The Old Lords

Over the months I have made a number of posts based on building a bespoke pantheon for my game world. An earlier post, pretty much fixed the deities for The Temple of the Shrines – a group of deities who have been working their way along the trade routes of the world. This post does something similar for The Old Lords.

The Old Lords have been in my game world for ages and originally represented the remains of the Celtic Pantheon that I had used in my very first online game, called Galinia. Later, it changed slightly to include some North American deities, which let me add a slightly nomadic element while maintaining a nature loving clan/tribal based structure. Now I have reworked it to match my Gods Wars cosmology – and built it on a number of lesser or local deities, from Real World religions and mythologies.


The Church of the Old Lords

  • Overview: Rural, community based faith. (TN)
  • Domains: Animal, Artifice, Community, Plant, Protection, Travel
  • Symbol: Six-Fold Cross

The Church of The Old Lords is a relic of an earlier, simpler time and the faith that went with it.  The Church of The Old Lords promotes a simple rural philosophy that promotes concepts of community and respect based around village life. 

Tenets of the Faith

  • Respect the natural world.  Hunters, trappers, gatherers, miners, woodcutters etc – are expected to take the share considerately.  Don’t take the doe when she has a fawn.  Take a handful of berries and move on.  If you take a tree, plant three more …
  • Respect yourself and each other.  Be seen as a good member of the community.  Offer help when someone is struggling.  Don’t kick them when they are down.  Ask a fair price.
  • Respect property.  Theft, graffiti and general vandalism is disapproved of.   But so is mistreating you farm or herd animals, or neglecting your fields.
  • Respect your community.  Your village should be highest in your heart, but other followers are part of your community as well.  Be prepared to fight for, and defend, your community if you need to.

Church

There is no formal hierarchy to the church – it is a community religions.  Each village will have its own Wise-Woman or Elder-Man who guardian of the lore, tends the local shrine, knows the festivals and prayers, and is favoured by the gods.  But communities are more than villages, and there are shrines high up in the mountains, deep in the forests where shepherds and woodsmen tend to meet – and even just at the side of the road.

Shrines are often just a rock with the Six-Fold Cross onto it, and aren’t really places for religious gatherings, they are there as a reminder.  Most people glance at them and smile a silent prayer to their gods, other times might touch the shrines lightly.  Sometimes a minor offering might be placed by the shrine, often a small piece of food from a recent meal placed on the shrine, or a small amount of a drink spilled on the ground.

Clergy

Most clergy, known as Wide-Women or Elder-Men, are low level adepts, living as an integral part of their community.  Some are farmers, some are hunters, and others are mothers, warriors or shepherds.  It doesn’t matter quite what they do –  they are part of the community.

Occasionally a more outwardly focussed cleric will come along –  either with a desire to see the wider world, or to take the faith back to the rest of the people.  The Wise-Women and Elder-Men nod their heads wisely as they help the young ones prepare to leave.  But are just as ready to help welcome them back home again, once they have discovered the error of their ways.   Some never come back, of course.  But that might be because they have found another community to serve …

PC Clerics

All PC priests of The Old Lords are nature loving Clerics  (No Druids, Inquisitors, Oracles or other priestly class).  The clerics represent the whole pantheon at once, even though the separate deities are described individually, they do not have clergy of their own.

Holidays

The primary holidays are the Solstices and Equinoxes, which mark the turning of the seasons.  These help them know when to plant, when to harvest, when to bring the sheep back home, when not to take game, when to start preserving food for the winter – etc etc.

These holidays and festivals that are so important to the followers of The Old Lords, are still celebrated among Hann people everywhere, as traditions and as part of the folk-lore and traditions of the Hann People. 


Backstory

While they are not worshipped individually any more, and there are no priests dedicated to any of them – this is what the old lords looked like back in the day when they were seen as separate deities.

Lord Crow

  • The Protector. Patron of Chieftains and warriors. (NG) (M)
  • Domains = Protection, War.

Origins: Back in the days before the Gods War, Lord Crow was known as Hug served as messenger to a god.   When his god was slain in the Gods War, Lord Crow was showered in Shards of Immortality – and the familiar became a minor deity in his own right.

Appearance:  Lord Crow normally appears as a dark-skinned man with a hooked nose, dressed in black & silver studded leather armour and a black feathered cloak.  In battle he wields a great spear called Gung-Bol.

Teachings:  To be noble is to be strong of mind, to provide leadership to others and to protect your people from harm.  Lord Crow encourages tribal leaders and chieftains to maintain a warrior band, tasked with protecting the land and the people.

Church: Priests wear black robes, with white trim and serve as house priests and advisors to chieftains, rather than serving in a local temple.  There is no formal church hierarchy, and few formal churches dedicated to Lord Crow.

General:  Lord Crow was said to have three wives, the land deities Mawida, Rusina and Maria.  Many modern Theologians think Lord Crow is an aspect of the Hannite god Cawin. Lord Crow was seen as the major Deity within the pantheon.

Mawida

  • Maid of the Woods. Patron of Hunters, Trappers and Woodsmen. (TN) (F)
  • Domains = Community, Animal, Plant

Origins: Mawida grew as the forests grew, they have always been her home, and she knows no other.

Appearance:  A young woman with long hair worn loose, dressed demurely in a dark green dress.

Teachings:  Respect the forest, take what you need and leave the rest.

Church: Most villages have a female druid / wise woman who lives as part of the community.

General:  Mawida is one of Lord Crow’s wives and many modern theologians think that she is one aspect of the triple goddess, Maruma.  The Green Faith believe that she is a Nature Spirit, an aspect of Gaia the Earth Mother. Mawida was seen as a significant Deity within the pantheon.

Rusina 

  • Mistress of the Fields, Patron of Farmers. (TN) (F)
  • Domains = Community, Animal, Plant

Origins: Rusina has been here as long as she can remember, the fields and plains have always been her home, and she knows no other.

Appearance:  A chubby woman with her hair tied up in braids, dressed in a brown dress.

Teachings:  Respect the land, follow the seasons. Look after your crops and animals, and they will look after you..

Church: Most villages have a female druid / wise woman who lives as part of the community.

General:  Rusina is one of Lord Crow’s wives and many modern theologians think that she is one aspect of the triple goddess, Maruma.  The Green Faith believe that she is a Nature Spirit, an aspect of Gaia the Earth Mother. Rusina was seen as a significant Deity within the pantheon.

Maria

  • The Mountain Crone, patron herders. (TN) (F)
  • Domains = Community, Animal, Plant

Origins: Maria has been here as long as she can remember, the mountains have always been her home, and she knows no other.

Appearance:  An old woman with her hair tied up in a bun, dressed in a grey dress and cloak.

Teachings:  Respect the land, follow the seasons. Look after your animals, and they will look after you.

Church: Most villages have a female druid / wise woman who lives as part of the community.

General:  Maria is one of Lord Crow’s wives and many modern theologians think that she is one aspect of the triple goddess, Maruma.  The Green Faith believe that she is a Nature Spirit, Maria was seen as a significant Deity within the pantheon.

Conn

  • Patron of Crafters and Merchants. (LN) (M)
  • Domain =  Artifice, Community.

Origins: Conn was unknown before the God’s War, but is said to have lead a group of servants to safety in a mage’s personal demiplane. His people were a rag-tag bunch when they returned to the prime material.

Appearance:  A Halfling Craftsman, wearing a leather apron and carrying a small silver workers hammer.

Teachings: Work hard, perfect your skills, charge a fair price for you labour.

Church: No real Church, just a shared understanding of Conn’s Philosophies with shrines in workshops.

General:  Conn is one of two minor deities who played a small role in the pantheon.

Angelia

  • Patron of Travellers. (CG) (F)
  • Domain= Travel

Origins: Angelia was an immortal long before the Gods war, and when the war started she travelled away from the Prima Material, and just kept travelling. She took a number of followers with her – this is still known as “The Long Journey” among those who recognize her.

Appearance:  A half-elf dressed for the road.

Teachings: The journey is often more important than the destination.

Church:  No organized Church, but occasional roadside shrines.

General:  Most theologians think that Angelia and Way are aspects of the same deity, and followers of The Old Lords tend to respect followers of Way, as if she were an aspect of Angelia. Angelia is one of two minor deities who played a small role in the pantheon.

Posted in Gods, World Building.

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