Religion (Ilarion Supplement)

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Religion[edit]

There are two gods in Ilarion: the Sun Goddess and the Moon God. The pair split all domains and subdomains between them. The entire world knows and acknowledges these two gods; they are the only choices in town. They are also apparently uncaring; there is no divine intervention or steering the course of mortal events. As a result, the followers of each side are not in some great clash of ideologies; there is no holy war between the Sun and the Moon, they both just are.

That said, different cultures do see them differently.

Death, the Undead, and the Pyre[edit]

In Ilarion the only proper way to dispose of a corpse is cremation. It is widely believed that if a body is not disposed of in this way, it will rise as the undead. If corpses are buried, the belief is they will become an aberration. It is with this fear in mind, that cultures the world over practice cremation. Many also believe that burning the bodies of the dead offers their soul to the gods and burying the dead is essentially stealing that soul, resulting in a cursed form, be it undead or aberration. A punishment of sorts for taking from the gods.

The Sun Goddess[edit]

Aton[edit]

(At on)
Know your value.
All That Glitters, Keeper of the Scales, the Scorching Sun
Domains: Animal, Artifice, Community, Creation, Destruction, Earth, Fire, Glory, Healing, Nobility, Repose, Strength, Sun, War, Weather
Favored Weapon: Khopesh
Centers of Worship: Thebia

Aton is commonly depicted as a tall woman with dark skin and the head of an osprey. She wears a simple sheath dress embellished with beads and feathers. She is only ever depicted holding scales and a khopesh. She may also be depicted as the sun or surrounded by the sun.

She lives in the sky with Iah. the sky is actually boundless reed fields called Aaru (ah roo). Aton weighs the soul of the dead, those with little value are returned to the mortal world. Those with no value are destroyed with her khopesh. Souls with a high value are allowed to enter Aaru and live an eternity of prosperity and pleasure.

All worship her to some extent but her most faithful are the Kenbet, a counsel of priests and government offices that forgo a wage, have turned all property and wealth over to their heirs and dedicate their lives to upholding the law. At least one member of the Kenbet must sign off on a contract for it to be legally binding. As the Kenbet do not and cannot have wealth of any kind they cannot be bought or bribed. they are housed in simple, but comfortable accommodations in temples and government buildings.

Aton’s priests will teach anyone willing to learn a trade or other profitable skill, in exchange for an equal amount of time spent working at the temple. And it must be paid in time, not coin.

Her priests are only allowed to wear linens or clothing made of plants and are required to shave their heads and bodies daily. They do not wear any jewelry or embellishments while in the service of the goddess. Their value is in their abilities alone. Aton’s holy text is called the Book of Light.

Heliosa[edit]

(hee LEE oh sah)
Alone a warrior, together an army.
Our Lady of Fire, the Shieldmaiden, Mother of Us All
Domains: Animal, Artifice, Community, Creation, Destruction, Earth, Fire, Glory, Healing, Nobility, Repose, Strength, Sun, War, Weather
Favored Weapon: Shield, Spear and Sika
Centers of Worship: Aylea, Crisania, Mecenae

Heliosa is commonly depicted as a tall woman with dark or tan skin and golden eyes. Her hair is fire when angered, and dark brown or black with wisps of flame at any other time. Wearing anything from a bronze breast plate and greaves over chain mail to nothing at all depending on the purpose she is always depicted with a shield, spear and sika as well as a cloak of red feathers.

She dwells behind the sky, peering in during the day to watch over the world. Heliosa is both creative and destructive. A patient, caring, and vigilant deity, Our Lady of Fire believes in strict discipline, order, passion and creativity. She provides stable foundations, fertile farmland, a means to warm our homes, to cook our food, and to ward off the darkness. She encourages stability, strength, growth, motivation, will power, prosperity, drive, authority and leadership.

While nearly everyone worships her, special emphasis is placed on those with physical jobs; such as warriors, laborers, and athletes. She expects her followers to abide by laws (though not foolish, contradictory, or purposeless laws) and work to promote order and peace. Heliosa’s basic tenet is simple—people should strive to better themselves and their community.

Heliosa rarely intervenes directly in the affairs of mortals. Most often she communicates her will through omens. Her herald is a red three legged raven. She often depicted in the company of a phoenix or riding a roc. Phoebus is her shadow and her lover.

Those that served their country with distinction are rewarded in Heliosa’s feast hall, reaping an eternity of food, wine, and revelry. The common folk that did little to distinguish themselves with great deeds go to the Asphodel meadow. Those who were dishonorable, cowards or deserters get reincarnated to atone for the previous life’s mistakes.

Heliosa’s priests often feed the hungry, tend the sick and care for orphans. They will grow crops on the temple grounds and work in community gardens. Most will either weave cloth or work leather to sell to buy goods for needy families.

Priest’s garb consists of tightly braided hair for men and women, a bronze diadem with a blazing sun above a glistening moon, and polished bronze breastplate with a blazing sun over a simple linen chiton. They carry the typical bronze shield, again polished with a sun, sika and spear. Proper title of a priest is Lereas regardless of gender. Most priests are Clerics or Inquisitors but it is not uncommon for them to take levels in martial classes. They may prepare spells at any time during the day; sunrise is a common choice, as is noon.

When tithing, time is just a valuable to the church as coin, the poor may volunteer their time making repairs to the temple and surrounding structures. The temples themselves are little more than fortresses whose walls are coved with the iconography of the goddess.

The hierarchy of the church mirrors that of the military. Services are generally held at dawn or noon. Ceremonies are held on the summer solstice and the spring equinox. Heliosa’s holy text is called the Shield.

Helis[edit]

(HEE lis)
Family, community, country.
Keeper of the Light, Heart of Home, the Lady
Domains: Animal, Artifice, Community, Creation, Destruction, Earth, Fire, Glory, Healing, Nobility, Repose, Strength, Sun, War, Weather
Favored Weapon: Scimitar
Centers of Worship: Halcyonea

Helis is commonly depicted as a tall woman with fair skin, golden eyes and hair of fire. She wears a beautifully embroidered white tunic, loose red trousers and a long coat. Her herald is a red three legged raven. She often depicted in the company of a falcon or riding a horse. Foy is her lover.

Those that served their community with distinction are rewarded in Helis’ home in the sky, reaping a thousand years of the goddess’ hospitality. The common folk that did little to distinguish themselves with great deeds go to the Asphodel meadow for a hundred years. Those who were dishonorable, cowards or deserters get reincarnated as a lesser creature to atone for the previous life’s mistakes.

Helis’ priests often feed the hungry, and take in orphans. They teach others how to ride, shoot a bow, wield a Scimitar and how to grow crops. Helis’ male priests have a lock of hair sprouting from the top or the front of an otherwise closely shaven head and long mustaches; while female priests tightly braid their hair. All wear a heavily embroidered white tunic, loose red trousers and a long coat tied at the waist with a sash. They typical carry a scimitar and a short bow. Priest is the proper title regardless of gender.

Helis’ temples are small, often seating no more than a dozen at a time. The priests play host to the congregation in Helis’ stead. Services are generally held at dawn or noon, a meal is always served. Helis’ holy text is called the Host’s Book.

Jin Feng[edit]

(jin fung)
As all things grow they seek the havens.
The Gold Dragon, Giver of all Light, the Lady Above
Domains: Animal, Artifice, Community, Creation, Destruction, Earth, Fire, Glory, Healing, Nobility, Repose, Strength, Sun, War, Weather
Favored Weapon: Katana, Naginata or Nine Ring Broad Sword
Centers of Worship: the Dao Ming Empire

Jin Feng is commonly depicted as a golden lung dragon. Occasionally she will be depicted as a golden phoenix. Her herald is a red three legged raven. She often depicted surrounded by birds. Yin Tuzi is her brother. Those that served with distinction are rewarded by being reincarnated as a bird in Jin Feng’s court. The common folk that did little to distinguish themselves with great deeds go to the Asphodel meadow until they forget everything they learned in this lifetime, usually a year for each that they lived. Those who were dishonorable, cowards or deserters get reincarnated as a lesser creature to atone for the previous life’s mistakes.

Jin Feng’s priests shave their heads and wear a cīvara; a red, orange or yellow robe made of three rectangles of cloth that are sewn together. The cīvara may be secured with a sash or a belt. Bhikkhu is the proper title for a male priest, bhikkhuni for female. A person under the age of twenty cannot be ordained.

Jin Feng’s temples are brightly colored sprawling complexes built on hills and the sides of mountains. Services are generally held at dawn or noon. Jin Feng’s holy text is called the Book of Light.

Redbird[edit]


Speak her name with respect.
Great Grandmother
Domains: Animal, Artifice, Community, Creation, Destruction, Earth, Fire, Glory, Healing, Nobility, Repose, Strength, Sun, War, Weather
Favored Weapon: Flint Knives, Mere, Taiaha or Macuahuitl
Centers of Worship: the Orc Lands

Redbird is commonly depicted as a red plumed raptor.

The Orcs pay little attention to the afterlife or its significance. Instead, they focus on those left behind. Funerals take place as soon after death as possible to ensure the spirits or ghosts of the deceased cannot find their way back to the living or try to lure others to go with them. Redbird guides them to Ākeāke (the Afterlife).

Shamans have no uniform style. Some wear ceremonial masks or headdresses while others adorn themselves with bird skulls, bones, feathers and beads. Many have no ceremonial garb at all. Shamans heal the sick and injured, counter ill fortune and curses and see to funerals rites.

The Moon God[edit]

Foy[edit]

(foh EE)
Family, community, country.
Light in the Darkness, the Wanderer, the Lord
Domains: Air, Charm, Darkness, Death, Knowledge, Liberation, Luck, Madness, Magic, Moon, Plant, Protection, Rune, Time, Travel, Trickery, Water
Favored Weapon: Short Bow
Centers of Worship: Halcyonea

Foy is commonly depicted as a tall man with fair skin, silver eyes and hair like crashing waves. He wears a beautifully embroidered white tunic, loose blue trousers and a long coat. His herald is a silver owl. He often depicted in the company of a wolf or riding a sea creature. He is Helis’ lover.

His home is a reflection of Helis’ home in the sky, those that find themselves there are equally welcomed in both homes.

Foy’s priests live and work right alongside Helis’ faithful. Foy’s priests dress identically to Helis’, except that they wear blue trousers and coats. They hold services at sunset and always serve a meal. Foy also uses the same holy text, the Host’s Book.

Iah[edit]

(AH)
Know your value.
Great Teacher, Keeper of Secrets, the Bringer of Rain
Domains: Air, Charm, Darkness, Death, Knowledge, Liberation, Luck, Madness, Magic, Moon, Plant, Protection, Rune, Time, Travel, Trickery, Water
Favored Weapon: Long bow
Centers of Worship: Thebia

Iah is commonly depicted as a tall man with dark skin and the head of an ibis. He wears a simple wrap around skirt belted at the waist and a light tunic. He is often depicted wielding a long bow. He may also be depicted as the moon or surrounded by the moon.

He lives in the sky with Aton. Iah watches over Aaru at night, when the dead light silver fires. He is in charge of keeping time and making sure the rains come. All who live in the desert worship this water god; to do otherwise is to court death. Iah’s priests will teach anyone willing to learn how to read and write, how to find water in the desert, and how to travel through the hot sands. Labor, coin or goods may be used to pay for these services.

Iah's priests are only allowed to wear linens or clothing made of plants and are required to shave their heads and bodies daily. They do not wear any jewelry or embellishments while in the service of the god. Iah’s holy text is called the Book of Shadow.

Loudfoot[edit]

Be ever vigilant.
Great Grandfather
Domains: Air, Charm, Darkness, Death, Knowledge, Liberation, Luck, Madness, Magic, Moon, Plant, Protection, Rune, Time, Travel, Trickery, Water
Favored Weapon: Bow, flint knives
Centers of Worship: the Orc Lands

Loudfoot is commonly depicted as an antlered hare.

Shamans have no uniform style. Some wear ceremonial masks or headdresses, while others adorn themselves with rabbit skulls, bones, antlers and beads. Many have no ceremonial garb at all. Loudfoot’s Shamans see to funerals rites, tell the stories of the tribes history, oversee the night watch, bless travelers and purify water.

Phoebus[edit]

(FOY bus)
The most difficult thing to slay is an idea.
Lord of Tides, the Archer, Consort of the Mother
Domains: Air, Charm, Darkness, Death, Knowledge, Liberation, Luck, Madness, Magic, Moon, Plant, Protection, Rune, Time, Travel, Trickery, Water
Favored Weapon: Short Bow, Long Bow and Crossbow
Centers of Worship: Aylea, Crisania, Mecenae

Phoebus is commonly depicted as a tall man with dark or tan skin and silver eyes. His hair resembles the waves of a rough sea or wind whipped clouds. When depicted wearing armor he is rarely shown in anything other than a chain shirt. Most commonly he either goes nude or wears a simple chiton. He is never shown without a bow of some kind and a crown of antlers.

He dwells behind the sky with Heliosa, and watches over the world at night as she rests. The Lord of Tides values independence, freedom, knowledge and strategy. He is both cautious and carefree. He provides time and seasons, as well as the knowledge and ability to track them. He encourages change, adaptability, planning, forethought, learning, cunning, exploration, individuality and dependability.

While most worship him, at least as an afterthought, special emphasis is placed on those with mental jobs; such as scholars, book keepers, and merchants. He expects his followers to champion freedom (though not foolishly) and work to promote education and acceptance. Phoebus rarely intervenes directly in the affairs of mortals. Most often he communicates his will through omens. His herald is a silver owl. He is often depicted in the company of a werewolf or riding a great sea beast. He is Heliosa’s consort.

Those devoted to Phoebus may find their way to his hall, a reflection of Heliosa’s own. They may pass freely between the two.

Phoebus priests purify water, light the streets at night, take night watch, and perform funeral rites. They gather nearby wild edibles and fish to supply the poor with food. They also teach the poor a trade to help better their situation.

Priest’s garb consists of tightly braided hair for men and women, a silver diadem with a glistening moon above a blazing sun, and polished chain shirt with a glistening moon over a simple linen chiton. They carry the typical bronze shield, sika and spear but also a bow. Proper title of a priest is Lereas regardless of gender. Most priests are Clerics or Inquisitors but some also take rogue or bard levels. They may prepare spells at any time during the night; moonset is a common choice, as is midnight.

Phoebus lacks temples of his own but shrines to him will be littered throughout a community the most prominent of which will be in a temple to Heliosa. The poor may volunteer their time teaching others their trade, instead of tithing.

The hierarchy of the church is a very lose thing: those who teaching are above those how are learning, all others are equal. Services are generally held at sunset. Ceremonies are held on the winter solstice and the autumn equinox. Phoebus’ holy text is called Knowledge.

Yin Tuzi[edit]

(yihng too zeye)
The light in the dark is but a reflection of the true source.
The Silver Dragon, the Shadow of Light, the Lord Above
Domains: Air, Charm, Darkness, Death, Knowledge, Liberation, Luck, Madness, Magic, Moon, Plant, Protection, Rune, Time, Travel, Trickery, Water
Favored Weapon: chakram, kunai, daikyu, hankyu, chu ko nu
Centers of Worship: the Dao Ming Empire

Yin Tuzi is commonly depicted as a silver lung dragon. Occasionally he will be depicted as a silver sea serpent. His herald is a silver owl. He often depicted surrounded by fish. Jin Feng is his sister.

Those that were buried at sea are reincarnated as a fish in Yin Tuzi’s court; where they live for a hundred years before returning to the mortal coil.

Yin Tuzi’s priests shave their heads and wear a cīvara; a white, grey or brown robe made of three rectangles of cloth that are sewn together. The cīvara may be secured with a sash or a belt. Bhikkhu is the proper title for a male priest, bhikkhuni for female. A person under the age of twenty cannot be ordained.

Yin Tuzi’s temples are colorful complexes built near rivers or the sea. Services are generally held at sunset. His holy text is called the Book of Reflection.

Creation Myths[edit]

Amazons[edit]


In the beginning, there was only the swirling watery chaos, called Abraxia (uh BRAHK see ah). Then the sun goddess Heliosa emerged out of primeval chaos, she came out of a blue giant lotus flower that appeared on the surface of the water. Heliosa gave light to the universe.

Because she was all alone in the world, without a mate, she made a union with her shadow, Phoibus, the moon god. And from their union sprang the Amazon. There was no place for them to stand. So, Heliosa turned the leaves of the blue giant lotus flower into the earth. Phoibus wove the petals into a basket that became the sky. Finally, Heliosa drew all things up from their stagnant state.

Ayleans[edit]


In the beginning, there was an empty darkness. The only thing in this void was Melanthia (mel AN thee ah), a bird with black wings, sharp fangs and fur on its body. With the wind she laid a golden egg and for ages she sat upon this egg. Finally life began to stir in the egg and out of it rose Heliosa and Phoibus, the gods. One half of the shell rose into the air and became the sky and the other became the earth. They began to furnish the earth with life and the sky with stars.

Soon the Earth lacked only two things: man and animals. Phoibus set to work forming the races of people and Heliosa worked on the animals. As Heliosa worked she gave each animal she created one gift. After Heliosa had completed her work Phoibus finally finished making men. However when he went to see what gift to give man Heliosa informed him that she had used all the gifts, and told him he should have worked faster.

Annoyed, Phoibus decided to give man fire, even though it belonged to Heliosa. After all the gifts had belonged to both of them. As the sun goddess flew out into the world the next morning Phoibus took some of her fire and brought it back to man. He taught his creation how to take care of it and then left them.

When Heliosa discovered Phoibus' deed she became furious. He laughed at her and told her that she should pay more attention to details. Then she began to devise a punishment for mankind. However, before she could the people began thanking her for the gift of fire and praising her name. Smiling she let them keep it. Heliosa is power, Phoibus is the knowledge of how to use it.

The Dao Ming[edit]


There was darkness everywhere. Everything was in a state of sleep. There was nothing, neither moving nor static. Then Jiao-long (jeow long) arose, a great dragon covered in fur, feathers and scales. It created the primordial waters first and established the seed of creation into it.

The seed grew and sprouted. From it two flowers bloomed, the sun and the moon. From them were born the gods, Jin Feng and Yin Tuzi. As they grew their skins cracked and fell away creating the planes. They shed their claws and teeth and they became the people and animals.

Plains Orcs[edit]


Here is the story of the beginning, when there was not one bird, not one fish, not one mountain. Here is the sun, all alone. Here is the moon, all alone. There is nothing more –no sound, no movement. Only the sun and the moon. Only Redbird, alone. Only Loudfoot, alone. These are their names, but there is no one to speak the names.

There is no one to praise their glory. There is no one to nurture their greatness.

And so Redbird thinks, "Who is there to speak my name? Who is there to praise me? How shall I make it dawn?"

Loudfoot only says the word, "Earth," and the earth rises, like a mist from the sea. He only thinks of it, and there it is. He thinks of mountains, and great mountains come. He thinks of trees, and trees grow on the land. It is a gift to her.

And so Redbird says, "Our work is going well." Now Redbird plans the creatures of the forest -birds, deer, jaguars and snakes. And each is given its home. "You the deer, sleep here along the rivers. You the birds, your nests are in the trees. Multiply and scatter," she tells them. Then Redbird says to the animals, "Speak, pray to us."

But the creatures can only squawk. The creatures only howl. They do not speak like Orcs. They do not praise Redbird nor Loudfoot. And so the animals are humbled. They will serve those who will worship Redbird and Loudfoot.

And Redbird tries again. Tries to make a giver of respect. Tries to make a giver of praise. Here is the new creation, made of mud and earth. It doesn't look very good. It keeps crumbing and softening. It looks lopsided and twisted. It only speaks nonsense. It cannot multiply. So Redbird let it dissolve away.

Now Redbird plans again. Redbird looks to Loudfoot "Determine if we should carve people from stone," commands Redbird.

He ran his hands over the rocks. He ran his hands over the stones. "What can we make that will speak and pray? What can we make that will nurture and provide?" asked Loudfoot. He counted the days, the lots of four, seeking an answer for beloved Redbird. Then he gave the answer, "It is good to make people with stone. They will speak your name. They will walk about and multiply."

"So it is," replies Redbird. And as the words are spoken, it is done. The short squat people are made with faces carved from stone. But they have no blood, no sweat. They have nothing in their minds. They have no respect for Redbird. They are just digging in the earth, only mining. "This is not what I had in mind," says Redbird. And so the dwarves were left to dig the earth, tiling the planes making them fertile.

Loudfoot saw that Redbird was unhappy, so he wove a thin delicate people out of flexible reeds. But the were to afraid to come on the open plain. Then he saw the corn growing in the fertile plain. He harvest the corn, ground it and made a dough. Loudfoot formed a body out of the corn dough and wrapped the corn husks around it.

Loudfoot showed the corn doll to Redbird, but it did nothing. Redbird cried and her tears were fire. The fire baked the corn doll making it strong. The corn doll became the Orcs and spoke their names, praise their glory, and nurtured their greatness.


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