In the Shadows of the Last War
The Sovereign Host
The Sovereign Host is a group of nine deities collectively representing the entire world, but focusing on aspects of civilization. The Sovereign Host is the most widely worshiped body in Khorvaire. Nearly everyone offers prayers to the Host as a whole and to individual deities for specific actions. For example, a farmer might whisper a prayer of thanks to Arawai when his baby is born healthy, and a blacksmith might sing the songs of Onatar when working at her forge.
The Sovereign Host finds worshipers among all races and from all walks of life-peasants, kings, and adventurers. The faithful worship the pantheon as a whole, rather than devoting themselves to specific deities. Clerics of the Sovereign Host are known as Vassals. Vassals may choose any Domain they wish, and are not constrained by any single deity’s Domain even if they offer prayer to different deities on different occasions.
As a group, the Host exhorts its followers to:
- Place your trust in the community. The group is stronger by far than the individual. The great light of a city is composed of the thousands of flames of its citizens. You must ensure that your flame is as bright as you can make it.
- Treat others as they deserve to be treated. If they haven’t harmed you or yours, treat them kindly.
- Bring the light of civilization to the darkness of the wilds.
Arawai is the goddess of fertility, abundance, and life (particularly plant life). She teaches that the wilderness holds great resources that empower civilization. The sister of Balinor and the Devourer, Arawai is also the mother of the Fury (as a result of her rape at the hands of the Devourer, according to Sovereign Host religious texts). She finds followers among parents, farmers, druids, rangers, sailors, and others who place great importance on nature, fertility, or the weather. Iconography usually depicts her as a half-elf female, sometimes as a human or a halfling, and occasionally as a bronze dragon.
Her tenets are simple and few:
- Be fruitful and multiply.
- Celebrate life, especially new life. A young sapling is a beautiful creation, and children are the world’s greatest blessing.
- Never turn your back on a child or young creature in need.
Aureon is the god of knowledge, arcane lore, and magic. He also values order and law. He is Onatar’s brother and Boldrei’s husband, and bears a mysterious connection to the Shadow. Most arcane spellcasters call him their patron, as do sages, librarians, scribes, professors, and students. In religious texts, he appears as a human or gnome wizard, and, on rare occasion, as a grand blue dragon.
He urges his followers to:
- Respect and acquire knowledge, especially knowledge that was once lost. Knowledge is the most powerful force in Khorvaire.
- Value reason and sound thought over emotion and rash action.
- Educate yourself, your children, and your allies.
Balinor rules the beasts, the hunt, and the cycle of life. He teaches respect for wild animals and nature: One should take-carefully—only what one needs from the wild to improve civilization. That the intelligent races slay and eat animals is part of the natural cycle. That an occasional hunter falls to a rampaging boar or angry bear is also part of the cycle. Brother to both Arawai and the Devourer, Balinor counts rangers, druids, and hunters of all types among his followers. In images, he appears as a crude but good-natured human or half-ore, and sometimes as a green dragon.
His commands are straightforward:
- Take what you need from nature, but respect its power.
- Courage invites luck. Never flinch in the face of danger, but don’t court it unprepared.
- Change is constant. The only certainty in life is death. Death is not to be feared, but celebrated as part of the natural cycle.
In some ways representative of the Sovereign Host as a whole, Boldrei’s areas of influence are community and the safety and comfort of hearth and home. Her name is invoked at weddings and government appointments. She is Aureon’s wife and counts commoners, parents, and militia members among her worshipers. She is usually depicted as a commoner of any race, and sometimes as a copper dragon brooding over a clutch of eggs.
Her tenets are:
- Value your community and family above yourself. Ensure that if you fall, they survive.
- Make your home your haven. Weighty and stressful affairs belong elsewhere, and violence in the home is unconscionable.
- Help other members of your community with no thought of recompense. Rewards come when they are needed.
Dol Arrah is the shining goddess of honorable combat, selflessness, and sunlight. She brings light to pierce the dark places and blades to pierce the hearts of monsters. Legends say that Dol Dorn and the Mockery are her brothers. Paladins, warlords, and good-aligned fighters revere her, as do diplomats, who fight their battles with words instead of swords. She appears in religious texts as a human or half-elf knight alight with holy radiance, and sometimes as a red dragon atop a cloud.
Her teachings are:
- Bring succor to those who suffer.
- Bring the light of truth and goodness to dark and evil places.
- Bring force of arms against all that is evil.
The god of courage and physical prowess, Dol Dorn also exemplifies duty and war. He urges all people to be at their physical best. Soldiers, fighters, and warlords are his primary worshipers, along with athletes and acrobats. Said to be the brother of Dol Arrah and the Mockery, texts depict Dol Dorn as a musclebound human, dwarf, or half-orc, and occasionally as a mighty silver dragon.
His commands are simple but strong:
- Shirk your duty only if your charges have become unworthy of it.
- Achieve and maintain physical perfection.
- Test your physical powers in contests and in battle. May the strongest prevail!
Kol Korran’s likeness appears on coins throughout the Five Nations, for he is the god of commerce and wealth. In the postwar world, where trade is cautiously emerging and expanding, his following is on the rise. Merchants, traders, and thieves are his primary Vassals, but anyone who has money, or wants more, pays him homage. Religious texts say he .and his twin brother the Keeper are the sons of Olladra and Onatar. These same books depict him as a plump, cheerful human or dwarf in fine clothes. A few ancient depictions show him as a white dragon atop a bed of ice-blue gemstones.
He teaches his worshipers to:
- Acquire wealth.
- Travel. New lands offer new trading partners to cultivate and new resources to gather.
- Remember that a charming smile and a kind word are often more powerful than a blade and a strong arm.
The goddess of luck and plenty, Olladra’s name is a popular one. People toast her at parties and festivals. Gamblers, rogues, bards, and hedonists pay her homage throughout the year. She is Onatar’s wife and mother to the twins Kol Korran and the Keeper. In imagery, she is a young halfling, an old female human, and occasionally a black dragon.
Her tenets are:
- Eat, drink, and be merry, for life is good and luck comes to those who need it.
- Olladra favors the bold. Fashion your own destiny to enjoy her favor.
- Fight against oppression. Any who would deny you your freedoms should feel Olladra’s anger.
Onatar is the god of forge and fire, of industry and craft. His name is invoked in factories and smithies, and his symbol appears on forges throughout Khorvaire. Dwarves in particular revere him, as do those who specialize in fiery magic—wizards and warlocks of the appropriate bent. Religious texts say he is husband to Olladra and father to Kol Korran and the Keeper. In these same sources, he appears commonly as a dwarf and occasionally as a brass dragon.
His commands are:
- Create. To craft an object or forge a weapon is to create a tool that many workers can use.
- Work. Work gives meaning to life and strength to communities.
- Respect fire. It is an invaluable tool and a powerful weapon.