Sunday, March 3, 2019

On Religion

Religion is an important factor of life across all of Emberfell. It can act a uniting or dividing element in many squabbles. People have a tendency to be at odds with those who do not share their beliefs.

As such, warring for religious reasons is all too common. The three main gods, to be further explored below, all have cults and churches dedicated to them who possess vast military, political, and economic power.

There are many gods in this world. Dozens, if not hundreds, of minor cults are spread across the land, some are good, some are evil, but many just exist without affecting the world around them.

There are many gods who represent Law, Order, and Goodness in the world. Chief among them is Jalidar the first god. Jalidar is believed to be the most powerful god and possesses the most populous followers. But she does not condone using power for personal gain, and as such will disfavor subjects who abuse their influence to obtain some unneeded reward such as wealth or positions of power.

The gods of Neutrality represents those who are out neither to do good or to do evil. Those who merely wish to survive and thrive in the world. Gamblers, many politicians, lawyers, merchants. They are people who desire success but are just as often met with failure. The Chief god of Neutrality is Dorason, the Trickster god. He encourages his followers to play fast and loose with the rules. He doesn't encourage pranks, tricks, or deceptions for the sake of them. He desires his followers always act with a purpose to their behavior.

Art by Earl Geier

The gods of Chaos desire, quite simply, chaos. They rejoice in seeing a world turned on it's head. When rules are broken and pacts betrayed, it is likely that these powers are the force behind them. Those who follow Chaos are typically those who desire power, wealth, and personal gain at the expense of all those around them. The chief god of Chaos is Ravik. Ravik was a disciple of Jalidar before he was expelled from the ranks of her followers for abusing his power and position for his own nefarious reasons.

Religious War
As a general rule, the cults of Chaotic Gods are more powerful as a military force than the cults of Law or Neutrality. A major reason behind this is the use of Golems by Chaotic armies in both attacking and defending.

Art by Luigi Castellani
Yet, Law tends to win the many wars waged between the religions. The reasons for this are twofold. First, Chaotic cults have a tendency to self destruct once they near victory due to the fact that they all vie for individual gain, and can't work well for long. Secondly, when all things are dire, and the end is nigh for the cults of Law, Jalidar will intervene. Her power is unmatched by that of any other god, and her influence can turn the tide of any war. Ravik hates this, and will often attempt to stop her by bringing himself to the field of battle and committing atrocities against his foes. When this happens, Jalidar will reveal herself on the field, and dispatch of Ravik, not by destroying him, but by banishing him back to his own realm, where he must rebuild his power over decades or centuries.

Race and Religion
Religion knows no race in Emberfell. And often is used as a unifying trait that people can share. Although people may be prejudiced against another race, perhaps seeing them as uncivilized or weak, but Jalidar does not. Nor do Dorasan and Ravik. All the gods bestow their gifts on their subjects as they are deserving of them. A Goblin is just as likely to become to high Justicar of Jalidar as the Prince of a great Empire.

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