Of Poets, Fools and Madmen. . .
The deities of Panisadore are many and varied in their roles and perspectives. A relatively homogeneous pantheon, they have followers among virtually all races. Some do appeal primarily to the sensibilities of a particular race, and most reflect this orientation in their appearance, but none are entirely racially exclusive. All take an active interest in the affairs of the world, at least insofar as they involve their respective portfolios, and tend to be very attentive and responsive to the needs of their followers. Much of their power to influence matters in the world is derived from the devotion of their followers. Much of this power is then utilized toward the benefit of those followers, as channeled through clerics and other intermediaries, in ways which serve to further their particular ethos and agendas, hopefully inspiring more followers in the process. Some are quite actively involved in seeking to expand this power base, generally in competition or outright conflict with one or more deities of similar portfolios and/or opposing ethos. Some are allied and a few serve deities more powerful than themselves. The descriptions which follow reflect the most common perspectives regarding the most well known and significant deities. It should not be considered exhaustive. Racial and cultural biases may also change how some view various deities even further than outlined below. Most deities are associated with some natural, physical phenomenon, and many are commonly grouped together by associated phenomenon, regardless of their relationships with each other.
The Primes are personifications of natural forces and phenomenon. They are generally considered to be the first deities to exist, and with the exception of Gaurashiage and her spawn, many consider all other deities to be in some manner descended from them. Dashin in particular is viewed to be the mother of all things, including the other deities. Not withstanding, they are normally represented as displaying a variety of familial relationships, the obvious incestuous nature of which is disregarded. It should be noted that the “popular” view of Dashin as progenitor of the rest of the deities is often ignored, and in some cases outright denied, by the churches and followers of many of those deities – Jessanak in particular. Regardless, few contest the supremacy of Dashin and Wu Jai, preferring to ignore them as irrelevant abstractions of the peasants. Among humans, the worship of the Primordials is predominantly among commoners who rely upon those aspects of nature which they represent. Among elves and khurorhk they are more universally revered, as they are the basis of both races’ spiritual beliefs and practices. Druids revere them, but few worship them outright, even in groves “dedicated” to one or two particular Primes. This is the more common model among khurorhk. Elves are much more likely to become clerics of one or more specific deities, while among humans they are served roughly equally by druids and clerics alike. Most rangers, and many adepts, of all races draw their spiritual powers from the Primes.
The Solar deities have the most distinctive and clearly defined relationships to each other of all the groupings. They are associated with the two binary suns which Panisadore orbits and “The Little Suns,” twin comets (relatively) recently trapped into orbit around the principal suns. Salistreah, the larger, orange-red sun and Jessanak, the much smaller but brighter, hotter, yellow-white sun are bitter rivals. This at times extends even into outright warfare between their churches. Melangen and Renosha, The Little Suns, are husband and wife and serve Jessanak. These relationships will be clarified in the specific deities descriptions. Of particular note is the fact that ancient oral “histories” tell of at least one ice age during which there was only one sun, Salistreah. Regardless, it is universally held that the origin of the world included two suns.
The two lunar deities actually have nothing in common beyond their associated celestial phenomena and the fact that their worship is outlawed in the Malenorian Empire. Even the reasons for this are very different – she’s declared an “orkhish demon” and he, much to his delight, is deemed “an influence counter to ’’the’’ proper social order.” (Emphasis his.)) Regardless, the two deities get along quite well when their paths cross. There are even scattered stories of an affair between the two of them. She ignores these, and he denies having started the rumors (grinning all the while). Both moons reflect some of Salistreah’s orange-red color, but the tint is far less pronounced upon Surnest. Melanar’s phases effect Lycanthropes’ physical change cycles significantly. Unless they have learned to control their transformation, when she is full they change into bestial form beneath her light but have great difficulty changing at all during new moon, while during the quarters they have the most control over whether or not they will change when encountering one of their other normal triggers as well as being more able to change deliberately if they wish. However, they find it extremely difficult to change beyond their hybrid form under any circumstance. Surnest’s phases on the other hand influences their temperament and behavior quite significantly. During his fullness they are at their most aggressive a violent temper while during new moon they most inclined to mate. His first quarter marks their most social, even gregarious, disposition and they tend to feel rather fearful, often to the point of paranoia, causing them to prefer solitude and isolation during the last quarter.
The stellar deities are all associated with specific celestial phenomenon. Of particular note is the “Roadstar,” a glittering band of dust encircling the planet directly above the equator. This ring around the planet is high enough and receives enough light to be visible (at least near the east and west horizons) in the sky on a clear night from virtually any point on the planet’s surface, making it the primary fixed navigational reference.
The Masters are all former mortals who in ages past attained godhood. They are further divided into The Enlightened Masters, lesser deities who rose to their present state through the achievement of enlightenment, and The Ascended Masters, demigods who exemplify the ultimate dedication and achievement in their chosen paths in life. The Enlightened Masters are Kherrekh, Avalyin and The Friends, Durmahd and Jehlakh. The Ascended Masters are Haendriss, Kensoto, and The Arcane. While having fewer worshipers and less power than many of the other deities, their churches and followers are among the most active on Panisadore, as reflected in the large number of orders associated with them, especially Kherrekh and Avalyin. They are also notably the most cooperative of the deities.
Besides the specifically evil deities (who warrant their own section) there are a number of other deities commonly worshiped who don’t fall into any specific category. All are lesser deities and demigods, but there worship is widespread enough to be recognized through most of the world. While primarily appealing to particular groups, some of them are gradually acquiring more followers.
Gaurashiage and her spawn, collectively referred to as The Troubles, along with Hebnaritath comprise the most widely known of the evil deities. Gaurashiage, as sister of Dashin, is counted by some theologians as one of the Primordials, and a few claim that Hebnaritath, as an abstract natural force, should be considered one as well. The Troubles, on the other hand, where not heard of until the Kith War, but have clearly grown in power since that time.
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