The gods of Eisen are capricious and distant. With a few exceptions human life seems to have little value to them. The people of Eisen pray to their gods not from a sense of deep devotion, but to supplicate them. Fishermen leaving port pray to Stoltr for a good catch, and offer sacrifices to convince him not to destroy their vessel.
Sometimes individuals feel, or believe they feel, a connection to a particular god and choose to enter its cult. Ordinarily people on Eisen pray to whichever god is relevant at the moment, but cultists place one god above all others and give their worship to them completely.
The role a cult plays in society echoes the god they serve. The cults of Akkam and Anri, the gods of fire and moonlight, are well integrated into civilization, establishing orphanages, hospitals and libraries. The cult of Markov, the god that inspires betrayal and murder, is hunted.
Those that are directly affected by a god’s power, such as warlocks and clerics, often bear a mark of their patron’s influence, called a sign.
As you might expect, fire is central to human life in a world of eternal night. The god of fire, Akkam, is correspondingly central to human belief. Akkam is a multifaceted god. As a hearth fire he cooks, warms and comforts. As a watchman’s lantern he guards and protects. As an uncontrolled blaze he destroys homes and lives. These different perspectives on fire have given rise to multiple cults who emphasize different aspects of their god.
Akkam is sometimes seen as the brother of Anri, the moon goddess.
Those with the sign of Akkam have unnaturally hot skin, and smell faintly of ashes.
After the death of the sun, Eisen’s moon Anri took up the burden of lighting the world, separating day from night and holding back the monsters. Depictions of Anri show her as a woman that is eternally reborn with each lunar cycle, dying as an old woman during the new moon and being reborn as an infant after.
Like fire, the moon and its light is essential for civilization on Eisen, and Anri’s cult is popular and widespread. Of all the gods of Eisen, Anri is seen as most compassionate towards humanity.
Luminous silver eyes are the sign of Anri.
Dhytha the Hungry, Dhytha Maneater is the wolf god of hunger and famine. All hunger flows from Dhytha, and returns to Dhytha when it is sated. Dhytha is strongly associated with the wilderness and predatory animals. Wolves especially are sacred to Dhytha, and Dhytha himself is often depicted as an emaciated wolf, or an emaciated human with a wolf’s head. Dhytha is primarily concerned with actual physical hunger and the act of predation, but other forms of desire are sometimes seen as extensions of him as well.
Rural people who live close to nature sometimes venerate Dhytha as part of the natural cycle of life, and he has many druids among his followers. Some Dhytha cults are more sinister- they emphasize the aggression of a starving animal, and worship Dhytha by hunting and eating humans.
Long teeth and perpetual appetite are the signs of Dhytha.
Micia is the goddess of loss and longing. Micia watches over mourners and those affected by deep longing, such as parted lovers or soldiers long away from home. Micia has very few dedicated followers, but every soul on Eisen has offered a prayer to her at some point in their lives. Those that do join her cult permanently are often widows or widowers. Micia is usually depicted as a woman with her left hand missing, but depictions of her are quite rare.
Those marked by Micia invoke homesickness in whoever sees them.