Lesser Deities of Farland
Table of Contents
Dhurli Ironbeard (Dwarven)
Bucca Tunnelly (Halfling)
Tanarus and Sulis
The following section details the Deities and Lesser Deities of Farland.
Reeanan (The Bright, Wise Lady)
Power of Caelestin, Lawful Good
Reeanan is pictured as a radiant maiden clad in a robe as bright as the sun. She is the hand-maiden of Heshtail, and he is said to trust her and put great responsibility on her. The Wise Lady is especially popular among Paladins, who revere her wisdom and strength of word. Her clerics worship her by burning a specially prepared bonfire and casting incense into it once a month. Priests of Reeanan hate liars and people who do not keep their word. They are known for their strength of will and their resistance to temptation. They are usually kind people, but hard.
Reeanan commands her followers thus:
- Revere the daytime, for it is holy.
- Keep your word.
- Trust in your own wisdom.
Holy days: Radae (7th day of week), New Year, Yule (25th of Belos), 1st of Kantalos
Holy Month: Reeanos (7th month)
Ceremonies: Ceremony of Oaths, Solar Ceremony once a month, Paladin Honorarium, Fortitude Reverence, others
Church structure: The Church of Reeanan is a substructure of the Church of Heshtail, although it is semi-independent. Members of the church of Reeanan will obey members of the church of Heshtail who are higher in rank, and vice versa. They will also go to many of the other church's ceremonies as well. The two Churches can also draw upon each other's resources, although the Church of Heshtail is ultimately dominant. Ranks within the Church, distinguished by differing armbands, are from: Attendant, Oath Protector, Celestial Attendant, Marshal, Celestial Oath Protector, Deacon, to Celestial High Priest. There are many Paladins throughout these ranks.
Tithe and donations: 10% to Church. Players are encouraged to add suitable ceremonies and other details of their own.
The Worship of Reeanan Elsewhere in the World
The handmaiden of Heshtail is often seen as a mere accessory to the Merciful One, but the elder god entrusts her with all but the weightiest of responsibilities. Of all the lesser deities, she boasts the greatest complement of paladins and the most ardent inquisitors, burning away the shadows of deceit that the light of truth may stand in the open. Reeanan is sometimes known as the Sea Maiden, and as the patron of sailors, guides the seafarers back to safe harbor-- it is to honor her that all ships are named and treated as female.
She is by far the most important deity in the Selfhaven Archipelago, though the native tendency towards deceit and chaos would normally suggest a greater reverence for Lord Rogue Bel-- Havenish clerics of Reeanan point out that they still abide by the spirit of their goddess' value through being honest about their piratical tendencies. Reeanan is also worshipped by the possibly-apocryphal sand dragons of Eruna, who took her instruction to stamp out lies to an extreme, and dedicate their entire lives to nothing else.
The Ishians only know her as the naive and trusting aspect of their idiot goddess Tenlennen-ke. In Badala, she is Sutti the Scribe of Heaven, a dutiful worker who truthfully records all that transpires in the universe-- her skin the deep ink-blue of the twilit sky, freckled with the luminescence of the stars. In Forntol, she is Lady Hope, keeping the eternal watch fires lit for Farlandic friend and foe alike.
Calbran (Lord of Luck)
Power of Efferenus, Neutral Good
Calbran is pictured as a hugely muscular man with a crown on his head. Although he is a supreme fighter, he is very peaceful and only fights to defend himself or his queen Bestra. His worshippers are encouraged to be peaceful and strong of will. His clerics worship him by preaching the value of peace to whomever they can. They also hold a ceremony where the symbolic hammer of Calbran is venerated once a week. Priests of The Lord of Luck tend to be slow to anger and often only fight when they are attacked. When they do fight, however, it is with great strength and ferocity, as they trust to luck granted by their god to bring them through the combat and help them triumph in the ways of pure good.
Calbran commands his followers thus:
- Never fight except to defend yourself or others. Aggression is blasphemy.
- Tend to your strength of body, mind, and heart.
- Peace is the utmost goal. Peace is holy.
Holy days: Wedae (First day), solstice and equinox, New Year, Cycle of the constellation "Calbran's Hammer," others
Holy Month: Calbros (9th Month)
Ceremonies: Calbran's Holy Hammer (every four years the stars of the constellation Calbran's Hammer glow faintly), Ceremony of Peace (immediately after war), Ritual of Luck (before an undertaking), Veneration of Strength, others
Church structure: Like the church of Bestra, the church of Calbran is structured in a dual way. There is the Order of the Luck, which tends to its daily maintenance. It is ranked: from Holy Neophyte, Brother or Sister of Luck, Father or Mother of Luck, Deacon, to Bishop. The other branch is the Order of Peace, which consists of traveling clerics or monks. It is ranked: from Novice, Erant, Peacekeeper, Healer, Almoner, to Abbott. The Church of Calbran values pragmatic service more than rank. The church has two co-leaders, the High Bishop and the High Abbott of the geographical area.
Tithe and donations: 8 % to Church. Players are encouraged to add suitable ceremonies and other details of their own.
The Worship of Calbran Elsewhere in the World
Calbran, as the warden of Bestra, is sometimes thought of as a weak god, connected only to the ephemeral power of chance. The hositan, who claim their preternatural luckiness was actually stolen from Calbran himself as a gift for them by Bucca Tunnelly, and all others who swear by the Herohammer, know better. Invoking the power of the Lord of Luck makes the impossible possible and the certain unlikely.
Though technically forbidden from personally interfering in the Material Plane, Calbran stole an idea from Bunga Proudfoot and regularly offers random good luck to those who just happen to be potentially extremely important, enabling them to survive to actually be important later on. Many a champion through the ages has been the unknowing beneficiary of this gift, and Calbran is acknowledged by the wise as a patron of the truest heroes, not merely adventurers.
The Ranarim and gnomes hold Calbran in particular esteem, crediting him with granting the good luck needed to establish secure hidden strongholds before the Dark Occupation could overrun them. Indeed, among the Sunder Elves, the warhammer and the mace are the two single most common weapons to be found, despite the normal elven preference for elegant swords and bows.
The Cen-Cenlans title him as Dalil Al-Ghamid, the Guide of Secrets, and know him as one of the five oracles who offer advice to the Weaver of Fates. They say that when a person seeks to know what path to take in life, if the answer they receive is incomprehensible or too obscure to be of any use, it is because this time his arguments has swayed the Weaver of Fates.
Thranton (Lord of Lightning)
Power of Aeron, Chaotic Good
Thranton the Lightning Lord is the servant of Kantor the crusader. He is seen as having long hair and a long beard, both wildly jutting out in all directions. He wears chainmail and carries a bow, which does not shoot arrows but lightning bolts. Once a month a great archery contest is held to honor Thranton. He is also worshipped during thunder storms by his loyal clerics. His priests wear deep grey cloaks to symbolize the thunder of Thranton. They tend to favor bows. Thranton is a temperamental lord, quick to anger at the forces of evil and quick to defend good. This is true of his priests as well. The priests of The Lord of Lightning often work in close contact with priests of Kantor.
Thranton commands his followers thus:
- Storms are the blessings of Thranton.
- If you aim to accomplish something, do not stop until you do.
- Never let dust collect on your boots.
Holy days: Hoarmdae (3rd day), Thunder Storms, 29th of each month (Archery Contest), New Years, 3rd of Kantalos others
Holy Month: Thrantos (3rd Month)
Ceremonies: Archery Contest, Ceremony of Thunder, Lightning Veneration, Holy Hawk's Celebration, others
Church structure: The Church of Thranton, like that of Kantor, has little over-all organization. In some areas, the church actually shares a temple structure with that of Kantor, in other areas (unoccupied by evil of course), priests of Thranton have their own temples. A temple of Thranton is always marked by a jagged silver streak across the front portico. Each temple, whether within its own structure or sharing a building, is independent of other temples of both Kantor and Thranton, although they will act as allies. In times of war the temples of Thranton will ally themselves with other temples and with the church of Kantor. They will submit themselves to the leadership of Kantor's High Priest-Marshal who oversees all of the temples in the geographical area. When the crisis has passed, the Protectorate dissolves, leaving the temples to go about doing the good business of Thranton unhampered. The internal hierarchy of each temple differs, although it is generally loose nit. A common arrangement might be: from Cloud-brother, Priest, Thunder Priest, to High Thunder Priest.
Tithe and donations: 10 % to Church. Players are encouraged to add suitable ceremonies and other details of their own.
The Worship of Thranton Elsewhere in the World
Temperamental Thranton is rarely worshipped for his own merits, for in one of his unpredictable rages the Tempest God can be as destructive to his followers as to their foes, but as the lieutenant of Kantor, he does receive considerable veneration from more hot-blooded warriors, principally among the berserkers and ragers of the barbarians.
Wise sailors invoke his name nearly as much as they do Reeanan's, for a ship at sea is utterly defenceless against a storm. He used to be particularly popular in Orland before the Dark Occupation, and it is known that his clergy held out there for nearly a decade after the rest of the faiths were suppressed. It was only when the besieged temples came under the combined assault of the Blacksun Regiments that Thranton finally lost his grip on Orland.
The aarakocra revere Thranton as a protector deity of sorts, though sometimes their phrasing suggests they believe him to have created them. Their eyries, often far above the clouds, are uniquely beyond the harm caused by storms, and the normal wary respect Thranton is held in is replaced with more conventional worship by the avian race.
He is known as Vajradeva in Badala, depicted as a diamond-fleshed giant clad only in storm clouds, wielding a curious double-headed club that he uses to chastise wrongdoers. He is said to be well-intentioned, but ironically not very bright, and so often inflicts punishment on those who have done nothing wrong.
The Cen-Cenlans title him Dalil Al-Leamal, the Guide of Action, and know him as one of the five oracles who offer advice to the Weaver of Fates. They say that when a person seeks to know what path to take in life, if the answer they receive encourages immediate and decisive action, it is because this time his arguments has swayed the Weaver of Fates.
Aknor (The True, Lord of Skill)
Power of Cogiton, Lawful Neutral
Aknor the True is the god of skill. He serves as Neltak's right hand. Aknor is an ultimately skilled blacksmith who can forge any item. He is said to have made Neltak's axe. Aknor likes everything in its place. Priests of Aknor gather around his anvil-shaped altar once a week to worship him. He also has two main holy days a year. Priests of Aknor try to be as skillful and as orderly as they can in everything they do. Many devote themselves to mastering a skill. The worshippers of Aknor hate it when someone tries to hide their ethical bent. They tend to like it when people are straightforward in their dealings with them.
Aknor commands his followers thus:
- A place for everything, and everything in its place.
- There is no endeavor more holy than working with your hands.
- A job perfected is a job blessed by Aknor.
Holy days: Radae (7th day), 14th of Neltalos, Yule, Summer Solstice, Vernal Equinox
Holy Month: Neltalos (2nd month)
Ceremonies: Holy Craftsmen festival (1st week of Neltalos), Ceremony of Truth (17th of Bestalos), Feast of Skill (14th of Neltalos), Yule ceremony, others
Church structure: The Church of Aknor is a church of craftsmen. It is quite organized, with two branches, the Makers, and the Venerators. The Makers spend almost all their time making crafts to give glory to their Blacksmith god. They are ordered from Holy Apprentice, Holy Maker, Holy Cleric Maker, Holy Master, to Holy Cleric Master. There are two ranks within each rank, however. These are Primus and Secondus. Thus one enters the church a Holy Apprentice Secondus. The other branch of the church, the Venerators, are more clerical in their duties. They are responsible for enforcing the laws of the church within the church itself, as well as proselytizing and holding rituals. These are arranged from: Neophyte, Initiate, Cleric, Priest, Acumenist, to Holy Priest of Skill. This branch is also arranged according to Primus and Secondus ranks. The Potentate of the Church of Neltak is also the head of the Church of Aknor.
Tithe and donations: 10% plus portion of crafts made to Church. Players are encouraged to add suitable ceremonies and other details of their own.
The Worship of Aknor Elsewhere in the World
Aknor is the strong right-hand of Neltak and master smith of the gods, said to have fashioned the unique panoply of each deity-- and by his lord's command, if reluctantly, even those of the evil gods, so as to be fair-- and to have imparted a secret knowledge of his expertise to each of Tal-Allustiel, Khuldul, and Bunga upon their formation.
He is the patron of artisans, laborers, smiths, and tutors; for he is the Lord of Skill, and the well-being of all apprentices comes under his remit. Though he never had more than a few true temples to his name, Aknor is perhaps unmatched when it comes to personal shrines, by long tradition having one in every guildhall, workhouse, and laborer camp. Other professionals, even if they hold a different god higher than him, typically had a shrine in their home or workplace too, knowing better than to scorn the Lord of Skill.
Aknor holds an important position in Badala, being the Grand Tutor of the celestial Court of Expertise, and is depicted as a man with anywhere from six to fifty arms - depending on the size of the image and the available space-- each holding a different tool or weapon. In this land he is named Bhikuna and is the keeper of the most powerful artifacts in the universe, too dangerous or tempting for any other god to hold.
The Cen-Cenlans title him as Dalil Al-Datrib, the Guide of Training, and know him as one of the five oracles who offer advice to the Weaver of Fates. They say that when a person seeks to know what path to take in life, if the answer they receive encourages a regime of self-improvement, it is because this time his arguments has swayed the Weaver of Fates.
Janora (Lady of Fate)
Power of Concordia, Neutral
Janora is called the Lady of Fate. She is said to be the daughter of Dekk, and is described as a beautiful woman clothed in robes that are like the living night sky. She is said to be blind, but this does not hinder her. Her priests worship her twice a week, as well as gathering once a year to try to predict through the use of astrology what will happen in the coming year. Like priests of Dekk, Janora's specialty priests try to remain as neutral in all things as possible, but they will work to correct the balance. Many priests actually have a relatively active interaction with society, as detailed below. Clerics of the Lady of Fate always keep a dark cloth on them that is adorned with bright points or spots, to represent the star-robe of Janora. Some priests of Janora are called Fatemasters.
Janora advices her followers thus:
- All happens as it is meant to.
- Be bold, for your fate is not in your hands anyway.
- The stars will predict your fate.
Holy days: Hoarmdae (3rd day) and Dwardae (6th day), 1st day of Dekkos (10th month), Lunar and Solar Eclipses, Yule, others
Holy Month: Janoros (6th month)
Ceremonies: Annual Astral Prediction on 28th of Heshtalos, Ceremony of the Roll of the Heavenly Dice, Fate Day (13th of Vornos), Star Ceremony, others
Church structure: The Church of Janora is divided into two factions that disagree about the important issue of the role of the church. The first faction is the official church of Janora. This church is closely connected to the monastery-church of Dekk. This church is indeed the appendage of the church of Dekk that handles dealings with the outside world. This faction sees neutrality as the balancing of probabilities. In other words, sometimes evil may benefit, sometimes good will win, but things balance out into an over-all neutrality once the positives have been subtracted from the negatives. This philosophy translates to an active interaction with many elements of society. The proceeds from these interactions go largely towards benefiting the church of Dekk foremost, with the remainder going back into the church of Janora. This church is structured from: Brother or Sister, Cleric, Star Cleric, High Cleric, Priest, Star Priest, to High Priest. The other faction of the church of Janora is the Fatemasters. This faction believes that the church of Janora should be entirely independent. They try to downplay their connection with Dekk, even going so far as to deny that Janora is a god. Strangely, their philosophy is more one of pure neutrality, which is more compatible with the church of Dekk than is the philosophy of the official church of Janora. The Fatemasters tend to be more withdrawn, spending their time with astrology and attempts to tell the future. Their church is arranged from: Neophyte, Astralist, High Astralist, Stellarist, High Stellarist, to High Fatemaster.
Tithe and donations: 12 % to Church
The Worship of Janora Elsewhere in the World
The daughter of Dekk is often seen as one of the more unnerving deities, for her sphere of influence encompasses the greatest part of the terrifying unknown-- the future and one's place in it. Diviners, doomsayers, oracles, curse-speakers; all seek to draw upon some small facet of Janora's power to make their own desires come true, whether that is to know the future or to bring about a specific event in the future.
She is treated with special respect by the elves, whose immortal nature predisposes them to a certain existential horror at the remorseless passage of time, but it is the celestials and fiends who pay her the most homage. To these entities, for whom even death is not always the end, Janora is a comforting presence-- reminding them that they have eternity to make whatever they wish of the infinite future before them, and so there is no need to be discouraged by current failure.
The Cen-Cenlans title her as Hayik Al-Qadr, the Weaver of Fates, and know her as a kindly and impressionable old woman quietly weaving the strands of destiny into clothing for mortals to wear. She is always accompanied by five oracles, in some stories her children, who advise her on what patterns and designs to use in her work, and the result is a unique destiny for each mortal being.
Interestingly, both the Badalans and the Teregnaven see her as a warrior goddess who safeguards against paradox and the misuse of time magic, by simultaneously enforcing history and future-- whatever was, always has been, and whatever shall be, always will be. For the Badalans, Deepaswati, at once maiden and crone and all years between, is a manifestation of the universe's desire to keep itself in existence. For the Teregnaven, the Unchanging Lady represents both the ensuring of their own historical salvation from Vornoth and their eventual guaranteed return to Farland.
Flamgart (Lord of Fire)
Power of Nemux, Chaotic Neutral
Flamgart is the servant of Bel the Lord Thief. "He" is pictured as a slender being of indeterminate sex, whose face is wreathed in flames. Flamgart always has a bottle in one hand and a black-jack, flail, or warhammer in the other. "He" is very whimsical and unpredictable. "He" is often thought of as insane. "His" priests worship him by holding the Flamgannal, a celebration where all those present are expected to get drunk and act completely insane. His priests often act this way themselves, with or without the aid of alcohol. They view Holy Ecstasy as a way of communing with their god. Priests of Flamgart tend to wear at least one item of bright red, to symbolize the fire of their God.
Flamgart commands his followers thus:
- You can never step in the same river twice.
- The essence of life is change.
- Do as thou wilt... so long as you do not grow stagnant by doing the same thing for too long.
Holy days: Hoarmdae (3rd day), 1st week of Flamgos, 8th of Belos, Hallow's Eve
Holy Month: Flamgos (8th month)
Ceremonies: Flamgannal during the first week of Flamgos, Ceremony of Pilfering during 8th of Belos, Ceremony of Fear during Hallow's Eve, Greening Ceremony, others
Church structure: The Church of Flamgart is entirely the most disorganized religion on Farland. The Priests of Flamgart have no official hierarchy. The pecking order is simply from the least powerful to the most powerful Cleric (no titles involved), with the everyday worshipper doing the menial labor when they are willing. Moreover, the Priesthood spends much of its time in Holy Ecstasy (i.e. drunk). This is not to suggest that Priests of Flamgart are not serious about their God or their religion; they are, and they believe deeply in the wisdom gained through Holy Ecstasy. They just represent the pinnacle of chaos. In times of need, however, any priest of Flamgart will aid any temple of Flamgart.
Tithe and donations: at will. Players are encouraged to add suitable ceremonies and other details of their own.
The Worship of Flamgart Elsewhere in the World
Historically there has been much confusion in the depiction of Flamgart, for in those few languages without gendered pronouns the Lord of Fire is typically portrayed as male, whereas in the remainder "he" is invariably neuter, unless manifesting in a form which requires a specific pronoun. The ancient elves, for instance, saw Flamgart as a terrifying fire-witch, her naked body literally composed of dancing flames; though modern portrayals cleave closer to the classical dwarven depiction of an ash-skinned being of indeterminate sex.
All, however, know Flamgart to be utterly insane by any conventional standard. The deity is all of the berserker aspect of Ishia's version of Kantor; the wanton destroyer Ignus feared by the fey; the mercurial Molten Lord whose volcanic outpourings both power and threaten the works of the crazed derro; and even the exultant Hothshiggur (from ehoth, meaning 'authority/permission', and ashiggur, meaning 'to delight'), the Master of Pleasures, that most of the Dark Folk secretly wish they could worship instead of the cold and murderous Vornoth.
The Cen-Cenlans title him as Dalil Al-Fawdaa, the Guide of Chaos, and know him as one of the five oracles who offer advice to the Weaver of Fates. They say that when a person seeks to know what path to take in life, if the answer they receive is encourages selfishness and hedonism over reason and obedience, it is because this time his arguments has swayed the Weaver of Fates.
Even in Badala, Flamgart is the apocalyptic Vashdraman, who has danced in hedonistic ecstasy since the beginning of all things, celebrating the wonder of each aspect of creation. When the dance ends, a weary and jaded Vashdraman will immolate the entire universe and bring an end to this kalpa-- the immeasurable period of time between the birth of a reality and its death-- so that the dead cosmos may reincarnate itself and begin the cycle anew.
The faith of Flamgart has recently seen a massive upsurge in Kelerak, owing to the populist preacher-baron Russel Starsul, an extremely high-profile devotee of the Everflaming Lord, being caught up in an attempted demonic assault on Dragonspur. Upon being confronted by the incensed nobleman, one fiend attempted to burn him, only for the flames to become an incendiary shield the like of which any archmage would envy, and Baron Starsul promptly waded even further into the bloody fray and immolated several more demons that offended his moral sensibilities.
Grlarshh (God of Death)
Power of Carcus, Neutral Evil
Grlarshh is pictured as a rotting, skull-faced man wielding a scourge. He is the only god who does not serve the greater deity of his alignment. Indeed, Grlarshh and He-who-walks-in-Darkness are enemies and are feuding. The Walker is winning, and as such Grlarshh is slowly withdrawing from Farland; hence his lesser deity status. His worshippers are increasingly rare. Indeed they may be the clerics that are in the most danger, as they must contend with the servants of The Walker, as well as the servants of good. What few clerics of The Diseased One remain keep a low profile. These clerics worship Grlarshh by sacrificing someone once a month and dedicating the death to their Lord of Death. Where possible, clerics of Grlarshh used to paint their faces like skulls before the ascendancy of The Walker, but now they just keep a small skull-shaped icon on their person.
Grlarshh commands his followers thus:
- Honor the God of Death and he will keep you safe; Do not and your life is forfeit.
- Disease and pestilence is the way of life.
- Death is holy.
Holy days: Khamdae (2nd day of week), 29th of Vornos (Ceremony of Death), 15th of Dekkos (Dance of Disease), 15th of Kantalos (Ash Remembrance), Hallow's Eve, others.
Holy Month: Belos (11th month)
Ceremonies: Ritual Sacrifice once a month, Ceremony of Death, Dance of Disease, Ash Remembrance, others
Church structure: The Church of Grlarsh is under a lot of strain. They are constantly hounded and hunted. As such, almost all temples are secret, and are located underground or in some other hidden place. The colored robes of the Priests identify the ranks of the church. The robe colors are from: Crimson, Black, Grey and Black, Maroon and Black, to Purple and Black. The titles corresponding to these colors are: Novice, Priest, Priest of Disease, Priest of Death, and High Priest of Death. Members of the Church are generally brought into the fold of their own accord and because of some tribulation in their lives from which they see Grlarsh as having granted them respite. Thus they are extraordinarily loyal to the church and will usually not hesitate even to give their lives for the cause, as they see death as a blessing from their God.
Tithe and donations: 12 % to Church. Players are encouraged to add suitable ceremonies and other details of their own.
The Worship of Grlarshh Elsewhere in the World
The last surviving member of the Shrouded Triad is Grlarshh, fallen far from his glory days as a peer to the eldest gods such as Heshtail and Bestra and Kantor, the majority of his power bled from him over the course of his long war with treacherous Vornoth. All know that it was only due to the intervention of the great gods of Neutrality, Dekk and Neltak, that the Death God was even able to survive this long in his remote fastness in Carcus-- yet a deranged few say that Bel, third of the great gods of Neutrality and the whispered creator of the yugoloth fiend-mercenaries, continues to play a role with a mind for the long game.
Yugoloths indeed work for the Death God more frequently, and at vastly better rates, than for any other power across the planes; and are the most numerous beings in his employ by roughly a factor of ten, yet no yugoloth has ever confessed to worshipping anything other than their own self.
Grlarshh has fewer worshippers than any other god, not least because his church was never exactly popular before the ascendancy of the Dark Walker, but also because his mortal followers were nearly entirely exterminated during the Dark Occupation. The historical structure of his faith is almost completely dissolved on the Material Plane, with little more than stubborn cults clinging onto the ruins of a once-extensive hidden priesthood.
Only in Badala is there any semblance of his organized religion, for here Grlarshh is seen as a put-upon (true), fading (true), necessary (debatable) deity. Portrayed as a hideous figure, one half withered with famine, the other half bloated with disease, Grlarshh is onomatopoeically named for the traditional funeral ululation of Ayyayyii in this land and is treated with a measure of courtesy, if not respect or appreciation, even by the majority of those who do not actually worship him.
With necromancy being a creation of Vornoth, the greater undead such as liches and vampires are particularly fearful of Grlarshh as the bringer of the final death from which no return is possible. When appropriately crafted and empowered by a wielder of divine energies, his profane symbol, the twisted Carcusite Cross, can cause these beings to recoil instinctively for a few vital seconds, though they are not harmed or permanently kept at bay by the icon.
Rumors exist of a giant-blooded tribe high in the Greatwall Mountains that seek the actual execution of the Death God, claiming he holds their own all-powerful, but easily confused and absent-minded, deity prisoner in his fortress. Nobody with any shred of rationality takes these stories seriously, of course, no matter how many knowing looks the Ishians and Badalans give them.
Elves do not have a lesser deity. They worship only Tal-Allustiel or the unity they call Edai.
Dhurli Ironbeard (Lord Miner)
Power of Caelestin, Lawful Good
Dhurli Ironbeard is the Chamberlain in Khuldul Rockcarver's great mountain kingdom. He serves Khuldul faithfully and truly. He is worshipped by his faithful clerics once a month when they venerate a recreation of Dhurli's sacred pick-axe. Priests of Dhurli are always loyal to their friends and to the Dwarven race. They keep the best care of their beards out of any dwarves, usually, and take great offense when anyone insults this beard. They tend to put chains of gold, as well as small gems in their beards whenever they can. Scholars also claim that Dhurli Ironbeard has some connection to Khuckduck Gemcutter, but what that connection is they usually do not say.
Dhurli commands his followers thus:
- Precious metals are holy.
- Faithfully serve those who have lawful authority over you.
- Loyalty is the highest virtue.
Holy days: Every fifth day, Half Moons (All Gems' Glow), Soulforge Gathering (every four years), Eclipses, New Year
Holy Month: Dhurlin (9th Month)
Ceremonies: Un Auldin (All Gem's Glow), Os Oodin, Os Tholus (Day of Seeking), Ceremony of Axes, Beard Decorating Ritual, others
Church structure: The Church of Dhurli, while officially a branch ("Khuldul's Brother") of the larger church of Khuldul, has its own internal structure. The church is arranged into two divisions, with titles which, in Dwarven, mean Holy Pick and Holy Axe. The first branch is responsible for the fiscal operations of the church, while the second is responsible for the Belicose operations. Each of these divisions is ruled over by four High Priests, with ceremonial titles meaning "Steel," "Diamond," "Marble," and "Granite." These eight High Priests of the Church (called the Holy Conclave) are responsible for appointing the 99 Ceremonial Judges of Khazadim. These 99 Judges are a fixture of every dwarfhold, handling religious disputes and court cases concerned with everyday customs of living. Of Course the Judges answer ultimately to the King. Finally, there is one more group that attaches itself to the church of Dhurli. These are the "Dealers of Justice," fanatical berserkers and warrior outcasts loyal to the laws of Dwarven society They seek a life of war in the name of Dhurli.
Tithe and donations: 10 % to Church. Players are encouraged to add suitable ceremonies and other details of their own.
The Worship of Dhurli Elsewhere in the World
The dwarves credit Dhurli Ironbeard with their creation just as much as they do Khuldul Rockcarver, for it was Dhurli who sought out and retrieved the raw material that was used to fashion them. Especially among dwarves, Dhurli is the patron of all those toil beneath notice, but who actually perform all the most necessary, and typically underappreciated, tasks in any community.
He is not particularly well-known outside of the dwarfholds, though the odd shrine to him has been known to be overlooked by the foremen of more isolated elven mining outposts in the Alpenheights. The gnomes consider him an ally of Khuckduck Gemcutter, who was the one to turn Dhurli's beard into actual metal after losing a bet. The dwarves consider this story utterly ridiculous.
Farland once had an entire multispecies guild devoted to him-- the Far City Municipal Conglomerate of Pest Control, Sanitation, Wasteway Maintenance, and Hospitality Custodians-- but in the wake of the Dark Occupation, it was naturally exterminated as readily as any vermin they used to target.
Infamously among the Dark Folk, Dhurli is one of the more terrible gods of the troglodytes, who view him as the god of dwarven implacability and vengeance. As troglodytes have historically made sport of shaving dwarven slaves and then branding them with torches made from their own hair, the notion of an outright deity with an unshavable beard of iron who is intimately familiar with the underways of the world is understandably terrifying to them.
Barlifandorf (Gnome Lord)
Power of Efferenus, Neutral Good
This gnomish god is pictured as a bald, ugly large-nosed female gnome clad in illusionist's robes. Strangely, she has small horns. She is a master illusionist, and serves as court magician to many of the gods. Her worshippers venerate her by worshipping once a year in complete solitude, and fasting for two days. To enter the church a vow of celibacy is required. They also think that riddles are sacred to their God, and as such, they try to solve and collect as many riddles as possible. The Goddess of Illusion is also the patron of gnomish invention, and any inventing tinker gnome venerates her. Most gnome illusionists also worship her, needless to say.
Barlifandorf advises her followers thus:
- Curiosity is the spice of life.
- Seek knowledge to make up for what you lack in brute force.
- Brain beats brawn.
- Things are rarely as they seem; Use this knowledge to your benefit.
Holy days: In Dwarven: Angwan (1st day), Yule, Eclipses of the Sun, Winter Solstice, others
Holy Month: In Dwarven: Marin (1st month)
Ceremonies: Ceremony of Illusions, Ceremony of Solitude, Invention Service, others
Church structure: The church of Barlifandorf is strictly hierarchical. It is divided up into three sections, with one section handling the rituals concerning curiosity, one with those of invention, and one with those of intellect. The sections called by Gnomish names meaning "Ministry of Holy Curiosity, Ministry of Holy Inventiveness, and Ministry of Sacred Intellectuality." Each Priest within the separate ministries are given Gnomish titles corresponding roughly with: Warrener, Illusiary, Burrower, Minister, Magiciary, to Holy High Illusiary Burrowing Minister. So the head Priest of the Ministry of Holy Curiosity would be titled "Holy High Illusiary Burrowing Minister of Holy Curiosity." Priests of Barlifandorf often use all applicable titles. Only female gnomes are admitted to the Ministry of Sacred Intellectuality.
Tithe and donations: 10 % to Church. Players are encouraged to add suitable ceremonies and other details of their own.
The Worship of Barlifandorf Elsewhere in the World
Barlifandorf holds an unusual position in the pantheon, not least because even the elves are uncertain as to where exactly she came from and what her actual relationship to the other gods is. Gnomes claim that she gave birth to half of their ancestors after seducing Khuldul or Dhurli, or both in some lewder tellings of the tale, and that her sometimes-lover Khuckduck provided the other half-- the dwarves naturally refute this strenuously.
One of Barlifandorf's earliest and currently obsolete titles was Hellsqueen, leading a few brave theologians to suggest she is in actuality the very first of the cambions; born of a tryst between Khuldul Rockcarver and Lagur Archtyrant. This suggestion is never made in either gnomish or dwarven hearing, and the elven records which name her a half-demon are all authored by long-discredited scholars-- though it is interesting that these records remain in the archives, despite the rest of the works having been expunged.
She is almost wholly unknown elsewhere in the world, with even the trolls barely giving any thought to this hugely important deity of their ancestral enemy. This suits the gnomes right down to the ground, and they embrace her as a goddess all of their own, the patron of Sheltinnobortanu, and thus the protector of the race as a whole.
Bucca Tunnelly (Halfling Lord)
Power of Efferenus, Chaotic Good
If Bunga Proudfoot is the Sheriff of his heavenly shire, then Bucca is the good-natured thief. He only borrows things, however, and no one ever misses them. He serves Bunga willingly whenever he is in need of his skills. Bucca's clerics are rather thief-like and flippant, but they can be serious when the need arises. They venerate Bucca by worshipping once a week at the meeting to worship Bunga. Whenever a priest of Bunga mentions their God's name, one of Bucca's priests will scream out "And Bucca too!", to the good natured consternation of the worshippers of Bunga. Halfling thieves everywhere generally venerate Bucca.
Bucca advises his followers thus:
- Use humor to deflect blame.
- Stealing is a practical joke.
- Do no real harm.
Holy days: Khamdae (2nd day of week), New Year, Mid-year's Day, Harvest, and Yule (25th of Belos)
Holy Month: Belos (11th month)
Ceremonies: New Year, Mid-Year, and Yule feasts, Harvest festival, Burglary Reverence
Church structure: The Church of Bucca is truly and intrinsically bound up with the Church of Bunga. The two churches share a building, which is officially the temple of Bunga. While this causes friction on rare occasions, it is generally not a problem. The church structure is even more lax than that of Bunga's. The church of Bucca is just as enthusiastic about feasts and outdoor services as the church of Bunga. There is a hierarchy of the church, from Handler, Holy Handler, Gov'ner, Holy Gov'ner, to Holy Burgher. Priests in the Church of Bucca are happily tolerated and even looked to in times of need.
Tithe and donations: 10% to Church. Players are encouraged to add suitable ceremonies and other details of their own.
The Worship of Bucca Elsewhere in the World
Bucca Tunnelly is the hositan King of Irreverence, the Great Borrower, and the Scourge of the Serious. If ever there is a need for levity, or pomposity to be punctured, that is where Bucca and his followers seek to be. It is said he once accidentally created a powerful but erratic artifact when Bunga outwitted him at a game of dice, but if such a thing actually exists, it has long been lost in the mists of history.
He is the patron of the hositan virtue kendry, which is at once a willingness to spread laughter and the ability to laugh at your own failings-- in a sense, it is the all-encompassing qualities of comedy itself. His most recent title, given to him after the horror of the Dark Occupation, is the epitome of kendry and thus considered in bad taste by most other creatures-- which only encourages his followers. Many a bard acknowledges the debt that comedy owes to the halflings and their god, and trickster characters in most theatre productions draw more heavily from Bucca than they do Bel.
Even in distant Badala, he is the shapeshifting Laughing Ganupati, the best friend of the prankster child-god Ashura, and the Keeper of Optimism in the celestial Court of Excellence. His preferred form is that of a rat, who are thought of as lucky creatures for being able to thrive in any environment, but no matter what shape he has taken, he is always depicted with a happy smile and a mischievous glint in both eyes.
Tanarus and Sulis (Double manifestation of Primordial Power)
This is the worship of a dual god, representative of the sun and the moon, and the whole primordial force of nature and of Núrion, which is mighty indeed. Natural things are considered holy to druids, specifically mistletoe. Tanarus is the male manifestation, whose symbol is the oak. Sulis is the female manifestation, whose symbol is water. Some theologians say that these two names do not represent specific beings, like Heshtail or Vornoth, but rather the processes of nature, something like the Tao. Others, however, say that Tanarus is the sun and Sulis the moon.
The Worship of Tanarus and Sulis Elsewhere in the World
There is no consensus on whether or not Tanarus and Sulis, manifested by Dekk near the end of the Ontological War, are truly gods in the same way as Kantor or Grlarshh or Bel, but their deific power is undeniable regardless. Dragons claim to be descended from these entities, and invoke their names with sincere reverence. The elves too pay homage to them, the inextricable dualities of the universe-- life and death, light and dark, love and hate, male and female-- which they represent being named Edai.
Few other cultures remember these primordial divinities, and fewer still portray them as anything other than the archetype of masculinity and femininity for which they are usually remembered to reflect. Even the Badalans give little thought to them, simply citing that Purush and Mahila are the physical sun and moon, and that is that.
The Ishians and Dark Folk, however, believe that the sun and moon are actually the eyes of Vornok-ka himself, constantly gazing down upon the world and seeing all that comes to pass. This belief fosters a sense of paranoia which does wonders for keeping them on the track that the Dark Walker desires of them.
Tanarus and Sulis are worshipped by the aarakocra as the two halves of the primordial eggshell from which the universe hatched. The other gods, even Dekk, are believed to have arisen after the splitting of the egg into two. Historically some nihilistic aarakocra claimed that the egg did not hatch, but was prematurely broken open, and that reality is but the dying dream of its aborted cosmic embryo-- but these demented ravings were never considered valid even in the darkest days of the species.
Salystra the Queen of Serpents (Demon-goddess of Dark Elves)
Power of the Maelstrom, Chaotic Evil
This hideous demon is represented as either a giant, bloated black asp or a beautiful drow female. Few besides the dark elves worship her. When priests of Salystra get to a certain level, she tests them. Those who fail become hideous abominations; those who pass are allowed to progress in power.
Salystra commands her followers thus:
- Power is the utmost goal.
- Conquer the world for Salystra.
- Those who are weaker than you are yours to do with as you will.
The Worship of Salystra Elsewhere in the World
Alone among the gods, Salystra has ascended to divinity from “mere” immortality by drawing upon the nigh-infinite power of the Maelstrom of Friction. Prior to this apotheosis, she had been a Godsliver Fiend, spawned from an inconceivable dream of Soggoth the Calamitous himself, and had been caught on that shard of Malor fragmented from the whole during the Ontological War which was swept up into the Maelstrom. In order to survive, she shed her dissolving skin like a serpent, attuning her deeper and more vital self to this new environment.
She is almost exclusively worshipped by the drow, having been responsible for their division from the main Elhil race by way of the Serpent of Twilight. This abomination, being a particularly insidious and cunning creation of the goddess, still features heavily in elven tales as a threat no less terrible than Vornoth himself, and all the more frightening for still lurking somewhere in the Material Plane to this day.
Salystra does not have much more than a cult outside of the dark elves, but she is known and acknowledged in Badala as the Asp Goddess Draudevi, and is sometimes held up as a disconcerting example of the self-made woman. The obvious personality negatives associated with Salystra are mentioned just as often by detractors of this example.
The other surviving Godsliver Fiends, in particular Asmodeus, have absolutely nothing to do with the Maelstrom or its potentially deifying energies. It would also be wholly untrue to suggest that the curious but mostly harmless cult of the Scale Anchorites occasionally claims to be trying to build a vessel to allow their own god to be born from the Maelstrom, and especially that Salystra has ordered her followers to slay the cultists at any cost.
Many cults abound, although none grant powers except possibly some cults of a very powerful demon or devil. The details involved in cult worship vary. Most cults exist in primitive societies, but not all. Some examples include, but are not limited to: "Tyrannosaurus" cults, "beast" cults, "basilisk" cults, "sphinx" cults, "slug" cults, "demon or devil" cults such as the cult of Orcus, and "dragon" cults.
These are the only true Gods worshipped on the world of Núrion. All the Gods have been detailed, but the way they are individually worshipped has only been touched upon. Every temple's worshipping style is slightly different. Obviously, a Priest of a certain God is constrained to worshipping primarily that God, but the average citizen tends to pay reverence to whatever God fits the current situation in which he finds himself. Thus, a peasant might pray to Bestra for a good harvest, to Janora when gambling, and to Kantor when fighting. He might even whisper a prayer to Grlarshh when sick in an attempt to placate this evil God so that he will withdraw the illness. Of course most of the Gods are worshipped in secret in occupied lands. In some cases, barbaric humans have clerics that have real power. This is because they worship one of the true gods, whom they venerate under a different name and aspect. This is apparently not displeasing to the Gods.