ZEITGEIST Player's Guide: Key Religions


ZEITGEIST Player's Guide: Key Religions

This page is a chapter in 'Books:ZEITGEIST: The Gears of Revolution Players Guide'

Four religions dominate in the ZEITGEIST campaign setting. Unlike in typical Pathfinder Role-Playing Game worlds, there is no planar travel, magic to summon extraplanar creatures is exceedingly rare and brief, and only once in recorded history has a god actually physically appeared in the world—and then she was killed. While it is undeniable that powers and forces exist beyond this world, their shapes cannot be proven, and must be taken on faith.
  • The Clergy. Organized religion based in Crisillyir. Every mortal can empower himself, even reach godhood, if he confronts the challenges of the world. Beyond this world exist many planes, each a more perfect manifestation of some aspect of our reality, and they are presided over by powerful gods, angels, and spirits that can be entreated for power.
  • Guerro. Folk religion of Ber. Every tribe has its own gods, conquered from the tribes who were not strong enough to stand alone. As the tribes battle, so do the gods. For now, it seems, the gods are at peace, and so we make peace, but all good things die in battle. A syncretic combination of Clergy and Guerro is popular in Drakr.
  • The Old Faith. Folk religion of Risur. Honor the spirits of the land, and draw power from nature. The stars above trace patterns that predict events on our world, but the only other worlds are the ones we can visit: the Dreaming and the Bleak Gate.
  • Seedism. Folk religion of Elfaivar. Our actions are seeds, and will shape the face of the world, though it may take ages. Elves and high elves have long memories. Before the rise of Man, the gods spoke to us, and we still remember their names and teachings. Srasama, the three-faced mother-warrior-queen, was slain by human treachery, but it is our duty to endure and outgrow this injury. The archfey of the Dreaming were once vassals of the gods, and so we revere and respect them.

Dominant Philosophies

Certain groups promote secular ideologies independent from the metaphysics of religion.
  • Heid Eschatol. Developed in Drakr, popular in Risur. It is important to plan for good endings, whether that’s for a business venture, a story, a love affair, or your own life.
  • Panoply. Nascent philosophy from Ber, concerned with examining how and why cultures differ. Followers often feel dissatisfied with the traditions of their homeland, and defend the value of foreign ideas.
  • Pragati. Official position of the Jierre ruling party in Danor. Gods are the creation of men who were unable to comprehend the real structure of the world. Those who hold false beliefs, be they in
    gods, in disproven economic theories, or anything else, are a threat to progress.
  • Vekesh. Guiding principle that helped the high elves survive after the fall of Elfaivar. After a tragedy, the best revenge is to heal and grow stronger than you were before.

The Philosophy of William Miller

While Drakran philosophy is in ascendance today, many older works are still read and discussed throughout Lanjyr. Most popular are the writings of a clerical monk, William Miller, who in the run up to the Great Malice composed a treatise on hypocrisy, suggesting that it is better to admit you are uncertain of your beliefs than to act in contradiction with your stated values. The book, widely recognized as an attack on the Clergy, allegedly drove the monk to flee persecution.

Miller reappeared several years after the Great Malice with a new work of political philosophy that coincided with his effort to found a small nation, Pala, amid the chaos of the Malice Lands. In his multi-chapter book he examined possible social structures, comparing robustness and stability with various moral values. Early chapters allude to a conclusion that would detail a handful of ideal nations, but today there are no complete copies of the book.

In 18 A.O.V., the reconstituted Clergy branded Miller a heretic, invaded Pala, and sacked its capital. He was brought to Alais Primos, the new seat of the Clergy, where he was tortured in an effort to compel a confession. After he refused to recant, his captors made a pyre of his heretical writings and burned him alive upon it. Today, Miller’s incomplete writings are popular among the bohemian dockers in Flint and followers of the Panoply in Ber. Rumors say that copies of Miller’s final chapters are kept in a library vault in Alais Primos, where it shares shelf space with other “heretical” texts.

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