Bleeding Edge (3.5e Campaign Setting)/Pantheon

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Aqedah Veil[edit]

A now dead religion, the way of the Aqedah Veil vanished along with the Kingdom of Uru in the cataclysms which rocked Ubaid in ancient times past. It was a religion deeply entwined with the spirits of the outer planes. Through contract, guile, and force the followers of this religion used the outer planes to their benefit and eventually their detriment, for in the end the squabbles of good and evil soon overtook the lands of men. Yet in their time they were the undisputed masters of magic, holders of uncountable truths and secrets about the nature of the world and the worlds beyond. Now, these secrets lie buried with the ruins of their civilization.

None follow the old ways of Aqedah Veil, other than madmen and wannabe cultists working off incomplete tomes and mere hearsay and legend. This only serves to make their delicate arts and religious ceremonies ever the more dangerous when done partially right. Fortunately, most of the old ways are corrupted beyond hope to the point of uselessness.

The Aqedah Veil religion makes several references to beings which are believed to be the current pantheon, mostly. Aqedahan gods are always addressed by title and not by name, due to the belief that the correct use of their name may summon the being in question. There is The Promethean Wyrm and The Dreaming Dark, believed to be the Scaled Goddess Arsatum and Asratu God of Stars. The Churning Chaos possibly was aspects, or corruptions, of both Damu God of Blood and Zupru God of Worms. The Mala-Kamu appear intact and surprisingly close in description to the modern deity under the name of Malus-Kin, though certain individuals of the collective god-host are named and even invoked directly in summoning rituals. The Shining One is believed to be modern day Nas Ini, and Pasiru God of the Deep became The Pale Dream. Waladu Goddess of Fate shows up as The Blood Eyed Queen, whose domain now covers war and disaster. Uda-E was notably absent, and they were before the time of Elegast. Curiously, two other deities matching no known gods are mentioned. They are The King of a Thousand Stars and The Eye of the Gate. Who these beings were, if they were gods at all, is not known. It is possible that they were mortals, for in its later decadent years Uru trended to the deification of their royalty. Then again, perhaps there are gods unaccounted for or slain and forgotten after all.

Care should be taken with Aqedahan manuscripts. Though most is lost, what few things do work may have detrimental effects on the world.

El Sabaism[edit]

El Sabaism is the religion dominant in the exotic lizardfolk nation of Kathib, and to a smaller extent its immediate surroundings. It is a religion shrouded in mystery due to the secretive nature of the people of Kathib, full of tightly kept secrets about its nature. What is known is that it is a religion obsessed with the heavens and the movements of the stars, for it is believed the sky and the wind are the medium in which the gods communicate and fate weaves its epic tale. Thus the churches of Kathib are great spherical observatories held atop plateaus or hidden in remote areas free of the harsh desert sands. Their doors open at night, and all may behold the majesty of the heavens as it is projected into its reflective interiors and darkened chambers. Light, and the manipulation of light, plays a large role in the constructions of these temples.

Though the religion is quite old, the names of the gods have lost their original titles and the people of Kathib now use the modern names of the deities. In particular they pay the most of their veneration to Asratu, for the obvious role of god of stars. Yet they also speak of Pasiru in spite of the lack of water in the area, perhaps because of the lack of water. Water is precious, and a water deity must be pleased to bring it forth. Uda-E is also held in high regard, for he grants insight in the machines used to read the heavens, and Arsatum is held in regard as the source of scalykind. It is that final one which is held in almost equal, if not more, importance than the God of Stars. Some suggest that they do not merely pay her lip service, but actively seek her desire to bring up the exaltation of dragonkind once again. But this is just rumor. Probably.

The most interesting bit of trivia is the presence of a god not known in other religions. He is Eliade the Forgotten, a god who went missing, yet is said to come back one day. He was consort to Arsatum, and is also said to be a dragon. This is the only religion where this strange god appears, and rarely is he spoken of for his mysteries are held in highest regard.

The holy symbols associated with this religion tend to be bleached white bone rods tipped with a sphere reflective metal or polished stone. Symbols carried tend to be stone, for metals pick up electrical charges when wandering the desert. For larger alters, this is intended. For a charm one might carry on an amulet, being shocked is troublesome at best.

Kleosian Church[edit]

One of the largest and most established religions in Accolade, it was founded in and spread by the dwarven Kingdom of Karlikov during its heyday. The kingdom's theocratic history is behind it, but the religion persists to this day and is arguably the "main" religion, at least upon the continent of Cyril. It is the source of the names and descriptions of the deities today, held in a framework of legends, morality tales, religious dogma, and order. Religion for the Kleosian Church is a framework of how to be a good person and a good citizen beyond all else. Its churches are large and fantastical, towering over city skylines or sprayed over a vast area. Many cathedrals in the traditional dwarven homelands are carved into the sides of mountains and cliffs, great chambers in which powerful pipe organs and audio-enhancing architecture reverberate the words of the priest speaking to the masses. The size and excess of these churches brings them under no small amount of criticism, though one cannot deny that at least in Karlikov space is the thing they could afford the most. Churches found in other lands, while still impressive, are more reasonably sized.

Kleosian Church members are held in a hierarchy that is easily identifiable from the color and pattern of their robes, up unto the head of the church known as the Godspeaker. The Godspeaker, and indeed the churches themselves, are decked out in ceremonial bells which ring loudly to let all know hear them know that the churches protection remains strong. One famous legend speaks of the tale of the Three Bells, which speaks of how the blessed people of Karlikov fought off a great foe and survived through the night by the sound of the bells still ringing in their darkest hour.

The Church recognizes most deities as good, or sometimes neutral, entities. Except Arsatum. The scaled goddess acts as the supreme evil for the church, the source of dark magic and terrifying monsters. Naturally this puts them rather in conflict with El Sabaism who holds the scaled goddess in high regard. Religious tensions are kept at a simmer, but the tension is there.

The holy symbols associated with this religion is a small model hammer, a symbol of its dwarven origins and calling back to a legend of Nas Ini forging the lands out of the molten heart of the sun and pounding it into the shape of land and mountains with his mythical hammer.

The Red-Gold Path[edit]

The insular elves of Aur Golau were in contact with others at some point, for the deities known appear in their legends and stories. However their presence in Golauian culture is minimal for the focus on their religion is on a god unique to them, Elegast the Autumn King. Unlike the other gods, Elegast was expressedly mortal and supposedly a real ruler. In some cases, he is thought to have founded Aur Golau itself. This mortal king, empowered by all of the gods and granted their blessings, purged the world of great and terrible evils before being given his final reward "in a legendary land of red-gold columns, singing wind, and milk and honey". Thus in death he was deified, and rose to the Void to become a god, or so one says. For those outside, Elegast is often left out of stories to the chagrin of the Golauians. Still, there is some evidence that he had once existed, and in the world of Accolade a simple thing as a god existing or not does not stop the flow of divine magic from entering the world under his name.

The religion of the Red-Gold Path is more than mere hero worship. It is a culture exalting beauty and art, courage against impossible odds, and pride in what one is (or more specifically pride in elvenkind). He followed a path of being one with nature and disturbing it little or not at all, and the temples are often intertwined with living plants, or actually grown and cultivated. It represents nature controlled, the essence of nurturing and growth, and the ability to shape the world around you with a gentle graceful hand.

The holy symbols associated with this religion is a maple leaf, ideally of red or gold hue to represent the paradise Elegast was sent off to.

The True Stream[edit]

The True Stream is less of a religion and more of a guideline. At least that's how it seems, for the religion of the True Stream is very varied and open, composed of a thousand sects and variants all under the same banner. It is the prime religion of the greenskined folk of Toho. The people of Toho grew up surrounded by danger, and so their view of gods is a dangerous unsteady one focused more on appeasing and less on exaltation. Deities are praised to act as good luck charms, wards against evil, and otherwise ignored in favor for practicality. So informal is the religion that the True Stream followers have no churches to speak of. Anywhere is a place of worship, for often one doesn't have time for any serious meditation.

Pasiru is predictably in high importance for the sea faring and waterlogged people of Toho, but so is Asratu where he shows up as a god of winds, and Waladu as a goddess of good fortune and wanderlust. Beings like Arsatum the Chaos Bringer and Nas Ini are dangerous deities, bringers of weal and woe, while beings like Damu the Mother of Monsters and Death God Zupru are seen in a distinctly sinister light. Ude-E and Mala-Kamu have very little presence, likely imported from cultures beyond.

The holy symbols associated with this religion are varied, but many take on the forms of finds, fans, shellfish, or other radial or spray-like designs, often made out of actual shells or bone.

Way of the Earthmother[edit]

Unlike most of the other religions, which could be restricted to a specific nation or landmass and tied into their culture, the Way of the Earthmother appears to be a global phenomena. The Way is a very ancient religion, nearly as old as if not older than the Aqedah Veil, and it is ill recorded for it is a dogma passed through word of mouth over a thousand generations, and supposedly carved into living rock in hidden groves around the world. It is the religion of druids and nature, speaking not of the traditional gods but a world populated by a billion small gods and humble spirits which live in all of nature's horror and wonder. Though some practitioners of the Way use the name of modern gods, such as associating Damu with life and Zupru with death and rebirth, officially they hold no reverence for supreme gods. In the eyes of nature, all are ultimately equal, all lashed to the great cycle, and ultimately both god and man end up the same.

It is a religion focused on cycles and repetition, on the works of the natural world, of creation and destruction, and ultimately of acceptance of the world. In acceptance of the primal truth, there is peace and enlightenment. A few sects, specifically the Ascended Way, speak of becoming enlightened of the ways of the world and ultimately transcending it to become outside of the cycle and finding peace in the Void, while others say that contentment must be found in the world of the living for there is nothing but destruction and recycling awaiting you in the future. It is said, "We are born of the earth, we live on the earth, we will die on the earth. May your cycle be well."

The holy symbols associated with this religion are varied, but tend towards natural plants and sprigs, seeds, or simply carved wood in the form of trees or animals.

Whispers of Leng[edit]

Deep in the underdark, bordering the Plane of Shadow, ancient elves and other beings crawl the mad caverns of the Underdark. It is the drow which bear worship to mad alien gods and terrifying horrors, things which seem to bear some relation to the gods above but dark and twisted reflections of them. It is a vile religion, yet it is believed to be the closest thing to the hidden truths lost in religions such as the Aqedah Veil and beyond.

Arsatum is still a goddess of magic, said to be a great scaled worm which burrows within the crust and slowly devours the earth, leaving the Underdarks large and endless tunnels in her wake. Asratu becomes a god of emptiness, solitude, and madness. Damu is a god of sacrifice, bloodthirsty and cruel in its exchange of favor for life. Mala-Kamu are terrifying torturers, punishers of souls in the afterlife and those which empower the theocratic judges of drowkind. Nas Ini is a terrible trickster god, willing to give with one hand and take away twice as much with the other. Pasiru is an eldritch spirit which seems the most benevolent among them, but represents tyranny and control of the mind, body, and soul. Uda-E, barely known, is a dehumanizing agent of toil and slavery. Waladu is immutable fate, the inevitably of death, and the arbiter of caste and position. And dark Zupru, ever disturbing, remains a god of decay and ruin.

Yet even with this dark pantheon, the drow worship them actively if not exalt them, especially the Mala-Kamu and Zupru who is associated with the insects and vermin that the drow love so much. Pasiru is also of great importance as a god of vision and knowledge. All have their place but Elegast the Betrayer, a symbol of terrible beings from the surface and a twisted mockery of the elven deity.

The holy symbols associated with this religion is a strange curved bramble or thorn, apparently a representation of a rune that expresses the truth of the world.


As a whole, regardless if they are acknowledge, exalted, or reviled, the various deities of Accolade are known as the Gods of the Great Void, for the plane which the realm of the gods supposedly resides. Only the Way of the Earthmother seems to break the trend, and even then only in that they are an animistic belief, one with many small gods located in mortal realms.

Individual Deities[edit]

Accolade's deities are not like the traditional deities of more common settings. The gods of Accolade are distant, mysterious, often silent, never direct, and possibly non-existent. Because of their strange relationship with the world, they do not have divine ranks or domains like a traditional god. Rather those that worship the gods choose domains which are fitting for their belief structure, so a Kleosian churchgoer would associate the Evil domain as part of Arsatum's portfolio, while the same goddess to a follower of El Sabaism may end up with the Knowledge Domain, but not Evil.

Arsatum, the Scaled Goddess[edit]

The Seal of Magus

"A talking serpent taught men the power of the gods, the way to weave the primal song and rune, the way of magic. For this crime, it was shackled deep underground where it writhes and waits."

Arsatum, the Scaled Goddess. Also known as: Goddess of Magic, Keeper of Secrets, Mother of Monsters (true stream), The Cursed Serpent (kleosian), The Imprisoned, The Promethean Wyrm (aqedah), Worldworm (leng).

Arsatum is usually depicted as a great dragon, wyvern, or serpent of immense size, sometimes with many wings and sometimes with none. Each of her scales is a molten island covering a wild magic energy beneath, and her eyes are like great portals. When she speaks, the ground trembles and volcanoes erupt, and her breath is a deadly poison smoke. In spite of her universally terrifying appearance, followers which see her view her in regal terms, describing her body as being encrusted in a thousand precious jewels and metals. She is often depicted with a particular magical mandala known as the seal of magus.

Arsatum is a primeval deity, and the tales are almost universal that she experienced a fall from grace. Most of these tales say her crime was the introduction of magic into the world, though some say she committed some other unrelated sin, and the true ability to wield magic was lost with her. She is said to be imprisoned underground, and volcanoes and earthquakes are signs of her moving under the earth.

Asratu, God of Stars[edit]

The Sephirot

"Empty, massive, glittering, beautiful, terrifying. Formless Asratu watches over creation from a throne on high."

Asratu, God of Stars. Also known as: King of Air, King of the Gods, King of the Heavens, The Dreaming Dark (aqedah), The Empty God (leng), The Howling Dark, The Source.

Asratu is rarely depicted, for he is described as a formless invisible being. When shown, he is represented as a black blot on an otherwise colored or detailed image. Sometimes he is accompanied by a swirl of clouds and winds that act as his throne. Also at times the black blot is filled with tiny stars as if the night sky itself. Asratu is associated with a symbol known as the sephirot, a series of spheres in a specific pattern.

Asratu is something thought of the king of the gods, the first to appear from the unknown Void. Its existence is a mystery and it is though that Asratu possessed the key to all knowledge and a pathway to somewhere even beyond the void itself. Its unusual symbol is thought to be a road map of sorts to escape this world, if only others could understand its meaning.

Damu, God of Blood[edit]

The Opala

"Blood is the source of life. Our genes, memories, and motion all flow within our blood. To understand the blood is to unlock the secret of creation itself."

Damu, God of Blood. Also known as: Excelsior, Formless Damu, God of Life, Keeper of Secrets, Shapechanger, Skinwalker, The Churning Chaos (aqedah), The Hungry God (leng).

Amorphous Damu takes on many shapes and no shape at all. He is a shapeshifting god with no set form, but usually when depicting the god himself he is a pool, sphere, or egg of pseudoflesh covered in mismatched body parts such as eyes, noses, and mouths. He also takes on the image of a blood splatter himself, or his stone-engraved symbol known as the opala, its channels thick with blood. The rune takes on a form of a diamond with two "legs" jutting out.

Damu is an ancient deity and usually accredited to the creation of life on Accolade. This is seen as a boon and a bane, for while Damu created humanoids, plants, and beasts, so too does it birth vermin, disease, and parasites. Damu is often prayed to for not only healing, but warding off less desirable forms of life itself.

Elegast the Autumn King[edit]

The Lun Leaf

"A king once, a king no more, a king again shall be. A king to rule all kings, a god made flesh to make on earth as it is in heaven."

Elegast the Autumn King. Also known as: Elegast the Betrayer (leng), Elegast the Brave, Elegast the Just, Elegast the Wise, King of the Elves, The Returning King.

Elegast takes the form of himself, a gallant and perfected example of elfkind; tall, long haired, with golden skin, orange eyes, and hair of burning red. He wears ceremonial orange leaf armor and carries a spear wrapped in brambles and vines, and behind him a sun-like halo shines behind his head. This super-elven figure is associated with the maple leaf called the lun leaf, and it is often used as a holy symbol of clerics which serve him.

As a mortal turned deity his existence is a controversy and some do not accept him at all. Unlike the other, eldritch shapes of the rest of the gods, Elegast is in the form of a humanoid. Legends tell that one day Elegast will return to the mortal realm, and forge the world into the shape of heaven.

Eliade the Forgotten[edit]

Forgotten to time...

"Forgotten serpent, consort of Arsatum, its journeys the void and one day may return, bringing strange omen."

Eliade the Forgotten. Also known as: Aeon Spirit, God of Omens, King in Gold, The Cosmic Wyrm, The King of Dragons.

Because this god is forgotten, depictions of Eliade vary greatly. All that is agreed upon is that he was a dragon of indeterminate size, limbs, and wings, and of color unknown but often depicted by silver, gold, onyx, or ivory. He is almost never groundborn and what few images exist usually detail his flight into space and beyond. Eliade is associated with no marks, whatever symbol now lost to history.

Eliade's history has been lost, but most fragments of knowledge (when they can be trusted) seem to indicate that Eliade was consort to Arsatum, and that once perhaps she had been the Queen of Dragons to his Kingship. Most suggest that Eliade left for the night sky and vanished.

Mala-Kamu, the Watchful Hosts[edit]

The Mark of Justica

"The innumerable armies of heaven were terrifying as they were powerful, and at command the gates holding them were released. Woe be unto the sinner, for they shall be cleansed."

Mala-Kamu. Also known as: Death Judge, Final Arbiter, Gods of Justice, Gods of Punishment, Lords of Flies, Lords of Suffering (leng), Malus-Kin (aqedah), The Cleansing Ones, The Divine Legion, The Iron Locusts, The Purifiers.

The mala-kamu are not a singular being, but an entire host of uncountable insecticide deities of one will and mind. Their appearances vary but they are all insects of various levels of anthromorphism, usually locusts, centipedes, and preying mantises as the most common form. Their heads are covered in bright red eyes, often with far more eyes than the insect they resemble should have. If drawn as a collective rather than a singular, they will usually be matched in sets of three to represent the unending horde. They are associated with the mark of a simple red X done in blood, the mark of justica. In some legends it is said this mark lets them know that those under it are to be protected from their wrath.

Mala-kamu are treated with respect and fear, and they are usually depicted as those who punish wicked souls in hell. At the same time they protect the innocent, but even the innocent rightfully fears their passing. In times of war it is not uncommon for nations to entreat Mala-kamu for strength and justification that their cause is right and true.

Nas Ini, the Golden Swine[edit]

The Auspice

"Fortune and failure are two sides of the same coin. Either can come without rhyme or reason, but the reward will never be to those without risk."

Nas Ini, the Golden Swine. Also known as: Of Endless Bounty, The Shining One (aqedah), The Tempter, The Trickster, The Two-Faced God.

Nas Ini appears as a jolly fat anthromorphic boar or pig made of gold, smiling brightly with one hand open and sitting down with legs crossed. He also appears in a similar pose, but with the other hand opened and its face transformed into a tusked demon or a rotting pig skull. Nas Ini is a two-faced god after all, bringing wealth but also tempting destruction through greed and excess. Typically small statues of him are made as good luck charms. He is associated with coins and currency, his symbol which of course is a coin called the auspice adorned with a rune whose meaning has been forgotten. It is considered risky to actually mint coins like this, as it is thought to bring the deities attention for weal or woe.

Nas Ini is a more recent god which appeared with the rise of civilization and commerce. It is suggested that he was once based on a real figure, though some discourage this line of thinking lest it becomes justification for the myth of Elegast.

Pasiru, God of the Deep[edit]

The Lunare

"Under deepest darkness great Pasiru lies sleeping, dreaming of possibility beyond imagination."

Pasiru, God of the Deep. Also known as: God of Fishing, God of the Sea, God of Storms, Night Whisperer, Overlord (leng), The Eternal Sleeper, The Pale Dream (aqedah).

Parisu is defined as a vague but massive sea creature, sometimes as a whale, shark, eel, or other. Most often he is depicted as a cross between an eel or hagfish and a slug, but with a human face whose hair is tentacles. He is shown in sea-gray or blue hues, or sometimes pale white or even transparent with glowing spots. He is associated with the moon, which stylistically is usually shown as a crescent moon called the lunare in a halo above his head.

Parisu is most ancient, appearing within primal waters before life even began. Though deep under the waves, it is associated with the moon and tides. It is said that when Pasiru sleeps it foretells the future events to come, and it is said that Parisu has spent a great deal of time sleeping. When it stirs, it is surely an omen of change on the horizon.

Uda-E, the Broken God[edit]

The Iron Chevon and Celestial Orrery

"Incomplete. Never finished. Always growing. Always changing. Growing higher. Growing strong. Quick advancing. There is no stopping."

Uda-E, the Broken God. Also known as: Evergrinding, The Architect, The Clockwork Heart, The Despoiler (earthmother), The Great Wheel, The Many-Angled.

Uda-E is a difficult god to depict, for it has been described as a strange amalgamation of all of mankind's advancements in a stringer strange machine of infinite depth and complexity. More simply he is shown as a series of clockwork gears and pistons radiating from a single point in defiance of any pre-existing perspective or lighting, with gears getting ever-smaller the closer to the center it is until detail is lost. Needless to say, he is associated with artifice and has been shown with a symbol of both a V shape made of hammers (the iron chevron), or more recently as a set of two gears of different sizes (the celestial orrery).

Uda-E is a very recent god, appearing with the rise of forges and manipulation of metal, and stronger now as human civilizations seem enamored with the latest and greatest technology. It is the only god to be recognized by its old forge-focused symbol and its new symbols adopted largely by the human dominated continent of Esperant.

Waladu, Goddess of Fate[edit]

The Digir Star

"Young Waluda, mother to us all. Fair Waluda, bless us in life. Aged Waluda, ease our suffering."

Waladu, Goddess of Fate. Also known as: Divine Wet Nurse, Queen of Pain, The Blood Eyed Queen (aqedah), The Great Mother, The Inevitable (leng), The Threefold Goddess, Weaver of Threads.

Waluda is called the threefold goddess because she is shown as both a young woman, a mature motherly figure, and as an old crone. The latter is often similar to one's expectations of the grim reaper. Like the reaper, she is usually shown bearing a blade of some sort, to cut the umbilical cord or to sever the thread of life. She is associated with a set of three swords crossed over, sometimes simplified to a asterisk-like starburst known as a digir star.

Waladu is an old deity, typically associated with childbirth and the home. She also serves often in narrative stories as a narrator, detailing the noble quests of heroes. And of course, she serves as the face of death itself, terrifying and inevitable.

Zupru, God of Worms[edit]

The Spiraling

"Live. Mate. Kill. Eat. Die. This is the way of things, this is the end of all things."

Zupru, God of Worms. Also known as: Duke of Decay, Gravelord Zupru, King of Worms, Nature the Uncaring (earthmother), The Churning Chaos (aqedah), The Cycle Worm, The Fetid Pile (leng), The Great Devourer.

While zupru is not always seen in negative light, his appearances are often repugnant. He is depicted as a maggot or worm, sometimes as a swarm of them or a single giant one, or even sometimes as a fetid pile of decay with worms and fungus spilling forth. Whatever form it takes, it always has one or more plant emitting from its form, usually as a flower or tree growing on its back or out of its head. Sometimes it is also shown as having grassy vines or control over such. Rarely, it is seen as some sort of ooze instead of vermin. He is associated with a spiral known as the spiraling, the spiral of life ever growing outward and building on the mass of those before it.

Excepting those outside of druidic circles, Zupru tends to get a bad wrap due to his appearance and function. However, the god is needed for it is entropy, cycles, and rot. Without rot, new things cannot be born. As such he is often found with Waluda, forming the base physical nature of life and death.