Greyhawk: From the Ashes
Deities of the Flanaess
The people of Oerth worship many gods, but after a major war, patterns of allegiance change. The focus in this section is on the gods of the central Flanaess; those that are exclusively Baklunish, for example, are too distant from the lives of most Flanaess folk to be considered here.
How Do Powers Look Upon Mortals?
The Powers of Oerth rarely intercede directly in the affairs of Oerth. They expect their servants to be their right (and left) hands in the world. Clerics, priests, paladins, and less exalted but still valued souls are the agents of Powers, however minor their deeds may be. The Powers have an implicit understanding that if one of them should act too directly, others will act in concert to oppose the meddler, for if all acted in such a manner, Oerth would be destroyed by the Powers.
This helps us understand why the demigod Iuz has been able to effect so much evil in the Flanaess. The Prime Material is his home plane, and therefore, he has a direct involvement in its affairs that other Powers do not. The servants must oppose Iuz, not the Powers themselves. One partial exception to this is St. Cuthbert of the Cudgel. Other Powers allow St. Cuthbert to act in limited ways to oppose Iuz. Why they do this, and how far St. Cuthbert is allowed to act, is a matter known only to the Powers.
In other respects, the Powers regard mortals as they do in almost all worlds. Mortals give reverence and their clerics and priests receive spells. The Powers watch with varying degrees of involvement. Greater Powers tend to have less involvement than Lesser Powers, because Greater Powers are more absorbed in the affairs of many worlds and transcendent events that are far beyond the affairs of mortals.
How Do Mortals Regard the Powers?
Mortals regard Powers as they do in most worlds: with reverence, awe, fear, attempts at placation, and so on. In the Flanaess, however, special factors are at work after the wars. The following is true for the nonevil lands of the central Flanaess:
First, there is a general increase in prayer, reverence, and all forms of devotion to Powers. In uncertain times, mortals turn to the great ones for succor, protection, and reassurance. Clerics and priests are widely respected and are given more offerings by even the poorest of their flocks. General superstitiousness is a by-product of all this.
Second, there are changes in patterns of worship. Mortals most often revere Powers who have everyday affairs of mortals as central concerns —deities of nature, children, health, community, and the like are more widely revered than those of philosophy, arcane knowledge, and ethics. But on Oerth, Powers of war, healing, protection, strength, endurance, and revenge are increasingly turned to for succor. Many people who before the war would have given small offerings to the goddess Beory (nature, Oerth Mother) or Rao (peace and serenity) now turn to a deity such as Trithereon (liberty and retribution), Heironeous (justice and valor), or the rising cult of Mayaheine (protection and endurance) instead. There is also an increasing tendency to appease, if not actually revere, deities of fate such as Istus, and deities of luck such as Ralishaz. Of course, this is less true of wise folk and specialists who might revere a Power of magic, metalworking, or similar niche.
Demihumans are another matter, although deities such as Clangeddin Silverbeard, the dwarven god of battle, have not lost followers in times of conflict. Arvoreen the halfling defender Power receives many offerings and prayers these days.
Powers of Humankind
Deities are divided into four groups: greater, intermediate, lesser, and demipowers. The basis of this broad distinction is as follows:
- Greater Deity: These are distant Powers, far removed from most mortal affairs. Some may be held to be among the Creator Powers of the multiverse or of Oerth. They typically have many spheres of concern, or are absolute masters of just one sphere.
- Intermediate Deity: While lacking the great creative force of Greater Powers, they are still very powerful and hold major sway over one or two spheres of concern. In some nations, they may be held as patron Powers, even above a Greater Power.
- Lesser Deity: A lesser power may serve greater ones as a messenger or aide, may be a cast-out or solitary power, or may hold sway over a very narrow sphere of concern. Some Lesser Powers may be declining from exalted status or may be ascending to greater force.
- Demigods/Hero-Gods: These are the least powerful and in many ways are similar to the Lesser Powers. Some may be mortals who have undergone divine ascension (Zagig and Mayaheine an being prime examples). Some may even be referred to as Hero Powers.
The Greater Gods
Goddess of Oerth, Nature, Rain
Power Skills: Herbalism (i.e. Alchemy), Creatures, Nature
Beory is the Oerth mother, the nurturer and provider. Without her, no life could exist. She is also the goddess of fertility, the sea, and of agriculture. She refuses to love any of her children less, embracing them even if they plunder and despoil her bounty, but not all her worshippers are so merciful. Her faithful are druids, farmers, rangers and everyone who lives in nature. The tenets of her cult are:
- Live close to nature to experience the wonders of Oerth.
- Take of Beory’s bounty, but not more than she can sustain.
- Recognize nature in yourself, and live according to the demands of your body.
Many primal spirit-worshipers revere her as an embodiment of the world and revere here even if they don’t revere other gods. In this aspect she has entered the common pantheon as Oerth. She also has many avatars, having befriended, loved, nurtured, or been plundered by almost everyone in history. All the major peoples have an avatar of her in their pantheon. She almost always appears as a female, but to the Suel, he is Llerg, the simple but lovable rival of Kord. Dwarves know her as Berronar the patron of safety and marriage, gnomes as Segojan goddess of the earth, halflings as Sheela Peryroyl goddess of agriculture and weather. Oerdians recognize her as Ulaa, the god of hills and the wealth they contain. She has a single famous exarch, Berei, the first queen of the earth according to the Flan.
God of Neutrality, Magic, Arcane Knowledge & Foresight
Power Skills: Dimensions, Divination, Warding
Boccob is the god of magic, arcane knowledge, balance, and foresight. He is known as the Uncaring, the Lord of All Magic, and the Archmage of the Deities. All times and places are open to him, and he has visited many alternate realities and planes unknown to the wisest of sages, places even the Elder Evils avoid. His symbol is an eye in a pentagram; usually this is worn as an amulet.
Elven god of Magic, Music, Arts, Crafts, Poetry, and Warfare
Power Skills: Dimensions, War
The god of magic, beauty, and the arts, Corellon is the patron of arcane magic and the fey. He seeded the world with arcane magic and planted the most ancient forests. Artists and musicians worship him, as do those who view their spellcasting as an art, and his shrines can be found throughout the Feywild. He despises Lolth for leading the drow astray. He urges his followers thus:
- Cultivate beauty in all that you do, whether you’re casting a spell, composing a saga, strumming a lute, or practicing the arts of war.
- Seek out lost magic items, forgotten rituals, and ancient works of art. Corellon might have inspired them in the world’s first days.
- Remain free and unpredictable; let no-one tie you down. Fulfill every obligation, but do so in your own way and with an eye to the greater good.
Gnome god of Protection, humor, trickery, gem cutting, fine-smithing and lapidary
Power Skills: Elements: Earth, Glamour, Telekinesis
Garl Glittergold (garl gliht-ter-gold) is a gentle and approachable deity, one who values quick thinking and a clear head more than almost anything else and who rarely stays in one location for very long. Though physical prowess and spiritual might are important, nothing is more crucial than keeping it all in perspective.
Garl watches over cooperation among gnomes at all times. He prefers trickery, illusion, and wiles to direct physical confrontation, although if forced to fight he is hardly weak. Garl often steals evil weapons and magic intended for malefic ends and then disposes of them. He is also a mischevous trickster, said to have the largest collection of jokes in the multiverse.
The Watchful Protector is ever alert to threats to the Forgotten Folk and watches directly over their affairs. If such threats cannot be forestalled, Garl vigorously defends against them as needed and appropiate. Although his military prowess usually emphasizes defense, the deity shows himself as a grim and determined warleader when his people are physically threatened.
Orc god of Conquest, Survival, Strength, and Territory
Power Skills: Domination, Fate (Steal Luck, Malediction Trappings and Bestow Curse Stunt), War
Gruumsh is the chaotic evil god of destruction, lord of marauding barbarian hordes. He exhorts his followers to slaughter and pillage. Orcs are his fervent followers, and they bear a particular hatred for elves and eladrin because Corellon put out one of Gruumsh’s eyes. The One-Eyed God gives simple orders to his followers:
- Conquer and destroy.
- Let your strength crush the weak.
- Do as you will, and let no one stop you.
Grumsh appears as Vatun to the Suel barbarians of the north-east, as Erythnul to goblins and oerdians, and under a variety of other local names. He actively encourages warfare between the followers of his different avatars.
God of Evil, Plague, Illness, Famine, Drought, Disasters & Nightmares
Power Skills: Domination, Death, Fate (Steal Luck, Malediction Trappings and Bestow Curse Stunt)
Incabulos’ followers teach that existence is a darkly twisted, nihilistic thing, a curse that Incabulos inflicts to strengthen and purify mortals before he eventually reclaims them. To that end, they believe that life is an endless sortie of miseries and hatred, and that followers should be prepared to fight back and live every day as if they could be destroyed at any moment. Incabulos could take them at any time, and they should be ready by following his dictates and beliefs.
Incabulos counts among his followers many mentally debased and twisted people who those sages expert in psychology describe as “sociopaths” and “psychopaths”, people who are unable to feel any empathy for those they might hurt or injure. Many of them prey on the weak, the young and the helpless in ways too disgusting and depraved to describe here, either wallowing in self-hatred at what they are doing or getting a sick pleasure out of it.
As such, many of those who revere Incabulos believe that it is their duty to spread these miseries to the innocent or helpless. Showing mercy or compassion are viewed as sins, and many sects further believe that it is a sin to not spread the miseries of their god. The “virtues” of the Incabulian faith include spreading fear and misery in Incabulos’s name, encouraging those who are suffering from hurt or loss to convert to the dark god. In this way, disasters and misery are encouraged and continue to spread.
Goddess of Fate, Destiny, Predestination & Future
Power Skills: Divination, Fate
Istus, the Colorless and All-Colored, Lady of Our Fate, is a powerful deity who takes an abstract interest in the destinies of mortal and immortal alike. She carries a golden spindle with which she weaves the strands of fate and destiny together, spinning the future into the present. She is both honored and feared as the controller of fore-ordination. While she has relatively few faithful devotees, many persons will call upon Istus in time of want or need. Their prayers may or may not be heeded – no one knows ‘til the hour is upon them, as Fate is fickle regarding whom she chooses to favor.
Generally, two types of persons tend to choose Istus as their patron deity. There are those who can accept destiny as immutable, accepting what comes as natural and unavoidable. Such followers tend to be either true Neutral or Lawful in alignment, and have a tendency toward cynicism and indifference. Others choose to worship the Lady of Fate in a desperate attempt to take control of their own destinies, to change what would otherwise be seen as a bleak future.
The Soul Forger, Dwarf-Father, the All-Father, the Creator
Power Skills: Elements (Earth), War, Warding
Moradin is the god of creation, slayer of monsters, and patron of artisans, especially miners and smiths. He carved the mountains from primordial earth and is the guardian and protector of the hearth and family. Dwarves from all walks of life follow him. He demands these behaviors of his followers:
- Meet adversity with stoicism and tenacity.
- Demonstrate loyalty to your family, your clan, your leaders, and your people.
- Strive to make a mark on the world, a lasting legacy. To make something that lasts is the highest good, whether you are a smith working at a forge or a ruler building a dynasty.
Moradin is known as Flandal to the gnomes. He has exarchs in almost every culture, who generally focus on a few of his functions, usually as patron of the crafts. St Cuthbert is a prophet of discipline and work ethic and the most famous aspect among humans. Cyrrollalee is the halfling goddess of trust and protection, Bleredd is the Oerdian god of mines and smiths, Fortubo the Suel god of metal and mountains, while Dalt is the chaotic Suel god of locks and lockpicking, and by extension of other crafts. Daern is a recent exarch, a mortal risen to become the goddess of fortification.
God of Time & Tedium
Power Skills: Divination, Time, Warding
His holy symbol is a crescent moon superimposed upon a full moon surrounded by stars. Though the exact number of stars varies, it is usually fourteen.
Lendor is a distant deity, seeming to care little for the affairs of the world. He considers himself superior to other deities, especially his children. He has the ability to banish or undo the magic of any of his brood.
God of Death, Darkness, Underworld & Covert Activity
Power Skills: Domination, Death, Fate (Steal Luck, Malediction Trappings and Bestow Curse Stunt)
The god of the night and of death of the Flan, Nerull is Beory’s second husband and the rival and enemy of Pelor. Defeated numerous times in the legends, Beory always forgives him so that night can follow day.
As god of the dead and undead in the Common pantheon, Nerull is surprisingly respectable, his clerics tolerated as long as they play by the rules. Sometimes his cult exist under the auspices of the church of Pelor, an evil shadow kept to placate the forces of darkness.
In Synchretism Nerull is seen as the power behind Selvekar the Waster among the Baklunish, Telchur the lord of Winter to Oerdians, and has an aspect named Incabolous focused on disease and hopelessness.
Nerull (NEH-rul) is an ancient Flan god; few anywhere do not know and fear his name. He is a rust-red skeletal being with thick, blackish-green hair, a cowl and cloak of rusty black, and eyes, teeth, and nails the color of poisonous verdigris. His sable wood staff Lifecutter forms a scythe-like blade of red force that slays anyone it touches. Fiends answer his call out of fear rather than loyalty, for he hates all life and is not above destroying servants out of displeasure or spite. His symbol is a skull and scythe. Of all other divine beings, the only one he tolerates is Incabulos, whose gifts send many to his realm.
All are equal in Nerull’s cold realm. Every living thing is an affront to the Reaper, and every death brings a dark spark of joy to his long-dead heart. Those who pray to Nerull to appease him only attract his attention and their own doom. Those who kill in his name shall be rewarded.
Nerull’s clerics commit murder as offerings to their god; when their actions are discovered, they flee their hiding places and move far away to carry out their evil deeds, appearing innocent while occasionally killing wayfarers on their long journey.
God of Sun, Strength, Light & Healing
Power Skills: Element (Fire), Fate (Luck and Give Luck Trappings and Fortune and Shared Destiny Stunts), Life
In Synchretism Pelor is the god of the sun, life, and fortune. To Oerdians, she is known as Sotillion, the goddess of summer and comfort. Ascended mortals sponsored by him tend to focus on one of aspects – fire, agriculture, or fighting evil. Mayahene is an ascended paladin of Pelor and defender of good. Python is the Suel god of nature, beauty, and farming, while Joramy is the Suel goddess of fire, volcanoes, righteous wrath, and unbending will. Velnius is the Oerdian god of the sky and overseer of the seasons, mediator of the wind gods.
Pelor (PAY-lor) is the Flan sun god, known throughout the entire Flanaess. Riding the great kirin Star Thought, he summons flights of eagles and destroys evils with bolts of sunlight. Depicted as an old man in white, with wild hair and a beard of shining gold, he was until recently a peaceful and gentle god concerned with the alleviation of suffering. Now, he is a more martial deity who brings his wrath to bear on darkness and evil. Now he invigorates and heals those who champion the cause of good, and the stylized sun-face holy symbol is painted on shields and banners across the Flanaess.
The energy of life originates from the sun. This light brings strength to the weak and health to the injured, while destroying darkness and evil. Do not be afraid to challenge the forces of corruption, but remember that just as staring at the sun can cause blindness of the eyes, relentless attention to the destruction of negative forces can blind the heart to the true essentials of life: kindness, mercy, and compassion.
Pelor’s clerics are usually quiet, kindly people with a backbone of steel. They are primarily nurturers and protectors, but when the time comes to bear arms they are not afraid to do so. They use their powers to heal, nourish, and otherwise aid the needy, while practicing the skills needed to protect their charges should they be threatened. Clerics of Pelor are free to explore far lands in an effort to drive off harmful beings and spread their god’s gift to all who need it.
God of Peace, Reason & Serenity
Power Skills: Dominate (Charm and Change Emotion Trappings and Sooth Stunt), Fate (Luck and Give Luck Trappings and Fortune and Shared Destiny Stunts), Life
The serene god, Rao is a Flan god, the brother of Allitur and the son of Beory and Pelor. He is the god of reason, peace, and law. He is the first medicine-man and the oft-ignored adviser of Obad-Hai.
In Synchretism Rao is identified with Lendor, the father of the Suel pantheon. Dwarfs name him Dumathoin the lord of secrets. His sponsored godlings pursue different aspects of his portfolio – the most famous is Vecna, the lord of evil secrets. As Delleb he is the Oerdian god of intellect and study. As Pholus he is the Oerdian god of law and by extension of rulership, a strict disciplinarian.
Rao (RAH-oh) is shown as an old man with dark skin, white hair, slender hands, and a serene smile. Any time an offering of peace is made, Rao grows a day younger. Although he never intervenes directly on Oerth, Rao is the creator of several artifacts of good, particularly the Crook of Rao. He is a dedicated foe of Iuz, an ally of Zilchus, and is otherwise friendly with all other beings. He can cause any aggressive being to relax into an agreeable calmness with a glance, having thwarted even Nerull with this power in the past. His holy symbol is a white heart of wood or metal, or a heart-shaped mask with a calm expression.
Reason is the greatest gift. It leads to discourse, which leads to peace, which leads to serenity. If all could be convinced to reason with each other, the world would enjoy the harmony of benign order. Some refuse to use reason and instead resort to violence, at which time action—governed by reason and wisdom—is required to counteract their deeds and restore peace.
His clerics pursue knowledge, paths of logical thought, theology, and introspective meditation. They prefer peaceful means over violence, but are not above using force when their arguments are ignored or the bastions of reason are threatened. They search for new schools of thinking, fabled locales of calmness and quietude, powerful magic to use in the cause of Law and Good.
The Protector and Provider, the Nurturing Matriarch, the Blessed One, Patron of the Haflings
Power Skills: Fate (Luck and Give Luck Trappings and Fortune and Shared Destiny Stunts), Life, Warding
Yondalla (Yon-DAH-lah) is the Protector and Provider of halflings and the chief matriarch of the halfling pantheon. She is responsible for the race’s creation and for blessing them with peace, comfort, and plenty. As the goddess of protection, Yondalla fends off evil influences and intrusions into the homes and lives of halflings. Yondalla gives her people the strength of character and the determination to defend themselves. Her protection is part of the very souls of her creations, for of all the demihuman races, the halflings have most rarely succumbed to evil. As a provider, Yondalla is a goddess of fertility and growing things, of birth and youth, of nature and plants. She can make barren places and creatures fertile and increase the growing rate of plants and animals, almost as she chooses, although she uses such powers sparingly and almost never confers such benefits on other demihumans or humans for fear of giving offense to their deities.
The Lesser Gods
Breeka, goddess of living things
Celestian, god of stars, space and wanderers
Ehlonna, goddess of forests, woodlands, flora & fauna and fertility
Erythnul, god of hate, envy, malice, panic, ugliness and slaughter
Fharlanghn, god of horizons, distance, travel and roads
Heironeous, god of chivalry, justice, honor, war, daring and valor
Hextor, god of war, discord, massacres, conflict, fitness, tyranny
Huhueteotl, god of fire and motion of time
Kord, god of athletics, sports, brawling, strength and courage
Lendor, god of time, tedium, patience and study
Obad Hai, god of nature, woodlands, freedom, hunting and beasts
Olidammara, god of music, revels, wine, rogues, humor, and tricks
Procan, god of seas, sea life, salt, sea weather, and navigation
Ralishaz, god of chance, ill luck, misfortune and insanity
Saint Cuthbert, god of common sense, wisdom, zeal, honesty, truth, and discipline
Tharizdun, god of eternal darkness, decay, entropy, malign knowledge, and insanity
Tlaloc, god of rain
Trithereon, god of individuality, liberty, retribution, and self-defense
Ulaa, goddess of Hills, mountains, and gemstones
Vogan, god of weather, and storms
Wee Jas, goddess of magic, death, vanity, and law
Zilchus, god of power, prestige, money, business, and influence
Afflux, god of inquiry, necromancy, death
Allitur, god of ethics and propriety
Atroa, goddess of spring, east wind and renewal
Beltar, goddess of malice, caves and pits
Berei, goddess of home, family and agriculture
Berna, goddess of passion and forgiveness
Bleredd, god of metal, mines and smiths
Bralm, goddess of insects and industriousness
Camazotz, god of bats, vampires and the underworld
Cyndor, god of time, infinity and continuity
Dalt, god of portals, doors, enclosures, lock and keys
Delleb, god of reason, intellect and study
Evening Glory, goddess of love, beauty, immortality through undeath.
Fortubo, god of stone, metals, mountains and guardianship
Geshtai, goddess of lakes, rivers, wells and streams
Jascar, god of hills and mountains
Joramy, goddess of fire, volcanoes, wrath, anger and quarrels
Katay, god of decay, inevitability, order and time
Kundo, god of building, noise, music and defense
Kurell, god of jealousy, revenge and theft
Lirr, goddess of prose, poetry, literature and art
Llerg, god of beasts, strength, and Lycanthropes
Lydia, goddess of music, knowledge and daylight
Meyanok, god of serpents, poison discord, darkness and famine
Mouqol, god of trade, negotiation, ventures, appraisal and reciprocity
Myhriss, goddess of love, romance and beauty
Norebo, god of luck, gambling and risks
Osprem, goddess of sea voyages, ships and sailors
Phaulkon, god of air, wind, clouds, birds and archery
Phyton, god of nature, beauty, farming
Pyremius, god of fire, poison and murder
Sotillion, goddess of summer, south wind, ease and comfort
Syrul, goddess of lies, deceit, treachery and false promises
Telchur, god of winter, cold and the north wind
Vatun, god of northern barbarians, cold, winter and Arctic beasts
Vecna, god of Destructive and Evil Secrets, Magic, Hidden Knowledge, Intrigue
Velnius, god of sky and weather
Wenta, goddess of autumn, west wind, harvest and brewing
Xan Yae, goddess of twilight, shadows, stealth and mental powers
Xanag, goddess of metals and beauty
Xerbo, god of sea, sailing, money and business
Zodal, god of mercy, hope and benevolence
Al’Akbar, god of guardianship, faithfullness, dignity and duty
Damaran, god of vermin and cowardice
Earth Dragon, demigod of earth, weather and hidden treasure
Iuz, god of deceit, pain, oppression and evil
Karaan, god of lycanthropy, cannibalism, wild savagery and urban decay
Kyuss, god of creation and mastery of undead
Mayaheine, goddess of protection, valor and justice
Merikka, goddess of farming, agriculture and home
Rallaster, god of razors, mutilation, murder, insanity and torture
Rudd, goddess of chance, good luck and skill
Scahrossar, goddess of sadism, masochism, pleasure and pain
Stern Alia, goddess of Oeridian culture, law and motherhood
Vara, goddess of nightmares and fear
Wastri, god of amphibians, bigotry and self deception
Xammux gods of analytical thinking, forbidden lore, experimentation and amorality
Yeathan god of drowning, aquatic calamities, watery death, and dark water
Zagyg, god of humor, eccentricity, occult lore and unpredictability
Zuoken, god of physical and mental mastery
Azor’alq, god of light, purity, courage and strength
Daern, goddess of defenses and fortifications
Daoud, god of humility, clarity and immediacy
Heward, god of bards and musicians
Johydee, goddess of deception, espionage, and protection
Kelanen, god of swords, sword skill and balance
Keoghtom, god of secret pursuits, natural alchemy, and extraplanar exploration
Kuroth, god of theft and treasure finding
Murlynd, god of magical technology
Nazarn, god of formal and public combat
Tsolorandril, god of wave motions
Vathris, god of anguish, lost causes and revenge