Of Mice and Men
Religions of the Known World
There are two principle human cultures in the Known world. While their religions may have had similar roots, perhaps in some common unknown origin, they have diverged and evolved to suit the needs of each culture.
With the establishment of the unified Ha’jyari empire came a shift in religion. Previously the Ha’jyari religion had been based upon recognition and appeasement of the various powers in the world, spirits, nature and the gods.
During the wars of unification however human magic use proliferated. Sulaymān, the first Sultan, recognized that unchecked magic use could and would lead to instability in his empire. Sulaymān also faced another challenge as some of the more powerful magic users seemed to be upon the verge of claiming godhood themselves, something that would threaten his authority and potentially fragment the Ha’jyari people again.
His solution was simple and effective. It would set the stage for centuries of stability for the Ha’jyari people.
First in his role as Sultan, he secretly threw his support behind the religious leaders that advocated against the direct use of magic, pushing for a return to the old ways. Sulaymān had no intention of returning to the old ways though, magic was just too useful. So as public opinion built against the wizards he waited. And finally some of the wizards came to him, seeking his guidance. They feared that the populace would force him to act against them, a belief that Sulaymān had encouraged within them.
Sulaymān assembled a council of the most vocal and powerful of the religious leaders and the wizards that had come to him. To the assembled group he spoke reasonably. Magic existed, it was a part of their world, and human magic use could not be stopped. However the religious leaders were right in arguing that some wizards had gone to far. At some point the wizards were acting for themselves and not for the gods. But that wasn’t the case with summoning, the form of magic that Suylamān himself practiced. If, the sultan argued, a summoner can get a deity’s servant to act for him than there is no way he is subverting the will of the gods, for a god’s servant can not be forced to act under duress.
Here was where the foundations of the Summoners College were laid. Under the nominal authority of the Priesthood, Magic and Religious power in the Ha’jyari empire was quickly consolidated within the Church. And as for the wizards that chose not to join the Summoners College the Imperial Guard’s axes awaited.
Currently the Ha’jyari religion is controlled by the church. The church prohibits the use of magic by anyone not part of the Summoners College. They believe there are gods and their servants, ie: ideas, philosophies, secret lores hidden from the eye, manifestos, monsters, or demons. Man is not meant to know the minds of the gods directly but is free to interact with their servants. Some of them are:
- Boy-in-the-Night o He comes for your gold and your daughters.
- Bright Daughter o Will she love you?
- Conquerer o The red eyes that know nothing but rape, pillage, and fire.
- Dark Daughter o The dead are her people and the dark her country.
- Eaten Queen o Her sort of sacrifice cannot be made by will alone.
- Just King o The wounds of his justice have never healed.
The Vulkar religion originated in similar roots to the Ha’jyari. Both cultures were aware of the otherworldly, perhaps because of the lack of regular contact with the Elves, the Vulkar also ascribed otherworldly powers and motives to the Elves that the Ha’jyari who had lived within their cities did not.
With the conclusion of the Second Crusade and the signing of the treaties forced upon them by the Elves the Vulkar religion received a major blow. The Vulkar have a strong bardic tradition that recognized the Elves as emissaries of the Divine and singers of the Songs the Wove the World. The Elves had joined the battles of the Second Crusade on the side of the Ha’jyari. This stole much of the Vulkar conviction of the rightness of their cause and morale was devastated.
Leavers of Aecers Nest