There are many gods in Gonen’s World, but these are the most popular in Vlodasai during the Classic Age (the default setting for the game).

The most popular holy book, and the basis for most religions, is the Book of Ancient Thunder. It tells the story of how Gonen brought people to the world from some far-distant place in the cosmos, and the wars Gonen and his children fought against Omnadre and the Old Gods of the world.

The “ark” spoken of in the Book of Ancient Thunder is thought to be Gonen’s Star, a blue star that blinks as it crosses the sky. Four times a year (at the change of the seasons), it gets much brighter and stops blinking for several days.

Sometimes, particularly successful or outrageous people are singled out by the gods to be “taken up,” either just before or just after death. Such folk are considered “demigods.”

The Church of Darius – This demigod was once an adventurer who was “taken up” by Gonen during the Battle of Highseat, when the forces of Queen Farin overthrew the Redeemers. The worship of Darius focuses mainly on a “do unto others” philosophy, and holds that “all is good.” Because it has few actual tenets and doesn’t require much of its believers, the Church of Darius has become very popular in Vlodasai over the past decade.

The Way – This offshoot of Gonen-worship centers on the cult of Joshua, a blacksmith, who, in the final days of the Odium Empire, was visited by Himmel, the son of Gonen. Himmel imparted to Joshua a new doctrine – that “All Things Are One,” and that all magic, other gods, and all matter itself are emanations of Gonen. Thus “what we do to ourselves, we do to Him.” Joshua was martyred – hanged by the Odiumites – and the symbol of the religion is the noose. The Way is widespread, and the majority of people in Vlodasai are members of one of its many denominations.

The Listeners – Gonen-worship in its purest and oldest form, Gonenism (whose followers call themselves the Listeners) advocates a literal interpretation of the Book of Ancient Thunder. For the most part, the Way has pushed traditional Gonenism out of the mainstream. During the Classic Age, Gonenism is little more than a bizarre cult that is dedicated to listening to “white flowers” - large artifacts mentioned in the Book of Ancient Thunder as having the “voice” of the gods. The Listeners claim that the flowers hum with sound, a code that they have spent thousands of years trying to break. The flowers only hum when Gonen’s Star flares up four times a year. Thus far, no one knows what the flowers are saying.

The Cult of Ariel – In life, Ariel was a priestess of Oceanus, one of the Old Gods. She was raped and left to die by a monstrous bandit called Kron. So intense was her rage that the gods took up her spirit. Today, she is the center of a small and highly motivated cult dedicated to vengeance against wrongdoers. They are based on Ariel Island, but their priestesses have begun to wander Vlodasai, seeking to right wrongs. Some authorities are concerned that the cult is little more than a vigilante group.

The Old Gods – Very few people actually worship the so-called “Old Gods,” who ruled the world before it became Gonen’s. Omnadre is the goddess of the earth, while Oceanus is the god of the seas. Unlike the gods of Gonen’s pantheon, these are not anthropomorphic, usually being depicted only with symbols. Those few who claim to have had visions of the Old Gods describe them as immensely huge, ever-changing formless masses of earth or water. According to the Book of Ancient Thunder, Oceanus chose not to battle the new gods; Omnadre declared herself the eternal enemy of Gonen and all his children. As a result, denizens of Gonen’s World sometimes consider the earth tainted, and the heavens (where Gonen came from) pristine.

Oceanus continues to be worshipped by a small band of devotees, usually Aeronauts and people whose lives depend on the sea.

Evil Cults – There are various “evil” cults in Gonen’s World, and most of them center on the worship of Omnadre or the 700 demons at her disposal. According to the Book of Ancient Thunder, a rebel kathkari called Arrakos warred against Gonen, and was expelled from Gonen’s Star with his followers. They fell to the world’s surface and were re-made by Omnadre, who turned them into her demons. Little is known about them – some of the more infamous spoken of in old stories include Hyss, the chief of all demons (this is the re-made shade of Arrakos himself), Gurgendollath the Waster (thought to be responsible for disease) and Tuumithaak (who is rumored to seduce human women in their dreams).
Some also worship an infamous monk called Torik the Destroyer, but whether he was ever truly “taken up” remains a mystery.

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