Nights of Hot Queso
Deities are the most powerful immortal creatures, residents of the countless dominions that swirl through the Astral Sea. They appear in dreams and visions to their followers and wear countless different faces, and artwork depicting them shows them in a variety of forms. Their true nature is beyond any physical form. For example, Corellon is often depicted as an eladrin, but he is no more an eladrin than he is a fey panther – he is a god, and he transcends the physical laws that bind even angels to their concrete forms.
The deities of the world are powerful but not omnipotent, knowledgeable but not omniscient, widely traveled but not omnipresent. They alone of all creatures in the universe consist only of astral essence. The gods are creatures of thought and ideal, not bound by the same limitations as beings of flesh.
Because of their astral nature, the gods can perform deeds that physical creatures can’t. They can appear in the minds of other creatures, speaking to them in dreams or visions, without being present in physical form. They can appear in multiple places at once. They can listen to the prayers of their followers (but they don’t always). But they can also make physical forms for themselves with a moment’s effort, and they do when the need arises, when presumptuous epic-level mortal adventurers dare to challenge them in their own dominions, for example. In these forms, they can fight and be fought, and they can suffer terrible consequences as a result. However, to destroy a god requires more than merely striking its physical form down with spell or sword. Gods have killed other gods (Asmodeus being the first to do so), and the primordials killed many gods during their great war. For a mortal to accomplish this deed would require rituals of awesome power to bind a god to its physical form… and then a truly epic battle to defeat that form.
Some deities are good or lawful good, some are evil or chaotic evil, and some are unaligned. Each deity has a vision of how the world should be, and the agents of the deities seek to bring that vision to life in the world. Except for the chaotic evil gods, all deities are enemies of the demons, who would rather destroy the world than govern it. Many deities have contradictory versions of how the world should work. Even the agents and worshipers of deities who share an alignment can come into conflict.
The most powerful servants of the gods are their exarchs. Some exarchs are angels whose faithful service has earned them this exalted status. Others were once mortal servants who won the station through their mighty deeds. Asmodeus has devils as exarchs, and both Bahamut and Tiamat have granted that status to powerful dragons. Every exarch is a unique example of its kind, empowered with capabilities far beyond those of other angels, mortals, or monsters.
Most people revere more than one deity, praying to different gods at different times. Commoners in a small town might visit a temple that has three altars, where they pray to Bahamut for protection, Pelor for fertile crops, and Moradin to aid their skill at crafting. Clerics, paladins, and avengers more often serve a single deity, championing that god’s particular cause in the world. Other adventurers range across the spectrum, from paying lip service to the whole pantheon, to fervently serving a single god, to ignoring the gods entirely as they pursue their own divine ascension.
|Deity||Alignment||Areas of Influence|
|Asmodeus||Evil||Power, domination, tyranny|
|Avandra||Good||Change, luck, trade, travel|
|Bahamut||Lawful good||Justice, honor, nobility, protection|
|Corellon||Unaligned||Arcane magic, spring, beauty, the arts|
|Erathis||Unaligned||Civilization, invention, laws|
|Gruumsh||Chaotic evil||Turmoil, destruction|
|Ioun||Unaligned||Knowledge, prophecy, skill|
|Kord||Unaligned||Storms, strength, battle|
|Lolth||Chaotic evil||Spiders, shadows, lies|
|Moradin||Lawful good||Creation, artisans, family|
|Pelor||Good||The sun, summer, agriculture, time|
|The Raven Queen||Unaligned||Death, fate, winter|
|Sehanine||Unaligned||Trickery, the moon, love, autumn|
|Tiamat||Evil||Wealth, greed, vengeance|
|Torog||Evil||The Underdark, imprisonment|
|Zehir||Evil||Darkness, poison, serpents|