How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Eberron
This pantheon within the Sovereign Host is focused on the destructive and potentially evil aspects of the world. Their worship is technically integrated into that of the Host, but they are usually only prayed to by Vassals to prevent disaster or misfortune. Exclusive worship of this pantheon is more common among those on the fringe of mainstream society.
- The Schism
- While there is no ironclad myth of the Six’s separation from the other Nine of the Host, the general story starts with the rape of Arawai by the Devourer. The line is then drawn according to the interpretation. Some say the line is drawn between the civilized and savage, others between the restrained elements of reality and the free. Whatever the division, the Dark Six remain in the Host, but as a separate entity.
- Symbols and Rituals: Each god has their own symbol, but the Dark Six as a whole is usually represented by a six-pointed figure, the most common of which is the Dark Star, or Hexagram. A horizontal line is crossed perpendicularly by two lines of equal length, with points colored for each god. The prayers and rituals mirror those of the mainstream Vassals, but special notice is given during times of war through offerings.
- Dark Six followers are usually called Disciples, a term for any Vassal who focuses too much on one or two gods. Priests are usually secretive and requirements vary, but initiation ceremonies usually involve the aspect of their patron god, like self-mutilation for the Mockery or a show of dark magic for the Shadow. The hierarchy is usually loose, except where worship is publicly excepted. In these places (mostly Darguun and Droaam), liturgical councils are organized, but devote themselves to one god. Because of the rough and secret nature of these churches, defrocking also usually includes execution.
- Dates: The regular calendar has several holidays for the Dark Six, but those usually drive Host worshippers indoors for safety, as the Disciples celebrate through acts that mirror their gods’. Disciples also organize the calendar differently, tying every two months to one of their gods (for instance, Zarantyr and Olarune are the Devouring).
- Evangelism and Acceptance: During the Last War, priests of the Shadow, Mockery, and Fury met in secret, determined to spread their faith during the turbulent time. Working within the official clergy of the Host, they encouraged soldiers to thank the Fury, assassins to pray to the Mockery, and so on. This practice grew alongside charity from these churches, and slowly, the stigma lessened. This coupled with general anger and desperation caused by the Last War made public worship acceptable in certain places.
- It is too simplistic to call Disciples of the Six evil. Many of the gods of the Dark Six are less civilized and their realms less safe, but the Fury can win a battle for an oppressed minority, and the Traveler can bring unexpected gifts along with chaos.
- Disciples usually focus on one or two dark gods, following a local tradition that was passed down, like goblins who turned their war god into the Mockery, or local merchants who accepted the Keeper as their god of profit.
- Death and Afterlife. While Host followers accept death and Dolurrh as the end of their soul’s divinity and inevitable, Dark Six worshippers believe that gods can rescue a person from Dolurrh at a whim, making the afterlife a punishment and not the natural end of life.