Religion

Rassilon has many gods and goddesses, though fewerthan in ancient days. Far back in history, in a time before even the elves and dwarves were as children, the God War shook the very fabric of the universe. What started the war has been lost to the countless eons of time that have since passed, but legends and tales speak of a titanic struggle that ripped the stars from the heavens.

Following the God War, the deities created the Compact, a set of rules that would ensure no future war between the gods would occur. The basics of the Compact were extremely simple—no god or goddess could directly attack another god, and no deity could directly interfere with the mortal realm, aside from granting spells and small favors to mortals. The dark gods quickly found a loophole, and extolled their followers to attack the mortal followers of the good gods. Although war in heaven has been avoided, the mortal realm has been a battleground between rival faiths.

Hela’s Madness

Hela, the goddess of undeath, once guarded the gates of the Abyss and judged souls. A little over six centuries ago, just before the Blizzard War, Hela went insane. Maybe countless eons of only dealing with the dead drove her mad, or perhaps powerful demons from the lower Abyss had slowly corrupted her. Whatever the reason, Hela threw open the gates of the Abyss. A flood of souls, of those judged sinful and sentenced to an eternity in the Abyss, poured out of the gates while Hela watched and laughed. Across the gap between life and death they flew, finding their way to the mortal realm. Here they sought out and inhabited ancient corpses of dead heroes and kings, soldiers and clerics, merchants and commoners. One by one, the dead began to rise. Where once tombs and barrows had been places of quiet reflection on lives long spent, they now become places the living feared to tread. Although the Withered Lands contain the greatest number of undead, they can be found across Rassilon. Fortunately for mortals, the demon lords were too slow in detecting the exodus, and by the time they reached the gates they found them shut once again, Hela fled in self-imposed exile, and Scaetha glaring at them through her helmet visor, her runic sword thrumming in her mailed hand

The Compact Broken

The gods are not omnipotent. They are extremely powerful entities, far beyond the comprehension of mortals, but each is responsible for only a small aspect of the universe, and is relatively clueless about matters beyond their spheres of interest. Even they have little clue about the cause of the Blizzard War. Kenaz and Sigel, the gods of fire and sun respectively, have disappeared, apparently vanished shortly after the Blizzard War began. Their clerics still receive spells, since these are as much drawn from the god’s home realm as from the deity in person, but they are weaker in colder regions, a clear sign all is not well in the heavens. Only Rigr, the Watchman of the Gods, has bothered searching for them, and he has found no trace of his missing brethren among the stars. Though he would like to turn his gaze to earth, this act, despite being extremely trivial, would violate the Compact, and give the dark gods the excuse they need to throw their weight directly behind their mortal followers. The gods of good are currently locked in debate as to whether Thrym, considered an extremely minor deity until five centuries ago, has broken the Compact. The god of winter claims the growth of the Hellfrost is a natural occurrence, a result of the sun and fire gods neglecting their duties, but others insist the disappearance of two gods and the Hellfrost expansion could only have come about by divine will, and thus broke the Compact. Unfortunately, Thrym has grown in power as the Hellfrost expands, and is now strong enough to single-handedly take on the other gods combined, were the other gods inclined to band together. Scaetha and Tiw, the gods of war, are overseeing the mortal battles against the forces of Dargar, god of slaughter, and Hela, goddess of the undead, and have little interest in the Hellfrost. Eira the Peacemaker insists diplomacy is the best course of action, while the others have yet to make up their minds. So for now, the gods of good bide their time, and aid mortals in accordance with the Compact, waiting, arguing, over what to do next.

Deities

A patron deity is one to which a mortal devotes his entire religious life. Most folk don’t go this far, and are happy to switch gods as the need arises. A farmer, for instance, usually prays to Eostre, goddess of farming. However, he may also pray to Thunor, god of weather, so his crops get enough rain, Vali, the famine lord, to keep away blight, Sigel, the sun god, to provide a good summer for growing, and so on. Such activity is considered the norm in the Hearthlands. However, most mortals do have a favored god, who acts as their patron after death (assuming they haven’t offended him in the meanwhile).

Dargar – slaughter
Eira – healing
Eostre – life
Ertha – earth
Freo – travel
Hela – undeath and evil
Hoenir – knowledge
Hothar – justice
Kenaz – fire
Maera – magic
Nauthiz – thievery
Neorthe – water
Niht – assassins
The Norns – fate
Rigr – vigilance
Scaetha – death and judgment
Sigel – sun
Thrym – cold
Thunor – wind and sky
Tiw – war and courage
Ullr- the hunt
The Unknowable One – trickery
Vali – corruption
Var – trade

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Religion

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