Estea: The Shadows Lengthen
Moradin – God of the Forge, Creation, Crafters, and Tradition
Hestia – Goddess of Hearth, Family, and Community
Clangeddin – God of Bravery and Battle – son of Moradin and Hestia
Abbathor – God of Treachery in Battle – son of Moradin and Hestia
Religion holds a deep and meaningful place in the hearts of most dwarves, though organized religious services are rare and most individuals go to temples only on special occasions or when they need healing. Temples are places of learning and worship, where children are taught their runes and history, and dwarves go to offer thanks to Moradin, Hestia, and other dwarven deities. Regular services are rarely held, except during the festivals honoring the deities. Instead, each individual chooses his time to visit the temple and give worship, often bringing offerings for the church or volunteering for lay services such as teaching, cleaning, cooking, or other beneficial community acts.
As a dwarf child grows, he is taught all about the deities and their legends. From the moment of birth, a priest is present to offer blessings and consecrate the child to Moradin (if male) or Hestia (if female). Certain birthmarks or other unusual circumstances can reveal the child as being claimed by one of the lesser deities — a rare occurrence, but one that marks the child as having a special destiny.
On a child’s first naming day, he takes his formal name under the glow from Moradin’s sacred forge in the temple. Upon adulthood, he feasts on the sacred honey-ale for the first time from the ceremonial temple chalice. Upon being wed, he reenacts the wedding of Moradin and Hestia, complete with the earthsilk cords that bind the newlyweds’ hands at the end, symbolically indicating their union. At death, a priest sings hymns of Moradin and his Eternal Forge, which takes the raw material of their lives and reforges it into life anew. Many dwarves never set foot in a temple other than for these pivotal rites, but they are still lynchpins of dwarf society, and no dwarf would dream of setting them aside.
Long ago, when the world lay hot upon the anvil of the gods and primordials, Moradin the All-Father, The Soul-Forger, chiseled dwarves from the bones of the earth and forged for them souls of mithral. The breath of Hestia cooled Moradin’s creation and gave them their spirit. These were the First Born, given life by Moradin and Hestia, touched by his holy hands and her sacred breath.