The One Who Is
Portfolio: Desert survival, the Ferendi people, warfare
Domains: Chaos, Animal, Plant, War
Holy Symbol: A stylized ram’s head
Favored Weapon: Scimitar
The lone god, worshiped by the Ferendi nomads of the desert which separates the Aureshan Empire from its former colonies in the Mereflow Valley, is peculiar for his worshippers’ insistence that he is the only true god. Theologians and scholars not of the Ferendi simply refer to this deity as the Nameless God; his true name is a secret known only to the highest-ranking priests of the faith. In daily use, the Ferendi refer to their god as the “One Who Is,” or simply as the “One.”
The One has no temple or shrine; his worship is carried out through rituals held around the nomads’ campfires after their evening meal. A typical prayer service consists of thanksgiving to the One for the food and drink just consumed, and praise for the glory of his creation—despite the harshness of the desert they call home, the Ferendi view it as a gift from the Nameless God, whom they credit with the creation of all existence. After praise and thanksgiving, the nomads typically end the service with vows to perform the One’s will, and with requests for material and spiritual wealth and protection.
The Ferendi believe themselves the chosen people of the Nameless God, and furthermore believe that this entitles them to special favor in accord with their position. So long as they are faithful to the One, they hold, they will never be conquered by outsiders. As a close-knit society organized on tribal lines, the Ferendi are rigorously courteous and honest amongst themselves; it is considered an obligation before the One Who Is for wanderers of another tribe than one’s own to be given shelter and treated hospitably. This obligation does not extend to outsiders, as any merchant who plies the caravan routes across the desert can testify—the Ferendi trade with outsiders, but the unwary soon find that dealing with a Ferendi merchant involves all manner ingenious dishonesty on the Ferendi’s part, and demands a sharp eye. Moreover, it is commonplace amongst the Ferendi to switch from trade to banditry if a potential business partner looks unfit to defend himself. A few tribes allow outsiders to convert to the worship of the One; such conversions are still uncommon, but they carry with them the additional benefit of adoption by the tribe that carries out the conversion ceremony.