Korvosa - Religions

An overview of Religions in Korvosa.

Abadar

As a general rule, Korvosans love their city, attempt at every opportunity to acquire as much wealth as possible, and believe strongly in a strict and lawful society - which makes Abadar the primary deity in Korvosa.

The Bank of Abadar serves as the city’s main bank and serves every banking need, such as security boxes (said to be the safest in Varisia), saving and investment accounts, loans, and even writs of credit, it also helps to regulate the city’s economy by buying back or releasing gold in an effort to counter inflation or recession. Beneath the temple, the Golden Vaults of Abadar house the Korvosan Mint which creates all the coins issued by the city (and used throughout Varisia).

The Bank of Abadar is heavily involved in all aspects of city life. The White Watch and Street Repair Patrols are both organisations sponsored by The bank to encourage everyday citizens to volunteer their time in support of the city. Many of the Arbiters, the judiciary, are clerics of Abadar, and a number of combat oriented clerics help patrol the Longacre Building, which serves as the city’s jail and execution centre. A number of priests serve with the magistrates, the city administration helping (for example) to make sure that traders are using proper weights and measures and helping check contracts. Many Noble houses have a link of some sort with the Faith of Abadar.

However its greatest involvement is with the Korvosan Guard. As one of the mains sponsors the Arch-Banker has a say in who is appointed as Field Marshal of the Korvosan Guard, who (with the blessing of the Arch-Banker) can reject an unlawful instruction issued by the king.

The Bank of Abadar can be found in the North Gate ward of the city close to both the Longacre Building (home to the Arbiters) City Hall (administrative centre for the Magistrates). There is a Shrine dedicated to Abadar in the Pantheon of Many (South Shore ward), but this is generally serviced by a low level priest with an honour guard from the White Watch.

Archbanker Darb Tuttle (LN male half-elf cleric) is the high priest of Abadar in Korvosa

Pharasma

Pharasma’s faithful patrol and (mostly) control the Gray District, and for that the government of Korvosa and many of its wealthiest families generously donate to the goddess’s religion. Because of this guardianship aspect, the church of Pharasma works closely with those of Abadar and Torag in maintaining order within the necropolis. In Pharasma’s role as goddess of birth, those clerics less inclined toward battle frequently become midwives who then work closely with clerics of Erastil (who focus on family), as well as healers of Sarenrae.

Combat oriented priests of Pharasma help patrol the Longacre Building, which serves as the city’s jail and execution centre – making sure that the dead stay dead.

The Grand Cathedral of Pharasma can be found In the Gray District – alongside the city’s bone yard. There is a shrine to Pharasma in the Pantheon of many - which is often serviced by those priests of Pharasma who practice as midwives.

Bishop Keppira d’Bear (N female human) is the high priest of Pharasma.

Sarenrae

The turreted temple of Sarenrae stands in a relatively sparse area atop Citadel Hill, where it can absorb the sun’s warming, healing light unobstructed. Built of white marble brought to Korvosa at considerable expense, the temple remains the priciest building in the city per square foot (part of the cost of which was footed by the city of Korvosa itself ). As a temple dedicated to healing, though, it constantly attracts beneficent gifts from wealthy patrons and offerings from the endless crowds swarming around the building.

Korvosa has five relatively small state-run orphanages that receive frequent inspections from the churches of Abadar and Sarenrae.

Commoners in the city love Sarenrae, for she represents the Korvosan quality of honesty (corruption in the government and military is nearly unheard of in Korvosa), to say nothing of her role as the great healer. The temple of Sarenrae doubles as a hospital and clerics of the goddess frequently find themselves mobbed by those seeking health. The head of House Bromathan is a minor priest of Sarenrae.

As well as the great temple, the faith of Sarenrae has a small shrine in the Pantheon of many - that is served by low level clerics and trainees.

Asmodeus

The Temple of Asmodeus, was built quickly in 4608 in the hopes of appeasing and attracting Cheliax’s new leadership, and the star-shaped temple underwent almost yearly maintenance and refurbishments for seven decades. During those remodeling attempts, two different star-point wings collapsed, killing a cleric once and maiming a pair of laborers trying to shore it up the other time. The church of Asmodeus considered the building an insult until 4683, when Queen Domina included a rebuilt temple as part of her extensive (and expensive) building push. Archbishop Ornher Reebs dedicated the new temple, with the help of the Acadamae’s headmaster, in an appropriately infernal way, sealing a pact with an erinyes using the blood of 13 virgin sacrifices. While all of these virgins volunteered for the dedication, some observers speculate that a few were charmed or otherwise magically compelled to join the “festivities.” The conclusion of this dedication sent shockwaves through the city, and Korvosa’s citizens threatened to riot, raze the temple, and topple the monarchy. Queen Domina calmed the city by expending her own personal wealth to import a powerful cleric, who then attempted to return all 13 sacrifices to life. Only four of the virgins refused the service, and most of the other nine are still alive today. From the air, the building looks like a large red five-sided star (the holy symbol of Asmodeus) with low, white square sections connecting several of the arms. A red-glass dome stands in the center of the star. The arms of the star rise 30 feet, while the white connecting structures stand only 15 feet high. Inside, the red star forms a single room, with an altar dedicated to Asmodeus in each point. Doors open into the wide additions, which serve as living quarters and administrative offices. Rumors persist throughout the city that the temple of Asmodeus actively supports and encourages the slave trade. Frequent searches by Hellknights, Korvosan Guards, and Sable Company marines always turn up nothing, leading to further speculation that the temple hides a secret entrance to the Vaults.

While the leadership of Korvosa reluctantly accepted the infernal inf luences of Cheliax (and the Acadamae warmly embraced it), the rest of the city did not. The church of Asmodeus remains what many consider a necessary evil in the city, as its inclusion improves the chance of Cheliax eventually reclaiming Korvosa. Asmodeus’s faithful tend to keep to themselves and work with clerics (or even layfolk) of other deities only when necessary.

The church of Asmodeus occasionally competes with the church of Abadar for the right to verify and bear witness to contracts and oaths of fealty or service.

Like other faiths, Asmodeus has Shrine located in the Pantheon of Many.

Ornher Reebs (LE male human), is the high priest of Asmodeus.

Shelyn

The Sanctuary of Shelyn in Northpoint is the smallest of the independent temples in the city, but ranks among Korvosa’s most beautiful buildings. This square building engulfs a small interior courtyard decorated with statuary, murals, and beautiful flowering plants. Although crowded with artwork and plants of natural beauty, the sanctuary looks full but never cluttered.

Although the church of Shelyn has a small (but beautiful) temple within the city and a shrine at the Pantheon, she and her faith have little influence over Korvosa.

Pantheon of Many

Completed in 4706 and built in anticipation of Korvosa’s tercentennial, the Pantheon of Many holds within its massive octagonal white-marbled walls shrines to 17 different deities. Of the twenty main deities of Golarion, only Gorum, Lamasthu, and Rovagug do not have shrines within the pantheon. Up until only days after it opened, neither did Cayden Cailean or Desna, but their followers gathered such a large crowd of protest that clerics of the pantheon could not leave the building. The pantheon respects all of the deities it serves—even the evil and chaos-loving ones—so all 17 spaces are equally sized. Clerics of the represented deities tend to their shrines, performing rites (those that do not violate Korvosan law, anyway) under the watch of a pair of impartial observers. No sacrifices of creatures, intelligent or not, is allowed within the pantheon.

As well as shrines to the five main deities, there are also shrines to Erastil, Iomedae, Torag, Desna, Cayden Cailean, Irori, Gozreh, Nethys, Calistria, Zon-Kuthon, Urgathoa, and Norgorber.

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