The Religions of Vheldon March 10, 2010 at 8:00 am
Religion, along with mysticism, superstition, and spiritualism of any stripe, is uncommon and frowned upon in the Great Republic. The great minds of the New Dawn Revolution made certain that the old legends, myths, and gods had no place in their brave new world. Two hundred and fifty years later, temples are nonexistent in the Great Republic, and prayer is almost as scarce.
In the days of the Clorencian Empire, the chief religion was the cult of the deceased emperors. It was believed that the divine right to rule became actual divinity upon death. The Divine Emperors were typically worshiped as a whole, albeit certain popular or historically important rulers had priests and cults dedicated solely to them.
The spiritual center of the Clorencian Empire was in the region that is now Anverone. There, the largest and grandest temples were built, and most emperors were buried in Anverone or elsewhere on the eastern coast of Roumion. The people of the Empire believed that the lands of the dead lie to the east, beyond the Braellic sea; and thus royals were buried as close to the sea as possible.
The worship of many other deities flourished in that time: gods who held power over travelers, scholars, warriors, sailors, etc. Like the emperors, these gods were typically worshiped together as a single pantheon, known as the Low Gods because they bowed to the Emperors who ascended above them.
Two centuries before the New Dawn Era, a heresy rose up among the forests of Anverone. The heretics proclaimed that the Low Gods were in fact more divine than the Emperors, and that Solan, the sun god, was the greatest of the divinities. A bloody campaign by the Imperial Armies to stamp out this heresy lasted for over 50 years, until finally the Church of Solan was recognized as an official religion. Soon the Anverone region became the center of the Church of Solan, with the High Priests of the Imperial Pantheon returning to Clorencia or moving north. When the Clorencian Empire became the Great Republic, Anverone was allowed to remain separate from the new union. For over 150 years, Anverone was a theocracy ruled by the priests of Solan.
The other nations of Vheld are not as enlightened and logical as the Great Republic. To this day, worship of Solan is common in Anverone, and has spread to nations such as Bralholme, Paravo, and the Free Islands. The cults of the Divine Emperors have largely disappeared, although a few small temples can still be found in Halos.
In Orulon and the Vori Islands, worship of brutal and bloodthirsty gods similar to the old Clorencian “Low Gods” is common. In a disturbing trend, many Ironian mage lords have declared themselves to be gods, demanding worship from all within their city state. Unlike the Emperors of old, the Ironian tyrants do not seem to be content to wait until death for divinity.
The religion of San Khotal is little understood by outsiders, but seems to worship any number of spirits and otherworldly entities, including the spirit and legacy of San Khotal itself.
Pagan religions are incredibly popular in the Free Islands, with temples built in every city and settlement. There is a massive resurgance in worship of the old dieties, with cults based around not only the old Clorencian panthons, but individual gods as well. Of particular interest to agents of the Great Republic, the cult of the very first Clorencian Emperor has gained sudden and rapid popularity in the Free Islands. “The Church of the First King” or “The Temple of Halomel” is a major political force in the Free Islands, even gaining converts among the native Vori. Other influential and popular cults in the Free Islands include groups dedicated to the Triple Goddess, and He Who Shall Not Be Named, a dark god of nefarious temperament and design.