Religion

Forces and Natures:
The Gods of Vitaeoth

The divine are much closer than most Vitaens know.

Every rock on a trail, every blade of grass, and every breath of fresh air has once touched the divine spark. All things were one in time immemorial, condensed into a small object that could fit in a human hand. This Forge was lovingly crafted by powerful beings and given the divine spark, so that their creations that walk from the Forge would be able to continue this work of creation and destruction.

Exactly who these "powerful beings" were is up to intense debate, and you'll inevitably get input from a priest or champion of the divine.

After the Forge burst into a roiling sea of chaotic energies, eons and eons passed. The oceans of unfettered power rolled and boiled endlessly. Forms would shape only to be broken down and rebuilt a thousand times. After countless millenniums of entropy, the energies began to separate into their base parts: burning fire, flowing water, unstoppable lightning, immovable stone, swift wind, unbreakable metal, expansive wood, impenetrable darkness, and blinding light. The strange and complex energy of aether, the intelligent spark that helped build the Forge, brought about consciousness. This consciousness used the energies as a shell to act upon the cosmos. These were the first elementals, pure power and energy given thought, the building blocks of the universe given purpose. The cosmos was experiencing itself.

Nearly right away, these creatures would mingle and collide with each other. It was then that their individual physical natures and philosophies saw conflict. Some could bring about great harm to specific elementals, and this caused much strife as they began to feel that they were better than others. The elementals began to segregate themselves from those who hurt them as well as those they felt superior to. Lightning elementals could not harm earth ones, and metal sprites cut the wood sprites. Why would wind wish to fraternize with boring and erodible stone? This led to conflict born of fear, then hate, and gave rise to death as a palpable force that ushered the broken spirits to their twin spirits of life, who brought them back. These forces grew weary of ferrying the endless volume of souls back into the cosmic battle, and they made a proposition: make the world as you see fit. Only by having our own homes and boundaries could we come together to build. If we must war or make peace, we must have homes to go to, and they hoped, this would show that they had the common desire to exist with security and freedom. These places of pure elemental expression would become the planes, or the "Prismatic Beyond" as scholars call it.

This peace has been tenuous, for how could water befriend a lightning strike? Most agree that these creatures are too different to ever come together as life and death wished them to.

Still, there was the chance of coexistence. At places where multiple planes touched, the powers of the universe mixed into new forms, new ideas, and greater power than their individual parts. This mixing would continue until the ultimate expression of unity would manifest: Vitaeoth, the Place of Life. This would become the new battleground of the elementals

The first of the elementals, those who tasted the powers of creation first and grew powerful on it, became the first gods. The first defined what their respective sources of power stood for, and gathered their kin to them to create empires of elemental might. The pantheons of the individual elements contain members who are devoted to a specific element and, more recently, individuals who represent more than one element. No deity has been able to represent more than two elements at a time to date, but these hybrid deities have begun to blur the lines between elemental kingdoms.

The following is the list of deities for each elemental court.

The Infernium – Deities of Fire

Brakki the Warpath (Chaos, Fire, War)

Background Benefits: Intelligence (Military Lore) or Willpower (Courage)
Favored Specialization: Berserker

Brakki brings change, whether by sword or by word. They represent the change that fire brings, for good or for ill. Battles are begun in their name for no other reason than stagnation of borders or ideals. Their name is invoked by soldiers before battle, by citizens before protests, and by those who desire some anarchy in their lives. Because of these tendencies to unsettle the status quo, Brakki is rarely openly worshiped anywhere save for places at war or in particularly bloodthirsty cultures and tribes. Unlike Protean, who sees change come about at its own pace, Brakki enforces change harshly and mercilessly. For Brakki, the world can only live its true life if they light a fire under its ass.

Ko-Jun the Warm Hearth (Craft, Fire, Life)

Background Benefits: Intelligence (Healing) or Strength (Smithing)
Favored Specialization: Miracle Worker

Ko-Jun, a former hero-god, seeks to ensure that fire is used responsibly for the growth of living things. Although fire is usually seen as a destructive force, Ko-Jun reminds us that even destructive forces can be turned to creation with the right thinking. He shares tales around warm fireplaces with hot meals, cooked on tools that Ko-jun smelts himself, armed with weapons he crafted as well, and uses fire to burn away corruptions of the body and burns incense to clear the mind. His name is most often called before crafting something involving fire, making him popular for cooks, blacksmiths, and more recently for factories.

Prijit, the Power of Passion (Fire, Love, Malice)

Background Benefits: Communication (Seduction) or Strength (Intimidation)
Favored Specialization: Assassin

Although Prijit is often called upon by passionate lovers or those who have a deep grudge, they are more accurately represented as teaching that the raw power of flame is something to be mimicked. Flame is passion, burning as hard as it can when given enough fuel, or purpose. Passion can be seen in a lover's eyes, in the powerful words of a public speaker, or in the raw hatred of a murderer. The power of passion is contagious, spreading its flames to all it touches. Prijit's faithful are often called upon to help people satisfy desires of the flesh, teach how to get in touch with one's emotions, or as assassins who specialize in settling grudges with ironic methods of death.

The Flowing Wisdoms – Deities of Water

Ao Cion, the Storm Beneath (Nature, Protection, Water)

Background Benefits: Constitution (Swimming) or Dexterity (Sailing)
Favored Specialization: Knight

Ao Cion is a powerful creature, and one of the oldest of the current pantheon. Generally uninterested with anything that does not involve the sea, Ao Cion is a simple but determined sea serpent. Their colonies of sea wyrms see that the ocean is cared for and kept in balance. Ao Cion knows that every ripple eventually touches all corners of the oceans they keep, and seeks to keep the worlds beneath the waves safe from those above them and even those below. It is said they reward those who pay proper respects with safe travel, bountiful fishing trips, and protection from storms.

Saturnial the All-Seeing (Fate, Knowledge, Water)

Background Benefits: Intelligence (Historical Lore) or Perception (Empathy)
Favored Specialization: Arcane Scholar

It is said that anywhere water pools, from the greatest ocean to the smallest puddle under a leaky roof, Saturnial can see all. Saturnial teaches that water moves within the container it is given, knowing its surroundings and hiding many secrets in its depths. Water is driven by outside forces, but balances itself by accepting its destiny. Fate and thought are not so different. Fate and the self cannot be steered like changing the flow of a river. Harmony and understanding comes with acceptance and the willingness to adapt and learn. Saturnial hopes her worshippers find mastery of not only themselves, but the future, by knowing the currents in the streams and in the soul.

Protean, the Fluid Forms (Chaos, Magic, Water)

Background Benefits: Dexterity (Acrobatics) or Intelligence (Brewing)
Favored Specialization: Any

Water takes many shapes. It can be ice, steam, cold or boiling liquid, fast or slow, high or low tide. It moves and is shaped by its container and circumstances. It grows strong when a storm comes and simply waits patiently for new developments at rest. Water is a power that changes itself, and even the world around it if given enough time. Protean represents the fluid nature of water, and is themself a fluid being. sometimes appearing as a woman, sometimes as a man, sometimes as a third gender, and sometimes as a mix of all three. Protean never has the same form for long, and teaches that change is good for everything. Unlike Brakki, Protean sees change come about organically rather than quickly and irrevocably. Their worshipers often become alchemists, who use their tinctures and potions to change forms, create drinks that inebriate, and tonics for improving quality of life and adventuring.

The Quiet Core – Deities of Earth

Rindmagun, the Bulwark (Craft, Earth, Protection)

Background Benefits: Communication (Leadership) or Constitution (Stamina)
Favored Specialization: Guardian

Rindmagun is a former hero-god of the dwarves, one who proved herself long ago. A hero of several campaigns where she held underground passes with inadequate resources, she and her warrior siblings saved the dwarven kingdoms in more ways than one. She was known for her infinite patience, her ingenuity when resources were not optimal, her strange tendency to shrug off near-mortal wounds, and her desire to keep her people safe. When she achieved her semi-divine stature, she dedicated herself to her favorite precepts of earth and stone: patience and stoicism. Her worshippers often take up meditation practices, painting themselves with gradating earthen tones to mimic the crust of the earth.

Gaelix, the Greedy Mother (Life, Earth, Theft)

Background Benefits: Dexterity (Lock-Picking) or Intelligence (Healing)
Favored Specialization:

Many riches and creatures are born from the earth, all of them eventually return to it. Nowhere is this cycle of birth and death more prevalent than in Gaelix. Gaelix is said to grant the gifts of the earth to all beings, but expects it all to come back to her eventually so it may be redistributed in time. Not all beings that come from Gaelix are benevolent, as she is also worshipped by frightening creatures from the Dark Below. Her servants are also known to rob valuables from neighboring civilizations, taking their valuables deep beneath the earth to store in large temples to Gaelix. Taking from these temples is usually profitable, but carries many risks in the form of traps and curses on those who do not pay respects or trade something in return. Many of her worshippers argue that she is the mother of the dwarven people, but not all are convinced. Healing services from her temples are always charged, and giving out free healing is seen as a waste of her power.

The Boundless Breath – Deities of Air

Flindi, Dancing Serendipity (Air, Fate, Theft)

Background Benefits: Dexterity (Legerdemain) or Perception (Searching)
Favored Specialization: ???

Flindi is known by many names. She is known as Dancing Serendipity, Little Luck, Quickfinger, the Gust Thief, the Wind of Change, or even Gimmedat. A capricious hero god, she is one of the few who actually had the patience to devote herself to Air and become a full deity in her own right. She remains quite capricious, and is a favorite of gamblers, thieves guilds, or even the poor who are looking for a surge in fortune. It is said she travels the world, never staying in one place for longer than two days, adjusting the fortunes of those around her and guiding the various wind patterns around the globe. She is known to be kinder to the poor, stealing from the rich to line the pockets of the unfortunate. Unfortunately, she is just as likely to use a gust to push someone off a bridge into a river because it seemed like a laugh. Her worshippers try to emulate her good-natured prankster ideology, and remain as a warning to the overly-opulent that the wind has a funny way of snatching pearls from their necks.

Whiruta, the Hunting Storm (Air, Nature, War)

Background Benefits:
Favored Specialization: ???

Whiruta is the eye of every tornado, cyclone, or whirlwind

The Ozone Overlords – Deities of Lightning

 Szerfinigan, the Second Strike (Craft, Magic, Lightning)

 

The World Tree – Deities of Wood

The Old Growth, the Roots of the World (Love, Nature, Wood)

 

The Unbreakable – Deities of Metal

Braegus, the Guardian (Law, Metal, Protection)

 

The Immaculate Revelation – Deities of Light

Xelemedrien, the Lesson of Mercy (Knowledge, Love, Light)

 

The Shrouded Secrets – Deities of Shadow

Vakrus, the Dark Brother (Law, Shadow, Trickery)

 

The Cradle – Deities of Life

Yula, the Parents of All (Life)

 

The Headstone Cabal – Deities of Death

Nem, the Expectant (Death)

 

The Hero Gods

Several levels of power exist among the gods, and none is quite so colorful and worrisome to full deities as hero gods.

Hero gods are people were mortal, but elevated to demigod status for performing incredible deeds.

Heroes of the Eons Wars

Altair of the Many (Chaos, Trickery)

Background Benefits: Communication (Performance), or
Favored Specialization: Summoner

Deity of creativity, shrines are better classified as workshops or studios
Trial: Altair appears and demands that the supplicant "create a world." This ultimately requires that you tell him a story that he finds worthy. Thought and heart must be put into the creation of this "world".

Luthien, Scholar of the Beyond (Knowledge, Magic)

Background Benefits: Intelligence (Arcane Lore), or
Favored Specialization: Arcane Scholar

Deity of planar knowledge, allied to Adi' saeros the dragon. Pursuer of truth, and encourages others to find truth for themselves
Trial: Luthien demands the supplicant to learn a truth that is significant and perhaps difficult to swallow, and learn to accept that truth.

Suhaila the Songbird (Life, Love)

Background Benefits: Communication (Persuasion) or Willpower (Courage)
Favored Specialization: Miracle Worker

Few hero-gods have had a love of life quite as much as Suhaila Lilia Ayperi. In her mortal life she was a young Luxan girl born into a war-ravaged world, traveling with her family's caravan to keep ahead of the latest battles. Her words and pacifism won many hearts, and her powerful healing abilities carried many of the heroes of the Eon Wars toward the eventual resolution of the conflict. She is no less active as a hero-god, much to the dismay of some more powerful forces. She loudly and passionately advocates for cultures to come together and learn to coexist or even support each other. She most often facilitates this with performance, the arts, and festivals of self-expression. While she keeps fewer divine agents than other hero-gods, attacking her worshippers is considered unwise. Those who try often find themselves under attack by a glaive-wielding divine who very much resembles the brother she had in life, Casamir. She is known to be romantically involved with Treval Bast.

Treval Bast, the Blademaster (Law, War)

Background Benefits: Communication (Etiquette) or Dexterity (Acrobatics)
Favored Specialization: Duelist

Treval was originally a mortal farm boy, born a commoner. During the Eon Wars a conflict involving goblins and powerful fire magic saw his farm and part of his village burn to the ground, leaving him orphaned by the Wars. As he tried to eke out a life in his ruined village, he happened upon a noble under attack by goblins. He fended off the attackers with a sword that had fallen from the noble's carriage, and the noble was dutifully impressed. Treval was invited to train as a duelist in Abesan, and his prowess naturally had him join the Eon Wars a few years later. After being elevated to hero-god-status for his service to the world, he now shares his tale of a simple farm child who worked hard to grow, perfect himself, and save the world. His divine order of duelists is now the best dueling school in Abesan, perfecting forms and using their skill to keep peace with discipline and a fair hand.

New Dominions

Vitaeoth campaign characters may take the Divien Gift Talent from the AGE Explorations: Gifts of the Gods PDF. The Dominions granted in the PDF all function as written with a  few exceptions:

  • If a power references Cunning as an ability, replace it with Intelligence
  • The Healing Dominion is called the Life Dominion
  • Level 1 characters may select Divine Gift in place of one of their starting talents, even if they do not have the Willpower (Faith) focus. They may not take later degrees of the talent, or new dominions from the talent, until they have the Willpower (Faith) focus.
  • Vitaeoth campaigns do not use the Crisis of Faith mechanic.

Each of the elemental Arcana (Air, Earth, Fire, Lightning, Shadow, and Water) are considered Dominions as well. If you take a Dominion based on an elemental Arcana, you gain the ability to cast the corresponding talent levels' spell(s) once per day. When you move to another level of the talent, the spells you learned in the previous talent level can be used once more each. So if you become a Master of the Dominion, you can use the Master spell once, the Journeyman spell twice, and the Novice spells three time each.

In addition, the setting of Vitaeoth includes other Dominions not origianlly covered by the Gift of the Gods PDF. They areas follows:

 

Religion

Vitaeoth, the World of Life Kot_the_Protector