The Primary Gods Of Men

Morrow & Thamar

Humans in the Iron Kingdoms have two main patron deities. The prophet Morrow (neutral good) is the lord of goodness and light, and is worshipped by most humans. His fraternal twin sister Thamar (neutral evil) is the patron of the selfish and wicked. The two started out as ordinary humans, thousands of years ago, but they came to believe that any person could improve their lot in life almost without end. After a long, hard path, they ascended into divinity and enlightenment, sacrificing their physical bodies so that they could walk the earth in spirit, providing guidance to those who needed it. The twins' journey is recorded in the weighty Enkheiridion of Ascension, the primary religious text of the Iron Kingdoms.

Sadly, the siblings fought near the end of their journey, and their paths diverged. Morrow chose the path of selflessness, deciding to guide and protect Men in their journey through life, nudging them to the path of virtue and self-improvement that he discovered. Thamar chose to guide Men in a different way. She is the whisperer in shadows, always urging people to take the quick and easy path, to maximize their short-term earthly gains and pleasures regardless of the consequences.

It is said that every human at some point has to make a choice between the two paths – that Morrow and Thamar eventually visit everyone and secretly test them. "The Volition," as the trial is called, takes the form of a moral dilemma, usually early in life. Few people can pinpoint when their Volition was, for the gods are subtle and clever, never showing themselves directly. The rare individuals that can clearly see the test and the gods before them are blessed, and almost always become clerics or paladins.

Clerics of Morrow and Thamar can be of any good or evil alignment, respectively. They attempt to emulate their patron's lives, often traveling in their footsteps and attempting the same trials the twins undertook so long ago. Those that succeed become saintly beings who Ascend to take their place at Morrow or Thamar's side. These Ascendants (good) and Scions (evil) are very rare; only a score of people have ever Ascended to either god's side. Each Ascended are powerful entities in their own right, with their own philosophy and sphere of influence.

While the Church of Morrow has a very formal structure and rich history, the worship of Thamar is a solitary thing. Rarely will one see so much as a shrine in her name, and her clerics are secretive. However, almost all of the humans in the Iron Kingdoms are strong believers in the central teaching of both siblings – you create your own destiny, and your lot in life is not fixed at birth.

Man's Ancient Patron, Menoth

The worship of Menoth (lawful neutral) is ancient, predating the Church of Morrow by millennia. Menoth is a strict, vengeful deity, credited by most humans (even those who follow the Twins) with the creation of the world and mankind. It's unquestionable that Menoth exists, for his priests were once the powerful ruling class of the land. Alas for Menoth, the more uplifting and tolerant message of Morrow began to take hold with the people, and today the worship of Menoth is a minority faith everywhere except the Protectorate. Outside of the Protectorate, the largest minority serving Menoth is among the "Old Faith" of Khador, where many citizens cling tenaciously to the worship of their ancient creator.

Menoth is usually depicted as a masked giant, towering over his frightened worshippers. He demands adherence to a strict code of conduct – part of which is providing constant tribute to Menoth and his priests. The notion that a man may "ascend," so central to the worship of Morrow and Thamar, is blasphemy in the church of Menoth. To Menoth, man's place is to serve his creator, and his reward is to pass quietly into oblivion.

Cyriss, Maiden of Gears

Cyriss, Maiden of Gears, Mistress of Numbers, also known as the Clockwork Goddess, is a fairly recent addition to the land's pantheon. Her worship became known only a few centuries ago, at about the time Men and dwarves began to build sophisticated machines and delve into new kinds of math and philosophy. Cyriss is a true neutral goddess, largely unconcerned with the fate of individuals. Most of her effort is spent writing and overseeing the natural laws that govern the realm of science and engineering, though she will take action directly or through her followers when something threatens the natural order of things. She appears as a humanoid, but she is not a human goddess; her worshippers are largely human but also include a number of dwarves and even some gobbers and members of other races inclined toward engineering.

Understanding the mind of Cyriss and revealing the true nature of the multiverse is a process of divine revelation to her worshippers. For this reason engineers and scholars often pay Cyriss their respects, but true fanatics and clerics are hard to find with the culture of Men and dwarves so dominated by their traditional religions. However, with the spread of science and mechanika across the land, Cyriss may soon begin to increase the size of her flock.

Many of the most devout followers of Cyriss believe that machines are holy, and those who build and tend them are society's superior caste. Some even believe that in mathematics there may be found some superior method for managing the world's affairs – a place for everyone, and everyone in their place, with some kind of divine calculating machine overseeing everything with cold precision. Cyriss' evil worshippers are taking steps to build such a machine, but luckily they are few in number and thought to be far from their goal.

The Devourer Wurm

Although often referred to as a legendary monster rather than a god, the Devourer is the ancient foe of Menoth, bane of humanity's creator. Also known as the Beast of Many Shapes, Lord of Predators, and the Unsleeping One, the Devourer is an ancient force of natural chaos which hates everything civilized. When Menoth was the dominant religion, the Devourer was considered the great foe, although its role as enemy of mankind has been reduced since the rise of the twins.

Despite its reputation the Devourer has always drawn worshipers among many races, particularly those living in the wilds or of chaotic alignment. Many human barbarians, gobbers, trollkin, and ogrun worship the Devourer, and claim this god is the most ancient power from the dawn of the world. Since the near extinction of the human barbarian tribes, there are no longer any large territories in the hands of Devourer worshipers. The largest pockets are found in the mountains of Khador, the Bloodstone Marches, and the Scharde Islands. Small cults to the Devourer can be found across the Iron Kingdoms, usually in remote locations or in secret tunnels beneath cities and towns. Human druids in the Iron Kingdoms believe their power derives from the Devourer, but do not actually worship this entity.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License