The human nations all share a common religion originally brought to them in antiquity by the Magister. The recently arrived beastkin have adopted the human religion and follow it loyally; they are accepted as the children of the gods by the priests and The Theocracy. Many elves who live in the human communities also share this same religion, although official dogma is that elves are not to be trusted and so in this, as in so much else, they are treated as second class citizens. Some cultures, notably the Northmen and many of the elves, have different names for the gods but although they worship them in different forms, the gods are the same entities. Needless to say, as either of these groups is popular with the Faith, this is just another excuse for their exclusion.
Man was created by the gods to serve them and has ruled the world since it was created. The truth of the gods was revealed to mankind by the Magister. The Magister taught of the gods and how to worship them; that elves are not to be trusted and explained the complexities of the divine assembly.
While the worship of the gods has continued and forms the basis for all religion, it was not always a universal religion or practiced particularly devoutly. The Theocracy was an exception to this. The land where the Magister originally appeared and brought the message to mankind became a theocratic state where the organised worship of the gods, particularly the Father dominated state and law.
The Qadaq Republic wished to show respect to widely (if not deeply) held religious beliefs but did not wish to have religion involved in the machinery of the state. They protected The Theocracy but isolated it. The country was not a part of the Republic but was a protectorate on its outer western border. The Kingdom of Elland became a buffer state between the two, an affiliated country on its far western border.
All this changed with the cataclysm.
The Republic is almost entirely gone. Now that the existence of demons and their minions has been proven beyond any possible doubt the people have turned to the gods and few indeed are those who are less than devout. At the same time, The Theocracy have found that they now need a whole new level of protection and must rely upon the Kingdom for this aid.
The gods demand devotion and worship. The rewards they offer include protection from the demons who seek to take over the minds and steal the souls of the people. Those who seek their protection follow the Tenets of the Faith and strive to embody their chosen deities.
The divine assembly is led by the Three.
The Divine Assembly, is made up of many gods who exist in the same unearthly realm known as the Godshede.
It is taught by the Theocracy that there are many gods whose aspects govern the various aspects of the affairs of man. Worship is widespread and varies enormously from region to region. The Magister brought knowledge of the divine assembly to us and taught us of them but was clear that there was no exhaustive list of names and that different people might use different names for the same god. The teachings were of the religion and the divine assembly of gods and not about each specific deity.
The Priesthood of the Theocracy teach that one must follow the Tenets of the Faith as laid down by the Magister to achieve the Ultimate Reward.
Other deities are nowhere near as powerful and as such, only warrant passing mention by the Theocracy. There are many cults to lesser gods across the realms and although their veneration is not looked upon as heresy by the Theocracy, the priests do not recognise the lesser cults as powers in their own right and dismiss their worship as devout but essentially futile.
It is always worth remembering that worship of the Three should always be paramount in the prayers of any devout follower as it is these beings that have the power to protect you from the demons.
Notable dieties within the the Northern Alliance include the:
- Gods of the North
- Cult of the Designer
- Cult of the Queen
- Gods of the Elves
But these are just a handful of examples of the many other lesser gods that form the Divine Assembly.
The folk of the Northlands believe that when the soul dies, it is either led along the rainbow bridges across the between, to the realm of the gods, or cast back into the great star-fires for the gods to re-forge for another life. There is no fixed damnation to speak of, save for pacts with demons or others, such as the Undead, who may claim a traded or particularly dark soul. Great deeds that earn the attention of the gods are of the utmost importance, and dying whilst performing them is almost expected of the Nordländer. They view the fasts and restrictions of the Theocracy as denying their proper nature and the services, rituals and prayer meetings in much the same way as they view watered-down beer – not strong enough to satisfy.
The Designer is the creator of the natural order, said to be the force behind the creation of the physical world. The patron of crafters and scientists and all who would strive to understand the natural order. Some worshippers whisper that without the Designer even the gods would not exist. It is due to this that other servants of the divine see worshippers of the Designer as heretical and they are sometimes shunned by followers of the Three. Historically, the Designer was fashionable at some points during the rule of the Republic. The strongest centre for her worship today is the city state of Tyrras.
The symbol of the snake or serpentine imagery has been connected with the designer for as long as the cult has existed. Usually this is in the shape of an oroborus or snake eating its own tail.
In the days of the Republic, the Queen who stood for hedonism, pleasure and abandon. She was a deity much worshipped and had many adherents. This was less common as one travelled further west through the Kingdom and into The Theocracy however. Today she stands as a lesser god, worshipped in small pockets in The Patrician Cities and in secret across the lands by those who seek her blessings and wish to take pleasure from their lives.
The cult of the Queen uses the goblet as her symbol. It represents the overflowing lust and hedonism that is so indicative of this gods worship.
She is revered in many cult centres of the now fallen Qadac Republic, and still has a strong foothold in the Shieldlands, and particularly the Patrician Cities.
A recent addition to the Divine Assembly found by elves reaching out across the magic of the Vale, the ancient Elven Gods have returned to guide elves everywhere in their ways.
It is said that they have their own pantheon led by Faedara, the mother and father of the elven race. Other known deities are Drifan, the lord of beasts, and Orthanc, the lord of fire.
Interestingly the Three do not seem worried about elves worshipping the Elven Gods, though that is not necessarily the same with the Theocracy.