Religion in Tolrea

A variety of gods and goddesses is worshipped in the world of Tolrea, although a significant portion of mortals instead revere their ancestors, nature spirits, or some other non-divine supernatural power, and although there are several quasi-religious spiritual and philosophical movements which also draw in devotees. The most widespread of these movements are detailed in the sections below, as well. The links lead to more detailed articles on each topic.

Divine Worship

One of the most common forms of spirituality in Tolrea is the worship of a god, goddess, or pantheon, whether through the mediation of a clergy or directly. It is unknown in Tolrea whether the gods truly exist; the faithful think so, and point to the abilities of clerics and other divine spellcasters as evidence of this. Skeptics point out that magic is poorly understood at best, and that the few individuals who harness divine energy may draw their powers from another source entirely. The debate is unlikely to conclude soon, since even the faithful agree that the only way to see one of the gods is to visit his or her home, and that this is only possible for those who have died and gone to their eternal rest.

Druids and Druidic Sects

Druids are commonplace in the world of Tolrea, especially in rural and wilderness areas, where they commune with the forces of the natural world and safeguard it against the damages which are often wrought by humanoid creatures' activities. Many druids also serve as protectors of humanoid creatures who are unprepared to deal with the perils which can rise out of the wilds to strike at them.

Ancestor Worship

By far the most common spiritual practice not tied to any formal religion is the custom of ancestor worship. The veneration of one's deceased ancestors is especially common in lands populated with humans, half-orcs, half-elves, halflings, orcs, goblinoids, and other relatively short-lived races. The usual form of ancestor worship is to pour libations upon the gravesite of the deceased, or to burn incense or spicy foods as offerings in a household shrine. The efficacy of these practices is measurable, since magical travel into the Ethereal Plane (or through it into the Spirit World) reveals that the deceased frequently remain present, fixed to the locations of their graves or familial homes, for extended periods of time when regular offerings and prayers are directed to them.

Animism, Shamanism, and Totemism

One of the most common spiritual paradigms in Tolrea, aside from organized religion, is the veneration of nature sprits. Animism is actually widespread; it's a commonplace for bargemen on the Mereflow River to address the current itself, especially during foul weather or when the river is running full because of melting snow in the mountains surrounding Merethrone. Animistic practice and belief is tied as closely to reality as formal religion, or perhaps more so, since the Spirit World is eternally present in the wilderness.

Martial Arts, Monks, and Monasticism

As it appears in the campaign world of Tolrea, the monk class of the Dungeons and Dragons v. 3.5 Core Rules might be described more accurately as a class for unarmed martial artists. Not all monks of the kind who inhabit monasteries are members of the monk class, and not all members of the monk class are monastic in character.

Martial Arts Styles

 

Tolrea © 2011, Edward P. Richmond
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