Campaign of the Month: March 2013
Forgotten Sagas of the 13th Age
The Gods of the known world are distant things. No worshiper hears their voice. No follower is granted visions. On rare occasion, an intermediary will bring forth a message to the known world, but history records few such instances. If it weren’t for the divine powers granted to certain followers, there might be no indication that the Gods exist at all.
The Empire generally recognises two different groups of gods. The first group is collectively referred to as the Dragon Gods, supposedly because in a long ago era they took the shape of dragons when they manifested in the known world. Of course, this information comes from the dragons themselves and anybody calling a dragon a liar (whether it is to their face or behind their back) has a way of regretting it. Some controversial scholars quietly theorize that the Gods are not divine creatures at all, but genuine dragons who have risen above the mortal realm. They stand above the Greater Dragons like The Three or the Golden Dragon in the same way that The Three and the Golden Dragon stand above other dragonkin.
The Dragon Gods are not good or evil in and of themselves, nor are their followers. They are like the air, the wind, and the water. They exist and the followers make of that what they may. Some Dragon Gods are generally perceived as good, such as Urthemiel the Dragon of Beauty, but even they might have devoted worshipers who do evil in their name. Conversely, Dragon Gods who are often thought of as bad, such as Zazikel the Dragon of Chaos, could have followers who do good things through their beliefs.
There are numerous minor Dragon Gods known, but the most powerful and well known are the following seven:
Dumat, the Dragon of Silence
Zazikel, the Dragon of Chaos
Toth, the Dragon of Fire
Andoral, the Dragon of Chains
Urthemiel, the Dragon of Beauty
Razikale, the Dragon of Mystery
Lusacan, the Dragon of Night.
The second group is referred to by several names, including the Unnamed, the Fallen, and the Lost. But most often they’re called the Forgotten. These dark beings are not truly gods any longer, but twisted hate-filled divine shadows. Gods cannot really die the way mortals and other beings do. Instead, when they would otherwise die, they are transformed into something caught between divinity and death. These divine shadows are mad with hate, rage, and pain and strive to find a way to twist the world into their own image, cleansed of all that came before. The names of these gods have been long purged from history and living memory, for even knowing their name could bring a weak willed soul under their dominion. It is guessed that are, or were, at least six of these dark gods, though nobody knows what elements or ideas they used to govern. They have a surprising number of followers. Cultists, nihilists, strange philosophers, magical scholars, and The Crusader himself.
There are more Gods outside of the Dragon Gods, often worshiped by other cultures or races. They are no more a part of the mortal world than the Dragon Gods, however, and their followers hear directly from them just as rarely.
After the Dragon Gods, the most well known and followed is Gaea, the Three-Fold Goddess. Many Elves of all stripes, followers of the High Druid, and anybody who depends on nature for their living send prayers to Gaea. Even worshipers of the Dragon Gods are known to often send prayers to Gaea on occasion. For worshipers, Gaea is the world that they live on. Her breath is the air, her body is the earth, the rivers her veins, and so on. Shis called the Three-Fold Goddess because she is considered to have three unique forms with different focuses. The Maiden represents mornings, beginnings, ideas, and enthusiasm. She is most associated with Spring and air and the Moon. The Mother represents daylight, growth, fertility, and knowledge. She is most associated with Summer and fire and the Sun. The Crone represents wisdom, death, night, and endings. She is most associated with Autumn and Winter as well as water, earth, and the stars.
The other well known God is called the All-Father. The All-Father is largely worshiped by dwarves, though a fair few gnomes and humans send prayers as well. The All-Father is, in many ways, a counterpoint to Gaea and there have been many arguments and not a small amount of bloodshed between followers of the two different deities. The All-Father is considered to be the source of all things, creating them out of his own self. The world is his body, our souls are fragments of his own who return to him when we die, demons and other foul creatures are his nightmares, and even magic itself is merely tapping into his supreme power. Most followers believe the best way to honor the All-Father is to live their life to the fullest, so that their experiences may be passed on to the All-Father when they die. Many also feel that creating new and different things or taking things in one form and transforming it into another is a form of worship since all things came from his body.