Lore - Religion

The Vishnari Pantheon
The old religion of the Vishnari Empire continues to be the primary religion of Ere even in a time when almost all of the old empire are gone. Most common people revere and pray to these gods on an as needed basis depending on what situation faces them at the moment, with no definite loyalty to any one.

The Vishnari gods rarely speak to or interfere in the lives of their followers, instead acting through clerics, priests and other divinely inspired people. While they are sometimes mildly opposed to one another, the six deities of the Greater Pantheon generally accept one another and all share an enmity toward the Church of the Threefold Moon.

Called The Goodly Morn by the faithful, Hessa, also known as Ola-Hess, is a goddess of healing, protection, and parenthood as well as the head god of the Vishnari Religion. Her temples are called Shrines and often hold smaller altars to the other gods of her pantheon.

Hessan religion stresses the importance of protecting and helping others as its most important tenet. Differences in sects generally fall along the lines of what form this help and protection should take with some preferring to do their good deeds anonymously and over a large scale (these are often known as Olan Wanderers), some only helping those who help themselves or others in turn, and some that feel mortals must be protected from themselves.

Depictions of Hessa usually take the form of a beautiful, four winged hailene, a smiling, doting mother with brown hair, or a golden bear. Her symbol is a sunburst held in outstretched hands.

Known almost universally as the one Dice Rolling or simply the One Dice, Pandemos is a god of luck, revelry, and curiosity. He is often depicted as Hessa’s lover.

His very few legitimate temples are little more than dance halls and gambling houses paid for by the always overflowing coffers of his priests, who are always on hand to tell wild, far ranging tall tales about the god’s exploits in the begging of the world when he walked the earth in mortal guise. These tales vary from day to day and with the sobriety of he priest.

Pandemian religion is centered around self gratification with the only ideal higher being creating opportunities for others to gratify their wants and needs as well. To this end, most Pandemian priests travel in around the world with ‘mobile temples’ (wagons full of alcohol, musical instruments and coin), spreading their version of the good word and giving freely and charitably. There are no schisms in the Pandemian Church, only the occasional argument usually solved by a fistfight and the loser buying drinks.

Pandemos is usually depicted as a precocious halfling, a tall, dark skinned, shirtless human with dreadlocks, or as a smiling opera mask. His symbol is a six sided die with all sides displaying six pips.

God of civilization, tactics and logic, Denaii the Lawgiver, is a deity of many hats and many sects that see one aspect of his portfolio as the most important.

Alchemists, Spellcasters and Mechanists worship Denaii as a god of science, both physical and metaphysical. They believe that the Laws that Denaii set down at the dawn of the age are actually the mathematical rules that the sciences follow. This aspect of Denaii is a household or workshop god, whose symbol is an astrolabe and who hardly ever attracts clerics or paladins.

Warriors and other professional combatants worship Denaii as a god of War, specifically tactical war. They believe that Denaii taught the basics of combat, honor and tactics to mortals at the dawn of the Age and that waging proper wars for civilized reasons is a way of honoring him. This aspect of Denaii is depicted as a black lion, or a dark skinned, fully armored warrior with a massive greatsword and impeccably braided hair. His symbol is a gauntleted fist with a lion’s head emblazoned on the back.

Most civilians, particularly public servants and architects, revere Denaii in his Temples as a god of civilization. They believe that Denaii taught mortals to build shelters and work together as communities at the dawn of the Age and that improving upon not only the physical engineering of their home cities, but the civil engineering of their people are the way to best honor him. In this aspect, Denaii is shown as a thoughtful looking elf in a robe. His symbol is an obelisk with an open eye carved into the base.

There have been two goddesses by the name of Sylph in the world’s history. The current one, Sylph Reborn, Sylph of the Forest Folk is a goddess of flora and fauna, of bodies of water and of nature’s wrath.

Her priesthood is made up mostly of druids, with precious few clerics and even fewer temples in civilized areas, save in the nation of Chordin, where her hold is strongest. Sylph’s tenets vary wildly from druid to druid; from a completely anti-civilization stance, to one of cohabitation and balance between mortals and nature, to one of proper marshaling of nature’s forces. Sylvan druids, except in Chordin, are a varied and fractured bunch, with almost as many factions and schools of thought as there are druids.

Sylph is alternately shown as a huge dryad with green glowing eyes, a tall, blonde woman dressed in leaves or pelts, and a huge hawk. Her symbol is an animal paw, claws outstretched, within a holly garland.

Known popularly as The Grey Hand, and by those who dislike her worship as The Goddess of Evil, Dey is the patron of mercenaries, assassins, thieves and adventurers who feel that what they are doing, while possibly wrong, is still necessary. She is occasionally depicted as the Daughter of Hessa or Sylph or the reincarnation of the missing goddess Sefar.

Deyic temples are called churches and serve as sanctuaries and flophouses where anyone in need can receive a good night’s sleep, a hot meal and treatment of minor injuries from clerics and healers willing to not ask questions. Dey’s religion teaches understanding for those placed into positions where they feel they have no options and forgiveness for those that honestly seek it. Contrary to popular opinion, most of Dey’s flock are no criminals of any kind, but those who honestly help the less fortunate. There is a great deal of overlap in the worship of Hessa and that of Dey.

Dey is most often shown as a woman made of shadows, a white wolf, or, most puzzlingly, a young girl in a simple shift and unkempt hair. Her symbol is a simple grey hand.

God of love, family and peace, Dodregaar is called the Pacifist God, and the Eternal Lover. He is the patron of lovers, large families, pacifists, and agriculture. Marriages are most often performed in his name, even among strident worshippers outside the Vishnari religion. Modern art depicts him as the mourning former lover of lost Sefar.

Dodregaan temples are known as houses and his priests called reverends. There is no martial arm of the Dodregaan religion and very few paladins. His tenets are few and simple; avoid conflict, marry young and have large families, grow large bounties of food to provide for your families.

Dodregaar is often shown as a smiling, or mourning Chrodini with long, brown hair, always holding a glass of wine, or as a dove. His symbol is A pair of joined hands with a silver chain.

Other Religions

Church of the Threefold Moon
Revering a god known as Kayda, the Threefold Moon, also known as the Lord of Shades, the Church has two distinct faces:

First, it publicly exists as an institution that preaches the concept of life as a trial by fire; that the only way to survive is to grow stronger by seeking out conflict. This ideal appeals to a great many of Ere’s population and has gained the church a large following.

In secret though, among the most loyal of the faithful, the church teaches that the Greater Pantheon is a sham and a blight on the face of Ere; that only by their destruction can the world be cleansed. To this end, they encourage the transformation of the truly faithful into Kaydan Demons, highly augmented beings that serve as partial avatars of the Lord of Shades. The demons are the secret, martial arm of the church, hunting down, tormenting and destroying those who serve the Greater Pantheon.

Hailene Pantheon
Feeling they were betrayed by the Vishnari Gods, the Hailene raised up their own hero-gods in their stead. The number of Hailene hero-gods is countless as each family has a personal hero-god (though most only hold them up as symbols of their own great heritage instead of objects of worship.)

A few, however, have gained a larger following than most and deserve special notation.

Sample Hailene Hero-Gods:

Handata of Dellis Cree
With a name literally meaning ‘the nameless one’ in Imperial, Handata is a historical stand in for possibly dozens of male hailene who helped rally defenses in small townships against retribution during Draconic Control. He is revered as a god of defense of the home; be it a literal abode, a town or a family. Icons of Handanta feature a faceless male hailene bearing a heavy shield

Great Selenia
Hailene goddess of Valor, Great Selenia is based on Selenia Earthbound, one of the hailene warriors that helped slay the villainous white dragon Hekukurik who ruled the city that would become Kinos at the end of draconic control.

Small Gods
Not all gods have established church systems or pantheons, but they manage to exist all the same; often with only a small sect of devoted members, or as a minor god of a place or a people who otherwise worship one of the more established religions. The gods presented here are just a sampling; the number of small gods on Ere is almost as numerous as the number of different towns and cultures.

The Mother of Blades
The Mother of Blades was a leader during the last days of Draconic Control. Her expertise with the greatsword earned her the moniker that she is known solely by today. The religion built around her dictates that strength of arms and leadership are the keys to survival and happiness.

Conventional wisdom holds that Sefar, known as the Passionate Night, was destroyed, possibly by Kayda and her portfolio subsumed by him at some point in Ere’s past. But the recent discovery of the Sylvan Naga culture show that she at least still has worshippers among them – and their ranks are growing as knowledge of her teachings grows.

According to the Naga, Sefar taught that the journey toward achieving one’s own dreams was the true purpose to life and the true source of all progress and good in the world. Her temples were complex hanging gardens, now all destroyed or lost to the encroaching jungles.

While the Naga never depict Sefar herself, they so symbolize her with a black and silver dreamcatcher pattern.

The All Consuming Maw
Goblins, kobolds and other small, savage races fear this enigmatic entity that many mistake for the goblinoid depiction of Death. But the Maw is said among the goblins to seek out only those who stop moving and put down permanent roots, ripping their homes asunder and devouring their very souls. They cite this as the reason that they and halflings (few of whom have even heard of the Maw), refuse to join civilization.

There exists those among these creatures, and occasionally in other races that worship the Maw and seek to become an agent of it’s will to the point that they are capable of drawing divine power from it; leading attacks on towns and other marks of civilization, and brutally cannibalizing their victims as sacrament. The symbol of the Maw is a circle of misshapen teeth.

Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition © Wizards of the Coast
World of Ere and related original content © Landon Porter