Band of the Marked (and Friends)
Gods and Religion
The majority of the Ember Isles worships a pantheon of gods led by the gods of the Sun and the Moon. Each island is also considered a god, a patron who looks after its locals.
Tieflings are a notable exception to this worship, preferring spirit bonds and worship. Some Eladrin follow ancestor and old elemental-based rituals, but see these as closer to folk traditions and philosophies that are part of their heritage rather than a separate religion from the gods of the islands.
From the beginning, there was Siadatra, the Sun. Even she did not know where she came from. But she did know that she was lonely, and the world boring and monotone, all made of light and nothing more. So she split herself and made a companion, who named himself Ul. The two soon had children too, Melora and Inez, who were different from their parents- cool and wet. When Melora and Inez joined together to form the ocean, our world was first made, made entirely of water. They, in turn, gave birth to their own children, who became the islands and continents of the world.
The Darkened Ones/ The Death Gods
These four serve as the Darkened Ones, the guardians and rulers of the Islands of the Dead. Dmestys stands at the entrance to the islands to welcome newcomers and guard the gate, then sends them to Zanit, Bas and Arim. These three decide what island the soul will go to. These four, plus Maur, are the children of Siadatra and Ul after Baeyan’s betrayal. Because they are not born of day, they cannot be part of the living world, and so instead rule the dead.
Sun Goddess: Siadatra
Goddess of knowledge, studied magics, creation, and the Sun.
The Empress or Emperor is her foremost practitioner and representative in the living world and performs the yearly rituals associated with her. She is said to give blessings and power to the royal family, and gives them the right to rule (several royal family members in the past have been gifted with her skills magically).
Moon God: Ul
God of intuition, intuitive and instinctive magic, healing, and the Moon.
The monarch’s husband or wife often takes on the role of being his foremost practitioner and representative in the living world and performs the yearly rituals associated with him.
He is also the bearer of souls, each night coming to take those who have died to the Islands of the Dead. Those burying the dead hold the Vigil of the Lighted Path where the loved ones will light four candles around the grave to alert Ul that a soul is ready for the taking, so he does not lose his way and forget to take the soul to the lands of the dead. Ul spends the night collecting the souls, then ferries them West to the Islands of the Dead.
Because Ul is allowed to see his wife only once every month, there is a new moon. It is said this night is the most dangerous for souls, because it is best night for them to be stolen by the likes of necromancers, devils, and more. Families of those who are buried on the new moon will either find or buy something flat and round and white, and if possible, reflective, to try and fool any dark spirits or things that go bump in the night into thinking that the moon is out.
Since the Winter Queen’s War, many have taken to cremation for their loved ones to prevent necromancy.