Religion of Aethral (PEACH)

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Hello to all.


This is the pantheon of my campaign world 'Aethral'. My intention is to use the core 4E DnD deities and fit them into new concepts and places. On Aethral, only a few deities are strictly 'good' or 'evil'. Most have many different faces among the various races. I would like to hear your suggestions and opinions!



COSMOGONY

In the beginning, there was Io.


The One Dragon, Ouroboros, the Coiling Serpent, the Creator of Worlds. He sent forth its first-born, the Couatls, and his grandchildren, the dragons, to bring hope and life to the universe. But then Creation was shaken by a titanic cosmic event and Io split into Bahamut and Tiamat, Law and Chaos. The ancient myths give a name to that cosmic event, that Great Devourer. They call it... Tharizdun.


As opposites, Bahamut and Tiamat started battling each other and from the heat of the battle, new powers rose. The strongest of these natural forces, risen from the Chaos, were the Titans, lords of the elements, the raw power of the universe.


But a force was needed to harness this power, to create the world according to Io's plan, now written on the stars after the vanishing of the elder deity. From amongst the Titans, one power rose, the master of the holy fire and the boiling stars, the life-giver, the Brilliant Sun, Pelor. The first of the Gods.


On his side were the elementals, grandchildren of the Titans, that migrated to the various worlds to create and protect life, becoming the spirits of nature and remembering the One Dragon as the World Serpent. Then it is said that Pelor took many such spirits as His wives, and the Gods were born. His children were numerous, but on Aethral six are revered: Bane, his first-born son, and his five daughters, the Five Maidens, Erathis, Ioun, Avandra, Melora and the Raven.




THE OLD FAITH

The worship of the natural forces traces its roots to the elementals that came to Aethral when the planet was still young. It was founded by the beast races that roamed Aethral in prehistory, but has been adopted my most other races since.


Apart from the Sun (which is represented by Pelor), all natural forces are tied to this shamanistic faith. The Sea, the North Wind, the Scorching Sands, the Ancestor Tree, all are aspects of nature and are not tied to specific gods.


Served by shamans and the mysterious druidic organization known only as the Circle, the Old Faith has many followers even among the worshipers of the Gods. In Aethral the worship of nature is more of a tradition common to all, than a strict faith.




THE GODS


The gods of Aethral are faceless and distant. That is, they are given many forms and are worshiped in many ways throught the world.



DRACONIC FAITHS

The draconic religion is the oldest known in the world, although for ages it was exclusive to dragons and the serpent people. When the Empire enslaved the serpents, the faith came to the human lands, brought by the slaves (especially kobolds and dragonborn mercenaries). Soon, cults of these gods were formed by other races, and the worship persists to these days.


Back to the draconic land of the South, the faith of Io, Bahamut and Tiamat is the undisputed religion of the serpent people. The followers of Bahamut and Tiamat have always been at odds, sometimes resulting into armed conflicts, but the majority of the serpent people worship both gods at the same time as aspects of Io.



IO the Creator


The dragons worshiped the two faces of Io since the creation of the world, and while the beast races, under the protection of the wyrms chose to worship the natural spirits, the favoured children of the dragons, the draconic races, adopted the faith of Bahamut and Tiamat. The faith of Io is an ascetic philosophy, where the believer has to find balance between the two opposites, essentially 'reuniting' Io into his soul. Followers of Io strive for harmony and inner calmness.



BAHAMUT the Platinum Dragon


The scions of Io, the Dragonborn, are the main worshipers of Bahamut among the draconic people. The god of honour, order and perfection, Bahamut is the patron of knights, protectors and judges. The faith has many followers in the human lands, especially in the strong western kingdoms. When the Church of Pelor suppressed other faiths, the Church of Bahamut sided with the Pelorians, believing the Empire was striving for a world order. So the Bahamut paladins became the Platinum Inquisition, the militant part of the Imperial Church. Since then, the Church has accepted its mistake and strives to regain the trust of the common folk of Aethral.



TIAMAT the Hydra


Tiamat represents survival, greed, strength and a might-makes-right disposition. The long years that the draconic races were slaves of the Empire made many serpent tribes pragmatic and self-serving, making them to favour the faith of Tiamat. Followers of Tiamat believe in individuality and self-reliance, as well as personal freedom and the absence of strict rules. Tiamat is mainly worshiped by serpentfolk tribes, but a few followers can also been found among other races, mostly free-thinkers, adventurers and mercenaries.



ZEHIR the Trickster


This ancient god survives only in the prayers of a few strange cults. He was a trickster god of the ancient draconic civilization, an enemy of Io. Many believe that Zehir was actually the assassin responsible for the fall of the draconic empire, now deified by assassins and traitors everywhere. Its faith receded during the enslavement of the serpent people and now only a few cults survive. Rumours of a network of assassins dedicated to Zehir remain unconfirmed.




THE HUMAN PANTHEON

It is uknown when or how the human gods came to be found and worshiped. The traces of the religion are lost in prehistory. Nowadays, Pelor, Bane and the Five Maidens are worshiped as a single pantheon, although each person or community may choose a specific god as a patron.



PELOR the Brilliant Sun


Pelor is the God of the Sun, healing and compassion. He is the first of the Gods and His is the first human religion. When the mighty Empire rose, the church of Pelor, in its arrogance, chose to suppress other faiths (even the faiths of Pelor's children). Most of them went underground and became one of the reasons (along with over-taxation and drafting) that lead to the revolt of the people. However, its worship returned and all gods are worshiped as a united pantheon again. Since then, the church of Pelor has tried to return to humility, now focusing in the needs of the people and stepping down from the power place it had during the Empire era.



BANE the Warlord


The Warlord is the god of war, adversity and military order. He is the first-born of Pelor and is worshiped mostly by soldiers and mercenaries. Common folk fear Bane but also pray to him for protection and peace, for they know that the human civilization rose from the ashes of war. Its paladins serve as trainers in many armies throughout Aethral and its clerics bless warriors before combat. The worship of Bane was tolerated when other religions were suppressed by the Pelorians, but only for members of the military The faith of Bane is also very popular among the militaristic hobgoblin kingdoms of the Frontier, where he is worshiped almost exclusively.



THE FIVE MAIDENS


ERATHIS the Protector


The old goddess of tribal life and family has now evolved into a force of change and progress. During the days of the Empire, when many people were oppressed, the church of Erathis became a beacon of hope for the downtrodden, that eventually lead to the revolution. Now, Erathis is the main faith in the new free states that rose after the collapse of the Empire. Her paladins are defenders of the people and her priests act as healers and advisers.



MELORA the Mother


Patron of the halflings, Melora is the goddess of agriculture and well-being. Her worship takes the form of food offerings and also wild celebrations where wine and ale are abundant. Melora's clerics protect the crops and the herds and her paladins protect the common people of the country from attackers.



AVANDRA the Lady Luck


Commerce, money, gambling but also thievery and swindle, fall under the protection of Avandra, goddess of change and adventure. The island nations revere her as a patron of sailors and maritime, and its priesthood act as financial advisers and bankers.



IOUN the Keeper


Knowledge is strength and must be freely circulated, is the doctrine of Ioun. Ioun's clerics usually serve as teachers for the lower classes, and her temples are great libraries. Magic-users revere the Keeper, and the gnomes of Aethral consider her their patron.



THE RAVEN QUEEN


The Dark Lady is equally feared and loved as a protector of the dead and the circle of life. She is not openly worshiped, and no man would utter her name in vain. Her priests give the last rites to the departed and her knights mercilessly hunt the undead.



The seven human gods, along with Moradin, the Seldarine and Bahamut, are the most common faiths of the human lands, forming an unofficial pantheon of 12 deities.



THE SELDARINE

The three fae gods, Corellon, Sehanine and Lolth, are worshiped by the elven race, although each tribe has its own patron. The elven deities are more revered than worshiped. Organized worship is a foreign term for the elves, their relation with their gods being personal and mystical. There are no great temples or organized churches and priests are rare and usually hold positions of secular power in the elven kingdoms. Knightly orders serve mostly as elite guards for the elven kings. An elf may carry a symbol of his patron, may have sentences to bless or curse, but will never participate into mass worship.


The elven gods have recently become very popular among humans as patrons of art, love and pleasure. There are though no organized churches, and human worship is identical to the elven way.



CORELLON the Arcane


Protector of the elven nation and lord of magic, Corellon is the chief deity of the Seldarine. He represents the magical nature of the elven race, defends its traditions and is primarily revered by the Eladrin. Human bards and artists also worship him as patron of the arts and beauty.



Corellon's two wives, Sehanine and Lolth, represent the darker aspects of the elven soul. They are also lunar deities, being the full moon and the new moon respectively.



SEHANINE the Witch Queen


She is the protector of the wilderness, the patron of the hunt and the keeper of arcane secrets, revered by common elves. Human rangers and hunters are counted among her followers and many elven tribes let humans participate in the nightly gatherings of Sehanine. She is also the patron of romantic love and the balance of nature.



LOLTH the Mistress of Secrets


The goddess of pleasure, secrets, pain but also love and lust is the patron of the mysterious drow. The worshiping habits of the secretive drow society are largely unknown but it is believed that Lolth is revered as a mother figure and autocrat. Humans have chosen to adopt Lolth as a deity of lustful love and pleasure.




MORADIN

The dwarven god Moradin has become very popular to humans as a patron of artisans and crafting, due to the new technological wonders that the dwarves recently decided to share with the world. For the dwarves, he also represents family, stability, combat prowess and the dwarven way of life in general. Clerics of Moradin are usually heads of their clan, and his paladins form the elite guard of the dwarven kingdoms.




GODS OF THE FRONTIER

The Frontier is a vast expanse of steppes, lush pine forests and cold lakes. Many savage tribes call this harsh place home.



KORD the Thunderlord


Whether a forsaken son of Pelor, an ancient deified warrior or a storm spirit risen to godhood, Kord is the god of strength, battle, the skies and the storm, worshiped mainly by the human barbaric tribes of the steppes. He presides over the spirits and teaches perseverance and prowess in battle.



GRUUMSH the One Eyed God


Centuries ago, the barbaric orc tribes of the Frontier were visited by a mysterious one eyed prophet that taught a doctrine of unity, resilience and prowess in battle. He introduced combat tactics, new weapons and a written alphabet to the till then savage orcish tribes. Under his guidance, a vast orcish horde terrorized the continent, forcing other races to unite against him. Then, at the peak of the orcish empire's power, he vanished, and the orcs were soon defeated and returned to their former tribal state. Still, the worship of the One Eye God ('Gruumsh' in orcish) persisted. Nowadays the orcs (as well as many goblins and barbaric human tribes) revere Gruumsh as a patron of strength, war and the orcish tribal way of living. Many prophets await for his return.



TOROG the Glutton


Patron of the ogres, but also worshiped by trolls and underdark races, Torog teaches gluttony and greed as virtues. He demands human sacrifices and expects from his followers to practice murder, destruction and cannibalism to excess. He is said to reside in the underdark ('the belly of the earth') and motivates the ogre barons to perpetual expansion and war.




CULTS OF THE DEVOURER

Tharizdun, the Great Devourer, the Elder Chaos, the Lord of Decay. This primordial being is worshiped in many ways and in many guises, by degenerate tribes in the remotest corners of the world. The Shark God of the Sahuagin, the Deep Mother of the Kuo-Toa, the hungry Wolf God of the northern barbarians, all are aspects of Tharizdun, whom no one on Aethral calls with its real name. Its cults strive for chaos and entropy, and are opposed at every chance by the paladins of other gods, especially by the knights of Bahamut.




OTHER DEITIES

VECNA the Dead God


The lich-god of the undead kingdoms is a mystery even to the greatest scholars. His existence is only attested in curses uttered by the undead and on the eerie black obelisks they erect in his honour. Only one thing is certain: the followers of the Dead God envision a world were the undead reign supreme and the land is a vast wasteland.



ASMODEUS the Horned King


Not much is known about this ancient god, apart that he was the patron of the noble families of Bael-Turath, the first empire of men. Legends claim that Asmodeus appeared to the wizards of Bael-Turath, promising power and knowledge of the arcane arts. Soon he was adopted as god of the nobility (that later became the tieflings) and later instituted as the only god of the empire, almost successfully replacing the worship of Pelor by the time the empire fell. Nowadays he is all but forgotten, even among the remaining tiefling families. His name is only remembered in curses and myths.




Feel free to critic and opinions


Thanks you for reading!