Gods & Religion

The Pantheon:

Danu — goddess of earth, fertility, abundance, patron of Danul
Arianhrod — goddess of air, intellect, the arts, patron of Aria
Belenos — god of fire, skill, transformation, patron of Belenosia
Lyr — god of water, purification, change, patron of Lyrion
Caillech — goddess of death, birth, fate, patron of Caillun

Aine — goddess of growing things, patron of farmers and harvesters
Flidais — goddess of animals, patron of hunters and foresters
Dian Cecht — god of healing and science, patron of doctors, patients, potioners, scientists
Manawydden — god of weather and seasons, patron of sailors and travelers
Pwyll — god of law and government, patron of lawyers, politicians, criminals
Nuatha, Gofannon, Llew — gods of trade and craft, patrons of merchants, bankers, manufacturers
Myrrdin — god of light magic, patron of wizards of the Seelie Court
Scatha — goddess of dark magic, patron of wizards of the Unseelie Court
Macha — goddess of war and justice, patron of warriors and paladins of the Seelie Court
Arrwn — god of war and destruction, patron of warriors and paladins of the Unseelie Court

Religion:

Religion in Aeldreth is a practical matter of managing life in the present world.  There is no concept of sin or salvation, and while their spiritual worldview includes a balance of light and dark, there is no sense of a war between good and evil.  They believe in reincarnation, and their afterlife is the Ghost Realm where the dead pass time until the death goddess, Caillech, Keeper of the Gates, sends them on to whatever their next life will be.

Worship of the gods is open to all who may wish to petition a god for help or a blessing.  Worship is optional.  The gods of Aeldreth are responsible for natural and social systems, and they will perform their functions whether they are worshipped or not.  However, service to the gods, in the form of work in the temples or taking quests, can bring great rewards, so most people step up at one point or another.  Otherwise, outside of the clergy and some high-risk professions, few Aeldrethians are especially devout or make a regular habit of praying unless they have a specific petition to make or it is a holiday.

That said, the gods of Aeldreth are not all that easy-going.  If someone asks them for something, they had better do it in the correct form and they had better not renege on their end of the deal, or being ignored will be the best they can hope for. Offending a god is a very dangerous thing to do.  Their curses can be heavy and are extremely difficult to break.

Origin of the Gods:

Ancient legends say that, eons ago, before the Great Cataclysm that shattered the primeval land of Cimosca and created the realms that exist today, there were only two gods.  The names of these deities are lost to the ages, and they are known now only as the Dark Lord and the Bright Lady.  It is said that the Dark Lord ruled the Unseelie Court, while the Bright Lady ruled the Seelie Court, both of which contained all the races of the world.  These two vast factions constantly warred against each other following the moods, whims, and arguments of their gods.

The Cataclysm put an end to all that, although the legends are unclear whether that prolonged period of geological and cosmological disaster was what killed the two gods, or if it was caused by the deaths of the two gods.  All that is certain is that the Dark Lord and Bright Lady ceased to exist, and their powers and aura dissipated into the material of the world itself in its state of chaos during the Cataclysm.

Gradually, as the chaos settled into order again, as it always does, the divine aura of the dead gods reemerged in the form of new gods.  Rather than coalesce again into the dualistic pairing of the old world of Cimosca, the god-aura formed a large and varied pantheon of interconnected and interdependent powers.

First, five elemental gods emerged and ordered the five continents of the new world into stable and habitable lands.  Then, as the environments stabilized, gods of living things and natural phenomena appeared.  Finally, with the rise of societies, came the gods of the activities and business of people.

Shadows of the old world linger though.  The terms Seelie and Unseelie still exist, less as organized factions than as descriptors for mindsets and social attitudes.  And the dualistic pairing of those two ancient gods can be seen in the present-day deities of magic and war, where light and dark still offset each other in opposition.