The G’desh Desert is full of religions, but there are a few primary faiths which paint the landscape and have altered the history of the desert. Here are a few broad strokes of the faiths, based on when records state they appeared in the desert after the exile of men.
This faith focuses on the worship of the One. The One created all things, and some time ago exiled man and all the other races for an inability to follow His ways.
Today only the delven follow this path, though the Followers are close and claim to be true believers. The delven believe all people are broken and sinful, and that through repentance and following tenets given, they can gain eternal life.
The main difference between the Followers and the delven is the delven refuse to have a king, they rely entirely on prophets, and they are pacifists. Almost all dervish, holy warriors blessed by the One, come from the delven, and they are the only ones who are allowed to fight.
Those who tired of the One or were exiled founded faiths based on nature. Most would be considered cults, sacrificing people to appease spirits of rivers, trees, fields, and animals. Others would go on to be very prosperous.
While the common theme is the belief that animals and natural objects have souls, that is all the similarity these faiths have. Some worship only certain animals. A portion believes in human sacrifice, while another portion finds it an abomination. Some might pray solely to water and fields. There are a few which were prominent in the history of the desert, but they are not covered here.
The Purifying Flame
The One is a far off being that few can claim to see. G’desh, the fire spirit who led man down into the desert, was very palpable. He was charismatic, passionate, and fought hard to keep the people safe. One day he realized his presence and the presence of his children meant man could never be safe, and so he took his offspring and left.
The Pure Flame rose up out of discontent with those who followed the One. The stories of G’desh were relatable, the fire spirits were all around them, and man could wield fire, a gift from G’desh.
The Pure still believe that man is fallen and sinful. However, they believe that G’desh was trying to burn those impurities out. Fire is still the primary way to release sin from the body, and they favor burning heretics and heathens.
Now G’desh is considered a god to them. Those who learn to utilize fire are his acolytes. Only through eradicating other religions, can there be peace and understanding throughout the desert. Through the ages, these beliefs were held at varying degrees.
The Followers of the One
When the Pure took Lake G’desh, those who followed the One were exiled to the desert. Most died. A few found oases scattered across the desert. A very small few remained hidden around the lake, mostly to the north.
Exhausted with the delven’s strict belief that only the dervishes could fight, men took matters into their own hands. A king was elected, despite being told it was a bad idea. They carved out a nation, despite prophets stating this nation would only bring strife. An army was raised, though the dervishes refused to fight in it.
The Followers appeared when the Pure were complacent. The war started in the north, and within a couple years they were at the Bronze City. Advisers said to show mercy to the Pure, but those in charge exiled anyone following the Pure. These actions would lead to the eternal crusade between the Followers and the Pure, which spilled copious amounts of blood into Lake G’desh.
The Eternal Flame
An offshoot of the Purifying Flame. The Eternal Flame came into power while the Pure were holding the lake. They coexisted with the Followers, allowed the delven in, gave blackamoors their freedom, and committed other supposed heresies.
The Eternal Flame rose up and took control, stating they would not stand for a weak and blasphemous regime. While the Eternal Flame is ever present, they are a generally small sect, and rarely have any true political power.
These are the major beliefs of the G’desh Desert.