Black River – Belief

The Kingdom is a land ruled by a living god, the God-Empress, and the belief in a pantheon of God-Spirits. The God-Empress rules over the Kingdom and the land of the Black River. The God-Spirits rule over the rest of all the world. Each one rules over a specific domain, or multiple domains. Sometimes, the domains overlap between gods.

For the average citizen, the gods are something present and worshiped, but largely ignored. For regular citizens, there are no formalized worship meetings, no ceremonies and no rituals performed. Should a person need help or protection from a god, they craft or obtain an idol of the god and make offerings and prayers to it, begging the god to give the help or protection needed. They might offer a prayer to a particular god when performing an act in that god’s domain, but other than that, the gods are not present in their daily lives. For particularly grievous personal hardships, the person might travel to a temple to make an offering there and to seek counsel of the priests of that god.

Ceremony and ritual are the realms of the priests. They watch over the gods and force them to watch over the people of the Kingdom. Priests exist in a constant struggle for power with their chosen deity. Priests entreat the they serve god for the entirety of the Kingdom. While a farmer may travel to a temple to make an offering begging the god of the harvest for richer soil on their land, a priest would burn incense, perform ceremonies and demand that the god bring the floods to relieve famine in the Kingdom. In those ceremonies, they threaten the god with anything that might spur the god into action. These threats might be the cessation of worship, help sought from another god or some other threat the god finds unpleasant.

This antagonistic relationship between the gods and priests means that the common people look to the priests as being responsible for the great times and culpable for the bad times. Priests can gain much respect and many favors while their god is seen to make the land prosperous and just as quickly can be beaten, whipped and chained to a stake when their god is seen to be punishing, or failing, the Kingdom.

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