The Ascended Pantheon: The Gods of the Weirdale setting!

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The Ascended Pantheon: The Gods of the Weirdale setting!

Post by DM-Christian on Wed Jan 28, 2015 5:31 pm

The Ascended Pantheon are the nucleus of the Weirdale campaign setting. I have a tradition in my long running (over 20 years!) saga of D&D and video game lore of enshrining and paying tribute to notable characters that paved the way for the next chapter by ascending PCs and some NPCs into the role of gods and legends. This installment is no different! We have a mostly-new-to-divinity pantheon of personalities to direct and guide the players of Weirdale as they set out to better the world's left in physical and spiritual ruin.

One important omission we have made with our gods and goddesses is we have not included their alignments, simply because we don't want that to colour them as it relates to followers. For example, the closest alignment to Telpeloke would be neutral evil, but her purview is very attractive to the usual chaotic evil type villains. Generally, we would prefer that our gods serve as another layer of your character, not necessarily part and parcel with the character's alignment.

The next three posts in this thread will detail the the courts of the Ascended Pantheon.

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The White Court

Post by DM-Christian on Wed Jan 28, 2015 6:07 pm

Whisper Tempestbane: Matron of Love, Solace of Empathy

Domains: Life, Light

As a mortal, Whisper never understood why her lover’s friends warned her be wary of the god who was happily among the Black Court at the time of their courtship. Learning the truth of who he was did nothing to diminish her devotion to the lord of secrets, and she maintains that his movement to the Gray Court was not her influence. She accepted him without question, castigating any who doubted him, for while not blind, true love is loyal. And love him, she does. She would say she loves him so much that it alone elevated her to divinity.

But Vendricus and their daughter are not the only gods who have Whisper’s unconditional love. The other gods, her friends, all carry a piece of her heart, even Telpeloke and Omedon. She champions the love of family and friends as paramount to happiness. She expects the same acceptance and abandonment of predisposed judgments from any who would follow her. There is no place at Whisper’s side for any who would pass categorical hatred.

She is a being of sunshine and carefree laughter who is not above visiting her followers to bring them cupcakes on a bad day, and is unafraid to hug anyone. Any would-be lover who goes to her for romantic endorsement, if their heart is true, will receive pep talks, ideas about romantic gestures, and sometimes even insight as to whether or not their affections are requited.


Not everyone has Whisper’s love, however. She does not tolerate “love potions” or other such artificial impositions upon one’s heart. She harshly punishes any who would employ such heinous devices whether their target was a faithful of hers or not. She also offers sanctuary to any couple facing persecution for their relationship, be it from disputes of station, politics, or “more ignorant nonsense.”

Whisper appears as a young elven woman with orchids braided into her vibrant purple hair in dresses of white and gold, and gold sandals. Her sigil is a blooming rose in front of a heart.


Merdari, The Forest Guardian, Goddess of Redemption and Hope

Domains: Nature, Life, Light

More detailed scriptures tell of a time when Merdari, known then as "Lady Ebonwood," was a servant of the Void, her soul given to save her daughter Drealla’s life, and then of the struggle she went through to reclaim that soul so she could look that daughter in the eye.  Merdari has had a long road to the Void and back, and now holds her head high as the patron goddess of the redeemed, the voice of hope that keeps the light shining.  

Merdari is also a very strong “Earth Mother” figure, the force that causes the first shoots of vegetation to arise from the most brutal forest fire.  She is the graceful light of dawn that feeds the trees and  puts smiles on the faces of those who would otherwise give way to despair.  There is no night so long and so deep as to silence the inevitable song of the morning, this is the purview of Merdari.

Loving mate of Johann Faust, and the adopted mother of Whisper, goddess of love, Merdari is a common and widely worshipped goddess among elves,  faeries, and the strong of faith in the eventuality of the dawn.  She appears as a red haired elven woman dressed in green, leafy themes, and her sigil is a lance shaped leaf with a dawning sunburst at its broadest point.



Damian Strange Ebonwood: Captain of Adventure and Patron of Pioneers

Domains: Tempest, Life

Do you like good beer and better stories? Admiral Damian Beauregard Strange Ebonwood does, and he doesn’t mean the stories you tell. He means the ones you live. Missing that spark of joy that only comes from feeling truly alive? Do you feel like you’ll go insane if you have to be cooped up, pretending to be normal for one more day? Damian has a place on his ship for you. Screw it! Why wait? Let’s go wherever the Hell we want and make some memories.

Damian had an unenviable start to life, his family torn apart and left for dead as a child. He was rescued by pirates and got swept away into a life of adventure that would eventually reunite him with his beloved sister, Extelle Strange. He’s forthcoming about the pain from his early years, and would be the first to tell you about it to drive home the point that, “If it seems like life can’t possibly suck any worse, then it can only get better from there.”

The Captain of Adventure sails the multiverse in a great, flying ship. He sails it on the water whenever possible, because not even the excitement of flight could replace the spray of salt water on his face. He welcomes people from all walks of life, and will take them on a trip they’ll never forget if they’re ready for a healthy dose of good, old fashioned irresponsibility. He also heeds the prayers of the nautically inclined for favorable sailing conditions.

He appears as a human man in his twenties with thick black hair, green eyes, and frequently a five o’clock shadow, in the garb of a pirate admiral. His sigil is a ship sailing across open water.


Khrystariala, the brilliant inspiration, Goddess of benevolent magic

Domains: Knowledge, Light

Khrystariala, was born both of parental love and powerful magic, shielded from the harm of her parents' heroic lives, and first birthed into her full grown, young adult body, much of her actual childhood was simulated in her mind, shared by her parents.  When her eyes first opened, she was greeted by an elemental war being drawn to her quintessence-enchanted form.  Defended by her father and his legions of vampires, Khrystariala's tumultuous birth would begin an equally legendary life as a powerful mage that would endure very personal tragedy at the hands of Vecna, healed and eventually avenged with the endless love of family and friends.

The youngest of all of the gods, Khrystariala Ebonwood (the married name she took to honour her adopted grandmother), Wife of Damian, is the burning beacon that ignites the ingenious to apply their gifts, both magical and intellectual, for the betterment of all.  The fact that she is the daughter of Whisper, goddess of love, and Vendricus, god of Magic, personifies her rather well, as she is a kind, powerful, inquisitive and warm goddess who inspires so much good in her followers, who include inventors, teachers, good-hearted mages, and the uncommonly intelligent that may sometimes feel alone in their mental stratosphere, an emotion that Khrystariala does her best to counteract.  

She appears as a young elven woman with pale skin and short, slightly pink-tinged white hair, wearing purple and silver robes.  Her sigil is a bright, silver, eight-pointed star.


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The Grey Court

Post by DM-Christian on Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:02 pm

Hela Lokidottir: Queen of Vengeance and Scion of Mischief

Domains: Trickery, Knowledge

Loki, Norse god of old, trickster, traitor, walker across the sky, has two daughters named Hela. The first was born long aeons ago, when his world was new and his stories were being written, with the frost giant aspect of despair. She reigns in Yggdrasil's Niflheim, collecting listless souls of the fallen and the damned. The second was sired far more recently of a mortal woman on Midgard. Both were fathered deliberately, for Loki does not suffer the… process… for leisure.

Fiercely loyal to her father, the latter Hela rules the Gray Court by her husband Kabren’s side. Her idea of vengeance is ruthless, unfaltering, and fair. Inspired by a lifetime of injustice perpetrated against herself and centuries of the same against her father, Hela watches over the mistreated, the hurt, and the livid. If the end justifies the means, she will get you those means. She has an especially large place in her heart for orphan children and runaways, but she also proudly sponsors spies, widows and widowers, the wrongly accused, and any who need a goddess unafraid to spill the blood of the guilty.

Justice isn’t always pretty, and Hela is the execution of its darker consequences. If life has left you with a hungry, aching mandate to get your hands dirty, Hela will walk behind you and guard your back. It is rumored that her father followed her to Weirdale and its satellite kingdoms, and can be found if sought earnestly enough.

She appears as a tall human woman of muscular curves with midnight red hair that reaches the small of her back. Her manner of dress varies, but she often favors the colors of her father, green and gold, or solid black. Her sigil is a sprig of mistletoe and the words “LEX TALIONIS.”



Kabren, The Golden king, God of Justice

Domains: War, Tempest

Perhaps one of the heaviest burdens among the Gods falls upon the shoulders of Kabren, son of Torrel, father of twins Xannan and Angrboda, and the embodiment of justice at the centre of the pantheon itself.  Unlike the other two courts with very clear, singular but strongly supported rulers, Kabren and his wife, Hela, Goddess of Vengeance, rule as a unit, two sides of the same fair, and sometimes grim coin.  While not really a dark, unreachable judge, Kabren is no less fair than the most rigid disciplinarian, and treats every judgement with the same gravity, never taking his place on his throne for granted.  

He does tend to try to have justice be something tied to hope for a better world, which often colours his decrees with his better intentions.  Followers of Kabren include the truly lawful of heart, and many heroic souls aspire to be as fair minded as the Golden King, whose name comes both from his hair and his armour, as he appears as a tall, broad shouldered man with an easy smile, flowing blonde hair, and armour of hues of gold and earthen brown.  His sigil is a symmetrical warhammer, shaped as a gavel, held in a gauntleted fist, with a mountain looming behind.


Torrel, the warrior’s warrior, god of war

Domains: War, just war.

A legendary hero, a free-willed wanderer, slayer of evil gods, no stranger to darker paths, veteran God, general and adventurer.

Known in mortality by many names, including Alexander "Windslayer Loran, Torrel is the Military advisor to his son Kabren, god of justice, and is not what many faiths might think of in a god of war.  Seasoned and skilled, but not overbearing or heavily armoured, Torrel is the savvy veteran that knows where to hit a foe, and values movement and adaptability over lazily applied armour: a metaphor that applies to him completely.

Husband to Frost Giant warmaiden Idunna Skadidottir, Torrel is the swordplay teacher that will kick you in the groin or headbutt you if you leave yourself open, Torrel is revered by military geniuses that win on the field, not just on paper, and by mercenaries for whom practical skill is both their livelihood and their lifeline.

His sigil is a pair of crossed swords, which are the favoured weapon of this tall, dark haired, five-o’clock-shadow-bearing god who appears, seemingly, as a lightly armoured but notably confident (some might say "cocky") human.


Vendricus, the arcane advisor, chief God of magic and study.

Domains: Knowledge, Life, Death

“Magic is the bloodstream of the universe,”  “knowledge is power,” these are the ethics that Vendricus Tempestbane embodies.  While his daughter, Khrystariala, and his Vampiric progeny, Telpeloke oversee the extreme intents that can apply to the use of magic, Vendricus is the very soul of the studious, devoted scholar, magical or otherwise.  

Born an elf who studied magics too dark to be accepted by his light-worshipping elven society (which he still respects and loves to this day), Vendricus began his long road as an outcast, becoming the apprentice to perhaps the most ambitious god in the Black Pantheon: Omedon.  Through Omedon’s tutelage, Vendricus ascended to become a much darker God, and patron God of vampires.

After many years embodying “dark magic,”  Vendricus undertook the soul searching needed to purify his intent to return to his original passion as an advocate for magic as a whole, though the romantically inclined, and many bards, love to tell a story of Vendricus stepping out of such deep shadow as a result of his loving marriage to Whisper.  Now he serves as arcane advisor to King Kabren and Queen Hela among the Grey Court, a post from which he enjoys a respectful and studious conclave with Telpeloke and Khrystariala.   Vendricus' sigil is an open book depicting a pair of fangs.  He appears as an elf in red and black robes, with pale skin, and red eyes.


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The Black Court

Post by DM-Christian on Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:15 pm

Deverin, The enforcer of death, God of inexorable darkness.

Domains: Death, War

He began as an elven general on a world where elves embody and represent the wind.  Wrongly spurned by a selfishly ambitious wife who cursed him from beyond the grave once assassinated by political rivals, Deverin, enraged and heartbroken, gave his soul to the Void and became a monster who fed on death, enslaved by an irresponsible dark prince.  Only when Omedon claimed mastery over the Void through conquest did Deverin know freedom, and from that moment he has only grown in power.  Deverin “lived” for many years as one of Omedon’s most loyal and powerful champions.

Now the ruling God of the Black Court, Deverin is the patron of inescapable death.  Where Extelle, his lady Wife and mother to their son, Silwyth, embodies the merciful end to a life, Deverin is the reaper that pulls the souls from fallen soldiers, and the grim duty that guides the blades of assassins.  Those warriors drenched in bloodlust often see Deverin as their companion in war, there to wrench them into darkness if they fall, and to collect those that fall before them.  Soldiers on missions where they know they will fall will call upon Deverin to be swift with his blade as they make their final, brave stand.  Those looking to cheat death, and fail, fear Deverin with every fibre of their being, for he is the face of death as our instincts tell us to fear it, and that fear is is his might.

Deverin is the iron hand on the throne of the darker court of gods, he is the cold, pragmatic whisper reminding all that no mortal escapes the hand of death. Deverin's insignia is the hilt of a sword jutting from the top of a skull, and he appears as a dark haired elven male armoured in jet black full plate armour, bearing a massive greatsword.


Omedon, Lord of the Void, Keeper of souls

Domains: Death, Knowledge

Omedon’s origins are wreathed in the same shadow that enfold him literally and figuratively, but it is known that he arrived in the prime material plane as a dark presence that possessed a young elven mage to gain physical form, quickly capitalizing upon the inferiority of mortal magic to become a master among wizards, an archmage of death in a tower of shadow.  He became a slayer of gods on his own quest of divinity, the success of which earned the eternal hatred of his greatest rival, a lich known as Vecna, who would become the Crystalline Tyrant himself.  Before that would happen though, Omedon would claim mastery over the dark nothingness of the Void by obliterating an ambitious and foolish demon prince, claiming the element of nothing, motivating Vecna to pursue quintessence, its antithesis.

Whether forcefully collected by Deverin or gently guided by Extelle, all souls devoted to darkness end up within the Void, the silent eternity ruled and watched over by Omedon.  An enigmatic, dark presence among the Gods, the Lord of the Void is the patron of those that empty themselves of all but ambition, that would trade their soul for power, and he is the keeper of all souls within the Void, those that give themselves to darkness and turn from the light of the eternal gardens or the stone halls belonging to the other two courts of gods.  It is said that to utter the words “I would give anything for this” is the fastest way to get Omedon’s attention, and so such phrases are not spoken idly.  

Some followers of Omedon are less obvious, trading their souls simply for the assurance that when they die, they will not be judged, they will simply cease to be, with no chance for paradise, or for torment, which frees them to be themselves, for good or ill.  

While Telpeloke and Vendricus receive the prayers of most necromancers, the souls that power that magic are the dominion of the Void, and Omedon will always be intrinsically tied to this school of magic.  His symbol is a black letter "O" with a dot in its centre, and he appears as a lithe, black robed elven male.

Extelle Strange: Embrace of Death, Heart and Mercy of the Void

Death can be beautiful. It’s hard to believe that any would walk willingly away from life, but to those who accept the end of their journey for one reason or another, Extelle is their guide. Sister to Damian, the Captain of Adventure, she presides over the bliss of peaceful rest.

Many who lose someone cherished pray to Extelle to guide their beloved to the beyond with the gentle grace for which she is well known. Though she is of the Black Court, she only escorts souls to the Void that belong or are consigned there. Wherever the deceased believe they belong in death is where she takes them, with the exception of back to their old life. Those that rebel against this meet her husband, Deverin, the Enforcer of Death.

Faithful of Extelle include summoners of all sorts, necromancers (who must have a sober respect for death), and people of all kinds who find beauty and inspiration in darkness. She has always had a passion for fashion design, and will happily serve as a muse to any searching to create the perfect look that exemplifies their true selves.

Extelle appears as a raven-haired, pale human woman in dark, smokey make-up and artful black dresses: the ultimate in “goth” chic. If her right shoulder is exposed, it bears a tattoo of the sigil of Omedon. Her sigil is a lily flower.


Telpéloké: Flame of Chaos, Goddess of Brutality and Murder

Domains: War, Tempest, Death

“Everything can be killed.” That is the sum of Telpéloké’s belief system, not even to the exclusion of herself and her cohorts. In her mortal life, she was a scholar and an elementalist who favored fire magic, eventually attuning her soul to it. She served as Court War Mage of her barony, Kyranth, until murdering her then-boyfriend when he broke her heart and fleeing to a place where she would eventually meet the Void, and her destiny. She has since happily married her lover and champion, Xannan Kabrenson.

As the Black Court’s goddess of magic, she presides over enchantments used to destroy. She does not require the souls of her followers, but she does ask them to kill in her name. Her faithful range from sadists to those who simply revel in the chaos of battle, or the payoff of an well-crafted offense spell. It is rumored that if Telpéloké favors a follower, she will bless them with the ability to strike with double their normal strength, at personal risk that far exceeds that of normal magic. She expects mages who take up her mantle to be as ruthless as she, but she does not appreciate shallow, senseless displays of aggression that sully her reputation. All forms of combat magic honor her, but she has a special love for all things fire.

She appears as an elven vampire with long, vivid red hair and yellow eyes. She typically wears robes and armors of a battle mage and carries a dagger made of solid ice, or a staff that has a scythe blade on top. Her sigil is a chaos star in front of a flame.

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