Nature of the Gods
|The following excerpt comes from the Chronicle of the Immortal Wyrm, reportedly penned by the ancient silver dragon Nextoyr. Nextoyr was thought to have been the oldest living creature in Traykon. This ancient tome was discovered after the Empirei ended Nextoyr's existence. A few copies of the books were created and circulated amongst sages. Some clergy find the work heretical and seek to destroy all copies of the work.|
- (::Translated from ancient Draconic Texts::)
In the waning of the Age of Dragons and the beginning of the Age of Magic, I was captured by an Elvin king and was chained in his throne room to demonstrate his might. The king ruled a vast kingdom and had the services of a blind seer. This ancient king told the seer one night that he wanted to know the nature of existence. The following is her vision: First, there was a black void of energy and nothingness. Spontaneously, two entities were spawned and they stepped out of the void, creating the form where there was previously none. Order and Chaos floated through the endless void of creation and contemplated each other. Very soon thereafter, the two avatars began to battle. Each believed that the other must be destroyed so that they may reach perfection and be rejoined with the void. The impenetrable blackness of the void was made alive by their battles.
From the darkness formed a mighty twisted bundle of life energy in the form of a giant seed. Yggdrasil, the Tree of Life, grew strong and stretched its limbs and roots to the limits of the void, but Yggdrasil's was not the only seed that had borne fruit. Flowing within the eddies and currents of energy was Valshuu, Elemental Change personified. Where Yggdrasil embodied the creation of life, Valshuu embodied evolution and change.
Soon, the energies of the embattled deities sent whorls of energy spiraling through the void. Where Valshuu came in contact with these whorls, solid masses formed in spherical shapes. Worlds were created in the dark depths of the void. As these whorls touched Yggdrasil's roots and branches, they turned into seeds and fell to the dark masses created by Valshuu and lay dormant, their life suppressed by the darkness of the void.
The avatar of Order was hampered in the resulted cluster of forms and Chaos pressed his advantage. Soon, Chaos permeated the void and Order was close to being defeated. Seeing his impending defeat, Order created a great ball of energy from his own essence and threw it into the void. The great sphere shed light in the darkness as Valashuu's creations were drawn toward the sphere. A sun was born in the void as several worlds began to spin around the great source of light. Order saw his chance at salvation and flung his energies into the void. Countless spheres of energy were flung heedlessly into the void. The formless void suddenly had both light and form. The endless chaos of shadow and matter formed patterns, and groups.
Chaos felt his energies waning so he emulated Order and threw his energies into the growing universe. Worlds collided and stars began to wink out. A great energy began to form at the limits of the void. A consciousness was born in the dark. Order, Chaos, Yggdrasil, and Valshuu all recoiled from the energies that this new entity emitted. Destruction was born into the universe.
Weakened from their battle, Order and Chaos withdrew from sight and began to gather their strengths. Yggdrasil and Valshuu faced this new entity and contemplated it's existence. Without Order or Chaos around with their constant battles, Yggdrasil and Valshuu began creating patterns out of the remaining substance of the void. Yggdrasil's creations fed off the energies of the great suns created by Order. Valshuu formed energies and matter of all kinds. The Unnamed One saw the other's acts of creation and let his energies permeate the creations. Death came to the first creations of the gods swiftly.
Seeing the end result and of their efforts, the deities agreed to a process where all things would be able to exist. Yggdrasil's seeds spread to worlds as plants of all types and sizes began to form. Valshuu exerted his power and the plants began to grow and reproduce with the energies that he supplied. The Unnamed One grew powerful as the plants grew and finally died.
When all worlds were covered with this process of birth, growth, and death, Order and Chaos returned to wage war on one another. Having learned from their previous battle, the great entities used the energies within the surrounding universe to battle one another. Chaos struck first, usurping Yggdrasil's life giving seeds to form a miniature of Yggdrasil, the first thinking creature existed in the universe. In the confusion of creation, the creature threw the order created by the Three into imbalance. Order felt the attack and reacted, the creation was given intellect. Outraged by the usurping of his power, Yggdrasil joined sides with Order and added his energies to the struggle against Chaos. Valshuu saw the awesome potential of the power unleashed by Chaos and sided with him. The Unnamed One drew back from the conflict and simply watched as his energies went unnoticed in the universe.
Yggrdasil worked with Order and several new creatures walked or swam the worlds. Chaos and Valshuu worked hard to change the creatures and alter them from their original purpose. New species evolved and died out as creatures began to feed off of each other. The battle raged on like this for eons before there was a break in the routine of it.
Order moved to eliminate one creature from the universe but was stunned when the creature did not die. Instead, the creature slipped out of it's mortal shell and stepped up the the realm of the gods. Order was appalled as several other entities slipped from the worlds and took residence within the remnants of the void, the gods. These new deities had been given a divine spark by Chaos. It was the boldest move yet in their battles. Order saw the futility of continuing the battle when he would never know what beast held the divine spark within it's breast.
These new deities began spawning creations of their own and chaos began flowing across the universe as humanoid races began to create societies and war against one another. Order saw this and despaired. In a desperate attempt to drive back the wave of chaos that spread through the universe, Order allowed the Unnamed One to exert his power and spread Order's essence across the universe. This act of deicide fracture the universe and created uncounted mirror universes, each with its own natural laws and separate from the others.
Chaos grew powerful and loomed over all creation. The new deities foresaw the destruction of all creation and the return to the void. Out of fear they banded together to combat Chaos, Valshuu, and the Unnamed One. Yggdrasil aided the new gods and with their combined might, the three were imprisoned away in a separate plane of existence, cut off for all time from all other worlds. New gods were formed as time passed and new creatures and civilizations spread across the planes. Thus the multiverse was spawned as we know it today.
- The Chronicle becomes thick here with the reaction of the King and his court to the seer's words. Several pages are dedicated to the depredations that the seer is accused of. Finally, the seer is allowed to continue her visions and she prophesizes about the future of the gods.
A day comes where the Ancient Three will break from their prison. A world will lie fertile to their influence and they will descend upon the realm of mortals with a vengeance. The gods will tremble as these ancient three return to the worlds that they helped create.
Valshuu will lie broken, his power uncontrollable, his mind lost to the powers that allowed them to escape their prison. The Unnamed One will embrace the full power of un-life and will spread like a plague across existence. Chaos will see the true power of entropy in its greatest catalyst and take up the mantle of War.
Wherever the one exists, the other two will follow. Forever bound by captivity and pain, they seek to eliminate the "pretend" gods and return creation to the void. All life is doomed to fall to their power eventually. All living things face the end of their existence when these three reach their full power and glory.
A great plague will form in the universe as the three will choose champions. A great warrior will rise in the mountains and unite an entire race under the banner of War. In the depths of a vast jungle, a young boy will wield the power of entropy and elemental decay. Deep in the depths of the world, a forgotten son will be embraced by undeath and rise to the surface with a hoard of minions. Some deities will side with the Lords of Chaos and their alliance will make the Lords grow stronger.
All is not lost for the lovers of life. When the Lords of Chaos escape, they will be greatly weakened by their captivity. There is time to stem the growth of their power and drive them back to their prison. The "father" deities will be able to band together and defeat these dire lords. Yggdrasil will plant his seed in the breast of a champion who can unite all against the dark hoards. In a land where even gods die, the gods will wage their greatest battle. When this day comes, all life will face extinction.
|Thus ended the seers words. Nextoyr writes of her execution at the hands of the Elf King that very night. The elves of the court believed that she was insane. He theorized that they couldn't conceive of a power that would make the entire elven pantheon fear for their existence. Nextoyr belabors the prophecy and appears to have genuinely believed the seer's words. For the sake of creation, we all hope that she was wrong.|
For ease, Traykon has adapted the common ranking system for Deities.
Rank 0: Creatures of this rank are sometimes called quasi-deities or hero deities. Creatures that have a mortal and a deity as parents also fall into this category. These entities cannot grant spells, but are immortal and usually have one or more ability scores that are far above the norm for their species. They may have some worshipers. Ordinary mortals do not have a divine rank of 0. They lack a divine rank altogether.
Rank 1-5: These entities, called demigods, are the weakest of the deities. A demigod can grant spells and perform a few deeds that are beyond mortal limits. A demigod has anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand devoted mortal worshipers and may receive veneration or respect from many more. A demigod controls a small godly realm (usually on an Outer Plane) and has minor control over a portfolio that includes one or more aspects of mortal existence. A demigod might be very accomplished in a single skill or a group of related skills, gain combat advantages in special circumstances, or be able to bring about minor changes in reality itself related to the portfolio.
Rank 6-10: Called lesser deities, these entities grant spells and can perform more powerful deeds than demigods can. Lesser deities have anywhere from a few thousand to tens of thousands of worshipers and control larger godly realms than demigods. They also have keener senses where their portfolios are concerned.
Rank 11-15: These entities are called intermediate deities. They have hundreds of thousands of mortal worshipers and control larger godly realms than demigods or lesser deities.
Rank 16-20: Called greater deities, these entities may have millions of mortal worshipers, and they command respect even among other deities. The most powerful of greater deities rule over other deities just as mortal sovereigns rule over commoners.
Rank 21+: These entities are beyond the ken of mortals and care nothing for worshipers. They do not grant spells, do not answer prayers, and do not respond to queries. If they are known at all, it is to a handful of scholars on the Material Plane. They are called overdeities. In some pantheistic systems, the consent of an overdeity is required to become a god.
Most deities are creatures of the outsider type (usually with 20 outsider Hit Dice). All deities that are outsiders have all alignment subtypes that correspond with their alignment. Unlike other outsiders, they have no darkvision unless noted in the deity description. Deities’ physical characteristics vary from deity to deity. A deity’s outsider type, along with its class or classes, determines its weapon proficiencies, feats, and skills.
All types of beings may serve deities. In general, a deity only accepts minions who have accomplished some great deed in service to the deity. Such minions usually have the same alignment as the deity. No minion's alignment is opposed to the patron deity's alignment on either the law-chaos axis or the good-evil axis.
A divine proxy speaks and acts on behalf of the divine being. When the demand for a deity's presence is too high, the deity may use proxies.
Proxies are divine minions invested with a small portion of the deity's power. A deity may invest 1 rank of its power (reducing its divine rank accordingly) in a single servant for as long as the deity chooses. The minion must be physically present for the deity to perform the investiture. While so invested, the proxy gains any salient divine abilities held by the patron deity as well as the powers and abilities of a rank 1 demigod. Without the requisite ability scores or divine ranks, the proxy may not be able to use all those powers and abilities. A deity may have more than one proxy, but it must lose 1 divine rank for each proxy it invests. A deity can retrieve a single divine rank as a standard action, and doing so it does not require the physical presence of the proxy.
Some spirits demonstrate their devotion to their deity by traveling to the deity's home plane. Those that survive the journey across the planes become servants of their deity. While a few may remain disembodied spirits, most become petitioners through the divine will of their patron deity.
In general, petitioners appear in the form that they had when they died, though they may be remade by deities to fit the nature of their particular afterlife. In general, petitioners who become divine servants are creatures that originally had at least 1 Intelligence and 1 Wisdom.
The following creature types may become petitioners depending on the deity: aberrations, animals, dragons, fey, giants, humanoids, magical beasts, monstrous humanoids, and plants, oozes, and vermin with sufficient ability scores. Constructs and undead are not usually made into petitioners, though the spirits of their original forms may be. Elementals and outsiders tend to meld with their native planes, and as such do not become petitioners. Their spirits may still be called back from the dead, however.
If dead characters who are petitioners are later restored to life (once again becoming player characters), they forget any of their experiences as petitioners.
There are some things about Traykon that affect the way Deities send their Avatars. In fact, the creation of Traykon and it's connection to the Void seems to invalidate most rules regarding how Deities and their Avatars are independent beings. Avatars sent to Traykon are rare because the death of an Avatar could be the end of a God.
Although some deities do not send Avatars to Traykon, there have been a few who frequently send their avatars. It should be noted that Morval, Shahara, Abnoba, T'lor, and a few other deities are considered Native to Traykon. They do not send Avatars but instead manifest physically. There is no way for mortals to tell the difference but it is a disctinction worth noting.
Aragon does not send his Avatar often. He is considered one of the strongest deities though so his avatar is a good example for statistics.
T'lor is native to Traykon but his statistics is still comparable to other Avatars.