The Shattering of Darkmoon Vale
Religion in Varisia
Numerous deities vie for a place in Varisia and contend for the souls of its populace. All of the 20 main gods presented in The Inner Sea World Guide are represented somewhere in the region (though not always equally). Alongside these are worshipers of the totem spirits of the Shoanti, acolytes of Magnimar’s empyreal lords, and numerous devious cults. The most prominent deities in Varisia include Abadar, Calistria, Cayden Cailean, Desna, Erastil, Gozreh, Lamashtu, Norgorber, Pharasma, Urgathoa, and Zon-Kuthon. Varisia’s largest settlements show their faith in these and other deities by raising temples, while similar towns may have only shrines. Varisia’s three major cities support significant congregations of the following deities.
- Korvosa: Abadar, Asmodeus, Pharasma, Sarenrae, Shelyn, with minor shrines to others.
- Magnimar: Abadar, Calistria, Desna, Erastil, Iomedae, Norgorber, Pharasma, Sarenrae, various empyreal lords.
- Riddleport: Besmara, Calistria, Cayden Cailean.
Beyond temples and sanctuaries to well-known deities, other forms of religion also abound in Varisia, with two of the most prominent noted here.
Magnimarian Mystery Cults
Many of Magnimar’s citizens join local Varisians in a shared reverence for the angelic protectors of the land and their varied divine lords, most notably those demigods known as empyreal lords. Although no official temples to the empyreal lords stand in Magnimar, numerous mystery cults assemble in private chapels and meeting places to pay worship to these divine beings in their own ways. The most common of the empyreal lords honored in Magnimar include Arshea, Ashava, Ragathiel, Sinashakti, Soralyon, and Ylimancha. (Many of these empyreal lords are detailed on page 233 of The Inner Sea World Guide. See Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Magnimar, City of Monuments for information on Ashava, Soralyon, and Ylimancha.)
The shamans of the Shoanti quahs see the spirits of their people and the will of the land in all things. To them, every felled aurochs is a gift from the land and every racing wildfire a message from the spirits. Interpreting these portents, Shoanti shamans advise their leaders and inspire every tribe member to persevere, live honorable lives, and seek messages from the tribe’s totem spirits. This naturalistic mysticism pervades nearly every facet of Shoanti culture, from elaborate—and often dangerous—rites of passage to rituals meant to elicit otherworldly omens and visions. Shoanti shamans are typically druids or oracles, though clerics who worship deities who grant the domains noted on the inside cover often integrate their faith with the tribe’s broader spiritualism—Sarenrae, Gorum, and Gozreh proving popular among the Shoanti. See the inside front cover for more details on Shoanti tribes and their totems.
Scavenged from mysterious monuments, these depictions of forgotten figures and nameless spirits are often sold as good luck charms, but most commoners don’t know that they can also be used to augment magic. Seven types of Varisian idols exist; those that affect evocation, transmutation, and illusion are the most common. Varisians associate each type of idol with their peoples’ names for the various schools of magic. Varisian idols can be purchased throughout Varisia (but most commonly in Magnimar) for a cost of 75gp and weigh about 1 pound.
If used as an additional material component when casting a spell the idol affects, a Varisian idol increases the effect of that spell. Using multiple idols to cast a spell has no additional effect. A Varisian idol is destroyed after one use.
- Avaria (Avarice): When used to cast bear’s endurance, bull’s strength, cat’s grace, eagle’s splendor, fox’s cunning, or owl’s wisdom, the spell grants a +5 enhancement bonus to the affected ability score.
- Avidais (Envy): When used to cast a spell that allows you to make a dispel check (such as dispel magic or mage’s disjunction), you gain a +2 bonus on that check.
- Carnasia (Lust): When used to cast any spell of the charm subschool, a threatened target does not gain the usual +5 bonus on its saving throw to resist the effect.
- Idolis (Sloth): When used to cast summon monster or summon nature’s ally, the summoned creature’s maximum hit points increase by +2 for every Hit Die it possesses.
- Ragario (Rage): When used to cast a spell that deals energy damage, you gain a +2 bonus on caster level checks made to overcome spell resistance.
- Vangloris (Pride): When used to cast a spell of the glamer subschool with a duration measured in minutes or less (such as displacement or invisibility), the effects of that spell persist for 1 round longer than normal.
- Voratalo (Gluttony): When used to cast a spell of the necromancy school that deals hit point damage, you also deal a number of points of bleed damage equal to the spell level. This
bleed effect lasts for 5 rounds.
The Cult of ???
Here we shell record all that is learned of the strange cult to which XXamtwiz belongs.
It is known that…
- They have some strange connection to the Varisian Idols and Thassilonian Magic, using the Sihedron as their holy symbol.
- They deliberately invert the meanings of common words, confusing Light and Dark, Hot and Cold, Dry and Wet, and other concepts.
- They operate as a mystery cult, having a strict hierarchy and withholding much information from lower ranked members.
- They have cells scattered throughout Varisia. Few members know the actual locations or membership of more than one or two.
- They operate as killers for hire. Members use their names written vertically (bottom to top) as a calling card when working in this capacity.
- As assassins they are something of upstarts and are generally looked down upon by more established assassin’s guilds.
- Not much else…