Sundering the Gods

On the Eve of Snows,

come heavens or hells,

war will rage.

Religion on the Sister Continents

After the Age of God Wars religion on the Sister Continents entered a new phase, where the true gods are no longer able to reach the lands in physical form, and therefore rely upon their followers in order to affect events in the world. After the Banishing it was discovered that although the gods were gone and their connection to the people weakened, there was still a spiritual link between god and worshipper that allowed the power of prayer to request a surge of Elemental Energies with which the worshipper could still utilize to form spells. With this knowledge a multitude of religions were rapidly reformed, even if memories of the gods and their teachings were, at best, fuzzy after the Banishing's Forgetting. 

The true gods belong to what are known s Pantheons, of which there are likely thirty or more remaining heading into the Age of Stability, while there are also a multitude of powerful beings worshipped as gods that physically live on the Sister Continents. These religions are often looked down upon and disparaged by the followers of the Pantheons, as they call them the false gods amongst other things, but for our purposes these sorts of religions will be broken into two, Corporeal and Cult.

A Corporeal religion is one that worships powerful beings that exist in the world, which could range from tree spirits (Tûotukrêx religion of the Rivinfowst) to a mighty Elemental (seen often in the deserts of Southern Vandunêz) to an ancient dragon. Corporeal religions have the advantage of the "god" being present and able to directly influence events, including protecting their followers, but the Elemental Energies gained from the worship of these beings is not as powerful as received by a typical Pantheon. This will not necessarily show at the individual level, but if judging worshippers as a whole, the difference becomes noticeable.

Cults are religions that worship beings that can reach the Sister Continents directly, but they are generally unable to stay for long periods. A prime example of this is the Ômîk Dôžû of the Listulên. This religion is based around the summoning of small spirit beings that are capable of augmenting a priests prayers and powers. Generally speaking these beings are shadowy or demonic in appearance and rely entirely upon their host to retain their presence on the Sister Continents. Most worshippers of these Cults believe that there are "greater shadows/demons" that they pray to, and that the minor versions are all that can make the journey to  the Continents. This is, in most cases, believed to be true by scholars.

Scholars who look for an explanation of Corporeal and Cult Worship versus Pantheon tend to come to the conclusion that the peoples who worship these beings "lost" their Pantheon during the God Wars or some time after the Banishing and to fill the void in their spiritual lives turned to alternate religions. This is probably a simplistic explanation, but there is a kernel of truth to be found in the theory. The presence of demon worship even during the God Wars tends to suggest that there might be additional forces at play, but most sources on the subject are extremely vague and from the point of view of those opposing these Cults. 

In order to feed the curiosity, here is some background info on the Pantheon of the Four Queens as practiced on the Ôlfindarâ Islands.

Background Art by Jon Gibbons

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