Religions of Athas part 3 The Cults of the Sorcerer Monarchs/ Surviving Religions from the Past

The Sorcerer Monarchs are the most powerfull beings on Athas and they have an ego to match. Religions are a powefull tool of control for a ruler and for the smallfolk of Athas the Monarchs’ divinity is simply a fact of life. In a couple of cases however the SMs did not create a cult from zero but hijaked surviving cults of the past. ( after Rajaat’s ascension many of the Sorcerer monarchs with a cult for themselves have felt changing based of the nature of the devotion they inspire. Love bequeat beauty and light, fear, horror and darkness, respect strenght and solidity.)

Church of Badna
In the Green Age, Badna was the head of the human pantheon, God of sky, rulership law and fertility. After the Cleansing Wars, Rabadnaam, the holiest city of this church was one of the largest surviving settlements. Abalach-Re, ever the oportunist took over the church but she made the once very opened cult a sort of mysteric one with all the knowledge kept secret by the clergy. It made the holy name of Badna pronunceable only by the clergy and that changed the name of the city from Rabadnam, to Raam. The Church of Badna is nowaday basically divided in two, a Low Church, Neutral/ Good which preaches to smallfolk, helping them to survive the days and nights, and an Hight Church N/ E in the service of the whimsical Prophetess of Badna, Abalach-Re herself. She plays the two sides one againsg the other and always emerge on top. The Raammite actually does not suspect about it as Abalach-Re is as far as they are concerned a title for the Prophetess successor, which always wear a mask. The fact this was always her, killing her handpicked successors in the secret heart of Badna’s temple, is not known by any mortal being. Badna’s holy symbol is a jeweled scepter. ( After Rajaat’s ascension the Low Church priests have started to receieve visions they think are coming from the hight god himself, and he is not happy neither with the Hight Church nor with the Prophetess)

Church of the Hidden King
Daskinor of Eldaarich is paranoid, his mind hinged by Far Realm Influences, but he is not stupid. He knows that he needs tools to keep his citizens-prisoners at bay. That’s why he created this L /E church, which enphatize obedience and vigilance. The Keyholders priests are the only one allowed to see the Hidden King once every year. Its unholy symbol is a lock with a broken key.

Church of the Lion
In the other lawless cities of the tablelands maybe the selfcalling gods keeps their origins a mistery, but in Urik, the God-King have nothing to hide. Everyone knows Hamanu ancient origin. He was born an humble peasant and throught honour, hard work, loyalty and valor rose throught the ranks of the previous god of war. But when his master showed himself cruel and uncaring towards its own people Hamanu stepped up and spoke up for the people. In the great Arena, Hamanu faced his master and prevailed taking his place. No one is above the law not even a god, and if you believe to be in the right you can take your grievance in the Great Judicial Arena of Urik against the god himself. Hamanu believes that might makes right, and right makes law. The Lionpriests are the faithfull priesthood of this Lawfull Evil church, and they are also the judiciary power of the city-state. Their symbol is a crowned lion.

Church of the Shadow King
To Nibenay a state religion is yet another tool of his impressive bureaucracy. Priesthood is usually female and the church dogmas centers around knowledge, compliance, patience, efficiency and brutal preparation. The Shadowlovers are the priestess of Nibenay. Like Daskinor, the Shadow King is reclusive too but allow himself to be seen in public at least once every year. A working Bureaucracy is fundamental for avoiding collapse of civilazation and all activities in Nibenay are strictly regulated. The church of the Shadow King is responsable of relationship beetwen the city folks and Nibenay himself, and they are tasked to assuage griviance, here petitions, mediate with the templars and to evalute request of meetings with the sorcerer king himself, allowing a small but constant number of people to meet their god every month. The church is Lawfull Evil, their symbol is a black book with an opened snake eye.

Church of the Two Moons
Ral and Gutaj are the two moons of Athas and they were always worshipped since the Blue Age, in a time in which maybe there were really deities to personify the two moons. After the end of the Green age the cult of the two moons survived, as, even if silent, they were still there and they could not be forgotten. Tectuktitlay presented himself as the son of the two moons and united their surviving followers to buld the city of Draj with him. In the Moon-priest teaching Ral is the Moon of mercy and good luck while Gutaj is the moon of doom and judjement. People rarely name Gutaj unless to curse someone. Moon-priests when Ral is dominant perform healing and other acts of charity, but when Gutaj is dominant they sacrifice living beings to their master who takes their hearts. The will of Tectuktitlay is law, even if cultist of the twin moons outside Draj might ignore it. The Drajan church is Neutral evil, while outside Draj it is seen as true neutral, only performing sacrifice of non sentients and criminals. In Draj it use the two moon with a hand wielding a dagger as a symbol while outside that city the symbol are the two moons, period. (Since Rajaat’s ascension many moonpriests are having a dolorous change of heart, believing that Ral is not happy with her son and with them.)

Cult of the Dragon King
This cult was once based on the Dragon, the mightiest, cruelest, and most feared being on Athas, and it was mainly practiced by his undead servants, a Chaotic Evil cult of sacrifice, corruption and destfuction. After the Slaying of the Dragon and the razing of Ur-Draxa, whose undead inhabitants were scattered by the combined forces of Gulg, Balic, Tyr and Kurn, on it
That city ruins a new city called new Ebe was born, and in this city, an egg hatched. A new, powerfull being, a teenager calling himself Borys the Son of the Dragon took power in the city, but until now, he is showing himself a different ruler then the Dragon. While whimsical and hedonistic this Borys is neither cruel nor brutal. He does not care to be called a god, and while his enemies are swiftly disposed of he toleretes rivals, accept advise, and while no one decide but him he actually trusts his collaborators and he does have some true friend, to which he is very loyal. This new Dragon King has given rise to a new Cult of the Dragon King, a Chaotic Neutral one which enphatize the qualities of the new Borys. While the old cult used a stylized dragon silhouette as a symbol, the new one use a crown with dragon wings, and his priests call themseves the Dragonfriends.( After Rajaat’s ascension the surviving old undead followers of the Dragon have found a large black egg and they are starting to sacrifice to it)

Cult of the Dread King
The main Dray religion, the cult of their creator, the undead Sorcerer King Dregoth of Giustenal. This religion teach that Dray are the master race and Dregoth is the only rightfull ruler of Athas. Dregoth was killed by the jeaulous lesser monarchs on the path to godhood, but they failed, Dregoth was so strong that not even death could stop him, and now, in the deep of New Giustenal the Dreadscale Priests teaches their Dray fellows that one day they will emerge and take what is them Until now, they will have to hone their abilities and build up their strenght, culling any weakness and hoarding up any knowledge which could give them an advantage . The symbol of this Chaotic Evil Cult is a crowned dragon skull.

Cult of the Returning King
When Kalak was killed the Church of the Eternal King was disbanded, but a few of the old priesthood and followers stayed faithfull founding this secretive cult, which is a dangerous terrorist organisation, aiming to destabilize the new regi.e and to revive King Kalak. It is a N/ E cult which uses an obsidian eight point star as a symbol, to honour their fallen god. (After Rajaat’s Ascension the Searchers of the Returning King have started to dream about Kalak’s body, they want to retrieve it at any cost)

Cult of the Wise King
Oromis was a Champion of Rajaat, but he realized that what he was asked to do was wrong. He was the only one to realize that before Rajaat’s Imprisoning and the only one to promptly renounce the way of Defiling and fully embrace that of Preserving. He became the Avangion a dragon-fly being which is the bane of every defiler. In the city of Kurn he wellcomed people of similar disposition and, without any ecouragement on Oromis part, they started to worship him. Oromis teach his Disciples to be cautious and plan their moves well, because Athas has become a brutal place and a noble heart needs to be seven steps ahead the wicked ones to survive. But do not let hour armour turn in your skin. Do not let your heart hardening. Your empathy, your love for life, your ability to feel is what keeps you yourself, it is you true strenght. Oromis holy symble is the silhouette of an Avangion, and his Disciples priests are Lawfull / Good.

Way of the Imprisoned God
Rajaat, the first Defiler, was the one who destroyed Athas as it was in the Green Age, reddening the sun and leading to mass defiling and purging. All of this had one and only one reason behind: allowing Rajaat to take over Athas from the deities. Rajaat loathed the deities of Athas for allowing the Blue age to end. So he engineered the Cleansing Wars to destroy the deific planes and the take over, cleanse the world from the despised new races and then reign forever on a gratefull Athas. But his human followers which he had practically turned in demigods rebelled, imprisoning him in the black for thousand of years. He kept himself alive for all this time using the devotion he had managed to hijack from Athasian being before his emprisonment. Once the Dragon, the living lock to Rajaat’s prison’s door, died he managed to get free only for his body to be destroyed by a new alliance of villains, heroes and ambitious former templars. His body was destroyed and his spirit was banished in the black where it finally ascended to true godhood while xtill imprisoned. Now he slowly but steadily is reaching out to Athas. A small but very active cult of desperate yet resourcefull and skillfull people, who belidve the promises of knowlege, glory, power and retribution the voice in their dream made. They are spread out on all the Tablelands and beyond, using as synbol a deformed hand.The Way is working with discretion to free him again, and once he will be free again Athas shall be forever his.

Way of the Oba
Lalali-Puy was as evil as a Sorcerer Monarch can be but in the course of millennia she had a change of hearth. Few know the reason of this change, but it has happened neverthless. She changed and Gulg changed with her, for the better. Slavery became only a temporary punishment for the really wicked, nature spirits were freed and the earth near Gulg was healed. Now, she is still far from being good, since she need to develop her forgiveness and empathy department some more, however she have fully became her mask, the Oba, the Goddess Queen, a mysterious, stern but generous goddess of nature, demanding but understanding, distant but concerned for the well being of her people. Her priesthood, the Obakaji, wear more reasuring masks then the templars, the Judaga. They teaches respect for nature and tradition. The Way of the Oba is true Neutral, its symbol is a green mask.


very interesting!
where are the other 2 chapters?
Is your work on religion to group texts or are there inventions on your part?
can we participate and add some?

here the links, This is a paronamic of religions I use in my campaigns,

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