"O Divine Broker, merchant of souls, bless our transaction, make it holy and righteous in Your sight. May those that profit from it be ever prosperous, and earn our reward in Your Sacred Market. Release us from our debts, and grant us lucrative exchange now and forever."
- Prayer before a trade, from Bashad the Spectacular's "The Handbook of Divine Wealth"
Any number of clergymen might be accused of putting their demands for secular wealth over their spiritual needs. Even these, however, would never claim to worship their prosperity. Yet such is the case with the followers of the Way of Divine Wealth, a religion of uncertain history and unabashed cupidity.
"From his strange raft, the bizarre man stood, shell armor glistening in the sun. Bringing his stingray-barbed spear aloft, he howled: 'Be wary, trespasser! This reef is under my guard, and I her patronage! Bring not your boats near my shoal, lest you suffer the wrath of the Reef Knights!'"
- The logs Cpt. Creos Althea, Boshail Coast, 6 Ventôse 986.
Most know the love that goblins have for mushrooms. Few know the lengths they will go to obtain their delicacy.
“He is the Astral Harvester, the Lifegiver, the Sun King. Without him, the world is naught. And we, the members of his Divine Church, serve only at his command. It is by this holy order that we convert the universe.”
- Exarch Hardulph Symphorian
Not only a faith but a state, the Imperial Modoals are the largest force in the Continent. Can they hold their position as the Sectarian Wars begin?
"Hear, O Servant of the Just One! Hear and stand ye before him, the Celestial Judge! Hear and write: ‘Thus speaks the Great Lawgiver, before whom the world shall be tried, the one that is just and righteous beyond all - I am the Law. I am Dalraaen.’"
-The Didache of Law
The worshippers of the Celestial Judge have kept peace and law for a thousand years. When they see great injustice across the Continent, what can they do but fight?
“‘Hear! That which you warred for it gone. In its place is my own creation under my own authority. This Blessed Great Blue is my patronage and you will have no part in it! Lest you soil my sacred waves, I will cause them to crash onto your lands and drown your own creations. End your fighting: the seas are mine.’
Thus she spake from the Merciful Deep.”
- Yamasatran oral tradition
The mysterious Sisters of the Sea watch the events of the Sectarian Wars unfold from the safety of their monastery ships. But how long can they remain neutral before war is brought upon them?
“And into World they cast him, deep below, beneath stone and water and flame. In World’s Heart, doth gape the Peccant Maw, yet starved as the hunger grows unabated. Terror, irony, horror, farce! That which ends all is trapped beneath all.”
-The Tale of the Maw, “The Enslavement of the Devourer”
An ancient cult, the Vautuans worship their god with zeal. Chaos is their sacrament, death their prayer. Will the followers of the Gaping Maw free their god and destroy the world?
“The great hulk of the scaled beast lay wheezing before me, and I am not ashamed to say that I was frightened: though it was injured, I knew the dragon could easily tear me in twain. The young monk, however, knelt beside the creature’s head, whispering to it in a strange growling tongue. I questioned the woman, but she ignored me completely, engrossed in examining the scaly monster. After much badgering, she said merely, ‘I do not mean to be rude, but you are quite a distraction. Please, leave me to my work.’” -Jeron’s Great Journeys, Book III, Chapter 4
As the PCs travel the road, right after a bend they hear a sharp whistle and call: "Heeey, not so lazy, move your asses!" It is a large man that calls, and there are unwilling workers that listen. A small company, 10-15 men work on the road, push boulders aside, dig up roots from under the road, etc. The large man that shouted turns to you, smiles fast and mutters something under his breath, sounds like cursing some lazy worker. "Where does the road bring you from, travellers?" And does a little small-talk.
And what is really happening? A group of bandits is 'adapting' the road for shady purposes. The road will not be wider, but tighter, with enough cover around (and a few traps perhaps), and will become an ideal spot for ambushing travellers or entire caravans. The bandit leader wants them all to appear harmless. The 'lazy worker' he cursed was actually a guard that should give warning before any travellers come around (fallen asleep). Not surprisingly, the boss may decide for an ambush even now.