Dragonia is an inherently mystic world, and as such stuff like gods, religions and theology in general have a very strong impact in the everyday lives of its citizens and in society and culture. As was said in a previous post about Dragonia, the Dragons created the world and used to protect it, but they are gone now, and they were never the only divine beings in existence. In this post, I will try to shed some light into those theological matters. I’ll divide it into 2 sections: Divine Beings and Religions.
The Dragons were the greatest and mightiest of all divine beings, the creators of the material world and its guardians. They stood at the top of the food chain, so to speak, and were unchallenged in their power. However, many other divine beings exist, among them gods and spirits of the world (called Scions).
Cosmic Gods, named so for their exile from Dragonia into the cosmos beyond, are beings with almost as much power as the Dragons themselves, and who were exiled because their infighting and wars caused great suffering for humanity and threatened to destroy the world. Now, with the Dragons gone, they are back, but the great seal made by their condemners still holds true, and the Cosmic Gods are unable to physically manifest in Dragonia, or to directly affect it. However, they are increasing in power and influence, and some look forward to the day they fully break the seal and are able to use Dragonia for their games and wars again.
Below the Cosmic Gods are the Lesser Gods, beings who are spawned by mortal belief and faith. Wherever humans believe in something or give their respects and prayers, a Lesser God is formed, a being firmly bound to the concept or place that generated him, and whose existence is fuelled by the belief and prayers of those who created it. While prayers and belief strengthen Cosmic Gods, a Lesser God who receives no prayers weakens and disappears. They take no part in the Cosmic Gods’ wars and struggles, and want nothing more than to garner followers and prayers for themselves, ensuring their continued survival. Although they are very strong beings, they are helpless outside of their domains, and have very limited access to the mortal world.
Scions are different from the Gods in that they are direct representations of the land and the natural energy of the world (called Karma). Every natural place that has significance has a Scion associated with it, of the appropriate element (or elements), and who is responsible for the well-being of his domain and steering the flow of energy to the right direction, thus maintaining the balance of the world. Sometimes, mortal worship creates a Lesser God associated with the domain of a Scion, and these situations can result in the two Divine Beings working together or against each other, depending on the nature of each. Above the Scions are the Noble Scions, beings who, instead of being associated with small places like a waterfall or a forest, are associated with large, energy-filled places, like a great volcano or the entire sea. These beings have much more power than even the strongest of the Lesser Gods, and with the absence of Dragons, they can be easily credited to be the strongest divine beings of Dragonia.
The Celestial Faith: This religion is based on three sister Cosmic Goddesses: Solaris, the Lady of the Sun, Lunaris, the Lady of the Moon, and Staralis, the Lady of the Stars. The Faith is predominantly feminine in nature, with only women being able to hold positions of power within the clergy; in fact, men can only go as high as Acolytes, and there are few male Acolytes in the Faith. It is also divided into three Sisterhoods, one for each Goddess, and although each Sisterhood has different religious views and duties, together they form the whole of the Faith, and no major decision is made without the consensus of the three Sisterhoods. Each Sisterhood is headed by a High Priestess.
The Twilight Order: Followers of Amaranth, the Unfading Flower, this religion focuses on life, death, and the tenuous line between. The Cosmic Goddess Amaranth is the one responsible for tending the souls of the restless dead and ensuring their return to the normal cycle of life, death, and rebirth, and as such her followers – who are also exclusively women – take upon themselves the task of ensuring the dead are properly prepared and readied into their coming existence, and as such are responsible for the rites and rituals necessary for a smooth passage. The Order also has a special branch which is responsible for dealing with the undead and ghosts.
Ordo Draconis: Also colloquially called the “Cult of the Dragon”, the Ordo Draconis believes that the Dragons have not died, and preaches their return to glory, while attempting to actively hasten that return. Most other religions persecute the Ordo Draconis, since the Cosmic Gods resent the Dragons, and their return is not their desire in the least. Because of the great strength some of these religions have, the Ordo Draconis is outlawed in many parts of the civilized world.
Church of the Light: Followers of the abstract concept of “the Light”, a term encompassing all that is considered good, this church is also somewhat persecuted, since it does not follow any of the Cosmic Gods, or any divine being, in fact, and therefore does not have the backing of such a powerful being. However, it is also one of the most widespread religions, since its tenets are simple and comfortable: helping others, bringing peace, and doing no harm to other living things, basically.
Other than these four major religions, it is usually common practice to pay respects to a local Lesser God, or to ancestors, or to simple concepts such as a totem animal or a believed protector (which end up creating a local Lesser God, after a few generations of worship). This is, in a nutshell, the theological aspects of Dragonia as they are right now, though I will write more posts in the future, both detailing the divine beings and the religions, with probably more religions being created in the process (I’m a big fan of intrigue and politics in a setting, and religions provide plenty of opportunities for both).