Religion in the Empire of the Nine
More unwelcome than any other personage, however, are those who serve the gods. The Empire is an avowedly nontheistic state. It does not permit those who wield the magic of the gods within their borders. Though the churches often warn their congregants that those who worship the gods are oppressed within the Empire's border, that is a half-truth: the Empire does not have a stance on those who worship the gods privately and in their own homes. What is illegal is gathering groups together to do so, or to teach about the gods. The Empire's stance is simple: it does not permit its citizens to hold to authorities in higher regard than that of their loyalty to House Taldiress and the Adhalmagus.
Those who are not permitted to remain in the Empire are those who are called to wield the powers of the gods directly: clerics and paladins. Even if they keep their faiths to themselves, the fact that they wield such potent magic in service to the gods rather than House Taldiress makes of them enemies of the state. Though the Adhalmagus traditionally goes out of its way to avoid offending, graciously escorting them out of the Empire with an honor-guard of dragonborn, and a small stipend with which to begin a new life, they do not permit those known to be blessed with such power any leeway to remain.