View Full Version : Bring out Your Dead... Gods!

2013-01-18, 10:32 PM
Big ones, small ones, some as big as your head!
Just give 'em a twist, a flick of the wrist, that's how your people dread!

Anyway. Show us your death gods. Spirits. Beasts. Whatever ushers, manages, operates, rules, looks at, or smells like the OTHER SIDE, slap it down here.

This isn't just for gods, either. How does the Big D work in your setting? Or one of your settings, or all of them?

So, what've you got, playground?

2013-01-19, 12:06 AM
Well, I suppose Gaia is the caretaker of the dead in what I'll call Continent D. Gaia sends out her helpers to collect the essence of those who die, and then recycles their magic power into the planet's soil. She then takes their soul and fuses it with a bunch of other souls to make a helper. Recycling, essentially.

The effectiveness of fusing souls is determined by the condition of the soul. "Cleaner" souls form well functioning helpers. The "dirtier" souls form poor and painful bonds.
Generally she fuses "cleaner" souls and less "clean" souls together. This makes the good helpers really effective, and she can just put the bad ones on random odd jobs. To be part of a clean helper is about as good of an afterlife as one can get. For most creatures, at least. The Immortals (essentially mini-gaias without their own planets) have their souls explode on death, and cease to exist entirely.

2013-01-19, 12:44 AM
I had a weird Dead God called Kalseru in one of my settings.

Kalseru was a god of independence, evolution, selfish desires, etc. He was a mortal who ascended during a dogmatic split from another religion that was very much the typical Holy Good Guys Hippie Party and saw their coddling of people as something that, while short term would help them, would cripple them in the long run and ultimately doom mortals.

Eventually he died in a struggle against the god of the Holy Good Guys Hippie Party. But not after he had established a somewhat faithful and stable cult of followers who spread his teachings.

The fact that he was a dead god, and no longer existed didn't matter. As he was a god of Independence and such no one really questioned the fact that he wasn't appearing in Avatar form, or handing out direct boons. Divine Spellcasters still could call on him, basically feeding off his god corpse like vultures. They all still THOUGHT he was alive, and the Holy Good Guys Hippie God didn't tell everyone, "Yeah, I just killed another God" as he was ashamed of his actions in deicide.

2013-01-19, 01:51 AM
Well, when you die, you go to sit at the right hand of Svithias, once prophet, now Enlightened and ascended to godhood. There he judges you. Most Reformist sects believe you simply have to have lived a virtuous life (whatever that means), while the Blue Church requires that you pay tribute, either monetary or in service. In Krov and other western lands, they think Svithias makes you run a sort of gauntlet, demonstrating your intelligence, martial prowess, and kindness. Anyone can pass, but the worse you were in life, the harder the tests become.
What happens to those who didn't accept the Word in life is equally nebulous, at least from the point of view of Svithians. Condemned to frozen death, reborn until they accept the Word, and let into Svithias's heavenly realm without question are all equally plausible, depending on which theologian, pastor, or alchemist one asks.
Svithias's opposite number is arguably more of a death god than the big man himself. A gloomy, shadowy figure, confined to an icy sort of hell which is less eternal torment and more eternal boredom. The Frozen King, or Ol' Frosty, rules with a light hand over the endless prison of the afterlife.

Nobody comes back from the dead. All the way, at least. Ghosts are generally too concerned with whatever kept them in the world to say much about the great beyond, and all other undead are merely soulless shells.

2013-01-19, 02:49 AM
I'm not sure I have a "death deity" as such. I have several close calls to it though.

XXXX is the crone goddess (as in the classic maiden-mother-crone triptych). As well as protecting the elderly, she governs the sunset and has noted powers of prophecy.

XXXX is the guardian of the night. He is responsible for watching over the night, both literally and figuratively. As such, he watches over sleeping people, the dead, and dreams.

XXXX is the ravager, the princess bathed in blood, the queen of blades. Think "evil Xena the warrior princess".

XXXX is the unmaker, the death of deaths. He is responsible for the undead and the corruption of the natural cycle.

2013-01-19, 04:50 AM
Now that I think of it, there are no death deities. And I also don't see how one could be made to fit into the world. The gods are all manifestations of forces and basic animal instincts. Death is neither.
Even the eldritch horrors are all abominations of life and activitiy.

2013-01-19, 05:49 AM
Seems I misread this topic quite a bit. Thought it was Dead Gods, as in things like Chronos, in Greek Mythology, God, dead, slain by Zeus. Teach me not to pay too much attention. :smallbiggrin:

Though I don't typically use "Death Gods". They get kinda cheesy I think. Some of that Evil just for the sake of Evil and killing just for the sake of killing stuff among their worshipers. So I tend to keep "Death" as a domain of many gods. God of Justice? Death as needed. God of Tyranny? Death to maintain order. God of Misfortune? Death due to misadventure. And so on.

2013-01-19, 06:24 AM
Interesting idea, ArcturusV, and one that makes way too much sense.

I tend to mess around with several different setting ideas at ounce, so here's my pair of 2 cents.

*In one setting, the absolute apex of power is about 25th level: and all non-native none-elemental outsiders (and some of the natives,) , are ether deities or lesser divinities/celestial officers: even the drenches. In other words, the nigh-godlike solar is not the servant of a grater being: it's a deity in it's own right. As a result, the psychopomps, shinigami, and others outsiders lay claim to the titles of god of death, with greatly varying competency.

*In another, a being qualifying as both God of Death and (possibly) a Dead God, is the Reaper ─nderung. According to the myth, this reaper arises after the god of freedom, choice, and liberty (Adventurer Elecciˇn) decided to destroy the the great hooks and chains binging the universe into the service of The Old Order, simultaneously freeing it from an eternity of mindless servitude and worship, and basically destroying half the known universe, servery blasting the rest.

Some say ─nderung is the formers reincarnation or his reanimated corpse: others says he was birthed by the destruction, or was Elecciˇn's son, born under a fateful black-hole. Other still say he was a completely unrelated being, and slipped into the universe in the chaos following the unbinding.

While ─nderung is the god of death and entropy, he is also the god of change and the antithesis to the status quo: capable of destroying lives and cites as easy as ending tyrannies and droughts.

His worshippers are also quick to point out that you can make a beautiful statue by strategically destroying a stone block, and believe that ─nderung is doing this to the universe, one head at a time. The promise of death-worship, in this case, is to offer support in the hopes that suffering may die, or be slain by Anderung's blades.

Also, in both universes, what happens to humanoid souls is unknown. Celestials and demons know THEY reincarnate, but what happens to the souls of mortals is unknown, and is why both souls crave them for study, some of it more friendly than others.

2013-01-20, 11:08 PM
In the world of Shadelight, the sphere of death is most commonly attributed to Toth, the serpent-god of earth. Among his other responsibilities, including fertility, the harvest, fortitude and craftsmanship, Toth is believed to oversee the eternal cycle of death and birth, neither of which can exist without the other. According to the priesthoods of the Six Cities, those who live particularly virtuous and devout lives through multiple reincarnations will eventually be allowed to transcend the cycle and reside for eternity in the realm of their god, and Toth is believed to be the arbiter of which souls have earned this gift. The dispute between this view and that of the older druidic religions, which see the cycle of reincarnation as something to be venerated rather than escaped, is one of the greatest sources of religious conflict in Arendia.