Sons of the gods
today we shall die
Open Valhalla’s door
Let the battle begin
with swords in the wind
Hail Gods of War
Since the Empire of the Sun has left the Westlands, 3 major religious/ philosophies have become popular among the people. One is a resurgence of worship or at least adherence to the gods of old, another is the remnant philosophy from the Empire that is non-deist or at least negative theology. The last is a new religion that has come on the heels of a foreign invasion that has refused to leave, even after the defeat of the original followers.
Do – “The way” is a philosophy of understanding the universe through its natural flow. It is similar to the religion of Daoism (Taoism) with strong elements of Buddhism. The social elements that the general population can apply are no longer practiced in the Westlands, but are recorded in the monasteries. This particular religion has a strong social stigma around it, as being directly related to the Empire of the Sun, and they would be right. Missionaries have recently come back to the shores of the Westlands in the last 300 years, and with them came the return of Monks. Many of the current monks are native to the Westlands, however small numbers of the scholars and missionaries still make the long journey across the sea. Lacking real connection to the societies and daily lives of the people, most followers of Do are regarded as curiosities that are not worth the trouble of trying to understand their ways. Similarly many followers of “the way” prefer seclusion and meditation to the needs of the world around them.
The tenants of the religion state that the universe is a constant flow of energy. This flow has a harmony to it that is much like a river. Two key philosophies or schools of though exist within the religion. One views the river as something that must not be disturbed. The harmonious flow of energy is paramount, and strength comes from learning to work with the flow of energy and direct it in the way needed. This is the Way of the Open Palm. The second philosophy is centered on the Way of the Closed Fist. Rather than accepting the flow as paramount, this philosophy believes that controlling it is the way to power and enlightenment.
Despite these philosophies being diametrically opposite, they seem to accept both as understandable and even necessary. Those that have take the time to study the religion believe that there is no conflict with these two philosophies, because they both accept the same world view, but differ in how to approach it. Certainly this does create conflicts, but no more than any other religious disagreement.
The Old Gods – Years of absence of traditional deities from the occupation by the Empire, nearly wiped the Westlands clean of belief in the Gods. After the laws that prevented the worship of the gods were no longer enforced, new worshipers have begun to emerge, however this does not mean that massive churches and temples have come back into favor. The power of the gods in not in question as their clerics have demonstrated, but their ability to influence events is in question. Most followers now pray to them just to keep them away. None of the gods are seen as being entirely positive or entirely negative. The 9 High Gods and the 6 Low Gods are all regarded as more trouble than they are worth by most people. All too often their power has been invoked, and then it indiscriminately curses everyone. The general rule is that nothing is free when it comes to the power of the gods. They are more often than not, more trouble than it’s worth. Their clerics are treated as unwelcome guests should they ever appear in a town or village. Most people will not attack them for superstition of drawing their God’s attention. But fear has been known to drive people to do strange things.
The 9 High
Erastil God of farming, hunting, trade, family Animal, Community, Good, Law, Plant, longbow
Iomedae Goddess of valor, rulership, justice, honor Glory, Good, Law, Sun, War, longsword
Sarenrae Goddess of the sun, redemption, Fire, Glory, Good, Healing, Sun, honesty, healing, scimitar
Shelyn Goddess of beauty, art, love, music Air, Charm, Good, Luck, Protection, glaive
Desna Goddess of dreams, stars, travelers, luck Chaos, Good, Liberation, Luck, Travel starknife
Abadar God of cities, wealth, merchants, law Earth, Law, Nobility, Protection, Travel, light crossbow
Gozreh Deity of nature, weather, the sea Air, Animal, Plant, Water, Weather, trident
Nethys God of magic Destruction, Knowledge, Magic,Protection, Rune, quarterstaff
Gorum God of strength, battle, weapons Chaos, Destruction, Glory, Strength, War greatsword
The 6 Low
Pharasma Goddess of fate, death, prophecy, birth Death, Healing, Knowledge, Repose, Water dagger
Norgorber God of greed, secrets, poison, murder Charm, Death, Evil, Knowledge, Trickery short sword
Asmodeus God of tyranny, slavery, pride, contracts Evil, Fire, Law, Magic, Trickery mace
Rovagug God of wrath, disaster, destruction Chaos, Destruction, Evil, War, Weather greataxe
Urgathoa Goddess of gluttony, disease, undeath Death, Evil, Magic, Strength, War scythe
Lamashtu Goddess of madness, monsters, nightmares Chaos, Evil, Madness, Strength, Trickery falchion
The Words of the Profit- Across the sea a single religion, with a single voice, praising a single god, has gained sway. The Cygnarians have come together under one singular faith that has provided a unifying culture to the various tribal groups north of the Nuvarian Desert and beyond. Functioning like a more traditional religion in the fact that they have temples, a clerical hierarchy, and missionaries that seek converts. In the western kingdoms though, this “new” religion is met with heavy skepticism, even violence at times. Even years after The Centurial Wars (The Long Occupation) South Reach have been unable to remove their influence completely, with the only newly standing temple in the whole of the continent.
The Words themselves are bound in a tome collectively called The Words. Critics of the religion have cited how the various sects have read some passages to justify murder whereas the words themselves explicitly speak against killing. This is just one of the many aspects that will eventually cause religious, if not political strife.