Today I’m going to talk about the various deities present in the setting, some of their teachings, symbols, and things like that.
The first thing to note about the different gods and goddesses is that they are not referred to by name, only by a title. The use of a ‘Godsname’ allows an amount of power to transfer from the god to the user, and some control over the god in question. It is also believed that a god’s powers can be transferred, or perhaps a better word is consumed, by another powerful being (see the description of the Fiend, below).
Different titles may exist across different geographical areas, though they are generally uniform in any one location (exceptions abound in the busy port of Queenstown).
Another important element of godhood is that they were all once mortals, alive and active in the world, before an event of apotheosis enabled them to Ascend. The gods themselves are sometimes referred to collectively as ‘the Ascended’ by scholars. Sometimes this apotheosis happens shortly after death (in the case of great heroes being venerated for glorious battles, or villains for similar).
Upon Ascension, many details are forgotten from the other minds of mortals, chiefly a physical description and real name of the Ascended. It is not removed from the world however, as some individuals seem to retain this memory (it is not known why). Physical records also remain unaltered (and are usually the first things sought and destroyed by the agents of the new god).
It is rare to find an individual who will not give a prayer to more than one god, even among the priesthood of a particular deity. They may venerate one god above others, but the purview of that one god is unlikely to overlap greatly with that many others.
Major gods include:
The Darkling Queen
Spinner of fate, patron of shadows, goddess of death and the dead. She notes the death of each mortal life, and mourners call upon her during funerary rites to protect against the curse of undeath.
She expects her followers to watch for cults of undeath and stamp them out, and to attack the proud and greedy who seek to cast off the chains of fate and escape death. The price of life is an ending in death.
Her symbol is a leafless grey tree on a field of black.
The Dragon King
Also called the Purple Drake, he is believed to have been the founder of the old Dragonkin Empire, many thousands of years ago. He is the god of the righteous and noble, upholder of honour, and protector of those who cannot protect themselves. His followers are charged similarly, particularly with opposing the evil of the Usurper, a rival god (more on him below).
His symbol is a crowned dragon-in-flight, either in purple or upon a field of purple.
The Great Muse
Sometimes thought of as the goddess of civilization, she is the patron of great invention, founder of cities, and author of tales untold. Her temples often hold pride of place in the worlds major cities, and icons sometimes adorn places of learning.
She encourages her followers to work in unison to achieve their goals, as community is stronger than the disjointed works of individuals. They are also tasked to seek innovation in all things, and to generally be creative.
Her symbol is a white feather or quill, on a field of sea blue and storm grey.
Powerful warrior, and champion of the skies, the Stormlord revels in strength and glory upon the battlefield. Thunder is is laughter. Those who hope to appease him and his wild nature do so with loud toasts filled with bravado and tournaments of martial skill.
He encourages bravery, scorns cowardice, though entreats his followers to pick their battles wisely. A warrior life should end in a worthy manner.
His symbol is an amber sword, sometimes jagged, upon a blood red and storm grey field, usually a shield.
The Thousand Eyes
The god of knowledge and secrets, he is known as the blind man who can see the innermost thoughts of most beings (and his priesthood contains a great many blind men).
He guides his followers to hold some secrets closely, but to set free knowledge that needs to be.
His symbol is a group of three eyes, on a field of gold.
The Wanderer, goddess of adventure, freedom, trade, travel, and the frontier. Her temples are few, but she has many wayside shrines along roadways new and ancient. Merchants are drawn to her worship, and many raise a glass to her as a goddess of luck.
She urges her followers to campaign for liberty, to seek out the new, to explore, and to accept change as inevitable (but to work hard to make change for the better).
She is one of the few to be known by two different symbols, the first a silver coin, the other a silver boot. Both are often represented on a field of sea blue and grass green.
Several other minor gods exist, such as:
The Beggar Prince – a new Ascended, he currently holds some minor sway over those thought of as downtrodden in the area of Queenstown. His followers wear an old copper coin on a bootlace.
The Lady of the Harvest – a harvest deity, also the goddess of bees. Primarily worshiped in and around Kingsmead.
The Crones – three goddesses of knowledge, holding that secrets should not be kept. Their symbol, a three pointed crown, is often seen on buildings of learning, particularly Raethmoore Mage Academy.
The Keeper of Dreams – god of sleep and dreams, and also patron of watchmen. It is thought he gifts visions to the worthy, and nightmares to those who somehow deserve them.
The more malevolent forces include Ascended also. Prominent among them are:
Believed to have once been a mortal, he somehow learned a Godsname, then used his powers to learn more. He has consumed several of the Ascended over thousands of years. His followers seek power over other gods to greater earn his favour, and can be found in small numbers across the world.
Called the Rightful King by his followers, the Grey Dragon has his origin in an early uprising in the old Dragonkin Empire. Exiled along with his followers, they have schemed to overthrow the Dragon King in any way possible since.
Whilst he maintains a code of honour, he otherwise opposes the Dragon King, espousing an exploitation of the weak, and conquering through subversion.
His symbol is a dragon-in-flight, either in ash grey or upon a similar field.
So that’s a little bit of the setting sorted. There are more details for some of the minor gods, and more evil gods yet to be details, including the Burned Man, the Scarred One, and the Outsider (who is the last of the First Ones!).
One thought on “Gods, Goddesses and Ascension”
I like the Darkling Queen… Death doesn't always have to be an evil thing and is a part of life, so it's nice to see that they fight against the Undead and such for denying their just fates.
I also like The Traveller, because until Tymora I didn't really have a female goddess for my rogues as they were all guys like Oldimarra, lol.
These sound like some great ideas!