Religion

There are many gods and religions known to the peoples of the Kazalund Lake, but the worship of Moradin is by far the most dominant one. Those of other faiths are sometimes tolerated, but worship of some gods is forbidden, as the followers of Moradin hold that such beings are actually demons pretending to be deities to deceive mortals.

Moradin

As the dwarven legions spread across the world, they took their gods with them. Technically Moradin is but one god amongst many, the head of a pantheon, but most lay persons would be hard pressed to name more than a handful of Moradin’s many children and grandchildren. These are patron gods, who might be called upon when embarking on a particular endeavor (a warrior might ask for Clanggedin to aid him in battle, a smith might ask Tharmekhul to bless his work etc), but Moradin is superior to them all.

There are two main branches of Moradin-worshp. The Church of Moradin is based in the Dwarf city of Grazundir, the former capital of the Grazund Empire. All members of the Church answer to the High Patriarch of Grazund. The doctrine of the Church has not changed substantially for the last two thousand years. It teaches that Moradin was the first dwarf and that he created the world so that he could give it to his family. This, of course, means that the world rightfully belongs to the dwarfs, justifying their conquest and rulership of the other races. The Iconoclast Church of Moradin is the dominant faith of the dragonborn empire. It teaches that Moradin is not actually a dwarf, but a being who can take any form and sees all ‘good’ sentient beings as his children. Though relations between the two Churches are far from cordial, worshippers from one are generally welcome in the lands of the other (as long as they don’t try to convert anyone).

Both Churches of Moradin encourage followers to respect family (especially your elders), obey the law, respect the privileges of your monarch and to be courageous in battle). Clerics of Moradin can choose from the domains of Knowledge, Life, Light and War.

There are a number of heresies denounced by both Churches, such as the belief that Moradin is not the father of the other gods, but their brother, or that Moradin and the other gods are actually dragons who have become deities. Followers of these cults are hunted down and forced to publicly recant their beliefs. Those that refuse are executed.

Both Churches have a number of knightly and monastic orders. Knights of Moradin are dedicated to defeating the monsters and demonic forces who threaten his worshipers. Monks of Moradin dedicate their lives to his worship, studying his teachings and coming to understand the mysteries of his gifts to his followers.

Gruumsh

The one-eyed god of the orcs, Gruumsh is a god of war, strength and rage. There is no centralised church of Gruumsh, resulting in many different beliefs and forms of worship. Some orcs believe that he is the only god, while others believe that he is but the strongest of many. Some humans and half-orcs in Cesia worship him in secret, hoping that he might help them defeat their enemies and rise in power. The Church of Moradin holds that Gruumsh is not a god at all, but a powerful demon that has deceived the orcs.

Traditional (i.e. orc) followers of Gruumsh believe he cares only about war and the slaying of his enemies. Some human and half-orc cultists of Gruumsh claim that he supports any who are ruthless enough to destroy their enemies by any means necessary, but that their enemies must die by their own hand.

Clerics of Gruumsh can take the domain of War.

Roknar

Roknar’s place in the pantheon of dwarven gods is complicated. Some texts refer to him as one of Moradin’s children or grandchildren, others claim that he is not related to Moradin at all (while still describing him as a dwarven god), while some say that he is a demonic entity or deny his existence entirely. Roknar never appears in the Church’s sermons, for the hierarchy would prefer to forget about him entirely.

The reason for this antipathy towards Roknar is that he is the patron god of lies, theft, greed and general underhanded dealing of all kinds. He appears in many folktales, usually as a cunning trickster who tries to deceive the hero. In some of these stories, Moradin appears at the end to punish Roknar and set everything right, but in other tales Roknar gets away scot-free. In some stories Roknar is the hero, usually tricking an arrogant nobleman or merchant into giving up his wealth or making a fool of himself. While such stories are often popular amongst the peasantry, telling one within earshot of a priest of Moradin is generally not wise – especially those tales in which the target of Roknar’s mischief is Moradin himself.

Despite the Church’s efforts, Roknar is a popular deity in some quarters. Thieves, bandits, murderers and certain merchants worship Roknar above and beyond Moradin. In some of the larger cities actual priests of Roknar can be found, though they remain in hiding.

Clerics of Roknar can take the domain of Trickery.

Obad-hai

While worship of Obad-hai is forbidden by the Church of Moradin, his name is still known to most peasants, who continue to make small sacrifices to him at certain times of the year. Most priests are smart enough to look the other way – those that don’t find that the peasants nod their heads and promise to stop, but keep on sneaking out to the old sacred places anyway. Obad-hai is said to be a wild and fearsome god of the woods, but who can bless your crops and keep wolves from your sheep if you show him the respect he deserves.

Clerics of Obad-hai can take the domain of Nature or Tempest.

Religion

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