Thenos
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Creator of the World, Lord of All, The Light that Guides

The faith of Thenos is unusual in that it is a monotheistic one - the Church of Thenos holds that Thenos is the only true deity, and that the other beings worshiped by humans are powerful spirits at best, or deceitful demons at worst. The faith has a lot of strictures that its followers are supposed to follow, which generally revolve around living a life free of deceit, following the orders and dictates of one's religious superiors, helping other members of the faith, and spreading the word of Thenos until every thinking being can be counted among his followers.

According to the faith, Thenos created the universe and everything in it. However, some of his archangels, not understanding his Divine Plan for the world, saw that the world had apparent flaws, such has hunger, strife, and so forth, and they set out into the world to correct them. The first of these was Tekel, who became corrupted by the power he had over mortals and became an entity solely concerned with spreading fear. Other archangels also ventured into the world - at times because they had their own view of how the world should be, at other times because they wanted to oppose their renegade brethen - but one by one they became seduced by the power that mortal worshipers offered. But Thenos eventually revealed His Gospel to selected mortal prophets, and the Truth became known. Eventually, some of the archangels realized the folly of their behavior and returned to Thenos' side in the Great Beyond, leaving their worshipers behind and leaderless.

The faith originated as a minor underground sect in the eastern Atalan Empire, but it only came into its own as the church became organized and unified the region now known as Thenares. There are several recorded instances of divine interventions by Thenos during the unification campaign, but these ended shortly after the campaign ended (some scholars claim that this marks the progression of Thenos from "Lesser God" to "Greater God"), leaving the church hierarchy to rule over the newly established theocracy.

While the armies of Thenares are still strong, they are for now kept inside the borders. This doesn't mean that the faith has ceased expanding, however - instead, the country has financed aggressive missionary activities in other regions. Where they manage to stay on friendly terms with the local authorities, they tend to build large cathedrals and admonish the flock to support their rulers as the temporal authority. Where they are persecuted, they stay underground and encourage rebellions against the current power structure. In either case, they frequently support soup kitchens and run hospices for those too poor to afford professional medical care, which tends to make them popular with the urban poor.

Over the centuries, the faith has produced innumerable holy texts, schisms, and theological disputes. Nevertheless, a few common tenets have become established within the faith:

  • Worship Thenos as the one true god.
  • Protect and aid the community of the faithful.
  • Convert the unbelievers to the light of Thenos.

His symbol is a lit lantern.

Adventure Ideas

Designer's Notes & Resources

Christianity - a monotheistic faith - strongly shaped the Age of Industrialization in Europe. Thus, I wanted to create a monotheistic faith to mirror Christianity, even though its influence is much less in comparison - Urbis, like most D&D settings, is primarily polytheistic.

And like with Christianity, I wanted to emphasize that the faith as a whole is neither purely good nor evil. Individuals within the faith may be either, but the majority of the faithful are people like anyone else, and should not be reduced to a mere caricature of Christianity.

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