The Sovereign Host is the dominant religion of Khorvaire. Worshipers of the Sovereign Host are called Vassals and typically worship the pantheon as a whole rather than the nine deities individually. The Sovereign Host is directly related to the Dark Six, whom the Vassals believe were kicked out of the pantheon for various transgressions in an event referred to as the Schism.
The Sovereign Host is widely known even among non-practitioners, to the point that even those who don't identify as Vassals may swear by them or pray to them in moments of need. Generally speaking, worship of the Host is diverse—while prominent priests and clerics exist, no central authority has sole control over the canon of beliefs. Still, some themes unite worshipers.
This dominant faith tradition is known as the Pyrinean creed. While this name comes from the ancient Sarlonan kingdom of Pyrine, few Vassals understand this reference—most simply believe Pyrine was a legendary missionary or some other figure or location in Khorvairian history.
The Nine Sovereigns
Vassals recognize nine sovereigns:
- Arawai, the Sovereign of Life and Love, the patron of fertility. She represents the benign side of nature and brings good weather and bountiful harvests.
- Aureon, the Sovereign of Law and Lore. Believed to be the first wizard, he revealed the secrets of magic to the world.
- Balinor, the Sovereign of Horn and Hunt, the patron of those who follow the border between nature and civilization. He guides hunters and wild beasts alike.
- Boldrei, the Sovereign of Hall and Hearth. She is guide and protector of family and community and encourages folk to work together for the good of all.
- Dol Arrah, the Sovereign of Sun and Sacrifice. She represents wisdom in battle and is patron of those who seek justice, fight with honor, and make sacrifices for others.
- Dol Dorn, the Sovereign of Strength and Steel, the patron of the ordinary soldier. He represents bravery, strength, skill at arms, and aids those who wield weapons.
- Kol Korran, the Sovereign of World and Wealth, guide and protector for traders and travelers and supporter of fair negotiation.
- Olladra, the Sovereign of Feast and Fortune, the patron of entertainers, gamblers, and risk-takers. She bestows luck and spreads joy.
- Onatar, the Sovereign of Fire and Forge. He inspires all who create and aids artificers, craftsmen, and smiths.
- The Sovereigns are always present. For example, whenever a forge is fired, Onatar stands beside it.
- The Sovereigns shape the world and their hand is in all things. No proof is needed, for the proof is in the world.
- Each Sovereign must be honored at their proper place and time.
- The Sovereigns give strength and guidance to those who listen, and instinct and intuition are their voices. When one is heard most clearly, that one should be followed.
Fundamentally, worshipers of the Host identify them as deities that govern everyday life. Prayer to the Host is contextual: a warrior seeking strength prays to Dol Dorn, while a farmer offers praise to Arawai. While most Vassals claim to wholly reject the Dark Six, some still make offerings to them.
- The Doctrine of Universal Sovereignty: "As is the world, so are the gods. As are the gods, so is the world." This states that the gods compose reality, rather than "merely" having the power to control it. As an example, Arawai doesn't just influence crops—she is the crops in the field, and offering her devotion isn't to get her attention but rather her favor.
- The Doctrine of the Divine Host: "The Sovereign Host is one name, and speaks with one voice. The gods are the letters of that name, and the sounds of that voice." This states that the Host should be treated as a pantheon rather than merely a collection of deities. As such, most Vassals worship the Host as a whole rather than just an individual close to them, such as a blacksmith and Onatar.
Souls and the Afterlife
A heresy of the Sovereign Host suggests that the plane will eventually be touched by their presence and it will become a paradise that the dead can enjoy. Worshipers do not give offering to the Host for a pleasant afterlife but instead for material gain in this life.
The Octogram of the Sovereign Host is also the planar symbol for Dolurrh. This is because followers of the Host believe that the faithful join the Sovereigns after death, and that the apparent "fading" is the soul ascending to a higher realm of existence.
The Sovereign Host does not have a central leadership; instead, liturgical councils provide regional leadership. What constitutes a region can vary dramatically. As an example, the Host of Khorvaire tends to the area of Aundair around Passage, while the Devout of the Celestial Crown cover only a portion of Sharn. Generally speaking, each of the Five Nations boasts (or in the case of Cyre, boasted) several councils, while each of the nations in Greater Khorvaire only has a few at most.
Councils wield significant informal political and social power to shape the churches and temples within their jurisdiction. Councils control almost every step of the priestly journey, from the education available to access to congregations to positions on the council itself. Most priests of the host begin their path as an acolyte in seminary, where they learn a mix of theology and community leadership. Some acolytes instead make their way into the priesthood through apprenticeships at a local temple, directly learning from the high priest who heads the congregation. Less respected are the acolytes who learn from priests outside of temples: village preachers, wandering evangelists, or other forms of itinerant priests. Still, regardless of educational background, the council is who determines the legitimate leaders of congregations.
The liturgical councils come together every ten years for a Grand Conclave, exchanging ideas and debating both theology and how to administrate the faith.
Church of the Wyrm Ascendant
While almost all Vassals are passingly familiar with draconic representations of the Host, the Church of the Wyrm Ascendant (which is dominant in Stormreach) goes farther, asserting specifically that the Sovereigns of myth were dragons who ascended, directly echoing the beliefs of Thir. While this alone would be a small theologic difference, the Church of the Wyrm Ascendant further believes that mortals who collect enough wealth and power can ascend to the realm of the Sovereigns when they fade away from Dolurrh.
The most common form of variant sect is one some scholars wouldn't identify as even being part of the Sovereign Host namely entirely alternate faiths. Modern Vassals explain most alternate faiths as variations of the Host, saying the same deities manifest themselves to every person, just in different forms. As such, the native religious traditions of the dwarves, halflings, goblins, and orcs of Khorvaire have been assimilated as simply other examples of the Sovereign Host rather than religions of their own. Complicating things, all worship of the Sovereigns may in fact be reflections of the Draconic religion of Thir.
The twelve dominant clans of the Mror Holds have a panoply of religious views and varying dramatically in their level of devotion. Traditionally, though, the dwarves have followed the Host, with a rich mythology of the Sovereigns favoring the dwarven people, mixing the tales of the Sovereigns with that of the original founders.
The name of the halfling deity is Bally-Nur.
In the modern day, the giants of Rushemé camped near the city of Stormreach are the most direct contact Khorvairians have with giant beliefs. While these giants revere a mixture of primal and divine powers, four gods stand above the rest. While like the giants of old these nomadic tribes revere Ouralon as the bringer of magic, they also hold that he was consumed by his shadow—proof that all arcane magic is ultimately doomed. Rowa of the Jungle Leaves is the goddess of life and nature, but also prone to fits of rage, combining both the life-giving belief in Arawai with the destructive nature of the Devourer. Banor the Bloody Spear is both the god of war and the bridge between civilization and nature, mixing aspects of Dol Dorn with Balinor. Karrak the Final Guardian and Keeper of the Dead preserves important souls from dissolution, similar to the role of the Keeper according to the Restful Watch (discussed later in the section on "Lesser Pantheons").
While the Dhakaani Empire was actively atheistic, their much less successful descendants, the Ghaal'dar tribes, worshiped a pantheon of sixteen deities. This is one more than the modern worship of the Nine and Six, but the name and details of the extra deity have been intentionally erased from history. Some modern goblins have taken to calling this missing deity "The Overthrown".
The pantheon of sixteen was one of many faiths to rise up after the fall of the Dhakaani empire to the Kapaa'vola. The Overthrown might have been a reference to Dyrrn the Corruptor, the creator of the Kapaa'vola.
Sha'argon is the greatest of the gods and the only one worth veneration. After defeating the ancient overlords, Sha'argon stalked, trapped, and consumed Arra'ai and Ba'alor to gain their power. With this newfound power, the other Sovereigns were forced to flee, constantly running from Sha'argon's endless hunger.
- Garu-Umesh the One-Eyed (Dol Dorn)
- Baaldra the Protector (Boldrei)
- Baalkan the Beastlord (Balinor)
- Ollarasht the Gambler (Olladra)
Disciples focus their prayers on one deity of the host above others. While they don't show disdain for the other deities of the pantheon, they still pray exclusively to one deity even for requests outside of that deities domain.
Hierocrats go farther than Disciples, outright rejecting the equality of the deities of the host. Hierocrats place their chosen deity or deities as the leaders while the others are subservient.
Related to the Cults of the Dragon Below, proxy cults venerate powerful creatures as direct emissaries of the Sovereigns. As an example, a cult might worship a radiant idol as an avatar of Aureon, or a dragon as an emissary of Dol Arrah.
Many Vassals worship smaller combinations of the Host who together represent a portfolio, often including gods from the Dark Six. Followers of the Pyrinean Creed, the dominant form of Sovereign Host worship, reject the elevation of any members of the Dark Six as heresy.
The Restful Watch worship Aureon and the Keeper together, believing that the Keeper doesn't snatch souls out of greed but instead acts to preserve important souls for some important future conflict.
The Three Faces of Coin worship Kol Korran, Onatar, and Kol Turrant (The Keeper).
The Three Faces of Love worship Boldrei, Arawai, and Szorawai (The Fury).
The Three Faces of the Wild worship Arawai, Balinor, and Shargon (The Devourer).
Worship of the Sovereign Host is believed to have originated in eastern Sarlona, in the region of Pyrine. Pyrine is currently a bastion of the Path of Inspiration and is one of the most entirely converted regions of the Riedran Empire, but if the scholars and historians are to be believed, there are likely ruins and artifacts important to the faith still extant in Pyrine and its surrounding regions.
When humans came to Khorvaire, evangelists spread with them. Rather than try to forcibly convert the religions they encountered, the humans incorporated them into their own faith—for example, "explaining" to the orcs that their war god Garu-Umesh is "actually" Dol Dorn by another name.
The diverse nature of the Sovereign Host has meant that it has never acted as a discrete and focused political force like the Church of the Silver Flame, but councils have certainly wielded political and social power to achieve their ends.
Relationship with the Dark Six
Officially, the Dark Six have been expelled from the Sovereign Host, but doctrine does not hold that they have been stripped of their divinity. As a result, many vassals of the Sovereign Host still make prayers to members of the Dark Six, though these are usually prayers of supplication made out of fear rather than prayers of worship and true devotion.
Even the oldest available scripture makes references to "The Nine and Six and One", which seems to indicate that the "Schism" between Sovereign Host and the Dark Six predates human civilization. However, some contend that the original division was not the Sovereign Host and Dark Six, but of civilization gods and primal nature deities. This grouping is almost identical to the modern division, but has Arawai and Balinor swapping places with The Mockery and The Fury.
As mentioned in the "Variant Sects" section above, plenty of vassals draw a far less dramatic line between the Host and Six.
- James Wyatt and Keith Baker (2009). Eberron Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. ?. ISBN 0-7869-5099-4.
- Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, Ari Marmell, & C.A. Suleiman (2006). Faiths of Eberron. (Wizards of the Coast), p. ?. ISBN 0-7869-3934-6.
- Keith Baker, Jeremy Crawford, & James Wyatt (2019). Eberron: Rising from the Last War. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 140. ISBN 0786966890.
- Keith Baker (2020). Exploring Eberron. (Dungeon Masters Guild), p. ?.
- James Wyatt and Keith Baker (2009). Eberron Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 242. ISBN 0-7869-5099-4.
- Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, Ari Marmell, & C.A. Suleiman (2006). Faiths of Eberron. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 9–10. ISBN 0-7869-3934-6.
- Keith Baker, Nicolas Logue, James "Grim" Desborough, C.A. Suleiman (2008). City of Stormreach. (Wizards of the Coast), p. ?. ISBN 0-7869-4803-5.
- James Wyatt, Keith Baker, Luke Johnson, Steven Brown (2006). Player's Guide to Eberron. (Wizards of the Coast), p. ?. ISBN 0-7869-3912-5.
- Keith Baker, Bill Slavicsek, & James Wyatt (2004). Eberron Campaign Setting. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 199–200. ISBN 0-7869-3274-0.
- Jesse Decker, Matthew Sernett, Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, & Keith Baker (2005). Races of Eberron. (Wizards of the Coast), p. ?. ISBN 0-7869-3658-4.
- Keith Baker on Discord
|The Sovereign Host|
|Arawai · Aureon · Balinor · Boldrei · Dol Arrah · Dol Dorn · Kol Korran · Olladra · Onatar|