Mages spent weeks in meditation, exploring the farthest reaches of the ethereal world. The demands of the body were ignored, and they survived sustained only by magic. Their efforts were rewarded, a sentience was contacted, dark and horrible. It whispered secrets into the mages' minds, secrets of necromancy, diseases, sacrifical rites. It promised power in exchange for their blood, and they freely gave it.
Hero: Rosier the Fallen and Mardero
Council of Esus
An oddity among the religions the Council of Esus has no disciples, priests, high priests or temples. Instead all of its abilities are practiced by units that worship the religion. Any unit that worships Esus can pay to spread religion in a city. That theme, paying for miracles, is common in the Council of Esus.
Alignment: Neutral or Evil
Hero: Gibbon Goetia
Special Note: The Council of Esus shrine is Nox Noctis, creating it founds the Undercouncil
Where the Order values law, the Empyrean values wisdom. Adjudication started from the teachings of Lugus and punishment is not based on adherence to a labyrinthian codex of laws, but from direct consol on the merits of each case. Social equality and impartiality are the model between a government and its citizens as well as between empires. As such the Empyrean gives equal voice to small empires as it does those that dominate Erebus.
Alignment: Good or Neutral
Hero: Chalid Astrakein
Special Note: The Empyrean shrine is Dies Diei, creating it founds the Overcouncil
Fellowship of Leaves
Deep in the woods, the whispers of Elves linger. Ancient protectors normally above the affairs of men, some men have shown enough loyalty to them to be taught their magic and even gain the assistance of the Elven Archers.
Hero: Kithra Kyriel and Yvain the woodelf
Special Notes: Civilizations that adopt the Fellowship as their state religion will notice that their forests are transformed into Ancient Forests. These forests harbor powerful Treants qhich may spawn to attack enemy units that enter their tiles.
The power beneath the Aegean waves is said to be more powerful than any other, but the Overlords are unfocused and follow a thousand different obscure agendas. The Disciples of the Overlords dare not expose themselves directly to the conflicting commands of their masters and instead use the poor as intermediaries. They are quickly driven insane by the process, which the disciples prefer as it keeps them from manipulating the message. They also share the process of turning a Warrior into The Drown, undead thralls, a process with few volunteers.
Alignment: Neutral or Evil
Hero: Saverous and Hemah
Junil, the elder of the Gods, had promised to stay apart from the conflict in Creation. No one knows why he decided to change that, some say it was to combat the influence of the Ashen Veil, others that it was jealousy. Regardless of his reasons, he promised salvation to the least of men and asked only one thing in return: unquestioning obedience.
Hero: Valin Phanuel and Sphener
Runes of Kilmorph
Kilmorph is the goddess of the earth, She Who Dwells Beneath. She formed children out of stone, the Dwarves, and taught them the secrets of metalworking. One of the first religions available to the men of the world, Kilmorph will answer the prayers of honorable men and even send her soldiers to defend their cities.
Alignment: Good or Neutral
Hero: Bambur and Arthendain
They called him an affective dreamer. It was a horrible attunement with magic that few were cursed with; what he dreamed became real.
When he was 12, Hemah saw salamanders playing on the wet stones. They were like living pieces of painted mercury, tiny dragons who had an entire primordial world underneath the dock behind his home. They hissed at Hemah, as if confidence alone would keep him from squashing them.
That night the hisses came again, but lower, echoing through the small stone house. Slick painted demons broke through the walls. With forked tongues, they scuttled through the shadows and grabbed Hemah's parents, dragging them from the house.
He slept through it all. In the morning, the neighbors' screams woke him. Most of the house had collapsed, only his room remained standing. The neighbor's wife was a round woman with a voice so high she seemed to squeal like the pigs she and her husband raised. She rushed in and threw herself on Hemah, checking to make sure he was okay. They told him to close his eyes before they led him out of his room, but he looked.
Claw marks, blood, everything was broken... and his parents were missing. They searched everywhere for them, but couldn't find them. Hemah knew where they were. He led the pig farmer and his wife to the river behind their home and looked beneath the dock. That's where they found Hemah's parents' broken bodies, their mouths stuffed with so much mud their throats had exploded.
Since then, everyone who has gotten close to Hemah has died, not that those who don't know him do much better. One morning, he awoke to find the entire population of the small village he was passing through was simply gone. Sometimes creatures are created that live well after he awakes. People are killed, women are raped. Men are made into puppets for the night, forced to play out scenes from Hemah's subconscious over and over again.
Some say Hemah isn't a mage, he only dreamt he was once and he hasn't forgotten the dream. Others wonder if the Overlords found Hemah and caused his dreams, or if Hemah dreamt of the Overlords and created them. What is known is that as dangerous as Hemah is awake, he is even more dangerous asleep.