Carnir: After the War
Carda is the god of law, justice, and honour. He and his priests uphold the law, defend the weak, protect the innocent, and heal the sick and injured. Carda is an old deity with a long history of worship stretching to before recorded history. Because of this, scholars of religion postulate that Carda is a primordial force of benevolence and order, possibly as ancient as Shandrenahl and Mideo.
Carda is primarily worshiped in Aradain, the largest nation of the Eastern Continent, but his influence has spread to the Northlands, particularly among the dwarves of the Silver March. After the fall of Zalam, churches to Carda have appeared in many of the larger cities in Carnir.
Carda’s holy symbol is a white castle on a black background, representing a bastion of civilization, hope, and protection in a dark and dangerous world. His domains are Light and War.
Lesser Gods and Saints of Carda
Othol is the saint of contests of strength and skill, of sports of all kinds, and of just and fair combat. She and her priests abhor corruption, deception, and cheating, and are swift to punish those who commit such acts. She is prayed to by athletes and warriors, while her teachings and philosophies on strategy are popular among generals and military historians.
Othol’s holy symbol is a crossed mace and warhammer inside a circle. Her domain is War.
The First is the saint of paladins and was the first saint under Carda. While his followers call themselves crusaders, some see them as zealots. They are a militant arm of Carda’s church and teach the forsaking of possessions, wealth, and even personal identity, severing ties with past and even family to fight selflessly for the greater good.
The First’s symbol is a helmet with a golden halo, representing the holiness of the abandonment of identity. His domains are Light and War.
Liana, the Wounded Saint, is the goddess of healing, self-sacrifice, mercy, and unconditional love. She was a mortal who ascended to godhood through martyrdom and worship and is the inventor of healing magic. Her tenets emphasize forgiveness, compassion, and charity.
Her clerics are generally welcome anywhere and teach humility and generosity, making them popular among common folk. She is worshiped primarily in Palhast, but her teachings have spread to many cultures and resulted in a revolution in medicine and the invention of the hospital. Like Carda, Liana’s worship has become much more popular in Carnir since Zalam’s fall thanks to the aid work her priests perform.
Liana’s holy symbol is a stylized silver wing. Her domain is Life.
Mideo is the god of beasts and nature and is the oldest of all the deities. He holds dominion over the natural world, all plants and animals, the sky, sea, and ground, weather, and other natural phenomena. Mideo has many aspects and his worshipers can be found in all races and all cultures. Small cults might worship certain aspects of Mideo, while some cultures hold animistic beliefs and revere Mideo as the spirit of the world.
Mideo’s priests are shamans and holy men from primitive tribes, or lone druids and sometimes clerics in small communities. Mideo is the favored deity of both the elves and the orcs, who believe that nature is neither good nor evil, but indifferent to the struggles of mortals and their fleeting civilizations. Mideo is prayed to by farmers, travelers, and people with an appreciation for the natural world.
Mideo’s holy symbol is the red moon and his domains are Life, Nature, and Tempest.
Lesser Gods and Aspects of Mideo
Ardeo the Phoenix represents the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. An aspect of Mideo, her worship has become widespread enough to be considered her own deity. She is venerated at sunrise and sunset, during births and deaths, and at funerals.
Ardeo’s philosophy teaches that the temporary, incomplete, and imperfect nature of existence is what makes life beautiful. Everything eventually dies, but from the remains of the dead, new life can be born. Even the stars in the sky burn out, but it is the temporary nature of everything in the world that gives it worth and beauty.
Ardeo’s holy symbol is a fiery bird and her domains are Knowledge, Life, and Light.
Sormr the Stone Serpent is an aspect of Mideo and represents mountains, valleys, and the vast and hidden underground world. He is a god of secrets, stone, metal, gems, and stalwart stability.
Sormr is worshiped mainly by dwarves, but also by people and creatures who live in mountainous or underground regions. His priests serve as stern and sturdy protectors of homes in these areas, as well as teachers and keepers of knowledge.
Sormr’s holy symbol is a mountain with a snowy peak, and a serpent coiled around it. His domains are Knowledge and Nature.
Zaiel the Wanderer is the god of travel, the sky, birds, the open sea, and freedom. He represents wanderlust, luck, exploration, and discovery. Zaiel lacks an organized church, but has shrines scattered all over the world and commonly along major roads and trade routes.
Travelers of all sorts pray to him before long journeys, from primitive tribesmen crossing the mountains to civilized explorers entering the blank corners of the map. His few dedicated priests have an insatiable wanderlust and never stay in one place for long, but all choose one shrine that they call home, returning to it once or twice a year to rest, recuperate, and pray.
Zaiel’s holy symbol is a blue circle with a horizontal black line through it, representing the sea and sky divided by the horizon. His domains are Nature and Trickery.
A host of other nature spirits, minor deities, and lesser aspects of Mideo reside over more specific domains of nature. Some are the embodied spirits of places like mountains, rivers, lakes, or forests, or even smaller locations or objects like a glade, circle of standing stones, or individual trees.
Some spirits represent types of animals, such as Muizze, the guardian beast of the catfolk, and Mr. Crow, a mischievous trickster spirit. Some nature spirits embody natural concepts like disease, the act of hunting, or types of weather. Most other spirits here have either the Nature or Tempest domains.
Shandrenahl the Judge is Mideo’s only equal in Gaiterra’s pantheon. He is the Judge of Souls, responsible for meting out punishment and reward after death as well as the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. He is also the Knower of Secrets, his third eye able to witness any point in time and know the mind of any mortal. He and Mideo are the oldest gods of this world.
His organized priesthood perform funeral services, keep records and libraries, and maintain graveyards and catacombs. His worshipers include any who value knowledge and law. While Shandrenahl’s church has a presence in many cultures, worship of him was outlawed under Zalam. Once the war ended, the various libraries and temples gradually returned to normal operation.
Shandrenahl’s symbol is three overlapping red circles on a blue field. His domains are Knowledge, Life, and Tempest.
Lesser Gods and Aspects of Shandrenahl
Sogol the Scribe is the chronicler of the history of the world, the patron of historians, bards, storytellers, comedians, and others who speak truth and expose secrets to the world. As an aspect of Shandrenahl, he represents the accumulation and spread of knowledge and the revealing of what is kept hidden. His philosophy encourages the spread of literacy and wisdom and frowns upon hoarding secrets that could help others and uplift society.
Sogol’s holy symbol is an open book, and his domain is Knowledge.
Kadas is the god of invention, art, creativity, luck, children, and fools. He represents the ever-changing face of civilization, the chaos and change inherent within civilization’s orderly facade, inevitable progress, and the sweeping away of the old to make way for the new. Kadas despises stagnation and encourages advancement and progress.
He is prayed to by artists and writers and any who undertake creative endeavors, and is a favourite of revolutionaries, innovators, and any who seek to challenge the status quo. Despite being a lesser god under Shandrenahl, he is unpopular with certain entrenched segments of society such as gerontocracies or wealthy ruling classes.
Kadas’s holy symbol is a stylized depiction of a cityscape with three buildings: one being built, one tall and complete, and one crumbling. His domain is Trickery.
Taval the Tyrant Slayer, the Wandering Justice, is a hero-turned-god from ancient times who led a revolution against a tyrannical kingdom and freed its oppressed people to lead themselves. He is the patron of democracy and self-rule, of revolutionaries, rebels, resistance fighters, and anyone who believes a free spirit should overcome restrictive and oppressive rule.
What Taval and his followers despise more than anything else in the world is slavery, and he encourages his worshipers to destroy slaving operations and free their victims no matter where they are found. They are also deeply against censorship, and consider mind-reading and mind control to be sinful, treating it as a form of slavery.
Taval has no organized temples but many small shrines, and his teachings are spread primarily through oral traditions from one disciple to another, and sometimes through visions sent from Taval himself. His priests seldom lead prayers or mass, instead acting as watchers over civilization and organizing rebellion and revolution where they feel it is needed.
Taval’s holy symbol is a downward-pointing sword over a round shield. His domain is War.
Varinga is a god of skill, power, and domination. He promotes self-rule, self-reliance, rational self-interest, and non-conformity, and discourages traditional worship. Rather than praying to Varinga for strength, his philosophies and teachings encourage his followers to pray for guidance to find their own inner strength. He values courage and tenacity above all.
Varinga’s followers range from ambitious mercenaries to brutal conquerors and knowledge-hungry spellcasters and anyone with an individualist streak. While his temples have organized prayer, they encourage inward reflection and contemplation more than traditional prostration and offerings. Reduction of the self is discouraged under his philosophy.
Varinga’s holy symbol is a green and blue orb grasped in the talons of a bird of prey. His domains are Tempest and War.
Asmodeus the Prince of Darkness is the god of tyranny, slavery, and pride. He teaches that the strong rule the weak, that might makes right, that ends always justify means, and that mercy is for the weak. His philosophies are of contracts, deals, negotiations, discipline, and obedience.
Asmodeus spreads his dark influence in the world by promising power and knowledge in exchange for souls, enforced by long, strict contracts that frequently contain hidden clauses and excessive amounts of fine print. He is thought to be the originator of summoning arts, using them to allow his fiends to gain a foothold in the mortal realm.
Asmodeus’s holy symbol is a red downward-pointing five-pointed star. His domains are Tempest and Trickery.
Luteus is a secretive entity who is never openly worshiped. He is the creator of the art of necromancy, and in ancient times he corrupted Liana’s healing arts to bring the curse of undeath into the world. For this, his name is cursed by Liana’s followers and his worship is forbidden and illegal in most of civilized society. Like Asmodeus, Luteus promises power and knowledge in exchange for souls.
Luteus’s holy symbol is a black skull with glowing red eyes. His domains are Death and Knowledge.
Lesser Gods and Aspects of Luteus
Hust is a creation of Luteus, a divine experiment gone horribly wrong. Hust is a mindless idiot-god, barely held in check by Luteus’s greater divine might. It represents violence, death, and fury in its purest form, desiring nothing but destruction. Hust is sometimes worshiped by berserkers, barbaric warlords, and primitive death shamans. Mindless undead are thought to have some infernal spark of Hust’s power within them, which drives them to attack the living.
Hust lacks a holy symbol of his own, instead using Luteus’s black skull with glowing red eyes. His domains are Death and War.
Ashom the Endbringer is an entity that represents entropy and destruction. Thought to be either mindless or so alien as to have an agenda utterly incomprehensible to mortals, Ashom’s worshipers tend to be doomsayers and apocalypse-obsessed madmen. It is thought to be from the Far Realm, a chaotic and strange plane outside of normal space and time and apart from the Great Beyond.
Ashom’s holy symbol appears to be a complex jumble of lines and vaguely sinister runes. Its domains are Death, Knowledge, and Trickery.
The Saint Church
The Saint Church’s history stretches back to the Bronze Age, during a period when a pantheon of gods representing various concepts called the Pahara (named for the great mountain lived on) ruled the continent. After a thousand years of rule, a prophet named Qadis appeared and overthrew the corrupt churches of the old gods, converting people to worship of a single creator god named Silpi. After his death, Qadis was venerated as the avatar (Naj) of Silpi on Gaiterra.
The Saint Church teaches philosophies of obedience, respect, and unity with god. Any act of creation including crafting, teaching, music, art, invention, and having children is seen as sacred. Needless and wanton destruction are an affront to god, and the death of another is only acceptable if lives are preserved in the process.
The Saint Church’s domains are Knowledge and Life.
Jambar represents the sun and is separate from traditions that worship Ardeo. The Jambar Church teaches steadfastness, reliability, and truthfulness and interprets the sun as an All-Father creator god, the source of life and light who expels darkness and reveals what is hidden. The moon represents the All-Mother and consort to the All-Father, reflecting His glorious light even in the deepest night. The solar eclipse, when the Sun and Moon overlap and become one, is celebrated as a time of unity between lovers while the lunar eclipse is a celebration of feminine beauty.
The Jambar Church’s holy symbol is a yellow circle with rays. Its domain is Light.
The Church of the Hero King is both the religion and government of the nation of Hasham. A thousand years ago, a corrupt and decadent dynasty that had ruled for a century was overthrown by a great hero and his six companions. He seized the throne for himself and established his companions as advisors over different aspects of Hasham’s society. Over time he came to be known as Nayaka Raja, the Hero King, and seven clans were founded by the descendants of the hero and his companions.
The Nayaka (Hero) Clan rules over all the other clans. The Chatra (Scholar) Clan are keepers of knowledge and history, while the Darabari (Courtier) Clan handles law and bureaucracy. The Daya (Mercy) Clan manage hospitals and humanitarian concerns, the Bhumi (Land) Clan are stewards of the land and grow food, while the Diptimana (Radiant) Clan are spiritual leaders and philosophers, and the Andhi (Storm) Clan are practitioners of magic.
A cleric’s domain depends on which of the Hero King’s companions he or she is descended from: The Nayaka (Hero) Clan represents War; the Chatra (Scholar) Clan represents Knowledge; the Darabari (Courtier) Clan represents Trickery; the Daya (Mercy) Clan represents Life; the Bhumi (Land) Clan represents Nature; the Diptimana (Radiant) Clan represents Light; and the Andhi (Storm) Clan represents Tempest.
Many cultures, especially in Carnir, have systems of ancestor worship where prominent members of families from the past and founders of powerful clans are prayed to and emulated instead of gods. These cultures tend to keep extensive genealogical records that allow any of its citizens to trace their lineage back to any number of historical figures or heroes, which they pray to for guidance or strength.
The domain of a cleric depends on the ancestor’s deeds and character. An ancestor known as a powerful magic-user might grant the Arcana, Knowledge, or Tempest domain, while a general or renowned warrior might grant the War domain, while a particularly charitable ancestor might grant the Life domain. Non-clerics might imitate an ancestor more directly by taking up the occupation and way of life they were known for.