Posts Tagged ‘Gods’

Cult Pantheon

May 11, 2020

What follows are the borderline and rarely worshipped mystery cults of the world of my Dungeons and Dragons campaign. These are often but not always the crazy people of the world and it shows.

The Nameless

It is rumored that this god or goddess was punished early on in the history of creation. This deity decided to expose the mortal races to knowledge forbidden by the other gods. While the good deities had the best wishes for the mortals of the world, they had wanted to keep them in the dark on certain things. That way they could more easily protect them even from themselves. Sometime later they realized their error much later, the damage had already been done to The Nameless. They nearly destroyed them and what survived had lost its name and form. The Nameless escaped into the Dreamplane, connected to the minds of the whole world. Not much more lore than that survives in the world but it is known that The Nameless survives as a sort of god of inspiration. The followers of the Nameless are few and far between but most are inventors and forward thinkers. Many, but not all, also contain some level of insanity.

Zeoron, The Limitless One

Many theorize that Zeoron was waiting for the gods when their eyes first opened to reality. One of the rumored “Old Ones”, Zeoron did not take kindly to the upstart newcomers who wished to form the world. He fought them all but either lost or realized his fight was futile. Instead of dying, he exploded and his essence spread across all of the planes much like the spores of an exploding mushroom. His followers contend that Zeoron’s essence is everywhere and is truly limitless. Many of his followers believe that Zeoron wishes this reality forged by the gods is illigitimate and must be destroyed. That is why they think that Zeoron’s essence may be the origin of all monsters in the known planes of the multiverse. Followers of Zeoron seek to destroy the foundations of society and any forces that might defend the multiverse from destruction.

Church of The Light

Worshippers of the Church of Light reject all deities in favor of the truth of the light. The light never intercedes on behalf of its followers but instead allows them to rely on the power within which makes them stronger and more self-assured. They view dependence on the gods as a drug, one that is dangerous to mess with since the power and favor handed down from the gods can be taken away on a whim. Followers of the Church of Light seek to teach others to abandon the gods and move on. All that is needed is the Light. The Church is small but extremely loyal to each other. Some outside of the Church have wild theories about what the Light really is. It could be a devil, a spirit, an Old One, or any number of things whispering in the ears of mortals to cause doubt of the gods. Some of their followers prefer the Church because they are tired of the eternal conflict between the good and evil forces.

Ganza, The Advocate

The self-styled spirit of Justice, the shadowy Advocate urges her followers to fight for both accusers and the accused. Therefore it is also a sort of deity of even-handed Law. Followers created the first so-called Lawyers and corresponding Judges. Worshippers pray to remain objective and unemotional whether they are on the attack or on defense. They are passionate only about making sure that their wards are given fair treatment by the governments of the world. Ganza is represented by the symbol of the scales. Her followers are expected to dress well while following their mission.

Dendar, King of Nightmares

Dendar was born as the God of Fear but he proved to be a loose cannon and he ended up being opposed by good and evil gods alike. He sought the destruction of everything that everybody had built. Therefore, the evil gods did not stand in the way of the good gods when they captured Dendar. They imprisoned him for eternity in a box floating through Outer Planar space. At some point after the Ascension, the box was cracked and Dendar escaped into the Dreamplane. Mortals and Immortals alike still feel the pure fear of Dendar’s power in their sleep. If he can, Dendar will be released from the Dreamplane and will not stop until he utterly destroys the multiverse.

Pantheon Addendum

November 23, 2019

The following are more minor deities of the realms.   These are mostly neutral parties that did not take sides in the conflict that broke the world.

Ogun, God of the Forge

Ogun was a lonely and solitary god, who did not speak to most of the other gods. The only exception was his rare talks with Ioun and her entourage as they engaged Ogun’s intellect. He used them to inspire new ideas. He was mostly preoccupied with his creations. He loved to create, spending every day at the forge to create for the sake of creating. However, when the other gods learned of him, they sought him out. They tasked him with creating magical weapons and tools for them. He decided to take neither side and created many magical items for the various deities and their followers. He also discovered the secret of making sentient weapons and items, a skill that has rarely been replicated. He used a lot of the same techniques to give birth to living constructs. Many of them guarded his forge against both sides and assisted their master at the forge. He is not a very skillful fighter and he lost his arms and face while guarding his forge in the final conflict. He was able to construct new arms, even better-suited for his tasks. He replaced his face with a mask of metal and stone. After the Final Conflict, he was locked deep under the world at its very center. He was content to build and destroy his own creations and never see the world again. Ogun’s worshippers are makers, happy to get their hands dirty in order to make things nobody has ever seen before.

Nami, The Iron Maiden

Nami was Ogun’s greatest creation, a perfect living construct that he meticulously created over years of careful creation. Left to her own devices (as all constructs were) she made the choice on her own to assist Ogun with his projects. She quickly proved herself to be the most capable of his assistants and in return, he infused her with greater god energy, a spark from his own being. She became the mother of all constructs, from that date onward having a hand in the creation of every construct created. She became a true love and companion of Ogun after spending a few years on her own, as suggested by Ogun to make sure that she was not merely subservient to his will. She eventually had a few of her own projects. She organized the defense in the final conflict and she was the one who personally crafted the replacement parts of her true love. She gladly went into exile with Ogun after the conflict so that they could both create together. Nami’s worshippers often crossover with Ogun’s. If the world’s remaining constructs could talk, they might reveal that they worship Nami.

Esho, the Goddess of Time

Nobody is quite sure how she does it but Esho maintains the flow of time and keeps it moving forward. An enigmatic figure, she was rarely ever seen by the other gods and never by mortals. Still, scraps of her story have filtered down through the years. She was most likely the first deity to form into being and was alone in the void before creation. She is self-sufficient, a total loner who never needed any companionship. She did not take part in the Final Conflict as she needed to be completely focused on her job. She also had no attachments to the others and did not want to take sides anyway. After the conflict, she disappeared and nobody could ever find her. She passed beyond the planes but still obviously maintains the flow of time. She has a few odd worshippers but she pays them no mind. She gets annoyed when magic users cast time-based spells like Slow or Haste.

Fear

A truly sadistic force of nature, Fear never took a proper name and never allied itself with any of the other gods. A true shapechanger, nobody knows what Fear’s base form is. Fear delighted in invoking its namesake in all mortal beings, keeping them all beneath its heel. It absorbed the world’s fears and grew very powerful. Before the Final Conflict, the good gods banished Fear to the Dream Realm where it bides its time creating nightmares. Any worshippers are absolutely insane.

Uzas, the Goddess of Trickery

The Goddess of Trickery is a more innocent version of the Cyric (Corruption) and a more stable version of Akanay (Chaos). She is also the twin sister of Laverna (Luck). She is the patron of those who rejects society’s rules and often society itself. She believes that the world is more interesting if you sew a little confusion and surprise to spice things up. Uzas enjoys playing pranks on people and drawing a reaction from the world around her and therefore prizes those individuals who feel the same. She also prizes individuality. During the Final Battle, she fled in fear along with her sister (although Laverna came back) and she regretted it. Nobody is quite sure where she went after the conflict but there are reports of pranks being played in the various heavens.

Lady of Pain

The mysterious Lady who presides over the equally mysterious City of Sigil. Nobody is quite sure what the Lady looks like as most look down or away when they sense her approach. She is surrounded by chains and strips of cloth that seem to have a mind of their own and swirl around her, hiding her from view. Also, people can kind of feel when she is around. Nobody is quite sure what she is or where she came from either. What little that is known about her or her wishes are communicated by six lieutenants that see to the day to day operation of Sigil. She is not a deity, or at least she does not wish to be worshipped as one. Anybody heard worshipping her is usually gruesomely murdered by the Lady herself. She is known to defend Sigil from any major threat. In fact, there is a rumor that the Lady easily defeated and vivisected a Tarrasque sent to dominate Sigil. It is best to just avoid the Lady when possible, get in and out of Sigil quickly, and make sure you follow her rules.

The God War and the Starlings

June 4, 2018

(This is another selection from the history of the material plane of my Elorian Campaign setting.  It is the setting of When It All Ended, The Faith of the Raven, and various one-shot stories in the archives.  It is my own thing but it also an homage to Dungeons and Dragons lore as it is primarily intended to be a setting for adventures.)

Many thousands of years ago, long before any time that the oldest elf can remember, the Gods walked the land. It was a time of chaos for the races above and below the earth. The gods played their games and waged their wars and it was too much for the mortal world to bear. Eventually, the kinder gods saw their folly and decided that it was time for the deities of the world to remove themselves for the good of all. Besides, their activities had become tiresome and it was time for a retirement of sorts. A war was waged between the light and the dark. In the end, the fight was close but the dark was pushed from the material plane and scattered into different dimensions. Most gods remain locked in their own domain to keep them from interacting directly. In the case of Orcus, he is literally locked away in chains.

A barrier was erected that would lock the dark gods away. This barrier would also separate the light gods from the world once they agreed to retreat from it. This barrier keeps the gods from directly affecting the material plane. The barrier does allow souls to pass from the material plane to their afterlife and reward in the various outer planes. The barrier did indeed prevent the gods from interacting but many still had interest in the material plane and other intermediate planes. In order for them to enact change in the world, gods must use willing agents or worshippers. By funneling their magic through these mortals, they can push events either for or against the mortal races. Only small amounts of their power can pass through the barriers and only through mortals or enchanted physical objects.

In the long interval since the gods walked the lands, the light gods have grown comfortable with the domains that they created for themselves. They have learned that the harder they push the mortals toward being good, the more chaos they might create. Meanwhile, the dark gods still wish to cause the damage they caused before their banishment. Most of them are very active in scheming and using their limited influence to dominate the world from afar. Perhaps with the world dominated, their followers could discover the means to break the barrier or at least blackmail the light gods into doing so. The light gods generally only move to oppose the dark gods when it is necessary, preferring to let the inherent goodness of the mortal races and free will decide things. There are no more wars between the gods and instead, those wars are fought amongst the mortal denizens of the inner planes.  While war is still tragic, it is far less destructive for everybody who is involved.  Believe it or not, the land is in a period of relative peace.

One of the biggest concerns that remain to the gods is the concept of ascension. There has only been one ascension in the history of the world. Most gods coalesced at the beginning of time. They somehow were created at the same time as the universe. Their personalities formed over time as they learned and grew into the powerful beings they are now. The one exception to that is the ascension of the Raven Queen to godhood. Her true name has been lost to time but she is the only mortal to achieve true godhood. She did so by defeating the previous god of death, Nerull, while she was empowered by the souls of her deceased nation through a complicated interaction with the wish spell.  Her entire nation was annihilated during a war between Nerull and Lathander.

The memory of ascension has been removed from the mortal world through time and the maneuvering of divine agents in the material plane. Many of the gods have even lost any and all references to the involved magicks as well. To prove her good intentions to the light gods, the Raven Queen volunteered to have the memories removed of her own ascension although she retains a lot of the related bullet points. The balance that has been struck must be preserved at all costs. While one method has been lost, it may be rediscovered or another method might be discovered. Therefore, the amassing of too much power is seen as inherently dangerous.

It is for this reason that the Starlings were founded. Their initial gathering and mission were caused by an earthbound planetar sent by Lathander and Saranrae. Their holy mission was to stop those who would gather too much power as it is known that power can corrupt. Along the way, the religions were joined with the political and the organization became more practical. However, the founders understood that the organization could not be weaponized by one people or by one nation so they remain disconnected from political, military, or religious oversight. This separation serves another purpose in keeping them out of the history books.

Even now, the Order of the Starling remains largely secret. It is compartmentalized to prevent its totality from being compromised. Most of its members are researchers and clerics. They whisper in adventurer’s ears to get them to eliminate the enemies of peace and order. One could go on a mission for the Starlings without ever knowing that that tip or rumor might have been intentionally leaked by a Starling. The organization could care less about getting the credit for saving the world and leadership only steps in when it is absolutely necessary. Their field operatives are deep undercover and the world would be hard-pressed to discover their existence now. Thus, they protect the material plane from an apocalypse or an ascension without the world being any the wiser.

Pantheon (Eloria Campaign)

December 4, 2017

I thought I would add more to my Dungeons and Dragons fantasy setting and create the main pantheon of gods and goddesses. While these are not the only ones allowed by players, these are the most widespread in the continent where the game would take place. These are the temples that are most often constructed and the prayers most often uttered in public and in private. This does not include any evil gods or goddesses as this central pantheon is kind of my campaign’s Breakfast Club. As with all things I post on this blog, this is a rough draft and is only a first stab at what would be provided for players.

Lathander – God of Light

Lathander is known as the Morning Lord because there will always be another dawn. His followers tend to be an optimistic lot, always looking for the next dawn and knowing that Lathander’s light can wash away even the darkest shadows. Because of this optimism, his followers are probably the most vocal of any religious person in the land. When you are sure that your chosen god will get you through a dangerous situation, it can become an opportunity to get others to turn toward his light. Lathander himself is a champion of good and has little patience for the truly wicked things in the world and beyond. He is a beacon of hope but also a bastion against the nine hells, the abyss, and the undead. His temples tend to be elaborate affairs, usually with a lot of windows to let the light in and candles and lanterns for the night times. He is a tall man, clad in golden armor and he carries a long shining spear. His hair looks like the first rays of sunlight. His symbol is the dawning sun.

The Raven Queen – Goddess of Death

She forsook her true name in death and ascended into godhood to serve the people of the land. Her reputation is that of creepiness and darkness but she also has a gentle side to her. She is death but death is not always bad. She is most concerned with unnatural life and the perversion of natural death. She is a constant enemy of vampires, the undead, necromancers, and anybody else who would return from the dead to do evil. Because of the way people fear death, she does not have many followers but her name is often uttered at funerals of all faiths to keep loved ones from crawling from their graves and tombs. The followers she does have are dedicated to exterminating those who have unnaturally returned to walk the land. However, she does make exceptions for those earnestly resurrected with good intentions, knowing that letting a good adventurer return can mean all the difference in her constant crusade. She is a silent, enigmatic goddess. She wears dark armor that conceals her movements and a white porcelain mask that hides her features. Nobody knows what weapon she carries as nobody who has seen her use one has lived to tell the tale. Her symbol is the raven.

Ioun – Goddess of Knowledge

Above all things, Ioun hates an unrevealed secret. She feels that too many secrets lead to the division of society and causes pointless fighting. Why engage in fighting borne from ignorance when there are so many more real issues to debate? Ioun supports the revealing of secrets through education and the dissemination of information. She is a supporter of writing, reading, schools, and any other medium used to reveal the secrets of the universe. Ioun would be the first of the pantheon to admit that she is not omniscient. She constantly seeks out new knowledge and eagerly watches her followers’ progress towards amassing knowledge. She delights in discoveries and encourages the literal and figurative asking of questions. While most of her followers pursue magic, they are also credited with the modest advancements in science. It was most certainly her inspiration that helped create clockwork mechanisms. She takes the form of a young goddess, looking at the world with wide-eyed wonder but also holding a wisdom far beyond her apparent physical age. She is not really a fighter, only fighting in the past when it was absolutely necessary. She does not forbid violence for a good cause as she recognizes that there are plenty of great causes for violence. Her symbol is the open eye.

Saranrae – Goddess of Life

Patience and forbearance are definitely virtues of those who worship Saranrae. She does not push her followers to publicly praise her or to try and convert people to her cause. She prizes one earnest follower over a dozen insincere ones any day. She is the wellspring of life and a common source of healing magic for clerics and other healers. Her followers are often quiet about their religion, hoping that their good acts and curiosity will win their goddess new followers. Saranrae’s temples are beautiful but they are also usually simple and quickly constructed. They are a place of calm reflection and sanctuary from the bustle of city or town life. The goddess herself is non-violent, having never laid a hand on another with bad intentions in mind. However, she is not by any means a pacifist and understands and supports battle medics who pursue peace by any means necessary. She has a calming effect on her followers and also on the pantheon around her. She is often a voice of reason, urging the others to consult Ioun or look within their hearts before acting. During the last great battle, her magicks saved the lives of Lathander and Kord and they are eternally grateful. She appears as an unimposing woman except for the fact that she has two white wings growing from her back. Her symbol is the winged woman.

Sylvanus – God of Nature

Obviously, Sylvanus is mostly interested in nature and the untamed life on the land, the sea, and the sky. Sylvanus is the Oakfather and he is a proud father indeed. He loves to see the trees grow, wild animals flourish, and most of all he loves to see harmony between man and nature. While he is often uncomfortable with civilization, he is glad to see the masses of humanity clumped together instead of stomping all over creation. He definitely respects that everything has its place and gets pretty upset when the natural order of things is disturbed. While he loves to observe the trees and the remote grasslands, he also will direct his attention to the ocean depths and to high mountain peaks. Really, he just loves to watch the splendor of nature. He also supports the defense of that splendor. Druids are his favorite pupils but he also has great respect for those who respect nature like barbarians, rangers, and farmers. He will support any adventurer or follower who seeks to remove that which does not belong from the land. Abominations are particularly troubling to Sylvanus and he looks on chromatic dragons as troublemakers who twist what was already perfect in his eyes. He is a solid man who has always fought with a long gnarled wooden staff but somewhere along the line also took up archery, inspired by the rangers. His symbol is the oak leaf.

Akanay – Deity of Chaos

As Akanay will tell you, a little chaos in the world can be a good thing. Without change, there can be stagnation. Without challenges, there can be no improvement. Without interesting times, there is only boredom. And so chaos took a form to further its cause which is basically no cause. Basically, it took the form of a deity because they thought it would be fun. So far, they have not been disappointed. Akanay delights in those who act as agents of change when things are too sad and sober. By the way, I say ‘Deity of Chaos’ because Akanay is literally genderfluid as he/she/they takes whatever form pleased them in the moment. Her ways can be a bit too destabilizing for the others on the pantheon and beyond but they do have a reprieve. Akanay is obsessed with the sea because of its ever-swirling nature and often focuses her attention out there which allows others to catch their breath. Akanay also adores cats as they view them as bucking the system. It has become a common practice for ships to carry a cat on board to appease Akanay. Akanay does not have a common appearance but is often known to have multi-colored hair. Akanay also does not have any temples as building one kind of goes counter to their personality but Akanay’s name is mentioned often by sailors. Prayers to Akanay are also usually begging for the deity’s mercy, to look elsewhere. They have no symbol.

Kord – God of Battle

Kord is somebody who understands that battle is not necessarily an evil thing. Physical challenge, even in times of peace keeps the people healthy and works out all the negative energy they store inside. In fact, Kord does not battle angrily but is instead known to laugh as he hurtles headlong into the fray. He often transfers that joy for fighting to his followers. He supports entertaining martial arts like boxing and other hand-to-hand combat even in peacetime and his followers often set up fighting rings and arenas in his honor. In solemn times of war, Kord encourages brotherhood and sisterhood in battle and a togetherness unlike anything else on the planet. Followers of Kord take battle very seriously but also can be the first to crack a joke on the front lines to ease the tension a little bit. Kord does not judge how anybody does battle. While he personally wears plenty of armor and swings heavy weapons, he marvels at empty-handed monks going against armies with swords. He does, however, stress honor in battle especially when it is done for fun. In battles between good and evil, he is much more willing to see the rules bent in good’s favor. However, he stresses that bending the rules is a slippery slope toward the very evil that good combats daily. His symbol is the clenched fist.


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