From the Introduction:
The following Source book has been written with a strongly In Character point of view. Since I'm the person writing it its been written from the IC point of view of one of my own characters. The idea for the book is relatively old and dates back to the early days of State of the Empire when Watching-Owl achieved the post of Spiratus of the General Inquisition. The Department of Spiratus, at that time being one of the then nine departments that made up the Inquisition. Specifically the department responsible for monitoring the activities of the various Churches and Faiths within the Empire and supernatural threats to the Empire that were of a Spiritual nature. Not an easy task.
As part of those responsibilities Watching-Owl decided to create a Grand Register to document the faiths active within the Empire. Plans were put in motion and laws enacted to allow him to collate the information. This worked reasonably well, suffice it to say these original files were carefully gathered, collated and hoarded on a now extinct PC. Still with a copy of just about every Companion and Guild Directory since the start of the McManus Era I've been able to recover most of this information. Additionally I put out further requests for information. So all those faiths that sent in information have been listed.
There is of course the problem of secretive faiths. Those whose true beliefs and tenets are unknown outside their organisation. So as to fairly represent this there are sections added to these faiths that are made up of knowledge that only those initiated into the Church would have access to but they are listed here for a matter of out of character completeness.
I'd like to add my disclaimers now. Many of the faiths, especially the older ones, may be interpreted in many different ways. What is here is a write up of the generalised basis for the faith. Some such as St Michael and Elbereth for a long time had very little to obviously distinguish them. They even share the same miracle list.
Of course since their inception they have grown and changed. The effect of State of the Empire and Heroes of the Empire on helping to cement the idea of a pantheon with Deities responsible for specific aspects of the world has allowed further definition of these Churches but they are still quite extreme views within the Church and not all those views have been addressed but rather those that were presented to me when I asked for information regarding them. Or to put it another way I could only really write up what I was sent, so some Churches have long write ups but that's because large chunks of information were submitted, so if you feel that your Church is under represented take issue with your guild leaders .
Newer faiths tend to revolve around a more precise and singular concept. The "Words From Above" rule book for Priests has also greatly helped in furthering this as newer churches have greater options for their basic miracle list allowing them to both be more varied from the older faiths and more structured in their choice of miracles from the start.
The concept of divinity was greatly expanded on in Heroes with the idea of different types of deities and levels of god-hood. Until the generation or uncovering, of the Primal Deities, depending on your viewpoint, gods were pretty much modelled on a very Monotheistic system. That is despite there being many deities they were unconnected and each existed as high up Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent beings in their own Heavens.
The events of the Namer War helped give the major gods, i.e. those who had a large number of PC priests and who were mainly goodly, a more coherent set of identities and form a pantheon. Naturally, as is usually the case with change, not everyone shared this view point but in the end it seemed to be generally well received and is now part of the ever expanding history of Primus and beyond.
Ian "BBB" Armstrong