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Alternate pantheon for the Church of Karameikos

by David S. Leland

With all the buzz about the Church of Karameikos and its Immortals, I thought I'd present what I'm doing in my campaign. My impression from GAZ1 and other materials is that the CoK is a break-away group from Thyatis that wanted to create a new religion with their own philosophy. In the grand tradition of OD&D, which does not emphasise individual Immortal-worship for clerics as a standard, I have kept the CoK more concerned with their philosophy than anything else. Even the Thyatians, in my campaign, are not obsessed with particular Immortals, and are more than happy to "import" new Immortals. The CoK, then, allows for the worship of any Immortal so long as it doesn't conflict with their philosophy. Still, having evolved from the Thyatian religion, the Church has a bias towards a subset of the Immortals from Thyatis, based on how well those Immortals port over to Karameikan needs. Also, btw, IMC the Church of Traladara is focused on the trinity of Halav, Petra, and Zirchev (only), and as you can infer from what's below, the CoK has specific strategies to take the Traladaran religion into account in its attempts to convert. What follows is based on what I provided as background to my cleric PC on Immortals well-known to the CoK. Parts are taken straight from DotE.

Immortals. The Church of Karameikos emphasises its philosophy over veneration of a specific set of Immortals. Nonetheless, they treat all known Immortals with respect or fear, and while there is no official "pantheon," for the Church of Karameikos, Immortals feared and/or venerated by the Church of Thyatis are best known. Thus, those Immortals that receive the most attention, worship, and/or reference are a subset of the Thyatian favourites. These "imported" Immortals include:

Asterius. He is the Patron of Trade and Commerce, and merchants pray to him. Because Karameikos aspires to be a great trade nation, Asterius is well-liked. He is also the patron of thievery.

Diulanna. Patroness of Will. This Immortal of the Thyatian-conquered Hinterlands, whom the Thyatians are now eagerly studying, represents the belief that with enough willpower and determination, one can achieve anything. Since she is new in Thyatis, she is not the subject of much religious focus in Karameikos, but still fills a unique niche and is appealed to by those facing impossible odds, especially down-trodden Traladaran members of the Church of Karameikos.

Halav. Patron of Warfare and Weaponmaking. This is one and the same with the Traladarans' Halav. He has been known to and venerated by the Thyatians since before the conquest of Traladara. He exemplifies the teacher who is also a warrior. The Church of Karameikos is very careful in their representation of Halav. On one hand they enjoy reassuring potential Traladaran converts that members of the Church of Karameikos, too, worship Halav. On the other they worry about stimulating Traladaran nationalism and want Traladaran converts to de-emphasise Halav in their worship. (See section on Viuden).

Ilsundal. Patron of Elvenkind. His ways are followed by the elves in Thyatis, and also the Callarii. While the Church of Karameikos avoids proselytising to the Callarii, they find it worth paying respects to Ilsundal both for political reasons and because, as an Immortal associated with the forest and nature, he represents an alternative to Zirchev for that sphere of influence, which is useful when trying to wean Traladaran converts away from their steady devotion to the Traladaran trinity.

Kagyar. Patron of Artisans and Dwarvenkind. His ways are followed by the dwarves in Thyatis and in Karameikos, and by many who have artistic/craftsman leanings and abilities. For Traladaran conversion purposes, Kagyar is to Petra as Ilsundal is to Zirchev, since both Kagyar and Petra concern themselves, in part, with craftsmanship.

Koryis. Patron of Peace and Prosperity. This Immortal is favoured by merchants, for the same reason that Asterius is. "Real" warriors and the Order of the Griffon sneer at him for his pacifistic teachings.

Protius. The Old Man of the Sea. This Immortal represents the sea in all its aspects--treacherous, beautiful, bountiful, terrifying. Many ship-captains, navy men, and Traladaran fishermen converts venerate Protius.

Tarastia. She is the Patroness of Justice and Revenge.

Thanatos. This death-loving Immortal hates all life, and serves as a convenient representation of evil (i.e. bogey-man) for the Church.

Valerias. Patroness of Love; Girder-On of Weapons. She promotes love and romance especially fiery, passionate romance. But she is also believed to bring weapons to those in need and is a capable fighter. The romantic Traladarans like Valerias a great deal, perhaps even more than the Thyatians, regardless of whether they belong to the Church of Karameikos or Church of Traladara.

Viuden(Odin). This Immortal fills nearly the same niche as Halav, i.e. the wedding of warfare with wisdom. The Church tries to reorient Traladaran converts toward this Immortal at the same time that they try to make them feel "at home" in the Church with its veneration of Halav. He is popular with the Order of the Griffon.

Extra notes: In Thyatis they don't really pay much attention to Petra and Zirchev, and the Church of Karameikos makes a point of ignoring them as much as possible--it is enough to use Halav as a hook for converts. IMC based in AC1000, the CoK doesn't really care about Alphatia. Hence they don't care much about Alphaks. Korotiku is seen as too subversive. Thor is considered too barbaric. Vanya is considered too conquest-oriented and too much of a symbol of Thyatian nationalism.