The Pantheon of The Insane God
1. The Unnamed God
This pantheon is made up of only one actual god and another simulacrum. This god has no name and has denounced all other deities as false. His priests have been given orders to eradicate all traces of any other god from the face of Tirexia. So far the followers of this god are fervant but powerless. The poor tend to be drawn to its ranks. There is no country in which this god is dominant.
The god is quite insane. His whole being is set to fight “The Great Enemy” and sees the face of this enemy in all other divine beings. The true “Great Enemy” is the god himself. In seeking to cleanse himself of all material wants and desires, he unknowingly split off a piece of his own power, creating a second self in the form of a woman of varying age. He believes this woman, this devil, to be a deceiver who creates false religions in order to lead the people of Tirexia astray; he will not rest until the world has been cleansed of heresy.
This god sometimes appears as a young man dressed for war and other times as a thin, bearded old man.
Priesthood: This god encourages intolerance and hatred. His priests are quick to seek new souls for the holy crusade against evil and do not hesitate to kill those who they feel are not worth saving.
Interactions with other pantheons: Being delusional, this god will not tolerate the presence of other divine beings. There is speculation that he may have been an elder god who has forgotten his original self.
2. Mater, Mother of all Evil.
Mater is the created devil. She appears in many forms. Sometimes as a beautiful young woman with cold blue eyes. Other times as an ancient hag who reeks of refuse and whose touch drains life. She has no priesthood and no real followers. Some may come to her as supplicants but they are never acknowledged, for Mater is only a reflection of the unnamed god’s madness.
The Gods of Karanis
The peoples of Karanis make their living through farming, fishing, and trading. Small villages dot the plains that are surrounded on the landward side by high mountain and sprawling hill and open on the seaward side to the great sea of Hargos. Most of the urban population live in the cities which have grown up about the excellent harbors. There is a marked difference between the simple farmers and fisherfolk and the city dwellers.
The gods hold court on an island in the far sea. Few mortals have seen it; those willing to speak say only that it is protected by dangerous reefs and that they will die never seeing anything to match such beauty as exists there.
3. Aurus, The Sea Mother
Aurus is mother to all. From the womb of the ocean flows all life. All other gods of Karanis are her children and bow down before her. She created Karanis, pushing it up from the sea and calling on her consort, Bull, to push up the mountain heights which separate the lands of Karanis from the deserts beyond.
Aurus is wise, providing the land with plenty and her priests with great wisdom. She is never cruel but exacts stern punishments for wrongdoers and does not suffer fools lightly.
She looks like a woman both aged and ageless. Hair white as sea foam, eyes a piercing turquoise, skin smooth and pale. She wears dresses of cerulean blue and carries a staff made of dark and knobby driftwood adorned with mother-of-pearl. When she speaks, her voice is calm but easily heard and understood, and never questioned.
Priesthood: Each city and village along the coast keeps a temple dedicated to Aurus. In the villages it tends to be little more than a well-kept shrine while the larger cities have elaborately maintained temples built of fine stonework and adorned by precious metals and mother-of-pearl. Seasonal rituals are highly organized and full of ceremony. In addition, her priests and priestesses provide strongly worded advice to the city administrators. Inland she is not worshipped as strongly as her consort, but all know to be cautious in not offending her sensibilities.
4. Bull, Harvest Father
Bull is the consort to Aurus and second of all the Karani gods. He is the strength and fertility of the land. At the command of Aurus, he raised up the mountains surrounding Karanis, protecting the agrarian people from desert raiders.
He is portrayed as a man of early middle age with dark hair greying at the temples and a large, muscular physique. His eyes are a piercing green and his brow is furrowed in concentration. He waits upon the will of Aurus. He is her lover and her champion. While Aurus looks over the peoples of the coast, Bull watches over the parsely populated villages of the interior.
Priesthood: Bull’s priests preside over rituals surrounding the seasonal activities of an agrarian culture. Planting, growing, and harvesting crops are all activities with rituals performed in Bull’s name. Included in these are marriages, births, and funerals.
5. Viter, the Clown
Viter appears as a short man of slight build. His hair is brown and plain, his eyes hazel and full of mischief. He walks with a limp and the help of a simple wooden cane. The cane is magic; Viter uses it to perform pyrotechnics for entertainment. Anywhere humor is seen or mortals put on a show, Viter is invited in. It is said that acrobats and jugglers are Viter’s priests.
6. Ulanis, Keeper of the Dead
Ulanis watches over the dead as they are carried beneath the waves and into the depths of the sea. Those who dwell upon the coast bury their dead in the cold, dark seas, and pray to Ulanis that their loved ones find safe passage to the pleasant lands beneath. Inland, it is said that Ulanis sends minions to pry the dead from their graves and bring them down to his realm. None have spoken of what Ulanis looks like. The other gods speak little of the realm of the dead and less of Ulanis.
7. Dexanis, the Worker’s Friend
Dexanis is friend to tradesman and merchant alike. She knows and has mastered every craft in the known world. Her works are brilliant forms of art with amazing properties.
8. Dervais, son of Dexanis; Demigod
Dexanis took a mortal lover, who gave birth to Dervais. Dervais inherited his mother’s skill in craftsmanship and is highly sought after for his works. Having lived for over two centuries and seen many of his mortal friends and family perish with age, he has begun to distance himself from the wider world. He creates little these days, but may be roused from his stupor for a good cause.
The Gods of Odval
Odval is a landlocked realm in the middle of great grassy plains. The population is evenly divided between city and countryside. The government is an oligarchy ruled by land owners. It is one great bureaucracy centered on the capitol with administrators appointed over various districts.
Odval is a vast realm and has swallowed up more than a few of its neighbors.
9. Cosmos, the All-Pervading Spirit
Cosmos has no physical form and there are no images made to depict it. To the inhabitants of Odval, Cosmos is an omniscient being whose consciousness has surpassed all understanding by mortal minds. None can understand Cosmos, but one can obtain peace and hope by appealing to Cosmos’ great will and kind spirit. Sages seek to unravel the mysteries of Cosmos.
Those who obtain enlightenment in their lives join with Cosmos. Those who do not join Cosmos are condemned by their own ignorance to one of the two hells: fire or ice, each ruled over by a twin. Some speculate that these hells are not permanent but are designed to illustrate to the dead what mistakes they have made in life and that, once realized, the soul will be free to join Cosmos.
Priesthood: There is no single organized priesthood dedicated to Cosmos. Some attempt to find understanding and enlightenment through mysticism; monasteries dot the land. Others seek understanding through knowledge. Odval has a number of highly respected institutions of learning, all dedicated to Cosmos.
10. Dolantis, the First Twin
Dolantis rules over the first hell. He is an albino and thinly built. He is known for his great intellectual prowess and cold, calculating demeanor. Scholars often implore him for assistance rather than the distant, inscrutable Cosmos.
His realm is one of ice. The souls destined for his realm feel nothing. They spend eternity in a landscape of perpetual ice and driving snow. They feel no warmth, no love, and no hope. Only an all-pervading numbness.
11. Dolanta, the Second Twin
Dolanta rules over the second hell, the hell of fire. She is a deity of unearthly beauty. With long, luscious hair of firy red, emerald eyes, creamy skin, and a full figure, she is gorgeous beyond words. Devotees often implore Dolanta for help in love and other matters of the heart.
Those condemned to her hell spend eternity feeling too much. Fires constantly burn away what souls remember as skin. Screams resound throughout Dolanta’s realm.
12. Herxan, the Healer; Demigod
Born of Dolanta and a mortal man, Herxan has pale skin dotted with freckles, pink eyes, and auburn hair. Unlike her mother, she is homely looking and constantly wears a hooded cloak to hide her face. She can never feel warm, and yet her skin is burning hot to the touch.
Herxan has made a study of healing and knows more about the healing arts than any other living soul. She lives in obscurity, sometimes taking on an apprentice to teach but otherwise traveling the land alone and performing miraculous healings in secret. Some of her former apprentices have gone on to teach at prestigious schools of medicine but none have betrayed her injunction against speaking of her existence.
The Gods of Breal
Breal is a land of barbarians, clans who live by hunting and fighting. Living in the thick forests of the north, these hardy souls hold strength and cunning in equal stead. Neighboring clans are as likely to raid each other as they are to trade.
13. Moravar, The Hunter
Moravar is the ultimate hunter. His skin is dusky and dappled, like the forest floor. His hair is brown and green. His eyes are dark, his features narrow and fox-like. He is as silent as the hare and as cunning as the fox. Hunters always leave a portion of their kills for him so that he will always bless the hunt.
Rituals are enacted on Moravar’s behalf during seasonal changes and describe the activities of animals as they prepare for winter or emerge in the summer. Hunters wear fetishes made from dyed animal skin, sinew, and bone that have been blessed by the tribal shaman.
During certain days of the year it is said that Moravar’s aspect “turns dark.” When this happens, the clans put up charms of protection about their homes and do not venture out. Those caught wandering the woods are found dead and mutilated the next day, faces etched with looks of extreme horror.
14. Caylin, The Moon
Caylin’s aspects follow the moon. On a new moon she appears as a young maiden. As the moon waxes, so does her belly, in the manner of a pregnant woman. At the full moon she gives birth to a star. As the moon wanes she returns to maidenhood, ever youthful and ever rejuvenated.
Her consort is Tragar. She dallies with him during the new moon but sticks to the night time during her pregnancy.
Caylin is the patron of women, who come to her in supplication for their woes and in celebration of their joys. Many rituals are enacted only among other women. Men are not allowed to know the mysteries of Caylin but that does not prevent them from appealing to her for wives and happiness in marriage.
15. Tragar, The Sun
Tragar is a warrior. He is youthful, strong, and boisterous. He revels in battle and in celebration. Moravar may be thanked for supplying the first boar of spring for hunting, but Tragar is honored at the feast.
Gods of the Wollans
The Wollans are a strange people who live in an isolated mountain valley. The peaks about them are tall, foreboding things, always capped in snow and void of foliage. In contrast, the mountain valley of the Wollans is warm and lush, full of life. Being isolated from the easy invasion and having so little in the way of wealth or trade goods, the Wollans have very little contact with the world outside their small borders.
There are six distinct villages making up the Wollan nation. They are a peaceful people, as a whole. Skirmishes occasionally occur, but they are fairly ritualized in nature and fatalities are rare.
Wollan gods are not anthropomorphic. Each god takes the physical form of an animal. To avoid accidentally consuming a god, the Wollans are all vegetarian. The single glaring exception to this is a form of ritualized cannibalism performed by very few shaman on rare occasions. As the gods are not human in form and are not capable of human speech, the Wollans use consciousness-altering drugs in their rituals to communicate with and learn from them.
16. Raven, Keeper of Dark Mysteries
Raven holds a special place in the Wollan pantheon. He is the wise one, the keeper of wisdom and magical secrets. Raven holds keys to the Void realms and must be approached cautiously. Many a prospective shaman has had his or her mind shattered by viewing the Void without proper preparation. Raven has little care for such power-hungry fools and leaves them to wander aimlessly and broken with naught but a loud cackling laugh directed at their crushed hubris. The serious seeker of knowledge, the ones who are able to properly empty themselves and look deep into the Void without avarice, are rewarded with arcane secrets.
The other gods pay heed to the advice of Raven. Yet they also give Raven a wide berth, for even this god is somewhat mad and unpredictable.
17. Wren, the Bard
Wren is the keeper of music, the master of lore. Bards learned their tales from Wren long ago and have ever shared their own stories with her musical spirit.
18. Coyote, the Arbiter
Coyote leads the village and has the wisdom to find compromise in confrontation. Many go to Coyote for his advice in dealing with others, though he pays no heed to greedy fools who seek to twist his advice into a means for their own gain over others’ loss.
Gods of the Ghost People
The Ghost People, meant in a literal sense, are the shades of a vanished race of men. The crumbling brick and stone of their once great cities dot the landscape. Fields once gold with the stalks of barley are now naught but dried and cracked dirt without the ancient irrigation ducts to feed them.
Few legends remain about the rise and fall of the Ghost People. Their very name has been irredemably lost to time. No attempt is ever made to plunder or rebuild the old cities. The ghosts of these ancients still walk the dusty streets and crowd within the crumbling halls and do not react kindly to interlopers. Few survive; none have learned what calamity struck or what keeps the shades bound to the mortal plane.
These vanished peoples still revere their gods, beings who would have been swallowed up into nothingness without the memories of the deceased to keep them around. These gods still have power in this land and will do so until every last shade has moved on to other realms.
The Ghost People’s gods are many, although most are of little consequence. The gods of highest regard look over the larger aspects of the world, such as the sky, sun, and river. Lesser gods watch over everything from cattle to grain, from farmer’s tools to the scribe’s stencil.
19. U-Lak, the Sky Father
While not the eldest, U-Lak stands at the head of the pantheon. He is the Sky Father, the Beholder of All, the God of Kings. His word is law, his voice causes the land to tremble and the seas to overflow their banks. No man may become king without being recognized by U-Lak. The word of law was passed down by U-Lak. All peoples must praise U-Lak or face his unending wrath. The city of Kal-Loth fell at his command for sacrificing summer’s first bull to the god En-Ga instead of U-Lak. U-Lak is portrayed as a man of great stature, with long black hair and braided beard.
20. Kal-Tun, God of Waters
Kal-Tun is younger brother to U-Lak. His realm is the great life-giving waters of the Hallanak river, whose abundance once graced the fields of the Ghost People. Each year it was Kal-Tun’s duty to flood the banks of the Hallanak to sustain the farms of the Ghost People. Kal-Tun loves his elder brother and will do anything for him.
21. En-Ga, the Elder
En-Ga is the eldest of the Ghost People’s gods. From him sprung all the other greater gods: U-Lak, Kal-Tun, Un-Far, and others. Once he was revered first among the gods, until U-Lak stole his father’s amulet of office through trickery.
22. Un-Far, the Sun
Un-Far rides his fiery chariot across the sky each day and traverses the nether realm each night. From him comes light and the energies of life. He brings feeling back to the deceased who moved on to the nether realm after death. Once, supplicants pled with him to pass messages to their departed loved ones. Now, the shades still walking under the bright sky have no wish to remember that death exists.
23. In-Kal-Ah, the Fertile One
Beautiful and irresistable, In-Kal-Ah is the goddess of fertility and abundance. Through her, the sheep grow fat and reproduce, grain sprouts and ripens, and dates burst forth upon the palm. How desolate she is now that all the sheep have become bones and all the grain has evaporated into dust upon the wind. She has retreated into the earth and weeps for all she has lost, inconsolable.
24. To-Kah, the Celestial Mother and Heart of the Land
To-Kah is the great mother, who gave birth to the major gods with En-Ga.
The Sea Tribes of Jelhan
The Tribes are a loose confederation of clans living in the tropical archipelago of Jelhan. Once treated as inferior savages by neighboring civilizations, the tribes were regularly picked over for slaves. Odval, in particular, believed the inhabitants to be little more than clever animals based on empty theories revolving around their dark skin and were eager to buy slaves to work in mines and on farms.
Eventually, the tribes formed a coalition and fought back. Slavers’ mangled bodies were put on display outside villages and close to bays and coves. Sensing an opportunity, the tribes repurposed the slave ships. At first, they made war upon their hated neighbors, taking vengeance for centuries of mistreatment. Eventually, they discovered a lucrative business as sea traders and are now feared as much for their business acumen as for the old stories of warfare against their tormentors.
The gods of the tribes used to be no more than spirits of ancestors, plants, animals, and various features of the land. Heros of old were often deified upon their deaths and stories of exploits in the afterlife were common fare. Lately, though, gods of other lands have begun appearing in Jelhan, albeit in slightly different forms. Both forms of worship currently exist side by side.
25. Zhulan, the First Hero
Zhula was a renouned warrior and hunter. It was said that no man could stand against him and no beast could evade him. His physical prowess was matched only by the sharpness of his mind. Stories abound of how he fed his family by tricking the spirit of a lake to give up its biggest fish. Or how he alone harried and repelled an invading tribe while the men of his village lay sick with fever. His spirit is called upon to aid the efforts of the hunter and the warrior. He is not as popular as he used to be, but many tell stories of him with great fondness.
26. Weathered Stone, Spirit of an Island and a People
Weathered Stone is the spirit of a great rock which sits in the middle of the great gathering place of the tribes. It is a being of great wisdom, whom the leaders of the tribes go to for guidance and solidarity. It was at the suggestion of Weathered Stone that the tribes banded together to stop the parasitic slavers. Weathered Stone also suggested moving from war to trade, to prevent the other nations from uniting together against the islands.
27. Vollakka, the Shrewd One
Vollakka is the Jelhanni adaptation of a god of commerce. It is to her that the merchants go as supplicants. Her temples abound, brought great wealth by offerings from the many merchants.
Desert People of Karrakka
The People of Karakka are nomads who wander the desert wastes. They are few in number but traverse great distances in their journeys.
28. Seaja, Goddess of Air
Seaja speaks to the tribal priests and tells them where to go for food, shelter, and water. She warns her people about dangers and protects them as a mother would her children.
Seaja loves stories; many ceremonies revolve around the telling of fantastical tales.
29. Grisppa, Goddess of Sand
Grisppa makes the ground solid beneath the feat of the People of Karakka. She provides water for her people and keeps the divine winds from ripping apart the world.
Mystics of the Moon
The Moon Mystics are an order of monks who seek enlightenment through worship and contemplation of the moon. Their order was established upon a small island in the seas of the far north. They have since spread to many lands but tend to live in remote areas, such as a mountain valley or deep within in a dense forest. They do not proseletize. In fact, they prefer very little contact with the outside world.
30. Moon, the Goddess of Subtlety and Secrets
The moon goddess is portrayed as a woman of delicate beauty by the monks. According to their lore, the moon is but a small part of her greater aspect and their portrayal of her a pale comparison of her true beauty.
She is able to reveal hidden things. By her light, the monks are able to perceive truth and order. Anything hidden or obfuscated by magic can be revealed by a Moon Mystic. These monks write and maintain a large library of material dedicated to understanding the nature of the world through the revealing light of the moon.
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? Responses (11)
Update: This could use some polishing up but it's been sitting around for a few months, so I figured I'd just throw it out there.
Very enjoyable to read.
Less enthusiastic than Cheka, I must criticize - there are several gods that are just... templates. The Crafter, the Wren musician, barbarian river and storm god. What's new in those? What about the goddess that's simply a non-descript mother to other gods? Does she deserve her own 30-entry?
Also, consider always when making a pantheon: will it cover all the divine roles said culture needs to fill? If not, something's missing.
On the bright side, some like the Unnamed God who fights himself and all others too is brilliant. Caylin the Moon is also a beautiful idea. Make more on the level of those!
Thanks for the good feedback, Echo. It helps to know what works and what doesn't.
I probably didn't make this clear enough in the summary, but these are only a small sampling of all the gods of Tirexia, so most of the pantheons (panthea?) are incomplete. To do the whole list would probably require a '101 Gods' submission (*shudders*). I did this mostly as a first attempt at a 30, and I can see how difficult it is to come up with 30 completely fresh ideas. So, I used some of the 'template' gods to paint a picture about the culture rather than try to be completely original. (I swear I was being creative and not just lazy. Now stop looking at me like that....)
I recognize that I could have fleshed out some of the gods better and I had all kinds of grandiose plans to do so. Priesthoods, popular myth stories, etc. But this sub sat on my machine untouched for a few months, so I figured I'd throw it up here and move on. (BTW, To-Kah was my take on the Sumerian Ninhursag/Ka, who didn't appear to do much outside of making baby gods with the sky god An; at least as far as I could find.)
Well, they should be usable right out of the box.
So, if the Echo needs a god for a campaign and is not especially picky, he should be able to go to a 30 Gods post and steal, I mean get inspired.
As for To-Kah, that she had not real description in the Sumerian legends is one thing, adding your own touch and making her special another. Like, saying her belly is actually a huge rosebud that opens whenever a new godling is born. Or giving her a penchant for making mortals drunk with her milk, which angers another god to no end. A plant may be sacred to her, and that plant actually produces a powerful drug called ToKah's Milk.
A 2 minute effort (gosh, I should be less lazy and invest 2 minutes more often >.<).
So, my hint would be: pick out the more interesting gods to post first!
Its a small critique, but I was reading the Moravar entry and you make two references to foxes in subsequent sentences.
"...His eyes are dark, his features narrow and fox-like. He is as silent as the hare and as cunning as the fox."
I like the image you are trying to paint, but this made me stop for a second and kind of muddied the water for me. Maybe try using other animals to compare him to?
For what it is worth, I don't think of a fox as a hunter but more of something that is hunted. You might get the same imagery by comparing his features to a wolf or even an ocelot/leopard.
Good catch on the double fox thing. Bad editing on my part.
Foxes are actually very good hunters; they are a very determined and clever animal. With Moravar I was going more for showing him as a clever hunter rather than being part of a pack mentality, as wolves do. Moravar looks favorably upon the lone hunter who can prove his intelligence rather than brute force when taking down prey.
I agree with previous comments on this sub being sort of inconsistent in terms of originality and length of the different god entities. However, I did get a sense of this sub being useful for portraying the different cultures even before I read the dialogue b/w Echo and the author. So my vote is on the higher end.
A good selection of gods , though perhaps the '30' title brings with it some expectations such as Echo's.
Me, I found a god named Mater somewhat distracting, due to having seen the Cars movie an inhuman number of times. :)
In like with what Echo and Val said, in a lot of ways this is a slightly more elaborate divine template for a pantheon rather than a fully fleshed out one. But as is, I find it both useful and creative.