Religion was a vital part of 12th century existence, and in the Hidden Tradition this is no exception; but please note there are no Forgotten Realms religious beliefs here – no Temples of Tyr or Helm or Cyric or other fictional gods with silly names.
However there are several gods and goddesses manifested in the world that characters may serve – and since religion was everywhere in the 12th century, it’s a very good idea to familiarise yourself with these. Currently we use the “Deity” field for setting the religious affiliation of your character on the server. Since this is done in-game, we strongly recommend that when making a new character for use on the Hidden Tradition server, you leave the Deity field blank, and choose your religious affiliation during the game itself.
Experienced D&D players please note that suggested Cleric domains are listed for each Deity at the end of their description. If you are playing a Cleric these might come in handy to help you decide which deity is most suitable for your vision of your character.
Deity: Jehovah, Jesus, Mary
Alignment: Any Lawful
Races: Human only
This is the main religion in Europe, and amongst the Crusaders in Outremer. It is open to Human characters ONLY. There is one main Christian Church, headed by the Pope. This church is currently engaged in stamping out heresy wherever it finds it, which is pretty much everywhere. If you are non-human, or worship any other deities than the Christian ones, the Church’s Inquisition won’t like you. Even if you are human, they tend to hit first and ask questions later.
Followers of Jehovah tend to favor him as a god of vengeance and power, so this is a serious choice for those who take no prisoners and brook no argument. Jesus on the other hand is often seen as a more understanding and compassionate aspect of the Christian deity. The Virgin Mary was frequently worshiped in the 12th century as the embodiment of the divine feminine, and as such was the focus of the highest knightly ideals in Christendom.
This religion is a good choice for Human Paladin, Cleric, and Monk characters. Noble Paladins may want to devote themselves to the Virgin Mary. Warlike Clerics and Blackguards will follow Jehovah. Monks often follow in the path of Jesus and the Saints of the Church. Note that “monks” in the Hidden Tradition draw their power from saintly knowledge and religious relics, not from eastern teachings. Arcane magic use is frowned upon by the Church, so this religion is not suitable for Bards, Sorcerers, or Wizards.
Jehovah: Fire, Strength, War
Jesus: Good, Protection, Sun
Mary: Good, Healing, Protection, Water
Alignment: Any Lawful
Races: Human or Half-elf
This is the major religion of Egypt and other Arabian states. The Islamic states are under the command of the great leader Saladin, and are currently engaged in a Jihad with the Christian settlers over control of the Holy Land (Jerusalem, Ascalon etc.). Although Islam is mainly a human-oriented religion, they have many Elven female slaves, and the corresponding Half-elf children are often brought up as Islamic warriors. They also have a slightly higher tolerance for the other non-human races in general compared to Christians. They have a strong history of desert warfare – Islamic armies tend to use more mobile tactics than the Crusaders, so this religion is very suitable for Ranger characters as well as Fighters. They also have a deep knowledge of science and arcane studies, so suitable for Wizards also.
Allah: Magic, Protection, Strength, War
Deity: Sophia, Baphomet
Alignment: Any Chaotic
The Gnostics reject the authority of the priests of the Church, preferring to trust in their own personal contact with the divine (gnosis = self-knowledge). They believe that men & women are equal and holy. They are currently losing a war with the Inquisition and the last remnants of their believers are under siege in Montsegur Castle in Southern France; although they still have a strong hold amongst the troubadours and intellectuals of European lands. Their worship is centered on Sophia, the Archon of Wisdom, and Baphomet, a mysterious deity whom no man has seen and lived to tell of. Gnostics are also renowned for their intelligence, and magical and healing skills. Their healing abilities are far beyond anything else known in Europe at this time.
This religion is suitable for almost any non-Lawful class, but Bards, Clerics, Sorcerers, and Wizards will find it especially interesting. Gnostic warriors are used to fighting mobile guerrilla warfare against the Inquisition, so often they will be Rangers or Scouts, though they do have a few heavy Fighters too. Not suitable for Barbarians, Druids, Monks, and Paladins.
There is a major Gnostic temple inside the Gnostic Castle at the top of Montsegur Rock in France.
Sophia: Good, Healing, Knowledge, Magic, Protection
Baphomet: Death, Earth, Knowledge, Magic, Strength
Deities: Asherah, Haephaestus, Hecate, Hermes, Mithras, Pan
Alignment: True Neutral or Neutral Good (Asherah); Chaotic Evil (Hecate); Any (Hermes); Lawful or Neutral (Mithras); Chaotic or Neutral (Pan)
The pagans are the last of the many small religions that existed before Christianity and Islam. They survive by taking their worship to hidden areas where the Church has not yet penetrated.
Asherah is the goddess of woods and nature of the ancient Hebrews, and her worship is centered on the area around Jerusalem. Her devotees are quiet and secretive. She is popular amongst all races, but especially loved by elves, halflings and all country dwelling folk. A good Deity to choose if you are a Druid or Ranger. Arcane Archers and Bladesingers are also often devotees of Asherah.
There are shrines to Asherah is in the Garden of Gethsemane near Jerusalem in Outremer, on the Ethiopian Savannah, and in the Elven conclave of Blade’s Retreat in Scandinavia.
Asherah: Animal, Earth, Plant, Protection
Haephaestus is the god of manufacture. He is lord of subterranean fire, forges, smithing, and metallurgy. Dwarves are naturally drawn to this god, and all those who craft for a living. He welcomes all alignments and classes, though he wishes Rogues & Bards would learn an honest trade instead.
A shrine to Haephaestus can be found in the Dwarven Great Hall in Scandinavia, and in the smithy in Ascalon in Outremer.
Haephaestus: Earth, Fire, Knowledge, Strength
The worship of Hecate is currently centered on the island of Crete. Hecate has become a bloodthirsty goddess since the Church took over, and now demands sacrifice to be done to her so that she may regain her power. Her worship is not for those who are squeamish about death. Suitable for almost all non-Lawful classes, but especially for Barbarians, Rogues, or Clerics who haunt the darker domains. Assassins and Blackguards will find themselves drawn to Hecate like moths to a flame.
A temple of Hecate can be found by exploring around Crete, and there is a shrine to her in Ethiopia.
Hecate: Death, Evil, Magic
Hermes is the messenger of the pagan gods and is usually portrayed as having a winged helmet and sandals. He is the god of communication and speech; but he also loves tricks, practical jokes, and seeing the pompous getting cut down to size. He is fascinated by ancient lore and magic powers and carries his wand with him everywhere to show his magical ability. He is the god of travellers, businessmen, public speakers, and mages; but he is also the patron deity of rogues and thieves. His healing powers are immense – so much so that his wand is the standard symbol of medical workers everywhere. Bards, Rogues, and Wizards are often followers of Hermes.
There is a shrine to Hermes on the Balkan coast, and another in the elven village of Blade’s Retreat in Scandinavia.
Hermes: Air, Healing, Knowledge, Magic, Travel, Trickery
The worship of Mithras was once the biggest in the world, but is now sadly dying. Mithras is a god of conquest and destruction of outmoded ways, and as such a very popular god among warriors. His rites usually take place in caves and underground temples, and so he is still often worshiped among some of the ancient dwarvish tribes and human barbarian tribes, and of course many orcish tribes still also follow his ways. A good choice for Barbarians and Fighters, or Clerics of a warlike disposition. A Mithraic monk could be an interesting pagan character. Pagan Blackguards will also find a home here, seeking revenge upon those who have destroyed their once proud cult.
The cult of Mithras is currently centred on the island of Crete.
Mithras: Death, Strength, Sun, War
Pan is the Southern European god of the forests and the countryside. He is a deity of earthly fertility and power. His aura is so powerful that he is said to cause confusion to all who meet him (hence the English word “panic”). He takes the form of a man with a goat’s legs and horns, and loves to play upon his pipes. His earthy nature makes him a favorite of dwarves, gnomes, half-orcs and halflings. His love of wild country and forests makes him an obvious deity for Barbarians, Druids, and Rangers, while his love of music and trickery makes him a popular god among Bards and Rogues as well. His chaotic nature means he has no love for those of Lawful alignment.
There is a shrine to Pan in the Balkan forest region.
Pan: Animal, Earth, Plant, Trickery