Oceans of Gold
Religion and the Worldsmith
The Magisterium is the monotheistic religion that encompasses the entire world. While it does acknowledge the existence of other divine entities, the Magisterium views them as servants of the Worldsmith – once mortal individuals who ascended and were granted divine right. These other, lesser deities are referred to as Paragons.
The Magisterium is overall a force of good in the world, and teaches compassion and mercy while extolling the virtue of hard work and overcoming adversity. On paper, the church is extremely egalitarian. Despite this, city-dwelling races keep their divergent beliefs quiet.
The Magisterium cannot trace its roots back into the Age of Old due to the great cataclysm, but they have recovered texts that explain several of the early philosophies. One of the earliest of these was from a dwarven lord named Moradin, who came to believe in a single Creator, one who was the ultimate craftsman, who had made the world for his own inscrutable purposes. The world was too consistent, he argued, to have been created collaboratively by multiple dieties.
Over the last century the Magisterium’s philosophy has changed somewhat, attempting to provide answers to the plight of mankind. There is but one God, and he had forsaken them. The Worldsmith, the one true Divinity, had created this world as a crucible for his people, to forge them through trials and tribulations into better people. Without his guidance they must survive and grow, in order to obtain their eternal reward upon death. In these uncertain times, these new preachings seemed to offer a solution to the masses.
Through missionaries, the Magisterium exported their faith to as many cities and races as possible, teaching that the world is designed to be a test, and overcoming the difficulties that the world presents shows the Worldsmith our worthiness. They believe that the Divinity no longre intervenes directly in the day-to-day affairs of the world.
Seldom is the name of The Maimed God spoken except in hushed voice, and never within hearing of strangers, for legends say that the phantom of this once supreme lich still hears all whispered secrets.
In the earliest days, when the Worldsmith shaped the heavens and the earth, light flowed through the spheres into the world and all things were new. He made the first people, then the dragons and all the creatures of the earth. In time, mortal men and women rose to join the Worldsmith at his celestial seat, and they too dabbled in creation.
But a single mortal man gazed upon the land, and felt an itch to scratch the stones, to see what was inside a god. He looked upon creation without awe, and began to dissect the magic of all things. In time, he unlocked the secrets to immortality himself, and became something far greater. The Worldsmith departed this world, and Vecna rose to occupy the vacant seat. And with his omnipotence, Vecna continued to carve and dissect and learn.
The other gods looked on, and spoke the first divine anger.
“How dare he destroy what we have made? Why does he kill and shred and break the shining harmonies of creation? We must stop him.”
The gods spoke to Vecna of peace. He ignored them, and vomited forth the bones of a forgotten race.
The gods spoke to Vecna of beauty and the harmony of new-made creatures. He ignored them, and tore open the sky with stones hurled from the heavens, setting fires across the world.
The gods tried to pull Vecna away as he climbed further into the heavens, laughing at the moon. He turned and lashed out at them; Vecna shattered the scepter of Nerull and cast him forever into the abyss. He devoured Corellon’ servants before tearing the body of the weak Elf-God into shreds, leaving no trace of the once-proud people. He struck down Pelor and bound his body to a splinter of metal, a fragment of his mace. The Laughing One fled and gave up his powers willingly, evading detection from The Betrayer at the cost of his own omnipotence.
And alone Vecna sat, keeper of all secrets, dissector of all things. The gods’ rage made their former anger seem as nothing; but though they gathered their strength and fought the Betrayer in a fury, they were all cast down.
No fury can stand before wrath, and nothing can destroy destruction.