A Brief Summary of the Heathen Gods of the Nostramar Sea
For the Eradication of Misplaced Belief and for the Eternal Power of Ocoru and Amonte, Creators and Preservers of His Imperial Highness and All His Peoples; Or, a Survey of the Curious and Primitive Religions of Our Neighbours, with Notes on the More Exotic Customs There Practiced
The Rikiki Peninsula
Though the Strigokocra are some of our nearest neighbours, not much has been known about them until recent times. They practice a form of nature-worship, erroneously believing each individual aspect of nature to be separately holy, instead of seeing in every small thing the great power and care of Ocoru and Amonte, as we rightfully do. This is a common theme among the heathen religions, which fail to see the interconnected pattern of all things. Here are a few of their infinite gods, and among the most important to their everyday lives:
ROKO [domains: nature, knowledge, life]
Roko is usually depicted as a sleeping giant, whose body forms the earth. This is clearly a mis-understanding, perhaps identifying shapes in the skirts of Amonte the way children see shapes in clouds.
ARAKI [domains: nature, life, trickery]
The fertility goddess of the Strigokocra, entirely unsuitable for public consideration. Even describing her generally would be unseemly.
KORU [domains: nature, arcana, tempest]
The sea god. With such a similar name to Ocoru, this is clearly simply a misunderstanding of the true and much greater power of the All-Father.
ANOKI [domains: nature, life]
A god of the jungle.
GO [domains: life, death, grave, arcana]
Arguably simply another name for the soul, or for the essence of life.
ITIKU [domains: nature, tempest, knowledge]
Wind goddess, but also a sort of patron of the arts.
KIRIKONAPA [domains: nature, light, death, grave]
The name given to a western star and believed to be the guide for the recently deceased.
The Lizard Folk, Dwarves, and Halflings
The other strange races of our world are much less well-understood and are less easily compared to our own gods. The Lizard Folk seem to worship snakes as their ancestors. They believe their voices are impure, since snakes only hiss, and their sacred prayers are therefore entirely unvoiced—completely unintelligible. There seem to be three chief gods:
HESHSESS [domains: arcana, death, trickery, war, grave]
SSHRSHUS [domains: nature, tempest, life]
KRSHUS [domains: forge, knowledge, light, order]
These three gods appear to oversee the three basic realms of endeavour: violence and death, nature, and daily life.
The dwarves, by contrast, worship a family unit of gods exactly like the family units around which they build their society: Father, Mother, Daughter, Son, Husband, and Wife. Husband is married to Daughter, and Wife is married to Son. As dwarves move through their lives, they move through the patronage of the different gods. Dwarf men begin as sons, become husbands, and finally fathers, and dwarf women begin as daughters, become wives, and finally mothers. It is not considered dishonorable to remain in a single category for one’s entire life, for example to dedicate oneself to Daughter and choose never to marry. Most dwarves, however, do move through the three life cycles, and the number three is sacred. These will be difficult to convert because the structure is much different from that of Ocoru and Amonte, who generously oversee all, young and old.
As far as I can tell from the travellers I have interviewed, the Halflings worship their own sheep. They are pescatarians, raising their sheep not for eating. They pray to their sheep for the honour of using their wool, and in all other ways subordinate themselves to these dumb animals. Many stories circulate of unnatural relationships of ritual worship with the sheep on the long journeys to upper pastures, but surely not even the halflings could be so base.
The Northern Free Cities
The Northern Free Cities worship a vestigial offshoot of the truth, as Ocoru and Amonte were once erroneously considered part of a larger pantheon before their true grace and majesty was understood. The Free Cities other than Vallir seem to have completely lost the need for a god related to the water, which seems to have lost Ocoru his place in their worship. Instead, Amonte’s characteristics as a goddess of mountains are divided up among many mountain beings because of the primacy of rock and stone to these mining communities.
ASGER [war, arcana]
Weaponry, war, power, politics
ASTRID [life, order, light]
Beauty, queen of the gods, the sun
BJARKE [nature, forge]
The bear, strength, safety in mining
BRENNA [death, grave]
The elk, peace, certainty, the afterlife
DAGMAR [knowledge, arcana]
Witches, gemstones, silver, gold, treasure, the underground
The island nations formerly had a large and complex pantheon, but they have slowly been educated in the true ways of Ocoru and Amonte. Most now properly worship, with old temples that are still in use converted for the glory of the All-Father and the Intercessor. Snug Corner, for example, already had a local fear of water and happily adopted the worship of Amonte as a protectress of the land. However, there is a troubling persistence of a belief in a death goddess, ATLAUA, who walks on the ocean floor. Since many of the ancient cities of this region are deep below the sea (as we know, due to Ocoru’s raising of the waters), Atlaua’s followers believe she rules below the waves and waits for the faithful to join her in the cold splendours of the ancient cities there. It cannot be emphasized enough to these foolish and backward peoples that a disbelief in Ocoru will only see the seas rise further, when Amonte can no longer hold back his wrath. There is no such Atlaua, for only Ocoru rules over the seas. This belief is particularly pernicious in the Shallow Isles, where ships bearing imperial Noon Priests have not yet successfully reached.
Atlaua [domains: arcana, death, nature, tempest, grave]
The pirates seem to have organize themselves around a cult to the trickster god Kyprioth, to whom dice, compasses, and all other symbols of the vagaries of fate and fortune are dedicated. It is a custom among many of them to carry a symbol of luck with them onto the ocean, often a single die strung around the neck. This reliance on fate and chance is clearly only an excuse to live hedonistically and ignore the respect deserved by Ocoru and Amonte, and the pirates and their false religion must be entirely eradicated.