The Seven and Twenty
As history would have it, the world was formed by a family of gods called the Older Gods. These deities set about ruling their creation as they saw fit, and for a time were even-handed and fair. However, their rule eventually grew petty and malicious, and they visited plagues and disasters on their creation without reason or remorse. Ultimately, their own children — gods in their own right — rose up and slew the Older Gods, casting their parents’ bodies into the firmament. These children — the Seven-and-Twenty — then divided up the world and its spheres of godhood among themselves, establishing a great council of balance between them. The Older Gods are now all but forgotten, but the Younger Gods are still worshipped today, and their influence is felt in society across Valan. Although there are many petty rivalries and outright hatreds among the gods, they have agreed not to directly challenge one another, instead sending their priests on errands and quests to further their aims, and relying on their faithful to spread their teachings.
Various other races have their own pantheons (such as the elven Valatéan and the drakhan elemental gods), and a scattering of demigods are associated with the Seven-and-Twenty. However, these are the ones whose influence reaches the farthest — at least on Aurach. The gods of Ibrydos, it’s said, are another matter entirely…
The Higher Nine
The Higher Nine is the term for the deities who work toward a greater good. Should they ultimately triumph in the struggle, Valan may well become a world of prosperity and peace. They have many lay worshippers, as their areas of influence are usually desirable — however, not quite as many can live up to the exacting moral standards of the greater good, and therefore their devout are not as plentiful as one might like. Still, their ability to work together gives the Higher Nine a great strength to counterbalance the “anything-goes” approach of their darker brethren.
- Alvoran, god of animals, hunters and travelers.
- Chaneth, goddess of agriculture, rain and autumn.
- Dardekan, god of crafts, learning and wisdom.
- Evrel, god of healing, peace and forgiveness.
- Kaeal, god of the sun, light and purity.
- Kylir, goddess of music, arts and beauty.
- Larra, goddess of birth, family and fresh water.
- Lierce, goddess of love, dedication and strength
- Valysa, goddess of guardians, civilization and justice.
The Center Nine
The Center (many say Centered) Nine were always the most even-handed of the Younger Gods, and are notable for their devotion to their spheres above and beyond issues of morality. They are typically the balancing force between their more hot-blooded siblings, and adjudicate many of the rivalries between Lower and Higher gods. Many are elemental gods to some degree, representing forces more primal than humanist.
- Broucka, god of nature’s cycles, deep wilderness and the changing seasons.
- Goreador, god of battle, metalsmithing and skill.
- Jaulckem, god of wealth, prosperity and prestige.
- Qullon, god of ocean, river and storm.
- Shessa, goddess of night, intrigues and the moon.
- Syndra, goddess of magic, the stars and enigmas.
- Taltikka, goddess of luck, chaos and mischief.
- Theht, goddess of death and time.
- Urvan, god of law, rulership and fate itself.
The Lower Nine
The Lower Nine were the most spiteful of the Older Gods’ children; many of them chose their spheres out of resentment for their siblings, bitterness or pure cruelty. They are rumored to have many worshippers among the inhuman creatures of Valan, to make up for the admittedly less than universal appeal of their “blessings.”
- Aaziphon, god of slavery, conquest and tyranny.
- Hothos, god of deception, darkness and nightmare.
- Isreelve, goddess of suffering, poison and Hell.
- Mal Zath, god of war, lightning and rage.
- Namaluk, goddess of winter, undead and vengeance.
- Phouth, god of disease, corruption and famine.
- Rakthur, god of unnature, misery and despair.
- Xacshi, goddess of fire, destruction and insanity.
- Zamalla, goddess of murder, hatred and avarice.