"Any organism capable of religious faith is capable of superstition. The only difference between a religious belief and a superstition is the number of people who believe it." — Arinn Dembo
The Tarka are a polytheistic society in much the same way that the ancient Greeks or Egyptians were a polytheistic society. Most Tarka are aware of a basic theological framework which might include hundreds of different deities, all of which could have some relation to one another in the over–arching scheme of things — what that relationship is depends on which temple's priest you're talking to.
Any individual Tarka however, will not even attempt to worship or "believe in" all of these hundreds of gods at once. They will simply maintain a personal relationship with the patron gods and goddesses of their own clan, caste and profession and take an interest in the myth cycle of whatever legendary hero might be relevant to their own life's ambitions.
Like the ancient Greeks and Egyptians, some Tarka indulge in monotheism — declaring one god to exist while all others do not — and even in personal ethical philosophies which deny the existence of all gods but still offer a formula for leading a virtuous life (the latter is commonly adopted by scientists and engineers).
Overall, levels of religious faith vary with the individual, but fanaticism of any kind is extremely rare among the Tarka — there simply isn't room for it in their culture. Religious tolerance is part of the ingrained hierarchical framework of Tarka society — differing beliefs are expected in Tarka from different regions and different walks of life and the fact that someone else disdains your temple is not considered a threat to your own world view. Indeed, it would be considered very strange for a Tarka to want to "convert" another Tarka to his or her religion, or draw him/her to the patronage of new gods unless the converted Tarka was also being made a member of the caste, clan and profession to whom that god is appropriate.
Most Tarka do not regard religion as an adequate reason for acts of violence. Members of the Tarka warrior castes are mystified by the idea that religion could serve as a justification for war. Any attempt to explain the notion of religious warfare among Human cultures is usually met with incredulous laughter: "You would die over that!?"
Tarkasian gods are many and varied — often the duties and powers assigned to any given deity will change with the caste/region of the temple, and the stories associated with those gods change accordingly.
As to the Kings and Queens of the Gods — the Kona Lao would probably be considered the "ruling" pantheon of Tarka deities, but lower caste Tarka would simply explain that these are the gods worshiped by the ruling castes. In other words, the Kona Lao are the Gods who think they run the universe, while the Urdu Lao really do all the work.
As an example: Upper caste Tarka venerate Lando Mek, the God of Intoxication, and celebrate his festivals on certain days of the year. Lower caste Tarka spend the same festival days worshiping Kala Kuumani, the Goddess of Beer. Lower caste legends and stories of Kala will tend to depict the Goddess covering for her foolish and often incompetent boss God, a la Jeeves and Wooster — in upper class temples she is simply depicted as one of several "cup–girl" goddesses who sit on Lando Mek's knees, drape themselves over his shoulders or sit at his feet.
Recording the myths and legends of the Tarka pantheon would take more time and space than we have here, unfortunately. If Tarka society was ever fully open to Humans study, it would be the work of a lifetime for nine different Joseph Campbells to record and collate them all.
List of Known Tarkasian Gods Edit
Sardo Kal Edit
God of War, also the God of Luck. Worshiped primarily by the Tarka military castes.
To attempt translation: "Sardo" is a first name, given in a casual, affectionate form; it indicates exceptional cunning or agility, literally translated "whip–like", but the connotation is more like "Wise Guy". (To give another example of the affectionate case: If you were a personal friend of Var'Ish Thok'Orr, you might call him "Ishdo" in private.)
"Kal", as with most Tarka designations, is a matronymic — it indicates that Sardo's mother was an exceptional beauty.
Kona Lao Edit
The High Gods. Ruling Gods worshiped by the upper castes.
Lando Mek Edit
God of Intoxication, worshiped by the upper castes.
Lando, like Sardo, is a personal name in the affectionate form, which indicates a male of exceptional size, and the use of "Mek" as a second name indicates that he either had several mothers (this is supported by his myth cycle) or that he is very popular with the ladies (which is also supported by his myth cycle).
So Lando Mek is "The Big Guy Who is Popular with the Ladies" or "The Big Guy with Many Mothers (of the 'milf' variety)".
Urdu Lao Edit
Common Gods worshiped by the lower castes in Tarka society. They are described by the lower classes as the true ruling Gods, above the Kona Lao.
Kala Kuumani Edit
Goddess of Beer, worshiped by the lower castes. Lower caste stories depict her as often covering for her foolish and often incompetent boss God, Lando Mek. She is depicted in upper–class religion as a simple "cup–girl" goddess of little significant importance.
This God's name is a title of sorts, and translates as, "the lovely little empress." (Kala means "beautiful" in Tarkasian; see Tarkasian Language for details.)
The Tarka military castes are fond of games of chance, and their god of war is also the god of luck — fetishes which represent the aspects of Sardo Kal are commonly used good luck charms throughout all of Tarka society, just as one small example.