Of Crows, Dirt and Dongs
Those unfamiliar with Kirrougen often question how a culture that is obsessed with trading (profitably of course) and religion, can reconcile such two, often opposed concepts. The answer is surprisingly simple – they pick those gods who are most suitable to their lives. True believers from other nations visiting the Prelacy often find this mercenary approach confusing and even offensive, but the local’s friendliness and welcoming attitude tends to smooth any ruffled feathers quickly.
It is possible to find a temple or a shrine to almost any human god, and a good number of the elvish ones in the city. For example, the dwarven gods Moradin and Vergadain enjoy substantial popularity among the human population even though dwarves themselves are relatively rare in the city.
Where possible a more benign aspect of a given deity is given focus such as the case with Nerull – to most he is an evil god pf murder, but to the Kirrougeans he is simply the inevitable end to life. Those deities to whom there isn’t much of a benign aspect no matter how you look at it, are generally not welcome. The acolytes and priests of Nerull will not tolerate any representation of Kyuss in their city as his dominion over undeath is seen as offensive to the cycle of life that their god belongs to. It may also have something to do with the lore that Kyuss was a follower of Nerull who sought to ascend in order to supplant his master, but the priests don’t discuss that much, especially as Nerull himself does not seem to give any indication one way or another. This is a rather extreme example, as most others will be tolerated but discouraged, and often wither away due to a lack of worshippers.
Due to the sheer number of gods available to the average Kirrougean, they are unofficially organised into rough groups based on domain. For example, St Cuthbert, Heironeous, and Clanggedin Silverbeard are of the Warriors, while Boccob, Zuoken, and Corellon Larethian are of the Wise. This allows someone who does not wish name their particular god for whatever reason, to simply align themselves with a particular group thus giving at least a general indication of where their faith lies. This works well in situations where certain deities would be held in low regard thus affecting relations between parties, or simply for privacy reasons.
Regardless of where a person’s individual beliefs may lie, it is common practice to invoke certain gods as specific times – Moradin to bless a new blade, Procan or Deep Sashelas when a vessel leaves the harbour for the open water, Olidammara during celebrations to ensure everyone has a really good time. One of the most common is Zilchus – his blessing is requested for every deal, bargain, and trade.
Perhaps unsurprisingly there is no temple for Johydee, nor is she invoked in public. The goddess of deception, espionage, and protection is hidden, with a sort of ironic humour, amongst all the others, in a city that relies so heavily on her dominion. Many of her followers will profess to follow another instead, and in a way the duplicity becomes a veneration of the goddess herself. It is rumoured that the Prelate’s Spy-Master doubles as the high priest of Johydee and sits on the Greater Council as an adviser, but no one has been able to confirm this.