This world has a host of Gods, but they are not strictly a pantheon in the traditional sense. The God’s of this world are not, in fact, ineffable. They are petty, cruel, kind, benevolent, capricious, and as varied in their temperaments as any person is from another. They can have understandable motivations and they do not always react like we tend to think God’s will react.
The Gods of the World are divided into three rough groups:
- The Five, also called The Dread Gods.
- The Seven, also called the Shadow Gods.
- The Nine, also called the Bright Gods.
There are often partnerships among the gods in various actions and activities – typically, these come in groups of three. For example, each of the races other humans have three gods they turn to as their source. These groups may cross lines – this is especially true with the shadow gods.
It would, however, be a mistake to think in terms of Good, Neutral, and Evil when looking to the way they are grouped – the Bright Gods are not all nor always what we would think of as good, the Shadow gods are not always or all what we would think of as neutral, and the Dread gods are not always or all what we would think of as evil.
Instead, think of them more as alliances that have simply been stable for a thousand years. These beings did, after all, nearly destroy the world and all the people in it a thousand years ago – Prussia was founded by a scant few thousand people after wandering for years, and they were the last of them.
The Five were once the masters of the world, the leaders of all the Gods. They tend to enjoy blood sacrifice and are the creators of the Goblins and the Kobolds and many of the monstrosities in the world.
The Dread Gods are chained, however, literally. Bound by fetters and confined to a small and dark place in the outer planes, their Shells just as bound here in the world, though the power around them keeps them from acting with the same level of ease as the others, they have grown strong in the centuries of their exile.
The Dread Gods are known to have Avatars, just as the other Gods do, but theirs are of a different nature in some way.
That said, do not also think that the Dread Gods are not pretty bad guys. Belial is selfish, cruel, authoritarian, and narcissistic, and while he did at one time encourage democracy, it was entirely to meet his own ends. As the principal deity of the Goblins, his motivations and goals at this point can be fairly well guessed at and classified as Evil. That may not hold true for Dusit, though, who is said to be pretty damnably serious about making sure no one goes hungry and that poverty isn’t a thing. He just only cares about Humans.
Around a thousand years ago, The Nine led a Rebellion and overthrew the previous Gods (The Five) and since then have essentially been the Gods of the World. They are a diverse lot in terms of personality, but one thing does remain highly noticeable – most of them tend to present a feminine aspect to the world.
Of them, only Paragon and Paramour appear to have any sort of ongoing relationship, and this likely has some influence on the strong trading alliance between the upstart realm of Lemuria and Durango.
The Seven are not often spoke of openly. They do not have temples in the Cities or Towns, they have Shrines, often located in areas of particular beauty or set up to be so. The Seven were caught between the Nine and The Five in the God’s War, sometimes on one side, sometimes on another, but are often called on by other Gods when something needs to happen.
Lamia and Gallae are lovers. Lamia is occasionally mistaken for showing a masculine aspect, though she tends to be quite firm about disliking that. Alfey’s lovers include Antelle, Kirin, and Paria, at different times and in different legends and myths.
The Five are always actively seeking to restore “the natural order of things”, because people need strong leaders and only they can provide, protect, and preserve the world the way it is supposed to be – the way it was before the Bright Gods overthrew them unjustly. The five only get along well with Lamia and Alfey of the Shadow Gods – they merely put up with the others when needed.