Facing the Faceless
The Raven Queen is the silent goddess of death, watching over the souls of the dead and ensuring a safe passage to the afterlife. She opposes undead, despair, and fear of death.
Because she never answers her worshipers’ prayers except through granting death or divine powers, followers of the Raven Queen vary widely in theological interpretation and style. The two largest traditions on the Material Plane are the Deathspeakers and the Skullbreakers.
The Deathspeakers are mostly human, believing that the living can learn best from the dead themselves. They accumulate the skulls of the deceased and meticulously track the identity and specialties of each, forming an ever-larger reservoir of knowledge to draw from.
The Skullbreakers, by contrast, have a large dragonborn following. Scholars have suggested that the dragonborn’s relatively short lifespan encourages a different outlook on life and death. Skullbreakers have come to embrace the finality of death, and believe that the skull of a being is the cage of its soul. Until the cage is broken, the soul cannot be set free. To them, this explains why zombies go down easily from a head wound, why demiliches retain their skulls while shedding the rest of their body, why becoming a vampire perverts one’s skull (teeth) and one’s soul at the same time, and a host of other correlated phenomena.
Skullbreakers are much more successful as a grassroots organization, inspiring many younger and rural folk to the cause, while Deathspeakers tend to attract an older, educated, and more conservative following- literally, when it comes to conserving skulls! The followers sometimes clash and argue, but never shed blood over the issue- to kill someone else over the teachings of the Raven Queen would be deepest blasphemy.