Friday, November 30, 2007

The Gods Must Be Obscure

Listed here are gods who, while not important to the culture of Cerenbaun, did create godtouched races that still survive to this day. Some of these gods are dead. Some of them have lost all but a fraction of their influence. Some are still powerful, but virtually unknown in the kingdom of Cerenbaun, or even unknown to most of mankind.

All of them are worth knowing about, if only to give the existence of the less powerful magic-using races some context.

Gretash - God of Poison - So obscure even the greatest of scholars have overlooked his mark on history, Gretash was a god of poisons, absorption, change, and adaptation. Known for creating the first godtouched race, the medusea, he was killed at the end of the War of the Gods alongside his sister, Retla. Although some medusea remain who remember his name, the medusea themselves are extremely hostile to other godtouched races, and are themselves threatened with extinction. It may soon come to pass that only the gods remember his name.

Retla - Goddess of Martial Combat - The sister of Gretash, Retla was the creator of the naga race, who are closely related to Medusea. Some pockets of naga still worship her, and pray to her in matters of warfare, stealth, security, and unification between spirit and body. There are a few naga who believe fragments of her remain after her death, and hear their prayers, though only the most desperate of them expect the prayers to be answered with genuine divine intervention.

Vizdane - God of Curiosity - Vizdane was a fey who stayed out of the War of the Gods, and created his godtouched race well after the war had ended. That race, the spirit animals were in fact created during the period that the afterlife was horrifically broken. To give his children a choice in what happened to them after death, he granted them their infamous ability to possess the bodies of the living after their death. Unlike most gods and their godtouched races however, Vizdane was never given an opportunity to abandon his children. The spirit animals were the ones who in fact abandoned him, changing their allegiance to the One Mother, seeing her as a far more worthy deity.

Atanna - Goddess of Mountain Winds - Aiming to be a major player in the War of the Gods, Atanna created the all-female harpy race, granting them the ability to breed successfully with any other godtouched race. In this way, she hoped for them to always find a way to survive. She has fallen into obscurity in recent times, unable to maintain interest in her portfolio when she abandoned the harpies after the War of the Gods ended. Sherpas and other mountaineers still make regular prayers to her though, not only asking for favorable winds, but also asking for protection from her now-feral children.

Fenille - Goddess of Peace - Considering the War of the Gods foolish, Fenille created the satyrs, a pastoral race that she hoped would teach others how to live in harmony with one another. While noble, her effort was largely fruitless. By living the quiet, peaceful and harmonious life that Fenille loved so much, her Satyrs proved to be easily overlooked by more ambitious races and gods. She is prayed to in all matters of peace and comfort by satyrs and non-satyrs alike, although like her godtouched race, she herself is barely an afterthought.

Zaov - God of Earth - Zaov is considered a stable and grounded god, who can provide emotional and physical strength to those who need it. His major focus is self-reliance, and in times past he actively campaigned for people to search themselves for strength instead of asking for it from him. His godtouched race is the noble yet monstrous centaurs, who have not felt the presence of their god for quite some time. This suits them just fine; they consider their abandonment the greatest honor, understanding that their god finally felt they no longer needed him.

Occus - God of Oceans - An exceedingly powerful god, Occus is the god of the seas and everything in them. Honor, superiority and pressure are but a few of his many aspects. He is the creator of the merfolk godtouched race. Mankind would like to consider themselves the masters of Aarn, but the glory and age of the Merfolk kingdom would do them shame. Despite his power and standing among the other gods, Occus is barely known at all on land, due to the fact that his Merfolk remain quite xenophobic, and are rumored to have exterminated all other seaborne godtouched races. Even sailors who have heard of Occus pray to him with trepidation; they do not wish to incur his wrath simply by making themselves known to him.

Tancoda - God of the Plains and Herds - Tancoda is worshiped heavily in the kingdom of Igakari and the surrounding area, the valley of the lawless eastern border being his home. He is Venrisha's major rival in the domains of wilderness and beasts, though while she focuses more on the primal and bestial nature of those domains, Tancoda's approach is more orderly. His dogma is that nature will respect those that respect it, and his godtouched race, the ghrok, are a reflection of that belief. The ghrok themselves appear quite savage - they cannot speak and appear monstrous. They look like a humanoid cross between a horse and a warthog. However, they are quite intelligent and have a close-knit social structure. Those that look below the surface will see that the language of the ghrok consists entirely of graceful hand signs and flowing gestures, and like nature, the ghrok will respect those that respect them.

Chentri - Goddess of Domination and Self-interest - Chentri is a fearsome goddess whose past glories far outshine her current status. It was Chentri and her insectoid godtouched race of the valdrex who slew Gretash and Retla, ending the War of the Gods. Since that event, she has matured and learned that domination is not in one's own self-interest when said domination almost results in the destruction of the entire world. She had adopted the ideals of patience and methodical planning, choosing to dominate the other godtouched races through slavery and economic dependence. Her valdrex followers have become shrewd businessmen and traders, who traffic in worldly goods just as often as they do in slaves. Valdrex themselves are normally not well-received by the other races.

Vau - God of the Sun - Vau was arguably the most important god next to the One Mother in times past. An active participant in the War of the Gods with his phoenix godtouched race, he too withdrew most of his influence from the world in the aftermath of that conflict. Despite this, he continued to be worshiped in droves until the god Jennin created mankind. Technology and magic became more important than the warmth, light, and safety provided by sunlight, so his influence plummeted. He is still worshiped today, but usually only by tribal animals who only have the slightest hint of a godtouched's sentience.

Maswe - Goddess of Protection and Wisdom - A reclusive goddess, Maswe created the godtouched race of the sphinxes to watch over and document the events in the War of the Gods. She is a goddess who takes joy in simple observation, but also considers herself a sentry and protector who sees past the petty games that gods and fey play. She secretly considers the effect the godtouched races have had on the world of Aarn far more meaningful than any action taken by a her divine kin. Her utmost wish is for the godtouched races of Aarn to eventually grow past the need for gods, and also develop the ability to protect themselves from the pranks, meddling, and whimsical experiments of fey. In this respect, she considers humans to be the planet's ultimate hope, but recognizes their power is also its greatest threat.

Reksha - Goddess of Fire - A passionate and primal goddess, Reksha is a rare example of a god who created a godtouched race against her own nature. The salamanders that she created are cunning, patient, cruel and solitary, while she herself is flamboyant, flighty, full of life, outgoing and carefree. Her passions and interests burn hot and fast, and she holds no regrets over completely consuming an object of her love. She may have created her salamanders in an effort to balance her nature, and give them strengths she feels she herself lacks, but if the subtle and introverted behavior of salamanders have influenced her at all, it is difficult to see. Those who have had the fortune (or misfortune) of dealing with her directly can only describe her as an all-consuming conflagration, that one can easily lose themselves in.

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