Erets (4e Pantheon)
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Why different gods than in the DnD 4e books and Forgotten Realms? The idea of gods of specific skills, attitudes, and activities is from a structured pantheon mythology like the Norse, Greek, and Egyptian gods. The DnD 4e and Forgotten Realms has diminished the structured pantheon but kept the idea of specific skills, attitudes, and activities. Gods and religion are basically cultural and environmental. With this basic idea, the following structure develops. It is better to have unaligned major (or greater gods) gods that are basic elemental extensions that are universal. Below this universal level of major gods are the world-wide season gods common to all. As a weaker divinity, below these two layers are the gods of specific cultures or gods of specific races such as Dwarves and Elves.
Why so many unaligned gods and so few good or evil gods? Divinity provides perspective that tempers the extreme of alignments. The majority of the gods are unaligned in alignment and their followers and worshippers often have some extreme cults going toward good and going toward evil.
In the beginning, the Elemental forces grew into great cosmic personification powers. The Elemental forces became divine, timeless, and limitless power. The Elemental Gods are Thetoru The Wind, Thechard The Stone, Theoosh The Water, and Theezine The Fire.
Thetoru The Wind
Thechard The Stone
Theoosh The Water
Theezine The Fire
The four Gods created mortal life. Thechard The Stone formed flesh from dirt; Theoosh The Water gave power to the mind and blood; Theezine The Fire have power to the heart; and Thetoru The Wind gave breath to the lungs. And then there was mortal life, the races of Pegay, Theros, Phthino, and Cheimon.
As the four races grew in knowledge and numbers, other minor races grew from them. Primitive-dragons developed and grew strong in magic. Primitive-dragons could see, apply, and manipulate the rainbow spectrum of arcane invisible-divine-Wind/Stone/Water/Fire force. The primitive-dragons fought against the Pegay, Theros, Phthino, and Cheimon. Through centuries of conflict and peace, the primitive-dragons dominate the other races and through breeding and magic create Dragonborn, Tieflings, Orcs, Humans, Goblins, Gnomes, Dwarves, and Halflings.
As the original four races fought and lost to the primitive-dragons and secondary races, the Elemental Gods elevated one leader from each race to be master and minor god over the seasons. Each Elemental God enhanced one master and minor god over the season. Each new divine being lost its personal identity and assumed the name of its race. Thetoru The Wind elevated Pegay to be The Spring God. Theezine The Fire elevated Theors to be The Summer God. Theoosh The Water elevated Phthino to be The Autumn Goddess. Thechard The Stone elevated Cheimon to be The Winter Goddess.
Pegay The Spring God
Theros The Summer God
Phthino The Autumn Goddess
Cheimon The Winter Goddess
The Major God and Minor God have temple complexes and religious systems built around the number 4 (a sacred number). In or near megacity/capital, there may be Temples (4+ clerics lead by a Bishop), Cathedrals (10+ clerics lead by a Cardinal), Monastery (10+ clerics lead by a Cardinal), and/or Spiritual University with 30+ clerics lead by a Patriarch/Matriarch. Because 4 is a sacred number, the altars are four by four feet squares with four attending priests. Cathedrals, Temples, Monasteries, and shrines are built in squares. With the destruction of the City-State of Phobos, leaving four City-States against the Evil Empire, it is believed to be a positive omen from the Gods: four against one.
The hierarchy of the temples and religious organizations from lowest to highest are as follows: Worshipper, Laity, Novitiate, Acolyte, Adept, Apprentice Priest, Priest, Curate, Bishop Elect, Bishop, Cardinal Elect, Cardinal, High Priest/Priestess, and Patriarch/Matriarch.
Most (although not exclusively) organizational clerics are Devoted Clerics. Most (although not exclusively) organizational paladins (except for knightly orders) are Ardent Paladins, Protecting Paladins, and Virtuous Paladins. Rarely for any avengers or invokers belong to religious organization.
The Wind, The Stone, The Water, and The Fire are the unaligned elemental Major Gods. The Major Gods were the instruments of creation of the physical plane. They also created the Elemental Plane (elemental monsters are rebellious creatures in opposition to the Gods). They are the oldest and most powerful of the Gods. Major Gods have shrines, chapels, temples, worshippers, and clerics, but they are rarer than the Minor Gods. Many of the worshippers of the Major Gods are spell casters and arcane devotees.
Arcane magic is the after affect of the Major God’s act of creation. There is an invisible-divine-elemental power throughout the physical plane. This power is the refracted prism rainbow color-scheme of white, black, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. Therefore, color is important to spell casters. At the inner core of a spell caster's implement (wand, orb, staff, sword, etc.) is a prism. A spell caster/wizard uses, applies, and manipulated the prism-rainbow-spectrum connected to a Major God. Each Major God has a color scheme: The Wind has blue and violet; The Stone has white and black; The Water has yellow and green; and The Fire has red and orange. A spell caster must choose a Major God as its underlying source of power and therefore have two primary color aspects that can be reflected in color of their fashion, favorite colors, and color of their magical affects.
In ancient times, each Major God enhanced one master and minor god over the season. Each new divine being lost its personal identity and assumed the name of its race. Thetoru The Wind elevated Pegay to be The Spring God. Theezine The Fire elevated Theors to be The Summer God. Theoosh The Water elevated Phthino to be The Autumn Goddess. Thechard The Stone elevated Cheimon to be The Winter Goddess.
Spring Goddess, Summer God, Autumn Goddess, and Winter Goddess are the unaligned seasonal Minor Gods. When the Major Gods created the physical plane, they also created the Minor Gods. The Minor Gods are more involved in the physical plane than the Major Gods. Minor Gods have shrines, chapels, temples, worshippers, and clerics; they are worshipped by the majority of people, especially in human cultures.
There are many cults throughout the land. The cults tend to be secret societies with secret sect passwords for indentifying other members. Normally, cults do not have shrines, chapels, or temples (although there are exceptions). Worshippers tend to gather in secret meetings around temporary altars. Cults rarely have full clerics, avengers, or paladins, but tend to have multiclassed religious leaders.