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Religion is a strong force in the World of Aemundora. It guides the majority of citizens throughout their lives and influences the rise and fall of kingdoms and empires. Kings and Emperors have come to power through religious means, only to see their power and influence crushed by another religion. The followers of each are devoted to the tenets of their faith and unwavering in their beliefs.

Over time, new religions have developed and old ones fallen to the wayside. Currently, the majority of inhabitants of Aemundora abide by the Church of Torgun, which has been the dominant religion for nearly twenty-three centuries. There are still adherents to the old religions, but their power is significantly reduced. Most of the religious factions are at odds with one another, although a few nations on Aemundora allow religious freedom, albeit an uneasy peace is usually the norm.

Religious Factions of Aemundora[]

Church of Torgun[]

Founded at the end of the Old Era, the Church of Torgun, established itself as the dominant religion of Aemundora about 2300 years ago. Adherents worship the god, Torgun, in the Torgun cathedrals and churches throughout the world. The Church is structured with a strong hierarchy that is rarely questioned by the devotees. The head of the Church is the Torgun Pope, who guides the Church from his holy seat of Torguna, capital of the Holy Kingdom of Torgun. Originally a small, rural community, the establishment of the holy see in Torguna saw it expand over the last twenty-three centuries into a bustling metropolis of over 500,000 citizens, making it the second largest city in the world.

Sixty-five percent of the world's population adheres to the Torgun faith, and it is the official religion of eighty percent of the world's nations. The Pope, currently Felicitus XXII, is the world's most powerful political and religious leader, and hold the power to appoint the leaders of several nations. In the Church's hierarchy, the Pope is assisted in his rule by the Council of Cardinals, who elect a new Pope from their membership when a Pope dies. Regionally, the Church is administered by Archbishops, Bishops, Archpriests, Priests, and Deacons. The monasteries and convents of the Church are governed by Abbots and Mothers Superior, and rule over vast tracts of land.

The Church of Torgun is the wealthiest entity in the world, holding over sixty percent of the world's riches. Over two millennia of collecting has resulted in the Church possessing the largest collection of antiquities and treasures in the world.

Illariani[]

The Illariani worship the Spirits of those who have fallen in battle. It is a militaristic religion that has existed for nearly eighteen centuries, making it one of the newer religions. However, it has gained the second largest following in the world after the Church of Torgun, with twenty percent of the world's population adhering to Illariani. The religious practices of this group were for a long time held in great secrecy as they are considered sacrilegious by the Torgunites. However, with the surge of new believers five hundred years ago, the practices and beliefs became very widespread. Sacrifices are conducted regularly at Illariani shrines throughout the world. The shrines are often found at the burial grounds of warriors.

The Illariani are led by their spiritual guide, the Illari. Each group has their own sect leader, the Dolshari, who perform local sacrifices to the spirits of past warriors. Many militaristic societies have strong ties to Illariani, and it is the official religion of five nations. Due to its militaristic nature, the Illariani are often at odds with the other religions, especially the Church of Torgun, which has led to several Holy Wars over the last few centuries.

Nontheism[]

Although not technically a religion, it is treated as such on Aemundora. Nontheists do not adhere to any of the religions of the world, rather supporting the decline of organized religion in favor of secularism. This belief has translated into the secularization of several nations and the adherence of about ten percent of the world's population. Developed approximately six hundred years ago in protest against the emerging Holy Wars and dominance of the Church of Torgun, Nontheism has gained widespread support. There is no official leader of the movement, however, many of the secular nations of the world have banded together as the League of Secular States (LSS), currently led by Davram Nolieri, Guresh of Tolendar.

The Old Religion[]

The Old Religion, also known as the One True Faith among it adherents, is the oldest religion in the world. Established almost fifteen thousand years ago, the Old Religion was once the dominant in the world for countless generations. Its believers worship the Old Gods, those that created the universe at the beginning of time. The spiritual leaders of the Old Religion are the druids, specially trained using the same methods employed millennia ago. When the Old Religion began to decline during the Second Age, the druids consolidated their power and influence in the world, and began retreating from the public eye. By the end of the Third Age and the foundation of the Empire, the druids and most adherents of the Old Religion had gone underground, literally in some cases. Throughout the Empire, when devotees of the Old Religion were persecuted, the druids struggled to maintain faith in the Old Gods. The Church of Torgun also persecutes the druids, but they have found homes in the more liberally minded secular nations. Today, about three percent of the world's population adhere to the Old Religion.

Manuism[]

A minor religion started during the Third Age, Manuism centers around the worship of the goddess Manua. Adopted by the Empire as the official religion, Manuism became the dominant religion of the world during the Imperial era. Many Manuids, the priest caste of Manuism, became prominent political leaders in the Empire during this time. When the Empire began to fracture and fall apart, many Manuists converted to other religions or were killed by barbarian hordes. The largest Manuist temple in the Imperial capital was destroyed in the Dwarven invasion in 1298IY, a generation before the complete collapse of the Empire. Today, there are very few adherents of Manua remaining, only two percent of the world's population. The hierarchy that dominated the religion in the Empire was decimated in the ensuing era, leaving the highest ranking Manuid today as the High Priest of Vox Primara.

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