Afsaana - Crossroads of the World
Characters in the Temple District
Afsaana may be a den of sin, a place where wickedness and moral vacuity are the norms, and where piety and upstanding behavior are far from the thoughts of pirates and cutthroats walking the labyrinthine streets of the city, but Afsaana’s perilous nature and sudden, violent calamities enable religion to thrive here. Afsaaners turn to the gods for protection.
There is no sense of spiritual enrichment; rather, it’s about appeasing powerful entities and cozying up to those with a bit more influence to spare oneself from the worst of the hardships one’s bound to face in this City of Adventure. So while Afsaaners might not be stellar followers, they are regular in their observances to the gods who watch over their lives.
The Temple District stands to the northwest of the Old City, a physical border between the upscale Merchant District and the rundown Drac’s End. The arrangement and height of the temples does a good job of concealing the squalor of the poorer district and the naked decadence of the richer, minimizing disgust and envy from each respectively. Ringing the temples is a wide avenue known as Pious Walk. Statues of holy men and individuals favored by the gods and temples decorate the street—often sitting right in the middle of the road. The statues include all sorts of figures, from images of kneeling women to dashing swashbucklers, crusty pirates, and robed priests wearing somber expressions. Many, though not all, statues bear plaques to indicate the name and deed for which they are remembered.
Of the gods venerated in Afsaana, four have the largest congregations. They are the Gods of Knowledge, Pirates, Warriors, and the Sea. Since they are closely aligned with the values and occupations of most Afsaaners, they occupy the largest temples and have the most political clout. The rest of the religions are crammed into the district wherever they can find a place. Some of the lesser-known gods have simply been thrown together and share a single temple. The bottom line is that if someone worships it—and said worship doesn’t require the maiming or killing of other living beings—it probably has a
It’s almost inevitable that the odd “unacceptable” religion does crop up from time to time in the Temple District. The district is self-policing in this area, though. If a group of worshippers’ practices are merely odious or offensive (the obnoxious midnight sex orgies of the God of Debauchery or the violent initiation rituals of the God of Pain), the followers of such deities are “asked” politely (or sometimes not-so-politely) to leave the district.
Extreme, savage, or destructive religions are not permitted at all, though some occasionally disguise themselves in the trapping of other deities and “hide” in plain sight. When discovered, the larger churches quickly, quietly destroy them.