Religion in the Chivalric Kingdom is derived from the dogma and mythoi of Gotterdammerung although this derivation are great differences that divorce the two from one another. Whereas Gotterdammerung acknowledges seven separate churches, Pendrakken only has one that bears the aspects of their Seven Gods.
Those who partake in the worship of the Seven United venerate all Seven but focus their prayers upon one of the Seven, a choice that is partially dependent on the situation at hand. Chosen of the Seven United pray to the Slayer for prowess in battle, the Shaper for skill in craftsmanship, the Reaver for fortune in games of luck and the Reaper for mercy to the departed.
The other factor in determining the recipient of one’s prayers lies in the choice of a Patron Aspect, a specific Aspect of the Seven United that receives a Chosen’s steadfast dedication. This is not to say that a Crusader that dedicates herself to the Slayer will only pray to him, but most of his meditations and his prayers will hold him first above all others while recognizing that he is part of a glorious whole.
The folk of Pendrakken Kingdom believe that Seven Gods came from Overworld to shape the chaotic world into a state of order. Each god wrought their part, working upon an aspect of existence. By their craft were the lands raised and the seas quelled. By their will were the mountains shaped and the rivers carved.
The Slayer and the Reaper set to sword and scythe the demons and the dragons that dwelt within the nothingness between the Overworld and the Underworld, with the Reaver stealing their power and their secrets. The Warder and the Shaper brought life and order to Midworld while the Seer and the Keeper wrought the spiritual marches of the Aetherworld, forming the currents of magic and the birthing the spirits that would choose that realm to dwell.
Thus were formed the lands and all that was – The Gods themselves worked to create the Races of Man, Elf and Dwarf, of Troll and of Gnome – till they had finished their art and was gladdened at the result. They then turned their faces and ascended to Overworld, where their ears can still be reached and their blessings can still be had through the prayers of the pious…
Those who believe in the Seven United are taught that all creatures are wrought of flesh and of soul. Upon death, the soul is separated from the body and delivered by the Reaper to an afterlife earned by the nature of its actions while it was alive.
For some, the afterlife is a hellish existence of either grey, wasting stillness or anguished, fiery torment – pending on whether the Chosen was merely unfaithful or completely villainous. Such stillness or torment continues until it is time for a soul to be reborn anew into a mortal form – or, if one is of sufficient villainy, be transformed into one of the demons that resides in the Vaults in the Underworld.
For those that live lives of virtue and honor and piety as judged by the Seven United, they are granted a place in the Halls of the Seven in Overworld – where one feasts and prepares for their rebirth into Midworld.
View of Magic:
Magic in the Kingdom of Pendrakken is viewed as the province of the Goddesses: the Reaver, Seer and the Keeper. It was they that granted unto the Mortal races the ability to work their will into the fabric of Midworld, to use faith, spirit or sorcery to change the face of existence at their bidding.
The Church of the Seven United considers Witchery and Sorcery to be lawful methods of magic-use. Unlike the magic wrought by faith however, these alternate forms of magic use are untempered by the edicts and the strictures that bind a Priest. Thus are the users of these arts more susceptible to corruption of the spirit, even moreso the practitioners of Sorcery who may find themselves paying a price too dear for them to maintain their morality.
The Church of the Seven United
The Church of the Seven United espouses honor, duty and camaraderie amongst its followers. Though it has some military and temporal power, it does not have the dominating presence had by the Lord Reaper’s Church in the Corpse-Kingdom.
The Seven United are sometimes said to be Seven Gods united in purpose. But there are those Priests that refer to them as seven aspects of a single divinity, akin to a seven faced god or a seven headed serpent (as House Arius would say).
The Seven United are:
The Slayer: The Lord of Battle and of War. Pendrakken pray to the Slayer for strength, be it in battle, in leadership or in peril. The Slayer is also a god of vengeance and of order – retribution against those that would disrupt the hierarchy of the land. Chosen who take the Slayer as their Patron Aspect have a military bent, seeking out the simplest, most straightforward (occasionally, most brutal) resolution to a problem.
The Reaper: The Lord of Death and of Silence. Pendrakken pray for the Reaper to protect and to take their dying and their dead to their proper places. The Reaper’s province is what occurs after battle, after the suffering, instead of during. Those who chosen the Reaper as their Patron Aspect are quiet and contemplative, no stranger to quietude and demise – although they do not celebrate it either.
The Reaver: The Lady of Chance and of Fortune. The Reaver is called upon for the fickle randomness of her preferences. Luck may be plentiful in one moment and then completely absent the next. Such is the Reaver’s way, to take all and the grant all in a mere whim. The Chosen who take the Reaver as their Patron Aspect are less honorable and moral than other Priests, resorting to unsavory methods to attain the greatest good. They know that despite their sins, the Reaver may take them upon death to her own halls as a reward for their service and their cunning.
The Shaper: the Lord of Craft and of Art. The Shaper is called upon by builders, artisans, artists and those who strive to create, to sculpt and to produce. The Shaper is inspiration and perspiration both, the spirit and the work of craftsmanship in one whole. Those who choose the Craftsman as their Patron Aspect often do so to augment their own artisanry, be it mundane or magical.
The Warder: The Lady of Repose and Protection. Pendrakken pray for the Warder’s aid in times of trouble, of affliction and of misery. The other gods may take, but the Warder grants her protection and her favor to those who need it. The Warder is a favorite of bodyguards and champions who are bent towards defense over offense. The Warder is often called upon by healers and the injured, those who seek out her help and her mercy in their times of need.
The Keeper: The Lady of Oaths and Memories. Pendrakken pray to the Keeper when they need to fulfill their duties and their obligations, no matter the difficulty in performing them. The Keeper is often invoked during ceremonies of initiation, of marriage, of commemoration and of remembrance. Those who choose the Keeper as their Patron Aspect are often the upholders of a vow, a trust or a ward. Lawful Sorcerers and Witches often swear to the Keeper to show that they can and should be trusted despite the threat that they hold.
The Seer: The Lady of Answers and Mysteries. The Pendrakken pray to the Seer when presented with a dilemma, a problem or a mystery that warrants solving. Those who choose the Seer are often Chosen who deal with the intangible on a regular basis or else those who treasure knowledge above all. Sorcerers and Witches who do not go to the Keeper usually trust in the Seer instead.
The Church of the Seven United demands of its followers:
o To Live a Life of Piety, of Duty and of Mercy
o To render and espouse good-will and good-faith with one’s neighbors/comrades
o To defend the natural order: of society and of the world itself.
Symbol and Colors: The Symbol of the Seven United is a seven-pointed compass (similar to the one drawn upon the map of Midworld). The Church uses Silver upon Dark Grey for their symbols and their garments, colors less ostentatious than their Dammerung brethren’s.
The compass is the most frequently worn symbol among the Chosen of the Seven United but those who bear larger symbols of their religion or those who desire a full representation of which Path of the Seven they follow overlay a aspect-specific symbol (see below) over the compass or place it combatant (beside/beneath/over) the compass.
Reaper – A Merchant’s Weighing Scales
Slayer- A Sword-hilt Pointed Upside Down
Reaver – Open Palmed, spread-fingered hand
Shaper – A Workman’s Hammer
Seer – A Key
Keeper – A Chalice
Warder – A Kite Shield
Spells: Priests of the Seven United invoke the “Seven United” for their spells, unlike their cousin religions from Gotterdammerung. Just as their philosophies and ethos render them differently, their focus on the unity between the Seven is said to be the source of their power. Furthermore, they inflict Silver damage with their divine damage spells.
Sphere Access: Access to the spells and abilities of different Spheres is dependent upon which aspect a Chosen of the Seven United has picked to be her Patron Aspect. Priests of a specific aspect may choose one of these Spheres for the Acolyte of Faith ability they gain at first level. Furthermore, they may learn the Servitor skill for the other listed Sphere.
Reaper – Fate, Tranquility
Slayer- Battle, Tranquility
Reaver – Chaos, Inquisition
Shaper – Creation, Tranquility
Seer – Inquisition, Knowledge
Keeper – Knowledge, Fate
Warder – Tranquility, Inquisition
The Church of the Seven United are often designated by their Patron Aspect, which might confuse those who are familiar with the Priesthood of the Dammerung. Their symbols and their philosophies made the differences between the two more than clear, however.
The Church of the Seven United is small compared to its cousin religion, with only one major stronghold (the Seven-Tower Citadel in the lands of House Arius) to its name. A council of seven Hierophants direct the affairs of the Chosen, each according to the call of their aspects.
The ranks of the Church of the Seven United are as follows:
Blessed: are most plentiful Priests, each given to their own duties and given charge over the non-clergy.
Sacred: are given command over the Blessed in a cell or a parish. They have proven their leadership abilities are more often from a Heraldric House.
Gifted: are given command over the Sacred of an entire region. The Gifted only answer to the Hierarchs and their position is often granted to them as a result of many decades of faithful service and wisdom.