The Holy Faith
The main doctrine of the Holy Faith is that there is but one omnipotent, omniscient being in the universe, who is known by the name of Il Matio. Life is centered on the concept of sin (what they should do or not), and how absolve it so that one’s soul can join Il Matio in heaven after death. Followers of the Holy Faith are taught to help all who hurt, no matter who they are, and that the truly holy take on the suffering of others. Believers are taught that the Holy Church is infallible, and must be obeyed. The Holy Church holds that the Arch-Prelate is the highest earthly authority on all religious beliefs, doctrine and scriptural interpretation.
As a consequence, all other sects of the True Faith are considered heretics, and non-Holy Faith religions are generally considered cults (at best) or demoniac worship (at worst). While this faith professes an ethic of love and justice, some of the priesthood and monastic orders are prone to intolerance - in particular, arcane magic is considered the work of demons, devils and other evil spirits. In regions where the Holy Faith is powerful, arcane magic is suppressed, and in some places, practitioners are punished by severe trials and even death. The religion is almost exclusively human; demi-humans are not welcome in general (though there have been exceptions). In some areas demi-humans are even persecuted by the Holy Faith as idolaters and practitioners of witchcraft (generally the same places where arcane magic use is punished).
The True Faith
Worship A'Salam, an all-knowing, omnipotent celestial being who was revealed through the work of the founder of the faith, known as The Prophet; Symbol: A golden phoenix rising on a red background Ethos: Enforce the laws of the land; Help those that help themselves; Be generous to the poor, sick, and helpless. Stringently follow the precepts of A’Salam to attain the reward that is promised to the faithful after death. Protect and preserve the most holy lands from the infidels (non-believers). Generally, a Lawful Good aligned religion if observed according to the laws. The state religion of the Jhonian Empire – citizens who do not follow the True Faith, while not persecuted, do not enjoy the full benefits of citizenship. Conquered peoples are offered the chance to convert, but are not persecuted in most cases if they choose not to. The leader of the True Faith is the Grand Imam of the Golden Mosque, located in Ajuhar-al-Sahir, the Jhonian Capital.
Priest of the True Faith
Alignment: Lawful Good
Major Spheres: All; Combat; Creation; Divination; Guardian; Healing; Protection; Summoning
Minor Spheres: Elemental; Charm; Necromantic (good effects only)
Weapons: Must take scimitar; no other weapon restrictions
Armor: Banded Mail or lighter; Shield allowed.
The Vulkul Pantheon
Primarily worshipped in the Barbarian Kingdoms, but popular in the areas of the Wild Coast, New Kingdoms, The Isles of the Sea Lords, and Athervon (until the rise of the Holy Faith of Il Matio<).
Some say the original deities worshipped by the original Tuathan humans of the Athernian peninsula in the ancient past. Virtually unknown now, this pantheon of four gods is now an underground and largely ignored religion. What few followers there are exist on the outskirts of civilized human areas, and little is known about them or their practices.
Many of the clans and tribes in the barbaric northern areas worship a Spirit God; each clan that follows this form of religion will have a specific guardian spirit, and many clans and tribes go by the name of their guardian (e.g., White Bear Clan, Black Wolf Clan). Spirits are generally animals, but less commonly one can find other examples such as sacred places (Broken Rock Tribe) or vegetation (Great Tree Clan).
Popular across many regions in the East, particularly Chandrahaar and Nihar, but also the steppes of Hazur, Iruzhin, and some of the barbaric northern clans and tribes, this religion primarily focuses on worship of the ancestral blood line of the clan, with the founders of the Clan worshipped as God or Gods (and more rarely, Goddesses) by all, and the more recent dead being demi-gods or messengers for these more powerful entities.
The Is’ri Pantheon
At one time actively worshipped in the land of Issyria (Is’ri-a), until it was conquered by the Jhonians (last 200 years). Now it exists as an underground religion there. Ex-patriots of Issyria can still be found worshipping these Gods, in lands that allow it.
The Niharian Pantheon
Worshipped almost exclusively in Nihar and a few of the surrounding Islands.
The Dwarven Faith
The Dwarves worship Ghrgükhrm as their only true diety. There is a pantheon of saints that are prayed to as intermediaries, and the Dwarves also revere their ancestors. Priests of Ghrgükhrm generally focus on spells of healing, augmentation, protection, divination, and manipulation of the earth, rocks, and stone. Dwarven priests and stone-crafters are able to create stone golems of an exceptionally powerful nature.
The Elven Pantheon
Elves are generally less religious than most other races, but do celebrate holy days for the gods of their pantheon. Each of the Elven ethnic varieties tend to prefer some members of the Pantheon over others, depending on their environment and circumstances.