So, my solution is short and sweet: dualism. There are two gods, each of opposites; good vs. evil, warm vs. cold, male vs. female, etc. They are in perfect balance with each other, and always in constant conflict and opposition. Obviously I’m taking cues off of Zoroastrianism and—more so—Manichaeism, but I figure I’ll mix it up a little and have the divine forces of good be personified by a woman and evil by a man, something I’m not sure I’ve ever seen in mythology before. I know some Hindu bhakti sects have goddess worship cults, which leads to some totally insane practices, such as male devotees having spiritual sex with their protector goddess to gain divine powers. I doubt I’ll be focusing on any elements like that—I find it so jarring it’s pretty hard not to chuckle a little—but I guess it’s out there.

Anyway, I’m thinking for the mythology, the male and female were originally husband and wife, and through their copulation they created all the races of the world. Probably some weird story like their firstborn was stillborn, and it’s body became the earth, blood the water, placenta the sky, etc. Then came the elves, the dwarves, and the humans. They could not decide on how to raise the humans and what they should be like, and this eventually resulted in conflict which exists today, and explains why humans are more adaptable than elves or dwarves, simply because neither creator could make up their mind. The Father then tried to make his own races out of mud and clay, and these became the orcs and the ogres and the goblins and such, but they were all incomplete and failures. The Mother tried to create her own races, such as the halflings, but without a father they were weak and pitiful.

There is also a third path—the thin line of neutrality between the two forces which exists when they clash against each other. As you can imagine, this is quite similar to the Taoist notion of wuwei—action without action, going with the flow, or whatever you want to call it. They embrace all disasters and celebrate all successes equally. The lack of dogma, or even any divine worship, means that followers are never clerics, but instead druids, monks, and the like.

Obviously, various sects exist within the dualism. One group might emphasize the mercy and life-bringing aspects of the Mother, whereas others might emphasize the law and order aspect to her. The Mother, being LG, can have followers who are LG, NG, or CG; or LG, LN, or LE; conversely the Father who is CE can have followers who are LE, NE, or CE; or CE, CN, or CG. The Father is certainly far less popular amongst the civilized races, and is banned in many of the cities of the Marchlandes as wicked heresy and evil, though monasteries of CG monks of the Father do dot the countryside.

Building on this, paladins obviously have to be devotees of the Mother, and antipaladins of the Father. I’ll probably think up some fancier sounding name than Paladin of the Mother or Paladin of the Father (the hell I’m using antipaladin), but given that no one is playing one… meh.

TN characters can follow either god, though far more likely follow the Third Path or are simply secular and have no interest or emphasis on religion at all in their lives (though logically the world has no atheists, as the Mother and Father are indeed very real).

I figured the various sects of the Mother and Father would have symbols, and that each group was have some easy to identify symbol, similar to say a Christian cross, so the Mother is represented with an inverted delta, and the Father with a T. Should be obvious why. If you study symbolism, these are about the most basic of all symbols representing male and female. Various sects make various modifications to the complex forms to represent their ideologies. So, while the Mother here is seen holding two scepters/maces/wands, she might be seen carrying a sword and a scale for a more vigilant group.

I figure the official church of the Mother is called the Matriarchy, and thus the official church in Ageutia is the Matriarchy of Ageutia (though the leader, presumably thus called a Matriarch, is in fact male). The Patriarchy is outright banned in Ageutia, save for a small temple devoted to the Father as Protector. While the Father is the manifestation of destruction, the idea goes that he is also capable of deciding who is afflicted with disaster, and by worshiping him and making sacrifice, they gain his favor and thus protection from ruin and disease. The symbol of the Father as Protector is the same as above, but his sword is upside down and in his left hand instead, showing non-destructive and warlike intentions.


The Marchlandes trappums