Eversky: Eye of the Abyss
Because large swaths of sky separate cultures in Eversky from one another, religious organizations tend to stay regionally limited. Nonetheless, travelers are expected to hold to their beliefs even when they are hundreds of miles away from the closest temple to their deity. Religions in Eversky can range from strict monotheism to wide pantheons which encompass even the most minor aspects of existence.
While some belief systems acknowledge the existence of other deities, it will be important to note which religions are Exclusive, which means that they consider “gods” outside their own order to be false. Some exclusive religions dictate that their followers deny the legitimacy of other deities and strive to gain converts, while non-exclusive religions tend to take a more liberal outlook, even allowing their own followers to pray to gods outside the order. The Presence label explains where the religion is most prominent.
The Septim of Illan – Pantheon – Exclusive
Major Presence: Illan, Wetherby
Minor Presence: Vanir, Breckenan
The Keepers of the Septim teach that when the refugees of the Silent Fleet arrived on Illan after years of wandering through the skies, they were welcomed by the true gods of the world, who promised to guard them from that point on. Forsaking their old deities, the settlers accepted the Septim as their religion. Though followers of the Septim are not allowed to pray to other deities, they are not expected to evangelize either. Though commoners will often utter prayer to many different gods of the Septim in a single day, divine servants (clerics and paladins) will often devote themselves to a single god, recognizing the existence of the others, but pledging themselves to the exclusive service of one.
The Gods of the Septim:
Avandra: The goddess of change, Avandra delights in freedom, trade, travel, adventure, and the frontier. Change is inevitable, but it takes the work of the faithful to ensure that change is for the better.
Shenanine: Goddess of the moon and autumn, Sehanine is the patron of trickery and illusions. She is also the god of love, who sends shadows to cloak lovers’ trysts. Scouts and thieves ask for her blessing on their work.
Ioun: Ioun is the goddess of knowledge, skill, and prophecy. Sages, seers, and tacticians revere her, as do all who live by their knowledge and mental power. Libraries and wizard academies are built in her name.
Kord: Kord is the storm god and the lord of battle. He revels in strength, battlefield prowess, and thunder. Fighters and athletes revere him. He is a mercurial god, unbridled and wild, who summons storms over land and sea; those who hope for better weather appease him with prayers and spirited toasts.
Pelor: God of the sun and summer, Pelor is the keeper of time. He supports those in need and opposes all that is evil. As the lord of agriculture and the bountiful harvest, he is the deity most commonly worshiped by ordinary people, and his priests are well received wherever they go.
Melora: Melora is the goddess of spring, the wilderness and the sky. She is both the wild beast and the peaceful forest, the raging windstorm and the quiet desert. Rangers, hunters, and elves revere her, and sailors make offerings to her before beginning their voyages.
The Raven Queen: The name of the god of death is long forgotten, but she is called the Raven Queen. She is the spinner of fate and the patron of winter. She marks the end of each mortal life, and mourners call upon her during funeral rites, in the hope that she will guard the departed from the curse of undeath.
The Adamant Tribunal – Pantheon – Exclusive
Major Presence: Illan
Minor Presence: Breckenan, Vanir
One of the most controversial religions in Eversky, the fervent disciples of the Tribunal are often directly blamed for the catastrophic War of Judgments. The Tribunal, once a sweepingly widespread religion, struggles for relevance in a culture that has moved on. The Adamant Tribunal teaches that the Abyss is a celestial judgment imposed upon mankind for original sin, and that only by cleansing ourselves through just behavior can we hope to atone for it. They believe themselves to be the deliverers of the righteous judgment that will cleanse this world and put an end to the darkness of the Maelstrom. But given their reputation for overzealousness, it is no surprise that many disciples feel a conflicting desire to seek out redemption for the church’s past deeds.
The Five Celestial Judges:
Torm, Judge of Valor: Fight bravely for what you believe, and do not shrink from a battle in which you are righteous.
Majena, Judge of Truth: Stop at nothing to seek out truth in all things. Do not tolerate deception, and punish those who lie.
Beldar, Judge of Honor: Be proud of your faith and your heritage. Lead by example, and do not sink to your enemy’s level in a conflict.
Eva, Judge of Purity: Be pure in deed and thought, and purge the world of darkness and disease. Remain chaste until marriage, marry only once, and honor those who are vowed to celibacy.
Altaeus, Judge of Destiny: It is the destiny of a Justiciar to spread righteousness across the world, for only by doing this can the Maelstrom be dissolved. Condemn the sin of sloth, and accept your destiny as a Justiciar to take action in the name of your beliefs.
The Brethren of Moradin – Ancestral Pantheon – Nonexclusive
Major Presence: Vanir
Minor Presence: Illan, Wetherby
Moradin is the god of creation and patron of artisans, especially miners and smiths. He carved the mountains from primordial earth and is the guardian and protector of the hearth and the family. Dwarves from all walks of life follow him. He demands these behaviors of his followers:
- Meet adversity with stoicism and tenacity.
- Demonstrate loyalty to your family, your clan, your leaders, and your people.
- Strive to make a mark on the world, a lasting legacy. To make something that lasts is the highest good, whether you are a smith working at a forge or a ruler building a dynasty.
Dwarven leaders who have excelled in these areas are to be exalted and immortalized in legend and prayer, for they protect their clans even after they have passed on.
The Church of the Golden Light – Monotheism – Exclusive
Major Presence: Tymordia
Minor Presence: Haldar, Verana
The Church of the Golden Light preaches that Corellon is the only true god in existence. It is he who has created the world, and he who will look upon it at the end of days and judge whether its inhabitants have held up their duty to preserve and cherish it. Corellon seeded the world with arcane magic so that the dutiful could perform his work, and he delights in all that artful and beautiful. He despises Lolth and her priestesses for leading the drow astray. He urges his followers thus:
- Cultivate beauty in all that you do, whether you’re casting a spell, composing a saga, strumming a lute, or practicing the arts of war. Corellon created the world for you, and making it beautiful is your way of showing gratitude.
- Seek out lost magic items, forgotten rituals, and ancient works of art. Corellon might have inspired them in the world’s first days, and he has left these tools for you so that you may carry out his mission more effectively.
- Thwart the followers of Lolth at every opportunity.
The Order of Liberty – Monotheism – Nonexclusive
Major Presence: Breckenan
Minor Presence: Relquis, Illan, Wetherby, Vanir
Erathis is the goddess of civilization. She is the muse of great invention, founder of cities, and author of laws. Rulers, judges, pioneers, and devoted citizens revere her, and her temples hold prominent places in most of the world’s major cities. Her laws are many, but their purpose is straightforward:
- Work with others to achieve your goals. Community and order are always stronger than the
disjointed efforts of lone individuals.
- Tame the wilderness to make it fit for habitation, and defend the light of civilization against the
- Seek out new ideas, new inventions, new lands to inhabit, new wilderness to conquer. Build
machines, build cities, build empires.
- Breckenan! FUCK YEAH!
Neo-Transcendentalism – Atheism – Exclusive
Major Presence: Atrice
Minor Presence: Verana, Illan
Not so much a religion as a way of life that has been gaining traction as technology rises to dethrone control of the elements and the supernatural, and puts those powers in the hands of ordinary beings. Those who revere the Transcendences believe only in the provable, unquestionable truths of the world. Transcendences such as divine ratios and formulae, laws of physics, attraction, and magnetism, are above question – they are the immutable truths that not even a god can defy, and they are the only trustworthy tools by which we can derive subsequent truths about how we ought to live.
Utilitarian to the last, and derogatory towards those whose minds are too weak to accept a life without a god to coddle them, some Neo-Transcendentalists deny the existences of deities altogether, chalking up the supernatural as nothing more than manifestations of a yet-identified background energy that weaves through the world and molds to the will of men. That is to say, through the exertion of deeply resonant emotions on this “Dark Matter”, mortals create deities in their image, rather than the other way around. Neo-Transcendentalism is a revival of Fundamental Transcendentalism, which accepts the existence of gods as conscious spirits, but defiantly oppose their attempts to hold power over mortals, viewing such transgressions a form of slavery or manipulation.
The Platinum Dragon – Monotheism – Nonexclusive
Major Presence: Relquis
Minor Presence: Illan, Breckenan
Called the Platinum Dragon, Bahamut is the god of justice, protection, nobility, and honor. Lawful good paladins often revere him, and metallic dragons worship him as the first of their kind. Monarchs are crowned in his name. He commands his followers to…
- Uphold the highest ideals of honor and justice.
- Protect the weak, liberate the oppressed, and defend just order.
- Be constantly vigilant against evil and oppose it on all fronts.
Sylvanus the Oakfather – Monotheism – Nonexclusive
Major Presence: Kenthia
The Forest Father (or Oakfather) is the lord of nature in all its wild splendor. He is worshiped by druids, rangers, hermits, and others who dwell in the wilderness. Silvanus is wild and unpredictable, given to tender acts of mercy and wild bouts of savagery. He instructs his faithful to do the following:
- Preserve the balance of life and death, birth and decay.
- Respect nature in all its savagery, and revere the world in all its natural beauty.
- Protect the wild places from the further encroachment of civilization.
The Soulweave – Spiritual Asceticism – Semi-exclusive
Major Presence: Orizan
In the matriarchal culture of the Kalashtar, there has never been an organized religion in the strict sense of the world. There are, however, a host of ancient and persistent traditions that define the lives of their people. The Kalashtar believe that the spirits of living beings are tied to the earth and skies themselves, and that we can make the world a better place by being in harmony with those spirits. The teachings of The Soulweave are not codified in any book, but rather, transferred by an oral tradition of poetry, song, and storytelling that makes the priests and priestesses of The Soulweave look more like a bard than a cleric. Kalashtar also believe that there is true and physical power in the telling of stories. The tenets of The Soulweave are many, but they fall under these general categories:
- Show kindness and mercy towards friends, and do not judge enemies. Aid the weak, help the poor, and provide food and water to travelers, for you may one day be a thread in the weave of someone else’s story.
- Fight only in self-defense, or if a greater danger can be avoided through action.
- Be wise in all things, and seek out peace and knowledge.
- It is not our place to judge the existence of Gods. Every belief that brings out the best in people has a place in the world.
Clerics of the Soulweave use a chain of beads (much like a rosary) as a magical implement. They are taught how to craft these beads from the clay of the earth. Each bead on the chain represents a journey that the cleric has experienced memorized or a parable that the cleric has memorized and meditated intimately upon. A young cleric will receive his first bead upon coming of age, and it is his or her job to seek out new stories to bring back to the tribe. Some of the most powerful clerics in the tradition have collected so many beads that their necklaces are too heavy to travel with. They are treated as quasi-divine sages among the tribes of Orizan, and spend most of their time in meditation as the rest of the tribe takes care of their every physical need.
The Twin Brothers – Ancestral Pantheon – Nonexclusive
Major Presence: Haldar
Two major deities rise out of the Haldari radition of ancestor worship. Though most Haldari worship only the ancestors of their own clan, all of them recognize the teachings of Kelemvor and Tempus.
Kelemvor: Kelemvor presides over the passage from life to death, judging the faithless and the
false and apportioning souls to their proper fate in the afterlife. Kelemvor’s absolute fairness, firm hand, and steady grace bring comfort to those who lose a loved one. Followers of Kelemvor should not fear death, for it is the natural end of life, and are sworn to defeat the undead and fight the use of necromancy.
Tempus: Tempus is the god of battle and patron of martial prowess. He is revered by all warriors, from the lowliest soldier to the mightiest warlord. The fearless Lord of Battle views war as a force of nature that shapes and reshapes civilization.
Both Kelemvor and Tempus fit within a wider mythology of nature spirits that govern Haldari shamanistic culture. Tempus is represented by the element of fire. The red-hot glow of iron being worked in the forge, the fire of the dragon’s breath, the blaze of the passions, blood, rage, sex, and drink. Kelemvor is the ice that packs into the traveler’s leathers and is borne stoically without complaint. It is the cold calculation of the war-chief, and the unstoppable force of an avalanche.
Pantheon of the Sands – Pantheon – Semi-Exclusive
Major Presence: Nebur
Legends tell that beneath the shifting sands of Nebur live an ancient race of mystical people known as Oni. The Oni, though they are not known for any great power of own, but rather, for their greed and their talent for staying hidden, have amassed over the centuries incredible hoards of treasure and knowledge. It is said that if a book or coin is ever left to sink into the sand, it will be in the hoard of an Oni within the week. Because they are the only race in Eversky to have successfully delved into the study of teleportation magic, they have managed to transport these hoards from the Underdark of one island to the next, bringing with them the knowledge of deities past. Thus, when an adventurer returns from an abandoned Oni treasure hoard, bringing with him the secrets and records of these civilizations past, the secrets and teachings of those fallen gods become incorporated into the ever-growing pantheon of demigods that comprise the Neburian religious tradition. Because there are so many deities, both good and evil in the pantheon, there is no strict code that believers are bound to follow, and instead, they may take it upon themselves to perform pacts with ancient powers who seek the revival of their fallen cults, in return for some form of power.