As refugees fled to Heartland many brought their religions and devotion with them. While there are smaller faiths in the land, the most widely worshiped are the Five Divines; the Goddess of Nature, the God of Beasts, the God of Thought, the Goddess of Death and the Goddess of Life.
The Kingdom of Heartland has laws protecting freedom of religion; one can practice any faith and give worship any god or goddess they wish. The five listed are simply the most well known and prosperous.
The Goddess of Nature, Floress is moderately popular, mostly in smaller towns. She is said to have control over the four seasons; winter, spring, summer and autumn as well as the four elements; water, earth, fire and wind. It is said her temperament changes with the seasons as well, cold and distant in the winter, warm and kind in the spring, playful and happy in summer and lazy and apathetic in the autumn. She's also called 'The Lady of Balance and Change' due to her association with the changing seasons. For the most part she takes offers of flowers.
The largest and central temple of the faith is in Earthbound City. She is depicted as an older, matured woman who's eyes, hair and dress changes with the seasons.
Rilus, the God of Beasts is the lord of animals and pets across the world. From rabbits and deer to wolves and bears, ants and birds, tuna and dragonflies; all are under his domain. He's the god to pray to for hunters, trappers and fishers. He oversees migrations, hibernation and the food chain. Farmers pray to him often to ward off insects, rabbits, wolves and other animals that would kill or eat their crops or livestock. Hunters and fishers will pray for good catches and game. As such he's worshiped in small towns and fishing communities.
He's very popular in Goldenport and his Grand Temple is in Champion City. His appearance is often as a bearded man with wild, brown hair wearing a bear fur with a bow in one hand and a knife in the other.
The God of Thought, Osin is the lord of books, knowledge, philosophy and free thought. He promotes rationality, discourse and free speech. A favorite phase of his followers is 'Let us discus if Osin exists, of if he is but the imagination of many.' He's much more worshiped in cities by scholars and a number of magicians. The bible of his faith is named 'Walk in the Mind' and he endorses all forms of art and science.
His Grand Cathedral is in Skylander City and doubles as a massive library where anyone can come to read the books held within. He is shown as a bald man in robes, often with a hand on his chin.
Dealus, the Goddess of Death is the least worshiped goddess of the lot. She is also known as 'The Grim Lady at the End of All' and is said to greet people after their passing to guide them on their way. It's said that if she finds someone particularly nasty she will banish them into a world separate from the afterlife, where their soils will toil in labor forever. She also oversees decay of the dead and funerals.
Her only major temple is in Whitedawn. She's depicted as a tall, lithe woman with pale skin, white hair and red eyes with a sad look, nude save for a heavy black cloak; a shepherd's staff in her hand.
The Goddess of Life, Teressa is the last of the divines and the most popular in Heartland. She oversees birth, pregnancy, healing and charity. She has the most temples, more then the other four divines combined, and her followers are known to be giving and kind. Many spells based on healing and shielding was made in her name and to support the goddess' cause.
Her cathedral is in Heartland City itself, near the middle of the city. It is the largest building in that city, short of the royal castle. She is depicted as a voluptuous, buxom, blue-eyed blonde in a white, flowing dress with a hole cut over her womb, barefoot and without jewelery of any kind.
The Grand Cathedral of Life was built four hundred years after the founding of the kingdom by Grand Matron Blossom the First. She wound up fleeing east to Heartland during a massive religious purge. With so many faithful Heartland was the ideal place to run to, and the kingdom welcomed her with open arms. Since then every Grand Matron has been from Heartland.
So, how does one become the Grand Matron? There are four requirements. First; be a woman. This is due to religious doctrine; from the womb comes life and those who lead the faithful of life should be able to contain it within them. Men can still be priests and bishops, but cannot rise higher in the ranks.
Second; be a member of the faithful and have not been a part of another church or temple.
Third; you must never have been a criminal or taken a life that was not in self defense.
Lastly; one must be able to cast healing spells at a master level, meaning that in order to even be considered you must be a magician.
If one meets these requirements one can be considered, but an unofficial fifth rule is to be a Matron as no one has advanced to Grand Matron from less then a Matron in five hundred years. To first be a Matron one must be a Bishop and to be a Bishop one must be a Priestess.
To be a priestess one must study at a temple under that temple's keeper (A priestess or a bishop, usually) for at least seven years. Once done one can become one of seven hundred bishops in the land when one dies or retires. That bishop leaves a list of twenty names as candidates to replace her. The nearest three matrons is expected to visit the region, interview priestesses and those that know them and make their selection.
To become a matron the Grand Matron must first appoint a person after one of the fifty matrons has died or retires. Matrons are not overseers of bishops as bishops are for priests and priestesses but rather bishops with a different title and more duties, namely overseeing the kingdom's paladins (And more recently, crusaders) and the faith's small collection of men-at-arms and mercenaries. They do not act as generals or commanders, merely overseers for their generals and commanders.
Once the Grand Matron has died or retired the Matrons gather in the Grand Cathedral. The Grand Matron would have left behind two lists; a list of those she wishes to succeed her (No fewer then three names, no more then seven) and a list of tasks she had planned to do while alive, but no longer can.
While she leaves behind a list of those she wants to succeed her a matron not on that list can still have her name put forth by another matron. If at least five matrons second the motion and the nominee accepts she is added to the list of candidates.
After all names have been put forth the matrons debate and discus for one week on who will lead them. Sometimes deals will be made, but the faith's doctrine frowns upon this. After the week ends each matron is given one golden flower. Inside a sealed room are flowerbeds, one for each nominee. She sets her flower and leaves. To prevent tampering each matron is given a key to open the case to each flowerbed with a magic charge; once the charge is used no more beds can be opened.
In the event of a tie the vote is redone; but only with the tied names put forth. If there is a two way tie and no one else to remove form the list then the ruler of Heartland is summoned. If unavailable a selected representative of the crown will vote for him/her, but this vote can be later overturned when the king/queen returns. Regardless, the two matrons and their supporters will argue who will be the best leader before the crown/crown representative casts a tie breaking vote.
Once named the Grand Matron she chooses a new name to be known by and oversees the faith's personnel and finances; much of which goes to feeding the poor and hungry and helping the sick.
They also fund and direct the various paladin orders such as The Silver Shield who are ordered to fight the enemies of Life. They are forbidden at targeting other faiths; only those who are causing harm such as bandits, Terran forces and monsters. They also maintain a small navy of seven merchant ships and ten frigates.