Religion in Blackfen
Religion plays a central role in the lives of the people of Blackfen and is well represented in the city. There are nine recognized churches in Blackfen - the Abbey of Fandor, the Stone Hall of Kavak, Thim's Toft, the Church of Omuz, the Church of Azerond, the Long House of Uther, the Church of the Kindred Souls of Aruthane and the chapels of Concei Japur and of Feyzeu, which are located inside the Guild of Arcanists - and two unrecognized churches which have a following amongst the evil elements of the city - the Dark Water Church of Narag Narg and the Defiled House of Setsop.
Although there is a lot of competition amongst the churches for the people's faith, the relationship between them is generally a good one and any problems are usually ironed out during the bi-annual Assembly of the Nine, when ecclesiastical matters are discussed and the churches try to agree a unified strategy in their dealings with the various political offices of Blackfen (they have found through experience that working together has given them a significant say in Blackfen politics).
Sometimes arguments break out and public spats occur, usually over theological differences, but occasionally through opposing political wills or even just clashes of personalities. Although these are usually ironed out, it has been known on occasions for relations between particular churches to break down entirely and a theological war to break out. This is almost always damaging, as the unity of the Churches is questioned and theological divides often emerge.
Of the nine recognized churches, the Fandorians are the most powerful, both within the city, where their support is strong, and within the Assembly where, uniquely, they have two representatives - the Honorable Magistrate Divine and the Brother Superior of the Divine Fandorians, giving them a powerful influence. Along with the Church of Omuz and the Church of the Kindred Souls of Aruthane, the three churches nearly always present a unified front, with their four votes on the Assembly (out of the 10 available) meaning they only need two other votes to push through their own strategies.
While the Church of Azerond remains largely neutral about this state of affairs, and the churches of Concei Japur and Feyzeu care little for anything outside of the interests of the Guild of Arcanists and the Longstaff Wizards, the other churches are usually less than impressed, with the representatives of the dwarves and halflings all too often lone voices. The views of the Long House of Uther depend entirely upon whether they find themselves on the right or wrong side of the decision making process. As such, the representatives of the dwarves and halflings feel all too often that their needs are not catered for and that the other Churches care only for themselves, generating a certain amount of resentment.