Gods and their Servants
Gods play little part in the daily lives of most people in Twill and those of the world at large. Maybe its a consequence of the rebellion against the Fay and that having thrown off one set of overlords who demanded absolute obedience they were unwilling to adopt a new set. Or maybe its simply because until they became free, the slave races had no concept of gods.
Only in the centuries after the fall of the Fay, when the slave races struggled to survive and build their own civilisations, did the worship of gods develop. The notion of gods spread piecemeal through the races and their diverse populations. In some places worship became fanatical, in others the idea was ignored.
Those gods and religions that did develop tended to be very local. Often each village would have their own god with its own peculiar rites. Sometimes the gods would be local heroes whose name and deeds have been passed down and embellished by each generation. Other gods grew out of a garbled understanding of the rebellion and strange echos of the Fay and their fall can be found to this day in the preaching of some gods. In the wilderness areas and particularly with the underground races, powerful monsters would be worshiped and sacrifices made to protect the village from the monster's wrath.
As the various peoples slowly built a civilation, trade and travel led to the exchange of ideas, including gods. Some gods flourish, either because their message was more appealing or simply because they came on the backs of conquering armies. Other gods were simply forgotten and their temples reused or left to rot.
The Empire of the Divine Hand has certainly spread its gods far and wide but it has a tolerant attitude. As long as all in the empire accept the Emperor as a living god and give unto him what is due, the diverse peoples of the Empire are free to worship whoever they like. Consequentially, in most towns and cities, you will find temples to the major gods of Empire sitting side-by-side with temples to local gods. Whereas in the villages, there is likely to simple shrines to their local god. Only a small number of religious zealots resist against the Empire's relaxed polytheism.
It is the humans who place the most faith and effort into their gods whereas in the other races, particular the longer lived races, the concept is less important. Dwarves tend have small shrines in their mines or places of work but rarely will they waste the time and resources building temples. Halflings have an even laxer attitude and place greater faith in the ideas of fate or luck. These are sometimes personified in a statue or and icon, but more normally a halfing will just have their own lucky stone / rabbits paw / coin / token. Most even forgo this and merely offer up a silent prayer when they feel the need for divine blessing.
Elves are the most distant from the human ideas about gods. Perhaps because they were the first race created by the Fay or they have had the fewest generation since the fall, but their faith is focused on the fay. This is not the Fay, the physical race created by the twins. It is the fay spirits, the essence that can be found in all places where life exists and sometimes manifests itself in the form of dryads and similar creatures. The elves do not worship the spirits but seek to protect them and care for their welfare.
Divine Servants and their Powers
Priests and others who dedicate their lives to their religions have access to special powers. Most notably healing. The divine servants claim that this power is proof of their god's greatness but not all agree. Scholars point out that this power manifests itself in any faith, even if the faith is plainly misplaced. Some go as far as saying that priests are no different from those who channel arcane or elemental energies. Expressing these opinions has resulted in more than one intellectual being killed by a mob of enraged believers.
The Divine Hand
The official religion of the Empire is straightforward. The Emperor is a living god and citizens of the Empire must give thanks to the Emperor for their benevolence and protection. The Divine Hand refers to these two concepts and religious symbolism often depicts a hand caring for the people or wielding a sword to protect them.
Whenever the Empire conquers a new area, it sets about building temples for the Divine Hand. These are rarely worshiped at by the people but the priests officiate at all major public events and also hand out food to the most desperate in society.
A popular god amongst the armies of the Empire who have spread it far and wide. Depicted as a large, red human figure, Quirini wields a great sword that will cut down whole armies in a single blow. Warriors will often seek Quirini's blessing before combat but his priests teach that Quirini only helps those with who fight with valour.
Widespread amongst the empire, Egeri is a female god strongly connected with water and life. Often virgins will seek her blessings on their wedding for a long and productive marriage and again during childbirth. Priestess of Egeri are highly skilled in practical and magical abilities associated with midwifery but thier services are expensive.
If Twill had a official god, Uven would be it. Originally a dwarvish god, Uven is a god of trade, business and wealth, subjects close to the heart of many in Twill. Stories of Uven actions focus on quick wits and the ability to get one up on a business rival. These often involve trickery and deceit but there is strong sense of honour. That when a trader agrees to a contract, be in writing or a simple shake of the hand, that they deliver on their promise.
Traders will often invoke the name of Uven when making deals and the priests are used as arbitrators when two traders have a dispute. Because of its connection to the wealthy and its broad support in the city, Uven's temple is a large affair near Castle Twill.
Pushac is genderless and appears in many forms who's worship came with the Eastern peoples along the spice route. Pushac's blessing is sought by those setting out on journeys. Stories relate how the god has saved lost or stranded travellers, appearing before them as a dove, a rabbit or a dolphin and guiding the travellers to safety.
The god is rarely worshiped directly and has few temples, even in the Eastern Lands. Instead, itinerant priests remain constantly on the move. They are traditionally dressed in clothes of many colours and carry one of the animals associated with Pushac miracles. It is considered bad luck for a traveller to pass a priest without stopping for a blessing and making a small offering.
Game Leaders, Players and Gods
Unlike many settings, the World of the Fay deliberately downplays the importance of gods. There are no supreme beings who watch over their flocks, deciding who will live and who will die. Nor is there a fixed pantheon of gods that all races or peoples worship. Different peoples in different places worship an almost infinite number of different gods.
Game Leaders are free to ignore this and place 'real' gods in the world or establish a definitive pantheon. However a better solution is too allow players to create their own gods. As part of their background, priest and other religious characters should describe who its they worship and be encouraged to create the rites and religious icons used in their faith.