The Plague of Issarea
Although specific gods are paid tribute to by each cotting, the gods are generally recognized by all the people of Issarea. And, even though the people live in fear of the gods, they do offer free-will sacrifices and prayers to them at times in hopes of achieving small favors in their day to day lives. A traveler, for example, might offer a prayer to Vulcanus before setting out on a journey so that the god might protect his horse’s shoes, for Vulcanus is the god of smiths.
Logos, the creator-god, goes by many names, including Veritas, Divus, Sator, and Caritas. Legend calls him the Creator because it is said that he gave the Archangels the power to shape the earth. Logos willed the raw elements into being and gave each Archangel dominion over one of the elements of creation.
It is said that his plan for creation was perfect from the beginning, and so Logos is the often known as the god of pure reason. He alone is able to see all decisions for their true value and impact, so he alone can judge the perfect course of action in any given situation.
Logos, however, is not a common god to invoke because he is not feared like the others. The people of Issarea have lived for millennia in servile fear, so they are not accustomed to paying homage to a god who demands no harsh sacrifice of them.
The priests of Logos are known as Bishops.
On the earth, Vulcanus takes the form of a massive red dragon who makes his home in the magma pooling within the Crimson Peak. He was entrusted by Logos with control over the element of fire, which includes aspects of creation such as creativity, smithing, and chaos. Vulcanus has a deep need for gems and precious metals, and it is told that these were among his first creation when the world was taking shape. Every spring, the priests of Vulcanus, known as the Jewel-bearers, make an enormous offering of expertly crafted jewelry and metalwork in a ritual called the Purification.
The goddess of nature makes her dwelling place in the land surrounding Skyrt, traveling throughout the Skyrtwood and Darkland Swamp in the form of a serpentine woman. Animus was given dominion over the dumb beasts and the vegetation that cover the land. She is the goddess of farmers, hunters, and woodworkers, taking offering in the form of crops offered every winter by her priests, the Druids.
Aeris was entrusted by Logos with power over the weather of the land, and it is said that the first liberty she took was to create the untamed thunderstorm. The goddess of weather makes her home in Lake Freeborn, taking the form of a beautiful Siren. She is patroness of sailors, traders, and anyone else who must spend a good deal of time beneath the sky. Her priests are named Stormcallers and offer sacrifice to her by means of a flaming burial at sea for any who die during the Roaming, a nine-month wilderness journey undertaken by the people of Haven every year.
Curatio is said to wander the Empty Basin in the form of a young man. He was given the power of creating life by Logos, but legend holds that Curatio must have abused this power mightily, for the sacrifice he requires is most gruesome of them all: the first born son of every household. These days, it is said that Curatio is enraged at the people of Issarea, for they have made him very little tribute in the past four hundred years. As such, his name is rarely invoked in prayers these days, though many expectant mothers still make offerings to him in hopes of a safe pregnancy. Furthermore, all healing magic stems from Curatio’s domain, so many clerics pay him at least moderate homage. The priests of Curatio, though rare, are known as the Servants, and their numbers are steadily rising since the recent decrees made by King Issarel XVI reinstating the practice of infant-sacrifice.
Despite his grim reputation, Obitus was meant to play a key role in the shaping of the earth. He was entrusted with power over all things that must end, and so it is through him that crops wither and mountains crumble. Most, however, know Obitus as the god who oversees the death of mortals. Legend says that he is present at the last breath of life released by every Issarea, there to ensure that death occurs at the right time and in the right manner. Obitus has domain over gravediggers, undertakers, and warlords, as well as any who fear an agonizing death. His priests are called Souleaters, who oversee the sacrifice of every deceased citizen of Grave to the Maw of the Earth, where Obitus lurks in a form unknown to mortals.