The races of world pay homage to many powers, beliefs, and divinities. Though the gods themselves are many, only some—arguably the most well known—are described here. The names given are merely the most common. Almost every god has at least a dozen names—some have many more or none at all—which stem from the languages and cultures that revere them.
The Triad and the Greater Gods
According to a consensus of belief, above all divinities is the Triad, the eldest of the Greater Gods whose mighty works begat the world. They are Choranus the Seer Father, his consort Ildavir the Giver of Form, and his brother Centivus the Shaper. The children of Choranus and Ildavir are Ireth, Daenthar, Poderon, and Olidyra. At least five other gods of great power were invited to have a hand in the world’s creation. These were Amun Tor, Auzarr, Madrah, Ahriman, and Ormazd, beings of unknown origin.
The arrival and subsequent creations of these beings were an offense to Zhühn, the Dweller in the Void, a creature of such power that he would later be worshipped as a Greater God himself by the nihilistic and the mad. Knowing only nonexistence and timelessness, Zhühn is the antithesis of creation itself.
The Sancturn Pantheon
The world has been the battleground for the lofty ideals of the gods since its first dawn. Before the doctrines of Good and Evil began their eternal struggle, the ethics of Law and Chaos sought to dominate the course of the world. Eventually recognizing the need for a balance of the two—and the need for choice—the Triad withdrew its overwhelming influence from the world, and today seldom intercedes in the world directly.
Instead it is the Lesser Gods of the Sancturn Pantheon who hold the greatest sway in everyday life. Refugees from their own long-vanished cosmos, the Sancturns now give the mortals of the world the capacity to shape their own world. Once led by Ōę, these gods now answer only to the Triad. Given power over the provinces of the world, the Sancturns keep at bay those mortals whose ambitions would threaten to unseat the cosmic order—and indeed, disorder—of the multiverse itself.
Though the Greater Gods remain as they are, the powers of the Lesser Gods can wax and wane. As well, some deities have taken mortal creatures as consorts and from such unions demigods have been formed. Other, less understood means exist to create new divinities. One such source is the lifeblood of the gods themselves. When the world was still young, Zhühn sought to sabotage its existence by attacking those who gave it life. The Great Enemy, in his naļveté, dealt a grievous blow to the body of Ildavir, the Giver of Form. From the wound sprang the goddess Elyr, fully formed. In her wake, Ildavir’s injury was healed, and Zhühn had gained a serious new enemy.
Seeing that his aggression only resulted in the bane of new life, Zhühn learned that divine flesh was both malleable and enduring. When the ocean goddess Pelagia gave birth to a son aeons later, the Great Enemy seized the child and wrenched his body in two. Unable to perish so easily, the sundered halves of the newborn god still shriveled under Zhühn’s touch and became the twin demigods of Narrimunāth and Nimlurun. Legends tell of other occasions where divine interference has created new divinities, intentionally or otherwise.
Though the slaying of a god is difficult, at best, many have been altogether forgotten or shunned. Meelkor, once the god of humility, was accused of complicity in unforgivable divine crimes by Zhühn centuries ago and was forcefully driven from the cosmos. Sothulth, a demigod of paranoia, represents another such exiled divinity, though he has attempted to return to mortal memory.
Referred to collectively as the Outer Gods, these blasphemous beings are believed to exist outside of the known planes. Worshipped in the world only by the most aberrant creatures, the insane, or the misguided, they are abominations among gods. Zhühn himself is sometimes affiliated with the Outer Gods insofar that he may have had a hand in their making—or he may be one of them who broke away, a pariah among corruptive gods.
Devils and demons do not fit neatly into the scheme of mortals and gods. Ancient beings of evil power, some may have been wrought from the detritus of failed worlds when the Triad first began creation. Others may be older still, creatures possessed of law, chaos, and evil long before such words had meaning. Or perhaps they’re merely the manifestations of the cumulative sins of freethinking beings. Whatever their origins, the fiends prey upon mortal souls of the Material Plane, finding sustenance from their misery, despair, and every choice sin.
They only bring death upon a mortal when doing so also siphons his soul, or when they have been denied it altogether. Amere sampling of ten archdevils and demon princes are described below, though a great deal many more fiendish lords look upon the world with voracious, soul-craving appetites.
A Final Note
The gods are not the celestial bodies they care for. Ildavir is not the earth, but she is its caretaker. Shul is not the moon, and Pelagia is not the ocean itself. The gods stand apart from their creations and their charges, yet none knows a sculpture as well as the sculptor, none a child as well as its parent.
Although gods influence the world, they do not themselves move it. That is the job for the heroes.
If the god’s alignment in the accompanying table (download link above) has a smaller letter in parentheses after it, that means the ethos of the religion often leans in that direction (for example, “g” for Good).