Religion and Cosmology

Main Page || House Rules || Bestiary || Items and Artifacts || Misc Setting Notes || Religion and Cosmology || Wiki Formatting HowTo

The New Gods

In the Old World, the predominantly-human Commonwealth worshipped the Ascended Saints as their gods. These are all ancient Paragon people who rise to immortality for their acts of “theological perfections” – in other words, they embodied certain aspects of humanity so intently that they transcended the planes to become the eternal avatars of those concepts.

There are numerous Ascendant Saints (frequently called the Ascendants, the Saints, or the Paragons) of the pantheon, and here are a few of the more well-known ones.

Aeldric, Swimmer (male)

Ascendant Saint of athletes and sailors.

Crusader Specialty: Undecided

Caroline, the Avenger (female)

Ascendant Saint of revenge. Caroline is believed to have been a concubine to a warlord in the earliest days of the human kingdoms that would one day become the Commonwealth. Her lover was unpopular, however, and assassinated. Instead of taking her own life with the rest of the household, as was the duty of that culture, she plotted extensive revenge that took her forty-seven years to complete. On that day, between sunrise and sunset, she slew the entire families and households of the eleven conspirators who were responsible for the death of her lover so many years before. When the final infant of the line was decapitated, she took her own life and ascended to Sainthood.

Caroline’s name is invoked whenever grudges are born, and again when those grudges are acted upon. She is a force of wrath and hatred, but equally a force of justice and loyalty. The downtrodden evoke her to spit upon their abusers, while the distressed evoke her name to stay true to their loyalties and do what must be done. Fathers call upon her to hold their families together, wives call upon her to hurt their husbands’ mistresses, and children call upon her to hurt their parents for sending them to bed without supper.

There is a unique order of clergy who follow the teachings of Caroline. Their sacred “book” is a collection of all of Caroline’s journals during the period of her vengeful planning, which they refer to as “The 47 years” or just “The Forty-Seven.” Called simply The Weepers, this mendicant order has been known to serve vigilant justice when none others will. Donations to the Weepers are usually accompanied by a “writ of wronging,” in which the supplicants lay out the details of those who have wronged them. It is said that if a Weeper priest reads a Writ and cries at least forty-seven tears, the wrong-doer is as good as dead.

Crusader Specialty: Undecided

Gul, the Deceiver (male)

Gul is the twin brother of Kestrik the Patron. Also called Gul the Betrayer, his Ascendancy is rooted in the selling-out of his twin brother to the dark forces that pursued them in their age.

The cult of Gul believes the great heresy that Gul was in fact the Patron, who twice-transcended his own sainthood to become both the Patron and the Deceiver at the same time.

Gul’s followers are frequently called the Gul-ken, the Deceivers, and the Cult of the Shroud. They seek to spread chaos, dissent, and confusion everywhere they walk. To call them evil would be both apt and misleading, for while it is true that their motives are pure selfishness, they are unconcerned with harm for the sake of harm, and more concerned with entropy for the sake of absolutely nothing.

Crusader Specialty: Undecided

Jay-kob, the Farstrider (male)

The Deity: Jay-kob’s followers believe him to be of the oldest of the Ascendants, part of the same pact of holiness that saw the Ascendancy of Kestrik the Patron, Gul the Betrayer, and Serrun the Mother. Lore speaks of a great Parting of Ways between Jay-kob and his fellows, after which Jay-kob walked Creation, saw Everything, and left this world through Ascendency.

The Clergy: The clerical order of Jay-kob is known as the Farstriders, the Jacobians, or the Jacobian Farstriders. The order seeks to know and see everything in Creation, and beyond. They have few churches, instead collecting vast hordes of knowledge and artifacts in their great libraries. The Farstriders travel far abroad, accompanying adventurers and expeditions in the hope of adding knowledge to their Order’s collections. Their great phrase of unity is “We are Here. We will Know this Place. And once we come to Know, we will Leave.”

Mail Shrines: Unlike most other orders, Jay-kob’s followers rarely build temples of worship. Aside from a few distant temples where their clerics are trained, they maintain only small shrines in town and villages across the land. At these shrines, Farstriders who pass through update massive journals of random information that are kept therein, taking notes of dangers encountered and interesting vistas to be seen.

These shrines are also frequently visited by locals who leave mail at them, hoping for a passing Farstrider to deliver it. Due to their wandering nature, the Farstriders have picked up a second job of traveling mail delivery among the smallfolk of the old world, and that tradition has even more heavily carried forth into this new land.

The Pathways: There are a handful of known Pathways of the Saint, from which the Farstriders gain power. These different treks have been uncovered through extensive studying and translation of the ancient texts. By journeying to and traversing these courses in certain orders, their Crusaders can acquire greater empowerment to their manifestations of belief. Following these paths can be as simple as climbing the thousand steps of the First Tower, or as complicated as walking on foot from two specific points on the mainland coast and hitting specific landmarks in order. The Order believes there are many new Pathways in the New World, and as such the Farstriders have been very active in sending their Crusaders overseas to explore.

Crusader Specialty: Farstrider Crusaders are treated as having an Encumbrance level of one level lower while on foot.

Kestrik, the Patron (male)

Kestrik is the great Patron of every endeavor that needs one. Artists, explorers, and architects all call upon his guidance to help fuel and complete their missions and creations. Kestrik is the patron Paragon of merchants and Emperors alike, called upon by everyone for pretty much every endeavor under the sun. As such, Kestrik is seen by many as The Most Important Saint, or otherwise their de facto “leader,” if such a thing could possibly exist among immortal manifestations of human concepts.

It is certainly true that Kestrik’s followers have the largest visible congregations. The Holy and Devout Order of Ascendant Saint Kestrik the Eternal Patron – more commonly known as The Church of the Patron – is the most widespread of all the established saintly religions. If someone refers to “The Church” in common company, they are most likely referring to Kestrik’s Order. The Church focuses primarily on the worldly fulfillment and well-being of its followers. The amount of money that flows into and through their coffers and temples is beyond the mental capacity of most people to even grasp. They back expeditions and endeavors large and small, and are usually the first place anyone turns to when in need of outside funding.

Crusaders of the Church tend to stay inside. Well-fed, well-dressed, and well-loved by their communities, they build massive temples with enormous ceilings and great burial vaults. Their congregations come to them, and as such they have no real need to travel or adventure on their own. While this means that many have grown lazy and fat in their wealthy complacency, this also means that their access to public health and powerful magicks has extended many of their lives generations beyond the normal human expectancies.

In the Empire today and the Commonwealth before it, as well as every nation of man’s ancestors, Money and Power are usually one and the same. If something can be bought, The Church of the Patron can buy it, and there are very few things that cannot be bought.

Crusader Specialty: Crusaders of the Patron are exceptionally skilled with making a little money go a long way. Whenever a Crusader of Kestrik spends money either for himself or for his order (but not on behalf of anyone else), they get a percentage discount on that purchase equal to one-half their Crusader level, rounded up. This does not mean that the merchant is giving them a discount, only that they are skilled at stretching the value of their coinpurses. Whenever their is a question of “how much did the Crusader actually pay in-game for this?” the answer is always the actual value, and not the discounted value.

Password, the Silent One, the Headsman (unisex)

The name “Password” is believed to be rooted in an ancient proving ritual, where prospective entrants to a hidden order were required to “Pass the Test of the Sword.” Details of the ritual are mostly lost to history, but it is known that a sword was involved, although to what extent is unknown. Regardless, to this day many knightly orders and royal dispatches involve a ceremonial Proving Sword, usually held momentarily blade-down at the shoulders of the newly-ordained.

Over the years, the Test of the Sword was evolved as a trial to seek out practitioners of witchcraft. It was believes that sorcerers could still speak and function when their heads were removed, and thus by severing the head with a sword you could tell if the accused were in fact a sorcerer. One can easily assume just how effective that ritual was for finding sorcerers, and eventually it passed out of practice.

Everyone has heard the famous adage about pens and swords, of course, and eventually the Passed Sword test evolved into its current usage as a secret phrase of proof and accountability.

As for the Saint, details are just as murky. Some call upon Password as the iconic headsman, the executioner and deliverer of final true justice. Others call upon Password as the keeper of secrets, a whispered voice of formless assurance in the darkness. Password has never manifested to humanity in recorded history, and some heretics claim that Password is not an Ascendant at all.

Crusader Specialty: Crusaders of Password can Move Silently as a Thief.

Raen, the Worker (female)

Raen is the Paragon evoked by Those Who Toil, and all others who pursue a life of labor. Legend says she was the widow of a miner who lost his life in a tragic collapse. When the miners thought to revolt against their lords, she inspired them to keep working on. When all the miners went back to work, they were all consumed by another much larger collapse, and she became Paragon for her role in keeping the status quo.

Raen is called upon by those seeking to persevere in the most adverse and dire of conditions. The greater the seeming impossibility of the task, the greater the need to call upon her for guidance. Her Crusaders espouse carrying on constantly, with the frequently-repeated prayer of “It can be done, and we are those who will do it.” Raen’s image is one of a plain-faced woman of low birth and short, dark hair. She wears a tunic with sleeves either rolled up or cut off, underneath an oversized miner’s apron. She is often shown proudly holding aloft her husband’s heavy mining pick.

There are many who believe that the worship of Raen is promoted by the aristocracy to further enforce the preservation of the status quo. Some decry the Raenites as lackies, complacent followers too willing to preserve the divide between the rich and the poor. The Raenites refute this, believing that those who choose to carry on should be exalted, and encouraged. The fact that the Order of Raen was a key force in the establishment of the new Empire has not been forgotten.

But there are some quiet voices among the nobility that are brave enough to ask each other one very, very important question: what will happen should the Raenites change their minds? “It can be done, and we are those who will do it.” Can they? Will they?

Crusader Specialty: Crusaders of Raen receive a +1 bonus to all Saving Throw rolls.

Quime, the Gravedigger

Ascendant Saint of Necromancers, Morticians, and Wood-wrights.

Crusader Specialty: Undecided

Serrun, the Mother

Crusader Specialty: Undecided

Taimellius, the Tree-Climber

Crusader Specialty: Undecided

The Old Gods

Often alien in their machinations, the old gods represent the primal forces that permeate the entire of existence. Some were worshipped by the earliest mortals of the world, and others seem to have predated all of known existence.

The Drowned One

The Dragon Gods

Religion and Cosmology

Forthalome: To the New World phasmaphobic