Thursday, February 23, 2012

There is Religion in Them Thar Hills

A slow news day here in the hills (though a busy one in the self-styled real world), so how about another portion of campaign setting dress.

The Supernal Orthodox Temple of the Puissant Sun Lord
The Sun Lord (his true name is banned from mention) drives the Chariot of the Heavens along the Dome of the Sky daily. The god spends the winter months dining with the luminaries of Hyperborea. Some savants believe that the god is in reality a godhead of 313 “Rays” (former deities co-opted into aspects). Many old gods have been said to be usurped and absorbed this way .

A monotheistic (if syncretistic) religion, the Temple ostensibly dominates the Overkingdom spiritually. The Temple itself holds a tight monopoly on the manufacture and distribution of the Seed of the Sun (gunpowder), which does not work in the Weird.

The faith is currently divided into 31 Houses of Orthodoxy over seemingly absurd doctrinal differences (whether sign of the sun is clockwise or counter, how many fingers used, the number of wheels on the Sun Chariot, etc.)

Clerics (the spell-casting class) are a tiny minority of the clergy and are only found in the Borderlands where their magic functions. Temple clerics are bog-standard D&D clerics down to the restriction of only using blunt weapons. They are mostly considered dangerous armed zealots by their cloistered brethren.

The Celestial Lady
A spurned female deity (also called the Sun's Bride or just the Goddess) whose now-heretical followers seek to restore her place in the Divine Family.

Her followers are divided among three bickering secret societies: the Evening Star, the Morning Star, and the Starry Void lodges. The first two societies are mostly moderate and socially egalitarian factions with a strong base artisans and denizens of the Borderlands. The Starry Void is a zealous, secretive, and lotus-addled crew who are rumored to dabble with the Mysteries of the Outer Void.

Evening and Morning Star clerics of the Lady are generally considered under the same proscriptions as those of the Sun Lord, though they are advised to be cagey about the source of their powers when among the unwashed. Mystics of the Starry Void are disallowed from wearing armor heavier than studded leather, but are granted the ability to choose a select group of (secret, naturally) unique spells.

The Old Gods
A handful of “pagan” gods still survive in the HC (though their worship is limited to country folk and tight-lipped cabals):
Radegast the Lord of Hosts, the god of fermented drinks, generosity, hospitality and magister ludis. He is still widely revered during Harvest rituals throughout the cantons as a folklore symbol.

Svat the Four-Faced, former ruler of the Pahr gods. Unpainted four faced wooden pillars are associated with his back hills worship sites.

The Silent God is rumored to be the Father of the Sun Lord, though the increasing tight-lippedness of his dwindling congregants makes the true nature of this god and his doctrine a head-scratcher for most. His symbol is nine-pointed star. Complicated esoteric equations and schematics are often associated with savants that follow him.

Also Ran” Gods
The White God, Wodan, the World Turtle, Sorcha the Witch-Bitch, Storm-Child, and Xhom the Ur-Dwarf, all can muster a few die-hards in the HC.

Clerics of the Old and “Also Ran” Gods can use any weapon that deals out a d6 in damage or less. They are also granted special spells and powers associated with the particular nature of their deity.

Elder Gods and the Anti-World
Beyond the Veil Between the Worlds, lies the mirror image of this world borne on the back of the Anti-World Turtle. Strange alien “gods” work their powers there dictating all of the activities of the plane's denizens in heavily-plotted “adventure paths”.

7 comments:

  1. I really like the last part about "heavily-plotted adventure paths."

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  2. Interesting collection of deities. Good to see somebody else get some use out of that Unconquered Sun pic. :)

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  3. Anyone else wish they had a time machine and a suitcase full of gold so we could talk Mucha into illustrating Tekumel and a version of Tomb of Horrors?

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  4. Where did you get pictures 1 and 4 from?

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  5. I spent the day at this place (http://www.akshardham.com/) yesterday. I kept being reminded of your blog.

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