Beyond the Wall
The Lost Gods
The World of Malaan has been host to numerous pantheons and religions over its thousands of years. The religious world was turned on its head during the Unleashing, when Gods and Monsters rained down on earth and became creatures of flesh as well as spirit.
The reign of one such God, Gerius, Master of Beasts_, spelled the ruin of the city, and the end of civilization for its million inhabitants. He brought with him a horde of fell creatures, demons, monsters and spawn. They proceeded to desecrate the temples great and small, leaving little trace of the old religions. The survivors fled, many of the most religious fled the realm seeking shelter in other realms where they believed their gods welcomed them. Most others found their ways to Respite. There, the people cobbled together what they could of their pasts and did their best to survive. Many people lost faith entirely. Why had their gods abandoned them to such evil, such darkness? Why were their prayers left unanswered? For most of the survivors belief in the gods was there, love was not.
However in the years that have past a small group or spirited folk have ventured out into the city and retrieved various objects believed to be sacred in the days before. This collection of holy objects has produced a sort of crowded shrine with countless statues, icons, and altars. Some may be of no religious significance, but the Cult of the Lost Gods takes no chances. Each god represented is treated with deep respect and care. Scholars, such as they are in Respite, seek out information and lore about these so-called Lost Gods. The hope, is that by sacrificing to them, tending the shrines, and calling on them, they might bring their favor to the people.
The aspiring believer is led through several rituals to cleanse themselves physically, purify their souls with special elixirs and meditation, and enter into the shrine, naked and receptive to the whispers of the Lost Gods. In this state, a believer might hear the voice of one or more Gods calling them to service. This Patron God(s), then leads them to live a certain kind of life.
A very few of those, may find themselves drawn to a higher calling: Paladins and Clerics invoke their Patron(s) to powerful effect. They span the chasm between divine and mundane, bringing the intangible divine to bear in the concrete world, and giving form to the spirit.
There is still considerable hostility to the gods, and those that would call on them. Part of this is from fear of what the gods might due, based on the last god to show up. Another part is a sense that the gods owed man service, not the reverse.
Still, there is something sacred about the divine that give the religious space to pursue their activities relatively unmolested.