Dwarven Religion

Dwarves are ancestor cultists. The mythical First Mother and First Father are their chief deities, with the First Mother the patron of craftwork, fertility, and learning and the First Father the exemplar of strength, warfare, and protection. Each clan tends to venerate other ancestors as exemplars of particular spheres, and indeed, each dwarf may have a particular favored ancestor they invoke for a given labor.

The more ancient and powerful these spirits, the more indistinct their presence. A recently-dead grandfather can be called up as easily as any spirit, and speak plainly with his descendants. The First Mother and First Father, however, are so great as to defy limited manifestation, and express their wills in mysterious signs and portents that inspire a great deal of quarreling among the dwarven clans. Some clans cannot even agree on the basic attributes of these ancestors, with one group claiming the Father desires bloodshed and war as a sacrifice and another swearing that he loves peace and strength best. This debate is not simplified by the fact that both sides receive divine blessings for their priests and holy warriors.

Every clan hold has a High Priest who serves the ancestors according to the rites customary to that hold. This priest is usually a female spirit shaman, albeit some dwarves are blessed by the ancestors as Favored Souls, and some cling to ancient customs of clerical magic supposedly common before the dwarven exodus to the Isles. Paladins and Crusaders are common among the dwarves, as warriors often seek the favor and glory of their ancestors.

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