Religion has been part of Dungeons & Dragons from the very beginning. Clerics were one of the three original character classes. Each is sworn to a specific deity (or god), deriving special abilities as a result. Their magic focuses primarily on defense and healing, although they also have decent combat capabilities.
There probably have been D&D campaigns run with a single deity (monotheism), but it is far more common for there to be a pantheon. These deities might be specific to one race or region, or broadly worshipped. Each deity is typically associated with some specific thing or property, such as wisdom or storms. Most people will acknowledge all of the deities but have one particular one that they primarily worship.
My current D&D campaign utilizes a pantheon with names and associations taken from the Hindu religion. This includes the borrowed concept of Trimurti, meaning that there are three primary deities. They are Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the preserver), and Shiva (the destroyer). As I have related before, I opted to change the names when I began writing the first book. The deities mentioned most often in the books are listed below.
- Dukane — order and creation
- Arwon — balance between order and chaos (aka preservation)
- Karth — chaos and destruction
- Lasrina — beauty and luck
- Kyran — harvests and fertility
How does the average person in Andoran’s Realm worship their deity? In villages and small towns, they simply pray. In a larger place, there may be actual temples operated by clerics. This gives people a place to pay their respects, make donations, and seek help. Temples don’t hold regular worship services, but may have them on special occasions.
Two clerics appear as viewpoint characters starting with book two. Siljan lives and studies at a temple of Kyran, while Branwyn is an established priestess of Arwon in charge of her own temple. The two of them take very different approaches to their duties, even interacting with their deities in distinctly different manners.
In Part 7, I will discuss things like the calendar and monetary system used in Andoran’s Realm.