The world of Aia, as seen in my posts related to the Orua campaign and in several other, unrelated short stories, is a world governed by a myriad of deities. The people associate them with all sorts of different aspects of the world, from the seasons to the turnings of the moons, and most deities are — as compared to deities from some other worlds — relatively accessible to their followers.
The gods, much like mortals, all have their own agendas, personalities, and relationships with one another. They reside among Aia’s Immortal Realms. “Aia,” as a term, refers both to the mortal realm — the planet itself, where the mortals reside and most characters that you meet on this blog live — and to the collection of nine realms, or planes, related to it. No gods reside on Aia itself, and when one does cross between the realms to visit the mortal plane, other gods take notice. And offense.
The most respected group of gods, at least among Aian mortals, is the Aurelian Ennead. They are a group of nine deities who govern Aurelia, where the majority of the gods reside. Worship of one, some, or all of the Aurelian Ennead is common among all of Aia’s peoples. It is prevalent enough that this group of deities is referred to by many simply as “The Ennead,” though in fact it is not the only group of nine that holds power among Aian deities.
The Aurelian Ennead is opposed directly by the Khainorhian Ennead, who reside among the demons and devils of Khainorh, and whose influence upon Aia is strictly negative. However, each of the Nine Realms has its own Ennead, and each of these Enneads has at its head a deity known as the Realm Lord. Or at least, the scholars of holy scriptures theorize as such, for while the Enneads and the Realm Lords are known for eight of the nine Realms, most mortals don’t know what constitutes the theoretical Ennead that governs Aia itself, nor its Realm Lord.
The Enneads are not the only deities of Aia. In both Aurelia and Khainorh, there are Free Gods who exist along a spectrum of allegiance to the Enneads themselves. Most cover domains of the world which the Enneads do not, but some share aspects of themselves with the Enneads.
Each member of the party in the Orua campaign worships a different deity. Those three deities are detailed further below.
Delphine Chaude, the character played by Tiffini Hurley at my table, worships the god Quet.
Quet is a member of the Aurelian Ennead, and as such, is one of the greater deities of Aurelia. He is one of the most well-respected Aurelian deities, and as such, his worshipers number greater that even other members of his Ennead.
Quet is the God of Mind. He governs all that has to do with the self-discovery of the workings of ones own mind, and he encourages introspection and the improvement of one’s knowledge, wisdom, and intelligence. His priests drive their worshipers to improve their mental acuity. Their temples are often closely related to research institutions and repositories of knowledge, such as libraries.
Though Quet is represented differently by all of his worshipers, he is often depicted as a humanoid figure covered from head to toe in a translucent shroud, through which his eyes shine out like glowing amethysts. When he’s depicted in other forms, the most common is that of an enormous serpent with great violet wings and, occasionally, human-like arms. This is likely because it resembles the couatl of Aurelia, who are his favored servants among celestial beings.
Among Quet’s most fervent worshipers are the Quetal, a race of bird-folk from islands to the south of Nerrona, Aia’s largest continent. Though there are those that believe that Quet created the Quetal, he did not, and they Quetal will fervently correct anyone who claims as such. Quet is not a creator, but a revealer of things unknown, and a purveyor of knowledge. Quet granted the Quetal the ability to speak and reason far beyond the capabilities of their ancestors, and it is rare to find a Quetal alive today who does not thank him for his gifts.
The Quetal, and many other followers of Quet, train with the longbow, in the image of Quet’s own Divine Weapon.
Quet works closely with the other members of the Aurelian Ennead, and they are some of his closest allies. Priests and other followers of Quet are received warmly by any who worship a member of the Ennead. Among the Free Gods, Quet works most closely with Eloen the Chronicler, who seeks to record the entirety of the universe’s contents. Quet also favors association with Iff, the God of Balance, and regards Saer, the God of Innovation, Creation, and Artifice, positively.
Rowan of Orua, who is portrayed at my table by Jon YuhaszPratt, is an artificer who regards Saer as his primary deity.
Saer is one of the Free Gods, but unlike many deities, his priests claim that he travels between two realms rather than residing in only one. While Saer is heavily associated with Aurelia, he is also said to lay claim to part of Taar, the Soul Forge. Travel between the Realms is impossible unassisted, even for a deity. When Saer travels to Taar, it is by the summons of Shyar, the Goddess of Magic and Lord of Taar. When he travels to Aurelia, he comes by the aid of Soren, God of Art; Tiv, God of Games, or by another deity seeking Saer’s skills.
While all of the deities have the ability to bless and create their own artifacts of great power, Saer is unparalleled even among the gods. It is said that he, alongside Soren, built the grand castles of Aurelia in which the gods are said to reside. He created the Divine Weapons wielded by the Aurelian Ennead, and the arms and armor born by other deities, as well.
Saer encourages his followers to create, whether it be through magic or through skill and strength, that which is useful to the world. Saer’s priesthood do less active worshiping than they do research and crafting. They are always seeking things to make or processes to improve. Most great technological advancements throughout Aia’s history have been made by the hands and minds of a priest of Saer.
Like most deities, Saer is most often depicted by his followers as being of their own race. However, he is highly associated with the Isuric dwarves, and so even outside of their culture, there are those who depict him as such. When he is portrayed wielding a weapon, he generally holds some sort of hammer, though its type shifts across all portrayals.
The Isurics worship Saer out of respect, but there is a race, created under his guidance, which owes him their existence. Though not great in number, a race of golems imbued with all the thoughts and capacities of other sapient beings exists upon Aia. The first golems were created by priests of Saer and Shyar working in concert, but now the golems build their own progeny, speaking prayers to Saer to help them craft the bodies, and to Shyar, to forge their souls.
Garret Tosscobble, a halfling cleric created by Jon and Tiffini to round out their party, is a worshiper of Alrhea, the Goddess of Healing.
Alrhea resides within Aurelia, where she is often depicted sitting at the side of Lokyah, the God of Life, who is a member of the Aurelian Ennead. Lokyah governs life’s birth and thriving, and is seen as the deity who makes the flowers bloom and the crops grow and the mothers bear their children. Alrhea is the preserver of that life.
Priests of Alrhea are often found among the sick and injured, tending to their wounds and ailments with medical skill as often as direct blessings from Alrhea herself. Their temples are often associated with, or connected to, hospitals, and any injured person knows that they will find aid at no personal cost.
Unlike many deities, Alrhea is never portrayed with a weapon, and though her followers are not forbidden from causing harm, it is rare to find one among them who does so willingly. She is depicted as a soft, rounded women of any race, clad in white, flowing clothes, and often with accents of gold and azure.