March of the Mad Lich
Ah yes, our gods. They are quite interesting, naturally, since they are the most powerful beings on our planet.
(In game terms, think of them as VERY powerful PCs. They can’t die by natural means/disease, and have access to most schools of magic. They can be weakened, tired, killed, but it is very hard to do, and mortals would die long before that.)
Our gods are, in essence, powerful immortal beings who shape and influence our world. They cannot die naturally or through disease, but may be killed. However, in every town, country, and kingdom in our land, it is considered a great crime to even harm a god. No ruler, in any land, does not hold these beings to be sacred, and respects them as our creators. This may seem odd to you, my student, but you must understand that they are not ideas, they are living, breathing beings. When I say they influence or shape our world, that is literal. I have seen some of them with my own eyes. That is why our kings respect them. They are like your own father. And when they made us mortals, they gave up so much to makes us, so few intelligent beings on this planet can reason why the gods should be hurt. That is not to say they do not always deserve it, but the gods judge their own kind, they are not beyond punishment.
Each god has a true form, a humanoid form that they were born with. However, they can look like anything they want. Most of them choose one shape and stay that way. The god of love, fertility, and sex, Aphrose, for example, chooses the shape of a beautiful human woman, her allure far beyond what any man could even imagine. But, she is not limited to that form, nor was it her first or will be her last.
The god’s aspects are the various ideas that they are “based” on. Each god, overtime, grew to find their niche with a concept in the world, and adapted to that. This does not mean that that god has complete control over it nor are they it. Hahsal, for instance, is not death incarnate, but merely chooses to be a part of it, and to identify with it. These aspects could change for a god, but it is very rare.
An important note about the gods is that they cannot procreate to create new gods. It was one of the reasons that they created mortals, so that they could have the world be filled with our creatures (that weren’t just bears, rodents, and other beasts). Many of the gods have been known to have sex with mortals – Aphrose for example – but it never results in procreation, for the god or their lover.
The gods are not worshipped here, as much as revered. There are other religions, claiming that our world’s gods are not the only gods in our universe – you have seen them, student – but these gods are the deities I mean. The gods are protected and valued more than prayed to. They are treated as elders (haha, not far from how you view me, student), and looked to for aid, advice, and knowledge. Well, most of them anyways. Mortal men of all races seek to bed Aphrose – to no avail – and the Thief god spends more time being thrown out of bars than looked up to. Hahsal, though, is a source of wisdom for us all, and when a life is unjustly stolen, some desperate mortals look to him to bring back their loved ones.
Hahsal is the god of life and death. It may seem odd that he rules over contractdictory aspects, but he came to identify with is aspect of life later in his life. (This is explained in the creation story, in better detail) When Hahsal cursed mortals with mortality, like the other beasts that lived before them, he also blessed them with the ability of procreation, giving them both life and death. The other gods aknowledged that Hahsal had done them a great service by giving their creation, mortals, a way to live, and as such, encouraged him to see how he had helped the gods. As such, although he is responsible for our deaths, he also allows us to procreate, to create life, a power that the gods themselves do not have.
His form is that of a large, walking tree.
Aphrose is the god of sex, fertility, and love. Aphrose found little joy in the world, even after the mortals had been created. It had always watched the world and found it bland. That was until it noticed a young human male named Herul. The young man was profoundly handsome, but he was a poor, dirty man as well, slighted by his city since he was the bastard of a whore. He lived in the woods to be alone, and stay away from them, but was a good man. Aphrose was interested in this man, in a way she had never experienced. She went to him to see him in person. He had been fishing alongside a river and had fallen asleep when she found him. While he was unconscious, a crocodile had crept up the river, and was about to pounce on Herul when he awoke. Herul did not run in time, and got caught by it. Worried about this mortal, Aphrose rushed to him, using her power to scare off the crocodile and brought Herul back to his home. She healed him, and let him rest. Not wanting him to be frightened when he saw her in her true form, she chose to look like a beautiful human woman. She waited days at Herul’s side, worried about his fate, until he awoke. When he finally awoke, they finally saw each other, and looked at each other for minutes, stunned by the beauty of the other. Silently they reached for each other, understanding each other, and embraced, and made love. Aphrose had finally found a purpose in the world, and chose, after they had both finished making love, to rule over this act and love. Although Aphrose has had other lovers of the centuries and Herul had long passed, she loved him the most. To honor him, she made her home in his town, Irse, and had a statue of Herul erected there.
Zurac is the god of law, government, and just rulers. He looks like a common civil servant of whichever kingdom he is in. He is the lord of the gods and their arbiter. He is responsible for punishing wayward gods who intervene too much in the lives of mortals or seek to do great harm to world. He is not above these laws, either. There have been times when he has overreacted to a god or mortal who does something wrong, and in return punishes himself as well as them.
It was his idea to create the mortals, when the gods met and realized their loneliness. It was also his idea to have the gods not affect the lives of mortals. He wanted them to live their lives and make their decisions without the gods helping or hurting them. As such, even though it pains him, he rarely punishes mortals who break the law, and lets their leaders handle it. However, even he cannot stop himself when rulers try to commit great crimes, such as genocide. And despite his just actions, as we see it, he will punish himself as well, making sure that no one is above the law.
Barry, the Thief god
Barry is the god of trickery, thievery, and, oddly enough, children. I know my student, that sounds weird, but let me explain. Barry realized long ago that he loved playing tricks on the other gods and on beasts. But the gods learned to fast and the beasts weren’t smart enough for him. When the gods created the mortals, Barry was excited. They were an infinite source of targets for him, and people to mess with. This has lead to Barry being almost completely hated by all the gods and mortals, but this is undue. He is quite annoying, but he rarely ever hurts mortal or god. He prefers to simply set up plans that frustrate, surprise, and enrage. This also lends to minor theft, but for Barry, this is never from people who needed it. He wouldn’t take a poor man’s last cent or a rich man’s heirloom, but he might take the poor man’s pants for an hour and put a pie in the rich man’s face. As such, Barry only accepts honorable thieves, and has been known to foil evil men.
His love of trickery is also why he watches over children. To Barry, they understand him. They understand why a pie in the face is so funny. He protects them and is none to show kind children good tricks and to punish bad children. Mothers warn trickster children that Barry may trick them in turn, and this isn’t a tale; he often does, much to his glee. Barry has been known to do dark, murderous tricks to those who hurt children, and has been known to kill soldiers who kill children during war.
Oh….why is his name Barry? Well, do you expect him a guy named Barry to steal your bed….when you’re in it?