Shadows Gather Darkly
The Old Faith
Holy City: Many
Mortal Head: Many
Holy Canons: none
Holy Symbol: Woden: Blue Eye; Meervaten: rough ocean waves; Kave: Sword; Tor: war-hammer; Loge: Red and black boots; Freya: fire in shape of a woman; Baldyr: gem-encrusted chalice; Syf: upraised sword; Hela: black and white face;
Other Areas: Albion
No. of followers: 500,000+
Martial Arm: Followers of Kave and Tor
Holy Days: The first day of each season (Wotan); the last day of each month (Meervaten); any day of battle (Kave)
According to Mercanian mythology, the world was created by Wotan from a bough stolen from the Tree of Life. Wotan then ate the fruit from the tree gaining ultimate wisdom and insight, the last to do so. Another branch was used to create the Heavens. Once these were built, Wotan then sired or created more gods to fill it – the Aesir.
There are many different gods and deities. Many regions have their own local gods, alongside the more well known. Many of these faiths would be called cults by the Selentine Church. The Mercanians call churches Kirshes, with only the Kult of Battle differing, calling them temples. The most popular deities are listed below.
Wotan – the All-Father, Father of Heaven: Wotan is the leader and creator of the Mercanian pantheon. He made both the world and the Heavens and sired, directly or indirectly, fathered most of the Mercanian gods and helped create the first man and woman. Wotan’s principal concerns are battle, wilderness and natural forces. He is also the god of knowledge, wisdom, poetry and inspiration. Wotan controls the elements and seasons and, with Meervaten, a joint custodian of time. He is described as a powerful master of the natural forces and beasts.
Meervaten – Goddess of the Sea: Meervaten is the power in control of the ocean, the tides, squalls, sea life and the joint custodian of time. She is also a personification of the sea’s strength, for good or ill. None of her faith sail between dawn and dusk of her sacred days. Many of this faith make an offering to her at one of the many Kirshes at port towns before embarking on a sea jounrey of any kind.
Kave – God of Battle and Honour: This is a strong faith with the Orcs. Kave is the god of the sword and courage, and watches over battles with as much interest as Wotan himself. The faithful of this god dedicate themselves to the skills of battle and its honours. They despise ‘murderers’ such as assassins, and have a never-ending feud with the illegal cult of Mortigi.
Tor – Lord of Thunder: Tor is one of the most popular faiths. He is lord of thunder, weather and crops. He is also well known as a warrior. He is also sometimes worshipped by merchants, who depend upon his good graces to make long trading voyages safe.
Loge – Lord of Mischief and Strife: a sly and vengeful trickster who is always causing trouble, tolerated by the other gods because of great services he has performed in the past.
Lady Freya – Lady of Love & Passion: In the sense that passion is a hot, consuming emotion, Lady Freya is also associated with fire.
Baldyr – God of Beauty & Charisma: Baldyr is also a renowned warrior, and is as wise as he is handsome. He often serves as the patron of sages.
Lady Syf – Goddess of Excellence & Skill: Syf is also an excellent warrior, married to Tor.
Hela – Mistress of Death & Disease: Hela receives the spirits of those who die by diseases, old age, and those who die dishonourably, locking them behind impregnable walls and gates in the Land of Mists, Nifleheim.