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This may be my favorite WFRP sourcebook Ive read yet because it does so much to illuminate daily life in the Empire, even more than Sigmars Heirs does. Religion has been a massive part of society for pretty much the entirety of human existence, so much so that one of the eternal questions of the field of Religious Studies is what even is religion anyway and how much is it possible to make a separation between religion and culture. This is especially true in societies like the Old Worlds, beset with enemies on all sides, subjected to natural and unnatural disasters beyond their control, and where some priests have actual miraculous powers that are demonstrable and repeatable.Despite the objective fact of said powers, one of the best parts of the Tome of Salvation is the ambiguity. The history of the faiths of the Empire is all presented as an in-character document, leaving plenty of room for bias and misinterpretations to have taken their toll on the history. Theres some evidence that humans really do just worship corrupted and ignorant versions of the elven gods, with notes like how the Tileans call Manaan, Taal, and Rhya Mathann, Karnos, and Ishea, theres mention that Sigmar was a follower of Ulric and perhaps Sigmars divinity is suspect, several gods that used to be widespread but have faded are pointed out, and theres even a bit of syncreticism. Its entirely possible that Ulric took his association with wolves from Lupos, for example, who is now thought of as a god of predators and not widely worshipped.The ambiguity also means that theres a huge focus on political conflict between and among the sects. The most famous is probably the major conflict between the followers of Sigmar and Ulric over which deity should have the preeminent place in the Imperial pantheon, as clumsily depicted in Ashes of Middenheim, but theres plenty of other sources of conflict to use in games. Myrmidias rapidly rising popularity and her patronage of strategic warfare as opposed to the brutal and savage but traditional role of Ulric. The violent conflict between different sects of Sigmar over the proper way to worship the Man-God. The rise of Handrich the merchant god and his association with the Empires middle class, as well as the alterate conflation with and opposition toward Ranald in his aspect of the Dealer.Actually, aspects of gods are a great addition that are too often ignored in roleplaying games despite being a major part of real-world polytheism. I especially like Ranald the Dealer as a pseudo-respectable god of commerce contrasted with Ranald the Trickster as god of thieving, or Manaan the god of the sea and sailing vs. Stromfels the god of sharks and shipwrecks, whose worshippers consider him an aspect of Manaan--a point which is violently and bloodily contested by the mainstream priesthood.Furthermore, theres a lot of info on minor gods, local deities, and spirits, which is another element of the real world that RPGs often arent good on representing. A pantheon of gods there may be, but leaving milk out for the faeries or throwing the first catch back in to appease the river spirit or knocking before you enter a house to warn the hob are the kind of things that are more relevant to most peoples lives. The book is absolutely crammed full of information about holy days, daily cultic practices, rites of initiation for the priesthood, holy orders, the miracles that some of the priests can perform, the fanatic sects that take their faith to extremes, and how all of this affects the behavior of the inhabitants of the Old World. The pilgrimages that some people undertake in the hopes of being healed by Shallya, or the manhood rites that are sacred to Taal, or the Gardens of Morr that almost all Old Worlders are interred in after their demise, or the Crusades that Myrmidians undertake--though as the book points out, to a goddess of war, every fight is a holy act.Tome of Salvation also still has the undercurrent of grim humor that Warhammer used to be famous for but is mostly gone nowadays. Theres a note that followers of Gargali, god of underground and mining, will often tie prayers to a bird, put them in a cage, and take them underground. If the bird dies, its thought to be a good omen and a sign that a vein of ore is near. Strangely, there are few people who come back to report success from this.Also, the holy sign of Ulric is literally throwing up the horns. Sure, they call it the U salute, but its obvious what it actually is.Finally, there’s support provided for non-spellcasting priests. I’m really happy to see this because priests casting spells that are distinct from wizard magic is a D&Dism that I don’t think really fits the Warhammer world, in addition to all the problems reconciling priestesses of Shallya and Sigmar throwing around healing magic with the way life is described in the Empire. There’s non-spellcasting careers stated up and a note that one of the Shallyans’ few true miracle-workers has recently died, which I can yank out of context and use as justification for having spellcasting priests be extremely rare in my games. Also, it gives another reason for people to turn to Chaos or witchery if priests using miracles need to have the kind of faith that most people find completely insane.After the corebook, this is probably the best resource about life in the Empire a GM for WFRP could ask for, even beyond everything it says about the faiths of the Old World. I really cant state it any plainer than that.

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