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Church of Traladaraby Marco Dalmonte English translation by Gary Davies
Worshipped in: Karameikos
Halav - War, strategy & tactics, strength & determination, weapons & armour, sacrifice, combating humanoids
Petra - Patriotism, protection, courage, resistance, virtue, loyalty, fighting clerics, besieged cities, Traladarans
Zirchev - Hunting, survival, tolerance, magic, sylvan races, nature, animals, outcasts
The Goat (Orcus) - Death, evil, sadism, mass destruction, necromancy, lycanthropy, cannibalism
Ranivorus - Gnolls, madness, racism, destruction, hatred
Wogar - Goblins, war, conquest
Karaash - Humanoids, battles, tactics, conquest, rule of the strongest
Jammudaru - Ogres, giants, vengeance, violence
Bartziluth - Bugbears, rage, combat
The Church of Traladara is a Lawful religion that founded its own beliefs on the Song of Halav, a legend in verse handed down for generations by those that observed the heroic deeds of the triad Halav–Petra–Zirchev at the start of the golden age of Traladara. The church pursues the objective to bring back Traladara in this age thanks to the veneration of the three Immortals and of the moral lessons embedded in the Song of Halav, trying to grant well-being to its faithful and of combating the malignant forces that plot the fall of the Traladarans and their protectors. The malignant forces are especially identified in the Immortals that protect the humanoids that have threatened or invaded Traladara (in particular in Ranivorus, patron of the gnolls which caused the end of the golden age), and in the Goat (Orcus), a sinister being responsible for acts of brutality and violence and protector of all the monster that are hidden in the shadows (like undead and lycanthropes). With depreciation and hatred are considered also the sects and nations that aim to weaken or destroy the Traladaran people and the faithful of Halav, Petra and Zirchev.
According to the Traladaran doctrine, these are the absolute dogmas that must be respected by the believers for to obtain salvation and divine favour:
- The events described in the Song of Halav are absolutely true. King Halav, Queen Petra and Zirchev are now Immortals that guide the righteous and punish evil within the lands inhabited by the Traladarans.
- Injuring, abusing, killing and lying are sins, committed out of weakness or as a result of the intrusion of evil or animal spirits.
- The sins would have to be punished with punishment appropriate to the seriousness of the sin, including both corporal and spiritual punishment. The more serious sins like murder and demon worship are redeemed only with death.
- The evil are all those who plot to destroy the Traladarans and for hindering or offending the faith in Halav, Petra and Zirchev.
- All the humanoids are evil, as testified in the Song of Halav, and all their Immortals are responsible for the evil and pain spread in the world. Therefore humanoids and their protectors must be fought and destroyed everywhere it is found for the good of peace and humanity.
- The use of ritual magic (like the reading of tea leaves, palms, cards or animal entrails, the use of charms or philtres) represents an expression of opinion of human curiosity towards the world and is accepted only when it is aimed at the will of the protectors from evil or to the improvement of the human condition. The use of such means is sometimes rewarded by the Immortals with moments of future knowledge or about the nature of the world, but only in the cases in which the heart of he that fulfils or seeks them isn’t stained by evil or immoral desires.
- The role of the individual in the netherworld is determined by the wisdom, faith and goodness of the individual at the moment of his death.
- The golden age of Traladara will only return if the faith in Halav, Petra and Zirchev remains steadfast and when all the believers respect the dogma of the church.
In short therefore, the philosophy of the Church of Traladara is that the people do not have to do evil with others but live peacefully in respect of the neighbours and of the Immortals, and if someone transgresses, the community must punish the guilty party in proportion to his sin. Therefore the private relations between men and women or within the family are matters with which the church does not get involved, unless the aforementioned sins occur. The role of the Traladaran cleric is to supply counsel to the young based on their own experiences and on the moral lessons contained in the Song of Halav, let alone to resolve disputes thanks to their own wisdom and protect the faithful from the hidden dangers of demons or of their more direct servants. The Traladaran clerics therefore advise the young, officiate marriages and funerals, gives moral judgments, preach the philosophy of the church trying to promote peace and harmony, and when helping the fight to save life in danger and to defeat evil. The clergy of this Church is divided fairly equally between polytheistic (50%) devotees to the triad, and specialist (45%) followers to one of the Immortals (especially Halav and Petra), with a minority of philosophers (5%).
The clerics of the Church of Traladara can be recognised by the frock they wear on formal occasions, this consists of a brown long sleeved tunic with a habit that reaches to cover the knees, a pair of leather boots, a knotty stick like symbol of membership and the coat of arms of the church (a stylised fighter in Traldar armour armed with a spear and a shield, with a sun on the background to its left) embroidered on the chest. The Church of Traladara faith is predominant in Karameikos, where its attended by 70% of the population (all Traladarans and some of the Thyatian–Traladaran half bloods), and is equally successful in the City States of the Gulf of Hule, founded by the exiles and merchants of Traladara, an obvious sign of a cultural identity well deep-rooted in the Traladaran stock.