requiring inspiration, from sculpture to masonry. Olcan tends to have more worship within cities, since rural craftsmen tend to turn to Gebrick, but wandering entertainers often bring the word of Olcan across countries.

Ryniss

(See main article)

Goddess of Deception, Shadows and Necessary Deeds

Ryniss is a Goddess worshipped more broadly than organised churches would imply. She is called the Lady of Lies, but it is not inherent dishonesty that is her remit, but dark deeds which need to be done for a higher purpose. If betrayal, or lies, or violence must be undertaken to achieve a greater goal, Ryniss will be there. There are very few organised churches of Ryniss; she tends to thrive off individual prayers than a large base of worshippers.

Saralyne

(See main article)

Goddess of Knowledge and Pedagogy

Saralyne is the Goddess of both knowledge and teaching. She encourages the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, believing it always results in a greater understanding of the world around us, and in the sharing of that knowledge to all who would learn. Saralyne is most often worshipped by scholars and teachers, and thus she has a rather narrow, but certainly devout and determined, following.

Zartosht

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God of Perfection, Self-Improvement, Independence and Hunting

Zartosht is a God of little to no organised religion. This would be difficult, since he represents both an eschewing of society and the strength and power of the individual over the collective. His principles are often harsh and lacking compassion, but because by definition his followers are lone individuals, worship of him is tolerated because it tends to do little harm. They can vary from the egomaniac obsessed with his own perfection, to, more commonly, those who have found that community and society have no place for them and strike out on their own.

Dead Gods

Aethon

(See main article)

God of the Sun, Athletics, Competition and War

Aethon was considered the strong right arm of the United Church. Characterised as bold and impetuous, with these traits tempered by morality and compassion, he was an assertive God who encouraged his followers to equally be pro-active in the pursuit of their interests and his virtues. Once worshipped by warriors, sportsmen, and those whose lives have them valuing the sun, the god has recently perished and his power has stopped flowing.

Other Entities

Chernobog

(See main article)

The gods of the realms are numerous and versatile. Sometimes the domains, demands and doctrines of some gods are contrary to others. One thing remains universal throughout all the gods, however - the renouncement of Chernobog. All the religious texts contain references to the Outcast Prince, stipulating that he is an utterly unholy entity who in all incarnations is to be scorned, a deliverer of sin unto the world who seeks nothing but to corrupt any and every free soul. Within Andermark it is illegal to worship Chernobog.

The Reaper

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Though not a deity, the Reaper is an entity that is accepted by and detailed within many of the religious texts of the Realm, particularly the texts of Vaitera. The Reaper is the manifestation of death, a skeletal figure adorned in black robes and carrying a keen-edged scythe that will lead the souls of the dying through the Passages to their final destination, be it Heaven or Hell.