“There are powers at work here larger than any man, elf, dwarf, King, Emperor or Thane.”
Deities in Esperia are a bit different from other gaming worlds, primarily because few people are actually granted powers through worship. There are exceptions, naturally, but most common folks simply invoke their names as simple blessings. Temples are uncommon, and Clerical orders even rarer, with the exception of The Pure, who’s presence is commonplace in the Imperium. The most common worship is through shrines, small outdoor temples where common-folk pay homage to their gods, praying for a loved one’s passing, or a good harvest, or a safe journey. For every discovered shrine, there are a dozen more hidden away in the wilds, waiting to be discovered.
The Nine are arguably the most commonly worshiped Deities in Nova Esperia. Most scholars agree The Nine have gone by many names over the ages, and as such are typically referred to by their representation, rather then a single name. The Nine’s shrines can be found everywhere across the continent, most commonly in the Southern lands and the Shield overlands. The Imperials’ more fanatic devotees have made a point to destroy these ‘idols to false faiths’ within their territories, but these shrines are so numerous that such a task may be impossible. Discovered Shrines often have a Keeper, a single individual who watches over the shrine and ensures it’s maintained and respected. Some Keepers do manifest clerical powers, but often they are simple commoners with a sense of duty towards their faith. Of the darker faiths, shines are built from the corpses of enemies, or strange hexes of ancient tongue are scrawled in blood onto stone walls.
Erathis the Builder, Light of Civilization and Keeper of the Laws
A relatively new Religion, Servants of Erathis, gained influence rapidly within the Imperium, primarily because of a large and powerful Clerical Order. Unlike The Nine, Erathis seems to grant powers to all who devote their lives to her cause. The Church has dominated Imperial politics now for over one hundred years and shows no signs of slowing. Massive Cathedrals have been built in the name of the Light of Civilization. Missionaries have begun to leave the borders of the Imperium to preach its new ways. Many have been swayed by the miracles the Erathean Acolytes have been able to perform, from healing wounds to bringing the dead back to life. Others are wary of this new faith, curious of possible hidden agendas. Like most religions, the Church of the Builder is split into several groups, each with their own beliefs as to how to serve their God the best.
Chaotic, Capricious and all together quite dangerous, the Fey are feared by most common-folk. The Fey play horrible jokes on mortals at their best, and steal away children in the night at their worst. According to Myth, the Fey were once proud and kind-hearted, a group of powerful sprites held court, changing places of power with the turn of the season. But then, for a reason unknown to anyone but perhaps the Fey themselves, the Summer Court went mad. During the great Midsummer Feast, a week-long festival open to all Fay and even outsiders, the Fey revealed their madness. Horrible Bacchanal rites escalated to a fever pitch of feasting. Only instead of feasting on fruits and elder wine, the Fey began to feed on Humans, elves, and even each other. By the time the week-long massacre had ended, nearly half of the Elves were wiped out, and of the Gnome and Halfling folk, only a few thousand remained. Those that survived fled the forests, taking refuge in civilization, others took up with the Autumn Court, the only group of Fey seemingly unaffected by the curse. Despite the nature of the Fey, their magic is undeniable, and many Druids, Rangers and Nature worshiping people still call upon the Fey for their magic. Though to do so is a very dangerous gamble indeed. For the Fey love nothing more than to feast on mortal souls untainted by their madness.
In Dwarven culture, there are no deities per say, but instead, the Dwarves worship their Ancestors. It is believed that the Dwarves came from the stone of their home keep, and when they die, provided they are returned to be interred in the keep, they join their spiritual ancestors where they continue to guide and aid their people. Dwarven clerics often select a specific line of ancestors they choose to serve, who will guide them on their path. The Ancestor spirits a Dwarf can choose to serve numbers in the hundreds, from lines of Kings, to great Warriors, to the wise builders and architects. This form of Ancestor worship makes the punishment of exile even more potent for Dwarvenkind, as it means a permanent severing of ties to one’s Ancestors, thereby insuring an afterlife is all but impossible. However, the Exiled (Or Kurgan as they are known in the Dwarf tongue)are almost always offered a method of redemption for all but the most heinous of crimes. Interestingly enough, a select few Kurgan Clerics and Paladins have discovered their powers, while weakened, have not completely disappeared in their exile, perhaps entailing that their Ancestors still watch over them, even in disgrace.