With inevitable variations and prejudice arising from cultural and geographical differences, almost all inhabitants of Harn share a common set of metaphysical beliefs. They are pantheistic, believing in the existence of ten major (and hundreds of minor) deities, and share the same myth of creation. Most worship only one deity.
The most common titles of the ten major deities and brief comments on their religions followAgrik
“Lord of the Four Horsemen, Master of the V’hir, Immortal Warlord of Balgashang, Breeder of Plague, Squalor, and Decay, Reasonless Reaper, Tyrant of the Foul Chamber, Knower of the Ten Thousand Ways.”
Agrik is the evil god of war, the breeder of violence for its own sake, the deity of those who enjoy rapine, pillage, cruelty and destruction. His element is fire. Agrik is worshipped by more than half a dozen different clerical sects, each of which sponsors its own fighting order. The church is a hotbed of internecine strife.Halea
“The Empress of Opulence, Queen of Pleasures and Self-Fulfillment, Maker of Bargains, Guardian of the Treasure Hoards of Heaven, Enslaver of Hearts and Loins, Unchaste Lady of the Ten Forgotten Acts, Golden Temptress of the Crimson Chamber.”
Halea is the amoral goddess of wealth and pleasure. She is the deity of those who seek hedonistic joy. She is a schemer who demands unswerving devotion of her adherents and loves flattery. The Halean church restricts its clergy to women; males are used as temple guards and consorts.Ilvir
“Master of Araka-Kalai, Brooder in the Blasted Plains, Serpent that Dwells Below, Accursed Lord of the Barren Cycle, Prince of the Fatherless Multitude, Craven Lord of the Sterile Lands.”
Ilvir is the creator of the Ivashu. His ethical code is centered on self preservation. His adherents are individualistic, creative, and fond of mysticism. Dozens of distinct sects worship Ilvir, although his adherents are not numerous. Ilviranism is known for its fractious and esoteric ritualism.Larani
“Shieldmaiden of the Worthy Cause, Guardian of Dolithor, the Unwilling Warrior, Lady of Paladins, Protector of the Brave.”
Larani is the benevolent goddess of chivalry and battle, the reluctant warrior. She is the deity of those who make war in a just and honorable cause. Larani’s church is comprised of several clerical sects, each with its own fighting order and region of operation.Morgath
“Tormentor of the Unlamented Dead, Master of the Principle of Evil, Lord of the Gulmorvin of the Black Pit, Wielder of the Shadow of Incarnate Evil, Wreaker of Chaos.”
Morgath is the master of chaos, evil, and the Undead. He is a god of retribution, caring nothing for justice, and despising all things fair and noble. His clerical followers belong to the “Order of the Lord of Chaos”, a dour and ruthless organization, infamous for its practice of human sacrifice.Naveh
“Lord of the Pitch Shadows, Master of Deceit and Evil Dreams, Lord of the Last Illusion, Merchant of Death, Unseen Lifter of Lives, Trancer the Cat, Wealth’s Worry.”
Naveh is perhaps the most merciless of the gods, motivated by cold implacable intelligence. A god of darkness, he is often worshipped by thieves and assassins. He is considered a doer of the impossible and a master of lies and deception. Best known as the bringer of nightmares, Naveh is associated with inexplicable and untimely death. His clerics are amazingly well disciplined, and have been known to commit suicide to prove a point.Peoni
“The Restorer and Bringer of Life Renewed, Maker of Balms, Lady of Truth, Everliving Daughter of White Virtue, Guardian of the Meek, Lady of Industrious Labors and the Ripe Harvest, Confidant of Lovers, Chaste Lady of Honest Love.”
Peoni is the gentle goddess of healing and agriculture. She is a forgiving deity, worshipped by farmers, and those who use their skills to aid the meek and powerless. Peoni’s celibate priesthood is divided into two orders, one male and one female. Temples have the habit of disbursing their funds to the poor and are, consequently, always on the edge of poverty.Sarajin
“King of the Icy Wind, Lord of the Perilous Quest, Wielder of the Blooded Ax, Master of Frosty Climes, The Gray Slayer.”
Sarajin is the amoral god of battlelust, requiring fearlessness and bravado (the code of the Ljarl) of his adherents. He loves the sport of war, and sometimes participates in human battles. He is the principal god of viking and of the Ivinians. Sarajin’s followers are informal in their religious organization. Clerical functions are performed by traditional “priestly” clans who recognize no central authority.Save-K’nor
“Lord of Puzzles, Conundrums and Mazes, Sage of the Gods, Lord of Jesters, Mixer of Potions, Knower of Many Things, Keeper of the Var-Hyvrak, The Lost Guide.”
Save-K’nor is the god of knowledge, and the seeker of enlightenment. His adherents have no particular moral bent besides loyalty to the church, although their belief in an ordered society generally precludes evil behavior. Three sects, each stressing a different personal aspect, worship Save-K’nor.Siem
“Master of the Lords of Dream, Bringer of Meritorious Dreams and Blessed Forgetfulness, Lord of the Starlit and Thrice Blessed Realm, King of the Uttermost West, Master of the Sundered Ones in Exile, Spirit of the Mist, Never Changing Lord of the Azure Bowl.”
Siem is the benign god of mystery, magic and dreams. He is the special deity of elves and dwarves and is sometimes considered the eldest of the gods. Siem’s followers are not organized into what can properly be termed a church. While communal worship does occur, ultimately each individual makes his own personal approach to the deity.
In addition to the ten major deities described above, hundreds of lesser divine and semi-divine entities are worshipped by Lythians. Almost all barbarian tribes possess their own mythologies, outlined with the information found for that tribe.Demigods and Demons
Demigods are of two types, those who serve one of the ten great deities by choice or compulsion, and those who serve no master. A god does not have to actually exist in order to be worshipped, nor does an existing god require adherents. A demon is simply an evil demigod. Demons and demigods vary in strength, and also in attitude. Some are limited to specific regions, confined by greater beings or principles. Some are associated by need or tradition with particular peoples or institutions. The powers of the gods, if not infinite, are at least beyond the compass of mortal man. Demigods and demons, on the other hand, are closer to man; their imperfections and weaknesses, their attitudes and objectives, may be comprehended by mortals with relative ease. It is not appropriate to attach the label “superman” to a god, with a demon or demigod, it may be. The attitude of the worshiper varies according to the object of his worship. Mortals may worship out of love, respect, or fear. Some worship out of what can be gained, but with a major god, this can lead to disaster. Some demons and demigods can be flattered, tricked, or even threatened into granting aid. Some find this easier to deal with than the more rigorous requirements of a major deity.