Reading over the D&D Basic Rules has got my creative juices flowing. I had a few ideas about religion in my campaign world of Toldara but I never got past a few notes here and there. I tapped into that creativity and was able to jot down more than just a few simple notes. This is just an initial attempt at detailing the most practiced human faith of Toldara but this is a good starting point for expanding at some point later in time.
The faiths and religious movements of Toldara are just as varied as our modern world. Even among members of different faiths there are often shared themes, doctrines, and other similarities. The religion with the highest number of adherents when doctrinal differences are ignored is the Fractured Faith of humanity. Even when each denomination is considered separately the number of followers is still rather large.
The Fractured Faith
The Fractured Faith began as one movement, The Faith, among the various areas of humanity in the First Age. Towards the end of that age and on into the Second Age, The Faith began splintering due to regional differences and then various doctrinal differences began surfacing. Eventually, these disagreements led to new factions to splinter off from the original church.
Many of the religious paths share several similarities – holy books, holy sites, practices, holidays, etc. – but are separated by some prominent differences such as prophets, holy day, translations, and even more areas. Nearly all of the various factions in the Fractured Faith are in complete agreement about the following subjects:
- A belief in one god responsible for the act of primary creation.
- The adherents often refer to this god as "The One" or "The Creator".
- They believe the name and nature of The One is incomprehensible.
- The One uses minor gods to interact with the mortals.
- Approximately one-third of the minor gods were led in a rebellion by Grax to overthrow The One.
Some of the more prominent divisions in the Fractured Faith include:
The Church of All Paths: This faction believes that no single fragment of the old faith has all of the answers so they look to the teachings and beliefs of all the various factions of the Fractured Faith to guide their spirituality.
The Scripturists: This faction believes that only the words of the Holy Scriptures should be their guide in determining matters of the faith. Simply put, only scripture can guide or lead to understanding of other passages; the words of men may be able to enhance but can never supersede the words of The One.
The Purists: This faction believes that only The One is worthy of worship or adoration and do not recognize the minor gods as anything other than something comparable to angels.
The Revivalists: This faction is an attempt to revive the early form of the religion in the modern era.
The Revelationists: This faction believes that a prophet who receives revelation from The One guides their sect. These teachings and revelations are gathered together and added to their Holy Scriptures as time passes. A new prophet is selected when the current prophet dies. There has been several disagreements on who the selection of the new prophet at times.
Church of Grax: This is the movement that has sided with the rebellious minor gods and they work in direct opposition to the Fractured Faith.
Every human city has a temple or meeting place for one of these factions. It is very common for the larger cities to have several of these sects represented in their community. Some of the factions are peaceful towards each other while others are very nearly hostile when it comes to interacting with the others. Obviously, the Church of Grax is in direct opposition to all of the other groups.
01/10/2015 - Changed "The Combined Path" to "The Church of All Paths" and "The Orthodox Branch" to "The Revivalists".