The Clockwork Host [change, fate]
The Clockwork Host is a machine, it is cogs, gears and pistons that make the world work. Every machine adds to the Host’s glory, and every new invention extends Host’s reach over the world. Its temples are part foundries, part machine shops and part magic academies. It is not worshipped as other gods are, instead new inventions are made in its name, and people come to the temples to seek inspiration in their work. The Host’s agenda is expressed by the following commandments:
- Invent, and through new technologies extend Host’s influence
- Introduce technology to all aspects of life
- Accept your place in the clockwork of the universe and master your craft
Coils of Yssarxish, The Infinite Serpent [change, law]
Yssarxish is an ancient serpent, with eyes and mouth completely empty. Having existed before the Gods and Primordials even thought about fighting each other. His temples are typically underground, and compose of long, winding corridors, with a large central room for worship. Above ground the temples usually resemble a stylized snake head. Yssarxish is worshipped with animal sacrifices and communal prayer, and its primary followers are various lizards races. Main tenets of his faith are:
- Unite, for in numbers lies strength
- Cull the weak, all it takes is one weak link to break the chain
- Shape the world around you, do not let the world shape you
Dweller Below, Keeper of Secrets [desire, nature]
Dweller Below is a young, tattoo covered, four armed man from the waist up, with octopus like tentacles from the waist down. He is a patron of water, depths, and secrets. His temples are all octagonal, with a sacred pool in the center that is opened to the air. He is worshipped through communal prayers and offerings that are sunk in the temple pool. In times of need, like severe drought, animal sacrifices are sometimes performed. The Dweller’s clergy can be easily identified by elaborate facial tattoos. His main commandments are:
- Be persistent in achieving your goals
- Water is sacred, It makes life possible, but it can also take it away
- Some secrets are better left undiscovered
The Elder [heavens, nature]
The elder is a giant tree, gnarled and ancient. He is the ancient forests and the dark places within. He is the unknown that lurks in the shadows. He has no temples, but sacred groves on the outskirts of civilized areas. He is worshipped through daily offerings and sacrifices. In return he offers this advice to his followers:
- Do not fear the unknown
- Protect the wild places
- Nature will always find a way
The Empress of Scales [desire, law]
The Empress of Scales is a multi-headed dragon of extraordinary size. She is always depicted with at least five heads, sometimes as many as ten. She is the mother of all dragonkind, from the mightiest wyrm to the lowliest kobold. Her temples are lavish places, and she is worshipped with animal sacrifice and offerings of the highest quality. She is rarely worshipped outside of the Drakkath Empire. Her commandments are few:
- Praise the Empress daily, and love nothing more than her.
- The strong will rule over the weak
- Whether it’s power, wealth, or love – always claim what’s rightfully yours
Emptiness Within [change, fate]
Emptiness Within is just that, a void, nothingness, the end of times. It is a force of total destruction and end to all things. Emptiness Within has no temples or religious order, but a small numbers of cults. In most civilized lands worship of the Emptiness is either heavily discouraged and penalized or outright illegal, with some places treating it as treason. While it offers no guidelines to its followers, all the cults share certain beliefs:
- The end is near!
- True salvation can only be achieved by awakening the Emptiness Within
- THE END IS NEAR!
The Endless Sleepers [elements, law]
The Endless Sleepers are dwarven ancestors that are revered and set as an example to follow and be a good dwarf. Currently there are over fifty Sleepers, each one with his or her own area of expertise. Unlike other forms of ancestral worship, the Sleepers are not dead. Each one is entombed in a golden sarcophagus in a state of semi consciousness. Once entombed, the Sleeper remains in the sarcophagus until it breaks down and he or she dies. The clergy can communicate with the slumbering Sleepers if their advice is needed, and they are also in charge of maintaining the golden sarcophagi. Once a Sleeper dies, they are remembered as great ancestors, but not revered any more as they used to be.
The Endless Sleeper’s “temples” are cavernous crypts filled with machinery designed to keep the Sleepers “alive”. There is a central chamber where the faithful come for guidance and advice. The Sleepers are not worshiped outside of dwarven communities. The basic tenets of the faith are:
- Let each thing you create be the best thing you have ever made
- Community comes before all else
- The Dwarven kind is first among all people
The Golden Maiden [change, nature]
The Golden Maiden is a beautiful young woman with long golden hair, coppery skin, and crystal blue eyes. She is always naked, typically surrounded by flames. The Golden Maiden is the sun, wind and fire; she is fickle and playful. Her temples always have large open courtyard, with a bonfire in the center. She is worshipped daily through prayers, and dance is a very important part of her rituals. She offers this guidelines to her followers.
- Change is inevitable, be ready to embrace it
- Be passionate about everything you do
- Life is short, live it to the fullest
Haanscii is the creator of the Deva people, whose soul has been shattered and given to his people. He is a tall and handsome man with red hair and bronze skin. He is both a kind and protective, and righteous and unyielding. His two faces are represented by two branches of his faith, Order of the Sun and The Blood of Haan. It almost unheard of for non Deva to worship Haanscii. Likewise, even the Deva who worship other deities pay homage to Haanscii, though they may not align themselves with one of the orders.
Order of the Sun [desire, law]
Order of the Sun is devoted to order, justice, honor and protection. The Order protects its followers and, through just laws, establishes order. Order’s temples are tall, seemingly reaching into the sky, with golden domes and minarets. Temple interiors are richly decorated to show the glory of Haanscii. These temples often serve as orphanages and halfway houses in addition to serving the as places of worship. The Order worships with communal prayer and blood sacrifices. In return it asks this of its followers:
- Protect the weak, the downtrodden, and the oppressed.
- Oppose tyranny and the exploitation of others.
- Uphold the highest ideals of honor and justice.
The Blood of Haan [heavens, change]
The Blood of Haan is devoted to order, protection, perfection and authority. Only through order and authority one can protect those weaker than themselves. Temples often resemble keeps and forts more than religious sites. Worship is very formulaic, full of rituals and strict prayer practices. The tenets of the faith are:
- Punish insubordination and disorder.
- Bring order and justice where there is none.
- Respect authority and law.
The Hellion [desire, elements]
The Hellion is a devastatingly gorgeous man with bronze skin and long, flowing black hair. He is rarely depicted alone. Most often, he is seen with one or more other gods, his back turned in symbolic opposition. On those rare occasions when he’s by himself, he usually seen in incomplete chest-baring armor. He is offended by the very idea of worship and commandments, but will tolerate mortal attempts to placate him. If you want to stay on his good side, you should:
- Be yourself, always and only
- Rage against those who would have you otherwise
- Challenge those who appear too comfortable
The Iron Host [law]
The Iron Host is the most commonly worshipped pantheon, predominantly among the Emb’adar and Vadall. Because the origins of the Host come from those two races’ past, the individual deities are usually depicted as Emb’adar or Vadall. Most followers worship the Host as a whole, offering prayers to different deities in different situations. Clerics are often devoted to the entire pantheon instead of a specific patron deity. Host’s temples are lavish places always build on a hexagonal plan, with each member of the Host being equally prominent. The Host compromises of the following deities:
- The Sky Father [heavens]: The Sky Father is a handsome older man with skin the color of burnished gold, and white, bushy hair. He is surrounded at all times by a halo of sunlight, and is often depicted wearing white robes. He watches over the sky, and those who travel upon it.
- The Earth Mother [change]: The Earth Mother is a beautiful woman of generous proportions. She has skin of earthen brown and hair like obsidian. Her eyes are rubies. She is often depicted wearing a red gown trimmed with gold. She ensures a good harvest and healthy home.
- The Warden [elements]: The Warden is a tall, handsomely rugged man with pale skin and steel eyes. He is always wearing an ornate heavy armor with a shield and a weapon, and is always accompanied by his companion, Danrael. He is a protector and defender.
- Danrael [nature]: Danrael is a large dog-like creature, resembling a cross between a hound and a wolf. His fur is reddish black and his eyes are icy blue. He is the Warden’s companion, but is often depicted alone. He watches over those that venture into the wild and warns of impending danger.
- The Maimed Man [fate]: The maimed man was once an imposing figure. Now he is an old man with one arm and clear, unseeing eyes. He wears an old, damaged suit of armor, but carries no weapon. He ensures that justice is done, contracts and obligations are lived up to, and rightfully earned punishment is doled out.
- The Veiled One [desire]: The Veiled One is a middle aged woman with silky, red hair and coppery skin. She is always depicted wearing elegant gown trimmed with gold and jewels. Her face is always covered with a golden veil that stops short of covering her mouth. She watches over towns and settlements, as well as merchants and craftsmen.
Each individual member of the Host has their own tenets, but they share number of commandments:
- The community is the church and the church is the community
- Accept nothing you haven’t earned
- Shape the world in the Host’s image
The Lady in Crimson [fate, law]
The Crimson Lady is a tall, skinny woman. Her exact physical appearance is unknown, as she is always portrayed shrouded in crimson silks, and she is always in the company of crimson birds of all sorts, most commonly ravens and cranes. She is the goddess of birth, death and afterlife. She is the one who judges the souls of those who passed away, and blesses those souls that have just entered into the mortal world.
Lady’s temples are cavernous buildings, decorated with stylized statues of birds. She is worshipped through rituals and communal prayer, but does not accept sacrifices. It is her people pray to for the deceased and the newborn. Crimson Lady’s main commandments are:
- Cherish all life for it is precious
- Do not take a life in vain, for each life you take will be weighted against you
- The dead belong to the Lady, do not try to take back what is now hers
The Primal Spirits [nature, elements]
Worship of the primal spirits is common throughout the world, especially in the less civilized areas. These spirits vary on power and influence, from tree spirits, to spirits of the entire forest, or just a grove within the forest. Most common spirits are plant and animal spirits, water and earth spirits, as well as air and fire ones. There is very little organization among the followers of the spirits, since each cult and individual reveres different spirits, and performs different rites. Likewise, the faith has no unified places of worship, as each spirit is worshipped differently.
The Undying Court [law, fate]
The Undying Court are the eight Feyborn gods, three killed by the Empress of Scales during her arrival on Drashlan, and the remaining five supposedly killed during the War of Crimson Ash. The Undying Court is most commonly worshipped by the Eld’rahiin, who trace their bloodlines straight back to their gods. They manipulate bloodlines to create the “perfect” eladrin and revere undead as self-sacrificing martyrs in a war against death.
The Court’s temples have high soaring towers, slender flying buttresses, and large stained glass windows. The interiors are as opulent as only the Eld’rahiin can make them. The Undying Court is worshipped with communal prayer and blood rituals, and the faith follows these principles:
- Only the Eld’rahiin are worthy of divine perfection
- All lesser races are there to serve the Eld’rahiin
- Those who achieved perfection never die
The Weaver in Darkness [desire, fate]
The Weaver in Darkness is a spider like creature, depicted with anywhere from six to twelve legs, sitting in the middle of a web. The Weaver never enacts his will on the world directly, he always uses other to do it, often unknowingly. His temples are hidden from sight, and his clergy manipulate the public at large. Direct worship of the Weaver is rare, but he sees skulduggery and manipulation as extensions of his will. He offers this to his followers:
- Do not tell the truth if a lie will suffice
- Do not take responsibly for your actions if you can shunt it off on someone else
- The night conceals all, use it to your advantage