Post news RSS Dev Diary #2: Faiths Afar

The second of the weekly development diaries for LotR: Realms in Exile has been released, penned by VectorMaximus. Read about the ancient words of the people of the Haradwaith, filling in the continent with new faiths and deep lore.

Posted by on

Dev Diary #2: Faiths Afar

By VectorMaximus

“It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succor of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till” - Fellowship of the Ring

Hello everyone! Vector here, and today I’ll be taking you on a tour of some of the most important of the new faiths that can be found in the new southern lands we are adding. Many (if not all) of these have already been seen through teaser shots on our discord, but I hope you still find this enjoyable. Once the de-facto starts are more solidified, I’ll be back to give you a ride through the cultures and peoples of the region.

But for now, let’s move onto a lightning round of the new faiths to come in 2.2!

The Faithful of Bellakar

The Bellakari have inherited much of their faith tradition from their Númenórean forefathers, but like their bloodlines, it has melded and merged with the indigenous beliefs of Harad. There are two dominant strains of faith in the region, divided north-south, the Kâthasaptha and the Batân an-Izindi.

The Kâthasaptha is an ancient sycretic faith, founded by King Zimrêbal, the first King of Bellakar. Claiming to have received a vision from the Vala, Varda, known to the Bellanarud as the moon-goddess Ladnôca, he sought to endow his rule with divine legitimacy to both his Númenórean and Haradric subjects. Though the diehard zealots on both sides were unsatisfied, in time this compromise - assimilating the Haradric stories and reconciling them with the Númenórean understanding of the Valar - has come to dominate the south of Bellakar.

The Batân an-Izindi is in many ways a late response to the Kâthasaptha. Founded by Imrathôr, the first Izindubêth, it sought to 'restore' the ancient purity of worship, viewing the Kâthasaptha as having become corrupted by the increasingly powerful Haradrim cults, moving it ever further away from the Truth as revealed to the Númenóreans, and now given anew to their descendants through Izindubêth. Established in the northern province of Felaya, it has come to dominate the culture and identity of the region.

In this region you shall also find various Haradric cults, such as those of Ladnôca and Îshtra, who are among the most important goddesses of the Far-Haradric pantheon.

Faiths of the Rây

In Rây is preserved the ancient divine epic of the Haradrim, the Kât-Polozây. In many ways, most of the other faiths in the region, even those in far-away Haruzan, are derivates of this faith. It relays the creation of the world, the Divine Battle, the revolt of Ladnôca against Vâtra, and the resulting devastation.

The Aûdrat Vâtra is a new interpretation of the divine epic, one which praises the sun-god Vâtra, painting Ladnôca rather as the jealous wife who causes the devastation by her inability to accept her wise father's decision to abdicate to him. This cult has few friends, having been very militaristic when it first arose. However, long years of co-existence and trade has tempered the zealousness of the faithful, and Sauron now eyes a way to replace them as his tools in the Rây...

The Kîrab-Sarâda which dominates Tulwang preaches that spirits exist in everything, counting the millions. All of these are outlined in the sacred text of the same name, but it is a dry read I have heard... In this faith the shadow of Men's fear of death is made manifest, for the fate of men is resigned to a gray nothingness that makes one yearn for the void. For that reason, those who live under this faith push to make the most of their lives, before they are dead and forgotten.

Faiths such as the Bellanarud cults (Ladnôca and Îshtra), the Kât-Polozây, and the Kâthasaptha have a 'Bellakari Syncretism' tenet, akin to the vanilla syncretism tenets. This will allow these faiths to co-exist peaceably, allowing a tolerant multi-faith empire for those who choose to follow this path. In general, faiths in this region are pluralistic in nature.

Faiths of the Dune Sea

The Cult of Sanbaiz worships the spider-god, lord of thieves. As one might suspect, this is not a particularly well-liked religion, whose adherents gravitate to banditry and thievery. The very acts of schemes and intrigue are judged as sacred rites to the faithful. The northern Dune Sea has suffered from the overbearing presence of the cult's faithful for years, as trade is harassed and stolen.

The Cult of Garauda is a much simpler faith. The goat is one of the few animals capable of survival in the sparse and barren lands of the rocky southwest of the Dune Sea, and their patron god likewise is a simple one. When you are barely eking out a life, simple things like hospitality and resilience become very important.

I hope you've all enjoyed this look into what the finalized faith setup for the region is shaping up to be! Note that all setups/icons are not yet final.

Fellow Inklings: Join the Discussion

Not yet a member of the Realms Discord community? Join us here:


This comment is currently awaiting admin approval, join now to view.

Post a comment
Sign in or join with:

Only registered members can share their thoughts. So come on! Join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) and join in the conversation.