Lets Build a World: Part Five: Expanding the Pantheon & Revered Ancestors

In our last part, I built the pantheon of deities, uncovering some interesting disputes and hooks and plot points for the world.

I have been thinking it over a little, and want to add a little more variety.  As earlier established, the pantheon is meddlesome.  While some, such as the Storm Lord and his daughters, are well fitted for that, the others have less inclination to get involved except for against that trio.  There need to be some further intrigues going on to explain their meddlesome nature.

With that in mind, I wanted to add two more deities to the roster, one a greater lawful evil deity and one an intermediate neutral evil deity.

Fifth intermediate power:  I roll twice for this deity and come up with 23 – oceans and 61 – love.  A NE deity of love.   And of the oceans.  Oceans as a portfolio can also include other waterways, such as rivers, springs, lakes etc.

I give this one a bit of thought before coming with some answers.

The dice say that they are female, so what I decide is that they were once a good aligned goddess of the sweet waters, of springs and rivers of the land, and that she was also the goddess of love and beauty.

But something went wrong.  Terrible wrong.

She became twisted, turning into a goddess of lust and debauchery, of the baser emotions of love.  In addition she became associated with madness, and there are springs around that to drink will drive the imbiber mad.  While still the fairest of all the pantheon, she is now a siren rather than a graceful spirit of the waters.

And the cause of her madness, and possibly also of the Storm Lord and his daughters?

The other power.

Second greater power.

To give some conflict to the setting we need a power that troubles the pantheon, a big bad that is the reason that they are so meddlesome.  Something that is not part of the pantheon, but is opposed to it and wants to destroy it.

To get some ideas for that I make some rolls for its portfolios, even though it isn’t technically a deity; 46 – darkness, 63 – magic and 48 death.

After a little bit of consideration, I think I can make a way to see how that works.  This power wants to see the return to how things were before creation, which is sees as an inherently chaotic state of being.  It wants the perfection of the dark and the grave; stillness, silence.  They want to remake creation, to reshape it into endless, frozen perfection in which life has no part.

To that end it has corrupted and twisted, trying to subvert the pantheon, and has indeed managed to break some of them from their intended rolls, causing division among the ranks of the pantheon.

And it has its own source of magic, the magic of death and darkness.  Necromantic power comes from it, and the undead are of its design.  The intelligent undead, the vampires, the liches and the like are its agents in the world.  Warlocks make pacts with it for the powers it can give.  The ambitious swear to it, for much has been promised to them in That Which Will Be.

As a result, there is a battle going on for the souls of the living and the dead, for as long as the souls remain in creation then the Darkness can not undo it, but should enough slip into its grasp then it has the power to do so.

Which does help explain some of what the other outsider power of Death is doing – he opposes the Darkness and his priests are trying to keep the souls of the dead in creation, and to give them a chance to return to life and earn themselves an esteemed role, one in which they can not be poached from.

And that is a position of an Revered Ancestor.

Revered Ancestors

There is one final addition to make to the pantheon, in the form of the Revered Ancestors.  Consider them saints if you will.  They occupy a place beneath the demi-goddess, in that they have no divine powers, can not grant spells, answer prayers or the like.

They are simply mortals who have transcended beyond the lot of normal mortals due to some great skill or act of faith, and have been accepted into the house of one of the deities, where they become the patron of some lesser aspect of their patron’s portfolios.

For example, Revered Ancestors of the Goddess of those who earn their living upon the sea may be the Patron of Sailors, the patron of Fishermen, the Patron of Merchants, the patron of Ship Builders, the Patron of Net Weavers and so on.

In this manner, if gives a lot more options to have the pantheon be meddling, with various Revered Ancestors able to interact and influence the world, on behalf of their deity.

Technically they are dead, but they have earned a place where they can not be touched by the Darkness, and each one who becomes a Revered Ancestors strengthens the Pantheon in their battle.

For the moment we will leave the pantheon and the powers behind for now.  There will be more later, names and descriptions and proper write ups, as well as matters such as myths and legends.

But for now we move on, in our next part, to cosmology and mythology.

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