In the beginning was the void, and the void was all; rich with potential but vacant, it yearned to become more than the primal Nothing. And thus did the yearning kindle Existence from Potential, and the Three came to be from what had been naught. Three, echoing the perfect balance of the empty void with the tension between their natures. The Great Mother birthed herself from the emptiness, a great and terrible force of burning light and life, the essence of change and creation that lit the Void with her potential. From the shadows cast by Her power came the Hollow, the remnant emptiness of the Void coalescing against Her nature, bringing the peace of death and the fury of destruction into existence. From their tensions arose the third, the stable fulcrum, the Shining One, whose presence bound their contests to rules and orders such that none would merely usurp and devour the others.
-Creation story, as told by Sightless-Seer of the Forgotten Skies orc tribe
The Primordials are just that; the primordial entities which arose from the original void of the cosmos, so utterly powerful that the simple act of existing brought existence into being. In a sense, they are aware, but it is on a level far beyond mortal comprehension; rather than being the creators of the world, or anything so active, they quite simply are the world. Without them, reality would never have come to exist; with them, it cannot help but exist. They are the headwaters of existence, the divine font of power that is the ultimate source of all things. Even the most deranged and courageous of magi do not trifle with their degree of power, bearing in mind lessons hard-earned by prior generations.
The Great Mother
There are those who try to attribute some sense of motherly love, kindness, or gentleness to the Great Mother. They are fools and idiots; the Great Mother is the source of life, it is true, but also of change. It is her power, tapped by an unwary mage looking to enhance the healing process, that brought the deadly scourge of trolls into the world. She is the mother of the world, but she has no thought for her children after their birth, unless they come to her attention and she visits transformative forces upon them to make them anew.
Similarly, there are those who villify the Hollow as a destroyer, a consumer of lives and souls that takes a malicious glee in breaking things; and again, they are fools. The Hollow is just as primal as the Great Mother, the shadow to Her light, an entity of furious destruction and the calm stillness of death. The Hollow is no more actively malignant than an erupting volcano or a ferocious windstorm; it merely snuffs out existence, seeking equilibrium with the Great Mother’s wanton creative forces. At times, it even creates, in a lesser fashion; the Abominations are among its children, blessed with an instinctive grasp of the peace that oblivion brings.
The Shining One
Again, rumors and myths claim that the Shining One has motives; that it is a judge and arbitrator, willed to exist by the others that they could decide upon a winner, the judge become a player in the game itself. Yet again, this is a tragic falsehood; the Shining One, while certainly a force of order, is much more than that; it is the principle of complexity given independent existence. From it arises the mad complexity of the world, wild creation and calm order twined together in an ever-more-complex dance. If any of the three could be said to be the progenitor of the mortal races, it is the Shining One, for sentience is nothing if not the result of the way all things touched by the Shining One’s power strive towards greater complexity, until self-awareness is born of that complexity.
As the Three were bound by rules to their contest with one another, their power resonated against the Void, calling into being those which resonated with their essence. From Nothing were born the Six, who would lay the world’s foundations. From the Great Mother’s influence came the Lord of Fire and Change, and his brother, the Lord of Light and Revelation; the Hollow’s power echoed this, bringing forth the Lady of Wind and Destruction, and her sister, the Lady of Shadows and Secrets; then the Shining One provided the third point of the balance, as the Lady of the Water and Stability and the Lord of Earth and Creation came to be. Here, below the power of the Three, their contest could not only take place without risking utter oblivion, it would be a contest that birthed the world.
-Creation story, as told by Hand-and-a-Half of the Two Moons orc tribe
The Primal Gods are the direct children of the Primordials, elemental creatures with the sparks of inhuman, fathomless awareness only barely tainted by the notion of intelligence as the mortal races understand such a thing. The embodiments of elemental forces and primal concepts, they are more approachable and less potent that the Primordials, but their pure elemental natures make them far more capricious, and able to manifest a portion of themselves in the mortal world, often to tragic ends for those who gain their attention.
The Brother Gods of Light and Fire
Their existence catalyzed by the ceaseless power of Life and Change pouring from the Great Mother,
The Sister Goddesses of Shadow and Wind
The Siblings of Earth and Water
Shadow/Secret, Light/Revelation, Wind/Destruction, Fire/Change, Water/Stasis, Earth/Creation
They were titans born of the influence of the Greater Gods upon our world after it was forged. The mighty divines who once strode the world’s face, now lost to us, whose essence drew most from the Great Mother; the Abominations, terrible divine monsters who were the Hollow’s favored spawn; and the inscrutable Dragons, who speak of a Game beyond the ken of we mere mortals, who echo the Shining One with their vast Rules. They strode the world freely in the ancient times, waging wars amongst each other and inspiring the mortals of those days to feats of great heroism and terrible villainy we can but marvel at. Now, the Lost Gods are present only in their relics, the Abominations slumber in secluded places, and the Dragons play their Game far beyond mortal reach. Small wonder that we feel the world has fallen from some glorious state.
-Agen Famahnd, scholar of the High Temple of Muriken
Lost Gods, Abominations, and Dragons. Corporeal, more or less, divided between True and Far.
Oi, they’re the real gods if yer askin’ me. None of them the scholars yap about pay mind to us mortal folks, but the Small Gods and the Immortals, they’ll heed us if we pray to ‘em, sure enough.
-Jak Grennel, grain farmer
The Mortal gods are strange things, compared to those above them. The Small Gods are creature of belief and magic, born when we mortals gather enough belief in an idea to bring it into being. They are, when young, entities of singular focus, built entirely around the concept which birthed them. The Immortals, on the other hand, are once-mortals who ascended somehow to personal divinity; most by claiming a divine relic of the Lost Gods and being gifted with the energies within it. Personally, I feel they’re false things and make a decent living ridding people of them.
-Kellip the Godhunter
Two types: Created (Small Gods) and Ascended (Immortals)