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RELIGION IN THAY

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Running an Evil Game Thayan Name Generator Religion in Thay
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Kismet's Guide to Thay (blog)    
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Thayans are known for a relative irreverence toward the gods; whereas much of Faerun is devout, with many clerics who put their gods first, Thay has many people for whom the gods are definitely second, and even third.  That's not to say that Thayans are stupid or suicidal.  Since the gods are very real, very powerful, and very harsh to atheists, Thayans have patron deities like most other inhabitants of Toril.  They are more likely to weigh the costs and benefits of patronage in a calculating fashion, however, choosing gods that fall in line with their plans and offer interesting afterlives.  They raise churches and make donations, but as much for personal glory as glorification of the gods.  Services are attended sporadically, lip service paid in prayers.  Holy days offer opportunities to display wealth and power, so why not celebrate? The general attitude in Thay is this: the gods are bigger than you, so don't tweak their noses.

A strange kind of religious freedom reigns in Thay, not because individual choices are respected but because Thayans know their own history. The ancient Imaskari empire fell because they kept slaves from communing with their gods, and the Thayans are not about to make the same sort of mistake.  Thus, people are not magically influenced to change alignment or forced to choose particular patron deities, even if powerful masters don't approve.  Slaves are not forbidden the worship of their deities but their worship is regulated.  Slaves cannot raise temples or gather in groups larger than 10, but they are allowed shrines and private prayer.  They are not given time off for individual holy days but once their chores are done, they can choose to spend time in worship. Four of the major seasonal festivals in Faerun (Greengrass, Midsummer, Highharvestide, and the Feast of the Moon) are granted as rest days for all slaves, despite the grumblings this causes in the upper classes.

It must be noted that Thay is a place of religious turmoil for slaves, in that their harsh treatment can cause them to reconsider the gods they serve.  While some slaves never question their deity's power and some even experience a renewed faith, many slaves find their gods' promises to be hollow.  What does Chauntea's bounty matter when the masters won't allow any more than the barest ration?  Light and love wither for the thousands of slaves doing the hardest, dirtiest labor in Thay, far away from any hope of rescue.  Some slaves turn to deities of bitterness like Beshaba and Shar; others turn to Loviatar and torment other slaves.  In select areas, citizens worship Malar and slaves sometimes follow in the hopes of gaining favor.  Malar's clergy offer one of few ways for slaves to earn their freedom within Thay's borders.

Bezantur has the greatest amount of religious diversity of any place in Thay because it caters to citizens, slaves, and visitors to the port.  In Bezantur, major evil temples are an open secret, barely hidden to avoid scaring foreigners.  The various regions of Thay have different deities in fashion, and the interior of the country openly worships evil deities that are underground elsewhere.  Eltabbar is known as the religious heart of Thay, with some of the grandest temples in the country.  Eltabbar is also the closest major city to the symbol of Kossuth's worship in the country - the volcanoes of the Thaymount.  Kossuth is generally popular throughout Thay, as are Bane, Shar, and Waukeen.  The only gods whose worship is suppressed are the Mulhorandi pantheon, Mystra, and Velsharoon, mainly for historical reasons.  Although she is the goddess of magic, Thayans have no love for the current holder of Mystra's portfolio and would rather worship Azuth, if they must choose a "god of magic" at all; at least he's wielded magic for a long time.

Below is the religious calendar of Thay.  The worship of many deities is associated with Thayan citizens, while good deities are associated with the slave population.  Major holidays are the only times that some Thayans go to church and great displays of power and wealth are not unknown.  Slave uprisings sometimes happen on or near holy days, as well.

Day / Dates

Details

Deity

Worshippers

Midsummer

Revels of destruction and rudeness

Beshaba

Thayans

Shieldmeet

Revels of destruction and rudeness

Beshaba

Thayans

Each Midwinter night

Unveiling, sacrifices

Gargauth

Thayans

Eve of the Feast of the Moon

Personal sacrifices made by clerics as they renew their contracts

Gargauth

Thayans

Twelve days after Greengrass

Called Ippensheir, time of revelry and showing inventions

Gond

Any

11 Eleint

Penultimate Thunder, feasts

Hoar

Slaves

11 Marpenoth

Impending Doom, daylong ceremonies with drums, oaths, purification

Hoar

Slaves

Last night of the year

Night of Another Year, reading of the names of the dead from the year, then rest

Jergal

Thayans

Shieldmeet

Clerics recount deeds of the dead

Kelemvor

Slaves

Feast of the Moon

Clerics recount deeds of the dead

Kelemvor

Slaves

Midsummer morn

Clerics perform Song of Dawn

Lathander

Slaves

Morns of vernal and autumn equinoxes

Clerics perform Song of Dawn

Lathander

Slaves

Highharvestide

Hunt before, invite even non-worshippers to feast, pledge to provide for the needy in winter

Malar

Thayans

High Hunt each season

Hunt a humanoid or slave who can win freedom by surviving a day and night

Malar

Thayans

15 Marpenoth

Ascension of current Mystra

Mystra

Slaves

Midsummer

Day of new pacts

Oghma

Thayans

Shieldmeet

Day of new pacts

Oghma

Thayans

Each Midwinter day

Retreat, clergy assemble to recount campaigns

Red Knight

Thayans

1 Tarsakh

Queen's Gambit, feasting and games

Red Knight

Thayans

25 Nightal

A celebration of dark side of wealth and pleasure

Samora

Thayans

Shieldmeet

Conjuring of the Second Moon, chant that summons female planetars to serve clergy for a night

Selune

Slaves

Mystery of the Night

Once a year, each cleric fly into air to commune with Selune

Selune

Slaves

Festival of the Moon

Rising of the Dark, service over a live sacrifice

Shar

Thayans

15 Tarsakh

Windride, clerics assume gaseous form or wind walk, set down in someplace new

Shaundakul

Slaves

Greengrass

Frolicking

Sune

Slaves

Midsummer

Frolicking

Sune

Slaves

Grand Revel

Once a month, gathering for dancing, music, poetry

Sune

Slaves

Every 12 days

Festivals to offer prayers, drums, chants

Talona

Thayans

Fast of the Moon

Honoring the dead

Tempus

Thayans

Once a tenday

Must shed blood

Tempus

Thayans

15 Hammer

Cold Counting Comfort, honors accounting

Waukeen

Thayans

20 Aluturiak

Great Weave, honors textiles

Waukeen

Thayans

30 Ches

High Coin, honors wealth

Waukeen

Thayans

10 Tarsakh

Spheres, honors generosity

Waukeen

Thayans

12 Mirtul

Sammardach, honors benefactors

Waukeen

Thayans

21 Kythorn

Brightbuckle, honors finery

Waukeen

Thayans

3-5 Flamerule

Sornyn, honors deal-making

Waukeen

Thayans

17 Eleasis

Huldark, honors bounty

Waukeen

Thayans

7 Eleint

Spryndalstar, honors magic

Waukeen

Thayans

1 Marpenoth

Marthoon, honors guards

Waukeen

Thayans

10 Uktar

Tehennteahan, honors crafts

Waukeen

Thayans

25 Nightal

Orbar, "a solemn remembrance" of the dark side of wealth

Waukeen

Thayans

 

 
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