Though they are viewed very differently throughout the world there are striking similarities between the fundamentals of religions of across cultures undercutting what are superficially seen a great differences.
For example: In the Imperium Hadeys; wealth-obsessed-merchant of the underworld, captured beautiful Proserphones and made her his bride through cunning contract; transforming her into the goddess of seasons. While the shugenja of the Kingdom of Jade speak of the Lord of the Tengu, forever in pursuit of the White Maiden, whose father, the king of all, changes the seasons to allow her to hide.
While they are a positive force collectively the gods are invariably fickle, self-centered creatures with their own desires and ambitions; they toy with the lives of mortals, especially mortal heroes, setting them against impossible odds, sometimes to make a point or teach a lesson and sometimes just for their own enjoyment.
Religion in DauntonEdit
The gods are followed and revered in Daunton as they were in the ancient Allarian Empire before its fall
Religion in the ImperiumEdit
"It is said that the major gods saved mortals during the sundering (each of the 12 saving a certain sort of individual in a certain method) and sprinkled them upon the isolates that they may live their lives. Each mortal has the capacity to choose between good and evil, and the gods will reward or punish them accordingly. Though each of the 12 gods is revered individually and is dedicated his own temples and offices, the pantheon is generally believed in and revered as a whole. Most people (generally everyone but priests and priestesses) has one or two patron gods, but prays to the others when in need of blessing in an important matter in their sphere of competence."
According to its priests and politicians the Imperium has grown strong an prospered by humbly devoting itself to all the gods; giving each the due and respect that they deserve. Priests are quick to point out the literally dozens of tales when hubristic, or even just insufficiently respectful, behavior has brought down the wraith of an offended god. It is worth noting that the priests are, collectively, particularly troubled by all the cases when this wrath has effected not only the offender but the offenders community. They also darkly note that the unhealthy fixation of "mono-deism" leads to religious extremism; mystery cults that can turn to worship of darker things.
It is a tenet of religious faith that the Imperium is already a blessed state which enjoys the support of the twelve gods individually and as a pantheon. It spends a tremendous amount of resources and has an entire caste of highly educated people (priests) who do nothing but work to ensure that this blessed state persists. The more cynical believe that the senate's extensive support for the questos is much less involved with any altruistic motivation to fight (or at least contain) evil in the cosmos but rather is a result of their intense pre-occupation with maintaining the gods favor.
In accordance with this the Imperium frowns upon the worship of a particular god to the exclusion of others. While it is perfectly understandable that a smith will give more devotions to Eefeystos than to other gods Imperial society (particularly the priesthood) would frown upon the suggestion that the smith 'only' worships Eefeystos. The personal beliefs of questos are generally policed very loosely by the priesthood. This is partially due to the fact that militant brotherhood aggressively self policies itself for corruption and taint, partially due to the difficulty of attempting to rebuke someone who can literally call down radiant blasts of energy in the name of the gods and partially due to the belief among the priests that a questos who loses the support of the gods (let alone offends them) will simply die horribly in the next battle that they face. And, of course, there are historical examples of questos who actually have been directly serving the will of one god or another.
That is not to say that there are no priests or temples devoted to specific deities; major cities (urbs major) in the Imperium are mandated to temples to all 12 deities which must be equal in size and position relative to the central temple (in practice Deias' temple is often larger, ostensibly the open air facilities enable the roofspace to be counted as floorspace), each has a corps of specialized priests including a certain number of virginal men and women who have been raised to serve in each temple since birth (usually humans though occasionally temperavir issued from liaisons between Eladrin priests and their human servants are taken in by a temple as "orphans".) These specialized temples and priests are the most common possessors (and teachers) of Channel Divinity feats; which widely accepted among the Imperial priesthood (in the sense that only tiny minority of the most personally powerful and dedicated people could hope to learn one).
Please note that this is a 'roleplaying' element only. Currently all characters are limited to the knowledge of a maximum of one channel divinity feat. You can not use this belief to justify taking more than one channel divinity feat.
Religion in the Kingdom of JadeEdit
Religion in the Savage LandsEdit
Religion in HzakaEdit
On the Lack of Evil DeitiesEdit
About evil deities. There are many possibilities with a greek-model pantheon like that in my example. The first is that greek deities had major negative and capricious aspects, all of them. Zeus (DeiÃ²s) is a tyrant and a womanizer, Ares is a coward, Athena is REALLY easily angered, Aphrodithes jealous of the others' beauty, etc. The other side of the medal are the primordial forces represented by the ancient gods, revered in more isolated and less civilized parts of the world, the previous generations of deities. Ouranos, Chronos, Rhea, Gea, are all extremely ancient and almost forgotten deities whose "portfolios" have been almost wholly swallowed by their "children". Also, the Titans (that in Greek mythology were the children of Ouranos and Gea) have an important negative role in the 4e mythology, as the gods' adversaries: they might still be serving Cotto, Gia and Briareus, the three great Primordials left, chained in Thartarus (the Abyss)-those were the names of the three Hecatoncheires, brothers of the Titans... all these are original names, but you can see they're only used as suggestions. Furthermore, some deities were revered specifically in mysteric cults that often had a very dark side. For example, Zagreus might be a dark aspect of Dyonisus (that for some reason i forgot to include) in whose name wild rites including human sacrifices are officed. Finally, the potential of demigods in a system like this is endless. Demigods were revered everywhere in ancient Greece, and often regarder as legendary founders of poleis (Theseus, Cadmus, Heracles and so on...) -ata