Religion

Haelyn

Haelyn is the god of noble war, rulership, justice, chivalry and the feudal order. He is known to the Khinasi as Halaïa and the Rjurik as Holn. He is considered the patron of the Anuiran people, and consequently his churches are the most powerful in Cerilia, having spread to all human lands. Prior to his ascension he was High Paladin of Anduiras, the old god of war, and commander of the allied forces at Deismaar. He is married to Neserie and is the father of Cuiraecen, and is traditionally portrayed as being on good terms with most of the gods, apart from Kreisha, Belnik and Eloele.

A huge number of people live by the dictates of a holy book apparently written by Haelyn, the Book of Laws.

Dogma

See justice done, with both compassion and zeal. It is the duty of the strong to protect the weak and uphold the sacred feudal social order. Make war when justice demands it, but never for an unjust reason. Study warfare and serve in the armies that oppose evil and injustice. To rule or judge is not a privilege, it is a most holy responsibility and the heaviest of burdens, for your acts touch the lives of your subjects. Should lordship fall to you, work diligently to see that you rule fairly and justly. Stand by your oaths to your liege, your subjects, and your neighbors; the word of a ruler is the coin by which nation’s earn peace.

Major Denominations

Anuiran

The Orthodox Imperial Temple is the conservative branch of Haelyn’s faith that most strongly echoes the old Imperial temple. Based in Diemed and popular throughout southern Anuire, they have the cache of holding what is widely recognised as the original Book of Laws. They are rigidly reactionary and reject any attempt to re-examine Haelyn’s dogma as debasement, holding their own official interpretation as the only valid one. This interpretation is known as the Orthodox Principles, and holds that law, ritual and strict rulership are necessary to suppress the bestial urges of man and that order can only be preserved if everyone accepts Haelyn’s (and consequently the temple’s) rule: according to the principles a peasant who tries to rise above his station is no better than a noble who shames himself with illegitimate conduct.

The Western Imperial Temple is one of the largest and newest branches of Haelyn’s faith. Unsurprisingly, it is most popular in western Anuire. The spiritual Western Temple holds that understanding of the meaning of the Book of Laws are more important than understanding of its finer details. What matters is a desire to do right, dependance on scholar-priests, ritual, debate and obedience alienates the common man from the Law.

The Northern Imperial Temple is another large denomination, based in Talinie, with the office of Arch-Prelate being held by the king of that nation. Based on the Principles of Fitzalan, an early priest of Haelyn, the Nothern Temple holds emulating the virtues of Haelyn as the highest good, that justice should be tempered with mercy and that blind obedience of the Law is not desirable. It also promoted the idea of rigorous personal discipline and putting the needs of society ahead of your own: the social order is desirable not because it is inherently right that one man should be a peasant and another a king, but because advancing your station at the expense of society as a whole is unethical. The NIT’s closest adherents, believing strongly in their own righteousness and moral superiority, have sometimes become uncompromising fanatics.

Haelyn’s Bastion of Truth is a temple in the far north of Anuire that is organizationally separate from, but dogmatically similar to The Northern Imperial Temple.

The Impregnable Heart of Haelyn is another southern temple. It has not rejected the Orthodox Principles, but split with the Orthodox temple all the same because it felt that that other temple was not presenting a clear message to the people. The Impregnable Heart spreads a message of courage, honour and justice.

Haelyn’s Aegis is another orthodox temple, which draws most of its teaching right from the Orthodox Imperial Temple. It differs in its martial focus, Haelyn’s Aegis is dedicated to defending Anuire from the Awnsheghlien. It is also noted for its tolerance of different faiths, members of the Aegis believe that even though their beliefs may differ, they can be valuable allies all the same.

Khinasi

The Shield of Halaia is the main Khinasi temple of Haelyn. They don’t aknowledge his primacy or his role as a lawmaker, seeing him as protector of the laws that Avani has set out. While he may still be the leader of the gods in their eyes, he is a leader who defers to the wise advice of his vizier Avani in times of peace.

There are numerous other smaller, independent temples all across Cerilia.

Erik

Erik is the god of nature. He is known as Aeric in Anuire and Iraikhan and Vosgaard. He is the patron of the Rjurik people and his worship is concentrated in the Rjurik Highlands, though it is also somewhat prevalent in Vosgaard, Brechtur and Anuire. Prior to his ascension he was the chief druid of Reynir, the old god of nature. He is married to Avani and father to Laerme. He is traditionally portrayed as being on reasonable terms with (or at least indifferent to) most of the gods, except for Rournil who he considers an ally, and Belnik, who he considers an enemy.

Dogma

Protect the wilderness so that it can provide for Erik’s people always. Take only that which you need, and use all that you take. For every tree felled, plant two seedlings for the future. Greed for the wealth of others brings no honor. Live in reverent affinity with the elements of nature.

Major Denominations

The Oaken Grove of Erik is the foremost temple of Erik, and one of the most powerful religious groups in Cerilia. It is mostly based in the more settled Rjurik nations, though its headquarters are in the northern Anuiran nation of Dhoesone. It is rather progressive, holding that change is natural and even desirable, and that the evolution of the Rjurik people from nomadic to settled should not be rejected out of hands, but rather examined on its own merits. So long as the people remain reverent of nature and respect the land, the Oaken Grove is content.

The Emerald Spiral is a more conservative branch of Erik’s faith. Though it coexists peacefully with the Oaken Grove, its druids privately look down on their more progressive neighbours. They hold that civilization in inherently undesirible and that man should, preferably, live nomadically, taking only what he needs from nature. In so far as possible the Emerald Spiral works to counteract what they see as a further descent into corruption.

There are numerous smaller, independent temples throughout Cerilia.

Sera

Sera is the goddess of wealth and luck. She is known as Sarimie in Anuire, Sarma in Khinasi and Sirova in Vosgaard. She is considered the patron of the Brecht people, though they do not feel she watches over them as such, more that she ensures that by overcoming great challenges they will earn their just rewards. Prior to her ascension she was the High Priestess of Brenna and spiritual leader of Brechtur. She is married to Rournil and has a daughter, Eloele. She is traditionally portrayed as being mildly dismissive of most of the other gods, though she is believed to be an ally of Neserie and an opponent of the warlike Haelyn, Cuiraecen and Belnik.

Dogma

Sera is mistress of the true bargain. She knows that diligent effort and careful planning make the best luck, not divine intervention. Those who wait for fortune to fall into their lap earn their misfortune. Wealth comes from industry, not from chance. Wealth is the key to all doors; without wealth, one is not free to engage in leisure activities, to pursue artistic endeavors, or to wield true political power. Use what wealth you have earned to buy happiness for yourself and to guarantee your future happiness. Do not squander your profits in an attempt to bring happiness to others; true happiness must be purchased with diligent labor – freely given it has no value and is soon squandered.

Major Denominations

Brechtur

Sera’s worship in Brechtur is, surprisingly, not all that organized. A few smaller, unified churches exist (as detailed below) but most are independent.

Fortune’s Forethought is one of these unified temples, it is mostly confined to the east of Brechtur, particularly Berhagen, though it exists throughout all of Sera’s worship in isolated pockets. The temple holds that Sera and her husband Rournil represent civilization and nature respectively, and see a cycle of creation and destruction that permeates human society. They don’t believe in taking more than they need from nature, so as to not bring the world out of balance. This temple tends to get along well with those of Rournil and Erik.

Sera’s Perfect Symmetry is a small temple that has made no real attempts to expand its holdings. Its dogma is centred around self-reliance, and it is a frequent patron of adventurers.

Anuire

The Celestial Jewel of Sarimie is the largest denomination of Sera’s worship in Cerilia. Based in Alamie, it is popular everywhere, though most so in towns and cities for obvious reasons. It is a relatively traditional temple in terms of doctrine, but thanks to a past where it faced heavy persecution at the hands of Haelynites, the temple has become used to indulging in theft and blackmail to ensure its survival.

The Northern Reformed Church of Sarimie was formed in a schism with the Celestial Jewel, though cynical observers point out that there is very little difference in dogma between the two and if anything the NRC seems to just be an attempt to rebrand the faith in the north, where it is traditionally unpopular. It is rapidly expanding into the north, the guilders looking to exploit these lands are glad to have divine authority for their undertakings. The temple, like its southern cousin, preaches innovation and daring and that wealth should be flaunted to show others the rewards of Sarimie’s teachings. They have also shown themselves willing to use underhanded tactics, including assassination and potentially inciting war to solify their spiritual hold on the region.

Khinasi

The Nuridan Temple of Sarma is a popular faith among the Khinasi, especially in the coastal cities where trade is supreme. It is fairly similar to Sera’s faith everywhere, though the honour of the Khinasi makes it perhaps a touch less cuthroat than those other temples can be.

Avani

Khinasi

The Ariyan Temple of Avani is a fairly major temple to Avani that preaches her role as goddess of reason above all else. The temple’s doctrine holds that by submitting to truth and justice peace and prosperity can be attained. It is popular in Khinasi, particularly among scholars.

The Fiery Dawn of Avani adheres to these same Ariyan principles, but believes that the reason and civilization that Avani has gifted to mankind much be actively protected from the forces of barbarism and ignorance. It is a powerful militant order that stretches across Khinasi and into southern Vosgaard.

Religion

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