Mellenheir - History and Religion
10:02 AM | Author: One of Freedom
This material has changed a lot over the years. My original intention was to create a Celtic-like (somewhat syncritisic) form of religion that would provide a peace-focused network of information for the players. Occasionally they would have an NPC from this Church of the Good come along as well as the odd player character who was part of the more militaristic branch of this religion. It was fun to include as a unique flavour for my campaign, but more recently the storyline has incorporated traditional D&D gods and goddesses. After all this is a fantasy game.

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The religious have always preserved the history of Mellenheir. While many of the creation stories told vary slightly in the details, there is a commonality that cannot be easily dismissed. That commonality is where we shall begin.

The chaos that birthed this world threatened to overwhelm the Gods. So a great ordering began. As the worlds were divided on the seas so the wealth was given equally. The north (Frugguthi) was given strength and iron. The west (Morguthi) was given agriculture and cultural riches. The east (Pal Urguthi) was given mineral riches and savagery to protect these riches. The south (Varguthi) was given the riches of mystery. The legends also say that the Gods threw all that they despised into the south most (Pileiduthi) lands and deemed this the place where the unfaithful will finally rest but never in peace. Sailors who have landed on the snow-covered shores of Pileidaea have often been convinced that this was the place forsaken by the Gods. The chilly winds seem to be charged with the voices of those agonizing in eternal pain.

The stories of this ordering are told most vividly through the talking poles of the Good. These huge stone structures dominate their temples and their small chapels. Each depicts the stories of how man and beast joined in the efforts of ordering the known world.

The Cult of the Good

Since as far as man can remember the priests of the Good have been the major religious influence in Morguthi, if not the whole world of Mellenheir. This largely benevolent religion claims adherents throughout the lands of Morguthi and every community has at least a chapel devoted to the Good. Their essential dogma is that selfishness is at the root of all the disorder that has afflicted the lands. Left unchecked this disorder will result in the return of the God of the Good and bring judgement, fire and finally restoration. It is the mission of the church of the Good to bring about redemption and restoration to prevent this apocalyptic visitation of God. This religion is largely monotheistic yet very tolerant of other good religions, believing that they are merely distorted representations of the God of the Good. Many of their order are pacifistic, yet they keep close watch on groups following more dubious deities. During the last Great War the church of the Good provided information that saved many civilized colonies.

Membership: The Temple of the Good in the land of Rathbone has become the main place of training and organization for this religion. All members on the continent of Morguthi are expected to make a pilgrimage to this temple within their lifetime. Clerics of the various orders also pilgrimage to various sacred locations throughout all of Mellenheir. A council of twelve wise and aged priests provides the core leadership for this cult, yet numerous independent factions within the church tackle more specific issues such as helping the poor, defending the weak, teaching the ignorant, preserving history and watching for signs of war (which is considered the ultimate in disorder). The council resides at the Temple of the Good and new priests are only added when an existing member dies. Members of this Church are of the Good alignment, priests and paladins of the Good tend towards being Lawful as well. Most Paladins are members of the Order of St. Kevin, a legendary slayer of evil dragons; this order is as close to a military force as the Church of the Good permits.

Clerics: Clerics of the Church of the Good must be good, with a preference for Lawful Good and Neutral Good over Chaotic Good. They may choose from the following domains: good, healing, knowledge, law, luck and protection. Those of the Order of St. Kevin are not permitted to choose the law domain but can choose from the additional domains of strength and war. All clerics of the Good must have at least 2 ranks in perform oratory, which automatically becomes a class skill. The Church of the Good uses a carved wooden replica of a talking pole; these are used to memorize the stories by initiates and are often blessed by priests at the temple (grant +1 saves).

The Way of the Mother

The Druidic order sees God not as an isolated person, but rather the embodiment of all that is in existence. They agree with the Church of the Good on only one point, order must be preserved at all cost. Yet they regard the naming of God or Gods to be essentially deceptive. This bias has led to a deep distrust between the pantheists and the Church of the Good. In order to conceal this division many druids have taken to outwardly professing the faith of Obed Hai, which for some reason the Church of the Good finds more tolerable. Secretly though the druids have brought their pantheism to many corners of Mellenheir and claim all druids (with the exception of some Elven druids) and many rangers among their followers. They have named their faith the Way of the Mother, seeing the world as the mother that gives everything life. The main dogma of their faith is one of honouring the natural order of the world.

Membership: Those that follow the Way of the Mother favour Neutrality as an alignment, most tend towards Good. They are never evil, but may be Chaotic. Druids are indoctrinated into the Way of the Mother as part of their initiation rights; they can be very convincing when arguing for their faith with the deists. Members of this faith are always permitted Sylvan as a bonus language.

Clerics: Really the druidic class forms the priesthood for the Way of the Mother. Druids are always permitted access to the sacred groves scattered throughout Mellenheir.

Sacred Groves: Scattered throughout the lands of Mellenheir are druidic groves. Trees and dense underbrush ring these places. They provide an opening for good persons to enter. Each grove has a druid keeper who is summoned when the grove is entered. Often they will enter through the plants and ensure that the sanctity of the grove is maintained. It is said that these places speed healing and provide safe rest for weary travellers. Also there are rumours that those with a strong connection to the Way of the Mother will dream of the future in these places. Attempting to destroy or desecrate a sacred grove will result in the immediate wrath of the entire order of druids. This was experienced by an unwitting group of ogres during the last Great War, and is likely the event that broke the kobold-ogre alliance.

Other Religions and Philosophies

Over time the names of the Gods has settled for the remainder of the religious in Mellenheir. All of the deities, mentioned on pages 106-108 of the Player’s Handbook, have followers throughout these lands. While none have as many adherents as is claimed by the Church of the Good, their temples can be found in cities and even in remote rural locations. Godless clerics are not permitted in this campaign, but many other classes simply do not worship a deity.
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