The Shadow of Dragons
- Humans were created by an unknown god.
- Wayside shrines built on trade roads are dedicated to the worship of Avandra, Melora and Sehanine.
- Religious organizations are political forces in the world.
- Knightly orders are often dedicated to Bahamut or Bane.
- Colleges are frequently devoted to Ioun.
- Civic organizations honor Erathis.
- Travelers’ aid societies are dedicated to Avandra.
- Craft guilds often invoke Moradin’s name.
- Goblinkin, especially hobgoblins, worship Bane.
- Gnolls worship the demon lord Yeenoghu and often work with demons.
- Temples do not usually hold regular services. Most are always open, and act as “community centers” for worshippers. The faithful only congregate in temples on holy days, which are social holidays.
Good and Unaligned Deities
The god of change, Avandra delights in freedom, trade, travel, adventure, and the frontier. Her temples are few in civilized lands, but her wayside shrines appear throughout the world. Halflings, merchants, and all types of adventurers are drawn to her worship, and many people raise a glass in her honor, viewing her as the god of luck. Her commandments are few:
- Luck favors the bold. Take your fate into your own hands, and Avandra smiles upon you.
- Strike back against those who would rob you of your freedom and urge others to fight for their own liberty.
- Change is inevitable, but it takes the work of the faithful to ensure that change is for the better.
Holy Days: Snowmelt, which is strictly the week of the first actual snowmelt, when the roads for trade begin to clear and the weather warms. However, it is usually celebrated the first Sunday in March.
- Lawful Good
Called the Platinum Dragon, Bahamut is the god of justice, protection, nobility, and honor. Lawful good paladins often revere him, and metallic dragons worship him as the first of their kind. Monarchs are crowned in his name. He commands his followers thus:
- Uphold the highest ideals of honor and justice.
- Be constantly vigilant against evil and oppose it on all fronts.
- Protect the weak, liberate the oppressed, and defend just order.
Holy Days: Oathday, which is sunset of New Year’s Eve through the sunset of New Years Day. Atonements for the past year are made at night, and pledges and oaths for the coming year are made throughout the day.
The god of spring, beauty, and the arts, Corellon is the patron of arcane magic and the fey. He seeded the world with arcane magic and planted the most ancient forests. Artists and musicians worship him, as do those who view their spellcasting as an art, and his shrines can be found throughout the Feywild. He despises Lolth and her priestesses for leading the drow astray, and it was he who blinded one of Gruumsh’s eyes. He urges his followers thus:
- Cultivate beauty in all that you do, whether you’re casting a spell, composing a saga, strumming a lute, or practicing the arts of war.
- Seek out lost magic items, forgotten rituals, and ancient works of art. Corellon might have inspired them in the world’s first days.
- Thwart the followers of Lolth at every opportunity.
Holy Days: Corellon’s Dawning, which is March 20th, the first day of Spring. From sunrise to sunset, there are feasts and traditional dances. The Dawning is also a popular day for marriages.
Erathis is the god of civilization. She is the muse of great invention, founder of cities, and author of laws. Rulers, judges, pioneers, and devoted citizens revere her, and her temples hold prominent places in most of the world’s major cities. Her laws are many, but their purpose is straightforward:
- Work with others to achieve your goals. Community and order are always stronger than the disjointed efforts of lone individuals.
- Tame the wilderness to make it fit for habitation, and defend the light of civilization against the encroaching darkness.
- Seek out new ideas, new inventions, new lands to inhabit, new wilderness to conquer. Build machines, build cities, build empires.
Holy Days: Erathisar, which is the night of May 8. The wealthier cities will have pyromatic displays to signify the light which civilization has brought into the world. It is also a popular day for the execution of criminals.
Ioun is the god of knowledge, skill, and prophecy. Sages, seers, and tacticians revere her, as do all who live by their knowledge and mental power. Corellon is the patron of arcane magic, but Ioun is the patron of its study. Libraries and wizard academies are built in her name. Her commands are also teachings:
- Seek the perfection of your mind by bringing reason, perception, and emotion into balance with one another.
- Accumulate, preserve, and distribute knowledge in all forms. Pursue education, build libraries, and seek out lost and ancient lore.
- Be watchful at all times for the followers of Vecna, who seek to control knowledge and keep secrets. Oppose their schemes, unmask their secrets, and blind them with the light of truth and reason.
Holy Days: Iouneter, the first of September. This holiday often passes with little note, although it is said that burning a candle in Ioun’s name this night will bring wisdom in the coming year.
See Forn Sidr.
Kord is the storm god and the lord of battle. He revels in strength, battlefield prowess, and thunder. Fighters and athletes revere him. He is a mercurial god, unbridled and wild, who summons storms over land and sea; those who hope for better weather appease him with prayers and spirited toasts. He gives few commands:
- Be strong, but do not use your strength for wanton destruction.
- Be brave and scorn cowardice in any form.
- Prove your might in battle to win glory and renown.
Holy Days: Kord’s Day, on July 25. It is a feasting holiday, with sport, athletic competitions, and marital exhibitions. Military parades are common in larger cities.
Melora is the god of the wilderness and the sea. She is both the wild beast and the peaceful forest, the raging whirlpool and the quiet desert. Rangers, hunters, and elves revere her, and sailors make offerings to her before beginning their voyages. Her strictures are these:
- Protect the wild places of the world from destruction and overuse. Oppose the rampant spread of cities and empires.
- Hunt aberrant monsters and other abominations of nature.
- Do not fear or condemn the savagery of nature. Live in harmony with the wild.
Holy Days: Melora’s Turn, October 10. As the leaves on the trees start to change colors, Melora’s Turn is celebrated at the beginning of the final harvest of the year. Haybales and strawmen are burned in bonfires in the countryside, but most cities pass this day with little notice.
- Lawful Good
Moradin is the god of creation and patron of artisans, especially miners and smiths. He carved the mountains from primordial earth and is the guardian and protector of the hearth and the family. Dwarves from all walks of life follow him. He demands these behaviors of his followers:
- Meet adversity with stoicism and tenacity.
- Demonstrate loyalty to your family, your clan, your leaders, and your people.
- Strive to make a mark on the world, a lasting legacy. To make something that lasts is the highest good, whether you are a smith working at a forge or a ruler building a dynasty.
Holy Days: Morador, which falls on April 22. Though largely a Dwarven holiday, many cities and larger towns will hold crafting exhibitions and auctions this day. It is also considered lucky to begin construction of a new building on Morador.
God of the sun and summer, Pelor is the keeper of time. He supports those in need and opposes all that is evil. As the lord of agriculture and the bountiful harvest, he is the deity most commonly worshiped by ordinary humans, and his priests are well received wherever they go. Paladins and rangers are found among his worshipers. He directs his followers thus:
- Alleviate suffering wherever you find it.
- Bring Pelor’s light into places of darkness, showing kindness, mercy, and compassion.
- Be watchful against evil.
Holy Days: High Summer’s Day, which is June 20th, the Summer Solstice. This is probably the largest holiday in the region, and is a time of feasting, joy, and happiness.
The name of the god of death is long forgotten, but she is called the Raven Queen. She is the spinner of fate and the patron of winter. She marks the end of each mortal life, and mourners call upon her during funeral rites, in the hope that she will guard the departed from the curse of undeath. She expects her followers to abide by these commandments:
- Hold no pity for those who suffer and die, for death is the natural end of life.
- Bring down the proud who try to cast off the chains of fate. As the instrument of the Raven Queen, you must punish hubris where you find it.
- Watch for the cults of Orcus and stamp them out whenever they arise. The Demon Prince of the Undead seeks to claim the Raven Queen’s throne.
Holy Days: Queen’s Night, December 21, the Winter Solstice. The longest night of the year is marked by ceremonies in the Raven Queen’s name, and it is a night to celebrate memories of those who have passed on. It is also considered lucky to wake early the following morning.
God of the moon and autumn, Sehanine is the patron of trickery and illusions. She has close ties to Corellon and Melora and is a favorite deity among elves and halflings. She is also the god of love, who sends shadows to cloak lovers’ trysts. Scouts and thieves ask for her blessing on their work. Her teachings are simple:
- Follow your goals and seek your own destiny.
- Keep to the shadows, avoiding the blazing light of zealous good and the utter darkness of evil.
- Seek new horizons and new experiences, and let nothing tie you down.
Holy Days: Shadow’s Eve, well after sunset on November 5. There are no organized celebrations, but Shadow’s Eve has a reputation for a night of mischeif-makers and ner-do-wells.
Evil and Monstrous Deities
God of the Nine Hells. He is patron of the powerful, god of tyranny and domination, and the commander of devils.
God of war and conquest. Militaristic nations of humans and goblins serve him and conquer in his name.
- Chaotic Evil
God of destruction, lord of marauding barbarian hordes. Where Bane commands conquest, Gruumsh exhorts his followers to slaughter and pillage. Orcs are his most fervent followers.
- Chaotic Evil
God of shadow, lies, and spiders. Scheming and treachery are her commands, and her clerics are a constant force of disruption in the otherwise stable society of the evil drow.
God of wealth, greed, and envy. She urges her followers to take vengeance for every slight, and she is the patron of chromatic dragons.
God of the Underdark, patron of jailers and torturers. Common superstition holds that if his name is spoken, the King that Crawls will burrow up from below and drag the hapless speaker underground to an eternity of imprisonment and torture.
God of undead, necromancy, and secrets. He rules that which is not meant to be known and that which people wish to keep secret.
God of darkness, poison, and assassins. Snakes are his favored creation, and the yuan-ti revere him above all other gods.