Campaign of the Month: January 2008
A Deadly Affair
History and Teachings
One of the most ancient religions still widely practiced, the Nord is a polytheistic religion that venerates five primary deities and a small host of demigods serving each one. Most popular in the north of Archos, this religion evolved with the old clan system of Arkuz. Like that clan system, it emerged after the cataclysm of the old world and has declined somewhat since the fall of Leistos.
Each of the primary deities represents an element inseparable from life in the north, with Norric the cruel god of ice and cold, Eitne the chaotic god of the winds and herald of change, Shima the benevolent lord of the earth representing growth and life, Raer the demanding deity of fire and warmth, and the Unnamed – a treacherous god of magic, spirits, and deceit. Each of these gods is also associated with a direction, to which prayers for their aid or mercy are directed. Norric dwells in the far north, Raer in the south, Shima in the west, the Unnamed in the east, and Eitne moving as he wills between them. Most adherents of this faith pray to each of the five as the situation warrants, but choose one to worship above the others and venerate in their daily lives. Worshipers may call on Shima for a bountiful harvest or a strong child, sacrifice to Raer for respite from the cold or strength in battle, cry to the Unnamed for protection from magic or to conceal their shame, pray to Eitne to bless their new ventures or for a change of luck, or beg Norric to weaken their foes or grant them mercy from his terrible wrath. Few priests of the Nord venerate each god equally, most preferring to devote their lives to the worship of just one of the five.
Priests of the Nord generally preach a “live and let live” attitude toward most other religions, though they take exception to the exclusive teachings of the Church of the Trinity, calling it an absurd blasphemy. They view the Church of the Flame as a simple distortion of Raer’s teachings. The priests say that their own gods hold sway in their lands, but in foreign lands foreign gods may rule. Many priests of the Nord travel to spread their faith, though less now than in previous ages.