Return of the Burning Kings
The Pantheon of Merida
Boldarn, the Guiding Spear
The god of civilization and warfare, Boldarn teaches his followers that conflict and strife are instrumental in furthering the glory of civilization. Conflict is the single most driving force behind all forward progress, and one must always strive to balance the forces of destruction and creation. To make peace, one must prepare for war. Boldarn is also the patron deity of Arten.
Clerics (called war priests) and paladins of Boldarn can often be counted on to lend ecclesiastical support in military conflicts. Although, unless a sect has declared their loyalty to a particular kingdom, they rely on signs from their deity to decide which side to fight for.
Symbol: A spear placed over a starburst
Favored Weapon: Long spear
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Portfolio: Community, War, Destruction, Protection
Helia, the Capricious Heart
Helia is the goddess of love and freedom. When her brother and sister divided up humanity, she wept because she knew that such as a division could only lead to enmity between the races. She saw her brother’s dogma of war and conquest as destructive, and her sister’s idea of survival of the fittest to be cruel and uncaring. When the gave birth to the halflings and the gnomes she gave to them the breath of freedom, so that they might find their own ways in the world, and hopefully they would see that love would keep them together and keep them safe.
Her priestesses conduct marriage ceremonies, offer council to the love struck, and council troubled relationships. Because of their teachings of tolerance and open mindedness when dealing with others, they are often called on to mediate disputes and peace negotiations. Most halflings and gnomes revere her as their matron deity, but she insists that they do so out of a genuine loving devotion and not out of obligatory faith.
Symbol: A windswept heart
Favored Weapon: Stiletto (a slender dagger)
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Portfolio: Charm, Liberation, Luck
Legohnna, Mistress of the Untamed Wilds
Legohnna is not only Boldarn’s greatest rival, but also his sister. She offers little in the way of dogma, and her temples are usually a ring of stone menhirs in the wilderness rather than a grand cathedral. Legohnna embodies both the serene bounty of nature as well the fury of hurricanes and other natural disasters. She is capricious and uncaring, so long as the natural order of things remains pure she cares not who suffers and who prospers. If a lightning storm were to cause a wildfire that razes an entire forest and kills every living creature within it, so be it. If that same forest were to be destroyed by loggers or careless campers, her fury would kindle brighter than any inferno.
Her worshipers preach to seek not to tame the chaos of the wilds, but to find your place within it, for that is the true life we were all born into. Legohnna led a portion of the first men on the path of nature and created the elves. As such most of her worshipers are elves, though many druids, rangers, and barbarians of other races offer prayers to her.
Symbol: A feather and a lightning bolt forming a ring
Favored Weapon: Longbow
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Portfolio: Animal, Plant, Weather
Remniss, the Hungering Dark
The god of death, Remniss is what remains of the great entity that died giving birth to the multiverse. Remniss holds few sane worshipers, for he is feared by all mortal creatures. With every death he reclaims a small fragment of what he once was. His dark hunger is fueled by a desire to be whole once again, a goal that can only be achieved by extinguishing all life throughout the multiverse. The lightless abyss that is Remniss’s heart is the inevitable destination of the animus (life force) of all mortal creatures, which he holds more jealously than a dragon’s treasure hoard. It is said that Remniss dwells within an ivory palace behind the moon.
Symbol: An unmarred black circle
Favored Weapon: Scythe or Sickle
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Portfolio: Death, Darkness, Evil
Elyhta, the Earth Mother
Elyhta is the goddess of life, fertility, earth, and agriculture. She is the divine mother of dwarves, humans, and several other mortal races. She is also the mother of the deities, Boldarn, Legohnna, and Hélia. She is the fertile soil of the planting season, a mother’s love for her newborn child, the gentle calm of a summer’s eve. Elyhta is the divine spirit of the Merida itself. Nearly all of the mortal races regard her with respect, if not loving devotion.
Symbol: A bundle of wheat
Favored Weapon: Quarterstaff
Alignment: Neutral Good
Portfolio: Earth, Healing, Good, Protection
Carth, the Righteous Fury
Carth is the lord of the sun, master of fire, and bringer of vengeance. Along with Elyhta, he ushered the race of man into being and gave her three divine offspring. It was also he who cast Azmodeus and his twisted children into the burning pit of Hell for his treachery. He is both creator and destroyer, as the sun’s light nurtures crops and warms the creatures of the earth, so too can it cause them to wither and burn. Droughts are often attributed to the sun god’s anger.
He encourages his followers to live with strength and determination, to keep one’s vows, and to strike out with swift vengeance at those who would betray you or those you would protect. Carth abhors deception and disloyalty, and bears a special hatred for devils. In communities where the worship of Carth is common clerics are often community leaders with a large amount of influence over the local government.
Symbol: A shining sun, half red, half white.
Favored Weapon: Longsword
Alignment: Lawful Good
Portfolio: Fire, Law, Sun, Glory
Astalore, the Drowned God
Along with Helia, Astalore created the gnomes, although most of them are loathe to recognize it. It is said that Astalore was once a kind deity who created all manners of creatures that now populate the world. Cows, squirrels, and rabbits are believed to have stemmed from his idle whimsies. It is unclear what his domains were in that time before time, and it scarcely matters now.
When Astalore met Helia’s other lover, Peyatous, the two became fast friends. They never quarreled over the love of Helia, but something did come between them. Peyatous was a god of knowledge. He was beholden to universal truths that no other entity in the multiverse had access to. When Astalore asked Peyatous to share with him his wealth of knowledge, he was rebuked. Peyatous claimed that the secrets he held could undo all that was if they were to be mishandled. Astalore was furious at this indignity, and his curiosity turned to jealousy, and eventually madness. After some time, Astalore told Peyatous that he wished to make amends and renew their friendship. Peyatous fell for the mad god’s ruse, and when he let his guard down Astalore smashed Peyatous’ skull open with his morning star.
Peyatous was killed and he fell towards the earth below. His knowledge poured out of his shattered skull like wine from a decanter. His secrets fell into the sea and were quickly scattered by the currents. Astalore dove into the sea to capture Peyatous’ secrets, but they were tiny and abstract and very difficult to find. He refused to do anything but hunt down his prizes and he drowned rather than taking even a moment to come up for air.
It is said that he still searches to this day. When storms throw the sea into anarchy, it is because the Drowned God scours the waters below. Even though he is evil and insane, a sailor rarely leaves land without offering a fearful prayer for Astalore’s mercy (or at least to escape his notice). Now he sinks ships to drink deep what secrets they might offer, and the only life he makes are horrifying monsters. He is the god of greed, trickery, secrets, and the seas.
Symbol: A scroll beneath a wave.
Favored Weapon: Morningstar
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Portfolio: Knowledge, Water, Madness, Trickery
Peyatous, the Enlightened Wind
After Peyatous was slain by Astalore, his body fell towards the earth. As he was falling his body was caught by a powerful gust of wind that carried him far and wide. He traveled the world and his emptied mind was filled with the wonders of the world and the breadth of experiences it had to offer, and he was reborn. He became one with the wind itself and the collective wisdom of the world.
He beseeches his followers to travel far from their homes and expose themselves to new experiences whenever they can. Enlightenment comes only from the understanding of experience, and understanding comes only through confrontation. He teaches that one must strive to find balance in all things, and to stray from dogmatic extremes like good and evil, order and chaos. Peyatous is also the father of the halfling race. Travelers seek his wisdom and compassion for safe travels, and occasionally pay homage to him at roadside shrines.
Symbol: A swirling gust of wind
Favored Weapon: None (unarmed strike)
Portfolio: Air, Travel, Wisdom
Archia, the Tireless Master
In the beginning the multiverse was a chaotic mess. Archia saw fit to give it order, structure, a method to all the madness. When the beings of the multiverse could communicate only through vague notions and flashes of emotion, she created language. At the behest of Elyhta, she crafted the first race from earth and stone, the dwarves. She invented methods to shape the raw energies of magic itself to create the first spells. It is said that somewhere out in the cosmos are great machines beyond the scope of imagining that keep the universe running.
Archia is the goddess of the forge, invention, and magic. She has no care for power or moral codes. The only things that matter to her are ingenuity and achievement. She is the matron deity of anyone who strife to perfect their craft, regardless of what that may be.
Symbol: Crossed chisel and hammer
Favored Weapon: War Hammer
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Portfolio: Artifice, Law, Runes, Magic
Pantheon isn’t quite complete. I’ll update it with more of the minor gods “soon”.