Echoes of Eternity
Different cultures have established varying religions throughout Prymis. While a person’s religious beliefs are often a private affair, some areas see their practices as part of their life and society. Some societies worship more openly than others, but almost all recognize and respect various figureheads of religious importance.
For example, one town may not have any religious leaders. A tribal town may also worship the spirits of Nature, another see the Bear as their totem. Yet another town may recognize a small council of religious leaders. What follows are common religious practices in the world of Prymis.
- This spiritual practice is not tied to any formal religion but to the custom of ancestor worship. The veneration of one’s deceased ancestors is especially common in lands populated with the long-lived elves, half-elves, and dwarves but otherwise varied. The usual form of ancestor worship is to pour libations upon the grave site of the deceased, or to burn incense or spicy foods as offerings in a household shrine.
Spirit Courts – Animism, Shamanism, Totemism
- One of the common spiritual paradigms in Prymis revolves around the Spirit Courts, veneration of nature spirits. While some may give names to these courts or even specific spirits, few do so.
- Spirit Courts are not considered good or evil, in fact far from it. Many people understand the spirits may be capricious and varied in their behavior, sometimes sympathetic and at other times vindictive. One does not consider a baby that steps on a spider evil. The storm is not even merely because it creates wind that destroys homes. This is the common thought process.
- As a general rule, many pray to the Spirits of Storm for rain during a drought. Others might call on Those That Travel to guide their merchant caravan.
- Animism is actually widespread. Spirits of Nature draw the most reverence, encouraged by the few known Druids and gifted Rangers that wield magical power to the public. It’s commonplace for bargemen on a river to address the current itself, especially during foul weather or when the river is running full because of melting snow from nearby mountains.
- Totemism is a variation on animism, and consists of the belief that the spirit of an animal or monster can serve as a person’s guide, protector, and inspiration. Like animism, it is common amongst Druids, and it is characteristic of a variety of relatively “primitive” tribes at the periphery of civilization. Orcs and half-orcs raised among orcs are especially likely to venerate a totem spirit in these regions.
- Shamanism refers to a whole branch of spiritual traditions in which a specially trained individual serves as a mediator between the Spirit World and the mortal realm. Such individuals frequently serve as guides for the souls of the dead, or as sources of information about the hidden spiritual causes of malaise in mortal life. Advanced students of shamanic mysteries can bind spirits as their allies and servants, gaining a degree of power that rivals the most powerful of Wizards or Druids.
- If anything, the terrible earthquakes or storms that wrack Prymis are considered evil works of magic either from long ago or made manifest due to the horrible plans of such beings here in the present. The Spirit Courts are not typically blamed for such evil magics.
Gods & Godly Pantheons
- Stories tell of times long ago where particular Spirits were worshiped above others, Gods over all the world. Whether these Spirits were real or rumor is difficult to determine; Scholars debate these tales. If true, they question whether these spirits grew to be more powerful through otherworldly efforts or merely from the strength of the veneration they received.
- Worship of individual Gods, or one specifically, in a very rare and often misunderstood practice. Most are seen as zealots or possibly mad men.