Posts Tagged ‘religion’


I sit down with Jeff Greiner, Sam Dillon, Tracy Hurley, and Liz Theis to discuss Gen Con‘s reaction to the Indiana religious freedom law and the delay of fifth edition Dungeons and Dragons conversion guides. After that I interview Eberron campaign setting and Gloom card game creator Keith Baker to discuss the Kickstarter for his new card based RPG Phoenix: Dawn Command. This podcast was recorded on April 7 and 8, 2015.

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You may have already read about the dwarven gods of Exploration Age and their religion, Hierotheism. Well each of the seven dwarf gods wields a unique weapon. Today I’d like to show you an excerpt from the Exploration Age Campaign Guide about those weapons… well not the weapons of the dwarven gods, but rather their copies which exist on Canus.

That’s right, the Exploration Age magic item preview continues today with a look at these artifacts. After covering wondrous items, weapons, armor, rings, rods, staffs, wands, and bioarcane items, this was clearly the next thing to show off. Once all of these magic items have been shown revealed and reviewed by the public (that’s you!), I’ll add them to the Free Game Resources section of the site.

Say hello to the weapons of the dwarven gods and enjoy the excerpt below!

Tools of Order

Weapons (varies), artifacts (requires attunement)

Hierotheist priestesses preach that the goddesses of the caste created copies of their weapons for seven mighty warriors to rise up against the chromatic dragons. These weapons, the Tools of Order, had the laws of the caste system eventually used in Bragonay engraved into them. The seven dwarf warriors were the leaders of their stations and enforced the divine will of their goddesses. While the weapons were lost in the war with the dragons, their laws remain in place today. Many dwarfs spend centuries hunting for any clue of the Tools of Order.

Some outside the Heirotheist religion claim these weapons are not divine at all but rather made by powerful shardmind mages. In fact these naysayers claim that the dwarves refused to rise up with the shardminds against the chromatic dragons so the crystalline beings created the Tools of Order to appeal to the dwarves’ piety. They say it is the shardminds themselves who hid these weapons so the dwarves would never know of their deception. These sacrilegious claims have only made seekers of the Tools of Order all the more desperate to find the weapons of their gods.

Each of the Tools of Order is a magic weapon which grants a +3 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with it. When you score a critical hit with one of these weapons roll the attack’s damage dice three times and add it together with any relevant modifiers. Each of the Tools of Order also functions as a ring of evasion, defender, and dragonslayer.

If a non-lawful or non-dwarf creature attempts to attune one of the weapons, it must make a DC 15 Charisma saving throw. On a failed save this creature takes 8d6 psychic damage taking only have damage on a successful one. The creature must repeat this saving throw anytime it attacks with the weapon.

Random Properties. Each of the Tools of Order has the following random properties:

  • 2 minor beneficial properties
  • 1 major beneficial property
  • 1 minor detrimental property

Dominate Person. While holding one of these weapons you can cast dominate person (save DC 18). Once you have cast the spell you cannot cast it again until next dawn.

Strength of the Caste. If 2 or more of the Tools of Order are within 100 feet of one another, each wielder gains an additional +1 bonus to damage and initiative rolls for every other weapon within range.

Destroying the Tools. The only way to destroy the Tools of Order is by freezing them in the coldest part of the Nine Hells and then breaking them against the hardest stone in the Plane of Earth.

Order-Keeper

This greatsword is forged of adamantine and has diamonds shaped into Dwarish runes along the center of the blade. Its engraved hilt of gold depicts a mighty army of dwarves working together to slay an ancient red dragon. It is made in the likeness of the weapon wielded by Caramey, the Heirotheist goddess of the empress caste.

Increased Strength. While wielding this weapon your Strength score increases by 2, to a maximum of 24.

Resist Fire. While wielding this weapon you resist fire damage.

Head-Remover

This sickle’s blade is made of pure emerald. Its ebony wood shaft is marked with silver Dwarish runes on one side and plated with gold depiction of an army of dwarves removing the head of an ancient blue dragon on the other. It is made in the likeness of the weapon wielded by Meralla, the Heirotheist goddess of the warlord caste.

Increased Constitution. While wielding this weapon your Constitution score increases by 2, to a maximum of 24.

Resist Lightning. While wielding this weapon you resist lightning damage.

Secrets Released

This dagger is made entirely of obsidian and embedded with small sapphire Dwarish runes on the blade. Its gold-plated hilt depicts a noble family of dwarves executing a bound ancient green dragon. It is made in the likeness of the weapon wielded by Zelti, the Heirotheist goddess of the noble caste.

Increased Charisma. While wielding this weapon your Charisma score increases by 2, to a maximum of 24.

Resist Poison. While wielding this weapon you resist poison damage. If you are a dwarf, you are immune to poison damage while wielding this weapon.

Judgement

This adamantine battleaxe is adorned with ruby Dwarish runes. Its gold haft depicts a lone dwarf hero standing victorious over the bodies of several dead green dragons. It is made in the likeness of the weapon wielded by Swarvune, the Heirotheist goddess of the warrior caste.

Increased Strength. While wielding this weapon your Strength score increases by 2, to a maximum of 24.

Resist Poison. While wielding this weapon you resist poison damage. If you are a dwarf, you are immune to poison damage while wielding this weapon.

Dragonsbane

This oversized maul is adorned with Dwarish runes of pearl along its marble head. Its gold haft depicts a hail of arrows taking down an ancient black dragon in flight. It is made in the likeness of the weapon wielded by Shalleal, the Heirotheist goddess of the artisan caste.

Increased Intelligence. While wielding this weapon your Intelligence score increases by 2, to a maximum of 24.

Resist Acid. While wielding this weapon you resist acid damage.

Servitor

This war pick’s head is made of pure ruby carved with Dwarish runes. Its gold haft depicts a group of villagers defeating an ancient white dragon in combat. It is made in the likeness of the weapon wielded by Berga, the Heirotheist goddess of the peasant caste.

Increased Wisdom. While wielding this weapon your Wisdom score increases by 2, to a maximum of 24.

Resist Cold. While wielding this weapon you resist cold damage.

Worthy Example

This simple club is carved of oak and inlaid with diamond Dwarish runes around its head. An image of a dwarf slave bowing to another is carved into its wood. It is made in the likeness of the weapon wielded by Almahad, the Heirotheist god of the slave caste.

Increased Wisdom. While wielding this weapon your Wisdom score increases by 2, to a maximum of 24.

Resist Fire. While wielding this weapon you resist fire damage.

Feedback Please!

Your feedback has been so helpful in designing these magic items. Please continue to leave comments and let me know what you think!

If you like what you’re reading, please check out my podcasts on The Tome Show, follow me on Twitter, tell your friends and share this blog post, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

If you can’t see something how do you know it is real? I think this is a question often asked of scientists and clergy alike. This question is also a central point of today’s post. In Exploration Age no creatures interact directly with the gods. They do not walk amongst the mortals and there is more than one religion. Each religion conflicts with the others, for each has its own myths about the creation of the world, life, and the afterlife. They cannot all be correct. The world has atheists and agnostics who question the existence of gods all together.

Now I know some of you are already saying, “How could there be atheists in a world where clerics and paladins are granted divine magic from gods?” Well first I might say you can read the Dungeon Master’s Guide to get some pretty good answers to that question. If those answers don’t please you, take a look at the excerpt from the Exploration Age Campaign Guide below to get an overview of divine magic and religions in the world.

These gods are a little different than what you know… but also not!

Absent Gods

On Canus the gods do not walk the earth. They have not been found in any of the accessible planes of existence. They do not communicate directly with their clerics or worshippers. Different religions have myths about their gods and the world contrary to the stories of others. This leads some to question if there are actually any gods at all.

Many religious folk in the land point to the magic of clerics and paladins as proof of their gods’ existence. Naysayers point to non-religious magic users like rangers, druids, and bards. These doubters claim the magic of the clergy comes from the same place as the magic of other classes and that no gods are involved at all. There is no concrete proof this magic comes from the gods, but those with faith cast out the word of atheists.

Religions of Canus

Below is an overview of the most common religions in Canus. Other religions exist. Many evil cults worship mighty fiends, monsters may revere an original creator God or mighty bloodline, and others may dedicate themselves to the spirits of family ancestors or the essence of an ideal like good or law. GMs should feel free to create their own religions or borrow from other settings as they choose and bring them into the world by adding them to the cannon of religions or replacing one or more of the ones below.

Destianity

Destianity is the monotheistic religion practiced by many of Marrial’s dragonborn, though the democratic nation has no official religion. Destianity preaches one God, The Sky Dragon, has preordained the path of every living thing in the multiverse after He created the worlds. Destians are taugh not to fear loss or death for none can escape preordained fate. They are more likely to take risks because they believe the outcome is already determined and meant to be. You can read more about Destianity in the Findalay chapter of this book in the Marrial section.

Elementalism

The tribes of Verda revere the four gods of Elementalism. Each god has a corresponding element and is more a spirit and force of nature than a divine being with wills and decrees. The Elementalist gods always have been and always will be. They favor neither good nor evil, law nor chaos. The tribes believe these gods simply live in the moment and must remain pleased or the tribes will suffer their wrath. You can read more about Elementalism in the Verda chapter of this book in the Tribes section.

Hierotheism

The Bragonay dwarves and loyal warforged slaves observe their official polytheistic religion, Hierotheism. Goddesses in this religion are organized in a matriarchal caste which reflects Bragonian society. Each caste is assigned a goddess and must worship this goddess as patron. Bragonian citizens may not pray to a goddess above their station and those who do risk death. You can read more about Hierotheism in the Findalay chapter of this book in the Bragonay section.

Immortalism

Immortalism is the polytheistic religion practiced mostly by Aeranore’s humans and elves. It is the country’s official religion, but other practices are allowed. Immortalists believe humans and gnomes descended from an original race of undying Immortals who were created by gods who represent the Sun, the Moon, the sea, land masses, and death. You can read more about Immortalism in the Findalay chapter of this book in the Aeranore section.

Imperatism

The citizens of Parian must believe that their emperor, Quan Denang, is the only one true God in the multiverse or they are put to death. Quan’s divinity is part of the millennia-old Denang bloodline passed on from parent to child. It is believed that only reason the Quan and His ancestors age is because it takes all their godly might to keep the multiverse alive. As the burden becomes too much for God, the multiverse claims His life and the emperor passes his station and his divinity to another of his bloodline. You can read more about Imperatism in the Parian chapter of this book.

Solarism

Elves and halflings of Taliana and drow, duergar, and svirfneblin of Quatus observe the rites and rituals of the dualistic religion of Solarism. While this is the official religion of both countries, citizens may take up other religious practices. The religion centers around sister goddesses. Meliko represents the sun and the light while Fana represents the moon and the dark. While the surface dwellers observe the same goddesses they interpret their holy texts differently than their Underdark dwelling kin. The differences in these religious interpretations is responsible for thousands of years of bloodshed between the two camps of Solarism. You can read more about Solarism in the Findalay chapter of this book in the Taliana section.

Veratism

The Arcane College is currently running an experiment to see if they can make a god spring into being by first giving Him worshippers. Thus they have created Berrator, God of All Magic and Creation and have encouraged some students and staff to preach that Berrator will grant magic gifts to all once he springs into being. As a result the monotheistic religion has caught on in a few places. You can read more about Veratism in the International Organizations and Power Players chapter of this book in The Arcane College section.

Zaxism

Deva follow the monotheistic religion of Zaxism. They believe that when one benevolent God, Zaxa, created the multiverse the effort tore his soul into pieces. Those pieces became the deva and the rakshasa. It is believed that Zaxa can only be made whole once all rakshasa have been converted through rebirth into deva or vice versa from the rakshasa point of view. You can read more about Zaxism in the Races chapter of this book in the Deva section.

Chart of the Religions of Exploration Age

Religion Gods Alignment Suggested Domains Symbol
Destianity
The Sky Dragon N All Side profile of a faceless rainbow-colored dragon
Elementalism Gem made of four colors
Aval (Fire) N Light, War Stern face in a inferno or a ruby
Halcut (Air) N Tempest, Trickery Laughing face in a wind storm or a diamond
Nerot (Earth) N Death, Nature Contemplative face in a rock or an emerald
Weva (Water) N Knowledge, Life Smiling face in a lake or a sapphire
Hierotheism A seven-runged multicolor ladder
Caramey (Empress) LN All A greatsword
Meralla (Warlords) LN Death, War A scythe
Zelti (Nobles) LN Knowledge, Trickery A dirk and a bag of coins
Swarvune (Soldiers) LN War, Tempest A battleaxe and a shield
Shalleal (Artisans) LN Knowledge, Life A maul
Berga (Peasants) LN Life, Nature A war pick
Almahad (Slave) LN Light, Nature A club
Immortalism Three progressively smaller orbs in a line
Alphon NG Knowledge, Life Globe of water
Baydon CN Tempest, War Erupting volcano
Cardon CN Nature, Trickery Sheaf of wheat
Delistar N Death Black skull in a blue bubble
The Moon CG Light Purple full moon
The Sun LG Light Red sun
Imperatism
Quan Denang LE All One man holding many others above his head
Solarism A crescent moon hugging the sun (Quatus) or crescent moon contained with a sun (Taliana)
Fana LN Death, Knowledge, Tempest, War Underdark city skyline (Quatus) or longsword with a black blade (Taliana)
Meliko CG Life, Light, Nature, Trickery Torch enrobed in moss (Quatus) or arrow with a flaming head (Taliana)
Veratism
Berrator LG All Open hand shooting a beam of blue energy
Zaxism
Zaxa NG (deva) or NE (rakshasa) All A humanoid head with no eyes or nose and a frowning mouth

So what do you think? Do you want to read more about these religions? Do you think having some atheists and doubters in the world is interesting? Sound off in the comments below!

If you like what you’re reading, please check out my podcasts on The Tome Show, follow me on Twitter, tell your friends and share this blog post, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

UPDATE: The partial backgrounds found in this article are a preview. They are fully available as a Pay What You Want product on the DMs Guild in a pretty PDF with art and 15 other ready to roll backgrounds.

I love it when a group ties together their own backgrounds without my prompting. Three years ago I started a fourth edition D&D Eberron game and the party decided they would all start as people working for the Church of the Silver Flame. This instantly gave me a focus for the campaign’s main arch (Bel Shalor attempting to recreate The Day of Mourning in Thrane in order to extinguish the Silver Flame and walk the world again) and tied together the party in a great way.

Now the only reason this group thought to come together under one banner at the start of the game was because they had played D&D for years and wanted to try something different. I know some other groups do this at the request of the DM, and the benefits for the folks running the game are clear. The characters begin with a familiarity with one another. I’ve already done one post on the benefits of tying backgrounds together, so I won’t repeat myself here. But what’s in it for the players?

Time to Tantalize

Experienced players, like the ones in my Eberron game above, know there are great story benefits from beginning with a background tied to another PC. To new players though, this might seem like an unnecessary complication – just one more thing to remember and keep track of. Since fifth edition Dungeons and Dragons is all about pleasing old players and bringing in the new, I thought I’d try my hand at creating group backgrounds for the game. These are meant to supplement individual backgrounds and inspire players new and old to tie their PCs together.

Take a look at this excerpt from the Exploration Age Campaign Guide. Let me know what other backgrounds and benefits you’d like to see in the comments! Also, let me know if you think this is a good idea.

Group Backgrounds

Group backgrounds are an optional feature which can apply to your entire party at your DM’s discretion. If your DM allows you to choose a group background, decide which background you want with the rest of the players at the table. Your group’s background should be a choice you all make together as it applies to all the characters within your adventuring party.

Group backgrounds give you a background feature which the DM can deem is either in addition to or in place of your current background feature.

Military Unit

Your party is made up of characters who were all part of the same government military unit or mercenary army. Your camaraderie was built during training and your trust in one another was forged on the battlefield. Think about the kind of military you were in, why your unit left, and the battles you fought together. Are you the last surviving members of your unit? Are there others who were in your unit out there? Did you go rogue? These decisions are up to you and your party.

Religious Order

Your party is made up of characters who are all part of the same religious order be it a monastery, cult, or temple. You share devout beliefs in the same gods, studied religion together, and are friends who share common morality. Together you walk the world, doing deeds in the name of your religion. Think about why your group has chosen to adventure and how you might differ in the interpretation of your gods’ wills.

Secret Society

Your party is made up of characters who work for an organization with inner-workings which remain a secret to the public. Your society might be spies for a government, a cabal of assassins, a band of hidden protectors of nature, a team of vigilantes, a group trying to divine the secrets of the world, an organization bent on world domination, or something else. Whatever the case, you have a secret mission to carry out. This secret bonds you and your party together in trust.

Family

Your party is made up of characters who are all part of the same family. Not everyone needs to be blood-related. Some might be related through marriage or adopted. Others might be servants or friends so close they might as well be family. Whatever the relation, you have spent a significant portion of your lives together and that time has created a familial bond. Remember that families have their own problems and rivalries and you shoul work those relationships out with your party.

More for Your Game

So these group backgrounds are going into the Free Game Resources section of this site, as well as the individual backgrounds I’ve created for Doctor, Tinkerer, Farmer, Harvester, and Demolitions Expert. All are available as free PDFs for your convenience! Keep on rocking.

If you like what you’re reading, please check out my podcasts on The Tome Show, follow me on Twitter, tell your friends, share this blog post, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

My day job has been keeping me busy traveling, so here’s another sweet excerpt from the Exploration Age: Campaign Guide. Take a look below at the religion of the humans and gnomes of Aeranore and let me know what you think.

A BIG shout-out to my friend, player, and fellow podcaster Ray Fallon for giving me this idea. Sometimes a friend approaches you with an original mythology and world creation story. Those friends are the best kind, especially when you’re creating several unique religions for a campaign world. These ideas come mostly from his own, amazing brain.

Here endeth my similarities to Steve Jobs

Also, as you read this excerpt, remember that Exploration Age is a campaign world where the gods have no confirmed existence, and if they do exist they do not directly interfere in the affairs of mortals. How is that possible when clerics and paladins pray for spells and get magic? Well, skeptics would say sorcerers, rangers, warlocks, wizards, bards, and more have magic without praying for it – why can’t clerics be getting their spells from the same places? Magic is mysterious. No one is sure of its origin on Canus, but that’s another matter.

Many humans and gnomes of Aeranore practice a religion known as Immortalism. It was their belief in this religion that resulted in their persecution in Parian and subsequent immigration to Aeranore. Immortalists believe all humans and gnomes are descended from a race of humanoids who used to be immortal, long ago. According to the religion, these beings, known as The Immortals, lived before the aberrants and the dragons.

World Creation Myth of Immortalism

According to Immortalism, Canus was created when The Sun and The Moon mated to produce three children. Their firstborn was their daughter, Alphon, a ball of earth encased in water. Their second birth was conjoined male twins, Baydon and Cardon. These twins were made of dirt and earth. They lived as one land mass on top of Alphon. These stories have led many humans and gnomes to believe that Parian and Findalay (and now Verda) were once one giant land mass.

The Immortals sprang forth from the bodies of Baydon and Cardon and at first there were no animals or plants. They were the first living beings on Canus and their lifespans were infinite, though they could die as the result of physical harm or starvation. At the time there was no disease. Since there was nothing to eat other than each other The Immortals began as violent cannibals.

This changed when Gretan, the first Immortal Hero, prayed to Baydon and asked him to produce something to stop the violence amongst her people. Baydon took pity on Gretan and was overcome by her beauty, so he created sheep and goats. The Immortals learned to herd.

It is said that sheep and goats soon began to die, however, for they had nothing to eat. It was then that Mara, the second Immortal Hero, prayed to Cardon for an answer by planting her hair in the dirt. Her hair took root and grew, becoming the first plants. Soon The Immortals learned that they could eat this food as well. Baydon created many animals and Cardon created many plants. For a long time Canus lived in peace.

Overtime, Baydon and Cardon grew jealous of one another. Baydon was resentful of the fact that his animals could not exist without Cardon’s plants, and Cardon did not like the way The Immortals made animal flesh the center of their meals. Soon the conjoined twins began to war with one another through earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and storms. Many Immortals had their lives ended in the process.

As the war progressed, Alphon formed rivers to part her brothers, breaking them into pieces large and small. Still that was not enough to stop their warring. Cardon and Baydon created The First Dragons who escalated the war. These were the ancestors of the dragons known today and instead of breath weapons of fire, ice, acid, and the like, they breathed pestilence, which ravaged the plants and animals of Canus. Eventually these diseases spread to The Immortals. It took a toll on their bodies and The Immortals had their life spans shortened. They began dying of old age and disease. They became the present day humans. The gods, Baydon and Cardon saw what they had done to these people, called The First Dragons back into the ground, took them apart, and rebuilt them over centuries into the dragons known today. The brothers vowed to never again interfere directly with the live of the folk of Canus.

The Immortal Lines

It is believed that Cardon, Baydon, and Alphon in a final act of divine intervention granted immortality to one champion each of their choosing. Baydon chose Gretan and Cardon chose Mara. It is said that when these champions grow tired of their immortality, they are able to pass it to a worthy offspring. It is believed that Queen Icillia IV herself is descended from The Line of Gretan and holds The Immortal Gift, which she may pass on. Currently it is unknown who holds The Immortal Gift in the Line of Mara.

Alphon’s champion does not pass on his gift. The goddess chose the first man to ever drown in her waters, a sailor named Delistar. His body still lies somewhere in the oceanic depths, and it is said that his late-granted immortality does not allow him to move physically, but he can transfer his spirit into the body of any Immortalist. When an Immortalist is dying, moments before death it is believed that Delistar inhabits that person’s body and sends his or her spirit on, so he may suffer that person’s pain.

Creation of Gnomes

Somewhere down the line, Alphon decided the humans needed magic again, but since she had vowed to never directly intervene again in the affairs of the world, she created a plan for the creation of the gnomes and left it out for the shardminds to find. The shardminds followed the plan exactly and then also modified it to create the dwarves.

Immortalism Today

This creation myth is the base of all Immortalist doctrine. The Sun and The Moon are part of this five god pantheon, but they most prayed to are Alphon, Baydon, and Cardon. Delistar is a sort of demigod, prayed to when a loved one passes. Most Immortalist priests and clerics are not exclusive to one god or goddess. They rely on Alphon in times of healing and magic, Baydon in times of the hunt and war, and Cardon during the harvest.

  • Alphon Often depicted as a globe of water, Alphon is the kind and gentle goddess. She is prayed to for all things nautical and ocean related. Alphon is also the goddess of mysteries so all magic, psionics, and healing are both her domain as well.
  • Baydon Often depicted as an angry volcano, Baydon is the aggressive god of the hunt and the herd. War and weather fall into his domains as well.
  • Cardon Often depicted as a piece of wheat, Cardon is the sneaky god of the harvest. He is said to take pleasure in many things that delight and make life easier so art and technology are also part of his domain.
  • Delistar Though not truly a god, Delistar is prayed to in times of death, and some cults who worship him have sprung up throughout Aeranore. The cults range in their beliefs from those innocently interested in death to those who violently murder other Immortalists, believing if they sacrifice enough victims to Delistar he will grant them his Immortal Gift.

If you like what you’re reading, please check out my podcast on The Tome Show, follow me on Twitter, tell your friends and share this blog post, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

My podcast, The Round Table just posted its eighth episode. (The ninth records tonight!) In this episode, Rudy Basso, Vegas Lancaster, Alex Basso, Andrew Timmes, and I discuss the leaked D&D Fifth Edition release dates, religions, and campaign themes in Dungeons and Dragons.

Here’s a bunch of links for you related to the podcast.

The Round Table invites players of various backgrounds to discuss the latest D&D news. If you enjoy it, you should check out all the other great content on The Tome Show.

As always you can reach me by leaving a comment or hitting me up on Twitter. Thanks!

I’ve already mentioned that the religions of Exploration Age don’t have gods who intervene. They exist in the minds and hearts of the people, and perhaps even have a form somewhere beyond the multiverse. Something divine is granting spells to the clerics, so in some ways there is proof of their existence. However, just because these gods do not show their faces, does not mean the people of Canus do not act in their names, which certainly lends to the real world feel of Exploration Age.

There Were Only Drow

Until a little over ten thousand years ago, there were no elves on Canus. The time of the drow goes back more than half a million years. The elves have existed for a fraction of the time drow have been in Canus.

The drow worship two sister goddesses. Meliko is goddess of light, nature, healing, and arts. Fana is the goddess of dark, civilization, science, and war. To drow, light and dark do not have the connotations that they might to us modern-day real world folk. Darkness is good, it provides stealth and protection from their enemies who cannot see through its piercing blackness the way the dark elves can.

The drow believe Meliko and Fana work hand in hand. Meliko provides the spores and Fana provides the darkness so their mushrooms might grow. Fana leads the soldiers to war and Meliko binds their wounds. The drow believe they give both of these goddess equal footing.

Then The Division happened. Aberrants, driven below ground by dragons, regrouped and began multiplying in The Underdark. They overwhelmed the drow, destroying many of their kingdoms. But the drow eventually regrouped and fortified their remaining lands. Some of the drow hatched a plan to take back their lands in what was sure to be a violent and risky struggle. Other drow did not want to further risk the lives of their people and headed to the surface world, where eventually, their skin lightened, their eyes grew accustomed to the sun and they became the elves Canus knows today.

Religious Justification

The drow who left for the surface world to become the elves had their reasons for leaving their brethren behind. Many simply wanted to avoid a violent struggle, which is ironic because their struggle with their own kin continues to today. The drow who left begged their kin to follow. The drow who remained claimed that by running, their brethren were not honoring Fana in turning their backs on the war to reclaim their homeland.

The drow who left, upon hearing that argument, claimed that their left-behind kin were not properly worshipping Meliko by staying underground and in the dark, rather than living on the surface world, where the day/night cycle honored both goddess equally. Furious with one another for the accusations of defying The Sister Goddesses’ will, a war between the two camps of drow broke out that continues even today. The elves vehemently believe the drow are wrongfully worshipping The Sister Creators and showing Fana too much favor. They believe Meliko and Fana have given them a mission to bring all their brethren to the surface world and that their elf form is the one they were always intended to have. Meanwhile, the drow, who still have not liberated their stolen kingdoms from the aberrants, believe the elves are cowardly, traitorous, tradition defiers who do The Sister Creators ill and must die for those crimes.

Much like in the real-world, religion in Exploration Age is sometimes the catalyst for an event and sometimes it serves to complicate a problem which already exists. Either way, the goddesses themselves are not directly involved, and two groups with the same religion have a slightly different idea of how one should worship and that has lead to bloodshed and war. This happens all the time in the real world.

Just for fun, here’s a more slightly more fleshed out description of Meliko and Fana I’m working right now.

The Sister Creators

Meliko and Fana are the goddesses worshipped mainly by the elves and drow of Findalay. Though these races share the same goddesses they honor them in slightly different ways, which is part of the reason the two races are in a violent struggle. Other races on Findalay may worship The Sister Creators, particularly the duergar, deep gnomes, and halflings who live amongst the drow and elves.

Clerics of The Sister Creators often dress in a bright color and dark color to show their appreciation of both goddess and carry two holy symbols or create one that is a combination of both sisters’ symbols. Services in honor of The Sister Creators are elaborate in The Underdark, often involving weekly two-hour long prayer sessions and displays of divine magic. On the surface world, The Sister Creators are honored in smaller, less public ways, usually at home shrines where individuals or families will pray twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening for a few minutes.

Meliko

Meliko is one half of The Sister Creators. She is the goddess of light, nature, healing, and arts. Legend has it that Meliko created Canus. Her favored weapon is a longbow. She is often represented in drow art as a beautiful drow woman carrying a torch, and her holy symbol is a flaming torch wrapped in moss. In elvish depictions, she is an elf holding the sun in her hands and her holy symbol is an arrow who’s head is on fire.

Fana

Fana is one half of The Sister Creators. She is the goddess of darkness, civilization, science, and war. Legend has it that Fana created the drow, dragons, and aberrants. Her favored weapon is a long sword. She is often represented in drow art as a hooded drow woman carrying a scroll, and her holy symbol is an Underdark city skyline. In elvish depictions, she is a hooded elf holding a black orb in her hands and her holy symbol is a long sword with a pure black blade.

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