Deities and Powers
“Faith is not a matter of choosing a single God in Midgard, but choosing the right God for a particular need or occasion.”
Gods of the Campaign:
As all players will be living in Zobeck at the start of the campaign, the Gods referred to will be the Gods of the Crossroads as outlined below (see Gods of the Crossroads). These are the primary Gods of worship by the peoples of this region, although people will also know of Dark Gods worshipped by undead and evil forces (e.g. Boreas, The Goat of the Woods, Chernovog, Charon, Mammon, The Hunter, Sarastra and The White Goddess).
Characters may be aware of the Gods of the North and the Gods of the South. Some will regard their present Gods as mere updated forms of those older pantheons. Others may regard them as different Gods altogether. Anyone with knowledge of the Dragon Kingdoms will know the name Azuran (A god-concept depicted by both wind and dragon). A few will have knowledge of Baba Yaga and the curse of the gnomes of the Rothenian Plains. Fewer still will know of the Great Elders worshipped by the Dust Goblins of the Wasted West. Since history tells of the time of the Elves and since recently, near Zobeck, there have been rumours of new Shadow Roads opening up ways to the kingdoms of the Fey World, characters may have heard of Sarastra, the Queen of Night and Magic and the Moonlit King (rulers of the Shadow Fey). Most characters will also have knowledge of Morena, the Red Goddess, patron of MORGAU and DORESH and existing in constant opposition to the healing powers of Lada.
All Characters will be aware of Ouroboros, whom some call Veles, as the originator of the world and the ultimate force holding it together. It is widely believed that all Gods must succumb to the Word of Ouroboros, although he is not actively worshipped, except by some Dragon Lords.
Gods of the Crossroads:
Khors – Knights, Magdar – Fire, Glory, Magic, Nobility, Sun
Lada (Baldur) – Women, Centaurs, Elves, Children – Charm, Healing, Nobility, Strength, Sun
Mavros-Perun – Soldiers, Watchmen, Farmers – Death, Healing, Strength, War, Weather
Rava (Ariadne) – Gearforged, Merchants, Kobolds – Artifice, Clockwork, Knowledge, Luck, Travel
Volund (Svarog) – Dwarves, Kariv, Smiths – Animal, Artifice, Community, Earth, Fire (Travel)
Yarela and Porevit – Druids, Farmers, Elves, Fishermen – Earth, Healing, Plant, Water, Weather.
Khors is declining in power and influence in the Crossroads region as his place is slowly but surely usurped by Rava.
Symbols and Books: The Radiant Sun; The Book of The Sun
Worshippers: Knights of the Order of Undying Light, Magdar Kingdom, Grisal, Illyria.
Shrines and Priests: The Temple in Zobeck is devoted more to his father Svarog than to Khors. Many of his priests are Pantheist Priests.
Masks: Aten, Baldur, Lada.
Other Faiths: Enemy of Sarastra, the White Goddess and indeed, all Dark Gods.
What Khors Demands: Rise and Pray at Dawn and Noon. Never approach foes by stealth, but bravely and openly. Cast down Demons and Devils without quarter. Courage is the greatest virtue of the warrior. If you must retreat, make clear your intention to return and win the day.
Everyone loves Lada, the Goddess of Healing and Love, although few truly follow her teachings of mercy and forgiveness.
Symbols and Books: The Radiant Eye; The Golden Book of Ruby Laughter, The Codex of Herbals, Prayers and Simples.
Worshippers: Many, for does not everyone wish for mercy, healing and light? Mothers, children, the sick, paladins, rangers and Southern Travellers.
Shrines and Priests: The Holiest Sites are on high ground where dawn breaks early. Temples are built with large dawn steeples and main doors facing east. High Priest of Zobeck is Lucca Angeli (NG female human cleric Lev 11). Largest temple is the Temple in the Rosy Dawn in the Magdar Kingdom capital of Cronepisht.
Masks: Hathor, Isis, Astarte, The Voice of Hope.
Other Faiths: Aligned with her brother Khors. Unflinching enemy of the Three Sisters, Marena the Red, Sarastra of the Night and The White Goddess. Mortal enemy is Mavros-Perun. Priests of Lada rarely serve in any army devoted to Mavros.
What Lada Demands: Care for all who are sick. Defend lovers from all dangers and trials. Show mercy to those who ask it. Do not turn away from poverty and want without a kind word and an offer of help.
The God of War and Thunder is the Lord of the Storm Court in the North and the Master of Strife in the South. He is a creature of destruction, strength and war but also healing and rebirth, as war and death bring cleansing to the soul.
Symbols and Books: The Spear and The Sword, Any Weapon, Lightning Bolt; 25 Martial Books, The Soldier’s Journey.
Worshippers: Seven Cities, Rothenian Plain, Grand Duchy and the people of Illyria. Soldiers, Watchmen, Farmers and Shepherds alike throughout the lands.
Shrines and Priests: House of Swords in Valera, Temple of Twin Thunderbolts in Donnermark, The Seat of Mavros in the Western Wastes of Caelmarath, Priesthoods of the Numerous Spear, Keepers of the Seat, Dwarven order of the Thunderer in the Halls of Thunder Mountain.
Masks: Perun, Thor
Other Faiths: Husband of Hecate in the South and Marena the Red Goddess in the North. Enemies include Lada the Golden Goddess.
What Mavros-Perun Demands: Worshippers are expected to seek out battle and keep their martial skills well honed. Cowardice is shameful and abhorrent. All worhsippers of Mavros-Perun must make a pilgrimage to the Seat of Mavros at least once in their lifetime.
Patron Goddess of Zobeck, revered for her devotion to industry and invention. She is also a sponsor of magic and knowledge.
Symbols and Books: Clockwork Gears and the Spider; A dozen volumes of prophecy in The Clockwork Oracle in Zobeck.
Worshippers: The industrious, the learned, dwarves, humans and kobolds all have their own shrines. Alchemists, wizards, scribes, guild masters and weavers all turn to Rava for wise counsel.
Shrines and Priests: High Priestess of Rava is Lena Ravovik (LN female neutral human cleric Lev 9), Highest Dwarven priest in Zobeck is Ondli Firedrake. Most famous of the priests of Rava are the “Goddess-Forged”, blessed to become immortal magical machines covered in metal and gaining the CONSTRUCT type.
Masks: Ariadne, The Norns, Thoth-Hermes
Other Faiths: Enemy of Bastet and hostile to Yarela and Porevit.
What Rava Demands: Seek out new learning and steer the world’s fate to peace and plenty. Rava’s followers must defend her Patron City against any threat that the Clockwork Oracle identifies
Volund is the god of Earth and Fire. His patrons are the Reaver Dwarves, but many races pray to him as the master craftsman and lord of all jewels and precious metals in the earth.
Symbols and Books: Hammer or Battle Axe; Book of the Anvil, Saga of Volund’s Wanderings.
Worshippers: Reaver Dwarves, Cantonal Dwarves, the Kariv and the Khazzaki of the Rothenian Plains, the people of Zobeck.
Shrines and Priests: Major temples in the Free Cantons, Domains of the Princes, the Northlands, Seven Cities and The Crossroads. The Great Forge-Temple of Volund in the Free Cantons, and the Shrine of 1000 Anvils in Stannasgard are best known. Volund’s most famous priest is Toveli Rogest, Master of Templeforge (LG male dwarf cleric Lev 20). He is the Keeper of the Sacred Hammer.
Masks: The Rider, The Hephaster, Veyland among the Elves of Arbonesse and Svarog in the South.
Other Faiths: Volund and Rava are friendly rivals. He is sometimes the lover of Sif and the husband of Rava, depending on who you believe. His greatest enemies include Seggotan, Loki the Trickster and Boreas, the arctic god of the North winds.
What Volund Demands: He demands that his followers work great crafts in his name, harnessing stone, metal and fire to their will. For his priests, pilgrimage to temples far and wide is common.
Yarela and Porevit
The most complicated of gods and goddesses is the dual godhead of Porevit, the forest god of harvest, wine and greenery, who is also the Goddess Yarela during spring planting, and even Kostroma as the Earth Mother. All living things belong to the Green Gods, especially trees and crops, but also springs and metal tools.
Symbols and Books: Goblet, Bow, Sickle; The Coming of the Green Gods.
Worshippers: Elves, elfmarked, peasants, farmers, hunters, vintners and fishermen.
Shrines and Priests: Shrines are usually built at the edge of fields or in caverns. The largest stone temple is the Twinned Cathedral in Reywald of the Grand Duchy of Dornig, which is governed by Saintmistress Rowanmantle (N female elfmarked cleric Lev 17). The current High Priest of Yarela and Porevit in Zobeck is Ogolai Kiyat, an elderly centaur.
Masks: Freyr and Freyja
Other Faiths: On good terms with the Northern Gods and Gods of the Crossroads, but enemies of the Southern Gods and the Dragon Gods.
What Yarela and Porevit Demand: More than respect for the wild and growing things of the world, Porevit’s mysteries demand that one frequently abstain from meat. All followers are asked to be generous on High Holy Days and to provide alms if asked. Never fail to celebrate solstice and never refuse food and drink to a guest.
The Use of Masks
It is well known that the Gods of Midgard use masks to hide their identities. How this came about is less well known but it is whispered that in earlier times there was great warring among the Gods as some Gods killed others, taking their power and becoming more and more savage and powerful. The Great Ouroboros was not pleased and it is said he spoke the WORDS OF PEACE which compelled the Gods to no longer make war openly, and induced them to wear masks, that they might not know one another.
By wearing masks, the Gods of Midgard are unknowable and mysterious. They can take the form of whichever God they choose and appear as they wish to either mortals or each other. This means that not only are they indistinguishable and interchangeable, but that their powers, gained through worship, are also transferable. A God whose temples are destroyed in a particular region, can regain power in that region by assuming the form of another. Similarly, a God who feels he or she needs more power in a certain region of Midgard might pose as another and carry out acts of benevolence that endear him or her to the peoples of that region. The Gods also use avatars and masks to retain a degree of deniability. This is why the exact relationships of the various masks remain in doubt, and any atrocities carried out in the name of a God may be attributed to the interference of another.
With the widespread use of masks, the Gods also take a more active interest in the physical world and in Midgard they will often walk among the people of the world, administering their secret plans.
It is said that in each region there is space for only five or six Gods. However, although this may be true, the identities of these can never truly be known and the masks of various pantheons can be worn by Gods so that they are yet familiar to their followers. For this reason, a traveller from the North living in Zobeck, may see the power of Thor or Wotan within the temple of Mavros-Perun, or recognise the influence of Freyr and Freyja in the fields and pastures of Yarila and Porevit.
Similarly, an act of madness and despair, seemingly carried out by one of the DARK GODS, Mammon or The Goat of The Woods, could also be perceived as having been carried out by Loki or Set, depending on the character’s own life experience.
In META-GAME terms, this DIVINE MASK-WEARING allows players to perceive the attributes of any Gods encountered, in terms of the pantheon that they know. Depending on one’s own perception, Mavros-Perun could be seen as Thor, as Perun or even as Aten. The blessings of Lada may be viewed as coming from Hathor, Isis or even Baldur.