For the fantasy campaign set in and around Drakesdoom I have had to consider the religious background of the world. Already a player-character has a (non-denominational) religious element to his background but I don’t want to be too prescriptive. However I also need to have an inkling of the religious background of the City to give the non-player characters depth. Many recent fantasy series (for example Shadows of the Apt have used a atheistic setting but I quite like the conflicts religious belief can introduce into a roleplaying game. Therefore I have decided on the following:
Freedom of Religion
The Order of Freedom of Faith by His Grace Margrave Klaus Fitzcarraldo ‘of the three arbalests’ Lord of Drakesdoom and Midmark, Slayer of Seljord, Master of the Hali Coast, Inheritor of Caracosa, Welcomer of Huddled Masses, Founder of Drakesdoom and the broader Midmark,
I have little time for Gods. From my experience they little care if men live or die. Better to be silent than to call their attention to you; they tend to send you dooms, not fortune! They are grim and loveless, but at birth they breathe power to strive and slay into a man’s soul. What else shall men ask of the gods?
However I know my beliefs are my own and I shall not prescribe or prohibit the worship of any god or spirit, following of any Prophet or Fakir, voicing of any prayers or incantations. I do this on the strict understanding that a person’s faith, church or spirituality provides no excuse for any crimes. Temples and Churches are welcome in Drakesdoom providing they pay the appropriate ground rent for commercial premises to the Mark’s coffers.
(with apologies to Robert E Howard.)
The Holy Banks
The vagaries of the Drakesdoom ground rent system means that Churches have clustered on opposite banks of the Halit River opposite the Fort. This district called ‘The Holy Banks’ bristles with the competing spires, minarets, towers and statues of competing churches and temples.
As the waterfront here is not claimed for commercial warehouses the wharfs here are used for Boatmen who transit people across the River in competition with the Trollbridge. The contrast between the pious clerics of various tempers and the foul mouthed, leery and opinionated Boatmen is often commented upon.
The district also has clusters of food stalls and beverage venues to tender to the faithful and supplicants. It tends to be amongst the most cosmopolitan area of a cosmopolitan city with the followers of various churches passing through.
Some Noteable Cults
The Church of the Emperor-Over-The-Sea – a ‘lawful good’ religion obsessed with the avoidance and contrition for sin whose principle symbol is a lion.
The Temple of Marvels – a polytheistic cult based on the worship of five principle gods ‘Avengers’ – the Armoured Alchemist, The Starred Shield Bearer, The Thunderer, Anansi the Spider, and The Great Green Rage. There are many dozen lesser gods as well.
The Burrow of El-ahrairah – A cult devoted to ‘the Prince of a Thousand enemies’ a rabbit-trickster figure whom is worshipped by thieves and outlaws as well as Rabbitoids.
The Trinity – a polytheistic cult headed by three deities, the distinctly apollonian pair of The Man of the Future, The Amazon Princess and a chthonian revenge figure the Dark Paladin. There are many dozen lesser gods as well.
The Starry Wisdom Cult – a small secretive cult part Church and part magical order.
The Esoteric Order of Dagon – a small secretive cult popular with sailors and fishermen.
(With apologies to CS Lewis, Richard Adams and HP Lovecraft.)