Qadir by the Bihyal
Gods and religion go hand in hand with civilization. The city of Qadir has many temples dedicated to numerous gods of great or little influence, in pantheons or solo. The implication of so many competing religions is that the rulers of the city have simply said, keep the disagreements to a minimum of chaos, and stealing from a recognized temple is a serious offense.
In terms of how the gods are known, there are the Old Gods, primeval beings that have been worshiped since the beginning of time, and the New Gods or Young Gods, which have become known and worshiped since the founding of the last Great Empire. In terms of history, all of the Young Gods have either come with the seafarers, or now the newcomers, or have existed as recognized religions since before Qadir was founded. Many of the Old Gods were outlawed long ago when Qadir was founded, in fact all the gods save those the then ruler worshiped were outlawed. The law lessened the restriction in the following century as different families took control of the city in the first years. Then, when Qadir joined the First Great Empire the restrictions were lessened again.
In today’s world, the Old Gods, gods with unpleasant worship practices, such as human sacrifice, and gods that are unknown to the majority of the region remain unrecognized and outlawed in Qadir. The city guard takes different stances on outlawed religions it uncovers depending on the religion’s reputation and rumor.
The Mother – worshiped as a representation of the world by the Elves. The last known priesthood of the Mother died out millennium ago, as the Elves have a personal relationship with her, not a guided one. Humans who have taken to worshiping her view her as a fertility goddess. They take what they need, give thanks, and do no harm to the wilds. It is believed that the influence of the Mother is what allows the captured cities of the Republic to flourish even though they are trapped between the sea and the desert. The orcs worship a version of the Mother, but their version is more concerned with the expulsion of progeny, and it is said that the Orc that can ride the Mother controls the world. Most of her non-elven empowered worshipers are Spirit Binders.
Old Father – The Lord of Survival, he lifts his hand to test mortals, to punish those who stray too far from the old ways, but never to help those who have not earned his path through suffering or penitence. He represents the sandstorm in the wastes, the empty horizons of the seas, the unknown wilds of the jungle. Those who worship him do so with an eye to self-sufficiency, proper action, and unquestionable faith. Men are put on the world to suffer, and only through survival of these tests can one prove worthy of the bliss of paradise in the afterlife. The orcs worship a version of the Old Father as well, seeing themselves as the grit in the whirlwind to test the lesser races and themselves.
Gatekeeper – God of Magic, God of the Moon, an unfeeling entity that knows every secret worth knowing, and who doles out mystic knowledge for his own reasons alone. He ignores his mortal church, though they exist. His symbol is a key, ornate or plain, and his priests are often consummate scholars of the mystic arts if not sorcerers, summoners or death artists themselves. If he has a name, it is a secret he gives to nobody. As the moon waxes and wanes, the god’s sight on the land changes. The full moon is the best time for reflection on the mysteries, the new moon the best time for action. His worshipers often refer to the phases of the moon as gates, and will often pronounce it is inauspicious to begin certain tasks in the current gate.
Bright Lady – The goddess is one of mercy, devotion to others, and stewardship. The priests of her temple give food to the poor, absolution of guilt to the repentant sinner, and counsel to the rulers of the land, so that they might glorify the Lady with their actions, and protect her peoples. The goddess bears a secret name, and only the initiated are allowed to know it. Some priests refer to her by other pseudonyms other than the Bright Lady. All those who lead a decent life are welcomed into the goddess’ bosom upon their death, where any suffering they lived is forgotten, and a blissful existence awaits for the rest of time.
Arbiter – Arbiter is a god, known only by that single moniker, who represents Law, Order, and the consequence of disobedience. He is quite popular with the nobility, as the natural order of the world is that the lesser men serve their betters. It is said that Arbiter causes low and middle classes to fail spectacularly when seeking to compete with the upper classes. His priests are concerned primarily with justice and civil obedience. They try to root out the truth, and bring chaotic and harmful secrets to light. In their eyes, murder and bloody revenge is wrong, but twisting events to lead to the failure of another is not. The spirit and letter of the Law must be obeyed. Those who obey are permitted entry into the heavens, those who flaunt the law spend a hundred years in the garden of brambles looking upon the walls of paradise before being reborn to try again.
Fyori/The Eternal Flame – God of the Hearth, the torch, the pyre. Fyori, as the Seafarers know him, is primarily concerned with sanctifying life through holy flame, and cementing the solidarity of community. His sect is often present at marriages, funerals, and memorial services (including publicly made pacts). It is said that those who are put to death by being burned alive can find solace in the flames instead of an agonizing demise. The priests burn fires at all times, and choose the cleanest burning material they can to reflect the smokeless nature of the burning flame. As one might expect, they are especially opposed to undead, as mortals may only ascend to their reward after death. The undead mock this.
Ahmay/Monsoon – the God of Seasons, a god of nature for civilization’s sake. The rain that falls, the sunlight that nurtures, the wind that soothes, the quiet night that provides restfulness, all of these are signs of Ahmay’s bounty. He is a god worshiped year-round for the purpose of maintaining the season cycle of life. Properly genderless, Ahmay is slightly alien and aloof. Ahmay’s followers do not believe in the afterlife, all living beings reincarnate, with no knowledge of their previous life, after they have returned to the earth.
Ilum – God of Knowledge, the scholar god. Ilum is invoked by academics and scholars everywhere. Brought to the world by the Seafarers, his blessings have been the foundation of each university and school of learning established in the region. Equally important to scribes, the illuminated style is a form of devotion to him. Known as a god of learning, he is also the god of secret knowledge. The priesthood though small, is rich as they collect fees for tutoring and research via patronage.
Outlawed Young Gods
The Bull Warrior – a Spearwielding warrior who slew a monstrous bull, ate its flesh and made it into a headdress, then burned the bones to have the bull reborn as his companion. He is said to glow with the fire of conquest and cannot be directly gazed upon. Feared as a cult in the past, the practitioners of this religion have gone underground. The priests teach that ambition is desirable, and that anything a man can take with his own hands is truly his. In fact, it is possible to take a prized possession from a stranger, and bind him to you as your friend rather than your enemy. Still outlawed within Qadir, due to the schemes the worshipers get up to if left unchecked. Bull Warrior worshipers do not believe in the afterlife, thus they strive to achieve everything they may in this one.
Reaper – Known by many pseudonyms, Reaper is the god of unexpected death. He drinks his fill of souls on the battlefields, and quaffs the life of murder victims and the infirm. Many people say a prayer against Reaper when someone they care about dies outside of old age, to prevent his claiming them. The followers of Reaper foment chaos and aggression, for the sake of their insatiable god. They feel that all mortals reach his embrace, and only by bringing him the souls of many, chained to their own, can they be given a place of permanence in the afterlife rather than a simple trip down his maw to oblivion. They refer to themselves as the Chosen, or similar names, when in public.
Faith in the game
Characters can have Faith or Faith in Dead Gods, but miracles are a little rare. In fact, maybe one priest of a temple per generation has a high enough Faith to consistently receive miracles. It is recommended that Ob 3-4 Faith Effects just do not occur.