Sunday, September 3, 2017

More Faith Traditions from Homeworld

Thinking more and more about how religious beliefs might develop, I've written up a few new faith traditions for Homeworld.


More Faith Traditions from Homeworld
Sometimes, during the span of a religion's history, individuals or groups react to certain existing tenets or practices, or to the outstanding deeds of others, by generating new interpretations that add to or break from previous tradition. The deities and other figures described below are examples of such, each the focus of a new belief system that provides clerics, paladins and other characters with alternate avenues of devotion. 

These developments can happen in a number of different ways. One example is when an especially pious member of the clergy, because of right living and exemplary deeds, is elevated into a position of reverence by succeeding generations; this is the case with Imhotep the Traveler. Another possibility is when a new faith is invented to fill what people perceive as a gap in existing beliefs, such as with Eros. Finally, worshipers sometimes begin to focus on one aspect of a deity's portfolio to the extent that they form a sub-cult, even one that seems notably different in outlook to the original understanding of that deity.

Favored Weapon
Imhotep the Traveler
The first explorer of the Void
Liberation, Protection, Travel
Eros, Deity of Love
The One who prompts coupling and creation
Charm, Community, Trickery
Sol Xaphanus
The aspect of Sol that judges and passes sentence
Fire, Law, Sun 
Dire flail

Imhotep the Traveler
When the magical items necessary for building aetherships were first discovered, there was rampant speculation about what might lie beyond the heavens of Homeworld. Some insisted that nothing good could lie outside of this world, and that death or worse was all that awaited explorers. Even those who argued against such claims were slow to embrace exploration of the Void, given the difficulty it presented. Thus it was an expedition led by the leading cleric of Ptah, Imhotep, that was the first to venture into the aether. Imhotep abdicated his position of leadership, but left a communication scroll with his replacement so as to report what he discovered. For many years, that item was slowly filled with myriad details regarding the Sol System—until, one day, the writing stopped. Although nobody ever heard from that Imhotep again, he became renowned as “The Traveler,” and people began offering prayers in his name for safe travel when undertaking journeys. 

Imhotep the Traveler is, needless to say, popular with ships' crews, caravan members, pilgrims and the like. Facilities run by the Royal Interplanetary Company are known to maintain smile shrines with statuettes of him, too. 

Eros, Deity of Love
Some individuals who explain the creation of the Universe as the result of interaction between male and female principles—personified by Sol and Gaea—argue that there is a primeval force that prompts such coupling, and that this force, when appealed to properly, can even help those who seek help with their own romantic opportunities. The deity is not depicted with any kind of concrete image, since adherents assert that love can take many different forms. In addition to being popular with hopeful lovers, Eros is especially revered by members of the organization known as the Navigators.

Sol Xaphanus
For many, the god Sol represents a guiding light and the proponent of all that is good in the Universe. Others, however, claim that the Sun God can become angry with mortal beings, and even seeks at times to root out all that is evil among them. Indeed, they personify the deity as Sol Xaphanus, who is both righteous and wrathful. They claim that fire is an embodiment of the god's anger, and that it should be used as a weapon by the faithful to purify the world. These beliefs have led to inter-congregational conflict, and even at times to outright crusading violence. 

What most people on either side of the conflict don't know is that this sub-cult was actually founded by a cabal of efreet nobles, elementalist wizards and others. Their goals is to weaken the church of Sol by corrupting its purity and then leading it into conflict with other churches.

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