Religion

There are temples to three major religions and a number of minor religions in Viridumar. Other religions and deities besides these certainly exist in the world but they are not officially recognized by the city and therefore have no public temples.

Mer Shunnans (major religion)

Deity: Armadad Bog, god of the ocean, water, and death.
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Domains: Water, Death (also Law, Evil, War)
Favored Weapon: Trident

The emperor Emperor Hautulin Seheitt is the God-Priest of Armadad Bog and therefore Mer Shunna is currently the most powerful religion in Viridumar. Almost half of the population follow this religion although many only do so due to the economic and political benefits. Faithful Mer Shunnans are supposed to participate in the Daily Flogging, a ritualized slapping of one’s skin with a fish tail as a symbol of regret for not being born as a merperson. Few are this faithful in practice.

Each Mer Shunnan family is required to send their eldest daughter to serve in the temple as a Young Tender until the age of 16, then as a Temple Tender until age 19. Every month three Young Tenders are sacrificed to Armadad Bog in a complex, ghastly, and beautiful ritual known as the Mer-Moon Sacrifice.

Shang-Tal (major religion)

Deity: Shang Ta, distant god of sky, air, and dreams
Alignment: Neutral (Lawful Good)
Domains: Air, Travel (rarely Good)

Shang Ta is a distant god and has very few vague commandments, along the lines of “Do the best you can” and “Hope for the best”. Although the god himself is essentially lawful good, his followers mostly just look out for themselves and are predominantly neutral. About a quarter of the population of the city self-identify as Shang-Tal. Followers are supposed to meditate daily on the air, wind, and clouds, and the most devout will actually levitate slightly while doing so.

Natchai (major religion)

Deity: Natch-Ur, god of earth, caverns, and secret power
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Domains: Earth, Magic (also Evil, Trickery)
Favored Weapon: Pick (heavy or light)

Many previous Emperors were Natchai and so this remains the second-most powerful religion in Viridumar, even though only about an eighth of the population are Natchai, for many of the wealthy, powerful, and just plain manipulative are among their number. One male child is sacrificed to Natch-Ur during the monthly festival of the Scarlet Sprinkle. Followers are expected to undergo the Dalles Burial at least twice in their lifetime, a ritual burial and exhumation using a root which sends a person into a deep coma when eaten.

Seekers of Joy (minor religion)

Deity: Tama Hama, goddess of passion, hedonism, and illusion
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Domains: Trickery, Chaos (rarely Strength)

The Seekers of Joy are hedonists and pleasure-seekers, plain and simple. The Hedonae Temple is home to courtesans, exotic drugs, and dancers.

Seekers of Health (minor religion)

Deity: Ugtargnt, two-headed god of health and disease
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Domains: Healing, Destruction

The Seekers of Health seek to lead the suffering, diseased, and lame toward a better life through magical healing, medicine, diet, and exercise.

Tempters of the Spider Goddess (minor religion)

Deity: Nephtlys, spider goddess of wealth and fate
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Domains: Luck, various others (sometimes Law, Animal)

Nephtlys is a strange and alien deity whose commandments are unclear, but the acquiring of wealth (particularly silver) appears to please her.

Gnosophim (minor religion)

Deity: Thoth, god of knowledge
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Domains: Knowledge, Law (also Magic)

Thoth is an inwardly focused deity and his followers (clerics and monks) primarily are commanded to accumulate knowledge – science, metaphysics, history, law, and so forth.

Sekerites (minor religion)

Deity: Seker, god of light and flame
Alignment: Neutral Good
Domains: Sun, Fire (also Good)

The Sekerites are the only actively “good” religion with a legitimate presence in Viridumar. Though their numbers are too small to render them a major political force, they do good works among the poor and are rumored to have offered assistance to various Mycretian plots. Seker’s followers and priestesses (he prefers females) are instructed to do good works and to seek the light of truth in all things.

Mycretians (banned religion)

Deity: the Unknown One, commonly referred to as Mycr
Alignment: Lawful Good
Domains: Protection, Healing (also Good, Law)

This religion, originating in the the ancient “Holy Cities” of the distant southwestern desert, is officially banned in Viridumar and most of Viridstan. Emperor Hautulin Seheitt seems to particularly hate Mycretians and has led many bloody crusades as well as internal purges of anyone even suspected to be linked to this faith. However, the last major purge was nearly 20 years ago now and so the influence of Mycr has begun to quietly return to Viridumar. It’s rumored that nearly one in ten people in the city now follow Mycr in secret.

Mycr’s real name is only known to his apostles and prophets and is never spoken aloud. His chief commandments are to go out into the world and do good works, seeking always to redeem evil beings to goodness, but he is also said to frequently speak privately to his devout followers to issue more personal commands. Mycretians often act in ways that would be considered odd by others, supposedly acting on such personal commandments, and have been known to loudly condemn the common practices of slavery and human sacrifice to the gods.

Religion

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