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The Old Gods and their Worship

Here is noted the religious practices and observances for the temples of the old gods. Though they are
gone, their worship is slow to die away. People have worshiped these same deities for thousands upon
thousands of years, and they have been gone for less than half a century.
The younger generation of Astoria tend to be less bound by the traditions, as they cannot remember a
time when the gods were present. The older denizens still remember them clearly, having been aided
by faithful drawing divine power from one of the deities, or in some cases, even seen one of the gods
with their own eyes. Many of these older residents believe that if they hold their faith true, then the
gods will return. Others hope that they never will.
Still others believe that the gods have not left at all, they simply stopped walking around in the mortal
realm. They attempt to explain the lack of Divine Miracles as a simple matter of knowledge: the
Inspired simply do not know how to tap the divine energies now that the gods don't walk among them.
Whether this is true or not is a question that many formerly powerful priests have devoted their lives to
solving.
For those who wish to run Sorcerers and Steamworks with the gods still present, or run a game taking
place before the rise of technology, use Primal Powers from Armageddon in the place of Miracles.
Which powers each deity grants is beneath their name. Characters with the Inspired Quality must
choose a deity, and pick Miracles from that deity's list of powers. Ignore Primal Skill: activation rolls
are Simple Willpower Tests, or Willpower+Dexterity for Tasks that require rolls to hit a target.
The Difference Between Greater and Lesser Gods
The difference isn't just in the name. The three Greater Gods are far more powerful than the four
Lesser Gods. There is a myth that when Astoria was young, before the rise of the mortal races, there
was a war among the gods. It is said that at the beginning of the war, there were twenty Lesser Gods
and five Greater Gods. Theologians that hold this myth as truth consider the remaining number of gods
to be all the evidence required to attest to the power of the Greater Gods.
While the Lesser Gods each represent and rule over things that mortals can perceive, the Greater Gods
ruled over that which was somewhat less tangible, and even more intrinsic to existence. The Lesser
Gods and Greater Gods alike commonly walked amongst their people, but the Lesser Gods were
limited to one form while on the earthly plane, while the Greater Gods were not. Apart from Ur, the
Greater Gods were also much less likely to grant Miracles to their followers. Greater Gods also do not
have holy days or holy places, as they are seen to be beyond the need for such things, whereas the
Lesser Gods each have two holy days and at least one type of place held as holy to them.
Ankura, Queen of Shadows
Darkness, Destruction, Illusion, Torment, Thievery
Ankura was a goddess that was rarely ever openly worshiped. Though the Temples of the Gods
preached that none of the gods were good or evil, but rather forces of nature each to be revered, the
rites of Ankura were what most individuals would view as truly twisted.
Ankura was a goddess of fear, not of love. She demanded utter obedience and terror from Her
followers. Ankura's holy days typically involved animal sacrifice or the abstinence from necessities,
such as food or water. While other gods would allow their Miracle workers to question their words in
order to gain a deeper understanding of their faith, Ankura was known to strike Her Inspired dead for
questioning.
Necromancers of a darker bent and many thieves held, and still hold, Ankura in reverence. The Winter
Solstice and the Autumn Equinox were her holy days. Her followers commonly sacrificed some sort of
animal on the Equinox, while on the Solstice abstinence from food and drink was expected. Places
where the sun could never reach were holy to Her. She took the form of a dark-haired, hauntingly
beautiful Elven woman with pools of darkness where eyes should be, wearing gossamer robes.
Tulla, Goddess of Light
Dreamer, Light, Love, Psyche, Magic
Tulla was by far the most forgiving and compassionate of the old gods. She would frequently not only
visit her Inspired, but have dinner or tea with them, or even on occasion bring them gifts. She was a
goddess of love and peace, and required nothing from her followers beyond their faith and that they
lead a peaceful life. She would never ask for sacrifices, and Atonement for fallen clerics was generally
regarded as easiest of all the gods.
Celebrations to Tulla frequently involved wine and lovemaking. No celebration was complete without
the consummation of a relationship.
Tulla is revered by lovers and poets, and any who seek inspiration. Her holy days were the Summer
Solstice and the Spring Equinox, both of which were celebrated by simply having a good time. Places
that are brightly lit, even at night, were holy to her. Tulla appeared before her followers as a Human
woman of average appearance with brown hair, wearing a peasant's gown. Her eyes were silver, and
her presence induced a feeling of great calm in all those around her.
Ulrei, Lord of Earth and Sea
Earth's Bounty, Might, Primal Earth, Primal Water, Vitality
Ulrei was a god as stoic as the earth, yet as fickle as water. Peaceful and yet vengeful, gentle and yet
destructive, Ulrei was a god to be respected, but never trusted. Of all the old gods, Ulrei was the most
likely to deny a Miracle to a follower in a time of need, and the most likely to simply strip a cleric of
their powers, though His fickle nature also made him likely to give a cleric's power back for no
apparent reason.
Ulrei is revered by sailors, miners, and rangers. His holy days were the first winter snow, and the
spring thaw. On these days, his followers bring offerings of bread and ale to the nearest lake, river, or
beach to thank him for a prosperous season and to pray that the next season will be prosperous as well.
Beaches and forests were equally sacred to Him. Ulrei appeared before mortals in the guise of an
elderly Dwarf, with silvery blue hair and sapphire eyes. He was always smiling, and philosophers and
theologists have debated for centuries over the reasons for his mirth.
Mingor, God of Fire and Sky
Battle Rage, Primal Fire, Primal Wind, Smith, Weapon Mastery
Mingor was a god not just of the elements, but of war and weapons. As such, though He was respected
and loved, he was feared almost as much as Ankura. In times of war, He is prayed to for victory and
the safety of loved ones. In times of peace, He is prayed to for safety and protection. Though His
temple was more prevalent in some places than in others, many people hold shrines to Him in their
homes for luck and protection.
Mingor is worshiped by smiths, soldiers, and the wives and mothers of soldiers. His holy days were
the days the leaves changed from orange and red to green, and back again to fall colors, marking the
beginning and end of the traditional military season. On these days, His worshipers burned offerings of
meat and wine to Him, while holding mock battles for His glory. Mingor commonly appeared to his
followers as a dark-haired Human male wearing brilliant golden armor.
Kirin, Lord of the Dead
Destruction, Judgement, Psyche, Shape-Shifting, Thanatos
Kirin was a god that was feared by all. Not because he was malicious, but rather because he was a
reminder to all that all things must come to an end. Of all the gods, Kirin was the least likely to show
compassion or exception to any creature. Fierce and unresponsive, He was the judge to which all
things must eventually answer. He is the Omega, the End of All Things, and the hand by which they
come to pass from Astoria. Kirin was also the only god that all mortals were guaranteed to see during
their lives, as he would appear before every dying mortal to judge them and send them to their
appropriate place in the Afterlife. He was the judge, and appeared to each person as a personification
of their deepest regrets. Needless to say, the dying no longer see Kirin.
Kirin was rarely worshiped as other gods were, but rather held in reverence in the hopes that he would
be lenient in his sentencing of the soul if enough offerings were made. Morticians, assassins, and
Necromancers hold Him in reverence.
Ur, Queen of Life
Awe, Bestial Powers (All Animals), Life, Magic, Vitality
All of Astoria, with the exception of the Ku'na, holds Ur in reverence even now. She is called the
Mother of All Life, and every living creature is Her child. Devout followers of Ur are usually staunch
pacifists, believing that all creatures have a place and a role to play. Of the other Greater Gods, Ur was
the most likely to grant Miracles to Her followers, and yet the least likely to appear before them.
Mothers and midwives burn offerings of sweet-smelling herbs to her before and during childbirth,
believing that Her blessing will ease the process. The fact that She is no longer granting Miracles or
giving blessings for childbirth has not detracted from Her following. While most of the other gods'
followers believe the gods have left, the devout followers of Ur believe that She is just testing their
faith.
Midwives, mothers, and farmers hold Ur in reverence, even now burning offerings to Her in the hopes
that she will answer their prayers.
Fate, Deity of the Scales of Fortune
Discernment, Fortune, Judgement, Psyche, Thievery
Fate is a conundrum. No one in the history of Astoria has ever been able to discern a gender for this
deity, and for some theologians the gender of their deity is very important. While rumors that the other
gods still walk the land crop up occasionally, rumors of Fate's presence are nearly constant. While the
other gods granted Miracles with at least a modicum of regularity, the history tomes of the Dornihan
University and Celest College of Magic list only three people ever to exhibit mystical powers from
Fate.
The most puzzling aspect of Fate's existence was brought to light shortly after the gods left Astoria.
The oldest religious tomes do not list Fate among the number of the gods. In these ancient texts, as old
as writing itself, only six gods are mentioned. This opens the door to questions that even the most
curious of philosophers and theologians do not wish to contemplate. Who is Fate? Where did It come
from? When and how did It become a god?
Fate's divinity is unquestioned. It was the most commonly seen god of them all, even Tulla walked
Astoria less frequently than Fate. And all who saw It knew exactly who It was: dice would always land
high, people would find money at their feet, and old lover believed to be dead would return, every
player at a card table would draw five Aces, and other lucky coincidences would occur while this
silent form, radiating power and wearing a blood red hooded cloak stood nearby, watching. Thousands
of accounts from every corner of Astoria attested to Its power, but never before has Its origin even been
questioned.
Regardless of Fate's true nature, It was still worshiped just as every other god. Gamblers, businessmen,
thieves and travelers often payed It homage. Dice and playing cards were commonly buried at
crossroads to honor Fate.

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