Alsara: Requiem and Revolution
The Pact of Duln
The Pact of Duln is focused on power, slavery, and control, and it primarily serves to justify the present social stratification in the Aturan Sultanate. It also venerates submission, demonizing freedom as deadly, foolish, stupid, and unsafe. While a slave you are protected. While free you are vulnerable. Service is all that there is, and the greatest act any man or woman might achieve is to prove valuable in some way to their betters.
And everyone, absolutely everyone, has betters.
Styles of Worship
All members of the Pact worship Duln, as he is their master and thus the only one who should actually be the subject of their praise. This means some interesting things though: for example, worshiping the God of Mastery is also worshiping Siori, the Goddess of Chains, as the best way to revere her is to emulate her. Punishing those who break from their role of society is actually in service to three gods, as Siori approves of obedience, Duln approves of control, and Tord approves of power expressed through violence. So, while Duln is the only God anyone ever kneels to, they are all worshiped.
|Title||The Master of All, the Overseer, the Dragon King|
|Portfolio||Mastery, Control, Tyranny, Death|
|Typical Worshipers||Lords, slavers, Dragons, spies, commanders|
|Worshiper Alignment||Lawful Evil|
|Domains||Law, Nobility, Protection, Death|
|Subdomains||Judgement, Slavery, Tyranny, Leadership, Defense|
The Dragon King must be obeyed by all. If you serve him without question, then he protects you and feeds you. If you defy him, he sends Siori or Tord to destroy you, or Aen simply murders you for being stupid enough to follow him. Duln is the master of the afterlife, and he commands even the souls of the dead, rewarding those who serve him well. The stories depict Duln as majestic and wise, and the message is clear: Duln knows what is best for you, for your family, for your entire race, and if you obey him you will be happy.
All temples in Atur are temples to Duln. That Duln has other servants is secondary; they serve more as saints might in the north, rather than full deities. Those who follow Duln beyond the borders of Atur are purely those who can profit by doing so. Faith justifies much, in the eyes of the greedy.
|Title||The Hand of Duln, the Warrior Slave, the Lord of Righteous Death|
|Portfolio||War, Anger, Destruction, Fire, Killing, Strength|
|Typical Worshipers||Soldiers, brawlers, fighters, barbarians, gladiators|
|Worshiper Alignment||Chaotic Evil|
|Domains||War, Strength, Destruction, Fire|
|Subdomains||Ferocity, Blood, Torture, Rage, Ash|
Tord is the exacter of Duln’s wrath. He is sometimes depicted as a leashed dog, but more often he is simply treated that way. He is a master of strength and destruction, and if he grants someone his strength they cannot be beaten. He is the manifestation of service in the Dragon’s armies.
Followes of Tord are reckless, quick to anger, and slow to calm. They will hold grudges until their deathbeds, and will kill for their hate if they believe that Duln would approve. They are Duln’s enforcers, and to bring someone into submission is a holy task. They perform it with relish.
|Title||The Lady of Peace, the Obedient, the Lady of Chains|
|Portfolio||Submission, slavery, peace, seasons, lust|
|Typical Worshipers||Soldiers, commanders, brawlers, fighters, barbarians|
|Worshiper Alignment||Lawful Neutral|
|Domains||Law, Weather, Community, Charm, Plants|
|Subdomains||Slavery, Seasons, Storms, Lust, Growth|
|Favored Weapon||War Chain|
Siori is the Goddess, not of owning slaves, but being one. She exists in service to Duln, performing menial tasks, and in turn he allows her joy and purpose. She is responsible for the maintenance of the world, which she willingly performs at Duln’s command. Storms and bad weather are when she becomes too independent, and those who suffer Siori’s distraction will pray for Duln to pull her back in line.
She is also the goddess of lust. The less said about this, the better.
Followers of Siori are actually something of a contradiction. Nobody worships a slave, they emulate them. Still, there are those who rely on her steady graces to grow their food, and they pray for her to remain obedient so they can have food for the winter. This the closest to veneration that people get, outside of the bedroom.
|Title||The God of Weakness, the Fool, the Spreader of Misery|
|Portfolio||Freedom, madness, death, weakness, chaos|
|Worshiper Alignment||Chaotic Evil|
|Domains||Chaos, Trickery, Madness, Death|
|Subdomains||Whimsy, Deception, Insanity, Murder|
Aen is depicted as a runaway slave, and in every single story, he winds up dead, or miserable and slinking back to his master. This last act of repentance is always seen as positive, even if Duln kills him; death by the hands of your master is a righteous thing, after all. You must have deserved it.
When Aen is not depicted directly, he is seen as a trickster influence, luring good slaves away from their happy servitude and into the cold and the wild, where they seek repentance, or die, or worse things happen to them. If he is not a clever trickster, he is the voice of madness, who will curse wise men into fleeing their gilded cages, driving them insane with thoughts of freedom. Which is clearly evil.
There are a number of reasons why Aen is not worshiped. First, because, of course, he’s the bad guy, serving as a lesson in how to be miserable and wrong. But, normally there is room for worship of the underdog in a religion. In this case, if a person would worship Aen, they usually worship deities from other pantheons, like Maeve, Lir, or Marian.