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Religion - Faiths of the Old World

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Religion - Faiths of the Old World Empty Religion - Faiths of the Old World

Post by Admin Wed Sep 27, 2023 11:44 pm


Faiths of men:

The citizens of the Empire are a deeply religious and superstitious people. There are a great many spirits and otherworldly creatures, but the greatest of these are the Gods. There are variations across the Empire, and more beyond its borders, but ten Gods are recognised as being the most powerful deities that demand offerings and sacrifice. It is the worship of these powers that binds the folk of the Empire together.

The most popular Gods have extensive cults of loyal worshippers that do the works of their divine patron, give them honour, and placate these elemental beings. The cults are important because they persuade the Gods to stay their hands. Life is anything but easy in the Empire, and like existence, the Gods can be cruel, vengeful, and even uncaring of mankind. It falls to the cults to help Humanity flatter and persuade the Gods for their help. Although there are always tensions and disagreements between cults, it must be remembered that the Empire is a society where everyone worships all the Gods to some degree or another. A priest of a given cult may be extremely tied to the service of their group, but still recognises the power, majesty, and importance of the other Gods.

While each cult operates independently from the others, and has its own goals, agendas, and methods, there is a great deal of unity between cults. A priest that understands this may politely and gently guide a wayward worshipper to the priest of another cult if the advice sought falls outside the realm of the priest’s experience or sphere of influence. In theory, all priests must follow the festivals, rites, and practises of the other cults, and it’s considered bad form to criticise the rites of other cults, although it’s done on a daily basis. True schisms and conflict between cults are rare, but not unheard of. Indeed, some of the worst internal strife in the Empire occurred between the believers of one cult and another.

Although the main Gods are worshipped throughout the Empire, every province and town has their preferred, patron deity that receives more adoration than the rest. Taal and Rhya are beloved in the province of Talabecland, particularly the city-state of Talabheim. The great city of Middenheim is the holy site for worshippers of Ulric. As the father of the Empire, Sigmar is particularly popular in the capital of Altdorf. Other deities, such as Ranald, Shallya, and
Morr, lack central points of power, and their influence is scattered throughout the villages and towns of the Empire. The God of the Sea, Manann, is most popular along the coastline, but his priests can be found along every major river and body of water as well.

The Cult of Manann
Seat of Power: Marienburg
Holy Symbols: Waves and wave patterns, albatrosses, five-tined crown
“I’ve said all my prayers, offered sacrifices and paid my tithes. My ship is in Manann’s hands now.”
—Walter van Hoik, Marienburger Captain
“In me experience, the Lord o’ tha Tydes is as fickle as an Averheim matron. Ya haff ta court him, give him gifts, and speak sweetly. But one misstep and yer in fer a world of hurt. Yar!”
—Black Amos, Pirate
“Manann is our blessing, our patron, the one that brings food to our table. He’s also the one that drags our sons to the bottom of his watery home, the bringer of storms, and the crushing waves. He is the Sea and he is eternal.”
—Ingrid Höelstaff,
Wife of Captain Höelstaff of the Redoubt
The Cult of Manann is most active along the western border of the Empire, where the waters of the Sea of Claws lap against the rocky shores or mingle with the powerful rivers that drain the realm. Manann’s cult focuses on practical matters relating to the sea and its members are sought after as navigators, pilots, and able-bodied sailors, for having a priest of Manann on your vessel is considered very good luck.
Like the ocean, Manann is a fickle and touchy deity, who can turn on the faithful and non-believers alike with little to no warning. Because the Empire is so dependent on its navy and vital
waterways, the cult enjoys enduring respect and tolerance, and many believe without it and the intercession by its priests on the behalf of the common people of the Empire, the waters of the
world would swallow up the land to fill Manann’s appetite. No-one loves Manann—they fear his wrath, and his worship is given to placate his volatile nature. However, his priests admire Manann’s strength, ferocity, and independence.

The Cult of Morr:
Seat of Power: Luccini, Tilea
Common Holy Symbols: Black rose, raven, portal
“Father rests with Morr now. And we clubbed together enough to pay the Priests to make sure the bastard stays there.”
—Ludmilla von Thieldorf, Reikland Noble
“What do you grow in a garden? Food! Why do you think the priests of Morr are always so well-fed, even during famines? What’s in their Gardens?”
—Gunther Jagerson, Nordland Labourer
“Reactionary fools who interfere with scientific progress and condemn any attempt to improve our ability to help the living.”
—Master Augustus Limmerskind, Altdorf Doctor
The Cult of Morr is one of the most widespread cults in the Old World. In a land filled with war, disease, and the horrors of Chaos, death is a constant companion, an inescapable end. Most Old Worlders reconcile their natural fears and come to accept death as a necessary part of life. In fact, some might say that Old Worlders, specifically people of the Empire, have an unhealthy fascination with it, incorporating symbols of death in all things. From the skulls that decorate their banners to the martial culture that infuses the Empire’s society, death is everywhere, and
its master is Morr.
However, Morr is the God of the Dead, not the God of death. One legend says that, at the beginning of time, Morr, Taal, and Ulric divided the world up between them. Taal and Ulric both demanded the living world, and fought for it, but Morr said he would settle for the empty realm of the dead. The other two Gods ignored him, until he passed through their realms, killing to populate his own. Then Taal and Ulric confronted the God of the Dead, and demanded that he
confine his attentions to his own realm, and not trespass on theirs. Morr agreed, on the condition that Taal and Ulric ultimately send all the inhabitants of their realms to him. Another legend relates that Morr appeared after the first Human died, and defended his soul from the servants of the Dark Gods that sought to consume it. As more Humans died, Morr took them
under his protection. Still others tell of the murder of Morr by Khaine, and of Morr’s foundation of his realm among the dead.
Those who sleep approach death, and death is the future that awaits all. In this way, Morr is also the God of Dreams and Prophecy. Outside funerals, most people pray to Morr only in this capacity. Only the dead can seek his protection, and the dead do not pray.

The Cult of Myrmidia
Seat of Power: Magritta, Estalia
Common Holy Symbols: A spear behind a shield, an eagle
“You just don’t understand. She isn’t like the other Gods. She understands us. She walked as one of us! She experienced pain for us. She died for us. She isn’t like your uncaring Gods. She’s Myrmidia!”
—Iulius Innocenti Giovanelli, Tilean Merchant
“This little general—I forget his name, it sounded all foreign—sent me a letter offering to fight by ‘Myrmidia’s Rites of War.’ I accepted, just in case there was an advantage to be gained, although I had no idea what the man was wittering on about. Two hours into the battle, von Borndorf spotted these little, white-robed men scurrying about the battlefield. They could have been getting up to all sorts of mischief. So, I had the little buggers shot! Afterwards, the prisoners we captured and tortured explained that the mischief-makers were there to count casualties and corral prisoners. Well, how was I to know that?”
—Siggricht von Wallenstein, Retired General

Bellona Myrmidia (The War Goddess Myrmidia) begins with the tale of the tragically flawed Tylos, the legendary father of the Tilean peoples. Tylos made a covenant with raven-haired Myrmidia, a Goddess of Civilisation, Beauty, and Honour, and with her help built a great city for his tribe. However, this city was not enough for Tylos, for he dreamed of surpassing the slender, white structures to the south. So, he ordered his people to build a tall tower, one to humble even the Elves. Myrmidia was appalled at this pointless toil, and, after many warnings, abandoned Tylos, claiming she would return when his people knew honour again. The fate of the city is unclear, but some scholars claim it fell to the Dark Gods, its corruption spreading outwards to form
what is now known as the Blighted Marshes.

Centuries passed, and the shattered remnants of the people of Tylos spread through the other,
southern tribes. After a great war with the Dwarfs, the Elves abandoned the Old World, and Humanity cautiously replaced them, slowly building new civilisations around the Elder Race’s
ruins. For reasons still hotly debated by her modern cult, Myrmidia then returned to the descendants of Tylos; however, she came not as a God, but as a mortal. It is said Myrmidia learned hard lessons in her early years, and was driven by her experiences to abandon her pacifist ways, and take up weapons of war to fight injustice. Over the years, and many battles, she gathered great heroes to her side, and within a decade had bound all Estalia and Tilea under her rule, staving off all manner of invasions and rebellions. But, just as Myrmidia was to be crowned queen, she was shot by a poisoned dart. As she lay dying, she ordered a great ship be built, and, it is said, sailed west upon it, there to return to her home amongst the Gods, known now, and forever after, as a Goddess of War.
Over two thousand years later, the Cult of Myrmidia is easily the largest organised cult in the Old World. In Estalia and Tilea, nearly everything is influenced by her, for beloved Myrmidia is not only appealed to in times of war and injustice, but in all matters, especially those concerning
revenge, honour, and art, three aspects of her mortal life that have many legends attached
to them. This almost universal adoration of Myrmidia in the south is something that northern folk find very hard to understand.

The Cult of Ranald:
Seat of Power: None (tentatively Marienburg)
Common Holy Symbols: A hand with crossed fingers, an “X,” crow, cat
“I’d rather give my tenth coin to Ranald than risk losing the remaining nine.”
—Eckhardt Reinschol, Wool Merchant from Grafenrich
“The hunter calls to Taal to bring game into his sights. The sailor asks Manann to keep the storm away from his ship. Soldiers plead to Sigmar to keep them alive on the battlefield. This is all just luck, which means that Ranald is the one that ultimately answers these prayers.”
—Gustav Adelbrecht, Priest of Ranald
“The thieves, liars, and cutpurses of our land pay homage to Ranald in hopes that he’ll keep them out of chains. Let them believe in his mercy, while I administer a hot brand to their temples for their crimes.”
—Sigfried Ulmar, Roving Judge
“You’ll be hearing the rattle of Ranald’s dice”
—Folk term of Reikland meaning “engaging in a risky endeavour”
A deity of the common people, the fickle God of Luck and Good Fortune, the quintessential rogue, Ranald is all these things and more. His is a curious cult, for it lacks the trappings,
the pomp and majesty, even the structure of other cults. His priests are thieves, tricksters, and gamblers, rather than the educated effete elite so favoured by others. His temples are the gaming halls, the brothels, the taverns, and other dens of iniquity, not the gilt structures of gold and marble. Indeed, Ranald and his priests are unlike any others—a fact that is both distressing
and delightful.
Part of Ranald’s curious nature stems from the fact that this God has a several different aspects. To most, he is known as the Night Prowler, God of Thieves and patron of thieves and rogues. Venerated by the criminal elements in the Old World, his symbols and sayings serve as the foundation for much of the secret language used by thieves. Ranald is also the Deceiver, watching over, or rather inspiring, charlatans and tricksters. In this way, Ranald is something of a force of nature, the personification of irony but also illusion—hence Ranald’s appeal to Grey Wizards. As well, Ranald is the patron of gaming, gambling, and more than anything, luck. It is in this form that Ranald is upheld by the Empire folk and to curry favour with the God, Old Worlders employ a dizzying array of superstitious sayings and gestures to ensure they retain or acquire the God’s attention.
Of all the forms Ranald assumes, though, none is more brutally oppressed than his role as the Protector. The symbol of freedom from tyranny, liberation from despots, and the symbol of
revolution, this aspect of Ranald is embraced by agitators, demagogues, and even a few politicians. In fact, Ranald in this role is a rallying force for the democratic movement that persists in the Empire’s largest cities.

The Cult of Shallya:
Seat of Power: Couronne, in Bretonnia
Common Holy Symbols: A dove; a heart with a drop of blood
“I think his leg’s broken! Quick, get a Shallyan!”
—Ulricslieb Martinson, Middenheim Labourer
“As I ate your bread as a child, may you eat my bread now.”
—Dietrich Ragnar, Merchant of Marienburg, giving a cart of bread to the temple of Shallya that fed him when he was a poor child. (Every day, just as the market opens, so that everyone can see and hear.)
“You” <PUNCH> “do not” <KICK> “steal from” <STAMP> “the temples of Shallya.”
—A Talabheim thief, Explaining Professional Ethics to a Colleague
“They’re just sneaky, manipulative politicians who steal business from honest folk. Someone should expose them for the frauds they are.”
—Master Augustus Limmerskind, Altdorf Doctor
Shallya, the Goddess of Healing, Mercy, and Childbirth, is possibly the most loved deity in the Old World. Many Old Worlders enter it at a temple of Shallya, or at least attended by one of the
priestesses, and almost all need the services of the priestesses at some point in their lives. The
refusal of the cult to become involved in politics has made it a popular target of charity from
wealthy nobles and merchants, and the success of the priestesses in channelling that wealth to the needy is notable. Most temples of Shallya are simply decorated, with the money received going to the relief of pain, and those temples are everywhere, from the smallest village to the
largest city.
Shallya is said to be the daughter of Verena and Morr, tempering both death and justice with mercy. She feels the suffering of every living thing, and as a result is constantly in tears. Some legends say that her tears can even move her father, and that, as a result, he refuses to see her; he knows the danger inherent in yielding to pleas to return the dead. Other legends say that her father forbade Shallya from helping more than one person in a moment, lest no one die.
Individual temples of Shallya are exceptionally well organised, with clear responsibilities for all residents, and defined chains of authority. This enables them to respond to crises, and to deal with the dozens, if not hundreds, of supplicants who come every day. The cult as a whole,
however, does not have policies or plans of action. Shallya is concerned with relieving the
individual distresses of the people, not with grand schemes.

The Cult of Sigmar:
Seat of Power: Altdorf
Common Holy Symbols: Ghal Maraz (Sigmar’s Warhammer), the twin-tailed comet, a Griffon
“Arr, well, wit’out our Sigmar, whar would we be? It were ‘im that did make this ‘ere Empire, and it’s ‘im that does protect it. Y’see, ‘is priests do guard our minds, and ‘is warrior priests do
guard our lands. Arr, ‘ee may not look after t’crops or whatnot, but we wouldn’t have no crops iffin it weren’t fer Sigmar! So, it’s t’temple every week fer me. Besides, it be a good way to catch up wit’ friends.”

—Stoffan Kleinbauer, Peasant Farmer
“The templars took my Grelda. They tortured her. They burned her. She wasn’t bad. She was good. She read books. She knew things. She always said they were dangerous. She... she was right.”
—Gaspar Sollander, New Cultist of the Purple Hand
“They are so concerned with defending their precious Empire that they’ve forgotten what formed it. Conquest! Da, conquest! The successes in Albion show what we can do! Now is our time! The Empire should not hide within these meaningless borders so loved by the Sigmarites. My friends, this is the time for war! Kislev is weak! Who is with me?”
—Lazlo Argermann, Bechafener Agitator

Over 2,500 years ago, Sigmar Heldenhammer, whose birth had been heralded by the passing of a twin-tailed comet, was crowned Emperor in Altdorf (then known as Reikdorf), by the high priest of Ulric. He bore the magical warhammer Ghal Maraz by his side, a gift from the Dwarfs for saving King Kurgan of Karaz-a-Karak’s life, and led his people for many decades of prosperity.
On his fiftieth year as emperor, Sigmar laid down his crown and left Reikdorf. History has done a poor job recording why he left, but legends claim he was spotted heading east towards the Worlds Edge Mountains, with heavy furs about his broad shoulders and his still-blond hair hanging in heavy braids. Other legends claim he walked with a great, grey wolf to his left, and a giant, black-tusked boar to his right, his face a mask of determination. Whatever the truth, the greatest man the Empire would ever know had gone.
A little over twenty years after Sigmar’s departure, his people had already elevated Johann Helstrum—a wild-eyed friar who claimed Sigmar was crowned a God by Ulric himself—as Sigmar’s first high priest. Soon, his fledgling cult—one that preached unity, and expected the people to unquestioningly obey the Emperor and his appointed Elector Counts—formed into a dominant religion fully supported by the state.
Now, the Cult of Sigmar dominates the Empire. It has temples and shrines in even the smallest of settlements, and countless millions now call upon Sigmar’s name to guard their souls from corruption. As part of their duties to defend the Empire Sigmar created, priests often rally the people during times of trouble, and are thus often perceived to be worshipping a God of War by outsiders, although this is not strictly true.

The Cult of Taal and Rhya:
Seat of Power: The Taalgrunhaar Forest, Talabheim
Holy Symbols: Taal—antlers, deer skulls, stone axe. Rhya—sheaf of wheat, bow and arrow, dart, flowers.
“I respect the worshippers of Taal, but the next time one stops me from hunting deer in the Hallow Woods, I’m sticking him with the arrow!”
—Ralt of Nuln, Farmer
“The male priests took my eldest son, Franz, for his Quickening ceremony a year ago. When he left, he was skinny, pale, and unsure of himself. On his return, I didn’t recognize him at first.
He’s a warrior now, with the eyes of a cold-hearted hunter.”

—Gustav Avermeyer, Trapper from Ostermark.
“A kiss from Rhya” —To fall in love
“Sure I give my respects to Taal and Rhya. But, the way I hear it; there are some of their followers that wear skins and live like animals in the woods. We’re people, not beasts—someone should remind them of that.”
—Siegfried Kant, Burgher of Marienburg

The Cult of Taal and Rhya is among the most ancient and pervasive in the Old World, tracing a direct line to the primal Gods from the deepest of history. The cult grew organically, as early
Humans tried to explain natural phenomenon, such as thunder, the turning of the seasons, and the rise and ebb of the seas. Over time, the Gods Taal and Rhya came into being, beginning as a single entity, known as Ishnernos. This split occurred many thousands of years ago, and the Cult of Ishnernos faded into distant memory. Taal rules nature and is considered “King of the Gods.” He claims the wild places as his domain and is primarily worshipped by hardy woodsmen, trackers, and rangers. Rhya’s worshippers are found in the cultivated fields and orchards of the Empire, and are found among farmers, fishermen, and young lovers everywhere.
The Cult of Taal and Rhya is the sanctioned cult of Talabecland, and is wildly popular in the eastern and northern parts of the Empire. Of the two, Taal receives most recognition, and Rhya’s role is much diminished. The grand city of Talabheim is particularly fervent in its worship of both
Taal and Rhya. Taal represents the power and majesty of nature, both the physical world of stone and wood, but also the primal urge of life within all creatures. Taal makes the rain fall from the sky, the rivers flow, the animals breed and multiply, and the plants grow. He is not only the physical heart of a person, but also the spark that makes the heart pump. Taal represents vigour and growth in all its forms—especially the transitions from childhood and adulthood, when life is at its peak.
Rhya, Taal’s wife, is the nurturer of people and the land. Where Taal makes the wild lands develop unchecked, Rhya looks after the fields, orchards, and livestock of Humans, instilling growth for healthy crops and meat for all. Rhya cools and tames the wildness inspired by her husband, transforming it into maturity and wisdom. She is also the patroness of love and thus is
fervently worshipped by young lovers or those hoping to bring love into their lives. Rhya also
governs carnal acts, though few worship her openly in such a manner—indeed such thoughts are considered scandalous and rude among most people. Lovers may utter her name during passionate moments, which priestesses of Rhya claim is sufficient respect for the Goddess.

The Cult of Ulric:
Seat of Power: Middenheim
Common Holy Symbols: The White Wolf
“Aye. Ulric’s by me side. I carry this wolf’s tail, y’see, made o’ rabbit, and this wolf’s-head medallion. I also bought this skull here from a priest. Blessed it is. Belonged to a White Wolf, he
said. I had it carved with holy words in Old Reikspiel by me mate, Anseich—he’s a scrimshaw—that’ll fill me with courage when the orders come to charge. Full of courage, me. Ulric’s by me side.”

—Ralfurt ‘Ulli’ Becker, Talabeclander Soldier
“Ah, Ulricans... they are little better than beasts when it comes to war. Lay a bear trap or two and they always get their feet trapped. Personally, I’d like more of my opponents to have such directed characters, it would make my life far simpler.”
—Lorenzo di Marco, the Eagle of the North
According to the Liber Lupus (Book of the Wolf), the Cult of Ulric is one of the oldest Human religions in the world. Millennia ago, Ulric is said to have led a tribe of Humans to a boundless, forested land. The tribe, called the Teutogens by most modern scholars, was wild and savage, and took to slaughtering the indigenous forest people to prove their worth. These bloody tribesmen quickly spread through the forests, butchering for many generations, exalting their God with every kill. After uncounted years of war and conquest, Ulric led his folk to a great, flat-topped mountain, hidden deep in the darkest recesses of the frigid north. To light their way,
the God struck the mountain with his fist and a roaring, silvery flame sprung forth. The Teutogens followed this unearthly glow, until, in the heart of winter, they arrived at the base of the holy mountain. Hungry White Wolves hunted there and let loose blood-curdling howls as the Humans invaded their territory. The cold, weary tribesmen hefted their weapons and howled in return, unwilling to back away, no matter how tired or sore they were. Ulric, pleased with this,
bathed them all in bright, white light, which panicked the wolves, and caused them to flee. The
Teutogens, in awe of the hallowed place, immediately swore to build the greatest of temples, and to forever worship Ulric, their God of Winter, War and Wolves.
Tens of centuries later the cold fire on the mountain still blazes with blue-white rage, but it is now hidden from sight by the massive Ulrican temple built so long ago. Called the Eternal Flame,
it is of extreme importance to the cult, and pilgrims arrive from far and wide to witness it. Many believe Middenheim, the great capital that surrounds the temple, can never fall while the hoary fire still burns, and the recent failed siege during the Storm of Chaos has only strengthened this belief. After all, where Valten, Sigmar Reborn, disappeared when the war ended, the Eternal Flame burns on, and always will.

The Cult of Verena:
Seat of Power: None
Common Holy Symbols: The owl, representing wisdom, is Verena’s primary symbol. A pair of scales, representing justice, is sometimes used, as is a sword pointing downwards
“I once saw a library on fire in Marienburg—those foolish Verenans were so busy scurrying in and out to save the books they didn’t notice their own robes were on fire! All brains and no
common sense.”

—Yevgeny Pavovic, Kislevite Merchant
“His only chance is if Verena goes blind”
—Common saying, meaning that someone is as good as guilty
“That may all be true, but no man or woman, not even Lady Verena, can judge until the other side has told their story. Then, once both parties have made their case, a judgement will be made.”
—Judge Wilhelm Manfred
“When Wolfenburg was sacked, the Verenans wept more than the Shallyans. But their tears were for the books, not for the people.”
—Albert Finnch, Ostland Gravedigger

Although the Empire and the rest of the Old World face the war, plague, and calamity with disturbing regularity, it is the rule of law and ordered society that enables the Empire and other nations to not only survive, but thrive. Indeed, those who venerate Ulric, and to a lesser extent Sigmar, may be concerned with violence and warfare, but it is the philosophical doctrines of
justice espoused by the priests of Verena that prevents the Empire from sliding into a complete tyranny.In the pantheon of Gods, some myths place Verena as the bride of Morr. Although this might seem an unlikely pairing at first thought, they are united by the common themes of judgement. They simply oversee different aspects of the concept. Where Morr judges the dead, it falls to Verena to judge the living. Verena is also thought to be the mother of Shallya, and in some parts of the Old World, of Myrmidia as well. A stoic and serious Goddess, she is a benevolent force to whom many appeal for freedom from despotism.
Verena is not just the patron of just decisions and balance, but she is also regarded as a wise teacher, for it is said that she lifted mankind from its barbarous roots with the giving of writing. It is for this act that she is also held as the mother of learning, reason, and discourse.
Despite her benevolence and civility, Verena has a definite martial streak as the Goddess of Justice. Some theologians claim this was not always the case, but when Chaos was unleashed upon the world and Ulric tried to rally the Gods against the threat, Verena was the only one
who took his warning seriously. She took up Morr’s sword and rode to battle behind Ulric, shaming her fellow Gods into action in the process. Her priests claim she understands more than any other the importance of wisdom and learning, and the need to defend them from ignorance
and destruction, with force of arms if necessary.

Last edited by Admin on Thu Sep 28, 2023 12:07 am; edited 1 time in total


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Religion - Faiths of the Old World Empty Re: Religion - Faiths of the Old World

Post by Admin Thu Sep 28, 2023 12:04 am

Faiths of the Elder Races

The Dwarf Gods:
“Ever seen a Dwarf pray, sonny? It’s all drinkin’ and singin’ and laffin’! Much more fun than ol’ Father Magnus’ sermons, I’m tellin’ ya.”
—Hans Jeimes, Fatigued Worshipper
“It’s not right, worshipping the dead. Saying a prayer to keep Ol’ Pappy Morr at bay is one thing, but worshipping the ghosts of Ma and Pa and the rest of yer dearly departeds? That’s just wrong.”
—Hilda Brandt, Wolfenburg Bonepicker

Dwarf religion revolves around the worship of their ancestors, celebrating their deeds and giving thanks to their legacy. Although Dwarfs seem to worship a pantheon of Gods, these deities are really the most important of their ancestors, those founding fathers of the Dwarf race whom all clans have in common.
Dwarfs are stoic and private, and their religion reflects this. Dwarfs rarely speak of their religion, and do not seem to pray. Their temples are only found in the deeps of their holds. Worship is a personal matter between a Dwarf and his God, and religious rites and services are unheard of. Instead of prayer, Dwarfs worship their Gods by telling stories and singing songs, celebrating the heroic deeds of their ancestors.
Amongst Empire Dwarfs and other Dwarfs living amongst men this holds doubly true, for it is a way to maintain a connection with their homeland. Temples to the ancestor Gods do not exist,
although larger shrines usable by Dwarfs exist within the larger cities of the Empire that have a sizeable Dwarf community.
Humans tend to treat the faith of their closest allies with respect, if not ultimately with understanding. Sigmarites in particular have a great deal of respect and honour for the faith of Dwarfs, seeing a great deal of similarity between Sigmar and the Dwarf Gods. In return, most Dwarfs respect Sigmar for his achievements as a man, although they do not worship him.
There are those Humans who come to identify strongly with a Dwarf God, especially those living in towns and cities with a strong community of Dwarfs, worshipping them much as they would
a Human God, to the bemusement of Dwarfs. Of these Gods, Grungni has the highest number of Human worshippers, especially amongst artisans, and there is even a Human-built temple to
Grungni in Nuln.
There are countless ancestor Gods—each clan, hold and Dwarf family have their own ancestors whom they worship. But there are three ancestor Gods whom all Dwarfs pray to.

The God of Mines and Artisans, Grungni is the father of the Dwarf race. He taught the first Dwarfs how to dig deep into the earth, and how to mine ore and smith metal. Grungni is the one God of Dwarfs most identifiable to men, and the one with the most Human worshippers throughout the Empire.

A warrior God, Grimnir the Fearless personifies the courageous nature of the Dwarfs. He is
especially popular amongst the Cult of the Slayer, who revere him as the Slayer God.
Although the concept of a warrior God is a familiar one to men, the concept of slayers—and therefore the Slayer God—is utterly unfathomable.

As the protector and mother Goddess of the Dwarfs, Valaya is the founder of some of the greatest holds, and guards both the concept of the homeland and the clan, concepts with which
men have little empathy or understanding. As a result, there are few Human worshippers of Valaya.

The Elven Gods:
“Elves don’t pray, except to themselves. They’re so high and mighty they probably consider themselves to be Gods.”
—Albert Heinz, Disaffected Dockworker
“I’ve spent a lot of time around Elves, and I was surprised by how religious they are. Sure, they dress it up in mystical mumbo jumbo, but I’ve seen them before battle or when preparing for a
trip. They pray just as much as you or I, if not more, and not to one or t’other god, but to the whole lot, every last one of ‘em.”

—Magda van Dyke, Wasteland Mercenary
Ask most men about the Gods of the Elves and though they might be able to tell you wild stories they have heard, there would be little in the way of facts to their tales, for Elven religion is shrouded in mystery, much like the Elven race. Elves worship a pantheon of Gods, much as do Dwarfs and men, but not in any way recognisable to the other races.
Elven culture is suffused in mysticism and magic, and Elves believe their Gods surround them and are a part of them. An Elf considers his every action, his every thought, to be mystical in some respect, and therefore everything they do is somehow connected to the Gods, every action is a devotion in its own right. It is unclear how the Elves worship their Gods or what rituals and ceremonies they might undertake. Some speculate that given the Elves live such a long time any way, how they regard these beings in necessarily different from the ways Humans and other short-lived races might perceive them. A few whisper that perhaps the Elves are even Gods themselves!
Men would never profess to understand the faith of the Elves, most believing either the Elves do not believe in Gods, or those that they do worship are but different aspects of the Human
pantheon. Of course Elves believe the reverse, claiming all Human Gods are merely a distorted reflection of the Elven pantheon. The truth, in all likelihood, is probably somewhere in between.
Due to this lack of understanding, there are very few Humans who worship the Gods of the Elves—the culture of the Elves is too alien to grasp, their faith too oblique and impenetrable.
Elves living within the Empire continue to worship their Gods in the same manner they would anywhere, for they have no formalised religions, and conduct all worship on a personal and intimate level. In some of the larger cities frequented by Elves, in particular Marienburg, small shrines to the Elven Gods can be found.
Although Wood Elves venerate the entire pantheon, they worship Kurnous, God of the Hunt and father of Elves, and Isha, Goddess of Fertility and mother of Elves, more than any other. In Wood Elf society these Gods are elevated in status, perhaps due to the presence of their king and queen—Orion and Ariel—taking on the role of their avatars.

Asuryan is the ancestor of all living things and guardian of the Elven race, in the form of the Phoenix King whom the Elves believe is chosen directly by Asuryan. Elves pray to Asuryan to grant them leadership and bravery.

Hoeth is the God of Knowledge, Learning and Wisdom, and is the patron of Elven wizards and scholars. Hoeth is prayed to when an Elf faces a difficult quandary or confusing problem, for his wisdom can help see the truth of the matter. Elven wizards also pray to Hoeth when preparing for a powerful magical ritual.

Isha the Mother is Goddess of Fertility, protector of the natural order and mother of the Elven race. She is worshipped by the Wood Elves of the Old World as one of their dominant deities,
although other Elves pray to her to aid farming, for protection during childbirth, or for help when abroad in the wild.

Bloody-handed Khaine is the God of War and Murder, and is very much a double-edged sword, for he is both the saviour and the doom of the Elven race. Although he aided Aenarion defeat Chaos and fought against Slaanesh, he also wars against his kin and is the patron God of the Dark Elves. Elves pray to Khaine when going to battle or when dark sins need to be committed for the greater good.

Kurnous is the father of the Elven race and God of the Hunt, but unlike Isha worship of him is waning, except amongst the Wood Elves of the Old World who venerate him as their principal
deity. Elves pray to Kurnous when hunting, when abroad in the wilderness, and for tenacity and doggedness.

Lileath the Maiden is the Goddess of Dreams and Fortune, worshipped as part of a triumvirate along with Isha and Morai-heg. She is the patron of seers and prophets, and is prayed to for clarity, prophecy, and foresight, especially by an Elf facing a great challenge or difficult decision, or in need of some good luck.

The patron of the Wood Elf wardancers, Loec is the God of Trickery, Music, and Revelry. Loec is a mysterious figure because his followers guard the secrets of his rites and purpose behind a
veil of secrecy. His servants are occasionally called Feastmasters for their part in the great festivals, where they lead the celebration and perform intricate dances that recount the history
of Athel Loren.

As the lord of the sea and God of Storms, Mathlann is patron to sailors and explorers, and is prayed to by Elves about to embark on a voyage or seeking new lands. He is also prayed to by the loved ones of those Elves who are abroad so he will bring them home safe and sound. Mathlann is one of the main Gods worshipped by the Elves in Marienburg.

The Crone is the Goddess of Fate and Death, holding the fate of all mortals within her rune pouch. Elves pray to Morai-heg when pursuing or fleeing from their destinies, and by those who seek to forestall death and the inevitable.

The Elven God of Smiths, Vaul is the creator of the legendary artefacts wielded by the Gods and heroes, including the infamous Sword of Khaine. Vaul fought Khaine but lost, and was horribly
crippled. Elves pray to Vaul for creativity and the willpower to withstand great hardship, pleading to him when making an impressive item or forced to endure great pain.


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