Faiths and Priesthoods in the North Kingdom
Grenell himself is a priest of Hextor, and this priesthood is the politically dominant one in North Province. There are, however, some complex aspects to their preeminence.
When Ivid I negotiated the various deals which accompanied his ascension to the throne, he was extremely cunning in the way in which he dealt with North Province. The Herzog was explicitly designated as ruling North Province spiritually and temporally. Spiritual preeminence effectively meant imposing on North Province the values of Lawful Evil. Here, Ivid I granted all that the priesthood of Hextor could have wished for; absolute prominence in such matters—without question. Ivid could cede this, because he knew full well that other faiths of importance among the people of North Province were not “political” faiths or churches. Though it sounded grand, the awarding of this primacy gave little away in practice.
In matters temporal, Ivid granted authority to the Herzog of the time to make land grants and set taxes and tithes – in practice. Ivid pleaded that this concession could not be laid down in a formal treaty, but must remain the subject of a perpetual, but informal, understanding. The Herzog accepted this. But the hole it left concerned the military and the armies of North Province. Ivid I retained formal rights over them in the treaties of the time, so that he could call upon them in times of war. What was never written into any treaty was an acceptance that the Herzog would be the unquestioned supreme leader of these armies in times of peace. Ivid never laid any claim to such leadership himself; the matter was simply never formalized.
The result of this is simple. The elite military commanders of North Province traditionally have been hereditary, and of Oeridian-Flan blood. Some have been resentful of the primacy of Hextor’s faith, and thus unwilling to accept that priests should lead warriors and armies. As a result, the military elite has often kept the Herzog and his priesthood at arm’s length, arguing their own case and maintaining some degree of independence. In addition, many senior military leaders are extremely unhappy at the alliance with humanoids, since they believe that they have much in common with the men of Ratik. This all adds to Grenell’s discomfiture.
Too, North Province has a broader set of faiths which have at least a moderate following among common folk than elsewhere in Aerdy. Procan is important to many eastern people, and Fharlanghn is respected by many who travel the lands, even at sea. Some merchants invoke him as a protector, in addition to Zilchus, when they set out over long distances. In the northernmost lands and some of the best farmlands, the old Flan Powers of Berei and Zodal are invoked together with Beory by many; homely faiths, those of family, farming, and hope for better times. None of the priesthoods of these powers challenges that of Hextor, but the faith of the Herzog has to accept that they have their place nonetheless.
Lastly, Grenell and the priesthood of Hextor generally do not deal with baatezu or any fiends, save for Patriarch Verminek (see below). They are all too aware of Ivid’s bargains with fiends and believe this to be part and parcel of his madness. They dare not follow the awful example he has set.