The Zakharan pantheon greatly influenced the culture on the continent of Zakhara, which was shaped by the Law of the Loregiver—a set of common values including honor, hospitality and the importance of one's family that date back to the teachings of a person called the Loregiver. Altogether this is called enlightenment.
Accordingly the commonly worshiped deities of Zakhara were seen as enlightened and differed from other deities worshiped on Al-Toril because they did not have a precise portfolio. Instead, each exemplified a single characteristic or trait important to Enlightenment. They stood above the classifications of alignment, as these traits could be found in good and evil folk alike.
The enlightened deities were grouped into major or Great Gods, worshiped throughout Zakhara, and local or common gods, worshiped only in a certain region, sometimes just a single town. In the Cities of the Pantheon, in particular, only five deities were worshiped, these being the Great Gods Kor, Hajama, Najm, and Selan, and the local god Jauhar.
Their level of power was not known, but it could be speculated by the number of worshipers that the Great Gods were also greater powers, while the others could be considered lesser or demipowers.[speculation]
The eight Great Gods were:
- Hajama: God of bravery.
- Hakiyah: Goddess of honesty and truth.
- Haku: God of freedom.
- Jisan: Goddess of fertility and productivity.
- Kor: God of wisdom.
- Najm: God (sometimes goddess) of adventure.
- Selan: Goddess of beauty.
- Zann: God of knowledge, learning, and intellect.
- Jauhar: Goddess of wealth. She was an important local goddess, viewed as a Great Goddess in the Cities of the Pantheon, where Jisan was not generally worshiped.
Other more prominent deities among the multitude of local gods were:
- Bala: Goddess of music.
- Jarmik: God of sharing and generosity.
- Vataqatal: God of war and duty.
- Botu'Astok: God among the Astok tribe of the Furrowed Mountains.
Another oddity in the Land of Fate were the kahins or idol priests, who believed in the divinity in all things and worshiped a certain item, place or even common god in order to understand the universe and tap into its power.
Savage gods worshiped in the wilder or more decadent parts of Zakhara were:
- Kiga, the Predator.
- Lotha, the Zakharan name for Lolth.
- Migal, a god of teaching but also of assassins.
- Ragarra, goddess of the jungle and its violent denizens, passion, chaos, and revenge. She was one of the two savage gods worshiped in the jungles of eastern Zakhara (the Ruined Kingdoms).
- Shajar, god of the Nogaro River. He was the consort of Ragarra and was the other savage god worshiped in the Ruined Kingdoms.
- The Beast, a bloodthirsty god of the Hill Tribes south of the Free Cities.
- Kar'r'rga, a god of the sea worshiped by natives of the Jazayir al-Sartan islands in the Crowded Sea, especially by the sartani.
- The Drummer and Pag, two other gods worshiped on the islands in the Crowded Sea.
- The Faceless God, the god of the evil yak-men in the World Pillar Mountains of northeast Zakhara.
- The Lost One, an elephant-headed god who was driven out from the land of Afyal by the church of Selan.
- Thasmudyan, god of undead, worshiped on the island of Sahu.
- Living idols sometimes were the focus of small cults.
Zakharans within the Pantheist League followed a different version of traditional Enlightenment. Pantheists recognized only five true gods–Hajama, Kor, Najm, Selan and Jauhar. The worship of all other gods within Pantheist cities was forbidden. Pantheists believed that the five true gods were the only ones who deserved to be worshiped since the priests of those gods were the first to swear allegiance to the Law of the Loregiver.
Cold Gods of the Elements
The elemental lords Akadi (air), Grumbar (earth), Istishia (water) and Kossuth (fire) were called the cold gods of the elements in the Land of Fate and seen as uncaring for mortals and opposed to the culture of Enlightenment. Still some people worshiped them to gain part of their vast power.
Besides the deities almost all Zakharans believed in the power of Fate. It was not seen as a god and not worshiped, but it was believed to influence mortals and deities alike. Because of this, Fate was often paid homage to and sometimes called on during times of great peril. The whole of Zakhara was called the Land of Fate to signify its importance. Some sages speculated that Fate was an Overgod.
Another group of god-like beings were the rulers of the various genie races. They were not deities but possessed power akin to them. As genies played an important role in the Land of Fate, these sovereigns sometimes took a hand in Zakharan affairs. They are:
- Kabril Ali al-Sara al-Zalazil, Great Khan of the Dao
- Husam al-Balil ben Nafhat al-Yugayyim, Great Caliph of the Djinn
- Marrake al-Sidan al-Hariq ben Lazan, Most Respected Sultan of the Efreet
- Kalbari al-Durrat al-Amwaj ibn Jari, Imperial Padishah of the Marids
- Jeff Grubb (August 1992). Land of Fate (Adventurer's Guide to Zakhara). (TSR, Inc), pp. 114–116. ISBN 978-1560763291.
- Jeff Grubb (August 1992). Land of Fate (Adventurer's Guide to Zakhara). (TSR, Inc), pp. 46–57. ISBN 978-1560763291.
- Jeff Grubb and Andria Hayday (April 1992). Arabian Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 18. ISBN 978-1560763581.
- Jeff Grubb (August 1992). Land of Fate (Adventurer's Guide to Zakhara). (TSR, Inc), p. 45. ISBN 978-1560763291.
- Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc.), p. 3. ISBN 978-0786903849.
- Tim Beach, Tom Prusa and Steve Kurtz (1993). “Gem of Zakhara”. City of Delights (TSR, Inc), p. 33. ISBN 1-56076-589-5.
- Jeff Grubb (August 1992). Land of Fate (Adventurer's Guide to Zakhara). (TSR, Inc), p. 83. ISBN 978-1560763291.
- Steve Kurtz (1994). Al-Qadim: Ruined Kingdoms: Campaign Guide. (TSR, Inc), p. 12. ISBN 1-56076-815-0.
- Steve Kurtz (1994). Al-Qadim: Ruined Kingdoms: Campaign Guide. (TSR, Inc), p. 5. ISBN 1-56076-815-0.
- Steve Kurtz (April 1, 1995). The Complete Book of Necromancers. (TSR, Inc), p. 95. ISBN 0-7869-0106-3.
- Wolfgang Baur, Steve Kurtz (1992). Monstrous Compendium Al-Qadim Appendix. (TSR, Inc). ISBN l-56076-370-1.
- Jeff Grubb (August 1992). Land of Fate (Adventurer's Guide to Zakhara). (TSR, Inc), p. 94. ISBN 978-1560763291.
- Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), Running the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 61. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
- Wolfgang Baur (November 1993). Secrets of the Lamp. Genie Lore. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 4–8. ISBN 978-1560766476.
Hajama • Hakiyah • Haku • Jisan • Kor • Najm • Selan • Zann
Bala • Botu'Astok • Jarmik • Jauhar • Vataqatal
Akadi • Faceless God • Grumbar • Istishia • Kar'r'rga • Kossuth • Lost One • Lotha • Ragarra • Shajar • Thasmudyan
Marrake al-Sidan al-Hariq ben Lazan • Kalbari al-Durrat al-Amwaj ibn Jari