The Old Religion
Before mortals came to this world, it was ruled by powerful tribes of gods and spirits, each invading the land and displacing those who came before them. Before the coming of The Church, most of the people of the land prayed to multiple local divinities, believed to be the former inhabitants of the world.
In the Old Religion, respect for the fay is paramount. Every forest and river is said to have its own spirit. The gods worshipped by the Old Religion are not always the archfey of the seelie and unseelie courts—there are other entities, old names of fertility gods, sun gods, and others. The Old Religion lacks a set of dogma—it describes an array of beliefs that predominated in the region.
The Old Religion’s influence is still felt powerfully, especially the further one gets from Gloriana or the large cities. Rather than being supplanted by The Church, tenets of the Old Religion get incorporated and adapted. Even the faithful will still carry a coin in their pocket for good luck.
Some noteworthy figures in the old religion are the Queen of Stars, the Whirling Fury, the Laughing God, and even Ri Searbhas.
The Laughing God
Even those who have converted to the ways of the church may mutter an old prayer for luck under their breath. The Laughing God is the god of miscreants, outcasts, orphans—all those who live by their fortune, wit and swiftness. Wherever two or more are gathered together with wine, song and pleasant company, the Laughing God is there. He humiliates the powerful and brings smiles to the lowly.
Morco, the Great Bear
Once Iommor‘s patron, the skinchanger may be gone, but the Great Bear remains. Morco is a faery spirit of strength and familial loyalty. He cares little for the intricacies of huldra and mortal, seelie and unseelie. Morco respects only strength. A ponderous bear with white fur and bright red eyes, he dwells in a grotto that has become linked to Iommor’s Tomb in the Bulwark Mountains.
Morco grants his skin to druids who can best him in a test of strength. When he deigns to speak, he speaks slowly and often has trouble using the right word. Those who are weak should fear him, and those who are strong can expect to be tested.
Spirit of the Thorn Trees at the feet of the Bulwark Mountains, Nuinn’s temperment changes with the seasons. In spring he is merry, delighting in beauty and fortune. The rest of the year, he finds fear itself beautiful, wreaking havoc on those in his domain just to see their fear. He dwells in a secret grove close to the mortal town of Arkaley.
The Church of Our Triumphant Family
Having gained ground in Gloriana, the Church of Our Triumphant Family zealously spreads its teachings throughout the land. At its center is the story of a mother and father who lived a virtuous life and died in defense of their child. That child went on to become a prophet, healer and champion of virtue. The Church believes that the three are enshrined in a high place, above all other gods, bathed in the light of the Golden Tree.
While the Queen has definitely not forbidden the worship of other gods and spirits, clerics of the Triumphant Family do their best to draw attention away from the Old religion and towards their practices. They teach a doctrine of bravery, sacrifice and community that appeals to nobles and peasantry alike. Much of the support for the Church comes from a powerful order of knights, the Order of the Pendant. Knights of this order have a higher duty to the protection of the weak and vanquishing evil than to any monarch.
Prayers of this religion are usually addressed to Fearless Mother, Kind Father and Blessed Child
The Alfar do not speak of their gods. Their relationship to the divine is more nuanced that worship. They respect and revere the divine but do not serve it—instead, their gods seem to be sources of inspiration and role models.
The Huldra have their own gods and worship. They know the names of every river and tree in their lands, and are not afraid to use them.
The Path of Righteousness
Elam eschews traditional gods and worship. They instead practice the Path of Righteousness, a way of living handed down by a series of teachers who each discovered some step or route to take in the search for virtue and peace. There are many variant philosophies concerning the path, and vigorous debates over the merits of each are a time honored tradition amongst all educated citizens of Elam.
In the halls of the dwarven lords, rune-sages guard chambers carved with the endless names of the ancestors. While the various tribes of dwarves keep their vigil in different ways, all of them venerate those who have gone before. The oldest ancestors are incarnations of natural power — for the Snow and Wind dwarves, primeval storms; for the Ember dwarves, volcanoes. The Desert Dwarves venerate the Sun as the First Rjufa. Mountain dwarves have sacred peaks and caverns, the Hill dwarves grottos and valleys, and the people of the Gelmir worship the seas and sacred springs as First.
Not too long ago, a Volcano sacred to both the Rjufa and the people of the Nidavell lost its fire and died. This is seen as a terrible omen and a sign of doom to come—after all, if even the Gods can die, what does that say of their children?