Religion

Most denizens of the lands surrounding the Viridian Sea recognize a pantheon of gods containing at least twenty major deities, and in some areas (such as Zimbruk), as many as fifty deities of some importance. There are numerous cultural differences in how the major deities are described, regarded, and worshiped, from one area to the next.

Avandra

Popular in Arbor. Known in Kirupilov, Sulterland and Norturland (as Uadalee; Moradin’s little sister), and Salthor Eb (as a foreign goddess, and rarely worshiped). Unrecognized in Ephesia. In Zimbruk, considered a disruptive influence, whose worship is banned. On the Weeping Isle, considered a seductive goddess who is likely to influence young people to abandon their disciplines and go wandering; consequently, inordinately popular among teenagers, and disliked (but not outright banned or cursed) by elders.

Bahamut

The patron god of dragonborn in Salthor Eb; his priesthood holds substantial political clout there. Known in Norturland and Sulterland (as Borumut, the Dragon God, a (subordinate) ally of Moradin’s), and Ephesia (but rarely worshiped there). Virtually unknown in Kirupilov and Arbor. Regarded on The Weeping Isle as an excellent, but foreign, influence for proper behavior; he is more often used in scholastic study as an example, than actually worshiped. Reviled in Zimbruk, where officially his divinity is denied, and mere suspicion of worship of him carries a death sentence.

Corellon

Revered in Arbor and Ephesia (by elves) as a major deity (co-equal to Sehanine and superior to all others) and by eladrin (as the first eladrin, who created the feywild and magic, and then took one of his creations, the elf Sehanine, as his wife, raising her to divinity). Popular in Kirupilov, perhaps because of the substantial elven minority. Recognized in Salthor Eb (as Silvangott; literally, ‘the Elf god’). Known, but rarely worshiped, on The Weeping Isle, and in Sulterland and Norturland. Recognized in Zimbruk as a foreign god of some disrepute, but not outright banned; occasionally worshiped by members of the Zimbruk musician-caste, usually in private.

Erathis

Recognized in every nation on the Viridian Sea, but lacking in primacy in any of them. Known in Zimbruk as Zorathis, where her worshipers heavily emphasize her aspect as a promoter of the rule of law and social order, as well as long-lasting civil institutions. Many of her worshipers in other nations regard the Zimbruk cult of Zorathis as a heresy, particularly the small Kirupilovian church of Erathis. Known in Ephesia as Erathessia, where she is considered an elf, who was instrumental in leading the rebellion of the elves when they abandoned the Feywild for the mortal world, long ago. Eladrin in Arbor do not adhere to this conceptualization of Erathis, perhaps influenced by the human tradition devoted to her.

Ioun

Revered in Arbor. Known and respected in Salthor Eb (as Sionn), where her aspect as a teacher of tactics and strategy, as well as mental discipline, is heavily emphasized; she is often depicted there as a dragonborn in religious iconography. Known in Sulterland and Norturland (as Ahunne), where she is conceptualized as a dwarf; emphasis there is placed on her directives to keep and preserve knowledge, and she is the patron goddess of archivists and rune-carvers. Recognized in Kirupilov, Ephesia, and Zimbruk, but not as a member of the highest tier of gods; rather, as more of a niche deity.

Kord

Revered in Zimbruk, whose priests emphasize strength-of-nation over strength-of-individual, but he is also held in high regard by members of the Edthek warrior-slave caste. Popular in Sulterland, Norturland, Kirupilov, Salthor Eb, and The Weeping Isle; in Salthor Eb he is Bahamut’s general (a subordinate god), while on The Weeping Isle he is presented as a god of mental and physical discipline, emphasizing (peaceful) duty and honor over violence and combat. Recognized in Arbor, mostly among humans, but rarely worshiped alone, and in Ephesia, as a foreign god of bad influence.

Melora

Revered and feared (as Mekora) in Zimbruk, especially among sailors, as a jealous and retributive deity of storms; there is a cult dedicated to ensuring safety at sea through sacrifices to Mekora, although the majority of inland Zimbruk worshipers regard that as a wasteful and unnecessary indulgence. Revered (as Amellorae) in Ephesia as an elven goddess whose domain is as much related to land wildernesses as the sea; her followers relentlessly pursue monsters and invaders in her name, viewing her as the ‘daytime’ counterpart to Sehanine. Popular in Arbor (also as Amellorae), Kirupilov, and The Weeping Isle, where she is more of a general nature goddess whose whims can be fickle. Recognized in Norturland, but as a distant human sea goddess of little importance, and in Sulterland, as one more good reason not to get aboard a ship if one can help it; Sulterlander dwarves see nature as a resource to be exploited, and the sea as the domain Melora has decided to protect from exploitation (generally by sinking ships). In Salthor Eb, a nature-goddess known as Uadrabat (depicted as a dragon) represents the wild and unpredictable aspect of unspoiled wilderness. She was once a consort and lover of Bahamut, but she scorned him and became isolated; some non-dragonborn religious scholars say Uadrabat is Melora, while others regard that as a stretch, the two having little besides nature, and a reputation for fickle behavior, in common.

On the Isles of Ostrovot there was an ancient (pre-Kirupilovian) cult of Melora, which left behind strange, semi-flooded ‘temples’ to her in a few isolated sea-caves. It is rumored a few locals still worship in and maintain the ancient temples, following the old ways now forgotten elsewhere.

Moradin

Revered in Sulterland and Norturland as the creator and patron of all dwarves; Moradin is regarded there as the highest and most powerful god. Popular on The Weeping Isle (despite being a dwarven god) for his laudable emphasis on stoicism, loyalty, and good clean honest labor. Reviled and outlawed in Zimbruk as an evil foreign god who may have created dwarves specifically to spite various of their own gods… or at the very least, a god who encourages the dwarves to resist their inevitable subjugation by their rightful Zimbruk rulers. Recognized in Kirupilov and Salthor Eb (as good god whose main attentions are on the dwarves, and therefore not especially important to appease) and in Arbor (where he is often depicted as a smith of any race, including elven, human, eladrin, or dragonborn; his aspect as a metalworker or artisan there is emphasized).

Pelor

Usually revered above all other gods in Kirupilov, as the creator of humanity and protector against evil of all kinds. The Pelor church wields the most power, both financially and spiritually, there, and its clerics are the most prevalent in the Kirupilov military, usually serving as chaplains and medics. There is an independent order of paladins dedicated to Pelor, answering to no political ruler (but usually on good terms with the elector counts and the King). Popular in Arbor (particularly among humans) and The Weeping Isle (as the god who takes the most direct interest in opposing infernal activity and incursions; his clerics there are sentries keeping a sometimes overzealous watch for any signs of a new outbreak of infernal influence). Recognized in Sulterland, Norturland, and Ephesia as a foreign human god whose influence on humanity is helpfully positive, although Pelor’s clerics are sometimes regarded as overzealous holy-warrior types too quick to direct (often violent) righteous wrath against every perceived evil.

In Salthor Eb, Pelor is regarded as, at best, a strange foreigner-twisted representation of Bahamut with an incomprehensible obsession with the sun; and at worst, an insulting heresy. Dragonborn religious teaching holds that humanity was not created by a god, but rather is a ‘young’ race that rose up from among the animals, a notion generally quite offensive to humans. Polite dragonborn that hold this belief tend to keep it to themselves when they’re around humans.

The Zimbruk worship a sun-deity, Polluk, whose merciless heat beats down upon the wicked and punishes them; his domains are the desert and divine justice (for the intrinsically evil natures of the lowborn and foreigners), and he is associated with certain types of undead, who are said to be created by him as either a special form of eternal punishment for their crimes, or as tools by which he can punish those who deserve it. While Zimbruk think foreigners who worship Pelor perpetuate a vile heretical corruption of holy Polluk, most religious scholars outside Zimbruk hold Polluk to be a different god than Pelor. The idea that Pelor would countenance, much less personally create, undead, is especially outrageous.

The Raven Queen

Recognized in Kirupilov as the bearer of the souls of the dead, most dedicate prayers to her to care for their fallen, but few revere her beyond that. Actual clerics of the Raven Queen are viewed with great suspicion for having an unhealthy obsession with death… but at the same time, gratefully supported by grievers for the services they provide (especially the preparation and proper interment of the recently departed).

Also recognized in every other region of The Viridian Sea, but by many other names: Üalkor, a (male) Dwarven god in Sulterland and Norturland; Llawatha the Life-Bearer by Elves and Eladrin of Ephesia and Arbor (respectively); Kalishta, goddess of the slain, in Zimbruk (those who die peacefully are instead cared for by their own family patron god, in the case of the upper-caste, or by Izitht, Kalishta’s dark sister, for everyone else); The Pale Woman on The Weeping Isle, a ghostlike female entity who pilots a small silver boat to carry souls across the sea to the land of the dead; and among the dragonborn of Salthor Eb, Uadrabat and Bahamut’s daughter Yaldagat reigns over the afterlife, where she attempts to entrap the souls of the departed within magical eggs, which she adds to her horde… but is forced to give up those of the faithful and deserving to any other god or goddess who demands them. Only those forsaken by all others are left, but over the eons her horde has grown enormous, and it is held that one day if her horde grows large enough, she will hatch her eggs all at once, and lead an army of the dead into the world of the living, in an attempt to conquer it.

Sehanine

Revered by elves everywhere, and particularly in Ephesia, as coequal god to Corellon; a tragic figure of romance, illusion, the melancholy beauty of autumn, and the ever-changing light of the moon. Eladrin hold that she was raised by Corellon to divinity to take as his wife, while elves regard both Corellon and Sehanine as equals from the beginning. Recognized in Kirupilov and The Weeping Isle, but generally as a foreign god whose influence, particularly over lovestruck teens and those prone to melodrama, is a bit unfortunate. Regarded with distaste in Norturland and Sulterland, where her divinity is recognized, but widely regarded as the main reason why elves are flighty, untrustworthy romantics incapable of doing a proper solid day’s work. Openly decried in Zimbruk as a foreign god whose religious literature is infested with ridiculous and corrupting stories about lovers from different castes pursuing their forbidden romances… but at the same time, numerous illicit underground cults to Sehanine are claimed to exist throughout the Zimbruk Empire. Sehanine is virtually unknown in Salthor Eb.

Asmodeus

Reviled on The Weeping Isle as the corrupter, creator of tieflings, the great enemy against whose influences all must be eternally vigilant. Proof of Asmodeus worship is punished there with a swift and thorough execution, complete with rituals of binding and banishment. Some religious scholars say that the Zimbruk god Polluk is actually Asmodeus, and some believe many, perhaps most, of the patron family gods of highborn Zimbruk are actually Asmodeus in disguise. Zimbruk of course regard that idea as an outrageous blasphemy, and in Zimbruk, devil-worship and cults of Asmodeus are officially outlawed and usually pursued and purged where they are uncovered. While his domains relating to dominion of the strong over the weak are not regarded by the Zimbruk priesthood as especially negative, his command over devils is understood as a terrible danger, and his taint as represented by the tieflings is a filthy and unacceptable abomination.

Bane

The Zimbruk revere a god, Fushti, whose domains are battle, war, and conquest; he is widely popular and respected. Some scholars say Fushti is Bane, and the Zimbruk do not particularly disagree, finding little to object to when they review foreign scripture regarding Bane. (Such review is quite rare, however, foreign religious manuscripts being contraband generally prohibited throughout Zimbruk). Elsewhere around The Viridian Sea, of all the evil gods, worship of Bane is probably the most common. Many tribes of monsters and bandits revere him, and petty warlords and despots have a history of association with Bane. In Kirupilov, the holy warrior orders devoted to Pelor are ever-vigilant for Bane-worship, it being the most common type of evil heresy they have unearthed over the centuries.

In Ephesia, Bane is regarded as a human despot who rose to godhood, a good example of humanity at its worst, and a reminder of why they shouldn’t be fully trusted.

Gruumsh

In Salthor Eb, occasionally Gruumsh cults arise (they depict him as a frenzied great one-eyed red dragon), attracting dragonborn warriors who lust for combat and battle over all else, sometimes abandoning all trappings of civilization in favor of a savage lifestyle they see as more dragon-like. Many dragonborn recognize the subtle attractiveness of Gruumsh’s offer; they are a people proud of their martial prowess and draconic heritage. Still, the cults are usually carefully and thoroughly persecuted.

Gruumsh is also worshiped by various individualistic monstrous humanoids, particularly orcs, living in the wildernesses of Arbor and northwestern Kirupilov. He is virtually unknown in Zimbruk, where chaotic and wild behavior is completely contrary to the highly-structured and stratified cultural landscape.

Lolth

Virtually unknown anywhere in The Viridian Sea. A few of the oldest writings in dwarven archives in Sulterland discuss gods worshiped by races of the underdark, which was sealed off long ago; but few other than especially studious scholars interested in ancient history would be aware of her.

Tiamat

Openly worshiped, but considered an evil goddess, in Salthor Eb. Although her worshipers are not great in number, Tiamat cults have a long history among the dragonborn, and they are sufficiently entrenched that it would be difficult and painful to attempt a purge. Some dragonborn, particularly those whose physical traits take after chromatic dragons, view Tiamat as representative of the ultimate dragonborn destiny; a distant future in which dragonborn defeat all who ever opposed them, and take their rightful place as rulers over all the other mortal humanoid races. However, despite the long-standing existence of Tiamat cults, they are notoriously infested with bickering and self-destructive treachery, and so rarely manage any kind of organized mayhem.

There is a Zimbruk god of wealth, Beebil, whose teachings encourage his followers to accumulate power through mercantile means… without regard to the welfare of others. Slavers in particular use his teachings to justify their actions. While noting that Beebil’s domains overlap with Tiamat’s, their totally different conceptualizations and religious traditions lead most religious scholars to regard them as different gods.

Torog

As with Lolth, Torog is practically unknown in the Viridian Sea region, probably due to the sealing of the Underdark long ago. However, unlike Lolth, Torog is spoken of in human histories as well as Dwarven; he is sometimes said to still have some influence, among evil monsters that live underground. Still, actual worship of Torog is completely unknown, and most people have never heard of him.

Vecna

After Bane, probably the second-most commonly worshiped of the evil gods, around The Viridian Sea. Necromancers in particular rely upon Vecna’s favor, and he is also (supposedly) prayed-to by anyone who has a dark secret they hope to keep, although generally only the particularly desperate or callous would go so far as to invoke the god of the undead for such a purpose.

Among the Zimbruk, Vecna is the night-time counterpart to their sun-god Polluk, and both share the undeath domain. While Polluk exacts divine retribution to the wicked, Vecna, his opposite, brings creeping doom to the righteous and just (which, to the Zimbruk, refers specifically to upper-caste nobles in particular, and anyone who keeps to their proper social place in general). Secret necromancy or Vecna-worship is often suspected of rebellious slave-castes and unfaithful servants, and zealous purges are common. Non-foreign slaves and criminals may actually be encouraged to seek out Vecna due to his conceptualization in Zimbruk culture, if they are willing to bear the weight of doing something unspeakably evil on their consciences, in order to seek vengeance against their betters.

Zehir

Zehir is explicitly a Zimbruk god, the patron god of the assassin-caste. Assassins operate openly as an honorable guild, accepting contracts by highborn Zimbruk patrons (the only ones who can afford them) and enjoying a relatively high status caste position, among the lower ranks of actual noble castes. Well-educated Zimbruk scions, often fourth or fifth sons unlikely to claim a substantial inheritance, join the Assassins’ guild. Zehir gains favor among other sneaky murderers, particularly in Kirupilov and Arbor, and occasionally on The Weeping Isle; but outside Zimbruk he is less commonly worshiped than Bane, Vecna, or even Asmodeus. A human god, Zehir is not a serious threat in Sulterland, Norturland, Ephesia, or Salthor Eb.

Religion

Viridian Sea Leperflesh