Amongst many gods worshipped by the peoples of the Ancient Lands, there are few whose names are invoked particularly often. These are the figures that played a crucial part in the forming of the world and gave birth to the races that now inhabit it. Their worshippers claim that they are the main force responsible for many good and bad events that have happened since the dawn of time.
The Gods often bear different names and symbols depending on the region in which they are worshipped. Sometimes a god who stands at the forefront of the pantheon in one country is believed to be a lesser patron or merely a divine guardian in another. Despite differences in the ways of perceiving the gods, few people dare to openly mock them or deny their existence. Their caution comes from fear of divine punishment, lynching, or facing an exile.
Of all peoples of the world, the inhabitants of the Ancient Lands are the ones who believe that the gods actively influence their lives. They reward them with good fortune and prosperity as well as punish them by sending plagues, cataclysms, and misery. But as much as the gods are powerful, they are also vengeful and whimsical. Not obeying their rules may anger them and make them unleash their wrath upon the people. Each of the gods possesses divine power, which through specific prayers and rites can be channelled into the mortal plane. Their power, however, is fuelled by the number of followers that gather in their places of worship.
Today, the gods are but a shadow of their former selves. They lost their might in endless wars they had waged when the world was still young. Eventually, they fell into the temptation to create the Titans, a soldier race meant to bleed instead of them. As the years went by, the children eventually turned against their makers and led to their fall. Seeing their fate sealed, the gods used the remnants of their power to mould bonds capable of keeping them in slumber until the time is right, so they can rise again. After their masters’ demise, having no enemies to fight against, the Titans destroyed themselves and with that the world around them.
Eons have passed since the end of the Titan wars, and the lands that plunged into chaos began to restore. The only creatures that had survived the years of conflicts and cataclysms were giant Bestagors, which took control over the recovering world. During their reign, new species of plants and animals emerged from the battered soil. The gods, however, remained trapped within their runic chains. To break the bonds, they needed mental energy produced only by conscious, living creatures. Eventually, one of the gods managed to pour divine power into primitive animals. After a long time, the creatures began to perform rituals and chants, creating enough energy to unchain the gods. The process, however, took many years since each being required a different type of energy. After the gods broke free, they were but shadows of their former selves. Being stripped from their physical forms during the Titan wars, they could not regenerate. They also could not return to their dimensions where they would regain their former power, since all the astroportals and fiery chariots were utterly destroyed.
In the present times, many people think of gods as mystical beings full of secrets and knowledge – ancient entities whose era ended years ago. Many also fear that the Human fate is forever bound to their will and that our only purpose is to carry on their work as mere puppets in the hands of omnipotent powers lusting for war, blood, and suffering.
The Dark Gods
Within the pantheon of gods, there are also those that reflect the dark and deceitful energy of the world. These beings stand in opposition to those associated with the power of light, having its roots in the entity known as Solar. Although the force of the Dark Gods originally came from the dark stars, today they are fuelled by blasphemous rituals performed by their followers. Many madmen bow their heads before their idols, hoping that the dark masters bestow them with a fraction of their unlimited power and fulfil their most depraved wishes. These devouts erect chapels, temples, and whole towns in honour of the Dark Gods. In such places they pour poison into the ears of the worshippers, swaying them to serve the true masters of the world. They call themselves ‘prophets’, ‘dark elders’, and ‘black pastors’. Most of their sermons take place in hiding, in towns and villages, where they establish secret cults and places of worship, preparing the faithful for the coming of the kingdom of the abyss.
The Titans were the firstborn of the gods – nearly ideal sons and daughters who possessed powerful physic abilities. Their energy, although fragmented after their death, could be combined and formed into an entity called a ‘Demon’. After performing certain rituals, such beings can be summoned into the mortal world even today. Although they do not share Titans’ old might, these creatures are much easier to be controlled due to incantations and magical amulets. There are many people who bind their fate with the Demons. In exchange for power, they are ready to call them their ‘masters’, listen to their whispers, pay tribute and make offerings. Eventually, they let the Demon enter their body, transform it according to their will, often paying the ultimate price.