Human Paganism was the main religion of the Humans before the establishment of the Kingdom of Etrand and the Etrandish annexation of the Kingdom of Hulra. Unlike the monotheistic Titanist religion and the dualistic Naturalist religion, Human Paganism was completely polytheistic, with a relatively large roster of deities to worship.
In Etrand, the religion went underground after the unification by Corlagon, and gradually became virtually extinct over two centuries in all of Etrand but maybe a few obscure rural areas. After the Etrandish conquest of Hulra in the late 3rd century, paganism remained a rather strong and persistent part of the Etrancoasti/Hulran way of life for three more centuries, despite the harsh persecution by both the Etrandish and later native Etrancoasti authorities, finally losing ground to the Titanist faith only during the 7th century - it is estimated between 10% and 20% of Etrancoast's population are still crypto-Pagans clinging to the old ways. (See also: Religion in Etrancoast)
Hróthward / Rýthwardar / Hrúdwerdar Edit
Hróthward (Old Etrandish: HRWŤWARD; IPA: [r̥oːðwɑɹd]) in Old Etrandish, Rýthwardar in Old Hulran (Old Hulran: RYYŤWARDAR; IPA: [ryːðwɑrdɑr]) - most likely Hrúdwerdar in Proto-Human (Proto-Human: HRWDWERDAR; IPA: [xruːðwerdɑr]) - was the pagan God of Thunder, War and Honour. He was usually depicted as a tall, muscular, bald, clean-shaven man with scars on his face, lemon-yellow eyes, small aquiline nose, strong jaw, wearing a breastplate and swinging a sword of thunder. He is also desribed as an even-minded god who can always keep his cool, never lets his emotions get in the way of his judgement.
It is said that when the bravest warriors die, they have must have beer with Hróthward/Rýthwardar, and regularly do arm-wrestling with the god, lest they be considered unmanly and unfit for their place in the paradise. During wartime, unimportant prisoners are war - and sometimes chieftains too, for symbolic effect - are sacrificed for Hróthward/Rýthwardar, so that the tribe gets blessed by the god and makes sure that their war efforts are successful.
Thynfirth / Thömbarthar / Thunfirdar Edit
Thynfirth (Old Etrandish: ŤWNFIRD; IPA: [θynɱviɹθ]) in Old Etrandish, Thömbarthar in Old Hulran (Old Hulran: ŤÖMBARŤAR; IPA: [θømbɑrðɑr]) - most likely Thunfirdar in Proto-Human (Proto-Human: ŤWNFJRDAR; IPA: [θumɸirðɑr]) - was the hook-nosed son of Hróthward/Rýthwardar and Clodéna/Klýdina, pagan god of commence, money and trade.
He is described as a short man having curly black hair, large ears, a large hooked nose, orange eyes and a stout figure, wearing white silk clothes. It is said that he may be slightly bipolar in a most peculiar sense: depending on the occasion, he is either generous or greedy. If he's in a good mood, he blesses merchants, gifts people with luck in business, and promises them riches - but if he's in the bad mood, he will ensure that the unfortunate ones who witness his anger will be dragged into endless poverty.
Clodéna / Klýdina / Kludína Edit
Clodéna (Old Etrandish: KLWDENA; IPA: [klodeːna]) in Old Etrandish, Klýdina in Old Hulran (Old Hulran: KLYYDINA; IPA: [klyːdinɑ]) - most likely Kludína in Proto-Human (Proto-Human: KLWDJNA; IPA: [kluðiːnɑ]) - the goddess of fertility, agriculture, birthgiving and milk, and the wife of Hróthward/Rýthwardar.
She is portrayed as a beautiful woman with pale white skin, raven-black hair, deep blue eyes, a rounded face, hourglass figure (large breasts, relatively prominent buttocks, but overall thin figure). She is described as very kind, and having a special soft spot for children, especially little girls, and is said to ruthlessly punish those who harm children, pregnant women or farm animals (other than for the purpose of eating them). She also gives blessings to farmers, ensuring a good harvest, and to women, allegedly increasing their likelihood of getting pregnant. Giving birth to twins was seen as a special blessing from her.
She accepts wheat, hay, herbs and lamb as sacrifices.
Mýrr / Mörrar / Murrjar Edit
Mýrr (Old Etrandish: MWRR; IPA: [myːrː]) in Old Etrandish, Mörrar in Old Hulran (Old Hulran: MÖRRAR; IPA: [mørːɑr]) - most likely Murrjar in Proto-Human (Proto-Human: MWRRJAR; IPA: [murːjɑr]) - the god of fire, anger, vengeance and murder. Unlike Hróthward/Rýthwardar, Mýrr/Mörrar does not believe in honour, making him the primary patron god of assassins and hitmen.
He is described as a tall and muscular man with long red hair and beard, wearing a helmet with horns, wearing breastplate and holding a flaming sword. He is described as overly moody, aggressive, easily offended, very bossy and authoritarian. The best way to appease him is to give in to your anger and kill those who have offended you, kill them in Mýrr's name and present their heads as sacrifices to Mýrr.
Just like Hróthward/Rýthwardar, he accepts human sacrifices, but cares little for what kind of men are sacrificed. Legends say that the Priest of Mýrr practiced cannibalism, but it cannot be confirmed - not even present-day pagans do that. Mýrr is the only god in the human pantheon who is explicitly evil.
Wýrtha / Wörtha / Wúrida Edit
Wýrtha (Old Etrandish: WWRŤA; IPA: [wyːɹðɑ]) in Old Etrandish, Wörtha in Old Hulran (Old Hulran: WÖRŤA; IPA: [wøːrðɑ]) - most likely Wúrida in Proto-Human (Proto-Human: WWRJDA; IPA: [wuːriðɑ]) - is the goddess of death. She is an odd one out of all the deities, as she does not need or require tributes - she chooses her own among the dead. It is said that when someone who is adult and sexually mature dies, Wýrtha/Wörtha tries to seduce the person, if she deems them worthy (those who are viewed as unworthy are usually sentenced to eternal torture instead). Should the person give in to her charms, he/she will forfeit meeting the other deities, be forced to live the afterlife in a dark and bleak land where they will only have phantoms of the goddess to communicate with.
Wýrtha/Wörtha is depicted as having similiar appearence to Clodéna/Klýdina - a beautiful woman with long black hair, pale white skin, a well-rounded face, blue eyes, hourglass figure. The biggest difference is the attire - Wýrtha/Wörtha dresses in all black and often covers her hair, additionally, her paleness may be exaggerated. She is described as being selfish, needy, moody, but ultimately lonely and full of hidden depths - she is also caring, and does not neglect those men and women who have fallen to her charms - she tries to comfort them by talking to them, even possibly providing sexual favours.
Unlike Mýrr - who is explicitlly said to be evil - Wýrtha is said to be more of a tragic and lonely character, who just wants company, which compells her to attempt to seduce those who have died.
Gæryca (Etrand-only) Edit
- See also: Gæryca
Gæryca (Old Etrandish: Garwca; IPA: [ʝærykɑ]) is the goddess who guards the mortal realm from the realm of the demons, Nortiimus, although she may be considered simply the goddess of barriers between dimensions. It is believed that should humanity lose Gæryca's favour, she will simply stop bothering to protect the barriers, letting demons invade Etrand.
She is depicted as a beautiful woman with either brown or black hair, either brown, red or blue eyes, and usually red clothing. She is said to have a kind and caring personality, but can be very moody and grouchy, especially when she doesn't get as many tributes from mortals as she expects - she may be rather jealous of the other gods and goddesses.
She can be appeased by leaving donations at shrines dedicated to her. It is said that this makes her infinitely happy.
Fýthbrók (Etrancoast-only) Edit
Fýthbrók (Old Hulran: FyyŤbrook; IPA: [fyːðbroːk]) is the god of sea, water, maritime travel and fishing. Pagan fishermen and sailors alike used to pray to him, presenting sacrifices him, in exchange for either a bountiful harvest of fish, or a safe travel by a ship.
He is depicted as an old man with grey hair, grey beard, sea blue eyes, carrying a golden trident. He is described as a lazy and bored old man who is generally unwilling to act, preferring to sleep rather than be bothered by the troubles of the mortals.
Demographics (as of 831 AEKE) Edit
Paganism is virtually extinct from Etrand. Out of the 5,158,500, only 1,000 may be pagans - in other words, less than 0.019% of the Etrandish population - it is said that in the swamps of Southern Etrand, adventurers have come across strange groups of Humans who observe old pagan rituals and don't worship Titanius, but speak Etrandish, not Etrancoasti.
Folk stories about the last Etrandish pagans hiding out in the forests - waiting for the perfect moment to ambush devout Titanists - originate from the first two centuries of Etrand's existence: during Corlagon's Wars of Unification, a lot of Southern Etrandish warriors who were opposed to Corlagon's rule evacuated to the southern swamplands, never to be heard of again - their mysterious disappearence immediately immortalized them as "the lost army" that was still plotting for revenge. Additionally, during the Etrandish colonization of the southern frontiers that was spearheaded by King Tondbert - the southern swamplands previously inhabited by lizardman tribes - many crypto-Pagans willingly took part in the colonization, to be able to practice their secret religion much more freely on the frontiers, away from the prying eyes of the authorities closer to capital.
Aside from the mythical - and probably nonexistenet - descendants of the "lost pagan army", there are in fact crypto-Pagans living in Southern Etrand, mostly living in border hamlets where no Inquisitor ever goes.
- See also: Earldom of Etrancoast#Religion
Despite the best efforts of Titanist missionaries, inquisitors and clerics - both Etrandish and native Etrancoasti alike - the authorities never managed to fully root out and eradicate paganism from Etrancoast. Nevertheless, since pagans are strongly persecuted, the majority of them - with the exception of outlaws - are very secretive about their religious beliefs, claim to worship Titanius when asked, but actually pay tribute to the pagan gods in secret, making it nearly impossible to accurately approximate the number of pagans in Etrancoast.
According to native Etrancoasti inquisitor Ewerhard Sherkil, 15% of the country's population "may or may not display Pagan tendencies" and 5% of the population "exists in conditions that enable them to avoid scrutiny by the law, most likely open pagans" - he estimates that between 15% and 20% of Etrancoast's population is still Pagan in one form or another.
According to the Etrandish inquisitor Marius Moga, 10% of the Etrancoasti population is "under strong suspicion of being crypto-Pagan" and 65% practices neither Titanism nor Paganism, but a syncretic religion that incorporates elements of both, commonly called "Folk Titanism".