Templore Campaign Setting
Two major religions have emerged from the Cathartan empire. The old religion, of multiple gods and goddesses, which gave way to a newer religion of one true god.
The old gods were worshiped in the days before Catharta became an empire, and were adopted as the official religion of the empire when it was established. The elder Cathartan deities were often seen as being similar to their mortal followers, being at times both benevolent and vindictive. The Cathartans did not mind this, rather they embraced it, incorporating the gods’ human-like nature into their myths. Nor did they shy away from paying homage to darker gods when necessary. The people believed that the gods themselves were very near to mankind, and had a very direct influence on the day-to-day life of humanity.
Then a new idea began to emerge, one of a singular, perfect creator. One who was so vast and powerful that he could not be easily be reached, yet whose presence was undeniable. This idea was not held with high regard, and was considered sacrilege, by the emperors of the time. However, as time passed and the empire began its slow decline, so too did the perceived influence of the gods, and the presence of the new god began to take form. It became a popular religion especially among the common folk, who were increasingly displeased with their rulers, and who were looking for ways to quietly rebel against their sovereign. The new emperors found it wise to take heed of this new religion and use it to empower their positions. The new god, Ao, was declared the new official religion of Catharta. It did not take long for the church of Ao to gain immense wealth and influence, and become a political power second only to the emperor himself. Using the notion of manifest destiny granted to them by their god, the Cathartans then embarked on an expansionist campaign that would span nearly an entire continent, and exterminate many other cultures in it’s wake.
The true creator of all existence. Ao is the recognizable form of all that was, is, and will be. In fact, his name, Ao, was created from the first and last letters of the Cathartan alphabet, symbolizing that he is the beginning and end of all things. Due to his very nature it is not possible for mortal or deity alike to fully understand Ao’s workings. His followers believe that only holy men inducted into the church may speak directly to him, though some few not of the church have claimed that they have been blessed with the ability as well. Though Ao is seen as a benevolent and merciful deity, he is also believed to be capable of extreme acts of vengeance against those who oppose him and his worshipers.
Holy symbols and colors: Ouroboros (symbolizing infinity), rainbows, prisms; white or all colors
Favored weapon: Any
Creator and bearer of light, life, and purification. Absolis is the head of the Cathartan pantheon, inheritor of the flame of Bahamut, who spread the fire of the Primordial throughout the cosmos, creating a chariot of fire (the sun) and the celestial bonfires (stars). Therefore he is often associated with astrology and cosmology as well as his more recognized portfolio of life and cleansing.
Holy symbols and colors: sun, star, sunburst/rays of light; white, gold, yellow
Favored weapon: mace
DOMAINS: Law, Protection, Healing, Sun, Glory
The polar opposite of Absolis, Tenebra is the embodiment of darkness and obscurity. She dwells in the dark places that Absolis’s light does not reach, and is considered to be the goddess of secrets, which she discovers and keeps hidden in her shadows, and is often willing to grant some to a loyal follower… for a due price. In Cathartan myth, she stole the secret of magic from Absolis when the world was very young, and passed it on to some of Absolis’ followers so they would no longer rely upon him to grant miracles, making this small group the first heretics and the first true wizards. She grudgingly respects the pact that she once made with her illuminated counterpart, though it is believed that if given a promising chance, she would act to upset the balance and broaden her influence over the multiverse.
Holy symbols and colors: black disk (dark side of the moon); black, purple
Favored weapon: dagger
DOMAINS: Chaos, Trickery, Knowledge, Death, Darkness
The bull-headed god of war Ivorett sits on his throne overlooking the vast Fields of Tor, himself commanding a hundred armies while solemnly watching hundreds more on other planes. Ivorett does not concern himself with petty fighting or duels or other “lesser forms” of combat; to him, massive campaigns of conquest and grand strategy are all that is important. Although his appearance is very similar to that of a minotaur, it is not known if he is the progenitor of the savage race, though popular consensus and large amounts of minotaur subjects says he is. Ivorett has never been willing to discuss such matters, for no one has been able to best his armies in combat to earn his indulgence. The generals of his armies, gigantic golem-like minotaurs with steel skin, are a sure herald of utter annihilation.
Holy symbols and colors: bull’s head, battle axe; red, gold
Favored weapon: battle axe
DOMAINS: War, Strength, Destruction, Fire, Protection
A very feminine and gracious deity, Arkindora is the watery goddess of fortune, fertility, art, music and sensuality. She is often depicted as a nude female human draped with a flowing blanket of water, holding a golden goblet in each hand, symbolizing a monetary cup flowing over. Her clerics often serve as healers, doctors, and midwives in their temples, which are typically large open-air bathhouses or saunas. Many brothels also pay favor to her, as do sailors, pirates, gamblers, rogues and bards.
Holy symbols and colors: goblets, harps, water; blue, gold
Favored weapon: glaive
DOMAINS: Water, Charm, Good, Luck, Healing
The god of death and the watcher of the gates of the underworld. During the Second Godswar he was poisoned by Tenebra and would have died, had he not given away his godhood and went to Templore to live as a mortal man. Upon falling to the earth, however, he posessed the body of a young boy, forgot his identity, and spent many years wandering the land in confusion, adopting the name Dante. During this time Tenebra took his portfolio and used it to wage war with the other gods, using death as a powerful tool, leaving the gates of the underworld unguarded and allowing the dead to spill forth. In his mortal from, fear of death overtook him, and Dante turned to the necromantic arts to help give him understanding over life and death. It wasn’t until Tenebra was slain by Absolus that his powers returned and he at last remembered who he was. Absolus abolished the poison within him and Occasus regained his throne in the palace of the gods.
Holy symbols and colors: skulls, bones; grey
Favored weapon: sickle
DOMAINS: Death, Healing, Repose, Magic,
Before existence, there was only chaos. From this chaos emerged the Primordials, beings of unimaginable power. The Primordials attempted to tame the chaos, and in doing so were changed by it, taking on aspects that would become the primal elements which would be used to create existence. They brought order where there had been none, and gave birth to the gods, immortal beings that carried with them but a fraction of the Primordials’ power. Being born of chaos, the Primordials were crude and often clashed with one another, causing great calamities and killing their own children. The gods, lesser in power but possessing gifts of prophecy and other abilities, could divine the future through the chaos and knew they were destined to overthrow their creators. When faced with rebellion from their children, the Primordials Bahamut and Tiamat created the ten Titans. The Titans were bred for battle, and took on monstrous forms: covered in armored scales, with sharp fangs and claws. The Titans were gifted with magic and allowed to possess almost the full extent of the Primordials power. In turn the Titans spewed forth their own children, the first dragons. War erupted across the cosmos and the gods fought against the Titans. During this time, the Primordial Bahamut saw his children suffering and took pity on them. He betrayed the Primordials and joined the gods in their rebellion. Five of the Titans followed their father in rebellion, while five remained at Tiamat’s side. In the end, Bahamut sacrificed himself in an act that allowed the gods to win, sharing his divine power with his children. The gods sundered the bodies of the Primordials, and cast their remains across the cosmos, creating an infinite plane of elemental matter. In the aftermath of the war, only the Primordial plane and a great void remained. The god Absolis crafted a chariot of Bahamut’s dying light to travel the void, placing the rest of Bahamut’s light in small points, creating the sun and stars. Some of the gods used the elements to fill the void with form, creating the planets and other celestial bodies. The Titans, who had survived the war, were sealed away within a prison. This prison was where the gods settled, and created the first mortal life. The gods each undertook a vow to cooperate, and to create and destroy in equal parts so as not to upset the delicate balance they had created. Each god accepted a separate aspect of the world to watch over. Though the gods have remained overall successful in maintaining their order, the treaty they formed has not been without violation.
The First Godswar
The Second Godswar