Saturday, January 27, 2018

Religious Rituals and Observations

While previous articles have presented game stats—domains, favored weapons, suggested alignments and the like—for the various religious traditions of Homeworld and the Sol System, they've been short on detail regarding just how and when the faithful worship their deities. Presented here is more of that information, helping to flesh out the setting.

As the God of the Sun, Sol is the shining of beacon of light who pushes back the darkness and thus embodies all that is right and good in the Universe. By extension, of course, this deity also possesses the power of fire, which can be used to incinerate all that is wicked and evil.
     Common followers: Clerics, paladins and inquisitors; humans; the royal House of Helios and citizens of the Northern Empire; members of the Sol Society.
     Important times: Winter and summer solstices, solar eclipses; the anniversary of the founding of the House of Helios and the current Emperor's birthday.
     Sacred locations: The Grand Temple in the City of the Sun; smaller churches in various areas.
     Forms of worship: Ringing of bells to mark sunrise and sunset; prayer directed toward the sun; quiet meditation during eclipses; the lighting of a sacred fire with the sun's rays.

The World Mother embodies fertility, both of the earth and among those who live on it.
     Common followers: Clerics and rangers; dwarves and halflings; farmers and miners; the Guardians of Gaea.
     Important times: The start of spring and the planting season, the beginning of autumn and the harvest.
     Sacred locations: Meditative gardens in various cities; small shrines in rural areas; dwarven underground sanctuaries.
     Forms of worship: Festivals of celebration to mark planting and the harvest; little trays of food and other things left outside the door of the home.

This goddess is a giver light, just as is Sol, but she grants hers to creatures who are active during the nighttime. As such, she has a wild and sometimes secretive element to her.
     Common followers: Clerics, witches, rangers and some rogues; elves and bear-folk; hunters.
     Important times: The rising and setting of the moon; new and full moons; lunar eclipses.
     Sacred locations: None.
     Forms of worship: Prayers at the rising and setting; meditation during lunar eclipses; feasts to mark new and full moons.

The patron of all knowledge is believed to have planned all of creation and then set it into motion through the power of his thoughts.
     Common followers: Clerics, bards and wizards; humans and gnomes; explorers and scholars.
     Important times: The birthdays of the current and former Imhoteps.
     Sacred locations: The Temple of Ptah in the Holy City.
     Forms of worship: Symposia featuring readings from new texts, debates, lectures about new discoveries and demonstrations of new inventions and the like.

The Mother of Monsters is thought to resemble Gaea, but as a corrupted form who has given birth to all the wicked creatures of the world.
     Common followers: Clerics, barbarians and some sorcerers; humanoids and various intelligent monsters; the Disciples of the Destroyer.
     Important times: Anniversaries of tragic events and terrible battles.
     Sacred locations: Secret shrines and fighting pits.
     Forms of worship: Sacrifice of living and unliving things via bloodletting and immolation.

The Void
Embodying the darkness that lies between the stars in the heavens, this cold and remote deity represents the end of all things that will eventually occur.
     Common followers: Clerics, assassins and shadowdancers; gnomes; the Cult of the Void.
     Important times: None.
     Sacred locations: None.
     Forms of worship: Contemplation of nothingness; acts of sabotage, arson and the like.

Believed to be a force of nature that impels sentient creatures toward coupling and procreation, this deity is revered by those who seek to win the affections of others.
     Common followers: Clerics; the Navigators.
     Important times: None—but they are more active at night.
     Sacred locations: Small temples, usually with their true purpose concealed, such as Navigator meeting halls.
     Forms of worship: Group celebrations with amorous coupling; small invocations and offerings when a particular connection is desired.

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