The Gods Of [Whiteleaf - Reference] (wip)

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THE RAPIER WIT

Post by willpell » Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:37 pm

True Neutral goddess of sarcasm, subtle insults, deliberate offense, taunting and baiting, and any number of other verbal cruelties. Is suspected of having been a drow who ascended to godhood, although if so she has no particular tie to her former species, making her blessings equally available to intellectual sadists of every stripe. (The putative origin does seem to be a perfect fit, though; given that the Drow's society is run by lunatics who willfully do everything in the worst way possible, sarcasm is one of the tools most crucial to keeping the average Drow passably sane on a day-to-day basis.) Her clerics are never Good, though they need not be Evil, and lean slightly toward Chaos over Law, as it is easier to come up with a cutting remark if one thinks quickly and creatively, rather than in inflexible patterns (although Lawful adherents are often exceptionally skilled at getting things "behind the lighthouse"). Those who come up with the perfect rejoinder only after a conversation ends are said to have "sheathed the rapier" (it sounds much more elegant in Elven).

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THE PINWHEEL

Post by willpell » Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:06 pm

Governs idleness, frivolity, distraction, flashiness, shallow interests, and motion-for-the-sake-of-motion. Manifests as a child or youth, about 2/3 likely to be female, dressed in a riot of brightly colored and loosely flowing garments, often with sparkling but obviously cheap jewelry dotted about her (or his) person, moving constantly and hyperactively while speaking a rapid-fire stream of consciousness, most of which is meaningless doggerel. It is contrary to the cult's nature to sift through these pronouncements in search of an actual message; more often they just guess at the intent based on tone of voice or the like, and assume that any particularly loudly-emphasized statements which stick in their memory were probably the ones that were in fact most important, since their attention was called to them.

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THE INDUSTRY

Post by willpell » Thu Feb 18, 2016 2:48 pm

A beast of burden, the salt of the earth - this deity is the patron of any whose lives are dedicated to hard but necessary labor. Patient and stubborn, the Industry disdains machinery which can enable a person to accomplish more with less effort, believing that work builds character and that it is spiritually unhealthy to replace people with mindless mechanisms.

(This was likely not what I had in mind when I originally designated The Industry as one of the 80 "main" gods of the setting, but whatever that early plan might have been, I've got to move on and stop leaving empty spaces in my design. This emphasis is probably more suitable to his current humble position in the pantheon anyway.)

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THE PROTECTIVE SHELL

Post by willpell » Thu Feb 18, 2016 5:44 pm

Her names and symbols are many - the Coiled Millipede, the Cerulean Bivalve, the Steel-Winged Chicken, and more. But in every case, she stands for a single truth - enlightenment cannot flourish in a corpse, so those who seek to elevate the self must first armor it against the world's woes.

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THE FAITHFUL HOUND

Post by willpell » Fri Feb 19, 2016 2:02 pm

While certainly not an intellectual deity, the Patron of Canine Devotion is one of the purest forces of Good in the multiverse (less so a force for Good, it must be noted; others are less ideal themselves but accomplish more work for the cause). Representing the selfless loyalty of a faithful companion, the empathic attentiveness of one who serves out of unconditional love, and the tireless self-sacrifice of those who legitimately esteem others as their betters, the Doggod bestows his blessing upon any being who is a dog, owns a dog (unless they are blatantly abusive in their treatment of it), or devotes themselves to others in a doglike fashion. His clergy aim to emulate the characteristics of Man's Best Friend (albeit with fewer scatological mishaps), viewing the world in simplistic terms but cleaving to their social bonds no matter what. The tales of obedient servants who stayed by their deserving masters even after their deaths are frequently repeated in the humble "kennels" where the Hound's worshippers congregate, and the assembled believers often mist up before leaving such a sermon. If there is a dark side to the Hound cult, it is only the fact that dogs are loyal even to an undeserving owner, so long as he continues to treat them well; more than one Lawful Neutral servant of the deity has unwittingly pledged his loyalty to an Evil master, and the nature of their faith is such that discovering the truth does not even make them regret that decision, since their personality is likely utterly suborned to that of their "master". (For this reason, Houndites typically have low Charisma, making them poor at turning undead, although nearly all develop strong social skills and routinely earn circumstance bonuses which make them excellent at winning positive influence over others.)
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THE FINDER

Post by willpell » Fri Feb 19, 2016 8:34 pm

Every once in a while, some seemingly ordinary person is minding their own business, probably just trying to get from point A to point B along the many dusty back-roads of the ever-spreading Empire. Then, seemingly by chance, a traveler crosses their path, clad in a hooded brown cloak but walking without the aid of a staff, who turns for just a moment and looks directly at them. His face bears the sagging wrinkles and liver spots of a man past his 100th birthday, yet he stands completely erect, with no trace of a tremble in his gnarled, skeletal hands, and his eyes gleam with a piercing intelligence that suggest he is even more ancient than he appears, but entirely untouched by the ravages of time. Such individuals seldom clearly remember the encounter, and they never think to connect it with the subsequent incident in which they discover some ancient secret or forgotten item of power. But a few elect individuals, outside the reach of the god's power to cloud the mind, have combed through several such disconnected accounts and pieced together the truth - there is a god of lost magics and bygone centuries wandering the world, laying his gaze upon those who are destined to unearth one of these relics of a distant age.

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THE AMBITION

Post by willpell » Tue Feb 23, 2016 4:04 pm

As the god of seeking to exceed one's station, The Ambition naturally could not have that prominent a station himself in the first place. Generally regarded as rather a "budget" version of The Vehemence, this god is tyrannical not out of that one's generalized, purposeless malice, but rather from a much more fundamentally human desire to control his own destiny. He does not seek to terrorize his own followers in order to keep them subjugated, instead letting anyone seek as much authority as they wish, so long as they remember that they owe their success to him and do not attempt to become a threat to his own powerbase. Thusly, he encourages them to work on pushing himself to greater heights, so they in turn will have more room to grow.

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THE SYNCRETISM

Post by willpell » Fri Feb 26, 2016 4:26 pm

Elves in general are not big on being told what they can and cannot do, so it's little surprise that they continue to retain a handful of exclusively elvish gods, while nearly all other racial pantheons generally died out about the time the races involved first heard about any other species existing. Often devoted to such absurdly specific concepts that only an elf could think they required deification, these gods are stubbornly devoted to their narrowly-focused portfolios, and often react with considerable scorn to those who question the cosmic importance of their chosen bailiwick. Perhaps the ur-example of these "special snowflake" deities is not the elven creator god, the Archer, but rather his consort, who is the Syncretism of three once-distinct goddesses who survived their obsolescence by combining into a single entity. They-slash-she (a specific elven pronoun exists solely for application to her, and a handful of high-ranking clerics who have managed to magically duplicate her feat of physically merging several of themselves together; despite their venturesome and slightly mad mindset, the vast majority of elves are still likely to find this extreme notion a trifle unsettling - albeit far less horrific than nearly everyone else considers it - and so it's seldom attempted even by those most devoted to her example) retain/s a lingering connection to the portfolios of the original goddesses - love, freedom, nature, mystery, and so forth - but above all, what The Syncretism stands for is not any one thing...it is the typically elven and/or female refusal to be "only one thing". Defying base mathematical logic, Syncreticians insist that a person who divides their focus among multiple interests does not diminish their attention to any one of those subjects, but rather expands the whole of their self to encompass everything they are, even the things they never seem to have much time and attention to spare for. Practical-minded sorts have often pointed out the frequency with which devotees fail to live up to their press, but it never matters; they continue to live their lives as arch-dilettantes, attempting to master every trade to the fullest, and usually succeeding only in creating a great deal of bluster and a hollow façade with nothing behind it. Exceptions are rare, but a few individuals following Syncretic doctrine do manage to achieve great heights through their versatility; the cult routinely points to them as evidence that their method works, without mentioning how infrequently it does so.

(The Syncretism would be the de-facto god of any heavily-optimized "CoDzilla" character which abused the rules in order to gain unfair advantages; the nature of Whiteleaf is such that such effort are sometimes permitted to work in the case of versatility, creating an unrealistically multifaceted and hyper-competent character, when they never would be allowed for a "munchkin" that simply sought raw power in excess of normal limitations. Thusly, a character cannot easily get more AC or a better to-hit roll than is possible through straightforward methods, but they can potentially get more skill points, a broader selection of spells - though never higher-level ones - and otherwise a wider range of options.)
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THE FATTED CALF

Post by willpell » Fri Feb 26, 2016 5:44 pm

None live so spoiled and pampered a life as those who are meant to be slaughtered for tender, juicy meat; so teaches the church of the Fatted Calf, the god of absolute indulgence of those who are soon to be consumed, literally or metaphorically. This church teaches that life is struggle, and death is blessed release, but more to the point they believe that it should be the presaged by a sequence of ever-richer enjoyments, with the actual kill as the climax. Often criticized for their decadent and callous nature, the cultists offer the experience of a lifetime, for anyone who is content to have that span cut short; branches which are not evil enough to conduct outright blood sacrifices, solely for the sake of doing so, instead execute these willingly-recruited victims for organ transplants, necromancy, and similar utilitarian benefits that necessarily require death (rare examples of cannibalism also fall somewhere in this range, though far closer to Evil than even the reanimation of the corpse as a zombie).

Among its other amusements, the church often holds riotous sexual bacchanalia, and its female clergy are nearly always dressed and made up to appear aggressively lascivious; temptation and tantalization are all part of its bailiwick, and the males never seem to mind. The Calf's actual gender varies depending on who tells the tale, but the cult routinely refers to its male members as "Bulls" while never labeling the women "cows"; the fact that most of those who die in the Calf's name are men surprises no-one, as the doctrine the Calfites preach is heavy on the idea of male disposability, with the corresponding commoditization of females being done specifically for the purpose of encouraging the unfair sex to spend their lives cheaply. It is sometimes theorized that this entire portfolio originally belonged to the notoriously misogynistic Spider Queen, and was inherited by the Calf after the Drow goddess lost her interest in the ritualized murder of mostly-male surface elves; others doubt this, however, believing that the Calf cult is too fundamentally tied to human psychology to have ever been presided over by an elf deity.
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THE CLOSED AND OPEN EYES

Post by willpell » Fri Feb 26, 2016 6:26 pm

What would you do, what would you be, if you could be certain that no-one was watching you? Or, conversely, if you knew that everyone was? These two questions are posed by the dualistic gods of a single cult, who challenge the notion of Celestine Omnisurveillance which is often proposed - or refuted - by other churches, and instead focuses on examining the ramifications of both possible truths, encouraging the worshipper to choose his own answer as to which would be preferable. Headquartered in a vast elliptical cathedral known as the Panopticon, whose thousands of eye-shaped windows constantly shutter themselves and reopen in an unpredictable pattern, the faith's twin leaders are eternally at odds, pushing and pulling for their respective visions, but the scriptures both uphold as canonical are clear - neither one is to be unconditionally obeyed, for the other is equally close to the truth at all times, and only the path which reconciles the contradictory commands of both can truly be the correct one.

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THE CONSUL

Post by willpell » Sun Feb 28, 2016 10:28 pm

Apes do not have a god, yet there is in fact an Ape-God, although few outside his cult understand why.

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THE SEVERANCE

Post by willpell » Wed Mar 09, 2016 6:13 pm

Death comes to all, but there are those who believe it represents not the destruction of life, but rather its completion. As the representative of this philosophy, the dapperly-dressed god known to some as "Baron Seviere" represents the certainty that all who live must cease to live someday, but rather than evoking terror, he encourages his followers to live to the fullest, treating every moment as potentially their last, savoring all of the finer things and being surrounded by good companions, leaving the world with a light heart and no unfinished business.

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THE LICENTIOUS

Post by willpell » Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:14 pm

Governs the creation of bonds, certificates, and other fancy formal documents which authorize the legal operations of entities within a civilized system. A weak god even today in Whiteleaf, but growing ever-stronger, with a hungry and avaricious urge to further expand his prominence at the expense of anything else. Despite his Lawful inclinations, he is a very permissive and aggressively-liberal god, willing to allow all manner of outrages as long as they bear a duly-authorized stamp of approval; he has no sympathy for spontaneous expressions of emotion, and never accepts that delays are harmful or that paperwork is a chore.
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THE LITIGATURE

Post by willpell » Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:45 pm

A god associated with the practice of both law and medicine, who identifies the two fields with each other. Practices the physical or metaphorical "binding" of persons and situations, aiming to ensure that order is kept and the health of a greater body is maintained, if necessary by the extirpation of elements (possibly human ones) which threaten the whole. His clerics are easily distinguished by their feathered headdresses and ceremonial pipes.

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THE FLUTTERBYE

Post by willpell » Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:11 am

Symbolized by a beautiful but fragile insect, this god is often thought to represent frivolity, but in truth she has a very serious portfolio indeed...she does in fact represent vulnerability, but also the calamitous spread of unforseen consequences from even the slightest act of destruction or disturbance. Connected with the portfolio of Time and the doctrines of certain quasi-Chaotic philosophies, which dictate that nothing is truly predictable and that the tiniest changes will rapidly magnify beyond comprehension, the Flutterbye is constantly dying and being reborn, but every time she is crushed, or flaps her wings madly to escape destruction, either way the ripples that spread from her moment of panic can grow into pressure-waves which topple castles and throw nations into turmoil. She teaches "lightness of being" not because she values nothing more, but because she teaches that we may dare nothing less, courting catastrophe any time we try.

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THE FELINE PRIZE

Post by willpell » Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:16 am

A particular breed of long-haired white cat is worshipped as a living god in one isolated theocracy deep in the Hinterlands; while the cat is entirely ordinary and cannot even comprehend the faith which revolves around it, it serves as the living representation of a very real and otherwise-unknown goddess, whose protective power is dedicated to the ruling lineage of this tiny nation, as long as it can manage to survive. Ultimately as fickle as any housecat, the Prize is a goddess who is loyal only for the sake of her own vanity, and will forget her current masters the moment none of them survive to remember her anymore. (Petitioners mean nothing to her, and a few of her deceased cultists have attempted to return to the living world as apostates, but none have yet survived to accomplish the task.)

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MALACC, THE REACHER

Post by willpell » Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:33 am

One of the most misunderstood of all deities - in both directions - the living symbol of cephalopods is neither as malevolent as its alien appearance tends to make humanoids regard it as being, nor by any means entirely benevolent either. Though it has nothing to do with the horrid mind flayers who superficially resemble its children, nor with the "octopus dragon" that appears in the night-terrors of certain human sensitives during times of peculiar stellar conjunction, Malacc is nonetheless an entirely cold-blooded deity, and not even as evidently attentive to its flock as the god of the lizard-folk (after all, those are sentient, while even the smartest octopus still compares poorly to a dog, its brain only being impressive for managing to reach such effectiveness while not contained in a skull). Like the Spider Queen, the Reacher seems to have no need for sentient worship; its cultists have detected the presence of its "divine aura" in deep ocean areas with a high population of giant squids, mimic octopi, coneshell nautiloids, and the occasional cuttlefish, but have never managed to actually attract its attention with their rather fervent displays. The bad reputation that Malacc has among civilized folk has more to do with the excesses of these misguided devotees than with the entity itself; it engages in no outreach of any kind, not even to the sentient krakens that most nearly resemble cephalopods (for their status as "eidolons" apparently places them outside its purview), and thus can hardly be blamed for the destructive actions those beings take. (If religiously inclined, they will instead devote themselves to the Sea Enraged or to the Demon Prince of Dark Waters, neither of whom regards Malacc as a rival in any meaningful sense.)

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THE VOUCHER

Post by willpell » Fri May 06, 2016 6:34 pm

Disgraced former member of the Commerkindren, a god of credit and mortgaging who emerged early in the Empire's history, only to have the practices which spawned him rapidly curtailed and suppressed by Imperial edicts. In a scathing rhetorical gladiator match, the leader of an alliance of trade guilds and the high priestess of the Voucher's faith were defeated by the Emperor of the day, as he logically dismantled all of their arguments and demonstrated the inevitably destructive effects of their proposed practices, using illusion magic to illustrate his point while counteracting the mass enchantments affecting most of the opposition's support. As a chaotic god of never having to pay off one's debts, but simply creating one smokescreen after another to ensure that the bill never comes due, he is fundamentally opposed to the economic justice and stability espoused by the Patroness and her followers (even the Evil ones do not go as far as the Voucher in trying to prove that capitalism need never actually tally its costs).

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THE DEWFLOWER

Post by willpell » Fri May 06, 2016 7:04 pm

Yet another god of questionable sexuality, but also a nature goddess, symbolized equally by plants, insects, fish, reptiles, and occasional birds, but almost never by mammals.
Angel Tarragon wrote: Thri-Kreen worshippers?
Possibly, though that's not really what I had in mind. (Also, they're called Mantodeas here. And at least one group of them are utterly horrible and definitely worship a different deity, if any at all.)
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THE CRITICAL MASS

Post by willpell » Wed May 11, 2016 5:20 pm

Odd idols dot the ruins of a fallen civilization, depicting an amorphous creature similar to today's Gibbering Mouthers, a quivering pile of liquid flesh dotted with hundreds of humanlike mouths and eyes. Given the lack of sentient invertebrates, it is generally assumed that these are idols of the Formless One or one of his minions, some ultra-powerful but still mindless and shapeless thing which exists only to consume and blaspheme. The story that has been forgotten by time is that this nameless race actually created their own theocratic leader, a supreme justice formed out of the combined minds, souls, and bodies of hundreds of their wisest and most elite citizen. Its worship has dwindled to nothing, yet somehow the Critical Mass endures, retaining its ability to evaluate and discern the worth of anything it sees or touches, and to proclaim at length upon its virtues or flaws.

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Re: THE DEWFLOWER

Post by Angel Tarragon » Thu May 12, 2016 10:20 pm

willpell wrote:Yet another god of questionable sexuality, but also a nature goddess, symbolized equally by plants, insects, fish, reptiles, and occasional birds, but almost never by mammals.
Thri-Kreen worshippers?

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AL-MANNAJ, THE STOPGAP

Post by willpell » Fri May 20, 2016 4:25 pm

God of self-sufficiency.

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Re: AL-MANNAJ, THE STOPGAP

Post by Angel Tarragon » Fri May 27, 2016 11:12 pm

willpell wrote:God of self-sufficiency.
Are you planning on doing a write-up for this one? I'd love to read what you have established so far.

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THE SACRED VESSEL

Post by willpell » Fri Jun 24, 2016 1:53 am

Goddess of guarded femininity, dating to the age before the researching of magical or herbal prophylactics, who protected the fertility of virgins by creating social traditions that punished philandering or noncommital males. In the wake of her current irrelevance, her surviving worship is increasingly radicalizing, rendering her clerics frequently antisocial, misanderistic, and often downright Evil. The goddess herself remains pure and essentially Good, viewing the straying of her flock with considerable fright, but the oaths and similar restrictions which once protected her purity have since come to impede her ability to control her own cult; she has become much what she once encouraged women to become, a weak and imperiled damsel who relies on outside forces to protect her against the ever-impending threat of her uttermost violation. Should the Web of Lies succeed in permanently corrupting her cult, she would lose most of the power she has accumulated, in exchange for being "liberated" into a state of vicious aggression which could make her one of the world's most virulent threats.

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THE EXTRANEOUS

Post by willpell » Fri Jun 24, 2016 1:54 am

An alien god of fundamental otherness.

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