A Light in Darkness
The Land of Mists is home to numerous religions ranging from widespread, organized churches that build towering cathedrals to honor their faith to skulking, nocturnal cults that perform their sacrifices in hidden catacombs. Listed below are the major faiths common in the Core domains, all are available to player character clerics (although some will be a challenge for a moral character).
Belenus is a sun god, the master of fire. His followers claim that Belenus bestows the life giving light and heat of the sun on those who please him and withholds it from those who earn his wrath. Solar eclipses are seen as dire omens.
In Tepest, Belenus worship exists as a rustic folk religion. The faithful here often mingle their legends of Belenus with time-honored tales of shadow fey, ravenous goblins and fiendish hags and witches. For generations, Tepestani clerics were content to watch over their small congregations, but this changed in the wake of the Grand Conjunction. Believing that the domains of G’Henna and Markovia had been destroyed by the fey, a village priest of Viktal, a man named Wyan, oraganized and inquisition to fight back against the fey. Fifteen years later, that inquisition continues and has gained a reputation for being over zealous. The clerics execute any “fey” they can catch. Unfortunately, this includes caliban, elves, half-elves and sorcerers in an ever growing list.
Detailed information about the Tepestani pantheon is available in the Tepestani Religion article.
Symbol: Celtic style golden sunburst
Favored Weapon: Sickle
Alignment: Neutral good
Domains: Fire, Good, Sun
Worship Center: Tepest
The Temple of Eternal Order
In Necropolis, tradition holds that the long once belonged to the dead. The living stole the world and banished the unliving to the Gray Realm. Prophecy holds that someday during the Hour of Ascension, the vengeful dead will return to reclaim what is rightfully theirs. The clerics of the Eternal Order worship a patchwork pantheon of death gods borrowed from other religions. Worship focuses on performing countless rituals to appease the dead and postpone the inevitable Hour of Ascension.
When the Requiem destroyed Il Aluk many Darkonians believed the Hour of Ascension had come at last. In the aftermath, the Eternal Order’s clergy blamed the Requiem on the weak faith of the Darkonian people. The Darkonians responded by abandoning the order in droves. As an organized religion the Eternal Order is crumbling.
Symbol: A hooded human skull
Favored Weapon: Scythe
Alignment: Neutral evil
Domains: Death, Evil, Knowledge, Repose
Worship Center: Necropolis
Image is from Mistfinder Guide
The Church of Ezra was founded almost 90 years ago by a son of the famous Dilisnya dynasty who claimed to have encountered a divine entity, Ezra in the mists. This creature is known to the faithful as Our Guardian in the Mists and it gave him a message for all of mankind. According to most traditions Ezra was a virtuous mortal woman who, despairing of the evils of the world, surrendered her mortality to the Mists to become an eternal guardian of mankind. Various factions of the Church, however, debate the true nature and teaching of their patron.
The original lawful neutral sect is called the Home Faith and is centered in Borca. This sect appoints faithful clerics, called anchorites, to the task of protecting and healing the faithful in the face of the evils of the world.
The lawful good sect is based in Mordent and requires anchorites to convert as many souls to Ezra’s flock as possible for the good of their soul.
The neutral sect is a mystical branch that believes Ezra was actually a goddess who abandoned here callous fellow gods to live closer to mortals. They spend much of their time debating the true nature of their goddess.
Finally, the lawful evil sect, centered in Nevuchar Springs, prophecies an imminent Time of Unparalleled Darkness when the faithful will be consumed by darkness. All anchorites agree that Ezra cannot protect those who do not accept her into their hearts.
Symbol: A silver longsword superimposed on an alabaster kite shield adorned with a sprig of belladonna
Favored Weapon: Longsword
Alignment: Lawful neutral (varies)
Domains: Mists, Destruction, Healing, Law, Protection
Worship Center: Northern and western Core
According to the Tales of the Ages sacred to the church of Hala nine gods created the world and then withdrew. They intended to allow the various races of intelligent beings to fill it with both good and evil, but the mortals lacked wisdom. The failure of mortals created pain, violence and oppression. Just one of the nine gods returned to ease the suffering of the world, Hala. Hala gathered together thirteen men and thirteen women and taught them the ancient magic known as The Weave.
Practitioners of The Weave, known as Witches, are greeted with superstition and fear throughout much of the Core. The magic of witches, called witchcraft, is thought to create Caliban’s and corrupt the soul. The educated know it is not inherently evil but its close association with the evil hags and other creatures of the night makes it suspect in all lands and downright dangerous in some.
Clerics of Hala, known as witches, operate a number of hospices throughout Ravenloft where rest and healing can be found. Despite that, any witch caught by the inquisitors of Tepest would be lucky to escape with their life.
Symbol: A ring formed of thirteen serpents each devouring the tail of the one before it.
Favored Weapon: Dagger
Domains: Healing, Magic, Plant
Worship Center: Southern Core
The full and authoritative article is here: Church of the Lawgiver
The Lawgiver is known by many titles including the Iron Tyrant or the Black Lord. His religion requires blind obedience and submission to those in authority. Those with wealth and power rule by divine decree, those born into poverty deserve only what they can earn through diligent and dutiful service to their betters. The Lawgiver is the state religion of Hazlan and Nova Vaasa where it is understandably favored by those in power.
The Lawgiver’s clerics attempt to enforce a rigid social hierarchy, even among their own clergy. This includes an absolute prohibition against interracial or interethnic marriage or mating. All religious rites must be performed in Vaasi and all sacred texts must use this script.
During the Grand Conjunction The Lawgiver fell silent and his clerics received no spells. This lapse has proven troubling and opened a schism in the ordinarily inflexible faith. The majority believe this was a meaningless lapse, a side effect of the Conjunction, or perhaps a test. A minority, however, believe that the Lawgiver was somehow incapacitated as part of some larger cosmic battle. A very few whisper in the darkness that the Lawgiver was actually killed and the church now worships… something else.
Symbol: A stout iron spear, bound in coils of bronze
Favored Weapon: Whip
Alignment: Lawful evil
Domains: Death, Evil, Law, War
Worship Center: Southeastern Core
The Cult of the Morninglord was born in the late fifth century in Barovia. The faith’s founder claimed to have been caught out of doors at night, normally a death sentence in Barovia, but was protected by a powerful glowing sylvan humanoid. This creature, who became known as the Morninglord, was said to radiate a soft golden light but to have a face smeared with blood. Most take this sign to mean that even the brightest soul holds the potential for evil.
The Morninglord is the god of rosy dawn that marks the end of a long night. The deity asks little of his follers save hope, kindness and patients. The humble faith holds great appeal for those with little more than hope and kindness to offer and it is spreading rapidly among the downtrodden Gundarites of Barovia.
Many of the followers of the Morninglord believe that he will someday return to lead them into a new and glorious day. Unknown even to most of its followers, some in the cult are unwilling to wait for that great day. It is rumored that the cult’s founders were clerics who secretly hunted the undead by night. It is believed even to this day that the cult’s clerics are trained in the methods of battling vampires.
Symbol: A simple, rose-tinted disc of gold
Favored Weapon: Halfspear
Alignment: Chaotic good
Domains: Good, Luck, Luck, Protection, Sun
Worship Center: Barovia