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Religions of Heled
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Deities of Heled
Heled is ruled by six gods incarnate: Arcanus, Kane, Necros, Tyr, Settia, and Sylvara. These gods are not simply myths, or explanations of natural phenomena from a simpler time. They take an active interest in the realms of mortals. Most live in Heled, keep great palaces, and hold court to only the most worthy.supplicants. They are not all powerful. They are immortal, yet flawed. Their followers wield magic through devotion and practice, without any need for a direct appeal to their deity. In fact, some clerics do not worship a particular god at all, but can cast spells gained through fervent belief in an ideal epitomizing faith.
There are other gods, as well. Many “pagans” revere deities no living being has ever seen. The dwarves were created by the mountain twins, Krom and Dirgach, brothers of stone and flame, who raised the mountains above the earth and work the bellows of the deepest fire. Druids worship the omnipresent spirit of nature, Dana. Ashati revere a pantheon of elemental spirits – called “Djinn” – which can be appealed to for assistance and good fortune.
Religions of HeledArcanus
Today, deities worshiped by mortals of Heled fall into two categories: the six gods incarnate and the pagan gods. The gods incarnate are beings that were obscure prior to the Warlock Strife, but who have since seized power to either protect or dominate the people of Heled. After the departure of the Dragon of Shades, the first god incarnate to reveal herself was Sylvara, the Faerie Queen. Sylvara reigns over her fey children in the magical land of Faerie between the mountains of southern Midhjard. Less than a century afterward came Tyriel, the Defender who appeared amongst the men of Lavinia. Tyriel (“the servant Tyr”) claimed to be a powerful steward of the Elder Age who achieved the ability to enter the mortal realm to eliminate the vestiges of Dargeshaad’s armies. Beyond the Veil, he said were many more of his kind standing watch from bright towers in the firmament, and among them was his “brother” Necros, the Harvester. Necros does not enter the realm of Heled, instead he wanders the Veil, looking for mortal souls to collect and bring before Tyr to be given sanctuary in the Holy Tower Tyr rules on the northern edge of Heled until some time in the future, when Tyr and Necros depart Heled and escort the souls of the faithful to the Overrealm.
After Necros came Arcanus in the form of eldritch knowledge passed to the people of ancient Scerad in dreams. Arcanus, the Wise, gave the brightest and the best Sceradic sages knowledge of sorcery, passed down from the Elders, piece by piece until they could weave spells and craft mystical tools. The fifth god incarnate came to Heled bringing war and ruin. Kane, the Dog God, a demon of great power and malevolence, fashioned flesh and blood for the Dragons of the Primordial Era so that they could descend upon Heled and begin the Demon Wars of the seventh century. Tyr defeated Kane, who fled to the fiery depths of Malecor, and the Demon Armies were slain or exiled to Kane’s cursed island, and so the mortal realm seemed safe from vile gods. However, for two decades now people in every realm of Heled have witnessed friends, relatives, and neighbors of apparent good nature meeting in secret to practice foul black magicks and sacrifices to a mysterious goddess known only as Settia, the Corruptor. Where she resides is unknown, but her servants could be anyone, masquerading as good parents, pious priests, noble lords, or knowledgeable sages.
Besides these beings, there is the pantheon of Pagan Gods, beings of energy and elemental substance who arose with the birth of Heled, and who do not appear incarnate before mortals. Perhaps the best known pagan goddess on the continent of Midhjard is Dana, the goddess of nature. The dwarves claim to be the greatest creations of the brothers of the deep, Krom and Dirgach, masters of stone and fire. In al-Hammadi, a pantheon of Pagan Gods and Goddesses are worshiped and appealed to, the most well-known include Amurru (lord of storms), Ashirah (spirit of the tide), Ashimah (lady of fate), Astarte (queen of the djinn), Ashar’atah (lady of the deep), Dagon (lord of grain), Eshmun (the minister), Hadad (spirit of lightning), Kotar (lord of iron), Kotharat (the midwife), Liluri (spirit of the mountain), Shihab (lord of fire), Nikkal (lady of orchards), Shapash (the sun), and Tanat (the moon).