Religion


The civilization around the Sea of Serpeants has a pantheon with eight main pairs of gods and goddesses. The relationships between these gods are eternal and immutable; they define the natural, divine order. Sacred rituals are attempts by mortals to define their own and their communities' role in this natural order. Rituals can ensure that mortals are included in the natural, divine order, such as prayers to ensure that the rains fall at the expected time of year. However, they can also be used to create exceptions to the divine rules; for example, when a priest raises the dead. In neither case is the deity granting the priest a favor. The gods are unconcerned with mortal affairs; it is mortals who need the gods, not vice versa. Priests do not worship or serve the gods, but act as intercessors with the divine powers on behalf of their communities.

Thus, a priest is not dedicated to advancing a god's interests, and in fact the belief that such a thing would be possible is heresy. In fact, a priest is always dedicated to a temple of a married god and goddess representing opposing forces. The nature of these forces determines the duties and powers of the priest, but does not dictate his or her goals or character.

For example, a priestess of Bela and Male is dedicated to the goddess of good and the god of evil. The priestess may be a good person, a bad person, or neither particularly good nor bad, without interfering with her duties or powers. Her obligation is to use her connection with the forces of good and evil to nurture virtue within her community and ward it against evil. On the other hand, she has the obligation to bring evil on the enemies of the community. How she interprets and fulfills her responsibilites is up to her to decide. The gods do not care, but her temple superiors might.

The major deities are:

Note: players can suggest alternative domains or interpretations of domains. While the gods are impersonal, individuals often feel a personal religious connection to the heroes. The Heroes, or Sophia's Companions, are acknowledged to have flaws but are also role-models that citizens can aspire to emulate. They still guard the City-States both spiritually and through their Cults. Initiation is the ultimate way of connecting with the Heroes, but lesser rituals and holidays suffice for the religious needs of most people. See Cults for more details. To the outline: Outline