Most religious beliefs and traditions on Eidoran fall under the Vansir Pantheon, and this text will focus mostly on that. There are other religious directions though, like the Menkars worship of the old God-Kings, the old orcish belief in Lazaia the moon goddess, and the now rarely worshipped elven god of earth and sky, Telumerek.
The Vansir Pantheon
Belief in Eidoran is almost exclusively covered under a single pantheon of gods, the Vansir. Within this pantheon however, there are several groupings, and it is pretty uncommon for someone to worship only a single god. Most religious people are mainly devoted to one grouping, while acknowledging that the rest of the gods also has their place. The grouping of gods are as follows.
The Five Lords
The Five Lords is the most commonly worshipped council of gods. Almost all of the larger cities have a temple dedicated to their worship. Each of the five gods represent aspects of everyday life.
The gods also represent the different roles in a household, or even different aspects to people's personality. The five gods stand as equal, with noone being considered more powerful or important than any other.
The holy symbol for worship of the five lords is a pentagram. The colors of the gods are represented on the pentagram by different metals. A neophyte of the faith will at first only recieve the iron framework of the pentagram, with none of the colors filled in. Only by going through the five trials are they allowed to forge the colors into their holy symbols. A neophyte becomes an acolyte after forging their first two colors. An acolyte becomes a priest after forging all five colors and standing in judgement. A priest that shows excellence in particular areas may later be rewarded by having one or more colors reforged in the precious metals.
- Blue: Cold iron or mithral
- Red: Copper or adamantine
- Yellow: Brass or gold
- Brown: Bronze or flowbronze
- White: Tin or silver
This holy symbol with its color sceheme is also a common motif for glass paintings.
Heironeous - The Knight
- Domain: Servitude
- Favored weapon: Longsword
The knight represents honor, duty and justice. Holds a high ideal of doing what you must, rather than what you want. Serving others rather than yourself, and working for the greater good. Always in conflict with the champion. Depicted as a stoic knight clad in full plate armor. Associated with the color sky blue.
Kord - The Champion
- Domain: Freedom
- Favored weapon: Greatsword
The champion represents strength, love and passion. Holds a high ideal of freedom and individualism, doing what you want. Serving yourself and your loved ones, before all others. Always in conflict with the knight. Depicted as a raging warrior or strong athlete. Associated with the color red.
Moradin - The Husband
- Domain: Work, art and craftsmanship
- Favored weapon: Warhammer
The husband represents artisanship, perfection in craft and joy in labour. Often depicted as a smith, sometimes dwarven. Associated with the color yellow or gold.
Yondalla - The Wife
- Domain: Home and Hearth
- Favored weapon: Scythe
The wife represents nurture and hospitality, as well as fertility and harvest. Often depicted with big lactating breasts. Associated with the color brown.
Wee Jas - The Gatekeeper
- Domain: Life and Death
- Favored weapon: Scimitar (usually called a longdagger)
The gatekeeper represents the transition between life and death. She is invoked in both birth rites and burial rites, and she is tasked with allowing souls into the afterlife. Souls that are allowed to pass her gate will enter Arborea, the realm of the gods. Souls that do not pass the gate might descend into the underworld, or worse yet, become undead. Undead are considered blasphemous, and destroying them is a holy act. Depicted as a female figure with skeletal hands, completely covered in flowing white robes. Associated with the color white.
The Heavenly Brothers
The Heavenly Brothers are widely worshipped in Eidoran. They are seen as less directly influential than the other gods, and they are represented as far less "human" than the other gods. People will however often pray to the brothers for protection, for instance "May the Pale Eye watch over me tonight". They are the two eyes, one that sees all in the light and one that sees all in the darkness, and together they are all-seeing.
The brothers do not have many temples built in their honor, instead they have a large number of monastaries, cloisters, nunneries and the like. Worship of the brothers include scholarly pursuits, the search and conservation of knowledge and even the art of wizardry. Studying at one of these monastaries is the most common way for people (mainly nobles) to attain higher learning.
The holy symbol for worship of the heavenly brothers is two overlapping circles, one golden and one silvered.
Pelor - The Shining Eye
- Domain: The Day
- Favored weapon: Spear
Pelor represents the sun, and the warmth and life it brings. Not only that, Pelor is also revered for shining his light to uncover the truth in all things, and dispelling lies. Pelor is the oldest brother and the more powerful of the two.
Boccob - The Pale Eye
- Domain: The Night
- Favored weapon: Longbow
Boccob represents the moon, a candle in the darkness. While Pelor might shine more brightly and turn night into day, Boccob is vigilant in his watch. During his endless watch, he has learnt a vast amount of secret knowledge. Boccob may see the truth in all things, even in the darkness. Boccob is the younger brother, and the wiser of the two.
The Twins of Travel
The Twins of Travel are often payed homage to before making a voyage, but they are seldomly worshipped in the traditional sense. They have few priests and no known temples. The priests that do worship the twins are without fail travellers, since travelling the world is perhaps the most important part of the faith.
While no two priests worship them in the exact same way, a common theme is travelling from place to place, bringing with them foodstuffs, stories, music, and other curious items. Usually they give these items to the poor and less fortunate along their travels, while picking up new items on their way.
Fharlanghn - Walker of Roads
- Domain: The Road
- Favored weapon: Sling Staff
The wanderer represents the abstract
bonds between people through the physical roads connecting them. Roads are considered holy, every road being in itself a temple of Fharlanghn. His high ideal is connecting people and civilizations, rather than exploration. Fharlanghn is depicted as a male elf.
Ehlonna - The Pathless
- Domain: The Wild
- Favored weapon: Longbow
Ehlonna represents curiosity and the untamed wilderness. As opposed to her twin brother, Ehlonna is the epitome of an explorer. It is said that she will not ever set foot on a road, and that she refuses to visit the same place twice. Her curiosity is insatiable, and legends say that she even travelled down into the underworld to explore. Ehlonna is depicted as a female elf.
The Dead Mother
The Dead Mother is revered by all, but worshipped by few. In the early days of creation, the Eldars and the Vansir lived side by side. Bralm was a great beast of burden, and she kept both Eldars and Vansir fed with her milk. After she gave birth to Pelor, the rest of the gods wanted to mate with her, to see what other wondrous children she might beget. She then gave birth to Boccob and Kord. Finally she gave birth to Nerull and Wee Jas, but this twin birth killed Bralm. The gods mourned the loss of Bralm, and lifted her up to rest eternally among the stars.
Bralm's miracles were not yet over however, and her dead body became a new realm unto itself. This is the mortal realm, called Arn. When her dead body started to rot, her carcass slowly but surely began to be filled with life, eventually giving rise to the mortal races. Some of the gods view the mortal races as the final, precious wonder that Bralm created. Other gods view mortals as disgusting worms, squirming in a rotting corpse.
Worshippers of the dead mother and the offspring tend to be more widespread among people living in less civilized places. There are no priests of this faith, though there are shamans and druids. There are no temples, however there are sacred groves and henges.
Bralm – The Mortal Womb
- Domain: The Elements
- Favored weapon: None
Bralm represents the mortal realm (called Orn). Bralms body is considered to have five distinct elements.
- Earth: The flesh
- Stone: The bones
- Magma: The blood
- Water: The milk
- Wind: The breath
Bralm is depicted as a great beast of burden, often a cow.
Obad Hai, The Offspring
- Domain: Reincarnation
- Favored weapon: Greatclub
Obad Hai is the last child of Bralm, the first spark of life that appeared on Orn. Obad Hai is the very representation of reincarnation, life coming from death. Worshippers believe that Obad Hai is the life force animating every living thing on Orn, from plants and fungii, to animals and the sentient races.
When a living thing dies, they believe that the soul is returned to Obad Hai, and the body is once again joined with the body of Bralm. After a time, new life rises again, and the cycle continues.
Obad Hai is depicted as a great circular tree, where the roots and leaves are conjoined.
The Dark Three
The Dark Three are not worshipped in in Eidoran, at least not openly. Each one of them is a sibling to one of the five lords, and also their complete opposite. Some say the stories about them only serve to show the darker nature that may awaken in people if one is not careful. Others say that they are not siblings to the other gods, rather they are the darker aspects of the same god. Others still say that they are gods indeed, dark demons that may help the wicked do great and terrible things. The dark three have been cast down into Abaddon, the underworld.
Hextor - The Tyrant, The Sixarmed
- Domain: Power and Tyranny
- Favored weapon: Flail
Hextor is the half-brother of Heironeous, but where Heironeous is the loyal knight, Hextor represents the twisted powermad king. Hextor is depicted as a hideous man in black armor, with large jutting teeth and six arms.
Erythnul - The Rapist
- Domain: Lust and Violence
- Favored weapon: Morningstar
Erythnul is the half-brother of Kord. They are both controlled by their passions, but Erythnul represents complete raging lust, with an utter absence of love. The result is a being that has an insatiable hunger for sex and violence, the raper of worlds. Erythnul is depicted as an impossibly muscled, hulking, monstrous man with a tendrilous lolling tongue.
Nerull - The Reaper of Flesh
- Domain: Undeath
- Favored weapon: Sickle
Nerull is the full brother of Wee Jas, they were born of Bralm as twins and killed their mother in the birth. Nerull represents undeath where Wee Jas represents true death. Nerull is constantly in conflict with Wee Jas over the flesh and souls of the dead, trying to use the flesh of the dead to increase his influence in the mortal realm. Nerull is depicted as a rust-red skeleton in black robes.
The Forebears (also called Eldars) are the beings that came before and sired the gods (also called Vansir). People commonly tell different tales and myths about the Eldars, and have assigned different stars and star formations to them. They appear to be more primal and elemental than the gods, though the holy texts themselves say little about them.
- Cronus: Father of Pelor and Boccob. Cronus is visible as the brightest star in the night sky.
- Helios: Father of Wee Jas and Nerull.
- Ashur: Father of Heironeous and Hextor.
- Tiamat: Goddess of the sea, mother of all ocean creatures.
- Bralm: The beast of burden, which dead body now forms the mortal realm. Mother of Kord, Wee Jas, Nerull, Pelor and Boccob.
- Jumala: Mother of Heironeous and Moradin.
- Nemos: Father of Kord, Erythnul and Yondalla.
- Theia: Mother of Erythnul.
- Hyperion: Father of Moradin, Fharlanghn and Ehlonna.
- Selene: Mother of Moradin, Fharlanghn and Ehlonna.
- Asteria: Mother of Yondalla and Hextor.