The Ineffable Mysteries of Ophion
Religion in Ophion is divided into three separate groups—The ancient, primordial religions practiced by tribal shamans and druids, the pagan worship of civilized deities, and the most recent, duelist faith of Eru the overdeity.
The Ancient Ways: Druids and tribal shamans from the Haut mountains practice this faith. They do not worship deities with names, faces, temples and dogmas—instead, they worship the very essence of the universe itself, evident in the blowing winds, the burning fires, the lapping waves and the immovable earth itself. There are no gods, only the primordial forces of creation, and they deserve respect and tribute. A specific animal totem, representing a quality one wishes to emulate, is often given to children at birth in this religion. Arcane magic is viewed as a natural manipulation of the elemental forces of the world, and is not reviled, though some exceptions may apply. (Necromancy, for instance, is seen as a perversion of the forces of life in many regions.)
The Old Ways: The old ways are still followed by many. Roughly 35% of civilized peoples still believe in these ways. Followers dedicate themselves to the deities in a pantheon, generally focusing on a single deity whom they venerate for personal reasons. There are differing pantheons, depending on region, but the pagan ways generally do not teach intolerance towards other faiths, so holy wars and zealotry are not terribly common. Arcane magic is viewed as an unsettling phenomenon and practitioners are sometimes persecuted, often ostracized. See below for different deities.
The Single Way: Several centuries ago, as humans were flocking to Elrador from Theadras and Rodmar, the enchanted lands became home to many miracles supposedly gifted unto men by the overdeity, Eru, who had chosen them as the race meant to rule all others. The Great Prophet, now known only by his title, was supposedly his messenger on Ophion, teaching men the way He intended for them to live and worship. All deities of pagan pantheons are, according to the prophet, a splinter or shard of Eru and his true divine presence. Eru grants His followers no spells, teaching them to rely on His will and their own strength.
There is an opposing force in this religion, however, consisting of the ancient titans that birthed Ophion from the ruins of their endless battles with one another. Eru supposedly drove them off and nurtured civilization, and as such, demands any such worship of them be prosecuted lest it attract their attention back to the world. Arcane magic, too, is considered the raw power of the primordial titans, the force that they used to wreak havoc across the cosmos. Wizards are generally hanged or burned for studying forbidden magic—sorcerers are considered unfortunate demon-children and, while most are slain, some are given a chance to live at monasteries, to learn to control their wicked natures.
Deities—these are the deities of the Thaedran pantheon, most likely worshiped by starting characters. Northerners would worship the Norse deities, (Thor, Loki, etc) while Sahruk slaves would know only the lizardfolk pantheon.
Junil is the god of order and righteousness. His followers are taught to respect the law, or, if the law is wrong, to vie for it’s revision. Law is the basis of a society and without it, there would be chaos. His favored weapons are heavy blades—the longsword, bastard sword, and greatsword. (Domains—Law, good, healing, Strength, Earth, War)
Lugus is the god of wisdom. He teaches that conflict tends to come from a lack of understanding between individuals. For this reason, one should strive to learn all that he or she can, so that they might eliminate conflict. His favored weapon is the curved blade— the scimitar and falchion. (Domains—Good, Sun, Knowledge, Air)
Kaia is the goddess of love and the seas. She teacher her followers to turn the other cheek, to love one another, and to be fruitful. She is also a goddess of the fields, and blesses loving families with fertile crops and rains for the year. Wise sailors sacrifice wine and bread to her before they leave port, lest they inquire her wrath in the form of violent seas. Her favored weapons are the crossbows— hand, light, and heavy crossbows. (Domains— Luck, Plants, Water, Trickery)
Hemah is the god of the underworld, death, decay, and rebirth. While many see him as outright evil, his clerics know that without death there could be no birth, recognizing the necessary cycle. His favored weapons are the polarms, including spears, scythes, halberds, and glaives. (Domains—Evil, destruction, death, fire)
Kilmorph, the earth-mother, is the goddess worshiped by many dwarves. Long have the mountains stood, longer still the earth beneath. She taught dwarves how to craft stone and metal into tools, and grants spells to any, regardless of race, who recognize her sedimentary beauty. Her favored weapons are the hammers. (Domains—earth, healing, destruction, strength)
Cernunnos, the mother of trees, is the goddess worshiped by many elves. She teaches that nature is directly responsible for sustaining life, and thus is a source of good. She teaches to respect life in all its beautiful or savage forms, and to accept that nature is sometimes brutal and violent as well as productive. Her favored weapons are the bows— longbows and shortbows. (Domains—plant, animal, healing, destruction)
Agares is the god of chaos and magic. The teachings say that he was the most powerful of all gods until one day when he sought to destroy creation. The other gods banded together and imprisoned him at the bottom of the oceans, where Kaia keeps him chained. His screams become hurricanes, and his thrashing becomes tidal waves. His worshipers wait for his release so that he may eliminate all suffering by eliminating all of creation. His favored weapons are the binding weapons—spiked chains, Kusari and whips. (domains—chaos, magic, fire, earth, air, water, death, destruction)
Additional deities exist in other lands.
Hallador/Orm— the hardy people of these lands worship perhaps the most personified deities of civilized nations. Their myths are told of in Sagas, and it is claimed that some of their gods began life as mortals who improved themselves to the point of divinity.
Aubressia— Aubpressia and her empire worship a different set of deities. There are only four, and the worship of outsider deities is prohibited. Travelers learn to give tribute to the Aubpressian gods or face sacrifice.
Quetzalcoatl is the deity of