View Full Version : A very detailed fleshed out Pantheon for D&D worlds

2008-11-14, 03:59 AM
Months ago I began working on a coherent pantheon for D&D settings that works well with the magic and alignment systems without seeming contrived. I created a diety for each alignment (hence forth called the Nine), they are technically siblings but like the Greek Olympians this doesn’t mean that they like each other, and it doesn’t mean they can’t marry or have flings. The only modification it needs for 4th ed is the alignments, either the gods would have to be changed slightly to correspond to the 4E alignment or the 3rd ed alignmnets need to be grandfathered in.

First I’m summarizing the creation of the world, how the Nine deities overthrew their creator and divided rule of the world, eventually creating new worshippers for themselves. Because each of the Nine had initially received an equal number of worshippers, their values were imprinted on the world establishing the two trinities of Law, Neutrality, and Chaos and Good, Neutrality, and Evil.

Creation of the World and How Things Got as They Are

The Rebellion, Compact and the Gifts
Turoch created the world and all beings upon it. He fashioned worshippers for himself and fed their spiritual power in order to fatten them metaphysically speaking, so he could consume their souls. As time passed the world became too great and complex to manage alone (some say Turoch merely grew fat and lazy) and Turoch was forced to create powerful servants. The number of these servants was ten. For an age the Ten managed the world and delivered all the souls to Turoch, farming them as modern humans herd livestock. Turoch deliberately created servants who couldn’t get along, so they wouldn’t be able to unite against him. Turoch safeguard failed for the Rebellion eventually came anyway.

Nine of the ten of Turoch’s servants rebelled. Tensions were building for centuries, but the Nine were not willing to act until Korus, who was the most widely liked among the Nine (or the least disliked), shared a divination he had received that Turoch was planning to eventually consume them and create new servants before the current ones grew too powerful. The tenth servant of Turoch who did not rebel pretended to go along with the others, but eventually reported on his/her sibling’s activities to Turoch. The motives are unknown though it widely believed that the Tenth sided with Turoch in order to bargain for his/her life. The Tenth’s specific identity as been lost, but most legends say the tenth servant was female, and she is often referred to as the Whore of Turoch. The usual name s/he is give is the Traitor, though it’s somewhat ironic because the Tenth was the only one who did not actually betray his/her creator. The others names were Hallisan (LG), Khemra (LN), Phidas (LE), Mera (NG), Korus (N), Greymoria (NE), Zarthus (CG), Phyrus (CN), and Maylar (CE). The Nine managed to defeat Turoch despite the Traitor’s interference.

The three integral parts of the plan were poisoning Turoch through his tribute of souls, convincing some of the strongest souls to fight for their own freedom alongside the Nine, and tricking the Whore of Turoch with false information. Korus shielded the Nine’s conspiracy from Turoch. Khemra came up with the Compact, a set of agreements to let the Nine (and theoretically the Ten) to put aside their disagreements long enough to depose Turoch. Hallisan took the bravest souls and personally led them in an assault against Turoch. Greymoria took the weakest of the souls and tortured and mutilated them until they were poisonous to Turoch when consumed. Mera took the greater portion of the world’s souls and sheltered them so that they would not be destroyed during the fighting of the Rebellion, so that the world could be remade anew. Zarthus is credited with coming up with the idea of poisoning Turoch (though not the horrific method), but his greatest contribution is said to be taking out the Tenth sibling in personal combat. Phidas told the clever lies to disarm Turoch’s suspicions when the Tenth told him his plan so that Turoch didn’t fight back until he was already poisoned. As the most hated traitor, Phidas suffered the most severe wounds of any of the Nine and was nearly destroyed in the battle though he has since mostly recovered. Phyra deliberately altered the battle plan at the last minute which coincidentally (or purposefully) backed up Phida’s lies because the Tenth’s information appeared false to Turoch and he didn’t respond to the Rebellion until he was already poisoned. Maylar hung back for most of the battle. When his siblings were all but incapacitated, Maylar faked falling from a minor blow and then struck the final blow against Turoch when Turoch’s back was turn at the moment when Turoch was proclaiming himself victor. After the battle each of the Nine took a body part from Turoch’s corpse and fashioned a weapon or item out of them which today is the genesis of many of the Nine’s favored weapons and/or symbols.

The Nine had agreed that they would share the management of the world in Turoch’s passing, each taking responsibility for creating and maintaining and element of nature. Each would also take one ninth of the surviving souls to fashion into worshipers, The few souls that Hallisan led against Turoch that survived are said to have been the progenitors of the first dragons. It has been said that the souls that Greymoria mutilated that were not consumed became the progenitors of the undead and other foul creatures. The souls that Mera sheltered were said to be the progenitors of the elves. At this point tellings of the creation story differ. Most races say that eventually the Nine grew powerful enough to create worshippers without imbuing the souls Turoch created, but most races claim that their race was created in part out of the original batch that Mera sheltered. The more arrogant races claim a few of the dragon souls interbred with them in the distant past and/or that their enemies interbred with the mutilated souls.

With the threat of Turoch gone, the Nine no longer could force themselves to agree to even simple decisions with running the world. While there was talk of empowering the souls of the new mortals with Gifts, it was nigh impossible to get two or three to agree much less all nine or even a majority. In this stalemate, Phyra acted unilaterally.

Phyra gave all mortals the gift of free will, ostensibly, so that they would not be puppets, playthings, or food for the gods. This angered some of the other Nine and delighted others. With free will the gods were no longer guaranteed an equal share of the world’s worshippers, or even any worshippers at all. Though the two trinities of Good-Neutrality-Evil and Law-Neutrality-Chaos remain as a legacy of the values that cut across the Nine’s worshippers. The alignments are impossible to snuff out so each of the Nine has some indirect influence since the alignments are based off of themselves, allowing them indirect influence.

Khemra horrified beyond the others at the potential destabilization Phyrus had done, was the next to act. He taught the now increasing populations of mortals writing. This way, they could keep records of what has happened (and what rules and laws they have) so that each generation could have more continuity.

Mera was pleased that a third of the souls of the world now had the choice to deny their evil patrons. She taught them how to control fire so that they may be able to appreciate the warmth and safety it provides and to hold the darkness at bay.

Korus gave the next Gift. He mainly wanted to give the mortals the chance to thrive, so he taught them the rudiments of agriculture. This let them settle more areas and support larger populations, provided they work with nature instead of against it.

Maylar has always held a dark Darwinist view of creation: He believed that the strong should be destroy the weak and must be continuously tested in order to stay strong. He surprised most of his siblings by giving a seemingly benign gift, the rudiments of animal husbandry and how to use as many parts of the animals as possible. This was done so as to subtly plant a link between killing and personal gain that was not immediately apparent when killing plants to eat them.

After much thought, Hallisan provided the next Gift. He taught some mortals the knowledge of mining so that they may utilize the fire they have been taught to control so as to forge lasting tools to better themselves.
Zarthus watched the farmers numbers grow and saw how many took up various crafts based on Hallisan’s Gift. So that they were not consumed by work and could enjoy themselves and the products of their labor, Zarthus gave the mortals the concept of art (especially music) to inspire them.
Phidas believed then, as he does now that he deserved a larger share of the spoils of the Rebellion on account of the wounds he suffered. So that mortals could better understand the value of what the Nine did for their benefit (and what he did especially), he gave mortals the concept of currency for his Gift. This was also intended to counteract Zarthus’s gift giving mortals a reason to work beyond mere sustenance, and to allow him a measure of control over Korus’ and Hallisan’s Gifts.

After Phyra’s Gift of free will, it was not long before Greymoria had the fewest worshippers of any of the Nine (they were horrified by what she did during the Rebellion). Out of spite she withheld giving a Gift to mortals for a very long time. This caused her to lose even more worshippers as appreciation for their Gifts drove converts into each of the other eight deities flocks. As time progressed, the most devout among the worshippers of each of the Nine had go-betweens who could channel divine magic. Unable to tolerate her low number of worshippers, she taught a small number of her worshippers how to control arcane magic and become the first wizards. This knowledge was quickly disseminated beyond Greymoria’s flock (as she knew it would), until some followers of all the gods had become wizards, thus reducing the power and recruitment potential of her rivals’ priesthoods.

The Age of Dragons
The world Turoch created was mostly featureless, but very fertile. It was said that all the land was flat and the shallow oceans full of fresh water. During the Rebellion the terrain of the world was ravaged creating higher and lower elevations making water bodies less regular. It is said that the battle also tainted most of the world’s water creating the seas, though Mera was able to cleanse it enough that some creatures could adapt to the salty waters and thrive there. Other changes to the world occurred as they Nine took turns shaping pieces of it. It is often said that a lot of the irregular features were created by Phyrus’ desire to make things more interesting, and that the rules of nature were applied by Khemra to keep things more consistent (water always flows towards lower elevations, trees stop growing past certain elevations, etc). It has been speculated by some that many of the irregular features of the world were created by accident rather than deliberate design as a result of the Nine’s relative inexperience in shaping the world.

Most of the souls saved during the battle were still kept asleep in sub realms of the Nine waiting for the world to be tamed enough that they could thrive in the world rather than merely survive it. The mightiest souls who had helped slay Turoch and their immediate descendants were able to thrive almost immediately as did their descendants. They were strong, highly intelligent, and long-lived. While not all dragons now can burrow or swim especially well today, the first dragons had were the equal or superior in all forms of locomotion to the dragons today. The dragons enjoyed the main Gifts of most of the Nine. Greymoria had not yet taught any mortals wizardry, but the dragons had mighty sorcery that they were able to wield innately that Greymoria either could or would not remove, so wizardry was quite unnecessary at the time. With the Gift of free will, many of the Nine worked hard to increase their share of worship and they showered lesser gifts and secrets upon the dragons. The dragons built powerful kingdoms on mountain tops, in forests, at the bottom of the sea, underground, even floating in the sky. Dragons existed for an age as the undisputed masters of creation.
Over time, divisions began to arise in the dragon empires. First there were divisions based on what gods they worshipped. Then they began competing over living space. While dragons can survive almost anywhere, the most comfortable places became scarcer as the number of dragons increased. Competition over magical items and treasure was even fiercer. As the Nine released the first of the elves and created a number of other sentient beings to populate parts of the world, many dragons took offense at this and needed to prove their superiority (or they feared these potential competitors), and they hunted the lesser beings. Others took pity on those weaker than themselves or at least felt their greatness was bolstered when compared to lesser beings so they looked after them. Mounting feelings of dragon superiority eventually led to dragons seeking superiority over each other. Dragons began claiming their own bloodlines, physical attributes, magical aptitude, or even geographic locations made them superior to other dragons and other creatures. Eventually competition went from arguments and displays of power to outright war.
Greymoria was fuming at her lack of worshippers and chose this time of dragon disunity to take her revenge on them. She had been creating a number of creatures with which to challenge the dragons. In this regard she is said to have worked with Maylar a number of times, but legends speak of her creating monsters with all of the Nine, ranging from friendly partnerships to various forms of trickery and subversion. She unleashed most her children at roughly the same time. While few were any match for dragons, their numbers were great. Beset on all sides and fearing the loss of their powers and nigh immortal life spans, the dragon leaders of the various kingdoms ordered the younger generations into more and more dangerous positions to form a buffer against Greymoria’s creations. The rising generational divide within dragon kingdoms gave rise to underground cults as the younger dragons sought out ways to rebel against their elders. While Greymoria and Maylar had some of the most powerful and feared cults, even Mera could bring down an empire from the inside without meaning too by preventing a kingdom under Phidas or even Khemra from acting cohesively.

The Second Age, A.k.a. Age of the Elves

All the conflicts and divisions wore the dragons down till there was little semblance of civilization left over from before and most of their greatest secrets were lost. The end result of the Dragon Wars was decided, all the dragons lost. The few dragons who survived became the isolationist loners resembling the dragons of the present. As the conflict was winding down, the first release (or at least the first mass release) of the souls sheltered by Mera during the Rebellion occurred. This was done with more forethought than before because when the Compact was forged. Before the pressing issue of defeating Turoch took center stage, and how to handle the mortals was merely an afterthought. Now, the state of the mortals in the world was the only thing on the agenda.

The Elves were created when it became clear to the Nine that the dragon civilization was on its last legs. Khemra called a meeting with her siblings to set parameters on the elves to prevent them from having a cataclysmic collapse similar to the dragons. Maylar chose not to attend the meeting because he did not want any more mortals in the world, particularly weak ones. Greymoria likewise didn’t want to create more mortals who would deny her, but she knew that she couldn’t stop Khemra and the others from creating a new race of mortals. Greymoria joined with her siblings so as to subvert the new mortals from within. The other seven were fairly eager for a new race of mortals to be born.

All but Phyra agreed on setting more exacting parameters on this next batch of mortals both because they believed it could prevent another civilization ending cataclysm though Greymoria was hoping the exacting parameters would make them easier to control.

The elves were created to be physically weaker than dragons and with less innate magical power.
-Hallisan opposed this claiming that a lack of power leads to corruption more than power.
-Phyra opposed this as well, claiming the other deities wanted their new flock of worshippers to be weak to make them overly dependent on the Nine.
-Korus pointed out that the souls they were using as the base to create the elves were weaker than the progenitors of the dragons, so that the elves would be weaker than the dragons by an incalculable degree making any discussion about making sure they are weaker than dragons completely moot.
-Khemra created what became the party line stating that they would have a more stable community less rife with power struggles if the elves had less power to be tempted with.
-Mera believed that if the elves they were weaker than dragons, they’d have less ability to fight each other and more incentive to work together.
-Phidas heartily agreed with both Khemra and Mera, but it is widely believed that Phyra and Hallisan were on the mark in his mind. Phidas wanted more easily controlled mortals and corruptible populace.
-Greymoria agreed with this without explanation. It is believed that she wanted to keep the elves as weak as possible, believing that they would forsake her like the dragons before them and deserved to be weak.
-Zarthus agreed to weaken the elves as well. He stated that power corrupts. Then after a dramatic pause, he finished the cliché and said “and absolute power corrupts absolutely” for the first time in history. Then he looked at all his siblings darkly.

The elves were given a life span of centuries rather than living until violence, disease, or accidents claimed them.

-Mera opposed this, stating that living peacefully should be rewarded with long life and living forever should be a theoretically achievable goal.
-Khemra opposed this, she wanted life spans to be finite in order to prevent poor leaders from becoming entrenched, but she wanted life spans to be longer than centuries to promote more stability.
-Phidas advocated variable life spans based on the piety of the individual giving loyal worshippers millennia and the most impious less than a half a century.
-Korus supported finite life spans because all the other living creatures had them but was indifferent as to how long the elves could live as long as it was less than forever.
-Hallisan supported this claiming that this would lead to more bravery if people knew life was short.
-Zarthus supported this putting a de facto limit on the term of office on even the worst tyrants since they’d eventually grow old and die.
-Greymoria supported this with no explanation. It is widely believe she wanted to further weaken the elves because she was opposed to them being created in the first place.
-Phyra supported this citing that there would be more room for generational change.

The actual size and physical form of elves took a lot longer to decide upon since pretty much all eight had different ideas and the Compact established earlier stated that at least five had to agree on something for a change in Creation of this magnitude. Eventually the humanoid mammalian form with pointy ears was decided on.

These souls were shaped into the first elves. Once again the Nine gave gifts and lore to the elves to both encourage their worship and to help them thrive in the world though they were somewhat stingier than with the dragons. The history of the Nine was not forgotten, and once again Greymoria was reviled for her past deeds. Finally, she gave mortals her Gift. Though some elves claim they invented wizardry, it was Greymoria who taught a handful of elves how to control arcane magic. Most credit her gift as an attempt to weaken the power of her rivals’ churches, but at the time she and the first wizards claimed it was so the elves had the means to fight dragons. For though the dragon empires were all but memory, they were still a force to be reckoned with at the beginning of the Second Age and many dragons fought hard to prevent the elves from rising to dominance.

Unfortunately, similar divisions that the dragon empires faced eventually plagued the elves once they had subdued most of the landscape and convinced most of the surviving dragons to leave them alone. Elves divided by nation, clan, ideology and religious creed, and the various factions fought over land, wealth, and magic. Once again their internal disputes were exacerbated by external threats. Greymoria never stopped creating monsters to harass her sibling’s flocks. The other Nine had also created a number of sentient beings such as the dwarves and gnomes. Even the good aligned races sometimes warred with the elves. A still greater outside force threatened to bring the elves down. Demons and devils began using the mortal plane as a battleground, this was known as the Second Unmaking (the Dragon Wars being the first).

Both sides devastated the landscape and brought ruin on all mortals nearby even when they weren’t deliberately pulling elves and other mortals into their battles to serve as cannon fodder, distractions, or simply food. Some said they were new creations of the evil deities meant to let them fight each other by proxy. Some said they sprouted from Turoch’s rotting corpse. Some said they came from another world entirely. Others claim that they were the souls of deceased foul hearted mortals manifesting as monsters. Whereever the monsters come from, eventually they eventually were driven away or destroyed by combination of their own battles, the elves, remaining dragons, celestials, and in the final days from the latter creations of the Nine. The few remaining elves had to rebuild their societies in wake of the devastation wrought. The last intact remnant of the feuding elven empires, a small kingdom situated in the most isolated terrain (a well harbored hilly island). These elves became the Grey Elves of today. Some elves hid in the forest and allied themselves with sylvan creatures to survive the Second Unmaking. They became the Wood Elves of today (or possibly Wild Elves or High Elves). Both sides view the others as traitors. The Wood Elves blame the Grey Elves for abandoning them and the Grey Elves hate the Wood Elves for abandoning their culture and heritage. As an option, some elves could have survived by siding with dark powers and became the Drow of today which naturally would hate and be hated by the other two elf groups, but I’m not sure if I want my D&D world to have Drow I am more inclined to have evil elves live within the other two societies rather than live separately. All the elf groups withdrew into their own remaining intact lands to rebuild their societies, deliberately insulating themselves from the emerging humans (and the rebuilding dwarf settlements and all the rest of rebuilding societies)

The Current Age

The humans became the dominant species after the second Unmaking. The Nine created the elves by voting on each aspect of them much like the elves (though this time Maylar was a minor participant figuring that Greymoria had the right idea and they he could do humanity more damages working from the inside). Most of the other species were created by two or three of the Nine working independently or Greymoria working alone and the majority predate humanity or at least claim to predate humanity. While the Second Age lasted longer than the current one, and the Age of Dragons far longer than that, it is feared that a Third Unmaking is coming relatively soon, and that no humans or elves or dragons will survive it, and no similar race will rise to replace it. Other races are planning for this believing that the Third Unmaking will mark the dawn of their ascendancy. The orcs are the most obvious about this though they are hardly the only race planning to inherit the Fourth Age. Others work on preparing their defenses in order to guard against a Third Unmaking. Most however don’t believe a Third Unmaking is nigh or at least are too preoccupied with day-to-day concerns to bother with it.

Next I have a summary of each of the Nine deities. Each have three titles or nicknames, the last is the one used by their enemies or detractors. Then comes their alignment and favored weapon, a vague description of their symbol, a reminder of what they did during the Rebellion, and their trophy and dominion. Dominion is the official aspect that the diety controls of the natural world. The Gift is the diety’s official aspect of civilization. Gifts and Dominion have no in-game mechanics but they influence what the gods are appreciated for and what miracles they could theoretically create. Also, the domains they grant their clerics are usually tied to loosely to these. The trophy is a weapon or item forged from Turoch’s remains, they also have no in-game effect though loyal worshippers often craft magical items inspired by them.

Then I cover their typical worshippers or flock. Keep in most people in this world are polytheistic to an extant but they usually pick one main god or goddess as “theirs.” Then I cover their divine spell casting servants. I gave each diety an elemental domain. Korus has all four because he is the god of the natural world. Phidas has dominion over the earth itself so Earth is obvious, Hallisan has Earth too because his Gift to mortals was metalwork. Mera’s dominion is the sea so Water fits for her. Greymoria tries to poison all of Mera’s work, so she has Water too, she is said to have invented drowning. Maylar is the lord of disease and it was believed in medieval times that disease was carried on ill winds, so Air fits. Zarthus has wind too, he invented music and the night sky as his dominion so Air fits as a domain for his clerics too. Khemra has Fire as a domain for her clerics because she controls the sun. I was most iffy on giving Phyra Fire, because Air fits well for the summoner of all weather but I wanted to keep the elements balanced with three gods each and Fire covers Phyra’s destructive aspects, the metaphorical spark of creativity, and her desire to thumb her nose at Khemra. Each of the domains in the PHB (3.5) has at least one diety with the domain. I haven’t assigned domains from any supplements.

The Nine don’t rely on their followers for power. They got their power as the children of Turoch who created everything. It’s also widely believed that they gained further power from slaying Turoch. So why do they bother to cultivate flocks at all? First off, they don’t all try to proselytize equally. It is believed that the Nine cultivate their flocks and mortals in general out of combination of four reasons.
1) They are bored and watching over flocks is a good hobby; that is supposedly Korus and Phyra’s primary motivation.
2) They have a sense of responsibility for creation; this is supposedly Mera’s, Khemra’s and Zarthus’ primary motivation.
3) It gives them a chance to wield indirect power of the world with less effort than overtly shaping the world takes; this is supposedly Hallisan’s, Phidas’ and Maylar’s primary motivation.
4) It gives them the ability to spar with their siblings without directly endangering themselves; this is supposedly Greymoria’s primary motivation.

2008-11-14, 04:19 AM
Phidas “The Masked One” “The Scarred Lord” “ The Great Deceiver”
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Favored Weapon: Dagger
Symbol: A silver mask partially shadowed.
Domains: Earth, Evil, Law, Trickery
Contribution to the Rebellion: Phidas told the lies to defract Turoch’s suspicions and delivered the poisoned souls that Greymoria prepared. He also took the most serious wounds having most of his face torn off his skull by his irate former master.
Trophy from the Rebellion: Phidas ripped the skin off of Turoch’s face and forged a mask to cover up his own now hideous face.
Dominion Granted by the Compact: Phidas is granted dominion over the earth itself and its contents, though his actual power above ground is limited.
Gift to Mortals: “I will teach the mortals currency so that they can properly know the value of the work that they do for each other, and so they can understand the incalculable value on what we did for them.”

Flock: Phidas is the only Evil diety to have more public temples than secret temples. He is also the only Evil one of the Nine with any civilized nations declaring him as their patron god. Temples are located near government centers where Phidas is the official religion of a city or nation to show the supremacy of Phidas. In cosmopolitan areas, Phidas’ temples are grouped close to other god’s temples to appear non-threatening. Evil humanoids who worship Phidas (most of whom live underground) tend to place their temples near their primary source of food to remind themselves of their dependence on Phidas for their very lives. Secret temples are wherever they would not be expected.
Apart from areas where Phidas is the state religion and those of the Lawful Evil alignment, Phidas is commonly worshipped by miners and others who spend a large portion of their time living or working underground. He is also worshipped by many involved in trade such as merchants, coin smiths, and tax collectors. Many of Phidas’s temples double as banks making as much money from collecting interest on loans than from their worshippers’ tithes.

Favored Souls: Phidas has no Favored Souls whatsoever. His clerics claim that this is by choice and that his clerics are more than enough to serve Phidas’ needs. The clerics of the other gods claim that Phidas was too weakened to created Favored Souls due to his wounds inflicted by Turoch or that he is afraid to give any of his servants that much freedom.
Despite these claims, Phidas’ clerics claim that there were Favored Souls in the past. They also claim that civilization would not exist today if not for their heroic actions of Phidas’ legendary Gifted Ones. The Gifted Ones slew monsters, defeated armies, cured diseases, introduced technological innovations and otherwise saved the ancestors of every nation and race (according to Phidas’ modern flocks). Various cults exist prophesizing the birth of one or more future Favored Souls to lead the world (or just Phidas’ faithful) into a new golden age. These cults are discouraged by Phidas’ clerics (it implies they aren’t doing their jobs well enough), but the discouragement rarely gets to the point of killing the heretics.

Clerics: Phidas’ clerics are allowed to recruit whomever they wish though they are restricted on how often and how many they may recruit. Higher ranking clerics are allowed to recruit larger numbers, and any ranking cleric can veto a lower ranking cleric’s recruitment decision. If the number of clerics in a temple is low, clerics have quotas rather than limits on how many recruits they take in. New recruits undergo tests and training set by ancient traditions but interpreted by their mentors (mentors are usually the one who inducted the recruit in the first place). Recruits deemed failures aren’t normally killed, unless the temple they were recruited is a secret one or the recruits fails so late in his/her training that he/she has too much secret lore to let them go free. Most of Phidas’ clerics are Lawful Evil naturally. A fair number are Lawful Neutral and few are Neutral Evil.
Like most of the Nine, the major factions within the Church of Phidas are split by the domains they have which determine their role in the Church and by the nation they represent. Conflicts between clerics are subject to many rules and guidelines for inter-factional fighting with the most important rule being “don’t get caught.” Direct conflict is rare as Phidas encourages his servants to use pawns in their conflicts. Outside of eliminating your superiors, the quickest way to advance in rank is by getting things done, not by gaining cleric levels. Making money for the Church, weakening other Churches’ influence, expanding Phidas’ flock, tightening control on Phidas’ flock, and training apprentices are the common ways to gain standing in Phidas’ eyes.
There are many factions in Phidas’ Church. The most visible clerics are of the faction known as Phidas’ Mask. They have Earth and Law as their domains, and serve to help their communities (by Phidas’ terms of course) and claim most of Phidas’ Lawful Neutral Clerics. The faction that is seen the least is called Phidas’ Dagger. They do all the dirty work that the rest of Phidas’ clerics don’t want traced back to them. They have Evil and Trickery as their domains and claim most of Phidas’ Neutral Evil clerics in their group. Most factional conflicts with the Church boil down to these two groups conflicts. The faction known as Phidas’ Strength (Evil and Law domains) will occasionally co-sponsor paladins of tyranny or black guards with Lawful Evil rulers (provided said rulers are sufficiently devoted to Phidas).

Khemra “The Blazing Eye” “Compact Forger” “The Sun Blinded”
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Favored Weapon: Heavy Mace
Symbol: A golden sun wreathed in orange and red flames with a purple eyeball in the middle.
Contribution to the Rebellion: Khemra established the Compact, which dictated the compromises the Nine had to make towards one another in order to work together to defeat Turoch and manage the world afterwards.
Trophy from the Rebellion: Khemra took Turoch’s eyes and forged them into a shield, though a functioning shield it works more as a scrying tool.
Gift to Mortals: “I will give the mortals writing so they will not forget their traditions and laws, they will not forget us.”

Flock: Khemra is widely worshipped in the civilized world. Khemra’s temples are regularly important contributors to the health of their community. Khemra is the official religion of most of the world’s oldest nations. Sometimes her worship doesn’t extend very far past the ruling class, since they often declare her the state religion out of gratitude for the high level of support they give monarchs and nobles, but the peasants don’t receive nearly as much. Khemra is not offended by this as she tends to be very tolerant of other worshippers, ever mindful of the original Compact with her siblings. The most powerful temples of Khemra are in the Elven Empire which is the most strongly Lawful society on the prime material, and the Egypt inspired nation of Khemerock where Favored Souls frequently manifest in the royal line.
Beyond areas where Khemra is widely worshipped as the state religion and those of the Lawful Neutral alignment, Khemra is frequently worshipped by those practicing crafts relating to very old traditions, particular scholarly professions. Most areas have at least one festival in Khemra’s honor thanking her for creating the Compact or at least giving thanks for providing the light and warmth that is the sun.
Khemra’s clerics often try to have their temples situated near as many of the other Nine’s as possible though all but Phidas and Hallisan nearly always ask for incentives to do so. All temples and shrines are designed to catch the light of the sun at dawn, when most regular services are held though somber affairs like funerals are held at dusk. The more elaborate temples have architecture designed to catch the sun properly several times of the year so as to set perfect calendars and mark more obscure holidays followed by the most devout of Khemra’s flock.

Favored Souls: Khemra relies on her clerics heavily, she has fewer Favored Souls than any of her siblings save for Phidas who has no Favored Souls at all. There is a zodiac with a nine year cycle though most of the Nine pay minimal attention to it. Khemra follows this religiously, all her Favored Souls are born during her year. Favored Souls are always born to devout worshippers of Khemra who were married by clerics of Khremra. They are usually born to upper class families and there is rarely more than one or two born in one year in the whole world during Khemra’s calendar year. Every 81 years, during the year called Khremra Ascendant, Favored Souls are born in nearly every place with a strong following of Khremra. It is said that Favored Souls born during solar or lunar eclipses are more likely to be radically different from Khemra in outlook being Lawful Good, Lawful Evil, or straight Neutral (though considered radical they are tolerated).
Favored Souls are universally respected, but not always liked. By Khremra’s Law, only her Favored Souls may make major changes and revisions to the church laws (which in theocratic nations can include many secular laws too). In the nation of Khremarock, the rulers are all Favored Souls coming from a royal line barring those periods of time where the ruler dies early, and there aren’t any Favored Souls old enough to replace him or her yet. This sort of bureaucratic work doesn’t leave a lot of time for adventuring, but many go on sabbaticals often. Young adults are usually given the freedom to “quest on Khremra’s behalf” if they wish it if there isn’t a current shortage of Favored Souls. It’s not unheard of for Favored Souls of Khremra to be pressured to go on these “quests” when the ranking clerics grow to resent their constant interference. Khemra’s clerics have sent favored souls on quests that are wastes of time multiple times, but they haven’t stooped to sending them on suicide missions (not to anyone’s knowledge anyway).

Clerics: Most of Khemra’s clerics are the non-first born sons and daughters of nobility, but the middle and lower classes can have their children accepted if their families are respected members of the community and devout followers of Khremra and pass aptitude tests decided by a cleric of the Searcher faction though non aristocratic converts often become non-spellcasting clerics (with either the Monk or Expert class). New members are trained in one of the major temples by many teachers in organized classes though informal mentor-apprentice relationships can and often do exist within this system. Ranks is determined by spell casting prowess (aka level) and years of service (so a mid level paper pusher can still outrank a high level adventurer if they’ve been working a long time). Khremra’s clerics are all Lawful, most are Lawful Neutral. On very rare occasions, Khemra temples will co-sponsor paladins, but they are usually beholden first to the Lawful Good nobles and second to Khemra.
There are many sub-factions within the Church of Khremra, both based off of game mechanics and based off of role within their temples and society. All clerics of Khemra are either Dawn or Dusk aspect clerics. Dawn clerics turn undead and spontaneously cast healing spells. Dusk clerics rebuke undead and spontaneously cast inflict spells. Though Good and Evil clerics exist in equal numbers most clerics are Dawn clerics (relatively few LN clerics choose the Dusk path). The main factions besides this are based off of Domain combinations and all the main factions have both Dawn and Dusk members. The Searchers recruit new members and uncover lore, their domains are Law and Travel. The Bureaucrats are the largest faction; they have the Law and Knowledge domains. The faction that attracts the most enemies is the Zenith, their clerics who have Travel and Sun as their domains. The purpose of the Zenith is to assure that the Compact is being followed, and their tendency to tell other god’s clerics what to do make them very unpopular abroad and their compromises with other clerics make them moderately unpopular at home.

Hallisan “The Just Crusader” “Great Craftsman” “Noble Sacrificer”
Alignment: Lawful Good
Favored Weapon: Battle Axe
Symbol: Crisscrossed Axe and Shovel representing hard labor and the need to be vigilant at guarding the fruits of your hard labor.
Domains: Earth, Good, Law, War
Contribution to the Rebellion: Hallisan was the first into direct battle against Turoch and the one who organized and marshaled the souls the Nine chose to make their stand with.
Trophy from the Rebellion: Hallisan crafted a battle axe from one of Turoch’s legs.
Dominion Granted by the Compact: Hallisan regulates the seasons
Gift to Mortals: Hallisan taught the mortals metalworking and mining.

Flock: This is impossible to prove because D&D worlds don’t have modern census takers and most people are polythesistic to some degree, but Hallisan claims the largest flock in the world. Most dwarves worship Hallisan, they take up his work ethic and martial stance against the forces of Evil with much zeal. More nations have Hallisan as their official patron than any other of the Nine (though these nations tend to be less populous than Khemra’s).
Beyond those in nations where the state patron is Hallisan and those of the the Lawful Good alignment, Hallisan is widely worshipped by professional soldiers. Many aspire to (or at least pretend to aspire to) the courage, valor and honor Hallisan espouses. Miners, of course, frequently worship Hallisan as well.
There are a few modest temples but most temples dedicated to Hallisan are quite ornate showcasing the best artistry that the local craftsman can do with painted stonework being the most common artistic medium. In border regions, temples of Hallisan’s temples are often fortresses first and places of worship second. While they have an eye towards artistry more than purely secular fortresses, they tend to be far more modest compared to the typical civilian centers of worship.

Favored Souls: Favored Souls are fairly rare, usually born only during Hallisan’s year of the nine year cycle. Exceptions occur when the forces of evil threaten Hallisan’s flocks, though the ones born often grow to adulthood after the danger has already passed. Favored Souls are widely respected, but not given much formal power or influence by Hallisan’s clerics. Most Favored Souls aren’t content to be figureheads, so most Favored Souls take up their own personal crusades, either militarily (fighting Maylar’s flocks) or focusing on helping the community interally (healing the sick and injured).

Clerics: While it’s debatable whether or not Hallisan has the biggest flock, most maintain that he does have more clerics than any of his siblings. They proseltyze, fight the enemies of their Church and nation, administer laws, heal the sick, and support their flocks in many ways. New initiates are recruited from a wide pool of volunteers (in most cases families volunteer their children but adults who desire to take up the cloth are always taken very seriously). Preference is given to the children of nobility when inducting new clerics, but once initiated; merit is the only path up the hierarchy. Rank is determined by tenure and magical ability (ie. level). Paladins and monks are recruited much the same way though in this case economic class differences are more obvious with most paladins coming from the children of nobility and monks from the middle and lower classes.
There are six divisions based on the six possible domain pairings, each with a militant and non-militant wing (regular clerics and cloistered clerics in short) though in some groups one of the two wings is a subordinate or token presence at best. In the Guardians of Hallisan’s Traditions (Law and Earth), the militant wing is little more than body guards for the other clerics. In the Bearer’s of Hallisan’s Blade (War and Good), the non-militant cleric are little more than glorified quartermasters. In theory, temples and collections of temples across a region are governed by a council of the highest ranking member of each group with an elected leader but it’s hard to find a single temple with all six factions represented. Local power structures are dominated by the non-militant clerics, but the leaders of large areas (such as whole national churches) are usually retired war heroes from the militant branches. Formal traditions and shared ideals usually prevent politicking from hamstringing cooperative efforts…usually.

Greymoria “Mother of Magic,” “Great Mutilator” “Mother of All Monsters”
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Favored Weapon: Scythe
Symbol: Varies, usually images of death
Domains: Death, Evil, Magic, Water
Contribution to the Rebellion: Greymoria mutilated the souls that were used to poison Turoch.
Trophy from the Rebellion: She fashioned Turoch’s skull into a helmet
Dominion Granted by the Compact: Arcane Forces
Gift to Mortals: “I will teach the most intelligent and strong willed mortals how to control magic without directly petitioning the gods.”

Flock: Not many worship the Great Mutilator given her grisly history during the Rebellion and for the horrible monsters she has spawned, but she does have more worshippers then just evil wizards, warlocks, and mutated monsters. While there are few exclusive worshippers of Greymoria, most people at least acknowledge the whole pantheon. Most areas have festivals in her honor once a year (barring those with unusually strong Mera flocks), sometimes called the Festival of the Greater Good. People in iconic costumes reenact the Rebellion against Turoch and playing the role of Greymoria is often considered the highest honor.
Greymoria is the center of many superstitions, rather than saying “breaking mirrors brings bad luck” they say that “breaking mirrors garners Greymoria’s attention”. The worst curse phrases involve Greymoria. She is followed by many who do jobs viewed as unclean but necessary (think Untouchables).
Greymoria has few temples. Her followers are few and widely disliked forcing them to either keep very low profiles or stay on the move. In areas where the governments insist that all Nine are represented (Khemrarok), there are small undistinguished looking buildings where they are administered by Dusk clerics of Khremra as often as clerics of Greymoria. Most secret temples are naturally nondescript as well. Those far from settled areas and in regions controlled nearly solely by Monstrous races are often more elaborate and less inconspicuous decorated with spikes, imagery of death, and lots of fountains (not all of which flow with water). All temples dedicated to Greymoria either have an artificially created pool or a natural body of water, the darker and deeper the pool is the better. Sacrifices, material or otherwise are nearly always submerged or drowned at these “Maws of the Mother.”

Favored Souls: Greymoria is believed to be more personally involved with her Favored Souls than most of her siblings. When her flocks are small, she is said to create Favored Souls and gives them instructions to go recruiting. When her human and demihuman flocks are large but growing complacent she creates Favored Souls with no real direction and allows them to do as they will to shake things up and hopefully spur the flocks into action. Greymoria blesses many of her created lineages of monstrous creatures with Favored Souls, either as reward for good service or to give them weapons to use against the mortals who refused to give her the worship she deserves.

Clerics: There are two stereotypical roles for clerics of Greymoria. The first is that of a an underground cult leader sacrificing innocents to feed horrible monsters or using those innocents as fodder for gruesome experiments in their schemes to overthrow all that is good and beautiful. The second is that of a spiritual firebrand within a community of a monstrous race urging them to attack civilization. While there are some clerics like these, such stereotypical roles are usually cornered by Warlocks, Hexblades, Sorcerers, and Wizards in Greymoria’s service. In very large liberal societies, particularly areas with a high number of wizards, clerics of Greymoria publicly offer their services to any interested and sometimes supporting institutions that support the study of arcane magic for scholarly reasons. In most places, they hang around areas no reputable people go, hiring themselves out for those who need unscrupulous uses of divine magic (like say someone wanting undead backup). They are also said to act as middlemen in Faustian pacts including the creation of and training of Warlocks.
Factions are fairly loose and cooperate fairly well though Greymoria neither encourages nor discourages in-fighting. Clerics of Greymoria’s Gift are the most likely to act publicly, peacefully promoting the study of arcane magic, they have Water and Magic as their domains. The most hated are those of Greymoria’s Wrath, they have Death and Evil as their domains. They are said to want to turn the world into their undead slaves, many of whom are undead themselves.

Korus “The Divine Mediator” “The Lord of Nature” “The Uncaring One”
Alignment: Neutral
Favored Weapon: Flail
Symbol: Light enshrouded tree (though in places where trees are scarce you can see a light enshrouded cactus or kelp plant)
Domains: Air, Animal, Earth, Fire, Plant, Water
Contribution to the Rebellion: Korus was the first to realize that Turoch eventually sought to consume its servants. Korus was able to keep their meetings secret from Turoch and to mediate most personal disputes between the Nine
Trophy from the Rebellion: Korus crafted the bones and sinew of one of Turoch’s arms into a flail.
Dominion Granted by the Compact: Korus regulates the ecosystems of the natural world.
Gift to Mortals: Korus taught mortals how agriculture so they could work with the land rather than against it, that mortals have managed to do damage by misusing agriculture practices doesn’t seem to bother Korus much though some whisper that Greymoria isn’t the only diety who creates man-eating monsters.

Flock: Korus’ flock is very broad but not very deep. Most pay at least lip service to him because those few people who don’t farm (or depend directly on those who do) eke out their living in the wilderness itself. Because Korus’ clerics rarely proseltyze, most of Korus’ worship is shared with one or more other deities. Korus has many festivals in his honor, especially at harvest and planting time and the solstices and equinoxes. Many consider his true flock to be the sentient creatures of the forest, Fae creatures in particular.
Korus’ has temples in most settled areas. Most are neither ornate nor Spartan and usually have forest themes in their architecture and decorations, most assembly areas are outside, with tents erected during bad weather. The grandest temples of all are the ones in the deep wilderness slowly and carefully grown from trees and other plants subtly woven together. During the spring when the temples literally blossom, they are said to be more beautiful than even the most grandiose and ornate temples of the Lawful dieties.

Favored Souls: Korus has more Favored Souls than clerics by a narrow margin if only because many would-be clerics take up the path of being druids or rangers instead. They are given relatively little direction and show the most diversity in alignments and motivations making Korus’ Favored Souls hard to pigeonhole. Some revel in their divine magic, others live more or less ordinary existences not casting spells for weeks at a time. The stereotypical Favored Soul is a sylvan creature like a centaur acting as a spiritual patron to his/her people or a human or demi-human with an unusual upbringing falling into the “raised by wolves” archetype. For every Favored Soul like that, there are two or three Favored Souls from unremarkable upbringings such as farmers and even such non-nature oriented professions as shop keeping or even harvesting timber (though you’d never find a Favored Soul of Korus clear cutting).

Clerics: Most clerics of Korus serve their communities as advisors on agriculture, forestry, fishing, or whatever way the community supports themselves from the natural world. The more adventuring inclined clerics take on threats that come from or go into into the wilderness. A very small number oppose civilization much like modern eco-terrorists do.
Because Korus has relatively few clerics and more than twice as many possible domain combinations as the other Nine dieties’ clerics, basing factions off of domain combinations would be nigh pointless. Despite rumors to the contrary, Water domain clerics and fire aspected clerics are not out to get each other. Factions are based more on geography than anything else with each temple holding a number of customs and practices that are based around the community or wilderness area they are located in rather than basing their practices on ancient doctrines maintained through the ages. Because of the live and let live nature of each temple and of Korus’ appreciation for diversity, very few temples begrudge other temples for their different customs. What little friction there is occurs when traveling clerics arrive at an area to deal with a specific crisis and the local and visiting clerics are forced to work together. While there is little antipathy Korus’ clerics don’t have the benefit of a world spanning hierarchy to set up standardized systems for working together. Both the greater druid society and the Church of Korus work well together, among the few doctrines held universally across the Church of Korus is proper etiquette when dealing with druids and dealings between Korus clerics and druid goes at least as well as dealings between disparate Korus clerics if not better.

Mera “the All Mother,” “Fire Tamer” “The Soft One”
Alignment: Neutral Good
Favored Weapon: Quarterstaff
Symbol: A small latern or other Enclosed flame floating on the water.
Domains: Good, Healing, Protection, Water
Contribution to the Rebellion: Mera sheltered the bulk of the Creation’s souls so that there would be souls left to inherit their new post-Turoch world.
Trophy from the Rebellion: Mera was the last to take a part of Turoch, aghast at the grisly idea. Eventually took Turoch’s liver and fashioned into a comb, which can heal remove spiritual wounds and poisons.
Dominion Granted by the Compact: Mera has control over the seas, lakes and rivers, or at least the positive aspects of these water bodies.
Gift to Mortals: Mera taught mortals how to tame fire and harness it for cooking and warmth.

Flock: Mera is widely worshipped though Mera’s temples aren’t as grandiose as her Lawful siblings and wield less political influence. Mera is the only one of the Nine who has without question been looking out of all the souls of the world from the very beginning. This combined with the generosity that Mera’s clerics show in sharing their gifts makes Mera worship very popular. Even theocratic societies ruled by priesthoods of other faiths can’t afford to persecute Mera worshippers too much for fear of risking revolt.
Beyond those of Good alignment everywhere, Mera is worshipped by those who make their living from the sea. Many households have a shrine to Mera around their hearth as Mera is the most domestic minded of all of the Nine. Mera is widely worshipped across the world but she tends to have proportionally more followers in rural areas than urban areas. She also has proportionally more followers in areas with long established family farms as opposed to frontier homesteads.
Mera’s temples show the wide diversity of Mera’s flocks varying widely from nation to nation and even community to community. In some places her temples tend to be grandiose and impressive to better show her benevolent splendor with ceremonial bonfires attended to by virgin priestesses. In other places Mera’s temples are so modest only a small holy symbol at the door distinguishes the place from the homes and businesses around it, and priests are required to marry and have families so as to set an example for the community. Many temples serve a community purpose doubling as hospitals, orphanages, or even grain silos and fish markets.

Favored Souls: Mera relies on her clerics in most areas. Favored Souls that show up in areas where she has many clerics are rare and said to be the result of trace blood of celestials manifesting. Mera actively creates Favored Souls in areas where she has few clerics. When good families manage to endure through hard times and keep their moral values intact, Mera occasionally blesses them with Favored Souls so that they may better endure and help others. Favored Souls wherever they manifest, often take their moral code to the extreme either taking up the battle against evil directly and violently or choosing a purely pacifistic route focusing solely on healing.

Clerics: Clerics of Mera tend to vary a lot, either living lives ceremoniously distant from their flocks to serve as abject examples of purity or directly in their communities (or both with clerics rotating in between the two roles or starting with one and graduating to the other). Other temples encourage their clerics to mingle with the community completely taking up regular professions like everyone else. To promote humility among their priesthoods and solidarity with the community, some temples and many ceremonies are led by non-spellcasting priests (ie Experts).
Cleric factions tend to be pretty loose and based on what services they most frequently provide (healing the sick, promoting harmony, aiding in childbirth and childrearing, bringing good weather, etc) and most temples let their clerics join multiple groups. Factional struggles are rare, the most extremely different groups being Mera’s Storm (usually taking the domains of Good and Protection) which advocates proactively fighting evil reasoning that it’s easier to heal by preventing the injury or contamination in the first place and the pacifistic group known as Mera’s Heart (usually taking the domains of Good and Healing). Factional conflict is mild, when it reaches a fever pitch, the opposing sides will settle disputes by seeing who can facilitate the most impressive community service project channeling the conflict towards constructive ends. In unusually war torn areas lacking a significant Hallisan or Zarthus, Mera’s Storm has sponsored paladins though this is fairly rare.

Maylar “Last One Standing” “the Kindly One” “The Scourge”
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Favored Weapon: Spear
Symbol: Varies, usually a hand holding blood soaked spear
Domains: Air, Chaos, Destruction, Evil
Contribution to the Rebellion: Maylar held back most of the final battle, and as a result was the least wounded at the end of it and was able to strike the death blow against Turoch.
Trophy from the Rebellion: Maylar forged Turoch’s heart into a spear.
Dominion Granted by the Compact: Maylar was granted dominion over decay and disease.
Gift to Mortals: Maylar taught mortals hunting and animal husbandry so they can learn to advance themselves through killing.

Flock: Maylar has a small flock compared to his siblings, but it’s still much larger than Greymoria, who is arguably no more malevolent than he is. Though Greymoria’s contribution to the Rebellion was the most horrifying, Maylar creates more misery on a day-to-day basis in the post-Rebellion world than Greymoria. Far more die of disease than by evil arcane magic or rampaging monsters (though people disproportionately fear monsters over disease for the same reason many fear flying over driving cars, monster attacks are more flashy and memorable). Maylar recruits and maintains his following by extortion. Those who praise his name are less likely to be struck with disease and more likely to be spared by his violent marauding worshippers. While most of the Nine prefer genuine worship to coerced begging for mercy, Maylar doesn’t seem to care. Maylar gets some genuine appreciation from polythesists for introducing animal husbandry, others (particularly some Mera worshippers) become vegetarians or vegans partially because of how animal products are tied to Maylar, though most people prefer to ignore the connection altogether, much like non-sociopath wizards everywhere try to ignore the Greymoria connection to their Craft. Speaking of Greymoria, she is notorious for abandoning her old children when she creates new ones, and Maylar has won a lot of these cast-offs over to his side.
Maylar doesn’t mind herds of weak begging him for mercy, but his true flock is made up of those who take to his “last one standing” rhetoric and desire for their race, ethnic group, or just they themselves to be the last one standing. This rhetoric appeals to the vain, the racist, the power hungry, and those who just like to hurt others or watch things burn. From orc warriors slaughtering whole villages to socially disturbed teens poisoning farm animals for fun, somewhere, someone is perpetuating Maylar’s twisted vision.
Maylar has relatively few temples, his followers are often very nomadic and depend on small easily portable shrines for places of worship. Permanent temples tend to be very practical with relatively little artistry. Secret temples are just that, secret, small and unassuming. These temples are usually dedicated to spreading disease and are usually placed in major population centers or said population centers primary bread basket regions or water sheds. Non-secret temples are basically fortresses, usually in desolate regions ruled by non-civilized people.

Favored Souls: Maylar has more favored souls than clerics if only because of their high attrition rate. Clerics usually need more clerics to induct them in the first place, and Maylar finds it more reliable to just empower Favored Souls as he wills it. In cultures that venerate Maylar’s philosophy (like many orc warbands), Favored Souls are indoctrinated in Maylar’s tenets from birth and groomed for leadership positions as soon as their nature becomes apparent. Favored Souls in civilized areas are given little direction, Maylar just lets their destructive powers and malicious instincts direct them as they will. Whether they proselytize Maylar’s vision to bloodthirsty warriors, amassing power for themselves, or just murdering innocents and spreading disease, Maylar isn’t particularly picky what they do.

Clerics: Maylar’s archetypal clerics are the ones serving as leaders or support units in marauding bands of Chaotic Evil soldiers or manipulating gargantuan man-eating monsters into destroying all that is good is beautiful. These are the ones that epic stories of battle are told about that motivate soldiers to train harder so that they are ready to oppose these threats. Wise rulers fear the more subtle clerics more. Clerics covertly spreading disease among their subjects can be as hard to stamp out as the diseases themselves. Scholars and armchair historians fear the non-active clerics the most though. Not forgetting that Maylar won his place by holding back until all others were at their weakest point, they fear that when (technically if) a period of troubles similar to those that destroyed by the earlier dragon and elven civilizations occurs, hundreds of clerics will pop out of the woodwork with their stockpiled magic items and accrued power of centuries of sacrifices to cement the world under Maylar’s control once and for all. There are no standard recruitment or training methods for Maylar’s clerics. Recruitment could involve volunteers, inviting in the best warriors of their tribe, or taking a hundred prisoners subjugate them to gruesome torments and induct whichever prisoner is most willing to betray his fellows in order to help himself/herself.
Most clerics spread the vision of a world where one small group of Maylar’s servants rules the world and the rest serving as slaves and food for Maylar and his chosen victors. Interpretations vary wildly, but most hold to the belief that after Maylar’s followers eradicate and/or subjugate the last of the other Nine’s followers, all the martyrs who died in Maylars service will be reborn and they’ll have a big free-for-all to determine who will rule the universe as Maylar’s stewards. Naturally there are many factions and these factions don’t work together very well. It’s bad enough that every group is out to kill most of the world, they also believe that if they eradicate the other factions completely, they’ll gain all the recruits between now and Maylar’s victory giving them an unbeatable edge during the final battle. Some believe that were it not for all the infighting, Maylar’s flock would have destroyed the world by now. Factions are based on race or group (orc, human, etc) what domains are typically chose, what tactics are favored (sowing disease, raising armies, assassination, etc) and even supposed timelines on pursuing Maylar’s visions. Some of the more militant factions sponsor Blackguards or Paladins of Slaughter.

Phyra “The Inspired One” “The Passionate One” “The Storm Maker”
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Favored Weapon: Morningstar
Symbol: Cloud that’s half stormy and half white and fluffy, optional rainbow and lightning bolt.
Domains: Chaos, Fire, Luck, Trickery
Contribution to the Rebellion: By throwing the original plan out the window, Phyra was able to confuse Turoch enough to let the rebellion continue despite Turoch finding out about it early.
Trophy from the Rebellion: Phyra wove a bag out of Turoch’s hairs that all Bags of Holding were modeled after. It is out of said bag that she pulls out all weather and a number of things you wouldn’t expect out of a fiber bag.
Dominion Granted by the Compact: Phyra has dominion over the weather.
Gift to Mortals: Phyra gave all the souls surviving Turoch’s death free will so that wouldn’t be mere puppets or playthings of the gods.

Flock: Most people appreciate their free will, so Phyra is much appreciated there. Phyra hasn’t done a lot since then, so while there are many festivals in her honor (though the stodgy Grey elves only celebrate one festival in her honor every nine years), relatively few people try to live day-to-day by her tenets and fewer still outside of those of the Chaotic Neutral alignment. Phyra seems okay with this. Naturally those without regimented lives who live by their wits are her most likely worshippers. While not hedonists per se, rare is the member of Phyra’s flock who isn’t attempting to live life to the fullest. One would think that many who depend on favorable weather would worship her but she is relatively indifferent to pleas or offerings in this regard.
Some would think that Phyra’s flocks would avoid building there temples in temple districts, especially those overseen by Khremra’s flocks, but Khemra takes the Compact very seriously and if Khemra’s clerics are annoyed by the actions of their rambunctious neighbors, Phyra’s clerics can use the fact that they were technically invited in as justification. Temples can be anywhere and are rarely secret (except in exceptionally hidebound societies). Most have at least a few areas exposed to the elements for reveling in various forms of weather.

Favored Souls: Favored Souls are naturally given total freedom to decide what they want to do. They are roughly as common as clerics though Favored Souls tend to be found in sparsely populated areas and clerics in densely populated areas, this is hardly a hard and fast rule. Favored Souls pop up more or less unpredictably. Children conceived at festivals in Phyra’s honor or during bouts of extreme weather (especially if they were conceived outside) are supposedly more likely to carry Phyra’s blessing. Whether they are viewed as blessings or curses depended on how they behave around others. Less flamboyant than you’d expect Generally speaking they don’t enter town screaming “Look at me I’m a favored soul of Phyra!” so there isn’t a whole lot of strong opinions formed about them.

Clerics: Most clerics travel around the world, usually managing to arrive in settled areas just in time for their local celebrations for Phyra (which tend to vary in time based on region). Most clerics are inducted as individuals and trained by a single mentor traveling with him/her until they’ve decided that the newbie has learned enough to stand on his/her own. It’s not unheard of for an estranged mentor-apprentice relationship to fall apart before they are ready, Phyra’s clerics have a strong knack for picking good candidates they can get along with without any seeming rhyme or reason to their methods.
Phyra’s clerics have little or no factions though when two or more get together it’s not uncommon for them to find out how who their mentors were, their mentor’s mentors and so forth until they find one in common and then proclaim themselves spiritual brothers/sisters. While friendly to each other most of the time (Chaotic Good and Chaotic Evil clerics are the exception but since both are so rare they don’t see each other much), but they rarely seek each other out or work together on common tasks barring facilitating major festivals. Whether this is because Phyra wants her children to reach as much of the world as possible, or because the independent natures of her clerics eventually cause them to come into conflict is up for debate.

Zarthus “Righteous Avenger” “Light Bringer” “Constant Rebel”
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Favored Weapon: Rapier
Symbol: Crescent Moon around an eye
Domains: Air, Chaos, Good, Strength
Contribution to the Rebellion: Zarthus more or less single-handedly took the Nameless Traitor out of the fight.
Trophy from the Rebellion: Zarthus forged Turoch’s spinal cord into a rapier.
Dominion Granted by the Compact: Zarthus created the lights that light up the night sky.
Gift to Mortals: Zarthus taught mortals to create art and music so they wouldn’t get lost completely in their work.

Flock: Apart from those of the Chaotic Good alignment, Zarthus flock is most prevalent in frontier areas. The self sufficiency the communities have appeals to Zarthus’ values and the isolated communities benefit best from flexible law systems dependent on community solidarity more than ancient traditions. Zarthus is widely worshipped by artists and musicians too.
Zarthus’ best known worshippers are a minority in his flock that of resistance movements. Zarthus cults resist against corrupt Lawful Evil power centers, stagnant Lawful Neutral societies, and Lawful Good societies who have lost touch with what’s important. Against truly horrible Lawful Evil oppressors, Zarthus’ cults act like guerilla armies, not afraid to kill those who stand against them. Against Lawful Neutral opponents they are usually nonviolent but incredibly disruptive and destructive to property. Most Lawful Good institutions have some kind of system to accommodate criticism, such as the court jester who is the only one allowed to criticize the king but Zarthus’ followers are not above more extreme displays of discontentment when they feel shut out.
As Zarthus is a major patron of the arts in many places, his temples are often very beautiful and ornate. As Zarthus is a proponent of self reliance in struggling areas his temples are often very simple and spartanly furnished. There is little middle ground. Many temples are secret (particularly in areas where Phidas is the state religion), these make up the limited middle ground, at least when they are bold enough to display war trophies, stolen art objects, or self-made satirical art attacking the regime, but they are usually created with utility in mind (most things are nondescript and holy objects are portable and easily concealed. Non-secret temples are usually in temple districts in major population centers, community gathering places in frontier areas or wherever not expected when secret. The most prized temples of all are formerly secret temples that were able to come into the public after the evil government they opposed was overthrown though former Phidas temple sites and converted homes of deposed despots are also prized locations.

Favored Souls: Favored Souls are relatively common, at least compared to the rest of the Nine, though Zarthus has more clerics than Favored Souls. Like most of the Nine, Zarthus’ Favored Souls crop up among his flock. Unlike most of his siblings, Zarthus’ Favored Souls aren’t born or conceived at predictable intervals, though in the year of Zarthus ascendant, something unusual happens, most of Zarthus’ Favored Souls are born into families of the flocks of his Lawful siblings, though it has yet to happen with the son or daughter of a cleric, Lawful Evil rulers are not exempt from these “black sheep”. Clerics of Zarthus are more tolerant of their Favored Souls than most other god’s clerics are of their Favored Souls, and they attempt to integrate Favored Souls into their temples as full equals. That is if the Favored Souls and clerics can find each other anyway.

Clerics: You can see Zarthus’ clerics tending to the physical and spiritual needs of their frontier commuinity, in cosmopolitan cities sponsoring artistic works that subtly criticize the Lawful institutions, or hidden under oppressive regimes serving as the core of resistance movements. There are a few core tenets new clerics are supposed to teach their recruits but beyond a few simple tenets, clerics are free to teach their new initiates in whatever manner they see fit. They can recruit whoever they want, personalizing their training regimen to the needs of their area at the time.
Factions are very loose and tend to get along well by giving other groups their space, rarely banding together without a very severe threat. With a relatively small and widely dispersed flock of most self-sufficient people, clerics don’t meet very often with people outside there own immediate group. Most fit into one of three broad categories though it’s not unheard of for clerics to cycle in and out of groups or even straddle between them. First, is the Patrons, made up of mostly Zarthus clerics in fairly peaceful areas, so-named because they focus on the arts and music (though they will tilt these against their local power centers whenever possible). Second is the Homesteaders, so named because they usually are centered in their small frontier communities. Finally the Rebels are the ones who oppose Lawful societies that they view as corrupt or repressive. Just about all clerics resent these titles and only use them to describe other clerics such as saying “you Patrons are too soft,” “you Homesteaders are too small-minded,” or “you Rebels don’t know when to quit.”

2008-11-14, 04:29 AM
There is debate between some theologians whether the Nine follow trends in the actions of their Churches. When two of the Nine are getting along especially well, their respective Churches tend to get along well. There is much speculation on whether Churches follow their gods or gods follow their churches on this. A few say that there is no connection between how the gods interact and how their clerics and flocks interact, saying that This is widely debated, most say that Churches and deities both influence each other. A small minority states that there is no direct link between how the Nine interact and how their followers interact and that any supposed connection between the two is done by revisionist historians. The Nine have not literally come to blows on anything yet. Some speculate that they are physically incapable of doing so. Others say that all of them are too risk averse to put their immortal existences on the line. Others say they don’t want to risk the cosmic imbalance killing one of the Nine would cause. Some say that the Nine hold some patricidal ambitions, but they are merely waiting for an opportune moment. In any event, conflict between the Nine so far has been confined to the mortal plane as they use their flocks to fight proxy battles, especially through their clerics and other spellcasters.

All of the Nine are the opposite sex of each of their siblings only one step removed from them, those they usually get along with best. While they are all siblings on some level, like the Greek Olympians, that’s no barrier to them getting married (usually specified for a certain number of centuries) or having flings (of unspecified duration, usually burning out in less a century). I have yet to decide whether any produced any offspring. Any offspring would either be a very powerful creature, a new natural force, or a minor diety.

I did my best to come up with reasons for the nine sibling deities I created to have reasons to like and dislike each other beyond alignment differences. If you don’t want to read my lengthy descriptions on their interactions, I have an abbreviated opinion section at the start of each diety. They are listed in order of preference. In order to keep with my original premise of fitting strongly into the alignment sytem of D&D, it just so happens that their favorite siblings are the ones of their similar aligned siblings and their arch rivals are the ones with diametrically opposed alignments. The Nine deities have reasons to like/hate what their siblings do, not what they are, so alignments are not directly responsible here but they do play a part. Below I have a short White Wolf Style opinion section where I have a short sentence or two covering how the Nine would speak of their siblings if they spoke candidly on it to mortals. Following is a few paragraphs covering the nuances of how they get along with their siblings.

Phidas’ views on the others
Khemra: She is the second most capable among us to lead.
Greymoria: She’d be a better ally if she didn’t create monsters periodically out of spite alone.
Korus: He does his job and stays out of my way.
Hallisan: His gift is a personal insult, I have dominion over the ores of the world and he had no right to offer my bounty as his own.
Maylar: A fine weapon to turn on my enemies, but his destructive urges need to be kept in check, lest he destroy everything I’ve built.
Phyra: She is not as unpredictable as she’d like to be, she is predictably annoying.
Mera: She opposes me often but isn’t proactive enough to be a real threat to my designs
Zarthus: While undervalued, the others at least acknowledge my sacrifice to some degree. He opposes me at every opportunity though he knows that if it were not for me our brilliant ploy would have failed.

It’s no contest that Phidas likes Khemra best whom and he may even actually genuinely fond of to an extant. He depends on her enforcement of the Compact and her promotion of Law as a greater principle, fully aware that were he lose her support, the Good aligned siblings could regulate his worship to the status of a fringe religion just like they have done with Maylar and Greymoria. While he wants total control over the world, a suitable consolation prize would be a permanent marriage to Khemra and having the pair of them be the monarchs of a Lawful oriented creation. They have had many temporary marriages, with each temporary marriage ends badly as the pair grows sick of each other over time. Each time Khemra stands aside and lets Hallisan, Mera, and even Zarthus knock his holdings on the material plane down several pegs out of spite. Before their marriages fall apart, they do manage to work together for a while. The last time they were married they managed to get their respective Church’s to work together long enough to spearhead the establishment of a worldwide currency (a standard weight for coins and a locked in exchange rate of 1 gp = 10 sp = 100 cp). Their next theoretically cooperative effort is to establish a common language for all sentient creatures, but it is unpopular as Esperanto in the real world. When Phidas and Khremra are getting along, the contrast between night and day seems more extreme and the denizens of the Underdark far less bold.

Despite Phidas’ frequenting courting of Khemra, Greymoria is Phidas’ most common lover. Phidas doesn’t genuinely like Greymoria. He values her as a tool, fully aware that she feels the same way about him. Noteable cooperative efforts ended up with the creation of Beholders, two-pronged attacks against Good aligned temples, and unusually high levels of cooperation between different species of evil monsters. The most impressive feat they accomplished together was the creation of the first breed of thaumnivorous fungus (fungus that feeds on ambient magical energy rather than decaying organic matter). This has let underground ecosystems exist independently, no longer dependent wholly on the surface for their nutrients, thus changing the underground into the true Underdark. When Phidas and Greymoria are getting along; earthquakes are more common and less predictable, and the denizens of the Underdark are bolder and more numerous.

Phidas has little dealings with Korus. When truly desperate, Phidas will turn to Korus when hard pressed by his good aligned siblings, but they give each other little heed most of the time. Phidas and Hallisan don’t clash swords too often. Phidas has never forgiven Hallisan for teaching the mortals mining, something Phidas views as an encroachment upon his dominion though his anger at this has cooled over time. Phidas is content to merely make things difficult for Lawful Good Dwarves. When the Dwarves are dealing with threats on multiple fronts and Lawful Good bureaucrats are “cleaning up their governments,” one knows that Phidas and Hallisan are ticked at each other. Phidas has eventually come to the conclusion that Maylar is smarter than he’s given credit for, most of Phidas’ attempts to manipulate Maylar backfire. Phidas avoids Maylar as much as he can and is normally moderately successful at keeping Hallisan in between the two of them.
Phidas hates Zarthus and they are always undermining each other. There are no special signs visible when they fight because it’s business at usual. Tyrants crush dissenters and oppression leads to rebellion. The level of Phidas’s enmity with Phyra and Mera depends mostly on how well the two are getting along with Zarthus at the moment.

Khemra Views on the others

Hallisan: A noble ally close to my heart, if only he didn’t stir up trouble with our siblings so often.
Phidas: He stays to his appointed role better than all but myself, but there was no provision in our compact to give him extra dominion for the wounds he suffered, so he should stop asking for them.
Korus: He does a good job keeping the others from killing each other, but if he was just slightly more proactive, he’d be able to prevent half of the conflicts from starting in the first place.
Mera: She stays to her dominions and causes little trouble with one exception—her Gift to humanity was overstepping her bounds. She was given the generous dominion over water, and yet she chooses to teach mortals how to control fire. If she were anyone else I would think that her Gift was a ploy to grab more power.
Greymoria: You lash out against all eight of us claiming we turned the mortals against you. If Phyra didn’t give her gift to mortals it wouldn’t be an issue. That the mortals chose us over you is no one else’s fault besides her, save perhaps you.
Zarthus: If the system is broken, breaking it further won’t help anyone.
Maylar: It may have been a mistake to give him dominion over death and decay. But as agreed, we all contributed and we all gained a dominion. Besides, he could turn any dominion given to him into a weapon, one need only see that through the Gift he gave to the mortals. Controlling disease, at least this way his moves are predictable.
Phyra: If everyone stayed with our plan, it would not have been broken to the point it needed to be replaced. She randomizes everything because she secretly hates us all.

Khemra tries not to play favorites with Hallisan and Phidas, both of whom she depends on for maintaining the Compact as much as possible in the wake of mortals receiving free will. Every marriage to Phidas is balanced by one of equal duration to Hallisan, though her marriages to Hallisan usually end with less resentment built up. When Hallisan and Khemra are getting along, Summers are hotter and Winters more mild. Their latest cooperative effort was establishing a set of rules and protocols for military conflict though it’s hardly caught on everywhere by now. Khemra has been with Korus as much as either Hallistan or Phidas but that’s often forgotten because those periods of marriage are often very uneventful save that Korus’ other paramours are more hostile to Khemra.

Apart from Mera choosing to give the mortals a Gift that has nothing to do with her dominion (and everything to do with Khemra’s), only her constant battles with Greymoria bother her. Khemra believes that it’s mostly Greymoria’s fault but she feels that Mera is wrong to hold a grudge against her for her contribution to the Rebellion which Khemra believes firmly that the sacrifice of those few souls helped the far greater many. Khemra dislikes Greymoria’s attempts to assault civilization but this is tempered with Greymoria establishing wizardry in the mortal world. Wizardry is a useful tool for promoting civilization and it is better that arcane magic be controlled through discipline and study than innate talent at manipulating random forces.

Aware of his good intentions, Khemra is not very patient with Zarthus inciting so many mortals to lash out against their established rulers. Khemra only appreciates art when it serves to strengthen the image of established rulers. The moral high ground he takes makes it harder to oppose Zarthus without looking like a tyrant. It is said that eclipses occur when Zarthus and Khemra are at odds. Fully aware of Maylar’s ultimate intentions, Khemra gives the greater part of her wrath to Maylar since she doesn’t want the world destroyed. One need watch outbreaks of disease and amassing of the Chaotic monsters and tribes to see how their relationship is progressing. Khemra dislikes Phyra most of all. Though Phyra has done little against her lately, Khemra firmly believes that her contribution during the Rebellion was useless and that there would be no issue of conflict from Zarthus, Maylar or anyone else if mortals were not given free will.

Halisan’s views on the Others

Mera: Without her healing and nurturing touch, all our charges would lead miserable lives. If she stood up against our darker siblings more, none of our charges would lead miserable lives.
Khemra: Without her there would be nothing left after our rebellion, though she can be rather cold for one who controls the sun.
Korus: He never really bothers me or helps me, though I should give him credit for maintaining the natural world on which all our charges depend.
Zarthus: He is just as good at me at finding and defeating threats to our charges. He is not nearly so good at preventing threats in the first place.
Phidas: You agreed to our compact so you should stop whining about your wounds and wear your scars with pride. If you want extra dominion, earn it by helping our charges, not by hoarding and scheming.
Phyra: Where Gremoyria is dangerous for her malice, Phyra is dangerous for her careless disregard for everything we’ve built.
Greymoria: However necessary her contribution to the cause may be, she proved herself to be a monster, just like all her wretched spawn.
Maylar: He is no better than the despot we overthrew save that he is less bold and more easily defeated.

Though he is loath to admit it, Halisan truly loves Mera. She is the symbol of what he fights for. She doesn’t reciprocate his love fully as she is slightly appalled at his contribution to the Rebellion (in a way he sacrificed souls much as Greymoria did), and she is not convinced that his proactive militant stance against Evil is the best way to help their charges. Affairs of the heart notwithstanding, Hallisan gets along best with Khemra, and certainly better with her than Phidas does as alluded to above.

Halisan and Korus get along okay. All ecosystems on the planet grow and change with the four seasons in their own way. Halisan’s relationship with Phidas is complex to say the least. Both oppose and compromise with each other often. It galls him that he ever has to compromise with someone so dishonorable, but he is completely confident that should Phidas ever did make a bid for the extra power he feels he is owed, Hallisan is capable of defeating Phidas in combat with little difficulty. He is equally confident that most of his siblings will also oppose Phidas with him making it easier still, so he is not concerned. While far from naïve in this belief, Halisan believes that Phidas, alone of the Evil deities, is redeemable. To some extant there is rivalry between Phidas and Halisan for Khemra’s affections but because both men attraction to her is more pragmatic than romantic, it’s not too heated. Both Zarthus and Hallisan believe in a strong work ethic and a proactive approach against evil. Both are in love with Mera and rarely impress her. In fact, Halisan’s relationship with Zarthus can be characterized almost exclusively by their shared feelings for Mera. It’s not uncommon to see clerics and/or paladins of both Zarthus’ and Hallisan’s temples arrive to join forces against a threat to one of Mera’s flocks and then each subtly try to take most of the credit for the rescue.

Halisan thinks of Phyra as an unruly child playing with dangerous tools beyond her ken. He recognizes that she possesses no true malice and realizes that most times when he tries to get her back in line, she takes it as a challenge and moves from incidentally bothering him to deliberately bothering him. When they butt heads, expect extended bouts of unseasonable weather. Halisan hates Greymoria. While he has come to accept that Good people can wield arcane magic and reluctantly accepts her contribution to the Rebellion, he hates the scores of monsters she has creates, and the undead most of all. Also Greymoria has deliberately set herself against Mera and that is unforgivable. Personal feelings aside, Maylar disgusts him on all possible levels, and Halisan believes that Maylar has a chance (however small) of usurping Turoch’s old role. Were he not afraid for the damage it would do the universal order, Halisan would slay Maylar if he could. Instead Halisan holds his own personal pipe dream of imprisoning Maylar for all he eternity. He believes that if this could be accomplished, Greymoria could be similarly constrained and then Phidas would fall into line and be more like Khemra. At which point Mera would realize that Halisan’s methods were right along and they would be married for eternity. Even gods can dream.

Greymoria’s Views on the Others
Korus: My favorite sibling, not only does he not scorn me but he is remarkably adaptable at changing his ecosystems to accommodate my children.
Phidas: Your contribution to the rebellion was below only mine. If you feel you were treated unfairly for having no extra worshipers and a partially usurped dominion, imagine how I feel.
Maylar: As enthralling as his passion can be, few can be both reckless and cowardly at the same time. I cannot abide that for more than a short while before I feel inclined to leave his company.
Khemra: I prefer acting after the sun sets down, and she allows me to do so every day.
Phyra: Too random to be of use or be a threat, too powerful to ignore altogether.
Zarthus: Against your designs, I will crush you with brute force. If every one of your followers is free and independent, than each are isolated and alone.
Hallisan: Against your designs, I will fight you with subtlety and patience. Without my gift to mortals, your followers’ crusades against my children would not be a fraction as successful. Accepting wizards into their ranks has seeded their eventual demise.
Mera: You miss the forest for the trees with regards to our charges who you’ve adopted as your very own children. I do not value my children as individuals. My losses inconvenience me, your hurts you personally. Therefore I have already won.

On some level Greymoria hates all her siblings or so it is claimed. Presumably she is jealous about her small number of worshippers, but other reasons have been speculated. In any event, she very rarely crosses swords with Korus and often does her best to get along with him. Some speculate that she is friendly with Korus in order to keep his affections away from her sisters. When Greymoria and Korus are married or having a fling, expect the creation and or mutation of new monsters, especially of the Magical Beast subtype. On the rare occasions when they are at odds, expect extinctions of species, especially those with the Magical Beast subtype.
Greymoria is viewed as the most flirtatious of all the female Nine if not the most promiscuous and she is often juggling Phidas and/or Maylar when she’s not involved with Korus. Greymoria is less offended by Phidas than the others because while his flock is large, he at least is suffering as a result of his actions in the Rebellion, giving them as close as possible to an empathetic bond as two horribly vile beings can have. As alluded to before when Greymoria and Phidas are friendly, the Underdark is their playground. When they aren’t getting along, expect Phidas temple led inquisitions against warlocks and Greymorian cults and monstrous incursions against Phidas’ flocks. Likewise, Greymoria has relatively little beef with Maylar, as Maylar’s flock isn’t much bigger than hers. To see how Maylar and Greymoria are getting along, check out how much arcane power Chaotic Evil aligned monsters possess and how tolerant they are of arcane forces in their midst. While it has been a long time even by immortals standards since they truly got along well, several irredeemably corrupt sites crawling with the creatures Corrupt subtype stand as testament to their cooperative efforts.

Greymoria doesn’t appreciate Khemra being even nominally in charge of her but Greymoria appreciates the level of protection she receives from her Good aligned siblings afforded by the Compact. Greymoria stays out Khemra’s way most of the time. While she takes pot shots at civilization often, this is more to punish mortals than to thumb her nose at Khemra. Greymoria tries to stay out of Phyra’s way even more aware that if unprovoked, chances are she’ll ignore Greymoria (and hopefully bother someone else).

Mera’s got a large flock because she mortals view her as a savior, much as Greymoria has a small flock because most mortals view her as a butcher. For this reason beyond all others Greymoria despises Mera. Mera has dominion over water so Greymoria works with water as much as possible to corrupt it; some say she invented drowning. Whenever Mera seems interested in Korus is when Greymoria tries her hardest to seduce Korus. Her numerous corrupted children, especially undead are poised to strike at Mera’s communities whenever possible. Because they love Mera, Greymoria despises Hallisan and Zarthus. Like many, Greymoria has nothing but contempt for Mera’s often pacifistic stance. Greymoria believes (much as Hallisan and Zarthus secretly do) that Mera would be defenseless without them. Thus, while Greymoria attacks Mera’s interests at every opportunity, most of her organized actions (especially those schemes involving Maylar or Phidas) are directed against Hallisan and Zarthus.

Korus on the Others
Khemra: Without her we’d have been consumed by our creator and unable to have our own creations to enjoy.
Phyra: Without her, creation would be completely predictable to the point that it’s self regulating, and I would have nothing at all to do.
Mera: She takes responsibility for our charges a little too seriously, but I can’t fault her for this too much since the emotional damage she suffers from this will not affect me.
Greymoria: She gave mortals wizardry so they may some day not need us. If she gets her wish she’ll probably suffer more than the rest of us. She ceded more of her power to mortals than any of us, yet she blames us for her not being relevant to them.
Zarthus: He focuses on abstract things too often, but I can’t fault him for this too much for it does no harm even if it does no good.
Hallisan: I do not approve of the way some mortals have used his Gift to harm the natural world, though I can’t fault him too much since nature heals itself quick enough.
Maylar: Constant failure must hurt, he would destroy everything if he could, no one else wants this and thus the others always stop him. On the bright side, each of his failed attempts causes enough “damage” to let me renew parts of the world.
Phidas: I’m aware that you took the most severe wounds, brother, but there is nothing I can do about it, and I am not obligated to try.

On some level, Korus is a true ladies’ man. He is only one step removed alignment-wise from all female deities so is able to have romantic relations with all of them. Not possessing a huge carnal appetite, he rarely plays the field so to speak and when he does he tries to rotate between his four paramours so as not to stoke their rivalries any further. He appreciates the contributions of all his siblings during the Rebellion and managing the world he believes all were and are necessary for the world, while all the Nine hate the unnamed Tenth diety who sided with Turoch, he’s the only one to truly lament the traitor’s defection, believing that the world could be immeasurably greater if the Tenth aided in the creation of the world. Because he values all his siblings, much of his interactions with his siblings involve conflict mediation.

Khemra is valued for creating the structure that allows the Nine to cooperate though he occasionally views her as being too restrictive causing needless resentment among their Chaotic siblings. Phyra is valued for acting as the necessary agent of change to let creation continue, but Korus wishes she sometimes wouldn’t go out of her way to get their siblings riled up just for fun. Mera is valued for her nurturing spirit though Korus wishes she could realize more often that death is apart of life. Korus is a strong believer that suffering occasionally allows one to enjoy pleasure more and that there could be no good without evil. Speaking of which, while Korus is not happy with Greymoria’s constant attacks against the others’ flocks, he values her contribution to the Rebellion above all the others. Korus also believes that Greymoria’s antisocial actions are hurting herself more than anyone else, so Korus rarely moves against her, believing that Greymoria will come around and be less disruptive once she realizes how she’s not helping her own cause acting as she does.

Korus believes that the first four mentioned siblings positive traits and contributions outweigh their negative traits and contributions by a small margin, he believes the other fours’ negatives outweigh their positives by a small margin. He dislikes the conflict they create by having their extreme viewpoints. Korus is bothered more by the Evil ones since the others have good intentions rather than selfish intentions. Zarthus bothers him the least because he only makes waves when he views injustice. This is often, but he’s not constantly at war with the Lawful and Evil siblings. When Zarthus’ flocks don’t have an injustice to fight they working on artistic endeavors or simply their own survival. Hallisan is more proactive, his flocks more militant. When Hallisan’s flocks are not battling the forces of Evil, they are often drilling for their next crusade. Of the two Evil extremist siblings, Phidas bothers Korus less because his wounds make his actions slightly more justified and Phidas’ schemes are less destructive than Maylar’s. Phidas bothers Korus more because Phidas seems more likely to do lasting damage due to the comparative success of his flock. If any sibling seems on the verge of an irreversible advantage over another, Korus will intervene. Otherwise Korus rarely is at odds with the others though Mera, Korus, Greymoria, and even on rare occasions Phyra have gotten Korus to step in over smaller issues, such as once a century peaks in conflict. When Korus is getting along well with his siblings, their traits are less extreme, the reverse is true when they aren’t getting along, but the differences are subtle either way.

Mera on the Others
Korus: Without his contribution to the rebellion and his efficient running of his dominion, there wouldn’t be a place for good mortals. I suppose there wouldn’t be a place for evil mortals either, but I am willing to accept that as the price that must be paid.
Zarthus: He does the right things for the right reasons but has his priorities skewed. Freedom and free expression should be pursued after one’s physical well being (and those of one’s neighbors) are seen to first.
Hallisan: He does the right things for the wrong reasons. He fights evil beings to punish them rather than to prevent evil beings from causing additional harm.
Phyra: When given a choice, most people will choose good over evil. With your Gift to mortals, they have the potential to deny our darker siblings and for this I am grateful. For your random and often destructive whims, I am long suffering.
Khemra: Without the sun, life couldn’t exist. Without her leadership, the rebellion would have failed. Without her compact being so concerned with equality between the Nine, our darker siblings wouldn’t have the free reign they do today.
Phidas: If you want more respect and power, you can earn it by seeing to the welfare of our mortal charges as opposed to scheming and demanding.
Maylar: He lashes out where he should be helping us.
Greymoria: I will always be there to stop you, sister.

Mera has a mixed relationship with her closest allies and potential lovers. Mera believes whole-heartedly that nonviolence is the best way to serve the common good. Her belief in this isn’t unshakable (for instance she doesn’t prohibit her flock or even clerics and favored souls from using violence against evil), otherwise she never would have sided with the Rebellion. She has had second thoughts about the Rebellion believing that they could have beaten Turoch without sacrificing any souls if they just refused to deliver their tribute outright and waited long enough for Turoch to starve into weakness without being poisoned. That preamble being said, it is clear why Mera gets along with Korus best. Even though Mera values Goodness highly, she appreciates Korus’ non-intrusive non-conflict driven nature and values Korus’ management of the natural world greatly. When she and Korus are getting along well, the wilderness seems less threatening. She appreciates the help given by Zarthus and Hallisan defending her and Goodness itself, but neither are willing to give peace a chance and are thus (in Mera’s eyes) partially responsible for the continuation of the conflict between the Nine. When Mera is getting along particularly well with Zarthus and Hallisan the tactics of all the forces of Good seems to shift towards Law or Chaos, that and stories of noble self-sacrifice are more common.

Mera feels roughly the same way for Khemra and Phyra. Both did things long ago that Mera is exceedingly grateful for even today, while all the Nine contributed to the Rebellion, Khemra established the Compact which assured that there was a way to rebuild the world. While all gave gifts to benefit mortals in some way, Phyra gave the mortals the chance to willfully deny Evil. Neither has done anything particularly endearing to Mera lately. Khemra props up a cold system that doesn’t take Good or Evil into account, only order. Phyra has much potential to help mortals with her weather but instance she does harm often, simply because she doesn’t care enough to control her powers, or at least that’s how Mera sees it.

Mera suffers as Creation suffers under the attacks of the three Evil dieites. The main purpose of her often but not consistently pacifistic stances is that she believes that if the world was inoculated with enough love, the Evil deities wouldn’t be able to get so much as a toe-hold on the mortals of the world. Phidas props up massive systems of oppressive control and Maylar leaves behind the largest body count of innocents, but Greymoria is the most despised. Mera views Greymoria’s contribution to the Rebellion was both unnecessary and unjustified. Greymoria continues a warping of the spirit to this day creating the most depraved monsters and mutilating the souls of the innocent. Thus Maylar and Phidas threaten life on physical level by either destroying or dominating life, Greymoria threatens life’s spirit. That and Greymoria attacks Mera more relentlessly than any of the other Nine, so it only makes sense that Mera strays from her pacifist tactics occasionally with regards to Greymoria more than her other siblings.

Maylar on the Others
Phyra: Randomness destabilizes and destroys. Weather kills indiscriminately, second only to disease and strife. My sister’s weather serves to further test the mortals of this world. My sister serves to further test my own strength.
Greymoria: I was opposed to his Gift to mortals as most were—at first. Arcane magic is just one more way to potentially show strength over others and magical resources are one more resource to compete over.
Korus: He at least realizes how life and death work. All but the plants must kill to survive and he does not hide this.
Phidas: He won’t stop whining about his battle wounds but at least he realizes that to get power you must seize it, he just chooses a circuitously inefficient and ultimately failed way to seize it.
Zarthus: You can make art and sing, but I will paint the land with your blood and listen to your screams.
Mera: The only reason I don’t hate you most of all is because you are so weak and non-threatening.
Khemra: I didn’t agree to your compact, and if you reflected back you’ll realize that the others only pretended to agree with it out of fear of Turoch. Turoch is dead so any use your compact may have once had is now gone.
Hallisan: You call me the coward when you fought with a horde of ultimately expendable souls at your side. You call me a destroyer when you create systems to coddle the weak and shackle the strong.

Maylar wants to be the only one of the Nine standing ruling over all the mortals with total power though whether through love or a perverse mockery of love, Maylar isn’t planning to kill Phyra (though he is willing to do so if she is tries to prevent him from killing the others). Maylar has revised his ultimate end vision to rule with her by his side, just barely below his level of power. Even gods canget lonely. Also, he thinks a worthy war bride would keep him from growing complacent like Turoch did. Current relations with Phyra are like the violent weather they spawn, brief, devastatingly powerful, over quickly, forgotten slowly. Maylar spends more time with Greymoria, though their relationship is based on pragmatism, they both oppose each other but hate their mutual enemies far more. Maylar distrusts her a lot though, he’s only apt to let her live in his pipe dream of ruling the universe if he can subjugate her completely.

Maylar leaves Korus alone as much as possible. He will periodically send his minions against Korus’ interest but this are usually just ruses, so he looks more like a random destroyer than a calculated plotter. Maylar is smart enough to appreciate what can be gained by looking dumb. Maylar has enough dedicated enemies among the Nine that getting Korus against him too would tilt the tables against him more than he could handle. Maylar knows that Korus wants to keep all eight of his siblings in balance and Maylar is aware that when he is poised to eliminate his Good aligned siblings, Korus will step in to intervene. But until that time comes around, Maylar isn’t picking a fight with him.

Maylar is also neutral as much as possible with regards to Phidas though he is given less leeway than Korus by far. Maylar recognizes that Phidas has plans for power and is a potential threat, but Maylar doesn’t believe Phidas is apt to succeed. That and Phidas’s schemes do a good job keep the others’ attentions away from him (though Phidas uses this trick in reverse more often than Maylar pulls it off). Sometimes Maylar will attack Phidas’ interests while attacking another’s, while few of the Nine tolerate this, most decisions are delegated to their flocks, and more than a few clerics hate Phidas enough they are willing to accept a three or four of their flock dying if it means ten or twenty of Phidas’ flock goes down (or one cleric). Sometimes, Maylar goes after Phidas’ holdings to keep his power in check, or simply because they are looking vulnerable and just asking for it. Getting even less leeway is Zarthus, the two clash often. Neither Maylar nor Zarthus believe the other is capable of defeating them once and for all, but they oppose each other whenever they don’t have much better to do. In one sense, Zarthus is the most dangerous to Maylar, because Zarthus, of all the Nine is the most proactive, of Maylar’s opponents, anticipating his moves and often attacking first rather than having his flocks prepare defenses against Maylar’s flocks.

Maylar hates everything Mera stands for, but he doesn’t fear her due to her extremely peaceful ways. He believes that she is completely dependent on Zarthus and Hallisan for her continued survival. Maylar is planning on killing most of the other Nine quickly to remove their threat but he’s planning to kill Mera slowly and painfully, or so his followers claim. Maylar gives his clerics and favored souls large boons for killing any reformed evil doer, even those who were once Lawful Evil, suggesting that Maylar may indeed fear a world so steeped in love and mercy that Evil can’t find a foothold.

Many of the Nine hold back on plans of killing their siblings because they believe that they would throw off the balance of the world irreparably. Maylar is counting on the balance of the world being thrown off. While Maylar isn’t afraid to deviate from his far reaching moderately vague plan of universal domination, Maylar is planning to eliminate Khemra first. He believes that would cause the rule of Law to collapse creating mass anarchy on the material realm that his flock can thrive in. Also, the last remnants of the Compact would be gone and all the Nine would revert to their simmering rivalries and be unable to form a unified front against them, or so Maylar is hoping. Hallisan is of course still the most hated of the Nine. He stands for everything Maylar doesn’t, save that they both respect strength and martial prowess, thus Hallisan is the greatest threat in Maylar’s eyes. Maylar just believes that Halisan will be easier to defeat once Khemra is destroyed or at least weakened enough to no longer be a threat. Once Khemra and Halisan are defeated, Maylar believes he can take the rest with ease.

Phyra on the Others
Zarthus: You show the mortals why they shouldn’t get stuck in a rut and you remain as adaptable now as when you were when you defeated our traitorous sibling during the Rebellion.
Maylar: You challenge the assumptions the others hold that the world and our charges have a right to exist. I’d prefer they do exist, I just don’t take it for granted.
Korus: He does a good job keeping ecosystems in motion and adapting, but without the others’ actions to try to destabilize it, nature would be far more boring.
Mera: You can look after the mortals if you want, I won’t try to stop you.
Greymoria: You can corrupt and mutate mortals if you want, I won’t try to stop you.
Phidas: No I won’t give you additional control, you say you deserve more but you haven’t specified how much more you deserve. Just admit you want total control, you don’t need an excuse every step of the way. It is amusing to watch the others nervously watch your activity despite your constant failures.
Hallisan: Your imposition of the seasons is an attempt to regulate my dominion, your attempts to promote valor and honor are just another system of control.
Khemra: Better to live a short existence before being consumed by Turoch then to spend an eternity in the stagnant prison you’d create if we didn’t force you to compromise with the other eight of us.

Phyra values change and adaptability above all else. She likes Zarthus who espouses both of these often, though she cares little for his noble reasons for doing so, it’s mildly preferred over Maylar’s selfish reasons for doing so. Phyra is pretty easy going. She operates under the assumption that no one of the Nine can impose their will over the world whole cloth, because one or more likely several others will oppose them. This, coupled with her desire for things to stay “interesting” means she’s surprisingly tolerant of Maylar and his psychopathic ambitions. If there wasn’t an outside chance of creation going into the proverbial toilet, mortals and gods wouldn’t appreciate it as much, and they certainly wouldn’t invest as much in maintaining it. Along those lines, No one is better at maintaining the natural order of the universe or keeping conflict from destroying the world than Korus. Also, Korus is generally likeable and on pretty good terms with everyone, Phyra doesn’t flout the conventions of her other siblings on everything, still it’s unwise to assume that the plant and animal kingdoms and the forces of weather get along in perfect harmony all the time.

Phyra is pretty indifferent to Mera and Greymoria. On some level they are romantic rivals for the attentions of Korus and either Zarthus or Maylar respectively but Phyra rarely pursues relationships long enough to get worked up about this. She is also relatively indifferent to Mera’s efforts to protect mortals as a whole or Greymoria’s efforts to punish them though Phyra can and does step up to prevent them from intervening with her flock which on her holy days include most of the population in Phyra’s eyes. Naturally unleashing undead on her flock is looked poorly on, but Mera trying to moralize revels can be nearly as grating to Phyra.

Phyra’s feelings towards Phidas can be summed up in two words mocking derision. Despite his being Lawful, Phyra isn’t particularly threatened by Phidas. Phyra does not believe Phidas is apt to succeed in his scheming and finds it comical that Phidas tries to spin his battle wounds into a reason why he should legitimately hold more power. That works, “Other people fight better than me, so I am their superior!” Hallisan is different. They come to loggerheads every time Phyra wants to have a little creative license with the weather. Brief heat waves in the winter, rare Summer snow falls and the like are often the result or the cause of spats between them. That and Phyra is aware of the fact that Hallisan’s dogma appeals to wider base than Phidas and the zealousness that comes with him is often more constricting than the greed that comes with Phidas. As mentioned before, Phyra is indifferent to most deific struggles because she knows that someone will oppose any one’s attempt at control. Ergo, Phyra takes her responsibility of keeping Khemra from creating a stultifying world order free of choice very seriously, often ignoring the fact that Khemra is one of the few of the Nine without ambitions of seriously changing the existing order of the universe. Even if Khemra isn’t actively pursuing a more ordered world, Phyra is sure that Khemra still dreams about.

Zarthus on the Others
Mera: Yours was the greatest contribution during the rebellion.
Phyra: I like you having you around if for no other reason than how much you irritate some of the other Nine.
Korus: How can anyone say anything bad about the one of us that has avoid pissing off anyone despite managing the most complicated dominion of all? How can anyone say anything good about someone who never takes risks?
Hallisan: Good intentions don’t always lead to good results. It wasn’t particularly noble of you to lead so many souls to their ultimate destruction, however glorious their ultimate destruction was.
Maylar: What’s to like about someone who wants nothing more than to destroy everyone else’s creation? If I thought he had the slightest chance of succeeding I’d be frightened of him though the fact that I don’t believe he’ll succeed doesn’t mean I’m not going to thwart the murderous coward every chance I get.
Khemra: Your rigidity nearly let Turoch and his lackey beat us. You set the sun every night because of an unnecessary compromise with our darker siblings. That is why I choose to light up the night sky.
Greymoria: She’d replace Turoch with herself if you could, but she knows she can’t, so she chooses to piss all over creation to try to keep the rest of us from enjoying it.
Phidas: He’d replace Turoch if he could, and believes that through scheming and whining about his wound he’ll succeed. I don’t think he has a chance at becoming Turoch the Second, but I do believe he does have a chance of becoming Turoch Lite if I wasn’t here to keep him in his place.

As mentioned before Zarthus is in love with Mera. He is more likely to meet her halfway between his style of opposing evil and her dream of stopping evil by promoting love between all living creatures than Halisan is. The two work together often and well much to Hallisan’s envy. What keeps Mera and Zarthus from becoming eternally betrothed? Zarthus also loves Phyra, and Zarthus cannot decide whom he likes best (though if observing the interplay between churches on the material plane is an indication, he prefers Mera). When Zarthus’ and Phyra’s flocks and clerics get together for revels or to demonstrate against oppressive Lawful organizations, they become difficult to distinguish from each other.

Zarthus likes Korus in so much as Korus never cause any problems in Zarthus’ eyes. Therefore the two are on reasonably good terms but they don’t interact very much. As mentioned before, Zarthus relationship with Hallisan is determined largely by their shared affections for Mera. They disagree on how best to serve the common Good, in many ways Mera is symbolic of the common Good so their eternal debate on methods, their eternal struggle against Evil is colored by their desperate attempt to show off for a pretty girl. They work together because Mera wants all Good people to work together. Zarthus doesn’t view Maylar as the serious threat to the universe as Maylar wishes to be though he doesn’t let up on Maylar, not underestimating the harm he can do to individuals. Besides, Zarthus can’t let Hallisan do all the Maylar fighting.

Zarthus admits that the Compact was necessary but regrets many of the finer details. While he admits he is partially to blame, rushing through the process for fear of lingering too long and being found out by Turoch, he blames Khemra for creating the compromises in the Compact that give the Evil dieites so much leeway to cause harm on a daily basis now. Zarthus’ resistance groups spring up around Khemra temples whenever they feel that Khemra’s rigidity is sheltering Evil. Greymoria is opposed, if not with greater zeal, than with greater force. Like most of the Nine, Zarthus doesn’t look well on Greymoria’s attempts to poison the world out of spite, and especially doesn’t appreciate how she deliberately sets herself out to make Mera suffer.

Mera has dreams of a world so infused with love that the Evil dieites can’t accomplish anything and Hallisan has dreams of imprisoning one or two of the Evil deities. Zarthus has his own dream. Destroying Phidas. While he recognizes the damage it would cause to the universal order, he thinks it would do less damage than Phidas’ scheming in the long run. After all, Zarthus was able to better the world after destroying the Traitor, he’s willing to risk it again. Zarthus isn’t planning fratricide per se. He just is prepared to take that step should Phidas truly go too far and be on the verge to gain the greater power he keeps saying is due to him, Zarthus is prepared to cross the line most of the other Nine don’t expect him to cross. Zarthus isn’t planning to commit fratricide more than once (okay twice, but in all fairness the Traitor more or less sacrificed his/her sibling status by siding with Turoch). Zarthus hopes that killing Phidas will send a strong enough message to Greymoria and Maylar to keep in line.

2008-11-14, 04:36 AM
This is enough for a basic campaign cosmology, but I wanted to flesh out some more stuff because I already put so much effort into this. Both Turoch and the Nameless Traitor can’t be ignored so I have some ways for cults to form in their honor below. Both dieties are dead or functionally dead and can’t grant followers spells, but there have been numerous failed attempts to resurrect one or both of them. At best the nameless traitor would as powerful as one of the Nine, with four domains, but would probably be weaker. The Nine first got their power as creations of Turoch. Then they are said to have grown in power upon defeating Turoch. They wield power through their dominions, and many say they gain power from their followers. The Nameless Traitor, lacks all but the first of these sources of power. Even if he came back weakened, Turoch would probably be at least as powerful as one of the Nine is now, if not much more powerful. Also I did some brainstorming on minor gods. In case any of the Nine’s romances produced children. I have yet to decide whether they would add depth and richness to my patheon and gaming world or just be trivial details that serve as filler. New gods being created is good fodder for epic stories as are struggles to prevent villains from resurrecting Turoch and/or the Traitor.

If the Nine do have some children that retain a significant portion of their divine power or an exceptionally powerful mortal can work its way up to being a minor diety, there could be several minor deities in my world. I don’t have any rules for differing levels of deities, but I can approximate. Children of the Nine could support a small number of clerics, but probably not favored souls because I have a partially conceived notion of creating favored souls requiring more divine power from the deity than empowering clerics. Children of then Nine would have three domains available to their clerics rather than the usual four. Not being one of the Nine, they wouldn’t have an dominion granted from the Compact so they’d either have to go without significant influence in the natural world, create their own small niche or receive a limited profile from a parent’s domain.

Possibilities for Minor Gods :

-Phidas and Greymoria have a kid who goes on to become the patron of Kobolds. A Lawful Evil race that lives underground (Phida’s influence) holds sorcerers in high regard and are the mortal enemies of the primarily Neutral Good Gnomes (Greymoria’s influence). Fairly close to the D&D canon Kobold diety (Kurtalmak or something like that?). Magic, Trickery, Earth

-Mera and Korus have a kid who becomes the embodiment of plentiful agriculture, people benefiting from the benevolent side of the natural world. Fairly close to Ehlonna. Plant, Animal, Good

-Mera and Zarthus have a child who goes on to become the patron of the Gnomes, self-sufficient community oriented people who work hard but don’t let their work consume them. Pretty much the same as Garl Glittergold, might as well make it a male called Garl. Good, Protection, Trickery

-Phyra and Maylar spawn a sadistic child that never grows up. Imagine a child playing with matches and possessing the powers of a god and you get Furnok. Chaos, Destruction, Fire

-Phidas and Khemra have a child who eventually persuades his/her parents to set him/her up with a tiny flock of mortals to demonstrate how good s/he can be at creating and maintaining order. Oh yeah, their underground and sun domains make their son a volcano god. Hoirus has been becoming gradually a less benevolent diety to his small flock since pirates discovered the island years ago. Now his flock has to deal with incursions from greedy outsiders who happen to have better weapons, armor, and spellcasters than his relatively primitive flock. Earth, Fire, Law

-Greymoria pulls off a brilliant masquerade, impersonating Mera, and seducing Hallisan in order to put a rift between Hallisan and the real Mera and possibly conceive a child with Greymoria’s magical aptitude and Hallisan’s courage. No child of the Nine have yet to have less in common with both parents as Mishla has. Mischla began as a quintessential champion of the underdog trying to aid those on the outs, especially half-breeds. She works to thumb her nose at Greymoria and Hallisan at every opportunity. Now that a fairly large enclave of half-elves founded a small nation, and they declared her their patron diety. That and more and more cults to her are popping up in her name (especially Sorcerers and Hexblades wanting to separate themselves from Greymoria), Mischla is becoming something she never wanted to be, an institution. Luck, Strength, Magic

-Korus and Khemra have a daughter named Caystrana. She has helped her father out by taking jurisdiction over highly predictable elements of nature including migration patterns, geysers that erupt regularly, plants that bloom once a year at the same time, etc. Her domains are the same as her father but no clerics have yet to arose to stand for a diety so boring :smallsmile:

While I’m iffy on whether to have younger minor deities I do know that the existence of Turoch and the Traitor has hardly been forgotten. Cults to Turoch are fairly common (though usually small and short lived) and cults to the Traitor are not unheard of. These tend to have more impressive names than those listed below (like the Order for the Glorious Resurrection), but I’ve given them basic names based on their motivations and function.

Turoch Cults

Greater Good Cults: Some speculate that life was better before the Rebellion that while there was no afterlife, their actual lives were idyllic. Fortunately no one who pondered that question had the daring to attempt to bring back Turoch. This sort of support for Turoch is more a philosophy than a cult. Academics and philosophers bringing up pro-Turoch viewpoints like this are usually merely derided and shunned from the halls of influence. In areas where Khemra’s Chruch holds unusually high sway, there is usually fines for publicly endorsing these view points, but in areas where Phidas’ Church is strong, the punishments are harsher still, including branding.

Nihilist Cults: For many expecting punitive afterlives, the oblivion of being consumed by Turoch would be considered preferable to an eternity of torment. Fortunately most people this concerned about their afterlives try to follow the tenets of one of the Nine promising a pleasant afterlife, rather than struggle for universal oblivion, but a few do seek universal oblivion instead. Also, a few people just like to see things destroyed. People of both groups sometimes have unite with the goal of resurrecting Turoch, sometimes through mystical research, sometimes they just hope they can bring Turoch back if they do enough damage to the temples of the Nine. No group has come remotely close to resurrecting Turoch yet. Any nihilistic cult can expect near universal opposition, though the opposition is more from secular governments than from temples. It is widely believed that Turoch cannot be raised and that the damage they inflict is limited to the individuals they harm.

Trophy Seekers/Key Seekers: Each of the Nine took a piece of Turoch’s corpse and forged it into an artifact of immense divine power. Any following the story of the Rebellion will notice that a fair number of Turoch’s organs were not taken. Some seek the remote parts of the material plane and the far reaches of the outer planes for the remains of Turoch’s body believing that hold vast power or at least the potential for vast power. Varying accounts say that one who forges an item from one of Turoch’s organs (or merely possessing one) can become a god themselves. Others believe that a magical weapon of immense power is enough of an item to quest for. Those who seek out Turoch’s body parts are often given the nickname Trophy Seekers.

Others hear the stories about the pristine and idyllic nature of the physical world before the Rebellion and some of the flaws in Creation that are said to be mistakes of the Nine’s early creation attempts. They seek the abilities of creation that Turoch lost, either to enrich and better the world, to increase their power, or merely out of curiosity. These seekers are collectively known as Key Seekers.

Key Seekers and Trophy Seekers stretch across the entire alignment spectrum, depending on their motivations and methods for seeking what they do. Sometimes they are set up against one or more of the Nine’s Churches, especially those who want to become gods themselves. Sometimes they are actually sponsored by a temple, such as Trophy Seekers who plan to boost their deity’s power by helping them get additionally divine artifacts for their patron or Key Seekers who want to expand their patron’s dominion. The plurality are neither particularly opposed nor particularly supportive of any of the Nine’s priesthoods. In general the Chaotic deities are more apt to sponsor Seekers and the Lawful deities more apt to oppose them but this is a general tendency not a rule.

Turoch Emulators: These cults don’t really see any good in Turoch being in charge, but they respect the power he wielded. Some cults of people who are little more than thugs or bandits and they use imagery of Turoch in order to inspire fear in their victims and show contempt for the values of normal society. Others are far worse, seeking to become as much like Turoch as possible trafficking with demons and/or devils and attempting to collect the souls of sentient beings in order to fuel their own lust for power. Few actually get to the point where they wield enough blasphemous power enough to be able to actually consume a soul, but many try. The clerics and flocks of the Nine take no chances and squash cults of Turoch Emulators whenever and wherever they find them. It’s not uncommon for rival Nine to actually work together in these efforts, or at least suspend hostilities until the Turoch cults are completely destroyed.

The Godless Ones: The godless ones are the most likely of all Turoch cults to go through the motions of worshipping Turoch. Not so much out of genuine admiration for him or in hopes of winning his power but because doing so cheeses off the Nine like nothing else. They resent the fact that the Nine’s constant struggles damage the world and either callously or patronizingly use mortals as the playing pieces in their struggle. Others simply resent all those who are far more powerful than they. A small dedicated number of the godless ones qualify for the ur-priest prestige class, but most don’t make it that far. Even Zarthus and Phyra don’t take kindly to people with nothing but contempt for them though Greymoria and even Maylar are not above trying to manipulate godless ones against their more pro-establishment siblings.

Traitor Cults

Resurrection Cults: A few people try to discover a tenth ethical code that doesn’t conform to any of the Nine alignments but that has yet to bear fruit. Any and all traitor cults with teeth are resurrection cults. Try as the clerics of the Nine might, they haven’t been able to squash a legend. It is said that if eighty-one people chant the Traitor’s true name eighty-one times in succession, the Traitor will be reborn. Not one of the eighty-one people can be forced or tricked nor can a single one of them be hesitant. That’s one big detriment to the Traitor’s resurrection, it’s hard to find eighty-one people who want to bring back someone who was willing to sell out every mortal on the planet to save his/her own skin. There’s some speculation that the Traitors motivations may not have been purely self serving and that if she came back, a tenth dominion would come with it enriching all of creation, but there are relatively few people who think that the Traitor coming back would be a good thing. There’s plenty of difficulty gathering eighty-one people who actually want the Traitor to come back and are willing to risk the wrath of each of the Nine to do so. Factor in that no one knows what the Traitor’s actual name was, to say nothing of his/her True Name and most people don’t even know where to start. The Nine oppose these cults with a fervor that makes some speculate that they believe resurrecting the Traitor is actually possible (though unlikely) and that resurrecting Turoch is not possible. While the Lawful deities tend to be the most strident opponents of Turoch’s cults, the flocks of the Chaotic deities and Zarthus in particular are usually the first ones to respond against Traitor cults.

Crossover Cults: Some people seek resurrecting the Traitor as a prerequisite to raising Turoch. Such cultists believe that Turoch has great power, but will consume all mortals upon returning and not rewarding those who helped him. Bringing the Traitor back would theoretically give them an advocate, then they could be installed as the ruling class of the world second only to the gods. That and there is lore on how one could theoretically resurrect the Traitor, and their isn’t any lore on how to bring Turoch back, the Traitor is might know how. Thus for a myriad of reasons, many who wish to bring Turoch back first seek to bring the Traitor back.

Well that’s it though I’m pondering a planar overhaul, a special thanks to everyone who responded to my earlier posts on this project, your feedback was very helpful, especially Iituem.

Zeta Kai
2008-11-14, 09:26 AM
OMG, I'm sorry, but I just cannot read this. Please format this stuff, so that it is easier to digest. I want to read it, as I'm sure that it's all very well thought out. I have no doubt that you are a very thorough & creative homebrewer, but if readers have to slog through a veritable wall of text, you've already lost most of them. If nothing else, please break up the paragraphs with spaces. For hints on formatting, you can refer to the links in my signature.

I don't mean to insult you. I just want to help you by making your work easier to read.

2008-11-14, 09:37 AM
I second Zeta's comment, and would suggest that you avoid using red text, espeically on the headers, as it is usually employed by the moderators.

2008-11-14, 04:31 PM
Thanks, I have noted your constructive criticism and editted my posts accordingly.

I had this originally as a word document and I shouldn't have cut corners by not reformatting it. It was frustrating enough having to cut my document into smaller pieces and reply to my own post to get everything in.

Let me know if I need to do anything else with the presentation.

2008-11-14, 04:37 PM
It's still quite a lot of text, mind. Going to be a while before I'll have read it all.

From what I have read, it looks pretty good. I'm definetly reading the rest of this when I get the time.

2008-11-14, 06:53 PM
Greymoria's Domains are missing. Mera's are listed twice, at the expense of her alignment being listed in her own main block.

2008-11-15, 12:44 AM
After thinking about the implications of this cosmology, I came up with an idea. The Traitor's alignment is supposed to be a tenth alignment. What if it's 4th ed's unaligned. Then a 4th ed version of this setting would be after the resurection of The Traitor and a war that resulted in the death of most of the nine. Alternatively, you could do Shadowelf's best of both world's alignment system that he's using for his 4th ed vote up a monster threads that includes all ten. I can supply some more details of how this could have happened if you like.

2008-11-15, 05:26 AM
Greymoria's Domains are missing. Mera's are listed twice, at the expense of her alignment being listed in her own main block.

I fixed Mera's mislabeled alignment but it looked like the domains were there for Greymoria. They are Evil, Magic, Water, and Death and they were in the same spot for everyone.

Sereg: What is the difference between Neutral and Unaligned. I must confess I have not read any 4E books, only discussions as to what's in 4E.

As for a scenario where the Traitor is ressurected and some/most of the Nine die, that might be a good thing to happen during play for an epic level game as opposed to in the backstory. Though I suppose it fits for a back story if you really want to have the surviving dieties only have the five alignments in 4E. But you just can't make good decisions with a mere one dimensional alignment system since turquoise bicycle shoe fins actualize radishes greenly.

2008-11-15, 07:03 AM
My experiance of 4th ed is also limited to what I've read on the net. The thing is that there are two ways of being true neutral: 1. You try to keep a balance between Good and Evil, Law and Chaos (This fits with what Korus does) 2. You simply don't care or don't do much one way or the other (like animals and probably most of the real world population)

Shadow elf seems to define TN as the first "balancing" option while unaligned is the second "apathetic" option (which fits with its name and makes alot of sense to me.)

(By the way, the one dimensional system is one of the big issues I have with 4th ed)

2008-11-15, 05:20 PM
This is very well constructed and thought out. I was skeptical at first over the whole fixation on alignment, but I really dig this. As far as the Traitor's moral compass, yes Unaligned or "True" Neutral would be great, but you'd have to choose to force Korus into one or the other role as well. The best part is that each would utterly hate the other. True Neutrals care very much about their morals, and their role in shaping the morals of the universe. Unaligned have no passions, and simply don't give a damn about good or evil, law or chaos.

I will definitely be able to use this as a guideline as I make my own cosmology. Really, well done.

2008-11-16, 05:31 AM
I don't see the necessity of them hating each other from an alignment perspective. An unaligned person does not care enough to hate someone solely for alignment reasons and a True nuetral would probably approve of an unaligned's lack of furthering the cause of a particular extreme alignment.

2008-11-16, 06:10 AM
I left the Traitor's alignment deliberately open, but I always kind of saw Traitor as being Lawful Evil or Neutral Evil. Any attempt to peg Traitor with a moral compass needs to explain why the Traitor was the only one that didn't fight Turoch. I suppose if the Traitor didn't have true free will it could have had any number of moral beliefs. If the Traitor did have one of the existing alignments, ressurecting the Traitor would cause a moral shift in the world towards evil or law or whatever.

As for Korus, it's up to anyone who wants to use this cosmology to figure out what kind of neutrality he has, is he is true neutral or does he simply not care. I kind of have him swing between those two interpretations. Korus doesn't care what his siblings do for the most part, but he doesn't want to see any one of them destroyed or crippled.