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5 Blades of Bahamut: Deities

July 3, 2008

The Three Sisters

Of all that is all we know, first is the Raven Queen, Melora and Avandra.

The Raven Queen? She’s the oldest of the three, and no one remembers her name. Some say she named all of the rest, and you and me, too- she knows our secret names and calls us back to Nothingness when our time is up. Since she named everything, nothing was around to learn her name when she came into being, and at the end of existence she will call her own name and all will be as one. The ones who cast away ghosts in her name? They call her the Silence that Speaks, and claim she never says a thing.

Melora came with her waves and winds and birds and beasts and trees. Everything that moves and draws breath, she painted, sang or danced into existence. And she just as equally paints over, sings over or steps on in her wild frenzy of creation. She is beautiful, terrible and life. Most respect her and keep their distance, for she is the flame and we are but moths.

Avandra is the youngest, but we call her the middle sister. She balances the flow, the change, the trade between her two sisters, between life and death. And we are her children, for we do not simply live at Melora’s whim- we are free to choose to be who we wish to be, to reshape the world as best we can, before the waves of change wash it away.

Avandra’s Consorts

Avandra holds two lovers- Pelor the Sun and Sehanine the Moon. Avandra loves them both, and they give rise to day and night, to time. Of our gods, Pelor has the most worship, for he brings the food and the harvest, and guides the soul by day. From the greatest city to the smallest farming village, everyone has some offering or praise. Sehanine has many lovers, but Avandra is her true love to whom she must return. They share the secret of the heart- as change, as trade, as confusing as young love.

Sehanine’s Love and Hate

While Avandra is Sehanine’s Queen, of the men gods, she loves three.

The brothers Ioun and Vecna, whose stories are told over and over in the 999 Heartbreaks- a popular set of stories of love, lies, betrayal and magic, most of which contradict each other. Some say the secrets of both magic and the human heart can be found in them, while others only claim madness lies within.

Just as dramatic, is Sehanine’s love affair with Corellon, whose heart she stole from her own daughter- Lolth. The song speakers of Corellon say Lolth was banished to the edge of stars for betraying her mother and sacrificing innocent souls out of spite. Those who dive deep into arcane scrolls? They say at the edge of the Farplane Lolth weaves a web of light, souls and tears to keep Madness at bay, waiting for her lover to return with the final sealing spell. And Sehanine’s masked ones? They just laugh.

Erathis, daughter of Pelor, Conqueror Queen

From her mother of trade and her father of agriculture, Erathis was born with a bloody crown upon her head, one hand mailed and one hand in silk. She chained four gods to her service- Moradin the worker, Bane the warlord, Asmodeus the merchant, and Torog the unspeakable. Though Bane’s lover Gruumsh sometimes lures him away, he always returns to Erathis and her gown of swords in which she dances.

The Bastards

Kord, Zehir and Gruumsh. They are collectively known as the Three Bastards- no one’s quite sure who their parents were, or how they came to being. in the stories, they often serve as wildcards, and see little worship, except by occassional cults.

The Dragon Gods

Bahamut, born of the Gods War. Bahamut protected many during the Gods War, though few remember him now. Rare orders can be found, and lost ruins. Bahamut used his 4 arms and his tail to wield 5 Swords, one for each head of Tiamat, representing the 5 Powers united under one Law.

Tiamat, the five paths to power. Tiamat laid the killing blow on the most powerful god of the Gods War, and then went on to slay many others, including many of the mad gods of Unexistence. Though her actions, Tiamat demonstrated to the peoples of the world that not only could Gods be slain, that fate and destiny can be toppled, but also that the bold and the daring, the willing can reshape the world. Many heroes were inspired and through great efforts, helped win the Gods War. To this day, she is worshipped in small cults of those unhappy with their destiny, whether by ambition or injustice, and who are willing to do anything it takes to shatter fate and draw their own path.

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5 comments

  1. My experience with tabletop RPGs is pretty minuscule but this setup of deities kinda feels different from the usual setup of deities in other RPGs I’ve come across.

    Can I assume there’ll be a follow-up post on clans? Even if I don’t get a chance to RP the material, I’m still curious of them–their role in society and influence in a person’s life for example–nonetheless.


  2. I did a few things to un-D&D-ify the deities from the book (most rpgs follow the same suit as D&D, and get the same problems, also):

    1. Connect the gods personally- most of the gods are tied together as family or lovers, like a lot of other mythology does.

    2. Empowered Female Deities – Overall, throughout the heirarchy, the female gods are the big players.

    3. Polyandry + Non-heteronormative relations

    4. Thematically connect the gods- Erathis is Civilization, so it makes sense that she rules over Industry, War, Contracts, and Torture. One of the things the book says is that she commands her followers to build empires, so…

    Most rpgs fail to produce gods that seem like they fit together, because they don’t have thematic connection, or even human relationship connnections- they exist as abstractions contending with abstractions. There’s also ways in which most games avoid any kind of grey areas when it comes to deities – the complexities in room for multiple interpretations, misunderstandings, contradictions.

    Anyway, I think I only have about two more topics I wnat to cover- the day to day living/culture stuff, which will hit on Clans, and then stuff about Monsters.

    The clans in short? Noble Houses, with servant families who serve for generations going on down. Plenty of room for politics and drama. You’re either working for a Clan or someone who works for a Clan is how most people live.


  3. Number two and three are the most pronounced when first reading followed by things like a notice of industry, agriculture and trade/merchanting upon a second reading. I hardly ever see much of that within RP and fantasy, and like you said others usually have them exist as abstractions either by way of their presence or what their attached to.


  4. I really like what you did here. Bane + Gruumsh = hot.

    Sometime I have to publish my set of deities which also follow the points #2 and #3 you used here.

    Oh, you might want to consider some gender divergence, next revision.


  5. These are the core D&D deities, that I simply reskewed into some hierarchy. I’d probably play with things a bit different if I was building from the ground up.

    By taking the standardized deities and doing this, it does open up some interesting questions if you take any module and try to plug it in, which is part of the goal.



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