Divine magic, as the name suggests, is the power of the gods, flowing from them into the world. Clerics are conduits for that power, manifesting it as miraculous effects. The gods don’t grant this power to everyone who seeks it, but only to those chosen to fulfill a high calling.
Harnessing divine magic doesn’t rely on study or training. A cleric might learn formulaic prayers and ancient rites, but the ability to cast cleric spells relies on devotion and an intuitive sense of a deity’s wishes.
Clerics combine the helpful magic of healing and inspiring their allies with spells that harm and hinder foes. They can provoke awe and dread, lay curses of plague or poison, and even call down flames from heaven to consume their enemies. For those evildoers who will benefit most from a mace to the head, clerics depend on their combat training to let them wade into melee with the power of the gods on their side.
Not every acolyte or officiant at a temple or shrine is a cleric. Some priests are called to a simple life of temple service, carrying out their gods’ will through prayer and sacrifice, not by magic and strength of arms. In some cities, priesthood amounts to a political office, viewed as a stepping stone to higher positions of authority and involving no communion with a god at all. True clerics are rare in most hierarchies.
When a cleric takes up an adventuring life, it is usually because his or her god demands it. Pursuing the goals of the gods often involves braving dangers beyond the walls of civilization, smiting evil or seeking holy relics in ancient tombs. Many clerics are also expected to protect their deities’ worshipers, which can mean fighting rampaging orcs, negotiating peace between warring nations, or sealing a portal that would allow a demon prince to enter the world.
Most adventuring clerics maintain some connection to established temples and orders of their faiths. A temple might ask for a cleric’s aid, or a high priest might be in a position to demand it.
Magic is energy that suffuses the multiverse and that fuels both destruction and creation. Gods of the Arcana domain know the secrets and potential of magic intimately. For some of these gods, magical knowledge is a great responsibility that comes with a special understanding of the nature of reality. Other gods of Arcana see magic as pure power, to be used as its wielder sees fit.
The gods of this domain are often associated with knowledge, as learning and arcane power tend to go hand-in-hand. In the Awakened Fables, deities of this domain include Berchamion, Tyngweth, Broege, Gerel Ukhli'in, Wenemin and, Raskur Emmlurese.
The Death domain is concerned with the forces that cause death, as well as the negative energy that gives rise to undead creatures. Deities such as Orboreus, Sho'nin Suudar and, Niyaris Feblerible are patrons of necromancers, death knights, liches, mummy lords, and vampires. Gods of the Death domain also embody murder, pain, disease or poison, and the underworld.
The gods of the forge are patrons of artisans who work with metal, from a humble blacksmith who keeps a village in horseshoes and plow blades to the mighty elf artisan whose diamond-tipped arrows of mithral have felled demon lords. The gods of the forge teach that, with patience and hard work, even the most intractable metal can be transformed from a lump of ore to a beautifully wrought object. Clerics of these deities search for objects lost to the forces of darkness, liberate mines overrun by orcs, and uncover rare and wondrous materials necessary to create potent magic items. Followers of these gods take great pride in their work, and they are willing to craft and use heavy armor and powerful weapons to protect them. Deities of this domain include Tyngweth, Haephilus, Artaan Su'reg, Wenemin and, Raskur Emmlurese.
Gods of the grave watch over the line between life and death. To these deities, death and the afterlife are a foundational part of the multiverse. To desecrate the peace of the dead is an abomination. Deities of the grave include Annott, Morsilla, and the ancestral spirits of the Undying Court. Followers of these deities seek to put wandering spirits to rest, destroy the undead, and ease the suffering of the dying. Their magic also allows them to stave off death for a time, particularly for a person who still has some great work to accomplish in the world. This is a delay of death, not a denial of it, for death will eventually get its due.
The gods of knowledge — including Berchamion, Naydwrglyr, Aurphanum, Gerel Ukhli'in, Wenemin, and Orkas Longligt — value learning and understanding above all. Some teach that knowledge is to be gathered and shared in libraries and universities or promote the practical knowledge of craft and invention. Some deities hoard knowledge and keep its secrets to themselves. And some promise their followers that they will gain tremendous power if they unlock the secrets of the multiverse. Followers of these gods study esoteric lore, collect old tomes, delve into the secret places of the earth, and learn all they can. Some gods of knowledge promote the practical knowledge of craft and invention, including smith deities like Haephilus, Raskur Emmlurese and, Artaan Su'reg.
The Life domain focuses on the vibrant positive energy — one of the fundamental forces of the universe — that sustains all life. The gods of life promote vitality and health through healing the sick and wounded, caring for those in need, and driving away the forces of death and undeath. Almost any non-evil deity can claim influence over this domain, particularly agricultural deities (such as Fyra, Gorhwellynt, Ur'jul Teilam, Artaan Su'reg and, Banroe Migglarel), sun gods (such as Brandur), gods of healing or endurance (such as Sorja and Orboreus), and gods of home and community (such as Aravaniel and Quoras).
Gods of light — including Brandur, Teres, Aravaniel, Muammon, Gerel Ukhli'in and, Quoras — promote the ideals of rebirth and renewal, truth, vigilance, and beauty, often using the symbol of the sun. Some of these gods are portrayed as the sun itself or as a charioteer who guides the sun across the sky. Others are tireless sentinels whose eyes pierce every shadow and see-through every deception. Some are deities of beauty and artistry, who teach that art is a vehicle for the soul’s improvement. Clerics of a god of light are enlightened souls infused with radiance and the power of their gods’ discerning vision, charged with chasing away lies and burning away the darkness.
Gods of nature are as varied as the natural world itself, from inscrutable gods of the deep forests (such as Fyra, Gorhwellynt, Muammon, Ur'jul Teilam, Maerana, and Banroe Migglarel) to friendly deities associated with particular springs and groves (such as Naydwrglyr). Druids revere nature as a whole and might serve one of these deities, practicing mysterious rites and reciting all-but-forgotten prayers in their own secret tongue. But many of these gods have clerics and champions who take a more active role in advancing the interests of a particular nature god. These clerics might hunt the evil monstrosities that despoil the woodlands, bless the harvest of the faithful, or wither the crops of those who anger their gods.
The Order Domain represents discipline and devotion to the laws that govern a society, an institution, or a philosophy. Clerics of Order meditate on logic and justice as they serve their gods, examples of which appear in the Order Deities table.
Clerics of Order believe that well-crafted laws establish legitimate hierarchies, and those selected by law to lead must be obeyed. Those who obey must do so to the best of their ability, and if those who lead fail to protect the law, they must be replaced. In this manner, law weaves a web of obligations that create order and security in a chaotic multiverse.
The balm of peace thrives at the heart of healthy communities, between friendly nations, and in the souls of the kindhearted. The gods of peace inspire people of all sorts to resolve conflict and stand up against those forces trying to prevent peace from flourishing. See the Peace Deities table for a list of some of the gods associated with this domain.
Clerics of the Peace Domain preside over the signing of treaties, and they are often asked to arbitrate in disputes. These clerics’ blessings draw people together and help them shoulder one another's burdens, and the clerics’ magic aids those who are driven to fight for the way of peace.
The Shugenja are holy people who maintain shrines to the spirits and mediate between the human and Spirit Realm. They meditate to revere nature and the spirits around them that embody all things and venerate the ancestors. Plants, rocks, trees, the sun, gardens: all things have spirits. Their beliefs are mysterious and taught from master to student rather than in a single book of scripture, and rituals vary from one area to the next.
While they resemble the shaman healers, the shugenja is less isolated, taking an active role in a community. Their role in the community is to perform marriages, bless a village's crops, and bless couples wishing to have children. They perform rituals of purification for the villages closest to them and practice kindness and mercy. They mediate between the spirits of the ancestors and nature and the human world. Shrines are not dedicated to any one spirit or god. Each shrine contains three elements that represent the divinity of the Emperor; the sword, the mirror, and the precious stone.
Shukenja leads lives of purity, simplicity, cleanliness, reverence, and veneration of nature's beauty. They are not dogmatic, preferring to lead pure lives as an example to others.
Gods whose portfolios include the Tempest domain — including Ravos, Gorhwellynt, Muammon, Da'n Shuurgath and, Maerana — govern storms, sea, and sky. They include gods of lightning and thunder, gods of earthquakes, some fire gods, and certain gods of violence, physical strength, and courage. In some pantheons, a god of this domain rules over other deities and is known for swift justice delivered by thunderbolts. In the pantheons of seafaring people, the gods of this domain are ocean deities and the patrons of sailors. Tempest gods send their clerics to inspire fear in the common folk, either to keep those folk on the path of righteousness or to encourage them to offer sacrifices of propitiation to ward off divine wrath.
The god of the ocean is but one, and not only do all respect him, but it also comes with an innate fear, due to the importance of sea trade, and the connection amongst civilizations that simply hangs on the volatile mood of Ravos.
Many Tidal domain clerics find themselves as tradesmen and ambassadors, respected people who spend much time on the sea traveling from realm to realm, kingdom to country, coast to coast, bringing peace and goodwill to all before setting back out. Despite Ravos himself being chaotic, the clerics that serve in his name are generally good and lawful creatures
It should be noted, that some Tidal clerics draw their magic from no god, but simply the massive power of the ocean itself, and its ability to sustain life so purely.
Gods of trickery — such as Duranth, Teres, Ŵysdythran, Aurphanum, Sho'nin Suudar and, Kortran — are mischief-makers and instigators who stand as a constant challenge to the accepted order among both gods and mortals. They’re patrons of thieves, scoundrels, gamblers, rebels, and liberators. Their clerics are a disruptive force in the world, puncturing pride, mocking tyrants, stealing from the rich, freeing captives, and flouting hollow traditions. They prefer subterfuge, pranks, deception, and theft rather than direct confrontation.
The twilit transition from light into darkness often brings calm and even joy, as the day’s labors end and the hours of rest begin. The darkness can also bring terrors, but the gods of twilight guard against the horrors of the night.
Clerics who serve these deities—examples of which appear on the Twilight Deities table—bring comfort to those who seek rest and protect them by venturing into the encroaching darkness to ensure that the dark is a comfort, not a terror.
War has many manifestations. It can make heroes of ordinary people. It can be desperate and horrific, with acts of cruelty and cowardice eclipsing instances of excellence and courage. In either case, the gods of war watch over warriors and reward them for their great deeds. The clerics of such gods excel in battle, inspiring others to fight the good fight or offering acts of violence as prayers. Gods of war include champions of honor and chivalry (such as Kalidor and, Wenemin) as well as gods of destruction and pillage (such as Lel and Vesryn) and gods of conquest and domination (such as Da'n Shuurgath). Other war gods (such as Heldiswyr, Iamai and, Erekh Ch'ulnur) take a more neutral stance, promoting war in all its manifestations and supporting warriors in any circumstance.