Religion (Dominaria Supplement)
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A Note on Deities and the Nature of Religion
Religion is a daily part of life for the vast majority of Dominarians; the Gods are known to exist and their power is made manifestly obvious through the work of their Clerics and Paladins. Even though many people in the 4th Age never have seen an overt display of magical might, clerics can heal sicknesses and injury with a touch and bid plants grow more fruitful with a wave of their hand. Temples to the Lords of Good and the Watchers can be found in virtually every city and town, sometimes to the multitude of Gods but usually to a specific God. Temple complexes also dot the countryside, excisting to shepherd the more rural areas. This is not to say Dominaria is dominated by religion or that travelers will find temples and clerics at every turn, it is merely to point out that your average Dominarian is either religious or at the very least aware of the Gods' power. Many travelers between cities will merely pass wayshrines along the roads or perhaps in the wilderness.
By the same token, anyone with half a brain fears the Dark Powers. Their power has sprung into Dominaria too many times in the past for the common folk not to have a healthy fear of their might. There are temples and wayshrines to the Dark Gods on Dominaria, hidden from sight in the more civilized lands but open to all in the darker corners of the world. They lie in sepulchers and crypts of the grand cities of the West, the dark forests and deep caves of the world, and the Dark Kingdoms of the East. From these dark places, people of many races cry praises, perform dark rituals, and give horrific tributes to their Dark Gods. Most of the followers do the Dark Gods do not give such visceral or carnal praise of course, but merely give praise to the God or Gods that most align with their own tenuous code.
Common Religious Views
Several common religious views exist, and players will generally fall into one of these categories based on personal upbringing, experience, or teaching.
The Gods take a close interest in the affairs of mortals and they should be feared and respected at all times. More advanced versions of this view cite the direct power the Gods recieve from prayer and devotion and the , but this debate is at the level of theological studies.
The Gods are too powerful and too far away, the Gods couldn't give a single thought for the comings and going of a single mortal. More advanced versions of this theory fall to one side or another of the following debate: either there are so many mortals that among the vast panalopy one's actions are meaningless, or that the Gods are so great and glorious that it is arrogant beyond belief to suppose the Gods care for the actions of a single mortal.
Who cares? The afterlife is so vast and varied that this life and the next are merely separate stages of existence. One's actions in this life may influence the next or they may not. Does one follow the patron deity of the species? The area? The profession? One's personal proclivities? Advanced versions of this theory are often based on complex planar studies as well as reincarnation theory.
The Lords of Good
The Good Gods of the pantheon are commonly referred to as The Lords of Good. The Lords of Good are venerated by the plurality of the people of Dominaria. The term refers loosely to all of the Good deities, from the racial deities to the good-aligned Gods of Magic and Nature. To the average person, it is enough to know who the Lords of Good are and that they watch over them - some only specifically know one or two (usually the ones most directly applicable to their lives) and venerate them. To scholars of Divinity however, a more complex picture emerges.
The Lords of Good in scholarly terms refers to the most powerful racial Deities (usually the good-aligned leaders of their respective racial pantheons) as well as the most powerful good-aligned Gods of Nature, Magic, and varied other concepts. The Lords of Good sit in council in Celestia or one of their other Citadels in the Upper Planes and work to promote the work of their Clerics in advancing the work of Good while fighting back Evil wherever it springs up. In the vast realms of the Outer Planes The Lords of Good lead a constant war against the denizens of the Lower Planes, struggling to control to balance of power in the Multiverse. It is this balance after all, that influences the course of events in Dominaria.
Some of the Lords of Good, especially racial Deities such as Pelor and Corellon Larethian, lead the councils of their racial pantheons. About half however sit on the council alone, the other gods of their Domain being more neutral or even evil (these relationships are usually the most contentious, even rivaling inter-racial rivalries). The current leader of the council is Pelor as he has the largest number of followers and supplicants on the Prime. By no means does he have the majority of the followers on the Prime, merely a plurality.
The following are the Lords of Good in the proper sense, the heads of their racial pantheons or the Paragons of their Ideal or Domain.
- Pelor: Racial Deity of humanity and God of sun, light, strength and healing.
- Pelor is the leader of the Human Pantheon and the most widely venerated God among humans. He is known as the 'Sun Lord' or the 'Luminous One' and his symbol is a golden sunburst. His temples are common in the Imperium, Otaria, and throughout Arcadia. The knightly Order of the Children of the Light are among his most ardent followers and their fortress-monasteries are a common sight in the more heavily populated areas of the Imperium and Otaria. Most of the common human folk in Dominaria worship Pelor alongside whatever Deity is most prevalent in their area, as he is seen as the overall provider of goodness and light in the world.
- Pelor is married to Avo and is the Lord of the good Human Pantheon that includes Avo, Heironeous, Kord, and Saint Cuthbert the Mace.
- Pelor's main enemies are the Dark God Tharizdun whom he personally banished in single combat and Nerull, Dark Lord of the Cabal.
- The Church of Pelor: Pelor's church is the largest church in the Human west. Pelor is revered as the lord of the sun and head of the pantheon of good Gods. Larch temples and cathedrals grace the avenues of the cities of the west. And although many now lie in ruin, their vaulting architecture and imposingly empty beauty leave stark testament to the greatness of Pelor. But rebuilding has started, and many cathedrals - as well as churches and temples through the country and smaller towns - still stand. Pelor is served by devoted clergy, as well as knightly, monastic, and scholarly orders. XXX
- Corellon Larethian, Racial Deitiy of elves and God of magic, war, music, and the arts.
- Correlon Larethian is the leader of the ancient 'Seldarine' (Elven Pantheon) and in terms of raw power is probably the most powerful individual Deity among the Lords of Good. He is known as the 'First of the Seldarine' among the elves and those well schooled in the divine and the 'Archmage' among wizards and most scholars of other races. His temples are common in the Elven Kingdoms, in some cases in conjunction with temples dedicated to the whole Elven Pantheon. He is not as worshiped among elves outside the Kingdoms thorugh. In the sylvan glades of the Wood Elves scattered throughout the West, the Oasis and caravans of the Desert Elves, and the islands of the Sea Elves other lesser Elven Dieties are usually worshipped. Outside the Kingdoms, temples devoted purely to Correllon Larethian are actually more common in the more cosmopolitan or affluent human cities where both elves and practitioners of the Arcane can be found. Correllon's symbol is a silver crescent moon on a blue field.
- Correlon Larethian's consort is Sehanine Moonbow and he is the father of Vandria Gilmadrith. He is the Leader of the good Elven Pantheon that includes Aerdrie Faenya, Deep Sashelas, Elebrin Liothiel, Hanali Celanil, Labelas Enoreth, Rillifane Rallathil, Sehanine Moonbow, Solonor Thelandira.
- Corellon's main rivals are the Orkish God Gruumsh whos eye he took in single combat, and Lolth whom he cast out of his pantheon and into the abyss. He is also often at odds with Moradin, but their rivalry has never turned bloody and is always dropped in the face of danger.
- Moradin, Racial Diety of dwarves and God of protection, rock, smithing, stonework, and mining.
- Moradin is the the leader of the Dwarven Pantheon and is held above all Gods by good and neutral dwarves almost without exception. He is widely known as the 'Forgefather' but also 'The Hammer' during times of war. His temples within the vast subterranean realms and few surface cities of the dwarves are magnificent, soaring works of the architectural genius for which the dwarves are known. They are often adorned with whatever precious metals and gems are prevalent in the area and almost always adjacent to or part of the city's forge complex. In these huge temples there will be statues to the lesser Gods but Moradin is help above all. Smaller dwarven outposts will have chapels that, while smaller, are just as magnificent. Even the larger mining camps of non-dwarves will maintain shrines and chapels if able, such is only prudent after all. Human cities that depend on mining or are near mountain ranges will usually have a temple to Moradin (sometimes even with human clerics) but otherwise only the most cosmopolitan cities will have temples, dwarves just don't tend to venture to far from mountains. Arcadian cities are the exception here. Ever since Arcadian-Dwarven Alliance during the 2nd Age war against Grand Caliph Suzerain, dwarves travelling the countryside have become a less unheard-of (while still rare) sight in Arcadia. Therefore many northern and central Arcadian cities will have Shrines at the very least.
- Moradin is the King of the Dwarven Gods and the head of the good Dwarven Pantheon that includes Berronar Truesilver, Clanggedin Silverbeard, Dugmaren Brightmantle, Muamman Duathal, and Ulaa.
- Moradin's main enemies are the Ork God Gruumsh and the Goblin God Maglubiyet because of their races' rivalries and Asmodeus for killing the first of Moradin's Archangels. He also has a slightyly adversarial relationship with Correlon Larethian but it is usually minor.
- Garl Glittergold, Racial Diety of gnomes and God of humor, trickery, smithing, gemcutting, and mining.
- Garl Glittergold is the leader of the gnomish pantheon and is at least paid some respect by most nonevil gnomes.
- Yondalla, Racial Diety of halflings and Goddess of family, fertillity of beings, and harmony.
- Ehlonna, Goddess of forests, woodlands, flora & fauna, purity, and fertility of nature
The Dark Cabal
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