Shaper of Worlds
Cracked stone and desert sands, scrub grasses and twisted trees. Our world was not always so. In an age lost to the world the Gods battled each other upon the mountains, the plains, within the forest, and the seas... and we stood beside them against cruelty, and ignorance. But along the way we committed terrible acts upon those very monsters we battled, and some act so profane, so foul, was committed in those horrible wars that the gods withdrew from the world. Laid upon it their many curses, laid them upon us for our trespass, an act now lost to history. Our forbearers, prideful fools that they were, did not acknowledge their crime. It became hidden, taboo to discuss, to even consider, until knowledge of it was lost. And now, none know what we must atone for.
And so we atone for all things.
Six gods. All capricious, some cruel, some horrid. With a seventh as a martyred saint, someone who was mortal and is worshipped posthumously as a god by a Cult of Flowers. Seven is a powerful number, culturally. And I think that's a solid base for a world. Further Demigods and the like, of course, may crop up. But I think it might be better if we keep the list small, at least to start.
Portrayed as a spider-entity, the Weaver creates the silken strand of a mortal's life and spins it as long or as short as she desires. That thread is woven into history, into the tapestry of existence... But it can be cut short. And those lives who are of little import form the backing for the tapestry of history. Dirty and hidden, they are the dun-colored thread against which more vibrant colors appear. Of late, all of her threads have been short, and woven erratically against the tapestry. It is thin in far too many places, torn and frayed, and we suffer for the thinness we have created in the weave.
A great serpent, oft worshipped by those who seek to survive in terrible conditions. Sand wastes are rife with vipers who thrive even in places mortals fear to tread. In darkness, in marshland, in jungle, and forest. The Serpent and his offspring are omnipresent. Thousands of eyes to watch for betrayal, for failure, and poison to swiftly dispatch those who do not hold up to his design. The Serpent's curse upon us all is his gift. The children of the Serpent travel the land and take what they seek back into the sands, and the shadows.
A stone god, a steel god. A god of forge and fire. Of volcanoes and ash. As indifferent to mortals as the stone upon which they tread. For every one of their lives ends so swiftly as to not exist before the mountain's steady gaze. It is said that from him, mortals stole fire and steel. But he cared no more for the theft than for the lamentations offered at the graves of those thieves. For him, the gap was as the blink of an eye. To call for the help of the Mountain is to ask stone to part itself that you might pass through it.
Magic is hers, and hers alone. She who helped mortals steal fire and steel from the Mountain. She who in benevolence taught the first Sorcerer magic. She who now twists it within the grasp of any who use it. Who seek to wield a weapon she commands. Perhaps it was her who was so sorely scorned that the gods cursed mortals. Whatever the case, those who whisper words of power often seek to appease her in the wake of it's use, lest they find themselves unable to be purified of the corruption that sets in.
Before man and magic, before fire and steel, the world existed. And unto it the Beast delivered life. Delivered savagery and blood. For this is the heart of all life, is it not? To destroy and devour, to consume and grow. The druids who obey his edicts of savagery gain strange powers of transformation to become more bestial, more terrible, more savage. And they alone escape his curse, for they alone embrace it. It is said that when the world darkens, when the sun falls from the sky, the Beast will consume all. And return the world to what it was in the beginning.
In the darkness of the world, the Dweller was bound in the beginning of all things. A twisted abomination, aberrant and antithetical to life, he alone was placed in the pit of fire and darkness to shepherd souls from the land of the living to the land of the dead, for only the dead could look upon him. His reach, though, is long. Longer, now, that the Godscurse is upon the world. Now that the gates of Hell itself are opened and all manner of horror crawl up through the cracks of the world to harry all mortal kind.
A Martyr. A heroine of the people who died an age past while rising against the cruelty of the Gods, against the fiends of the Dweller, against the Beasts and the Serpent. Those who follow her cause bear flowers instead of steel. Beat their breasts and wail chants of hope and cry out to the uncaring gods to end their curse for her purity. In recent years, their curse has lessened, their burdens been relieved. And it is said that the Flower now rises among the gods in power, that she can cure your ills, and mend your heart, and end the curse at last.
But who can say if this is true?
As a fun thought... What if the gods do not grant specific domains, like you might find in Faerun, but instead provide their priesthood with any, or even all, available domains... Save those they personally do not wish their followers to hold? The Flower, for example, might allow any domain -except- for War. A tale told not by what they offer, but by what they explicitly exclude. By what power they refuse mortals in their service.
You'll notice I offer no god of Elves. Nor of Dwarves. Of Giants or of Kings. This is because all are meant to worship one of these seven gods... or the six True Gods and the Heretical Cult of Flowers. Or simply offer lip-service and appropriate offerings to all the gods whenever it would seem appropriate to the lay person.
I'll probably want to name these gods, eventually. But there is another very large benefit to having only six gods. More space to write about each individual god. What rituals they demand, what prayers they hear, what legends they might appear in, and what tasks they've accomplished that can be referenced by Priests looking to gain converts.
I also think it's a powerful allegory that at some point we, as mortals, transgressed against the gods. And we seek forgiveness and atonement for that forgotten act. For that thing we do not know. Or. Mortals can rebel against the Gods. Ignore the curse and live their lives as they choose. Free of guilt, but burdened by society...
Could be neat... Thoughts?
Compilation of Project Chronicle Links: Project Chronicle: Master List - The Homebrewery