Religion (Paludia Supplement)

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Religion of Paludia comes in three main categories. First, the less developed tribes tend to be shamanic, meaning that they worship the animals and elements which impact their lives. Second, the more developed tribes tend to be polytheistic, with a pantheon of deities, with Semuanya usually on the top. Finally, there are the mystic cults which extend into all parts of Paludian society, affecting rich and poor alike. Very few lizardfolk, if any, worship the one, true God. More often, these religions are used as methods of controlling society, as an reason to practice magic or else get power from a niche entity, or else to simply numb oneself from the harshness of Paludian life.

Simply put, all Paludian religions worship false gods, idols, and follow the wrong ideas. The lizardfolk simply lack the moral and intellectual capacity to put ideas of power, decadence, and convoluted ritual aside. Even so, the lizardfolk have drawn energy from divine sources, although such energy is nothing more than a campfire's worth of power next to the blazing star that is the real power of the one, true God.

Shamanic Religions[edit]

The shamanic religions are of two kinds. First, there are the primitive animals-worshiping faiths, which are usually found in migrating tribes of hunters. The other kind worship plants and the natural world which can be found in a fixed location, rather than a changing one like the migratory tribes would know. If there is anything positive to be said about the shamanic faiths, it is that they don't try to focus all of their worship on any one niche; they recognize that there is a complex system of nature which has to be kept in balance. Semuanya is worshiped in nearly all Shamanic religions.

Polytheistic Religions[edit]

Like so many other religions throughout history, many Paludian faiths follow multiple deities. These pantheons tend to be comprehensive and cover many different concepts and ideas, but all of them share on thing in common; they contradict themselves. True piety is impossible in a system of deities in which there is a different standard for the worship of each deity. A prominent example of this would be a system including a deity of life and a deity of death; it is impossible to follow the standards of both and not be a hypocrite. The lizardfolk also don't realize that these "gods" are nothing more than elemental or else extra-planar spirits which claim to be godheads; none of them are actually God, nor do they contain any of his true essence. Of course, the lizardfolk have a desire-saturated mentality in which survival and gratification are paramount; there is little to no room for high ideals.

The head of almost all lizardfolk pantheons is Semuanya.

Mystic Religions[edit]

In Paludia, there are many strange things; unusual magic, fantastic creatures, weird plants, and outlandish animals. Many of these bizarre things have attracted the attention of the simple minds of the lizardfolk; and, as a result, many lizardfolk have turned these things into objects of worship. The key element of such worship is niche devotion; no attempts are made at universalizing the system of belief, nor are any outside ideas considered. Take for instance a cult which worships crocodiles as divine beings. To them, every culture in the entire world ought to worship crocodiles, even if the culture lives in a land in which there are no reptiles at all. These mystic religions lack the depth and introspection of human mysticism, and are totally deficient when it comes to examining one's actions and questioning how one ought to live. Instead, the convoluted mystics of the lizardfolk focus on bizarre rituals which have little or nothing to do with actual piety, faith, or devotion. Many of the faiths are dependent on their adherents' desire to escape from reality and be awed by false, convoluted things. Semuanya is only sometimes worshiped in these unusual cults, and he is often relegated to a lower status.

Holy Dates and Festivals[edit]

While human beings often keep the sabbath holy, the lizardfolk have a holy day roughly once a month, at the first night of the full moon. This is the holy day of Semuanya, and on this day, hunting prizes are sacrificed to him. Holy days and festivals are meant to secure material benefits for the tribe, and rarely have deeper meaning. In order to maintain peace with their gods, the lizardfolk have sacrifice, prayer (among the priests, mostly), festivals, and care to avoid bad omens.

Religion in 4e Paludia[edit]

While lizardfolk religion has been all but removed in the new 4e setting, it is up to the DM to decide whether or not to remove it from the Paludia setting.

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