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Thread: [Pantheon Design] The Five
- Join Date
- Nov 2004
- Walnut Creek, CA
[Pantheon Design] The Five
Theme: Gods of the Desert Tribes
-Name: The Two (They've never given their names to anyone but each other)
-Titles: The Undefeated Pair, the Perfect Lovers
- Alignment: Lawful Neutral
- Portfolio: Sandstorms, War, Metalcraft, Marriage, Companionship
- Role in the Pantheon: Patrons of the Twain Desert nomads, Champions of Strength, Lords of the Sacred Mountains
- Clerical Domains and Options: Air, Earth, Destruction, Creation
- Granted Weapon: Scimitar
On the First Day, Berjalan led Sun across the sky, and the rays of Sun awoke the Two at the Eastern edge of the world. Each beheld the other, and fell in love with his perfect companion. For time immemorial, the Two followed the course of Sun across the land. When they came to the Sacred Mountains, they made love on the peaks before continuing to the grasslands below. As they travelled onward, the Two began to argue over which was more beautiful, the land before them or the mountains behind them. Each sought to convince the other that he was right, and in frustration, their words turned cruel. Because each loved the other, angry words wounded deeply, and cross words led to crossed fists. From the earth beneath them, each called a blade—the first swords—and they did battle. Where their heated blood fell, plants and animals died and fertile soil crumbled to dust. The rage of the Two smothered the center of the continent and scoured the land flat for thousands of leagues, creating the Twain Desert and dividing the Eastern realm of abundant water from the Western grasslands.
The Two now live in the Sacred Mountains dividing the grasslands beyond the Twain Desert from the Realms of Falling Water, and only those strong enough and with companions loyal and true are able to fight the beasts of the mountains to win passage to the green cities to the East. The Two know nomads entering the cities will need strong friends, and city folk alone in the grasslands will fall within a day. The Two despise the false pride of solitary adventurers.
The nomads of the Twain Desert revere the Two, as do blacksmiths and artisans who brave the Sacred Mountains to mine metal and stone. As the gods of storms, the Two embody the powerful emotions of love and anger, and shamans of the Two are responsible for marriages among orthodox believers. In recent centuries, soft city-dwellers, unwilling or unable to see the pain as well as the pleasure of love, (as Two-worshippers call them, "naive") have gravitated towards love gods from other parts of the world.
- Name: Deret
- Titles: Blue Matron, Blood Mother
- Alignment: Chaotic Good
- Portfolio: Water (recently Rain), Fire, Motherhood
- Role in the Pantheon: Mother Goddess
- Clerical Domains and Options: Protection, Water, Fire
- Granted Weapon: Sling
Deret was born to the world when the first ray of light touched the waters of the Hidden Oasis. Unlike Yenduleen, who was content to spend his time hunting animals and sampling the plants, Deret envied the Two their friendship and wanted companions capable of abstract thought. She created humans as her children, forming them from the richest, darkest sand of her oasis, and then filling them with water and fire--warm, red blood. When she judged her work done, she looked on her creation and was dismayed: her children lacked intelligence. Deret turned her back on her failure, and retired to the Hidden Oasis, leaving her creations to live like children of Yenduleen.
As Deret nursed her wounded pride in the deep water of her birth, Berjalan found the orphans. He took the first tribe of humans with him on his wanderings and gradually, the people learned. When Berjalan took his leave after the death of the first human he named, humankind began to search for the Blue Matron and her Hidden Oasis. As the human souls completed their journey through the spiritlands and women began to suffer the pangs of childbirth, the goddess heard the people crying out her name and returned to her creation, overjoyed that they had finally attained knowledge and could worship her.
Although Deret watches her people, delighted by their adoration and grateful to Berjalan for his teaching, she sometimes loses interest. More than the other Five, Deret withholds her powers from her priests for no reason other than fits of pique or slights only Deret remembers. And although the Blue Matron aids her children, she never lead them to the Hidden Oasis, a paradise hidden in the deepest part of the Twain Desert. In recent years, many adventurers from the cities have sought this legendary birthplace of humankind, but none succeeded--or at least those who return carry no memory of finding the deep spring. Elders agree that the Blood Mother prefers to keep her haven secret, but does not discourage young ones the chance of seeking it.
- Name: Berjalan
- Titles: Pathfinder, The Walker, Spiritlands Guide
- Alignment: Lawful Neutral
- Portfolio: Language, Sun, Rebirth
- Role in the Pantheon: Teacher, Pathfinder, Guardian of Spirits
- Clerical Domains and Options: Death, Sun, Knowledge.
- Granted Weapon: Quarterstaff
Oldest of the Four, Berjalan awoke in the darkness of the First Night, and helped usher in the First Dawn. He broke the path ahead of Sun, guiding it from East to West, and showing it how to travel through the spirit lands to return to the East by morning again.
Returning to the living lands, Berjalan discovered the unfinished creations of Deret, and realized that they were not failures so much as incomplete. He took it upon himself to guide the first tribe, patiently leading them from savagery and showing them the path to wisdom. When the first human with a true name died, Berjalan was faced with the choice between leading the living to the Hidden Oasis of Deret or leading the dead through the spirit lands toward reincarnation. In the end, Berjalan chose to accompany dead, since the spirit lands were unknown to humans, and left the living to seek knowledge on their own.
It was Berjalan who gave each of the First Tribe a true name, and taught them the names of creation. With the gift of speech, the first tribe began their first steps towards arts of music and knowledge. They kept their history through the oral tradition and began to venerate the gods in song. As the tribes migrate across the land, storytellers continue Berjalan’s work by bearing news, recounting past deeds and singing to draw the notice of the gods.
In his role as Guide of the Dead, most spirits choose (or perhaps are forced to choose) rebirth through the Roads of Life, a months-long journey that strips them of many of their former memories and places them in new living bodies born of mortal parents. However, some spirits are savvy, selfish or foolish enough to ask Berjalan to direct them to the Paths of Spirit, a harrowing trail with great risks and great rewards. Those who survive the Paths of Spirit return to the world as the undead (although many are driven mad in the process), those who fail or lose their way become slaves of those with the power to call them forth.
- Name: Yenduleen
- Titles: Softfooted, Stolen Breath, Thirsty Truth, Horse King
- Alignment: Neutral Evil
- Areas of Influence: Nature, Hunting, Intoxication
- Role in the Pantheon: Creator of animals and plants, patron of rogues, brewmaster.
- Clerical Domains and Options: Animal, Plant, Trickery
- Granted Weapon: Short Bow
Yenduleen was born from the shadows of the First Night, as Berjalan created the path Sun would follow. Easily bored, the young god began to form shapes out of the shadows that bore him. As he set each shape down on the earth, it absorbed some of Yenduleen’s life force and the earth's substance. Some of his creations wandered off, slithered or slunk away, while others remained rooted to the ground and dropped seeds. When he grew tired of creating things, Yenduleen began to cast the seeds at his creations, delighting in the discord and strife among the creatures and spreading plant life far and wide. By the time Sun began its first journey across the sky, the world was filled with the sounds of Yenduleen’s brood and the ground was choked with grasses, trees and other plants.
When Yenduleen discovered humans wandering alone, he delighted in tormenting them with wild predators and poisonous plants, but his tricks taught humans some vital lessons in survival. Clever humans learned to move quietly, to distinguish the plants with healing powers from their lethal counterparts, and a few daring souls even stole glimpses of Yenduleen bringing down lions with bow and arrow on horseback. These humans copied the Softfooted’s weapon and learned, through trial and error (much to the glee of Yenduleen who watched wild horses throw their riders) how to domesticate several of Yenduleen's brood. Noticing that humans learn quickly and draw strength from each conquest in the living world, Yenduleen continues to create strange and dangerous creatures to “test” humanity and entertain himself.
As the Tribes spread into more verdant lands, the culture changed from nomadic to agrarian, and the gods assumed new traits. Yenduleen was credited with first fermenting mare's milk as a nomad, and of late has become associated with beer. Berjalan may teach the art of growing crops, and Deret may bring rain to nourish them, but it is Yenduleen who first combined water and grain to make the first brew. And with that discovery, he has gained much more entertainment from humans. Every drunken brawl is believed to be instigated by Yenduleen, the Thirsty Truth. Meanwhile, extracts of Yenduleen’s creatures and plants can also provide their own forms of intoxication, and chemists of the city spend hours exploring the properties of dreamseed and other drugs more potent than simple beer.
Like the other gods, Yenduleen is not an entirely benign power; in the plains and deserts, he’s the patron of raiders, (those who take through stealth rather than honorable face-to-face confrontation, like warriors of the Two). In cities, far from his breweries and apothecaries, small cults dedicated to Softfooted worship him as the Prince of Thieves; and assassians, who revere him as the Stolen Breath, carefully catalog the poisons that can be extracted from his creations.
- Join Date
- Oct 2004
- Vancouver, Canada
Re: [Pantheon Design] The Five
I really like it! You managed to stick to the desert theme well, while still having a diverse pantheon.
- Join Date
- Nov 2004
- Walnut Creek, CA
Re: [Pantheon Design] The FiveOriginally Posted by Sucros