For the first part of this series, see Religious Rites and Patterns, Part 1.
This article covers the religious rites surrounding the less-worshiped 8 of the Congregation: Pinwheel, The Hollow King, Kela Loran, Lae Loara, Lon-Ka, Selesurala, Yogg-Maggus, and Ytra.
The Hollow King, Betrayer
Usual Depictions: A suit of blackened armor, empty. The armor bears a kris-like dagger, point downward, dripping red liquid (colored water, usually).
Companions/Demigods: The Empty Mask, Venom-master Huang
Worship: Official worship of the Betrayer varies by nation.
Council Lands: Assassins pray to him for aid. His official cult (that of the Jagged Knife) act as a court of last resort under governmental sanction. The existence of this cult is an open secret, but the location of their central shrine is unknown. Their calling card is a black-hilted silver dagger. They use magic (both arcane and divine) heavily, mostly for stealth and defense. They are most oriented toward removing suspected Outcast cults with prejudice.
Stone Throne: His worshippers are most common among the less savory elements of society. Several organizations dedicated to him act as bodyguards for powerful figures and collectively control the underworld of that nation. They use copious quantities and varieties of poison. Their calling card is an eyeless, black mask with a single tear embroidered on it. One such organization (the Silent Assembly) is headquartered in Asa’ka; the other major organization (the Darkened Scale) is centered in Kel’al’ar and is active in the unsettled politics there.
Religious Precepts: You are the last judge of the untouchable. The one that acts where others cannot. No oath or ideal is more important than your mission. Trust no one, verify everything. Preserve the peace of the realm. Annihilate the Outcast cults by whatever means necessary.
Kela Loran, Lady Luck
Usual depiction: A female Halfling. Seriously blinged out—rings on every finger, several necklaces and jeweled belts. One hand holds a bag of coin, the other a pair of dice.
Companions/Demigods: Purse-cutter, Money-changer, Ore-Finder, Gem-Polisher, Fine-crafter Lorkan
Worship: Commonly worshiped by gamblers, thieves, merchants, and the wealthy. Her worship services always have an element of luck/random chance. And door prizes. And door fees. Her clergy will do anything for money. Lots of cash. Her worship is relatively wide-spread, but rarely as a primary object of devotion.
Religious Precepts: Wealth is a sign of righteousness. The means aren’t important. If you aren’t lucky, make your own luck. If you don’t look out for yourself, who will?
Lon-Ka, the Hammer
Usual Depiction: A short, bearded dwarf (of indeterminate gender) wearing a blacksmith’s apron and heavy gloves. It stands at an anvil with a metal blank on it, hammer raised.
Companions/Demigods: Ignis, Fire-bearer. Stone-mender Chuluu. Loremaster Noym. Gear-cutter Clang. Potion-stirrer Spark-tinker.
Worship: Lon-ka is worshiped by more progressive dwarves (especially in the Stone Throne), craftsmen in general, and especially the goblins and dragonborn of Byarshia. New inventions and special items are brought to his clergy to be blessed—copies of the schematics are presented and burned ritually before him. His clergy are always some of the best crafters around. Those touched by the spark of invention are “called by the Hammer.” Most savants venerate Clang and Spark-tinker more than anyone.
Religious Precepts: Stasis is death. Constantly reach for new ideas and thoughts. Test all traditions by fire and anvil. The world exists to be used—be efficient but don’t hold back. Above all, create new things and share that knowledge. Generosity and collaboration are rewarded.
Ytra, the Evenhanded
Usual Depiction: A neuter figure, indeterminate race. Close-cropped hair. Wears a mask with no eye holes. It carries a set of pan scales in one hand—on one side is a stylized heart, on the other a set of weights. The other hand carries a double-edged sword, point upward.
Worship: Worshiped primarily as Final Judge in the Council Lands; her (the conventional pronoun, despite the indeterminate gender) clergy (among which are many paladins) are all combatants and inquisitors. The common people rarely worship her per se, seeing her as harsh and implacable. Her high priestess is the court of final appeal—any citizen can appeal to the Scales for judgement. This is rarely done, as what follows will be just with no regard for mercy. Swearing by the Scales and Sword is the strongest oath known in the Council or the Dynasty; falsely swearing this oath is a mortal sin and usually results in death if discovered.
Religious Precepts: Let justice be done, though the heavens fall. Respect not the man of power. Tell no lies. This includes lies of omission. Smite those that step away from the righteous path. There are no minor sins.
Yogg-Maggus, Lord of Magic
Usual Depiction: A male figure wearing a hooded robe, hood pulled up but face visible. Most prominent feature is his beard, which is divided into 4 long braids—one from each cheek and two from the chin. He carries a staff upraised and an open book.
Worship: Worshiped by arcanists and scholars. Very little organized religion; his clergy are scholars first. They often get in long, arcane (pardon the pun) debates about strange topics. Offerings of books (especially rare ones) are the most prized. “Hooded-one’s Eyes!” is an epithet used to express surprise; “I swear by book and beard” is a strong oath of truthfulness.
Religious Precepts: Knowledge is power. Keep it out of the hands of those that would use it for the ill of the world, even if this requires violence. Consider the consequences of your magical actions before acting. Search out and recover lost magical knowledge. Maintain an open mind—all truth is truth and should be respected regardless of the source. Blood magic is an abomination.
Pinwheel, the Fox
Usual depiction: Varies wildly. Most frequently a short, hooded, dragonborn figure wearing a domino mask with a crow on his shoulder.
Companions/Demigods: The only demigod associated with Pinwheel is his crow, Akaa. This creature is reputed to be capable of speech, but only in a mocking imitation of human voices. Any messages it passes on are distorted, usually so as to cause humorous misunderstandings or to puncture the pride of the self-righteous or haughty. “Speaking with a crow’s tongue” is a common expression for twisting words or sarcastic mockery.
Worship: Organized worship of Pinwheel is rare and concentrated among comedic entertainers, actors, and politicians. The Judicial branch of the Council’s Thieves’ Guild is said to balance worship of Pinwheel with worship of Ytra. There is a small shrine (with about 10 acolytes) to Pinwheel outside of Rauviz. All visitors are blindfolded during the approach. Practical jokes are played on them as a test.
Religious Precepts: Disturb the comfortable, humble the haughty. Adapt to change. Never tell all the truth, unless that’s the most deceptive thing you can say. Constantly test those that seem complacent (with practical jokes). Only hurt those that oppress others.
Propitiated, not Worshiped
Lae Loara, the Huntress
Usual Depiction: A dark-haired woman, dressed in forest leathers, with a wolf at her side. In one hand she carries a bow; the other is outstretched with a falcon on the wrist.
Companions/Demigods: Two companions—a falcon and a wolf.
Worship: Propitiated more than worshiped, her major devotees are those living in the Orc-Lands region. Travels through unclaimed lands usually start with an offering to her. An offering is made before setting out on the hunt or on a trip through the wilderness and after returning. The type of offering depends on the type of journey—blood for hunting (your own on the way out, prey’s blood on the way back) or a small amount of travel food for a journey. The officiant will advise on care of the wilderness in exchange for food or a donation.
Religious Precepts: Take what is needed by force, but with guile. Fools rush in and die. The cycle of life is to kill and be killed—hold no grudges for death. Step lightly and give thanks for what you take; hunt not the mothers with young. Cull the weak, for they hold the herd back.
Selesurala, Storm Serpent
Usual Depiction: A serpentine dragon/sea serpent, scales glitter metallic blue-grey. When painted, she is usually depicted rising from the sea in the middle of a storm.
Worship: Not worshiped, only propitiated. Proptiated during storm season in the Stone Throne. Feared and hated in the Dynasty, where they talk of “a serpent up the back” for a bad feeling or curse with “Sele’s shed scales.” This causes much friction with Stone Throne dwellers. Propitiated with blood sacrifice, and not token. Always an animal, preferably a predator.
Religious Precepts: The ocean is inscrutable. Do not advertise your plans. The chill of the ice is implacable. Keep pressing forward until you have ground your enemies underfoot. All men are equal before the storm. No inherent respect for tradition or authority.