Religions

Ten major deities are recognised throughout Lythía, including Hârn, and people believe they see and feel their influence regularly. While most people follow a particular deity, either through upbringing or personal choice, they believe in all of them. Some people may follow more than one deity; agnostics haven’t chosen their path. Athiests are extremely rare.

Some deities might be considered evil by typical standards of morality – indeed, worship of certain deities is illegal and punishable by death in some nations. Why would anyone choose to follow such a deity? Those who do understand there is a sound theological basis for their faith.

Ágrik is the god of war and balefire. His church’s theology, at its simplest level, could be summed up as “might means right”. The church organises gladiatorial battles in the Pamesani Arenas; it considers these devotional events. On Hârn, the church is divided into several clerical orders, each with an associated fighting order. Ágrik is worshipped in Rethem and Tharda, and one all-female order is based in Orbaal; worship of Ágrik is illegal and punishable by death in Kanday, Melderyn, Chybisa and Kaldor. The churches of Laráni and Ágrik are bitter rivals.

Haléa is the goddess of wealth, pleasure and hedonistic joy. Worship is legal throughout Hârn, though frowned on by Laránians, who suspect the church’s ceremonies are little more than an excuse for orgies. Worship of Haléa is particularly common among merchants and guildsmen. The church has a particular rivalry with the church of Navéh; the thief of heaven once stole and mutilated Haléa’s beloved cat, Dekejis, who now serves Navéh as a demon.

Ilvîr is the creator of the Ivashu, strange and often dangerous creatures which roam Hârn. It is thought the god lives in the tower of Araka-Kalai, on the plain of Mysin in central Hârn. Worship of Ilvîr is common among the Jarin people, particularly those from Orbaal. There are many clerical orders, some of them very small. The religion is noted for esoteric, often convoluted, rituals and obscure philosophies.

Laráni is the goddess of chivalry and battle, the Lady of Paladins. She is often worshipped by nobles and feudal fighters, particularly in Kanday, Kaldor, Chybisa and Melderyn. There are two clerical orders on Hârn: the Order of the Spear of Shattered Sorrow is dominant in eastern Hârn, and the Order of Hyvrik dominates the west. Each sponsors a fighting order; the Order of the Lady of Paladins has, over the last 20 years, been acting with greater autonomy from its sponsor, the Spear of Shattered Sorrow, and is currently engaged in the ‘pacification’ of the Solora barbarians. The Order of the Checkered Shield, based in Kanday, engages in frequent cross-border skirmishes with Ágrikan orders based in Rethem and the Thardic Republic. The church is favoured in Kanday, Chybisa, Kaldor and Melderyn, where it enjoys tax-free status.

Môrgath, the master of chaos, evil and the undead, is feared and hated across Hârn, though his church is open and influential in the city of Golotha in Rethem, and another major temple is in the city of Coranon in the Thardic Republic. The church is ruthless, known for human sacrifice. Worship of Môrgath is punishable by death in Kanday, Káldôr, Melderyn and Chybisa.

Navéh, the master of thieves and assassins, is feared across Hârn. As well as a master of deceit, he’s considered the bringer of nightmares. His priests are incredibly disciplined, and have been known to commit suicide to prove a point. Some who profess to follow him are not part of the formal church, and have no idea how it’s organised or how to contact a priest. Worship of Navéh is punishable by death in Kanday, Káldôr, Melderyn and Chybisa.

Peóni is the goddess of agriculture and healing, and is commonly worshipped by farmers and poor folk. Her priests and priestesses are celibate. Segregated double abbeys, with separate facilities for men and women send out mendicant clerics to preach in nearby villages. Peónians have a strong work ethic. Peonians are often protected by Laránians. The church is favoured in Kanday, Chybisa, Kaldor and Melderyn, where it enjoys tax-free status.

Sárajìn, the Viking god of battle requires bravery and adherence to a strict code of honour from his followers. Brave and honourable adherents who die in battle may will have their souls gathered by Sárajìn’s shieldmaidens, the Elkyri, and brought to his hall, Talagaad. Most Ivinians follow Sárajìn to some degree; worship of him is uncommon outside that culture.

Sávè-K’nôr is the god of hidden knowledge, the guardian of the compact of the gods, and the seeker within. His worship is common among scholars, arcanists and the Shek-Pvar (magi).

Siém is the god of the Elves and Dwarves, and of mystery and dreams. His followers lack a formal church; though communal worship does take place, adherents ultimately make personal approaches to the deity.

Religions

Agents of the Crown Barwickian