Religion

Religion

The gods are many. A few, such as Pelor (god of the sun), have grand temples that sponsor mighty processions through the streets on high holy days. Others, such as Erythnul (god of slaughter), have temples only in hidden places or evil lands.
While the gods most strongly make their presence felt through their clerics, they also have lay followers who more or less attempt to live up to their deities’ standards. The typical person has a deity whom he considers to be his patron.
Still, it is only prudent to be respectful toward and even pray to other deities when the time is right. Before setting out on a journey, a follower of Pelor might leave a small sacrifice at a wayside shrine to Fharlanghn (god of roads) to improve his chances of having a safe journey. As long as one’s own deity is not at odds with the others in such an act of piety, such simple practices are common.
In times of tribulation, however, some people recite dark prayers to evil deities. Such prayers are best muttered under one’s breath, lest others overhear.
Deities rule the various aspects of human existence: good and evil, law and chaos, life and death, knowledge and nature. In addition, various nonhuman races have racial deities of their own

The Gods

The deities reside in the countless dominions that swirl through the Astral Sea. They appear in dreams and visions to their followers and wear countless different faces, and artwork depicting them shows them in a variety of forms. Their true nature is beyond any physical form. Corellon is often depicted as an eladrin, but he is no more an eladrin than he is a fey panther—he is a god, and he transcends the physical laws that bind all other beings to concrete forms.

Some deities are good or lawful good, some are evil or chaotic evil, and some are unaligned. Each deity has a vision of how the world should be, and the agents of the deities seek to bring that vision to life. Even the agents and worshipers of deities who share an alignment can come into conflict. Except for chaotic evil gods, all deities are enemies of the demons, which would rather destroy the world than govern it.

Most people revere more than one deity, praying to different gods at different times. Commoners in a small town might visit a temple that has three altars, where they pray to Bahamut for protection, Pelor for fertile crops, and Moradin to aid their skill at crafting. Clerics and paladins more often serve a single deity, championing that god’s particular cause in the world. Other adventurers range across the spectrum, from paying lip service to the whole pantheon, to fervently serving a single god, to ignoring the gods entirely as they pursue their own divine ascension.

Avandra – unaligned
Bahamut – lawful, good
Boccob – neutral
Corellon Larethian – chaotic, good
Ehlonna – neutral, good
Erathis – unaligned
Erythnul – chaotic evil
Gruumsh – chaotic evil
Heinoneous – lawful, good
Hextor – lawful, evil
Ioun – unaligned
Garl Glittergold – neutral, good
Fharlanghn – neutral
Kord – chaotic, good
Melora – unaligned
Moradin – lawful, neutral
Nerull – neutral, evil
[[St. Cuthbert | St. Cuthbert]] – lawful, neutral
Obad-Hai – neutral
Vecna – neutral, evil
Wee Jas – lawful, neutral
Olidammara – chaotic, neutral
Pelor – neutral, good
The Raven Queen – neutral
Sehanine – unaligned
Yondalla – lawful, good

Asmodeus is the evil god of the Nine Hells. He is patron of the powerful, god of tyranny and domination, and the commander of devils.

Bane relishes his role as the evil god of war and conquest. Militaristic nations of humans and goblins serve him and conquer in his name.

Lolth stands as the 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.

Tharizdun is the chaotic evil god who created the Abyss. His existence is not widely known, and only a few scattered cults still revere him. After the Dawn War, Tharizdun was imprisoned by the other gods, locked away for evils he has fostered. When he is named, he hides behind the titles of the Chained God and the Elder Elemental Eye to keep the activities of his servants secret from the other gods.

Tiamat is the evil god of wealth, greed, and envy. She urges her followers to take vengeance for every slight, and she is the patron of chromatic dragons.

Torog, the evil god of the Underdark, is the 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.

Zehir is the evil god of darkness, poison, and assassins. Snakes are his favored creation, and the snakelike yuan-ti revere him above all other gods.

Religion

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