Religion

Overview

Whether or not “gods” exist is a question that different cultures in Terracopia answer differently. For the most part, citizens of the world do not care about such things overmuch. They pay lip service or sacrifices to specific gods as needed (e.g., sailors may make a sacrifice to Pazuzu before a journey to ensure good weather).

Many peoples who consider themselves “enlightened” do not believe that there are “gods”. Instead, they believe that the entities that are said to be gods are actually extremely powerful elemental spirits, and thus unworthy of worship.

It is rare for individuals to dedicate themselves to a single deity unless they are a priest. Exceptions to this are often found with creatures such as goblins or kobolds, for whom worship of Ba’al is ingrained as their creator. This is how most cultures - even Remnant Elves, to an extent - view religion.

That said, there are some exceptions.

Kraith (Dwarves)

Kraith (dwarven) religion eschews deities. Instead, they practice a form of ancestor worship. The kraith believe that when a member of their clan dies, the soul is brought into the StoneWork of the Clan, where the knowledge that they gained during life will continue to serve the Clan in death. They engage in complicated rituals whereby the soul of an ancestor is imbued or trapped within special altars. The elders of a family may then seek advice from the dead.

As a whole, kraith clans do not worship the “gods”. Individual kraith may or may not believe that the gods are divine - they could very well be gods - but they do not worship them.

Atlantean Elves (Atlan)

The Atlan do not believe in gods. They are taught that all gods are elemental spirits. This is a universal belief (by its nature, Atlantean culture is a monoculture, enforced through the tattoos). Accordingly, there are no Atlantean clerics.

Remnant Elves (Kahlan)

Remnant elves are not bound with tattoos and thus may choose to follow any path.

Nordland

Some denizens of the freezing wastes of Nordland engage in dragon worship. These folk do not have clerics; only druids.

The Court of Heaven

For more information, see Court of Heaven

Collectively, the modern gods are known as the Court of Heaven, which is both a group and a place. As a place, the Court of Heaven has several Gardens, Trees, and Thrones, each of which represent aspects of existence:

  • The Tree of Life, beneath which sits the White Throne. This tree grows within the center of the Court of Heaven. The god Iup sits upon it.
  • The Tree of Hate, beneath which sits the Red Throne. This tree sits within the Garden of Hate, behind the Wall of Thorns, near the Court of Heaven. The cushions of the Red Throne are known to be poisonous. The goddess Hekata has claimed this throne, and is said to have been sitting on it, motionless, for thousands of years.
  • The Tree of Death, beneath which sits the Black Throne. This tree is dead and has no leaves - its bark has rotted away. Though the tree appears dead, parts may be cut away and will reappear after the next moonrise. This tree lies in the underworld, and its throne is claimed by the dark god Ba'al.
  • The Tree of Love, beneath which sits the Blue Throne. This tree lies within the heart of a great maze near the Court of Heaven, and its throne is claimed by The Companions, Agapos, Philos, and Eraton.

Algea

The corrupted goddess of anguish and torment.

  • Portfolio: Tears, Pain, Torture, Grief, and Misunderstanding (formerly Compassion)
  • Domains: Life, War, Trickery

Ba'al

The Banished Lord of Death and Ruler of the Underworld, he who sits on the Black Throne. He created the goblins and kobolds. He enslaved the orcs until they were freed by Hypatia.

  • Portfolio: Death, Decay, and the Underworld
  • Domains: Death, Grave

The Companions

Three children, Agapos, Philos, Eraton, who together are the god of love and sit on the Blue Throne.

  • Portfolio: Love, Friendship, Lust
  • Domains: Life, Light, Nature

Dagen

The god of the seasons who must sleep for six months every year. He is worshipped by farmers and desert dwellers.

  • Portfolio: The Earth, Harvest
  • Domains: Nature, Life

Haephus

The fugitive Lord of the Volcano, he who slew Mycos and fled from Hekata’s wrath. Haephus is said to have created the kraith, humans, orcs, and elves. He slumbers until Armageddon beneath the earth.

  • Portfolio: The Mountains, the Earth, Technology, Cleansing Fire, Creation
  • Domains: Life, Knowledge, Forge

Hekata

The twisted Mother of Evil and She Who Sits on the Red Throne. When her son Mycos was slain by Haephus, her grief drove her to eat the fruit from the Tree of Hate.

  • Portfolio: Hate, Evil, Treachery (formerly Childbirth)
  • Domains: War, Trickery, Grave, Death

Helios

The lost progenitor of all the gods, the Great Creator. He is seldom mentioned and rarely worshipped.

  • Portfolio: The Sun, The Universe
  • Domains: Light, Life

Hypatia

The golden-winged Hypatia serves Iup as both the Hand of War and the Hand of Peace. Legend says that she is present at every battle, no matter how large or small, and cradles the dying with one hand while stabbing them with the other, whispering words of warning about her dark brother Ba’al in the underworld as they die.

  • Portfolio: Wisdom, War, and Peace
  • Domains: Knowledge, War, Protection

Iup

Iup is the Father of the Gods, sitting in the White Throne, ruling the Court of Heaven.

  • Portfolio: Life, Healing, Virility, Authority
  • Domains: Life, Protection

Lokis

A corrupted daughter of Hekata, Lokis is the goddess of chaos.

  • Portfolio: Lies, Divination, Trickery, Deception (formerly Laughter and Humor)
  • Domains: Trickery, Grave

Mycos

A dead and powerless god, Mycos was a son of Hekata and was slain by Haephus. He resides in the Underworld as a shade.

  • Portfolio: None
  • Domains: None

Notfari

This goddess resides on the moon, operating the Great Apparatus which causes the universe to function. She steals time from the future in order to keep it running, and when she runs out of time, the universe will die.

  • Portfolio: The Moon, Night, Time
  • Domains: Light, Nature, Knowledge

Pazuzu

A vengeful storm god who causes rain by shaking his great rattle filled with seeds from the Tree of Life. Sailors pray to him for safe passage.

  • Portfolio: Wind, Storms, Drought
  • Domains: Tempest, Life, Protection

The Old Gods

For more information, see Old Gods

The Old Gods is a collective term referring to a pantheon of deities or spirits most of whom are deeply "natural". The enlightened societies do not believe that the Old Gods (or their powers) exist and typically attribute their actions (if any) to the powers of elemental spirits.

The Old Gods (or aspects thereof) are worshipped throughout the entire world, but not typically by humans, elves, kraith, or orcs. The Old Gods have temples and shrines throughout all of Terracopia though many (if not most) of them are forgotten or no longer used.

The Old Gods do not typically have "cut and dried" portfolios, stories, genders, or histories. Further, they are not associated with alignments or motivations beyond their essential natures. That is, individual gods do not attract worshippers of a particular ethos over any other (e.g., the Dragon does not attract "evil" worshippers, even though it is associated with fire and power).

The Dead Gods

For more information, see Dead Gods

The Dead Gods is a collective term referring to a group of deities or spirits whose worship has declined out of favor of have been proscribed and declared illegal. The Dead Gods typically do not have connections with one another, nor are there stories, legends, or myths surrounding them. They are largely forgotten in modern times.

Dyoig-notho

An evil, amorphous, and corruptive deity, worship of Dyoig-notho is proscribed in most places. It is worshipped by secretive cults and members can be found among all cultures (save the Atlan).

  • Portfolio: Disease, Pestilence, Decay, Evil
  • Domains: Death, Grave

Ulato of the Twisting

An evil deity who seeks to inflict as much chaos and change as possible, worship of Ulato is proscribed in most places. Its cultists are nearly all inflicted with madness, and many engage in ritualized cannibalism.

  • Portfolio: Change, Corruption, Insanity, Chaos
  • Domains: Arcana, Knowledge, Life

The Mute Gods

For more information, see Mute Gods

Far to the south, within the great Rub' al Khali desert, stand several enormous, unmoving figures of various styles and shapes. Most of these figures are humanoid shaped, though not of any particular species. These figures are made of a kind of unbreakable stone unknown to any species that resists any attempts to mar or otherwise damage it. There are 7 figures in total and collectively they are known as the Mute Gods. Worship of the Mute Gods is unknown outside of the island of Aksum.

The Mute Gods make no pronouncements and answer no prayers. However, those clerics dedicated to Mute God are granted spells, so they have some kind of power to give.