Ordo Novo – The Interlopers
Just four generations ago, all across Rerenga, there was a simultaneous visitation. Nearly a quarter of all sentients saw a vision of five beings, looking like beautiful and terrifying and strange versions of the people seeing the visitation. The only consistency across all the visions was that each of the five was dressed the same:
- One wore shimmering pearlescent robes, and held in their hand a perfect orb that shined with sunlight, and became known as The Hierarch;
- One wore beautiful finery embroidered with ineffable golden filigree, and held in their hand a blood-stained feather, and became known as The Endarch;
- One wore ten thousand strips of straw-colored leather stitched to form hardy travelers’ clothes, and held in their hand a golden cup overflowing with water, and became known as The Nomarch;
- One wore chitinous brown-black armor, and held in their hand a flat piece of obsidian that seemed to swallow all light, and became known as The Anarch;
- One wore tattered and sweat-stained linen, and held in their hand a rose of such beauty that many wept, and became known as The Exarch.
And what they said to those who saw them was this, as one voice: we have arrived, and we will guide you all to greatness, and we will destroy you all. We will help, and we will harm; we are weal and we are woe. Believe in us, and worship us, and we will believe in you and worship you. Choose to follow our path; you have no choice.
This was the beginning of the Ordo Novo, and the beginning of Clerics and Paladins, who before this point did not exist on Rerenga. But those who found that the voice resonated with them were given purpose, and drive, and found that those who heard the same voice and followed the same words were similar, and over the course of a year or so, a consensus was formed.
Each loose group of Paladins and Clerics found that they were following the tenets of one of the five, and the greatest leaders in those groups began to write Codices to describe their group and what they believed the God they followed believed. The five Gods — the Interlopers, to those who still believed the old ways and didn’t trust some flashy vision — were given titles. Corresponding to the above descriptions, they are called The Hierarch, The Endarch, The Nomarch, The Anarch, and The Exarch.
Hamauka – Ancestral Worship
The primary form of worship among those living on Motu Rahi and Charity is a codified set of complex rituals designed to curry favor from long-deceased ancestors, collectively called The Hamauka. Due to the prevalence of intelligent undead — ghouls, wights, liches, and the like — these rituals have a very practical history. In some cities, these rituals are even performed directly in front of the ancestors, be they dead, zombies, or something more powerful.
Gakau Tuwera – Animism
Most everyone on the planet has basic knowledge and experience with Gakau Tuwera, or “Wind Listening” — a careful awareness that the rocks, trees, rivers, mountains, and wind can be home to — or be ridden by — spirits, ghosts, and elementals. Like Hamauka, a wide range of complex rituals have grown around appeasing and appealing to these spirits, but unlike Hamauka, these traditions are both less tethered to material and real concerns, and also more specific and vital. Because it is rare for these spirits to actually exist (or appear), the rituals are performed with a sort of “just in case” sort of mentality. It is most popular on Mahina, although many on the east coast of Charity also follow these practices.
Those Who Sing – The Old Gods
Some spirits and elementals of the Gakau Tuwera, and some liches and vampires of the Hamauka, have been around for so long that the worship of those specific individuals has come to represent a sort of godhood for those beings. But, given the dangerous and complex nature of their existence, they are rarely known outside of the villages in which they are worshipped. These beings represent a half-step into Godly power, and are capable of great deeds, but seem to rarely directly interact with the material plane.
Warlocks claim that they hear a song when their Patron Old God grants them their power, and some can even hear the songs of other Gods. The music, supposedly, drives most sentients mad.
Some imply that The Interlopers used to be Old Gods who managed to ascend to true godhood. Others would suggest that The Old Gods are the only gods, and The Interlopers are merely a projection of their power onto the world. Still others imply that the Old Gods do not exist, and Warlocks gain their power from The Interlopers somehow.