Spirituality is an important part of the day to day life of the average confederate and is often taken for granted. The peoples of the confederacy are generally tolerant of each other's religious beliefs, and the homogenous nature of the society minimizes the likelihood of religious conflicts.
The Sheniari have a dualistic religion in which the forces of the creator, ∆ol, are balanced against the forces of the destroyer, Kaen. Altough referred to as the destroyer, Kaen is not considered to be an evil force. Although malevolent and destructive, he is needed to balance and highlight the goodness of the creator. One does not exist without the other.
Temples to ∆ol and Kaen are found in every city and town, with smaller shrines dotting the countryside. Depending upon the needs of the person, individuals may visit and worship at either temple. A woman may go to a temple of ∆ol to grant her a healthy baby, and then go to a Kaenite temple to grant her the strength to defend her home against bandits; Merchants may worhip ∆ol for wealthy and successful trade, and Kaen to protect them from treachery.
There are two types of clergy in Sheinar, layman priests who are bound to the hierarchy of the church and are found in temples and parishes across the country and those missionaries who travel across the country; the former are known as Paedre, the latter as Claerec. In the years before the Great Rise, the clergy was strong and vital with twice as a many Claerecs as there are now wandering across the world to proselytize and convert others to their faith. Some, especially Kaenite Claerecs traveled with merchant caravens or military expeditions. Today, there are very few Claerecs left and most remain with temples, rarely venturing out.
Ar' AthŚni Spiritualism
The Ar' AthŚni have the belief that all things in nature have a spirit within in them, given to them upon creation by the Great Mother. In turn, their religious leaders, known are revered and often serve as secondary advisors to tribal leaders. Unfortunately, very little is known of their religious practices and these practices are closely gaurded secrets that Ar' AthŚni priests do not share even with their own people. On a day to day level, religion is not really practiced by the Ar' AthŚni; instead it is manifested in their behaviors and actions towards animals and nature. For example, to kill an animal without reason is taboo; thus, if an animal is killed it must be eaten, its fur and bones used, or buried so that it can return to the earth.
These beliefs are coupled with a belief in reincarnation and it is feared that the animals killed or the tree chopped down may have been an ancestor, thus the reverance for nature has a two-fold cause.
The Thjadririan believe in a large pantheon of Gods and Godesses that most others find confusing and bewildering. There are priests, both clerics and laymen, for every diety, regardless of how minor. In turn, shrines and temples are found in every Thjadririan city. Most people have a patron diety, but worship the others as needed.
Magic has a paradoxical position in Sheinar. On one hand it is highly regulated and controlled, on the other hand it is such a necessary part of life that it is often forgetten by most. Mages, referred to as SpellWeavers are few in number, yet the effects of magic are prevalent. However, this paradox makes sense once it is realized that the regulation of SpellWeavers concentrates them in areas that are important, such as the military, economics, and government. Working for government agencies or Merchant Houses, the only ones who can afford to pay them for their services, SpellWeavers are rarely encountered by the average citizen in a city and probably never by those in the countryside. Specialized SpellWeavers are even less common.
Although magic is not so common as to alter the day to day life of the average Sheinari, without it life would be very different. The most signficant example of the impact of magic, aside from allowing the Great Rise, magic has helped the islands remain connected with each other through weave-powered aeroships.
Referred to as SpellWeavers, or colloquially as Weavers, mages are often members of the Tapestry of Weavers, the confederacy-wide guild. For those who are not independent, this is in addition to their association with their employer. All SpellWeavers must be registered with the Tapestry and to do so is a violation of Dioedic Mandate. Aside from SpellWeavers are two specialized mages, BattleWeavers and WindWeavers. In addition to the above regulations, BattleWeavers are members of the Tapestry of the Woven Shield. By Dioedic Mandate, all Battleweavers are members of the Confederate EdgeWatch. No city-state is allowed to have BattleWeavers in their own defense or police force. WindWeavers are member so the Tapestry of the Sail. Bound to aeroships, Windweavers are the mages who make travel from island to island possible. Some own their own trading ships, but most are employed by Merchant Houses. Of all the SpellWeavers, WindWeavers are the most likely to work independently and contract on a case by case basis.
Claerecs Players may choose to be Claerecs of ∆ol or Kaen. Those who follow ∆ol are known as ∆olian Claerecs; the others are often referred to as Kaenons. Claerecs must be of any good or neutral alignment. ∆olian Claerecs are limited to the use of bludgeoning weapons, though cultural preferences limit this to maces, flails, and morningstars and may wear no armor heavier than chainmail; Kaenons may use any weapon and wear any armor.
∆olian Claerecs have major access to all the spheres; whereas Kaenons have major access only to the spheres of All, Healing, War, Ward, and Protection, with minor access to Guardian and Necromantic.
Druids Players who wish to have Ar' AthŚni clerics should use the Druid class found in the PHB.
©1998. Laljit Sidhu. All Rights Reserved. Except where noted, material on this site is the property of the author. Propriety material is used with permission. For more information, contact the author at Raensleyar@hotmail.com.