Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Gods and Religion in Averlorn and Thebos

The world of Averlorn turns to Greek, Egyptian, and Norse Mythology for inspiration. True to those sources, the Gods are a scheming, active bunch here as you will no doubt notice at some point.  In Averlorn, as in ancient mythology, bold warriors are chosen by the Gods in their eternal game of heroes and villains.

Open hostilities between faiths are uncommon except along lines of Good vs Evil. On the whole, most of the folk in Averlorn are quite polytheistic, though they might poke fun at the strange views of those who differ from them. The Gods here are far too active to directly insult the faithful or their rituals.

In Thebos where the prevailing human culture is Ardrois (similar to both Greek and Roman), the Greek Gods are most common.  Few if any temples to the other Gods can be found with the exception of the demi-human deities which are somewhat less popular even among their own racial groups.  Elves being the exception in that they tend to cling to Corellon and other racial deities.  The Egyptian Gods hold sway in the Archipelago which lies far to the East.

The Egyptian gods are sometimes worshipped by the remaining populations of Lizard Men or Serpent Men as well, especially the Serpent God Set.  In the distant past, the Serpent Men Empire in Leutra stretched over much of the known world. Their greatest cities were swallowed up by the vastness of the Scourge long ago and their once great temples of Bahamut and Tiamat have long since fallen into ruin.  The remaining Serpent Men of old have also been known to worship the Elder Gods as well practicing their unspeakable rites often involving human sacrifice in return for the powerful knowledge of the dark and vile sorcery granted to them by the Old Ones.

The religion of the Thugee is based upon the Norse pantheon of old with Odin being the primary deity.  The Thugee hold a deep resentment for elves of all sorts and their hatred for giants is unrelenting. Both of these beliefs seem to stem from deeply held religious principles.

The Elder Gods, also known as the Old Ones, were once revered more widely throughout the lands but long ago, they warred with the Titans who defeated them and stamped out their open worship scattering their priests, shrines and worshippers to the four winds.  The Titans were in turn put down by Zeus and the rest of his pantheon in another great war that changed the face of Averlorn and created the Scourge and the other land masses that remain today.

Zeus also put down those of the Elder gods that survived the wars with the Titans although some of the remaining Titans and Elder Gods are still worshiped to this day.  There still remain some priests and worshippers of these dark gods who practice unspeakable rites and rituals in secret enacted in their hidden shrines.  These dark and mysterious cults and other pagan religions can be found in some urban areas, and their followers may worship more openly in distant and more remote rural communities that still follow the old pagan ways.

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