In this 17th installment for the City of Rookroost we take a look at the gods worshiped in the city. Once again thanks to everyone that have given me inspiration from Nigel Findley, Erik Mona, Gary Holian, Sean K. Reynolds, Frederick Weining, Casey Brown, and all the fabulous BK authors and lastly Gygax himself.
The Gods in Rookroost
The influence of the gods in the Flanaess runs deep, and Rookroost is no exception to this. However, the city is not dominated by any one specific god or pantheon but instead is a cherry-picked assortment of gods that suits the city. While the worship of gods in Rookroost is common, actual temples to them are not. Most services are held wherever they can find space. Below is a list of the most widely worshiped gods in the city, although they are far from the only ones.
Istus - The goddess of fate found root in the city early on and is considered one of the most widely worshiped gods in the city, but not in the traditional means. Early on in the cities founding their were a couple of Istus priests that found their way there, and one of the priests had the idea of accepting donations from the bandits to ensure that fate did not turn against them during their raids.
Through the influence of Isutus herself, or by simple dumb luck, those that donated to the priests seemed to have better luck avoiding trouble. Contributing to the priests soon caught on and quickly became a well-established superstition that remains to this day.
The priests put their growing fortune to good use and broke ground on one of the first temples in the city, and there has been a temple of Istus in the city ever since. Despite the temples' wealth and influence, the priests did little to throw around their weight in attempts to influence local government. They adhered instead to the doctrine that everyone's fate is in the hands of the goddess, and there is little that can be done to change that.
Hextor - The second most visible religion in Rookroost is that of Hextor. Many who conduct their raids into other lands perform them like military operations instead of marauding like a horde. These bandits gravitated toward the worship of Hextor. With the grand Hextorian temple of the Midlands just across the Artonsomay river from Rookroost, the religion was heavily represented.
While the Worship of Hextor is widespread and one of the few religions with an actual temple, it was still a small temple until the Iuzians destroyed the Midlands' grand temple. While a significant number of their followers died on the battlefield, there were still sufficient numbers that escaped and made their way to Rookroost to swell the numbers of the priests and acolytes in the city.
With the influx of the Hextorians from the Midlands, the temple has seen a drastic overhaul. It has undergone several renovations turning the fortified temple into an actual fortress in preparations for the next round of fighting against the Iuzians.
Kurell - If there is one god that embodies the spirit of Rookroost, it is Kurell. This Oeridian god of Jealousy, revenge, and theft was worshiped amongst the bandits that founded Rookroost far before the rise of the temple of Istus. Kurell is also considered a more influential god than any other in the city. While many worship Kurell, the church within the city is less influential than the Church to Istus or Hextor because of its doctrine. Priests of Kurell are often too busy plotting against one another to organize the temple to influence local politics.
Despite the church's fractured state, they have the third-largest temple in Rookroost. As well as being a place where followers come to seek their god's assistance in their mischievous deeds, the temple has become a place where like minded individuals come to make contacts. The temple is not a place for recruit brigands, but instead for swapping information on who is buying what types of stolen goods and who is bribing who.
Zilchus - The temple of Zilchus is a small affair and has moved inside the Merchant League compound at the blessing of Serinar since the Iuzian invasion. Most of those that worshiped at the temple being the merchants that lived or traveled to Rookroost for business. The temple's use is permitted to guilded citizens during business hours but is closed when the Merchant's Leauge compound is closed for the night.
Rudd - Rudd is another widely worshiped deity in Rookroost but has no temple dedicated to her, but there is a covered alter to her in the Inner-city. A handful of priests to Rudd take care of the alter and collect the odd coppers left behind by worshipers for good luck. The donations are then used to help maintain the alter, and there is talk of eventually erecting a proper temple, but this talk has been going on for nearly twenty years.
Ralishaz - The worship of Ralishaz is popular in the city. Many of the bandits and brigands pay homage to the god either in helping them sow the seeds of chaos or in attempts to appease the gods from causing confusion in their riads. There are a handful of priests in the city, but as expected of a god of chaos, there is no organization to speak dedicated to the god's worship.
Nerull - There have been temples to Nerull in Rookroost in the past, and there is a small one in the City of the Dead, the city's cemetery, but there is none within the city itself. In the past, the temples of Nerull seemed to follow the same pattern of attracting those fascinated with the dead or just plain evil types that were more interested in seeing others suffer. This, needless to say, even in a city like Rookroost, eventually brings them into conflict with those that wish for a more orderly and stable city.
The last temple, located in Outwall, was ransacked and burned to the ground by several Outwall gangs in retribution for their stealing citizens of Outwall for sacrifices. This interfered with the gang's business, so the temple was torn down, and all the priests and acolytes were killed.
Wee Jas - Wee Jas has a small following in the city, and a temple exists to the goddess in the City of the Dead. The bulk of those who work in the City of the Dead and the Night Merchants worship Wee Jas. The Council of Lords encourages this as they are afraid of what might happen if the City of the Dead fell under the total control of priests of Nerull.
Iuz - Even before the war and the Bandit Kingdoms' invasion, there were a few worshipers of Iuz sprinkled throughout the city. Some acted as spies for the Old One, and others just identified with his commitment to deceit, pain, and oppression. Since the war, the worship of Iuz has risen dramatically.
A temple to Iuz was erected and staffed by priests loyal to the Old One as a sign of loyalty. These priests are in direct communication with Iuz and keep him informed of all the city's goings-on.
Despite attempts by the priests of Iuz, they have yet to win over many converts from the local population that still look upon them as invaders. Mortoth himself rarely deals with them directly unless he is commanded to by Iuz himself.