Sunday, February 17, 2013

Campaign Design - Religion in the Three Worlds: The Lords of Heaven

The divinities venerated by the inhabitants of the Three Worlds are roughly divided into two camps: the Lords of Heaven, also called the Celestial Lords, (listed here), and the Lords of Hell also called the Demon Lords. The Lords of Heaven are available as divine patrons for the players in the campaign to choose (while the Lords of Hell, for the most part, are not). Clerics, favored souls, and paladins must choose a specific divine patron, while other characters are not required to. Although most druids honor the y'Grym, a substantial number honor one of the Lords of Heaven, specifically Eiur, Syfa, or Vali. In the campaign, most people don't regard as particular Celestial Lord as especially more important than the others, calling upon their favor when they need some sort of benefice that is within that particular Celestial's sphere of interest.

Each Celestial Lord is listed with two names, one in Aralaic and one in Sorglish, as they are known by different names among speakers of those two languages. The detailed descriptions of each individual Celestial, which can be reached by clicking on their names, includes game information for clerics and paladins devoted to their service. The nineteen Celestial Lords and Mistresses and their respective spheres of influence are:

Aíne (Rhiannon), The Herald of Heaven; Celestial Mistress of Diplomacy, Commerce, and Halflings
Brid (Freya), The Lady of Stars; Dancer in the Twilight; Celestial Mistress of Love, Beauty, and Dance
Caire (Nari), The Bard of Heaven; The Opener of Ways; Celestial Lord of Poetry, Song, and Travel
Eiur (Danu), The Mother in Mourning; The Light in Darkness; Celestial Mistress of Family, Light, Motherhood, and Fertility
Forseti (Neit), The Questing Lord; The Fist of Heaven; Celestial Lord of Justice and Victory
Füllar (Llugus), The Oracle of the Heavens; Celestial Lord of Fate, Gnomes, Prophecy, and the Wheel
Heim (Nuada), The Defending Lord; Guardian of the Gates; Celestial Lord of the Silver Hands and Eyes; The Stalwart Counselor; Celestial Lord of Guardians
Hler (Llyr), Lord of the Waves; The Unrelenting Lord; Celestial Lord of the Seas and Waters
Hlín (Damara), Keeper of the Sacred Flame; The Defender of Refuges; Celestial Mistress of Hope, Home, and the Hearth
Hoenir (Viswa-Nîn), The Machine Who Makes; The Iron Lord; Celestial Lord of Constructs, Engineers, and Ironborn
Lódur (Fionn), The Many-Faced Lord; The Spy of Heaven; Celestial Lord of Changelings, Shapechangers, Luck, and Gamblers
Rúadan (Donn), The Dead Lord; The Scourge of the Risen Dead; The Watcher of Graves; Celestial Lord of the Peaceful Dead
Syfa (Andate), The Lady of Swiftness; The Autumn Queen; Celestial Mistress of Nature, Forests, and Beasts
Thunor (Taranis), The Thunderer; The Fury of the Storm; Celestial Lord of Thunder, Storms, and Strength
Tiwas (Toutatis), The Binder of Oaths; The Golden Arm of Justice; Celestial Lord of Law and Judges
Vali (Macha), The Raven of Battle; The Savage Huntress; The Tracker in the Wilds; Celestial Mistress of War and the Moon
Woda (Oman), The All-Father; The Blind Lord; The Runecaster; Celestial Lord of Magic and Knowledge
Wünd (Wreylund), Lord of the Forge; The Dwarf Lord; The Divine Crafter; Celestial Lord of Smiths, Craftsmen, and Dwarves
Yng (Freyr), The Lord of the Golden Disc; The Lord of Many Colors; The Summer Lord The Great Master of Winds; Celestial Lord of Sunshine, the Sky, Archery, and Creatures in Flight

While no Celestial is generally regarded "more important" than another, some are more popular than others. The most popular is Eiur, because of her emphasis on healing, motherhood, family, and growing things, making her well-loved among most people who desire a happy, healthy life. Her faith is affiliated with those of her three living sons Forseti, Heim, and Tiwas, and most of her temples also house shrines to their worship. Their emphasis on protection, justice, and the law makes them popular Celestials as well, and the temples of the mother and her three sons are common throughout the Three Worlds. Woda, despite being Eiur's spouse and ostensibly being the ruler of the Lords of Heaven, is far less popular, because his particular sphere of influence - history, learning, and arcane knowledge - is of far less concern to most people. On the other hand, Woda is quite popular among wizards and sages, and centers of learning are often dedicated as holy places devoted to him. Aíne is also quite popular, because of her dominion over trade and commerce, and most market squares include a small shrine consecrated to her. Thunor is more popular among warriors than the mercurial and unpredictable Vali, but most people look to Thunor's spouse Syfa to calm his rages. Celestials devoted to a particular demi-human race are understandably popular among the members of those races. And so on.

The central event of the mythology of the Three Worlds is the War in Heaven. Originally sparked by the birth of Füllar resulting from Kivutar's deception and resulting seduction of Woda, the conflict climaxed when the Lords of Hell led the Infernal Host in an effort to storm the very Gates of Heaven and depose the Celestial Lords, with the ultimate goal of installing themselves in their place. The War in Heaven was long and brutal, with the back and forth conflict establishing many of the bitter enmities between the various Celestial and Demon Lords. Eventually, Füllar sided with the Lords of Heaven and his insight allowed the Lords of Heaven to prevail over their foes. All of the Demon Lords were cast out of Heaven and imprisoned in Hell.

The War in Heaven was arduous and expensive even with Füllar's aid, costing Tiwas his right arm, Heim his hands and eyes, and their brother Rúadan his life. After the War was concluded, Füllar prophesied that there would be a second great war between the forces of Heaven and Hell at the ending of the world, along with many predictions of what would happen in that final battle.

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