View Full Version : The Irin: Gods of Modern Concepts

2013-06-10, 06:45 PM
Anyway, I was browsing ye olde Urban Planescape project, a now-dormant plan to update Planescape's tech levels to that of the 21st Century, and I was inspired.

Before I go on, it should be noted that while alignment exists in this world, it's fairly abstract: Everyone knows that Law, Chaos, Good, and Evil exist, but detect alignment spells don't. Divine beings (which is actually a fairly large amount, given how it's relatively easy to tap into the Makers' power of the Hidden Flame and so gain the ability to grant divine spells-it's just really hard to be a deity of anything worthwhile, since the important stuff is taken) can tell if you share their place on the axis, but only the highest of the Neutrally aligned powers can tell what you are. Good luck getting them to speak up about it, as balance is a thing: Good creates, Law stabilizes, Chaos changes, and Evil exploits flaws so that better things can take the place of the destroyed. It's quite possible to be Evil and work for a Good deity (and vice versa), you just ain't a cleric.

Without further ado:

New Pantheon: The Irin

Aka: The Givers, the Prometheans, the Destroyers (derogatory)

The world of Mundi is no longer the domain of forests and castles, no longer a world of dungeons and powerful monsters. Which is not to say they don't exist, but where once the forest was the domain of the wild, it is now a precious resource. Where the castle was once home and fortress, now it is a tourist attraction and museum. Where once dungeons were those only adventurers tread, now they are forgotten basements and storage closets. Whereas once monsters roamed freely, the only ones who aren't extinct are the ones who adapted-the smart ones, the small and the cunning (or are dragons, who are just fine with the new age. Their hoards now come in credit ratings, and if they really want to sleep on precious metals, they can just redeem their stocks and buy some. Preferably with insurance).

The Irin are largely responsible for that. Originally, they were simply a collection of messengers for the Makers, the overdeities who created what are now called the Old Gods. It was they who ferried secret knowledge and instructions for preserving the world to the Old Gods, and it was they who made the grievances of the Old Gods known to the Makers.

The messengers now known as the Irin, however, were one and all sent to the mortal world at some point. Normally, this would be extremely uncomfortable, and most messengers sent there to this day cannot wait to return to the Great Beyond, where their vastness is unconstrained.

The Irin were slightly different. They felt the discomfort and the constriction, but each one found something in Mundi they fell in love with. They kept on finding reasons to go back to Mundi, and experience that thing again and again, which is how the initially met and formed the companionship that would eventually become the Prometheans.

Eventually, random chance and tragedy took what they loved away from them, but more than that, it was something that would be minor in the Great Beyond or accidentally caused by the machinations of the Old Gods. Enraged, the future Irin questioned the Old Gods as to why they must lose things to the mundane and the harmless.

The Old Gods, for the third time in all eternity, spoke as one: "It is the way the world is."

So, the Irin decided, they would change that.

One by one, they shed their vastness and let the physical world embrace them, transforming them into gods. One after another, they descended on Mundi, and in dreams, whispered secrets of the Makers to their favored mortals.

To the miners, Arakiel the Golden whispered the signs of the earth, of industry that could extract entire veins of ore in a matter of hours.

To the philosophers, Armaros the Mocker whispered the resolving of enchantments, of political theory and the flaws in the divine right of kings.

To the smiths, Azazel the Mighty whispered the art of swords, shields, and ornaments, of techniques that gave metal the hardness of granite in days rather than months.

To the astrologers, Baraqel the Wanderer whispered the names of stars, of the true vastness and wonder of the cosmos, and the mysteries one could find there.

To the weather-witches, Chazaqiel the Monsoon whispered the signs of the clouds, of the patterns of nature and the ability of mortals to harness them.

To the sages, Penemue the Recorder whispered the bitter and the sweet, of how to preserve knowledge for eternity and how to use knowledge to find knowledge.

To the mathematicians, Sariel the Engineer whispered the course of the moon, of how numbers and equations could be used to predict future events and codify reality.

To the musicians, Shamsiel the Artisan whispered the signs of the sun, of how art could be made more beautiful through complexity and be used to affect social change.

To the naturalists, Tamiel the Observer whispered of the wicked strikes of spirits, of the basis of life and the structure of living things.

And finally, to the faithless, Samyaza the Heretic whispered of the gods, of the fallibility of everything-and the capacity of everyone to correct them.

The next night, the old wold was already dead. It was just not aware of it then.

Structure of the Irim: There are many reasons why, once the Irim lessened themselves and whispered their secrets, the Old Gods didn't have the chance to stop the burgeoning technological revolution. One was surprise: While messengers falling and becoming gods was not altogether strange, doing so primarily to enforce an agenda is. Second was power-much like the singularity Sariel eagerly awaits, technology feeds upon its own motion, going faster and faster as breakthroughs lead to breakthroughs, infrastructure to infrastructure. Thus, they grew very strong in a very short period of time.

The main reason, however, is that they just get along better. The Givers were friends and allies before they clothed themselves in the physical, and they made the decision to Descend as a group. While they have grown apart over the years as what they value in their servants and church has caused them to drift into opposing alignments, it is an amicable split. Indeed, this is the reason for the traditional grouping of the Nine into Trinities-those who share a moral alignment are known to implicitly trust their two fellows, and often hatch plans and schemes together. Even the Dark Irim. This is in contrast to the Old Gods, who seem to regard bickering as a fun pastime.

Dark Trinity: Lords of the Physical World

With every social change comes both boons and banes, and the Dark Trinity, the Evil-aligned Irim, know the banes very well. Embodiment of the dark side of technology and industry, the Lords of the Physical World embody the use of innovation as oppression and reckless growth. Hence why the radicals in the Church of the Old Gods so frequently call the Irim Destroyers: The Dark Trinity would happily crush all of existence if they honestly thought they could do a better job. Despite this, they are not cruel, just greedy and amoral-they also embody enlightened self-interest and having selfish motives for doing the right thing and improving the world (solving world hunger because that means you get to sell more food, making you rich).

Arakiel the Golden, Duchess of Desire, Queen of the Devouring Maw, Goddess of Industry (NE): Embodiment of the hungry, greedy mouth of capitalism and corporations, Arakiel is simultaneously the most loved and hated of the Dark Irim, worshiped for the wealth and raw materials she and her church spread freely, and despised for their methods of taking it. In bulk. Without heed of who else has to a claim to it. And completely oblivious to anything else.

Azazel the Mighty, Warlord of Ambition, King of the Iron Fist, God of the Military (LE): Patron of armies and dictators, Azazel is simultaneously living proof that savagery and rule-by-power is never far away and a testament to the power of discipline and focus. Azazel is also the most technophile of the Dark Trinity, always eager for new weapons that make war more efficient, and thus, more rewarding.

Armaros the Mocker, Exemplar of Rebellion, King of the Fallen Empire, God of Anarchy (CE): When idealism becomes extremism, when protesters become guerrillas, Armaros is there, cheering them on. Lord of destructive social change and the blood spilled by revolutions, Armaros revels in social disintegration and corruption of rebels into people worse than the current rulers. Poetically, he and Azazel are the closest of friends, and actively give the other political help.

(will continue)

2013-06-10, 08:45 PM
This looks very interesting! Please add more soon!

Though I wonder how adventurers will be able to fit in in the end... This still is usable in a game, right?

2013-06-10, 11:08 PM
Grey Trinity: Seekers of Knowledge

The ultimate motive of the Neutral Irim is one of repayment: They Descended to grant knowledge, they want knowledge back. To that end, they are patrons of the most arcane and strange avenues of research and science. Their primary motive is to learn, and will happily ally with anyone who protects learning (and thus, their own ability to do so) or is in the same field and listens to their requests.

Sariel the Engineer, Domina of Understanding, Queen of the Planar Equation, God of Math (TN): While she is not the ultimate leader of the Irim (that would be Samyaza), she is the most politically powerful, due to her purview over mathematics: Everything in the world, even the Makers themselves, can be defined in terms of equations and variables, models and statistics. Indeed, creating these "abstract expressions" she uses to describe individuals and magical forces (especially descriptions of important people or Outsiders) is a good way to earn her favor.

Tamiel the Observer, Governor of Fecundity, King of the Helix Vine, God of Biology (LN): Giver of the concept of biochemistry and genetics, Tamiel is by far the most fatalistic of the Irin, viewing things as being determined, in part, by instinct and genetics. He is, not coincidentally, the most passive of the Prometheans, simply not caring what people do with his knowledge or science do, only that they respect it.

Penemue the Recorder, Liberator of Curiosity, Queen of the Infinitium Librarius, Goddess of Information (CN): By far the most active of the Givers, Penemue is both the journalist and the paparazzi, the crusader of truth above all else and the sensationalist gossip. It is her belief that all information desires freedom, and she gladly dispenses it to whoever asks. Indeed, it's said that her domain, the Librarius, is not just a collection of all her lore, but in truth a repository for all those secrets the other Irin have forbidden her to say. This would explain its guards despite her open attitude.

The Bright Trinity: Visionaries of Hope

While the other Prometheans ultimately Descended for selfish reasons (revenge in the case of the Dark, a desire to preserve their favorite curiosities of for Samyaza and the Grey), the Bright clothed themselves in existence out of a desire to protect and nurture mortals. For this reason, the Good Irin focus not on the state of the world or expanding their knowledge base, but on building a new and better future. Unfortunately, they ascribe to the philosophy that the ends can be justified by the means: Alone among all the major deities of Mundi, they grant clerical spells to those two steps removed from their true alignment. This includes the Evil, if they can justify their actions to the Bright Trinity. Most cannot, and these failed mad scientists and rejected utopians are treated only with contempt and sword by the larger Churches, but those who pass muster are some of the most cunning and deadly villains on the planet, for they have a dream.

Shamsiel the Artisan, Patron of Charity, King of the Gallery Utopia, God of Art (NG): People tend to misunderstand Shamsiel's purview, at least as he sees it. Art can be used to entertain, and he holds nothing against that, but the Artisan's true vocation is art with a purpose, art used for something. In his view, art is not the end goal, but the medium for ideals and hopes-the catalyst for inspiration. In an ironic (though perhaps predictable) twist though, he is not a spectacular artist himself, though he is a wonderful painter.

Chazaqiel the Monsoon, Magravene of Duty, Queen of the Amber Plain, Goddess of Agriculture (LG): Most gregarious of the Irin, Chazaqiel is both the farmer and the distributor, the overseer of both crop growth and the one who ensures it is available to people who need it (fast food and fine dining is her sister Arakiel's purview). Those who think of her as a simple harvest goddess beware, though-she is also a patron of humanitarian aide, and that includes paladins. Those who truly upset her quickly learn why she is called the Monsoon.

Barachiel the Wanderer, Explorer of Wonder, King of the Labyrinthine Nebula, God of Science (CG): Most people, those who have seen stereotypical depictions of scientists and technomancers, wonder why the Irin affectionately referred to as "Innovation's Fool" for his all-pervading sense of fun and innocence is the lord of science and the scientific method. Those traits are precisely the reason; he possesses a child's sense of awe of the world and all within it, and values all of it. More than that, he wants to share everything he sees with the world, and help the world build something from it. Unfortunately, he also has a child's naivete; he is called "Aberration Father" for a good reason.

(more to come)

2013-06-11, 05:15 PM
Sariel the Engineer, Domina of Understanding, Queen of the Planar Equation, God of Math

:smallbiggrin::smallbiggrin::smallbiggrin::biggrin ::biggrin::biggrin::smallbiggrin::smallbiggrin::sm allbiggrin:

Woot! God of MATH!!!

2013-06-11, 07:01 PM
I'd imagine that would get a few chuckles.

As well as clamp down on any attempts to kill her:

"Sure, Mr. Munchkin. You can kill her. You just have to get past her ward first..."

*hauls out college math test*

"You get hints if you beat the DC."

2013-06-11, 08:01 PM
In other news:

The Lone Emperor

Samyaza the Heretic, Imperator of Disbelief, King of the Dogma Cutter, God of Skepticism (NA-Not Available): Ultimate ruler of the Irin and their constant rival, it was initially Samyaza's idea to Descend, and he who finalized the process. Initially attracted to the ability of mortals to question, he has since remade himself in the image of said unbelievers, even to the point where he deliberately modified his own descent to avoid being constrained by the four ethical forces and even balance, and allowing him to look at them with a true outsider's perspective. This odd behavior is reflected in his domain: the Dogma Cutter is not a single place, but the flagship in a vast plane-hopping armada of advanced naval ships, looking for places that have grown too stagnant for his liking (and this may include predominantly Chaotic places-even those who value freedom and passion are as vulnerable to dogma as anyone else). From a safe distance, he and his armada quietly send reconnaissance to provoke social problems and subtly induce rebellion. If the society cannot adapt and collapses, he launches a full raid and takes everything the armada can carry, both to maintain the fleet and distribute it to the target's rivals so they may rise from the ashes. His favorite targets are the other Prometheans, but no place in the universe avoids his attentions-not even the mortal coil.

Many have commented that this is less like the behavior of the king of a mighty pantheon and more like a modern-day pirate with an ideological motivation. His response is always the same: "Yes. So?"

(will go into more detail about them soon enough).

2013-06-11, 10:08 PM
You realt can't exit in most D&D-based systems without an alignment... He'd be True Neutral, if not Chaotic... He sounds very Chaotic neutral...

And if you're going to leave him unaligned, lost his alignment as "N/A." iter better than "NA-Not applicable."

2013-06-11, 11:57 PM
You realt can't exit in most D&D-based systems without an alignment... He'd be True Neutral, if not Chaotic... He sounds very Chaotic neutral...

And if you're going to leave him unaligned, lost his alignment as "N/A." iter better than "NA-Not applicable."

Well, that was my second idea.

My first was (Not Yours). He's a smartass like that.

2013-06-12, 12:42 PM
I've been informed that's not a very good picture of Samyaza. And yes, I did go for the "unique" and the "special" by not giving him an alignment.

In fact, I should say he deliberately made it so that he never picks up an aura of alignment that anyone can detect, not even in Mundi, where it's damn hard to pick up the aura, and even then the result is usually followed with "...Maybe?". If one were to remove this though, one would find a True Neutral mindset: Chaotic means and goals, Lawful organization and ideology (he wants to tear down dogma so that better, more orderly and straightforward ideals and replace it).

I should also note the other Irin hate him. He offers nothing that isn't at the expense of someone else, and usually that's another Irin. He's a massively unpopular god, not the least because he's incapable of offering spells to clerics (though he can imbue divine magic items).

Sorry if he came off as a bit Sue-ish.

2013-06-12, 03:57 PM
A god any be a Sue. They control reality, so they actually do have all those powers!