Deities are spirits who tap into the thoughts of sapient beings to become the personifications of the forces of nature and psychological concepts. Due to their influence they were worshiped as gods for most of Kaf’s history in order to bring good fortune or overcome some obstacle. The majority of deities would come together and be worshiped and operate collectively as pantheons, some familial, others more like coworkers.
Quick Species Profile
A general description of common physical attributes with the species as a whole including
Average: Immortal (Reincarnate if an Incarnate)
Average Height: Variable
Average Weight: Variable
Creature Type: Divine Spirit (shapeshifter)
Deities that take action in the physical world, manifest according to their natures; a child, a bright light, a silver beam, a demonic creature, or a superhuman being are most common. After the fall of the pantheonic age, many deities have entered a cycle of reincarnation among the beings of Kaf. As such they are born as various native species until they are reborn as another one.
- Incorporeal: Like most spirits, deities initially do not have a physical form, consisting of an ethereal substance known as ichor. Most can form a physical form to interact with the material world or possess something physical.
- Possession: Deities can enter the bodies of physical beings while in their spiritual state and over take their hosts functions. As such as deity can use a corporeal being’s body as a vessel but are bound to the creature’s physiological needs.
- Telekinesis: Like all spirits, psychic energy serves as the life force of deities. An extension of this is using it to manipulate physical objects from a distance using this energy they produce. The amount and size of material they can push or pull depends on how well or how much life they have within them.
- Immortality: Deities are initially ageless, and maintain their prime when physical. With sufficient power or proper substance, deities can become truly immortal, being physically and mentally beyond essentially all forms of harm or other ways to influence them (outside of other beings of similar status, superior beings or some specific concepts) to the point where even if their physical manifestations are destroyed, they can reform it relatively quickly. This level is only maintained as long as they have their source.
- Worship Empowerment/Reliance: Deities have an affinity to the psychokinetic energy produced by sapient beings and they become stronger, faster, more durable, etc. by the worship of other beings, be it prayer, rituals, and other actions. They also draw sustenance from the faith and it even stops their aging. However lack or even reduction of prayer may cause their power to decrease and some minor deities can lose divinity or fade from existence altogether if they lose all of their followers.
- Attunement to Concept: Deities are be able to command a certain domain, a sphere of influence, meaning they are able to command certain concepts that range from elements, energies, universal forces, or aspects of sentient life (such as War, Wisdom, Law, etc). This attunement may even be so strong that the concept defines their very being. However if less mortals experience or believe the concept, the weaker the deity and vice versa.
- Higher Consciousness: Deities are able to denote their natural consciousness and reach a higher level of development. They are also able to be aware of an ultimate reality. With this, they can self-manage, awaken, and develop the hidden potential that has laid dormant within them.
- Divine Sight: Deities can see other divine beings and their actions and possess or gather divine knowledge. They are also able to see divine or mystic realms and perceive the world on many different planes of existence.
- Physical Form Manifestation: Deities can conjure a form called an avatar that looks like virtually any corporeal being. Their bodies are a mana construct filled with ichor, condensed into a golden fluid that serves as their blood.
- Shapeshifting: Deities can alter their physical form, transforming and reshaping themselves. They can impersonate others or enhance one’s body for combat, either by turning into animals, monsters or make the body stronger. Despite this, most have a preferred form they usually are seen in, some hardly changing form.
- Angel Creation: A deity can create divine beings known as angels from nothing and bend them to their will, they can eventually spawn hordes of divine angelic beings to serve and fight on their behalf.
- Sanctification: Deities can bless objects or substances with holy properties, empowering the substance with divine potential to cause harm to malevolent forces.
- Divine Infusion: Deities can infuse objects (usually a weapon), beings or powers with divine power, empowering and energizing them and allowing the user to manipulate their qualities and efficiency. The objects gain various divine powers, such as purifying their surroundings, minds or targets, releasing divine energies in various ways, etc.
- Purification: Powerful deities can remove the darkness or evil from a person or objects, often including demons possessing it or mind control affecting it. It can turn evil to good or merely make someone pure.They can redeem souls and release them from condemning influences, they can also restore damaged souls and spirits.
As transcendent beings, they are free from physical constraints such as needing energy or building material from food. They can however partake of it in a manifested form if they wish. A deities true form of sustenance is ambrosia or amrita, condensed aether taking the form of terrestrial foods like apples, peaches, or elixirs. These maintain immortality to deities, especially the Aesir, and can grant them other beings as well. They were often grown and feasted upon until the creation of afterlives meant deities could sustain themselves with out the ambrosia.
Deities have a multitude of ways to reproduce themselves. If a god and a goddess mate, then a new deity will be born; deities can sprout from the body parts of a single deity or through unique rites. A mortal species and a god/goddess also can have children and the offspring are called “Demigod“.
Demigods possess mortal souls and are vulnerable to old age and death; however they can have strong power like the deities, typically the same domain of influence as their divine parent. Demigods are relatively stronger, more agile, and more durable than regular mortals, and have more resistance to diseases due to having some of their parent’s ichor infused with their bodily fluids. While mortal, demigods are not dependent on faith to maintain their existence and if they consume ambriosa, they fully become composed of ichor and immortal, basically becoming a god in their own right.
Incarnates are the mortal manifestations or avatars of the deities after many decided to live among mortal (non-spirit) beings via reincarnation cycles as per the Samsara Pilgrimage. As such they are the dominant form of deities in the eras after the Ghulat wars.
Since they are both a mortal creature and a deity, an incarnate is not dependent on faith to maintain their existence. They also have the potential to use the unique power they had as a full-blown deity. They are born without their memories as a deity, and have to regain them gradually throughout their lifetime or have a significant event awaken them. An incarnate however can only breed their current race, unless they mate with a minor god or demigod, then they can produce deity offspring.
Incarnates can manifest as these species:
Homin, Fairy, Lamia, Merfolk, Giant, Human (and subspecies like Amazon and Lunarian), Hujing, Bakeneko, Tengu, Okami, Harpy, Tanuki, Shenlong, Elf, Usagi, Jorogumo, Anthroid
What is a God?
It is necessary to distinguish between a god and the many powerful beings that exist in this world. First is that “deity” refers to a specific divine creature while “god” is a title.
The term god refers to concepts such as spirits, natural forces and superhuman beings. Many faiths indigenous to Kaf are animist religions, meaning that any being (alive or dead), object or even phenomenon can be considered a god. Also, it should be noted that the ‘G’ in “god” should not be capitalized when referring to animist gods or any other gods from polytheistic religions.
A god has the ability to dictate the rules of the world. Naturally, this is limited both by competition with other gods and a god’s sphere of influence. The world also seems to resist every attempt of the gods to change it, the more dramatic the change is. It is currently unknown whether there are rules that exist above the gods or how they gain such abilities. The gods either refuse to answer or don’t quite know either.
It should also be noted that this definition only applies to the conventional world (Kaf) that most beings inhabit. A powerful or intelligent being can create other worlds that they would be able to control like a god (Angels are an example) through either immense power or creating a mechanism to keep the world stable. (Like the various spirit realms). This is not strictly godhood since said worlds are unstable and require constant maintenance to prevent collapse. Their control is also not innate or concrete since it can be usurped or the dimension could be completely destroyed.
Among polytheistic religions (e.g. those of ancient Greece and Rome), deities live among mortals and have direct impact on their daily lives. While their personalities are mostly similar to humans, they possess two aspects known as Ara and Nigi: when they are worshiped they will protect people and grant them blessings , but when angry they will create disasters and curses. In some cases the Ara and Nigi aspects of a god are so different in appearance and behavior that they are named or worshiped separately. A shrine is a place for gods to occupy in order to interact with humans, which can vary in size from a small box or shelf (found in many homes) to an entire building and grounds.
A Pantheon is a group or family of gods from a common culture. Pantheons primarily differ in the origins of their worshipers and the values that represent the culture they stand for. Some Pantheons represent geographical regions, while others represent a more widespread religion.
Although their have been various cultural groups and families as pantheons, the most widely known and recognizable ones are the following:
- The Aesir – The warlike gods of Scandinavia.
- The Amatsukami – The well-mannered gods of Japan.
- The Atzlánti – The blood-thirsty gods of Central America.
- The Olympians – The noble gods of Greece.
- The Loa – The passionate gods of the Voodun religion.
- The Pesedjet – The orderly gods of Egypt
- The Tuatha de Danann – the artistic, fiercely honorable Irish gods.
- The Shin Bureaucracy – the highly organized kingdom of gods of China.
- The Devas – the exotic gods of the Hindu religion.
- The Yazata – the powerful ancient gods of Persia.
The Worship of the Gods
Some cultures worship beings as gods even though the being they worship aren’t actual deities or fit the criteria as defined earlier. The reverence of Shenlong in Jianshu is such an example. This suggests that any sufficiently powerful individual could deceive others into thinking that they are a god.
As divine spirits, Deities have access to the magic type Divine Works in addition to ordered spellcraft. They do this as their souls can draw from the massive stores of cosmic energy of the universe.
With the effects of divine works, or miracles, deities are able to circumvent established limitations of arcane magic. These include conjuring materials from thin air, creating life in the form of angels, and bestowing godhood levels of power on mortal beings.
Deities were some of the earliest types of sapient spirits to exist on the newly created Kaf.
Deities in Person: Avatars
Though the gods had an incredibly strong influence on our world they are considerably more vulnerable as an avatar. They can’t just will an assailant out of existence and would have to fight said assailant. Likewise, using one of their more powerful abilities may risk harming themselves. This is not to say that the gods were weak in-person. Even a minor deity that’s considered inept in combat in comparison to the other gods still has skill beyond most creatures. They also wield powerful equipment and magic, and will usually turn themselves into colossal avatars in a fight which are very hard to harm, let alone kill. Only the most powerful and most well-equipped mortals are able to fight a deity and have a chance at being victorious.
The forms of the deities are not fixed, as already mentioned, in a fight they’ll turn themselves into a colossus although they usually have a preferred form. Likewise, a being is only considered a God or Goddess based on the apparent gender of their preferred avatar.
With the collapse of the celestial spirit realms, the pantheons suffered a great loss in the wars. In addition, the faith in them from Kaf mortals was waning, resulting in them generally becoming weaker. Their diminishing morale in Kaf also meant their more subtle influence on Earth resulted in the humans there gradually losing faith in certain classical pantheons.
It is around this time that there were reports from divinities like angels and special jinn that the various pantheons came together in a meeting to discuss how their race has been far. Their were rumors that the meeting was created by a previously unknown transcendent deity that created the entire universe as well as the original angels and jinn.
By the end of the Ghulat wars, the deities had only a fraction of the power they once available to them and could not restore the environment to a habitable state alone. During the centuries of restoration, more and more deities decided to sacrifice their immortal soul for existence in a reincarnation cycle and living among the various mortal creatures. There was a multitude of reasonings behind this shift, ranging from being tired of the same existence to not feeling worthy of worship to connecting to the races of Kaf on a deeper level. Those deities that remained as true immortals tend to walk the planet, endlessly traveling for their own personal reasons.
You may notice that the format changed due to deities being a special case.
I had the idea that primordial spirits in Kaf could sense the beliefs of people in Earth’s past and use that to become those gods and their persona to go with it. On Kaf, this generation of deities could have a direct impact on the various mortal (and ageless) beings of Kaf for even more worship. While the dynamic between gods and mortals would last for a long time, the invasion of the Shaytan threw this off balance beyond repair. Instead the major deities decided to trade their unchanging immortality for cycles of reincarnation and understand the perspective of mortals through true experience.
Something that should be of note is that though Kaf and Earth share deities, in the Arcane Realm they are physical present with only a vague influence on Earth of the classical age (and mostly through word of mouth.) Thus which may explain why some deities have conflicting accounts due some being written on distant worlds or merged together somehow.