The Pantheon is a collective name for the gods who reside on the High Plane. Gods are immensely powerful and mercurial beings. They have fathered the Andain and they have also affected the lives of many mortals and races and even caused entire events that have taken place through various Ages in the Land of the Living. Although gods can live forever, they can be killed even by mortals if they appear in their corporeal form. Usually they only possess a host, because the death of the host will not kill a god. They are enemies of the Godslayer.
All the known gods, their followers and current high clerics (if any) are listed below. It is possible that more gods exist but so far only the ones seen below have made an appearance.
Gods of Darkness
|Artemicia||Goddess of Healing||Alive|| Daughter of Nergal; niece of Shakkan; mother of the orc race|
Followers: Clergy of Artemicia
High Cleric: Adela al-Saif
|Laverna||Goddess of Thieves||Alive|| Sister of Dionysus; mother of the kitsune race|
Followers: Clergy of Laverna, Dwarven Triad
High Clerics: Izanami-no-Mikoto and Izanagi-no-Mikoto
|Mardük||God of Chaos||Dead|| Brother of Paedün; father of the demon race; devoured by the Godslayer|
Followers: Chaos Dwarves, Clergy of Mardük, Forgotten
High Clerics: Distreyd Thanadar XIII and Alathor
|Nergal||God of War||Alive|| Brother of Shakkan; father of Artemicia; father of the human race|
Followers: Clergy of Nergal
High Cleric: Yoshimuriko
|Phil||God of Arseholes and Bastards||Dead|| Father of the Scuns; devoured by Gaea|
High Cleric: n/a
Gods of Light
|Cardia||God of Order||Dead|| Brother of Hephaestus; father of the elven race; devoured by the Godslayer|
Followers: Clergy of Cardia (gone), Church of the Memory of Cardia
High Cleric: Jonathan Ferron
|Dreamweaver||God of Music and Storytelling||Dead|| True name unknown; brother of Mardük and Paedün; possessed by Unnamed Evil and became Death who now rules the Land of the Dead|
High Cleric: n/a
|Hephaestus||God of Smithing||Alive|| Brother of Cardia; father of the dwarven race|
Followers: Clergy of Hephaestus
High Cleric: Axikasha Keiran
|Hivena||Goddess of Love and Fertility||Alive|| Creator of--you guessed it--HIV; mother of the nymph race; plans to bring the Andain back by any means necessary|
Followers: Clergy of Hivena
High Cleric: Nesa Mikoto
|Paedün||God of Knowledge||Unknown|| Brother of Mardük; father of the Lefein race; sealed into a dimensional prison with the Lefein|
Followers: Clergy of Paedün (gone)
High Cleric: Liosliath de Mont Hault
Gods of Neutrality
|Dionysus||God of Wine and Madness||Alive|| Brother of Laverna; friend of children; has an outgoing and quirky personality|
High Cleric: ???
|Gaea||Goddess of the Earth||Dead|| Mother of the Gods and the Faerfolc race; slain by Kagetsu I; present Queen of the Underworld who acts as Death's consort|
Followers: Clergy of Gaea (gone), Faerfolc
High Cleric: Inari Okami (dead)
|Heath||Goddess of the Sky||Dead|| Tried to preserve the balance of the world after Gaea's death; slain by Malakhia d'Zarnagon|
Followers: Clergy of Heath (gone)
High Cleric: Aramien (dead)
|Shakkan||God of Beasts||Alive|| Brother of Nergal; uncle of Artemicia; father of the Sirithai race|
Followers: Clergy of Shakkan
High Cleric: Qadohi
|Tiamat||Goddess of the Sea||Alive|| Blesses or curses ships depending on her mood; worshipped by pirates|
Followers: Blue Dragon
High Cleric: ???
Not much is known about the origin of the Pantheon. Some ancient Creation Myths claim that at the beginning Gaea, the Goddess of the Earth, was the first god to emerge from the Cosmos and created the Land of the Living and life in general. After that she gave birth to the older gods, the first of which were her sisters Heath the Goddess of the Sky, and Tiamat the Goddess of the Sea. Gaea later shaped the Faerfolc race to be the guardians of the Land of the Living which was later populated by various mortal races as life began to flourish.
It's presumed that Gaea gave birth at least to the elder gods without a husband because there has been no record of any father god. After the emergence of other gods, many of them interacted and produced offspring, the best known such pair being Nergal the God of War who is regarded as the father of Artemicia the Goddess of Healing.
Some of the gods, due to their different philosophic beliefs and their immaturity at the time, didn't get along at first and fought many devastating battles among themselves in the Land of the Living until most of them settled down and began living in the High Plane which was separate from the realm where the mortal races were living in.
Some myths speculate the change in the gods' modus operandi might've been caused by the tragic losses of their brothers Dreamweaver the God of Music and Storytelling (who had been corrupted and became Death) and Phil the God of Arseholes and Bastards (who had been devoured by Gaea for being annoying), which would've made the gods realize that even their divine race wasn't undefeatable.
- Main article: War of the Andain
The gods occasionally visited the Land of the Living, and many of them bred with mortals, producing demigod offspring who became known as Andain. Two Andain lords rose to prominence during this time: Taliesin and Kagetsu Aurelac de Maar Sul, fathered by Cardia the God of Order and Mardük the God of Chaos, respectively.
Kagetsu's founding of the kingdom of Ancient Maar Sul marked the beginning of recorded history in the Land of the Living and ushered in the First Age although other nations had existed prior to Kagetsu's kingdom, notably the kingdoms of Sul'gar Minh and Barjassil. Thanks to his efforts in promoting interspecies harmony, Kagetsu was elected as Lord of the Andain by his peers.
The land lived in prosperity for a few decades until Kagetsu, having forged Maar Sul into a powerful nation, suddenly declared war on the gods, claiming to want to give all mortals the same boons which the gods and the Andain had.
On the eve of the battle, Gaea herself manifested in godflesh in the Land of the Living to try to talk some sense into Kagetsu but to everyone's surprise Kagetsu skewered her then and there, killing her off permanently. Everyone realized that gods can in fact be killed if they're killed while manifesting in their own godflesh.
The War of the Andain raged on between Kagetsu's rebels and the loyalists led by Taliesin for decades. Kagetsu was a successful tactician and strategist who won many victories while the gods, horrified by Gaea's death, stayed out of the way because they didn't want to share her fate. It wasn't until Taliesin finally beat and magically imprisoned Kagetsu that peace could be restored to the world, but never again would gods act as carelessly as they had before now that they had lost the All-Mother.
- Main article: Chaos War
Centuries after the War of the Andain, the god Mardük, maddened with grief by Kagetsu's betrayal but also by having seen three gods perish, finally succumbed to dark impulses and unleashed his followers, the demons, upon the material plane in an effort to conquer it and turn every living thing in the Land of the Living in his image. He was opposed by the Grand Alliance which supported Cardia, and this conflict became known as the Chaos War.
Mardük was eventually imprisoned, but the damage had already been done: he hadn't been the only god who had been affected by earlier events. Cardia claimed to mortals that other gods didn't exist, and Nergal decided to carry on what Mardük had begun by making nations fight among themselves in the following centuries.
Gods took a newfound interest in the Land of the Living, this time not fighting among themselves like Mardük and Cardia had done but by manipulating the mortal races to do their bidding for them and converting them to their cause. Many schemes were hatched at this time, and various clergies rose to prominence over the following centuries as the Second Age began.
End of an Era
The Arawn Losstarot War turned out to be perhaps the most devastating conflict since the time of the Chaos War as the opposing forces of the mortal warlock Arawn Losstarot and Kagetsu, who by now had managed to escape captivity, fought while the two forces of Taliesin and the Grand Alliance ended up in the middle. Eventually Arawn turned out to be too great a threat not only to the world but to the gods, and Taliesin, Kagetsu and the Alliance ended up allying briefly to defeat the warlock together.
It was through the sacrifice of every living Andain that Arawn was finally defeated. Before Kagetsu perished, however, he betrayed the Alliance and decided to carry out the mission he had begun centuries ago when he had rebelled against the gods even if meant he had to improvise. Kagetsu used the powers of his slain brethren to distribute the power of the Andain among mortals, thus giving rise to Innate Abilities.
However, Kagetsu's spell also resulted in the Explosion which killed many people and rearranged the continents. From that moment on, mortals had an inkling of the power which the Andain had once enjoyed, and gods could no longer breed with mortals and create new Andain. The Third Age had begun.
Rise of the Godslayer
Mardük and the other gods kept manipulating mortals, and the Innate Abilities made the following wars even more devastating. It was during the Great War when Mardük was finally released from his prison and faced his archenemy Cardia in combat. The two gods and their divine and mortal followers from Light and Darkness saw this as the final battle after which the world would either follow the Path of Order or Chaos.
However, a new player appeared on the board as a horrific beast appeared and caught both gods by surprise. The beast devoured Cardia and Mardük and sent their respective armies fleeing in terror while the demons whom Mardük had summoned ran amok now that their master was gone. The deaths of the two major gods shook the world and caused the Cataclysm which also ended the age of Innate Abilities. The beast became known as the Godslayer and forced the gods into hiding.
The gods Hephaestus the God of Smithing and Nergal the God of War took over the positions once held by Mardük and Cardia as leaders of the Gods of Light and Darkness, respectively, while various gods who decided to remain neutral observed the conflict from the sidelines.
Meanwhile, the Godslayer's existence has forced the gods to adapt but their schemes go on even in the present day. The rest of the gods' history is yet to be written, but they will do their utmost to ensure their survival in this new Age of Emptiness.
Powers and Limitations
In order to directly influence the world, a god must either occupy a mortal body (possession) or manifest in their own pseudomortal godflesh.
Gods must have a mortal host's consent in order to occupy the body. The host remains aware for the duration of the possession (although the god is in control of the body) and can, by an effort of will, expel the god at will.
If a god manifests without a host body (that is, in their own pseudomortal flesh), they can be killed by any means that would slay an ordinary mortal. If the host is killed while the god is possessing him or her, the god simply abandons the body and returns to the High Plane.
It's necessary for a god to appear in their own pseudomortal flesh in order to reproduce; if they possess a mortal host and use that person to reproduce with another mortal, the child will be just like any other mortal child. Before the Explosion, unions between gods and mortals resulted in the births of Andain who were demigods. Thanks to a spell cast by Kagetsu I in the Explosion which killed all the living Andain, gods can no longer breed with mortals; the only known exception is Nyanna Mikoto whose parents are the mortal paladin Nesa Mikoto and the goddess Hivena who chose Nesa for the express purpose of finding a loophole in the limitation which Kagetsu's sacrifice had imposed on the gods.
Gods have access to the highest level of magical power, but it drains them the same way it would drain a mortal; even the gods must rest, or else abandon the flesh and return to the High Plane. If a god casts high-level spells while possessing a mortal, the mortal remains fatigued as though they had cast the spells themselves, even if they do not have the ability to cast them. A god using a host body for possession is thus weaker than a god manifesting in godflesh as the latter has full access to his or her divine powers.
Gods generally reside on the High Plane. It is a realm separate from the Land of the Living where mortal races live. Mortals can't access the High Plane directly and usually can only access a "shadow" of the realm via magical transportation. Elementals, however, also reside on the High Plane.