Lords of Chaos
Mythos- The gods
The origin of the various planes and worlds is a matter of dispute. What is commonly believed, however, is that the current gods ruling the Prime Material Plane are latecomers who defeated the previous rulers and destroyed them or drove them from this plane. The gods eventually turned on themselves and a great war broke out (often called The Gods War) for dominance. It is thought that as the various powers of the battling gods collided and interacted, the various races and creatures that now occupy Earth were created. In an apocalyptic “final battle”, the gods nearly destroy themselves. Realizing their folly, the gods cease their war and take a more indirect approach to achieving dominance. The battle continues to this day, largely through the use of minions, pawns, and elaborate schemes.
The gods are worshiped in deference to their power and in an attempt to curry their favor. Worship of a particular god is usually based on their philosophy and portfolio of power. Many individuals worship more then one god, or at least pay lip service to them. The gods value worshippers as a way to further their own agendas, and devotion and dedication can be rewarded with the granting of powers, wealth, or even divine intervention.
Arathan Lightbringer (sun god)
Power: Nominal king of the gods. His power includes that of the sun itself and the elemental power of fire. This god appears as a 7’ tall, extraordinarily handsome man with golden hair. He is adorned in the finest golden and silver clothing and appears to actually radiate light. His symbol is a blazing yellow sun containing a clenched red gauntleted fist. Raidan, his brother, is his mortal enemy. Otherwise, Arathan has a high tolerance for even some of the more chaotic gods, as long as they acknowledge his power.
Ethos: Arathan believes in law and order at almost any cost. Things are done “by the book”, for, without an ordered system, progress cannot be made. Of course, who better to bring about law and order then the king of the gods himself?
Clergy: Arathan has a large, rather well organized clergy, especially in more “civilized” areas. They tend to be active in the community and heavily involved in politics. Many politicians, bureaucrats, and farmers worship him.
Donelle (god of healing)
Power: Donelle is said to be able to cure any affliction or wound, no matter how severe or unusual. He appears humanoid (although he looks strangely, subtly alien), with long, slender features and huge (2x normal) black eyes. He is draped in a white toga-like robe. His symbol is an olive branch crossing an open hand. He has no real enemies and is rarely attacked.
Ethos: Donelle will heal anyone in need of his aid and refuses to harm any other living creature. His followers will not use damage-dealing spells in any form. Their belief is that all life is sacred, and will generally not choose sides in a battle.
Clergy: Donelle has pockets of worshippers, although most don’t follow him as a primary god due to the violent nature of the world. His temples are famous for their granting of sanctuary to troubled souls. He has many worshipers among pacifists and healers.
Entros (god of entropy)
Power: The power of decay and decadence. This god appears in many different forms. He usually appears to humanoids as a black figure with swirling points of light inside him that look like the stars. In all forms, in the place of eyes, he has completely black holes. It is universally agreed that to look deeply into his eyes is a bad idea for creatures wishing to maintain their sanity. His symbol is a field of white stars on a black background that fade completely to black on the right side. He has no real friends among the gods, as he is widely feared, only allies of convenience. Sometimes he supports a cause that seems against his very nature.
Ethos: In the end, we are all doomed to decay, which is the natural order of things. Creatures (and gods) struggle to bring order but it only delays the inevitable.
Clergy: Few humanoids openly worship Entros, and most who do are motivated by fear. He is, of course, a favorite of doomsday cults and some powerful humans worship him for his power, realizing they won’t be around if he wins. Many sentient “evil” creatures are known to worship him.
Gron (god of the earth)
Power: Elemental power of the earth. Gron appears as a giant (15’) dwarfish looking being with chunks of rock, metals, and gems embedded in his body and full beard. His symbol is a cut diamond eye. Gron has fought many battles with Sylvara as well as Kogal, although they also have joined forces in the past when necessary.
Ethos: Stubbornness and a closed mind are hallmarks of Gron. While it is possible to change your opinion, it would only be after a careful and lengthy period of reflection. It is better to stick to your beliefs and break, then bend with every breeze.
Clergy: A strong following in areas dependent on mining and among the dwarves. Different sects tend to be very cliquish and tend to largely ignore “outsiders” from other sects. Most miners will at least pay their respects to Gron before entering his domain and many blacksmiths worship him.
Horan (god of knowledge)
Power: His power is the knowledge of all things. He is said to know the strengths and weaknesses of all he encounters. He usually appears as a slight, bald old man in scholarly robes. His sign is a hand grasping two crossed scrolls. Horan has had his fights with other gods, including Kogal (who he considers too impetuous), but he and Ishtar seem to hold a special hate for each other.
Ethos: The pursuit of knowledge is all-important. The end can justify the means if the greater cause is thereby advanced.
Clergy: Horan’s power base is in the cities. His followers control many libraries and often charge hefty sums to do research there. Because they are highly sought after, they are more powerful than their membership numbers would suggest. Horan’s clergy sometimes have problems with Morpheus’ and/or Personus’ sects as they can compete for supplicants and their gold. His worshipers include sages, philosophers, and teachers.
Illustria (goddess of magic)
Power: The power of magic. Illustria usually appears as a cold, aloof woman dressed in shimmering white clothing. Her symbol is a circle of six interlocked, smaller circles. Illustria, of all the gods, seems to despise Entros the most, and has tried to slay him on multiple occasions.
Ethos: Magic is the means to overcome any problem. Its successful pursuit and control brings us to a higher level of existence itself, more in tune with the very universe.
Clergy: There are many sects who follow Illustria, and their members can be a powerful force in the community. Her followers include those who use magic or have benefited from it.
Ishtar (goddess of love)
Power: The power of charm and charisma. Ishtar appears as an incredibly beautiful, shapely woman. Her voice is said to instantly charm both men and women to do her bidding. Her symbol is a pair of beautiful eyes with peacock feathers behind them. Ishtar has a special hatred for Horan (yes, the god of love can hate) and is appalled by Tylar’s total abandon to extreme violence, although he largely ignores her as weak and sentimental.
Ethos: Compassion for others and the development of friendships and relationships is the true way to happiness (or power). The ability to negotiate and persuade individuals to your cause prevents useless energy being spent in fighting them.
Clergy: While not as strong as some of the other religions, Ishtar has a wide following (often as a “second” god). Many lovers, merchants, and politicians worship her.
Kali (goddess of disease)
Power: Power of disease. Kali is said to be able to inflict any physical aliment upon those who displease her (or her worshipers’ enemies). She is horrible to behold, with night black skin, fangs, and four arms ending in talons. Even her own worshippers are said to tremble in fear in her presence. Her symbol is a fanged skull with half-rotted flesh on it. She has had some epic battles with Tor.
Ethos: The strong survive and dominate the weak. The “herd” must be constantly tested and culled so that the strong can rise to the top and strengthen the entire bloodline.
Clergy: While organized sects exist, they are generally secretive if located in civilized areas. Some make offerings to Kali out of fear for what she may bring if she is displeased. Kali has a large following among many of the goblinoid races. She is also a favorite of despotic rulers.
Kogal (god of storms)
Power: The power of elemental air. Kogal appears as a wild looking man, dressed in shabby, baggy, primitive clothing. He carries a giant hammer that can call lightning and strikes with tremendous force. His symbol is a diagonal pair of parallel lighting bolts with an upright hammer imposed over them. Kogal has fought many of the gods as he is short of temper and quick to act. He despises Horan’s conceit and has fought some impressive battles with Gron, although he has also fought beside him.
Ethos: Rugged individualism, self-sufficiency, and personal responsibility are hallmarks of Kogal.
Clergy: A powerful force in the frontier and rural areas. They are not the best-organized religion, but the individual groups can be very powerful and stubborn. Kogal draws many worshippers from berserkers to farmers, who like his message of self-sufficiency and fear his wrath against their crops.
Mellara (goddess of music)
Power: The power of music and mathematics. Mellara appears as a bookish woman, usually carrying a musical instrument. Her symbol is the lyre on a starred background. She despises Morpheus’ lack of focus and loves thwarting him in any way possible.
Ethos: Discipline and perfection in all things. The universe is filled with patterns, which can be learned and used to one’s advantage.
Clergy: Mellara has organized sects in most cities. She is widely worshipped by bards, musicians, astronomers, engineers, and scientists.
Mordoon (god of mischief)
Power: Mordoon has the power of shapeshifting. Mordoon rarely appears in the same form twice. He has been reported as everything from a handsome young man to an old crone. He also readily takes the shape of animals or monsters and seems to roam far and wide in his various guises. He seems to enjoy causing havoc, usually by setting the wheels in motion and letting the unknowing participants destroy themselves. His symbol is a crow carrying a snake in its talons. Most of the gods have had a bad experience with him but his battles with Tor are legendary and he seems to go out of his way to tweak him.
Ethos: Life is short and everything in the world is here for our own personal enjoyment. Responsibility, laws, and accountability are crutches for the weak.
Clergy: Worshipers of Mordoon are not highly organized as a whole, although strong pockets exist in some areas. In civilized areas they are usually hidden. Many thieves, assassins, and soldiers of fortune worship him.
Morpheus (god of dreams)
Power: Power over the mind. Morpheus only appears telepathically to others, as if in a dream. He often appears as the person that is most important or sought after by the individual perceiving him. Multiple people seeing him at once still see their own image of Morpheus, even if the rest of the encounter is the same for all. Morpheus’ sign is a single closed eye. He hates Mellara’s inability to truly understand life and loves meddling in her schemes.
Ethos: Introspection and reflection are the keys to life. We have before us all the information we need; we just rarely know how to interpret it correctly.
Clergy: Sects exist in most cities. Often consulted to interpret dreams or signs for a fee. Otherwise, usually worshipped by those needing direction or answers, and certain scholars.
Noran (goddess of luck)
Power: Power to affect the random factors. Noran appears as either a beautiful smiling woman, or a hideous old crone, depending on whether she is pleased or displeased with the individual. Her symbol is three dice arranged in a triangle with sixes showing on each face. The goddess of luck has no love for Personus, with her visions of a predictable future.
Ethos: Life is filled with chaos, one must strive and then hope the odds fall in their favor.
Clergy: Sects found in most cities, usually more locally organized. A big favorite of gamblers and those who make their living pushing the odds (including merchants and thieves.)
Personus (goddess of fate)
Power: The power of understanding the future, present, and past. Personus appears as a tall woman with her hair piled on top of her head in a bun. Her face is completely featureless, except one half is black and the other white. Her symbol is a face that is half black/half white. Personus hates Noran, with her strange notion that random factors actually help determine the future.
Ethos: The past, present, and future are all intertwined and a part of the same whole. While we have some free will, our choices are largely dictated by forces much greater then ourselves, even though we are a part of them. We are, however, capable of divining our purpose and destiny and striving toward it.
Clergy: Strong in both the cities and rural areas, as many seek their knowledge. They rarely get involved in political matters unless it is something that affects them directly. Soothsayers and diviners are among Personus’ worshippers. Many kings and other rulers also like to lay various claims to her prophecies.
Raidan (god of darkness)
Power: Power of darkness and night. Raidan generally appears as an extremely handsome young man in fine silver clothing. In any form, a 30-foot sphere of complete darkness always surrounds him. Nothing can be seen within this sphere (even with spells) except for him. His symbol is a black background with a silver sphere, containing a clenched black gauntletted fist. He is the brother of Arathan and also his arch nemesis. Raidan is usually the leader of those who oppose Arathan’s rule.
Ethos: Raidan believes in law and order; HIS law and order. The strong are meant to impose their will upon the weak. The purpose of life is to serve those that are stronger, and dominate those who are weaker.
Clergy: A very powerful and organized clergy, although usually underground in civilized areas. Worshipped by many powerful individuals and creatures who believe in ruling with an iron fist. Often worshipped by the opposition forces in powerful countries.
Ryaa (goddess of the seas)
Power: The power of elemental water. Ryaa appears as a light green hued woman with long tangled hair, gills, and clothing of seaweed. Her symbol is the trident draped with pearls. She despises Arathan, with his imperious manner and arrogance, although most who strive to take his place are no better.
Ethos: Persistence and patience can overcome all obstacles. While life can be sometimes harsh, it is also beautiful and provides for all our needs.
Clergy: A strong following in coastal areas, more locally organized and self-contained. Worshippers include many who make their livelihood from the sea or are at its mercy. Few sailors or fishermen would leave port without at least paying their respects to Ryaa.
Scy (god of death)
Power: Elemental power of death. Scy appears as half skeleton, half rotting flesh, with tattered clothing. Maggots and various vermin occasionally crawl across his frame. He carries a black ram’s horn that can cause opposing armies to be stricken dead, or summon his own undead army. His symbol is a skull with a black ram’s horn behind it. Scy hates Sylvara, and her moronic obsession with life, and plots ceaselessly to destroy her.
Ethos: The ultimate power is that over life and death itself. Only complete submission of all within your reach is acceptable.
Clergy: Hidden pockets of worshippers in civilized areas, many followers and sects among the inhuman races. Worshipped by many intelligent undead and other creatures who drain life force. He is also a favorite of sadistic despots.
Sylvara (goddess of nature)
Power: Elemental power of life. Appears as a vaguely elvish looking woman with various vines and leaves growing out of her body. Her symbol is an acorn under a butterfly. She has battled Gron many times in the past, but also has joined with him when necessary to further her ends. Sylvara is the sworn enemy of Scy, as she despises his twisting of nature and complete lack of respect for life.
Ethos: Life is to be cherished and protected. Taking life for a purpose (for food, clothing, or self-defense, for example) is acceptable, as long as it is not abused or the balance of nature shifted.
Clergy: Very strong among the elves and wilderness areas, although more locally organized in all groups but the elves. Worshipped to some degree by nearly all who revere nature including many rangers and druids.
Tor (god of justice)
Power: Power of justice and retribution. Tor appears as a plate armored paladin with a glowing long sword. His symbol is a set of scales balanced on the tip of an upright sword. He has battled many of the gods including Kali, Raidan, and Scy, but his fights with Tylar have made many an epic tale. He hates Mordoon with a special passion and will go into a frenzy and attack him on sight.
Ethos: Law is supreme. Those who break the laws must be brought to justice and properly punished for their crimes. “Eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth” is a favored saying among worshippers of Tor. They tend to be very rigid and set in their ways, although on balance they are a welcome addition to most civilized areas.
Clergy: This sect is very powerful, although not as large as many of the others. Their focus, organization, and unity of purpose make them dangerous to foes and great to have as allies. Most paladins and many knights and judges worship Tor.
Tylar (god of war)
Power: Power of destruction through mass violence. Tylar appears on the battlefield as a huge, battered and bleeding warrior, usually of the race of the side he is fighting on. He may fight for both sides during the same battle, such being the chaotic nature of war. It is said that a warrior who trades blows with him and lives will be bestowed great blessings. His symbol is a red chaos wheel with a black sword imposed on it. He has fought many of the other gods at one time or another but his battles with Tor are great epics.
Ethos: Victory through violence and force of action. The only true victory is where the opposition is totally obliterated to never rise again. “Fortune favors the bold”.
Clergy: Tylar has some areas with strong sects, although they are generally local in nature. He is widely worshipped by soldiers and goblinoids.