I have been thinking about the next game I want to run :} I can’t see The Stolen Land game finishing soon, and it could be three or four years before I start a new game. However, I must have a project, of some sort, to keep my might occupied.
I don’t have much more to do on the main Campaign System used in The Stolen lands, it is running fairly smoothly and no one is asking for anything new. I am working on a room-by-room version for another game that, I am helping out in, and I am trying to develop it in a way that the two parts of the system can be used together. And, ideally, I would like to use that overall system in a game set in my own game world.
My game world (not the setting for The Stolen Lands) has grown over the years. It started off as an AD&D1 world, and has progressed through AD&D2, 3e and Pathfinder – so the various parts of the world all work together on a basic level, but the deities and pantheons changed as the game systems changed. My challenge is to draw those together in a way that creates different cultures across the game world, that give players a small push towards cultural Role Playing. My first online game, based around reclaiming Galinia, a land lost to humanoid tribes, that incorporated Celtic, Norse and Finnish overtones, which many of the players picked up on and ran with. I would like to try and create something like that again. I started that game over twenty years ago, and as you can see from the name of this blog, and the web address, that game has stayed with me for a long time
For years, I have been messing around with deities and pantheons trying to create the right ‘feel’ for my game world, The Hann Empire, without changing the basic ambience of a D&D / Pathfinder world. However, most of my attempts at creating deities haven’t worked as well as I would have hoped. So now I thought I would try a mash-up of the deities from the different editions – as well as a small pantheon that draws together a few deities that I created.
My first game area was in the north and was based on deities from the 1st and 2ed book Deities and Demi-gods. I moved to the west when I changed to 3e, and used the core deities when I designed it, then when I switched to Pathfinder, I moved east and built a new playing area based on those deities. Between times, I wrote a few minor deities, that I liked, that were rolled into different games, and ran a game based on the Al Quadim setting, which sits at the south of my game world, then incorporated an oriental deity into a project world that has never been played in. Now it is time to try and bring those together!
This is an overview of the deities that have been strong in the word. This gives me the tools to get to work on the various starts within the Empire – and work out what each one’s religious landscape looks like. I told you I like a project :}
The Old Gods.
The deities used in my first game areas, The Strongholds and Galinia, were heavily based on the Norse and Celtic (with a bit of Finnish thrown in) pantheons, as described in Deities and Demi-gods, will be incorporated into the Green Way. While it follows the concepts of Pathfinder’s Green Faith, it (clearly) has a different history. Followers of the Old Gods (known as The Green) believe that nature spirits are everywhere, and need to be treated with respect. This doesn’t mean that every single nature spirit is worshipped individually (although in some areas they are) but that they, and the natural areas they embody, should be treated respectfully. There are a couple of ‘Greater Spirits’ that represent the overall concept, but even they are little more than names for outsiders. It is the concept that is important. Any divine caster who follows The Old Gods draws their power from Nature itself.
- Gaia – the World Spirit.
- Dunatis – the Great Spirit of mountains everywhere.
- Manannan – the Great Spirit of the sea.
- Mielikki – The Great Spirit of Forests.
- Aegir – The Great Spirit of Storms.
- Uller – The Great Spirit of the Hunt.
That said, each area of forest could have its own Dryad, a lake or river might be home to a Naiad – or some similar spirit, and all of them should be respected.
This is not a major pantheon that controls any specific area of The Hann Empire, but clings on around the edges, in natural and wilderness areas, and as folk lore. There are one or two major families or groups who are followers of The Old Gods, but they incorporate their beliefs into their modern-day activities. They recognize the other gods, and even make sacrifice to them occasionally – but the core philosophy of respect for nature permeates their world view.
The Wangate Pantheon
When the Strongholds and Galinia were attacked and overwhelmed by the Wangate Empire, who were a major antagonist during the early days, the 3e gods came to the fore. The Wangate Empire was a LN/LE group of Humans and Humanoids, who swept down from the northern mountains. Most of their gods were sent back north with them, the few who remained became the main deities of the West Coast.
OK, I need a new name for these guys.
The main 3e Playing area was based around Urgon, a state carved out and populated by refugees from The Wangate Empire’s depredations. Eventually they, alongside local resistance fighters, magical help from Galina, and support from the nascent Telidan civilizations) were able to help liberate The Strongholds – which laid the groundwork for the formation of the Hann Empire.
These new deities spread out along the western shores of the Hann Sea, and their influence finally spread right down to the Razardi Islands and beyond.
- in Urgon – St Cuthbert, Heironus, Pelor were the main deities, although Kord was also respected
- in Galinia – Wee Jas and Obad-Hai were dominant
- In the strongholds Pelor was dominant in both towns and rural areas, while Elhonna was popular in wilder areas.
- Across the land -Elhonna and Obad-Hai were recognized as nature’s representatives and were accepted by followers The Green Way.
- Dwarves in This region are generally followers of Moradin.
The Main Pantheon
The main Pantheon (the Pathfinder Deities) came to the fore in Telida, and spread westward across the Sea of Hann, as the Telidans traded their way around the coast. In West Telida (the main trading state) Abadar is prominent in the cities while Erastil holds sway in the countryside and Pharasma is the main death deity across the land. All three of those deities have been particularly successful, and are now the major deities of The Hann Empire.
You will find other PF deities spread around, Irori has a small following of Monks, Gozreh is prevalent in wilderness areas and Iomedae has a number of specialist monasteries. Of the three, Gozreh has travelled better than the others, as S/he had been recognized by the Green Faith as a representative of Nature.
Other PF deities can be found in Telida (and the rest of the world) However, they are not so concentrated as the deities listed.
Dwarves in Telida are generally followers of Torag.
Sarenrae, goddess of the Sun and Second Chances, has spread into The Hann Empire from the more barbarous states in the south, and brings with her a hint of a middle eastern culture. She is generally found on the southwest coast of the Hann Sea, although she is also popular in Port Elizabeth (south-east)
Porters Bar have their own set of Unique deities. The Royal Family are generally devotees of The Royal Ancestors, but Yarma (a psychopomp with an interest in the Military), Arth (Patron of the Hopeless) and Shan (A minor wind deity) also have a place.
The Small Gods
Those deities that I have written – that I quite like. They are demi-gods or godlings and have limited spell granting powers. They are particularly favoured by sailors, but also have a, smaller, following among other travellers.
- Takri – Godling of Sailors, Navigators and a Psychopomp
- Way – Godling of Travel
- Azan the Wise – Godling of the Market Place and small traders.
- Peter the Bodiless – Patron of Libraries.