Fragged Seas: Skull & Shackles
Religions of Toil
The 'Old Gods' have not been seen or evidenced in thousands of years. Unlike the Dark Ones that prowl the horizon, there are mere hints that the 'Old Gods' even existed. That does not stop many from holding on to the tenants of their worship, however. Indeed, it the dream and prayer of many that the 'Old Gods' will soon return to banish the Dark Ones and bring peace and prosperity back to Toil.
The Twelve - Kestrelt sages mostly agree that in the Age of Legend, there were twelve deities that shaped the multiverse and fought the Dark Ones. These include: Iono, the Lord of the Grasping Water; Aza Guilla, the Lady of the Long Silence; Perelandro, Lord of the Overlooked; Gandolo, Lord of Coin and Commerce; Nara, the Lady of Ubiquitous Maladies; Morgante, the Lord of Noose and Trowel; Callo Androno, the Eyes on the Crossroad; Preva, Lady of the Red Madness; Venaportha, the Lady with Two Faces; Dama Elliza, Mother of Rains and Reaping; Sendovani, the Keeper of Secrets; and Azri, the Harbinger. The worship of the Twelve is most prevalent in lands controlled by the Kestrelt Empire and Tyvorosi Trade Guild.
Saint Kestrelt – The namesake of the Kestrelt Empire, she was said to channel the powers of the 'Old Gods.' Eventually, however, she disappeared from the public eye. Some whisper that the power of the gods left her and she was hidden away by the church; those that do the whispering often end up beneath the hot irons of the Inquisition, though. Today, she is worshipped by the Kestrelts as a conduit to the 'Old Gods.'
Besmara – It is a controversial subject (especially so within earshot of the Inquisition!), but whispers of another divine conduit sneak about in the dark corners of rundown taverns and along the salt-slicked back alleys of various ports. It is said by a few that a pirate queen from days long gone channeled the powers of the 'Old Gods' themselves and raided the burgeoning nations of Toil with impunity. The tales say she cared neither for flag nor allegiance, but only for plunder and glory. No one knows what happened to the Pirate Queen Besmara, but it is believed by some that she now sails among the stars, returning to the waters of Toil when she thirsts for plunder…or when a buccaneer blasphemes her name.
Ralkaran Patheon – The predominant religion of the Ralkarans is rooted in the prehistoric cult of Freyja the Great Mother, goddess of nature, love, and fertility. Hemdall, known as the Watcher, is a mythical hero in Ralkaran legend. Every child he sired with his wife Heulyn was female. Refusing to consider his progeny inferior because of their sex, he trained them as harshly as he would any man, and thus the first Battle-Queens were born.
Dark Gods – Not everyone holds the 'Old Gods' in high esteem. In fact, there are some who curse their names for shattering the world, and others who deny them entirely, arguing that no divine being would bring such suffering upon its people. Among these detractors, a fraction have turned to the worship of the Dark Gods. Cults to the Deep Ones have sprung up in the Kestrelt Empire, the Tyvorosi Trade Guild, and even among the Ralkaran clans. Among these nations, such practices are considered insane at best, and worshippers are often persecuted if not outright executed if discovered. In the deserts of Sharjh, however, worship of the Dark Gods has become the norm since the Wind-Warlocks came to power.