Templore Campaign Setting
Religion in Templore
The gods of Urth are mysterious and venerable at best, distant and contradictory at worst. Religion is old and richly integrated into most peoples lives, even when there is little proof of the existence of gods. At times, the gods seem to be listening to their mortal subjects, granting them boons in the form of good harvests, safe voyages, and fertile loins. Still in other situations, the gods seem to be absent or unhelpful, allowing a plague to decimate a community of their most loyal followers. In any case, people still hold fast to beliefs, old and new, and continue to pray to their unseen benefactors.
There are many different types of divinity observed by the peoples of the world. Some religions are pagan-like and have roots that stretch back to before recorded history. Others are newer and have emerged from the ashes of older faiths. Some religions are polytheistic, with entire pantheons of gods. Some are monotheistic and recognize only one god. Most faiths are tolerant of others and even encourage cooperation with foreign religions, but a few claim to be the only true religion and persecute any who disagree.
Legend and mythology interweave tales of the divine with known history itself, creating a tapestry of gods and men stretching back to the dawn of creation. Most ancient disasters, cataclysms, and phenomenon are credited to misbehaving gods or supernatural entities.
Aside from a select few instances, most religions have very different explanations about the creation of existence. While most of the major religions are content to accept their mythology alongside others, some hotly debate and contest the issue. While no doubt there are grains of truth concealed within every myth, religion is one of the many dividing factors among the civilizations of Templore.
Church and State
In many countries, church and state are inseparable. The church of a particular chief deity, such as Ao in Catharta, often holds as much power as the ruling government, or may be even more powerful. Even nomadic or tribal peoples will consult their gods, often via a shaman or other mystic, on things of importance. The exchange of money between church and government is integral to the economy, and excommunication is a very valid threat against the country by the church if relations are not good. In addition to money, the churches also provide countries with valuable resources and services, and of course governs good spiritual health and morality.
Religious Orders and Characters
Out of all the members of a church or religion, characters of the Cleric class are very uncommon. Clerics represent the love and adoration of their deities which grant them their powers; they are living tools of the gods, and it takes a very devoted individual to earn such favor. Most acolytes of the church, and even bishops and the like, will be Commoners, Experts, or even Aristocrats, though some members may be Adepts.
Inquisitors, Paladins, and Oracles are rarely seen in Templore. They are the true chosen of the gods, and their extraordinary powers and abilities are the stuff of legends.