People venerate a myriad of deities in a myriad of forms across the land and seas of the various planes, collectively called the Mortal Pantheons. Some deities prefer established churches filled with large followings of devoted worshipers, while others are propitiated only out of fear or are worshiped in secret fellowship by small cults. Deities are not immortal, and many have died or been reborn. Others have merely been forgotten, left to slumber on other planes or even in normally inhospitable places like black holes. All the Mortal Pantheons were once non-existent before the Shattering, save the Powers in the Shadow who formed during the Shattering (who are only classified as thus because scholars don't know where else to put them and hope they are mortal). Before the Mortal Pantheons, the gods of the First Pantheon ruled all of creation. However, with the Shattering they vanished to parts unknown. Not even the current gods can figure out where they went. In any case, the Mortal Pantheons soon began forming to fill the void left by the old gods.
Powers in the ShadowEdit
Believed to be the most ancient of the Mortal Pantheons, the Powers in the Shadow are a mysterious and secretive pantheon that garner only few worshipers throughout the planes. However, they often give their followers tremendous powers and blessings in return for their undying loyalty. Many of the followers of the Powers are completely insane, others are only in it for the power, but most are in it due to both fear and hate of the other pantheons. Currently, only two gods are known in the pantheon.
- Ghontix: The patroness of many misshapen and malformed creatures that crawl, slither, or flap on, above, or below the surface of the planes, Ghontix is often considered to be the most vile of the three known Powers. She often is seen as a mass of mouths, eyes, and talons, and many of her worshipers have gone mad from the sight. Out of the two Powers she has been less active, the only major event she ever participated in was using her powers to transform some of the Terrae into Caelnox.
- Verhangnis: The god of utter destruction, Verhangnis seeks nothing more then the complete annihilation of all matter. His form is that of a living, sentient black hole with a vaguely human form at its center controlling it. Of all Powers Verhangnis has had the most effect on reality, by subtlety giving the Demons the way to trap the Great Old One. Its unknown why he has done this, but it can mean destruction in the long run. It is said he had a rivalry with Suntsitzeagal, though this is only a rumor considering even less is known of Suntsitzeagal than even the Powers themselves.
Arpharazon Pantheon (Pantheon of Teleios and Atalante)Edit
Formed during the chaos after the Shattering, the Arpharazon Pantheon was formed after primordial energies coalesced into the god Ouhzidalin. Ouhzidalin eventually formed the nine Colossi, who according to myth reforged the broken universe and ruled over it until their numerous children, known as the Worldgods, usurped them and ruled the world hereafter. In Arpharazon myth, it is said at the end of the world mortals shall succeed the Worldgods through storm and chaos and rule the universe forever after.
The Creator and the Nine ColossiEdit
- Ouhzidalin: Known as the Creator, he created the nine Colossi to repair the world after the Shattering and disappeared after the world was in order. Not much is known about him, and those who worship him have received barely any power or even sign from him at all. Some theologians say his powers were spent helping the Colossi rebuild the world, while others argue he simply decided not to interfere in the affairs of the world. Only the Colossi of Knowledge, Xerxes, has said anything concerning Ouhzidalin's disappearance: "I have only to say this about our lord...he lays in a place beyond mortal comprehension, where powers even more Ancient than him sleep in unending slumber."
- Velkorath: Known as the Colossus of Order, Velkorath fittingly represents logical order and deduction, and has taken account of every detail of the world and of every action that has ever taken place, whether mortal or immortal, well before they actually happened. As a result, he believes in certainty and determinism, and that the concept of individuality is an illusion. Velkorath is considered the patriarch of the nine Colossi, and he was also the last usurped by the Worldgods. His worshipers are often city guards and soldiers, though many scholars also worship him. Those who due invoke his power are often granted great strength, and his power has often helped the insane regain their sanity.
- Xerxes: Known as the Colossus of Knowledge, Xerxes represents knowledge and memory. His sphere of influence is the scrying of the tides of fate, of the past and future as read in the stars and heaven, and in his dominion are the treasures of knowledge and memory. Almost all scholars worship Xerxes to some extent, and are sometimes granted knowledge in return for something of equal worth. Though Xerxes is not inherently evil or deceitful, his blessings of knowledge often cause insanity or horrid depression and he himself has warned his worshipers of the dangers to little success.
- Kiskedrig: Known as the Colossus of Dreams, Kiskedrig's sphere is the realm of dreams and nightmares, and from whose realm issues forth evil omens. Some have also claimed her sphere ties somehow to torture. Unlike most Colossi Kiskedrig has a second form as a grotesque old woman with a bloody sword embedded in her right shoulder blade. Though she has her worshipers, most are reluctant and only do so that they will avoid her wrath. Those few that she grants blessings to often gain the ability to control the drams of themselves and others, and many people visit her shrines to heal people of sleeping diseases.
- Anann: Known as the Colossus of the Afterlife, Anann represents the qualities of birth and death. Sometimes called the Hidden Friend, Anann was the great spirit who brought every being into the world, and when he deemed the time right he ended their circle of life and death. Anann was also known as a deity of fertility and blight, and some even see him as a deity of joy and sorrow. Anann stood for blessed neutrality and he does not offer his followers powers as giving either favor or curse would be to upset the eternal balance. However, sometimes Anann has allowed his most pious believers temporary audience with a deceased one.
- Idellual: Known as the Colossus of Nature, Idellual's sphere consists of the heavens, the winds, the elements, and the unseen spirits of the air. Patron of sailors and travelers, Idellual is invoked for auspicious stars at birth and for good fortune in daily life. In legend she betrayed her fellow Colossi for the Worldgods during the War of Powers when the Colossi decided that they would destroy the Worldgods instead of imprison them like they had originally planned. She could not bear the thought of slaughtering her children, and so she told the Worldgods how to defeat the Colossi in return for the Worldgods agreeing to simply imprisoning their Colossi parents instead of destroying them.
- Dael: Known as the Colossus of Magic, Dael concerns himself with the advancement and preservation of the magical arts. Worshiped by all manner of spellcasters (and wizards in particular), the crafty deity acted as an adviser to the sitting deity of raw magic; he and Lysara shared an amicable relationship akin to that of tutor and favorite student. Other deities find him crotchety, not understanding his dry wit or ceaseless dedication to collecting magical knowledge and sharing it to mortals he considered worthy.
- Marvuul: Known as the Colossus of War and Chaos, Marvuul was an evil and malicious deity of fear, hatred and tyranny and thought to be the ruler of the Tortured Halls. Preferring to plot and scheme, Bane rarely appeared to act in a direct manner; instead acting through his worshipers and other various agents. His ultimate goal was to eventually control all of creation by usurping Ouhzidalin and recreating it in his own image, but the War of Powers proved to foil his plans. One of the few deities that provides his worshipers with avatars of himself when needed, when an avatar of Marvuul is summoned it had a dark and rather shadowy appearance with a resemblance of dark armor and the tell-tale jeweled dark gauntlet. It emanates an aura of vast power and cruel intelligence and often take control of the worshipers that summoned it.
- Landurus: Known as the Colossus of Innovation, Landurus is the god of invention and seems to particularly favor creations that take on a life of their own, like clockworks or constructs. Unfortunately, the sort of creative minds who engage in the sort of invention that Landurus most favours, are those who are not prone to worship—they tend to devote themselves to invention instead. As a result, his following is not very large. Many of his followers see him as the personification of their chosen form in visions.
- Seulloah: Known as the Colossus of the Night, Seulloah is the goddess of the moon. She was also venerated as a goddess of light, stars, navigation, navigators, wanderers, questers, goodly lycanthropes, and the night and darkness. She is an aspect of the void of the Ether itself, and takes such titles as Mother of Night or Night Mistress. Her very nature is such that humans cannot understand her, as she is the embodiment of the unfathomable and enigmatic. Worshipers of Seulloah consist primarily of those who operate in darkness and night, such as thieves and spies. However, Seulloah's deception and mystery is not usually meant to be harmful or violent. Rather, her unknowable nature is the core of her being, and serves no real ulterior purposes beyond being mysterious. Thus, while thieves may consider Seulloah their patron, assassins will typically lean towards a more violent deity.
- Khronos: Known as the Patriarch or Father Time, Khronos is the god who governs the orderly passage of time and guards against those who would alter the path of history. King of the Worldgods, he oversees the long life span of the gods and it is said only he knows when the Twilight of the Gods will occur. His symbol is the setting sun. He is a philosopher, a patient teacher and instructor, who gives wisdom and knowledge to young and old alike. He is often praised but rarely invoked. Those who worship him are those with an interest in ideas and knowledge, and the changes wrought by the passage of time - sages, historians, philosophers, and librarians. In ancient times he led the Worldgods against his father Velkorath and succeeded in overthrowing them, imprisoning the Colossi in the pits of the Underworld.
- Tartaria: Known as the Dreaming Serpent and the Bringer of the Twilight, Tartaria is the goddess of nightmares and twilight. According to legend, she came into existence shortly after her father Xerxes slept and had a nightmare. She has an uncountable horde of horrible dreams and foul visions in her gullet that she has been devouring since the dawn of time. She relishes the taste of particularly choice nightmares and savors the dreams of kings and deities alike. More horrifying, if she did not feed her insatiable appetite, every being, mortal or deity, would remember every nightmare he or she has ever dreamed in excruciating detail. Supposedly, she will be the harbinger of the Twilight of the Gods and will devour all light when the time comes. During the War of Powers, Khronos was unable to convince her to battle with her sibling against her father and comrades because she did not want to start the Twilight of the Gods prematurely.
- Pantaerra: Known as the Earthmother and the Lady of Soil, Pantaerra is the goddess of life and the sister deity of Meitorr, who was considered the god of wild nature, whilst Pantaerra herself was seen as being the embodiment of all things agrarian or agriculture. She was a goddess of agriculture, plants cultivated by humans, farmers, gardeners, and summer. Some of her worshipers claim that her divine breath gave life to the natural world, and some contended that she was the creator and source of all mortal races. In some sense Pantaerra was the manifestation of the planes themselves, as Idellual's daughter Pantaerra is the manifestation of the power of all living things.
- Meitorr: Known as the Green Thumb and the Landwalker, Meitorr is the god of nature, though formerly considered only the god of wild nature and druids. Meitorr was one of the oldest and more powerful deities in the Arpharazon pantheon, and the wilder counterpart to Pantaerra the Earthmother. His worshipers protected places of nature from the encroachment of civilization with vigor and were implacable foes of industrious peoples. When the War of the Powers was raging, Meitorr joined the battle when Landurus attempted to wipe out all of nature to weaken him.
- Telm: Known as the Everknight and the Immortal Watcher, Telm is the god of guardians, protection and protectors. His sphere also consisted of duty, loyalty, and righteousness. He was worshiped by guards and paladins both, long being seen as a cold and focused deity who impartially took the role of defender and sometimes also enforcer. After the War of the Powers, he was tasked with guardianship over the Colossi as he was the only god steadfast enough to ignore their temptations and strong enough to fight back their incursions.
- Nostpater: Known as the Broken One, Nostpater is a deity whose sphere included endurance, martyrdom, perseverance, and suffering. He was the god of those who suffered, the oppressed, and the persecuted, who offered them relief and support, encouraged them to endure, and who encouraged others to help them, to take their burdens or take their places. He used to be a warrior god of strength and virtue, but during the War of Powers he was captured by Marvuul and tortured to turn against his fellow kin. Though he suffered great injuries that to this day have never healed, Nostpater held true and was rescued during the final battle of the war. For this reason worshipers of Nostpater often consider Marvuul to be abhorrent and have tried several times to ban his worship in Atalante with little success.
- Freyanna: Known as the Liberator by her worshipers and the Lady of Chaos by all others, Freyanna is the goddess of selfish, irresponsible, licentious behavior. She takes advantage of perceived and actual wrongs committed against groups of people, and encourages them to rebel against the system they are in. Once that is done, whether it is a success, failure, or somewhere in between, she encourages her followers to "liberate" themselves by shedding all social commitments, responsibilities, and all duties. Morality, ethics, and respect for real liberty and justice all fade under her influence, as the people degenerate into an abyss of sinful behavior and pleasure-seeking. This is so because Freyanna teaches that there is no right save for what makes one feel good and be free and no wrong except for what prevents one from being free and feeling good. Of course, Freyanna makes exceptions to these points whenever she feels like it. She also has a habit of killing almost every single one of her hierophants (the leaders of her worshipers) because in order to become a hierophant one must survive having sexual intercourse with an avatar of the goddess. So far only three hierphants have survived it, and only one of them walked away with most of their sanity intact. Freyanna is the sister of Meilegra and the two siblings and their worshipers have fought fiercely before.
- Meiligra: Known as the Passionate Rose and the Embrace of Kindness, she holds the portfolios of beauty, love and the arts. Meiligra encourages creativity and inspires the world. She challenges her faithful to test their limits, share what they create, and delight in the gifts of others. Meiligra preaches (and practices) that true beauty comes from within, and she favors romances not based solely on lust. Clerics of Meiligra endeavor each day to create something of beauty, whether artistically or through unconventional forms, such as a gardener tending a flower garden. As the goddess of love, Meiligra encourages the proliferation of the feeling in all its forms. She is not the goddess of sexuality, lust, or fertility, and makes a very clear distinction between love and sexuality (although she does not in any way discourage erotic love). The few paladins who worship her practice courtly love, with female paladins attempting to win the attentions of attractive young noblemen (or sometimes, attractive young noblewomen). Meiligra and her clerics treat homosexual love as equal to heterosexual love. Before she fought in the War of Powers, Meiligra was flighty and shallow. Since discovering the capacity intelligent beings have for loving people and things that lack beauty, she tends to look for beauty in everyone and everything. “Beauty comes from within” is a philosophy she not only practices herself, but she requires from her clerics. In this way, it’s quite possible for a physically unattractive person to become a cleric of the goddess of beauty. She also often violently quarrels with her sister Freyanna and this has caused immense tensions between the two goddesses followers.
- Letus: Known as the Reaper and the Fair One, Letus is a rair yet cold god of death and the dead. Upon death, souls migrate to the afterlife to be judged by Letus. He makes no decision on whether a death is just or not; he views all with a cold and uncaring attitude, and decides on whether a soul will spend eternity in paradise, damnation, or anything in between. Letus is also the god of birth and prophecy: from the moment a creature is born, he sees what its ultimate fate will be, but reserves final judgement until that soul finally stands before him. As the god of death and rebirth, he abhors the undead and considers them a perversion. Letus urges knowledge that death is a natural part of life and should not be feared as long as it was understood. As a result of his deep respect for life and death, he holds the undead in the uttermost contempt and his worshipers actively target and fight undead creatures and necromancers.
- Gaire: Known as the Merrymaker and the Humorous One, Gaire is the deity of humour and comedy. She delights in wordplay and sophisticated humour but baser humour, usually pranks and tricks, prove irresistible to her sensibilities, especially if the victim of the trick takes it seriously. Myth tells of Gaire playing a particularly elaborate practical joke on Letus; Gaire has barely managed to stay one step ahead of the angry god of death since.
- Iyasu: Known as the Life-Giver and the Merciful Knight, Iyasu is the goddess of life, light, and mercy. Those who heal serve her, and those who desire mercy are her worshipers. Iyasu is the kindest and most benevolent of the Arpharazon deities, and few wish her harm because of this. Some mistake this quality for weakness, though such beings don't make the same error twice. Iyasu believes in mercy, both in life and in death. Not only does she heal the sick and tend the injured, she delivers a merciful end to those nearing the end of their natural lives. She fiercely detests those who artificially prolong the life of a being, particularly when it is against their will.
- Galdur: Known as the Shifter and the Mooneye, Galdur is the god of magic, sorcery, witchcraft, crossroads, trivial knowledge, and necromancy. He also represents the dark side of the moon or the Harvest Moon and is associated with many other things including childbirth, nurturing the young, gates, walls, doorways, and most importantly change. Unlike his siblings Galdur was not birthed, rather forged out of primal magic energies by Dael to help him control the force. During the War of Powers Galdur originally was on the side of the Colossi, but later changed sides when Dael refused to give the gods magic as Galdur believed magic should be unfettered. It is said that at the Twilight Galdur will again change sides and help the mortals learn the secrets to godhood, thus allowing them to defeat the Worldgods (Galdur himself has said that mortals would never want to be gods themselves once they learn the secrets to it). Because of this prophecy, Khronos has had many of servants exclusively monitor Galdur's actions.
Covenant of the Patriarch SpiritEdit
- Main article: Covenant of the Patriarch Spirit