The human gods in each land are the same cosmic entities.
The holy men and women of the Northlands are known as hearth-priests.
There is no church or hierarchy, as there is in the Theocracy: rather, the hearth-priest tends to their folk in great rituals around the large hearth of their clan or hold, such as the joining or blooding.
Like their southern counterparts, hearth-priests are the main defence against incursions from demons and other threats to the soul. Using deep, sonorous chants called long songs to call upon the might of the sacred ones they tend to the spiritual well-being of their people.
Priests often use war hammers and trauma weapons which are blessed in the name of the Forge-Father and the Huntress.
The Forge Father, Grimnir, the All Father, and the Gatekeeper.
Grimnir is a god of outsiders, hidden things and those seeking protection from unnatural evil. People of the Northlands who find themselves in strange or dangerous places often pray to this god.
Birds are sacred to Grimnir, particularly the raven and the crow, his greatest servants. In the great legends of the north they see and hear everything, flying back to whisper into his left and right ears.
It is the belief that when a Nordländer dies, they are taken before Grimnir’s Gate and made to place their deeds as objects upon a great table for all the universe to see. Grimnir then decides which of the Rainbow Bridges the gate will open up to, and the deceased passes over into the afterlife.
The Consort, Signy, The Mother
The goddess of true love and affection. Signy is the lover of Grimnir, the Forge-Father.
Unlike The Theocracy’s interpretation of love, Signy is also the goddess of healing and physical pleasure, and those wishing for better (or more frequent) luck under the furs may present offerings to her.
Manipulative or non-consensual acts, such as those encouraged by the demon known as the Enticer, disgust her utterly and sometimes earn her punishment.
Signy’s symbol is a great tree, which symbolises the creation of new life and the nourishment of the living.
The Huntress, Ulva, The Warrior
The goddess of war and death.
Boars are her symbol, as they represent the dangers and the rewards of a careful hunt for a mighty quarry.
She expects all warriors to exemplify her ways: cunning, bravery and strength in arms.
She keeps a chosen guard of those souls who are most devoted to her in life and together they guard mortal souls from the predations of demons and the before.
The World Serpen, Lyratha, The Designer
When the Great Serpent of Eternity, Lyratha, thrashed his coils for the first time, the before was smashed apart and our universe was born of the embers. He nurtured new deities in his scales and lit the night sky with the great constellations.
When humans were first forged of Grimnir’s Hammer, he made the rainbow bridges between this world and the great halls of the gods.
The people of the Northlands believe that Lyratha created the Sun for two reasons:
Firstly to drive away the darkness and the creatures of the before.
Secondly as a way of ending what he created.
It is said that one day the world will be covered in a blood-red eclipse, and a new World Serpent will hatch to create a new existence and all things that are will be destroyed and remade.
He is depicted everywhere in Nordländer culture: from being embroidered into the hems of skirts to painted across shields and sails of the longships; entwined with trees and ribbons of cosmic energy to symbolise his presence in all things. Those making plans or negotiations, as well as those who navigate by the stars pray to the world serpent, as do those that wish to change their luck. Sometimes, he will grant a wish – but be careful what you wish for.
Nordländers believe that Lyratha taught them the skills of Runes and the art of Smithing.
Some believe that deep in the North, his servants secretly teach these hidden arts still to the worthy. This is a massive bone of contention with the Warsmith’s Guild who laugh at these claims asking for proof of these fabled “Rune Weapons” while no doubt looking to suborn or slay any such teachers.
The Northlands is the only place where the Designer as he is known in the other human lands is seen as a greater god rather than a lesser deity. This causes some consternation between them and the Theocracy and is a constant point of friction when these two cultures meet.