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 (to be listed in a later post). 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 and paladins must choose a specific divine patron, while other characters are not required to. 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 fourteen Celestial Lords and their respective spheres of influence are:

Brid (Rhiannon), The Herald of Heaven; Celestial Mistress of Diplomacy, Commerce, Halflings, and Travel
Caire (Nari), The Bard of Heaven; Celestial Lord of Fire, Changelings, Love, and Poetry
Eiur (Danu), Celestial Mistress of Life, Light, Motherhood, and Fertility
Forseti (Rudianos), The Questing Lord; Celestial Lord of Justice and Vengeance
Füllar (Llugus), Celestial Lord of Fate, Gnomes, Prophecy, and the Wheel
Heim (Nuada), The Defending Lord; The Guardian of the Gates; Celestial Lord of the Silver Hands and Eyes; Celestial Lord of Guardians
Hler (Llyr), Celestial Lord of the Seas and Waters
Syfa (Andate), Celestial Mistress of Nature, Forests, and the Hunt
Thunor (Taranis), Celestial Lord of Thunder, Storms, and Strength
Tiwas (Toutatis), Celestial Lord of Law and Judges
Vali (Macha), Celestial Mistress of War and the Moon
Woda (Oman), The All-Father; Celestial Lord of Knowledge and Magic
Wünd (Wreyland), Celestial Lord of Smiths, Craftsmen, and Dwarves
Yng (Freyr), Celestial Lord of Sunshine, the Sky, and Alvar

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 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 Realm. 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. Brid 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, and install 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 costly even with Füllar's aid, costing Tiwas his right hand, 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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