The Empty Waste
The Gods in General
Depending on who you ask, there are generally thought to be a total of 15 or 16 different gods in the Alyssian Pantheon (This does not include the numerous demi-gods). There are no different racial deities. That does not mean that elves worship a human god. Instead, the same god has revealed himself/herself to the elves in a slightly different way. The gods have no true “human” form or any “racial” form for that matter. They only reveal themselves in a way that is the most comfortable to their followers. Belin is the same to the humans is as he is to other races, he just looks different and at times with a different favorite weapon. Additionally, he usually has a different racial name. However, his role in the pantheon and his powers are identical.
Devout followers (which would include all clerics, paladins, etc) understand this and will happily worship in a different racial temple. They may believe that the other race has somewhat changed the appearance of the deity for that races own benefit, and that their understanding of the deities appearance is more correct, but they will not hold it against them. Some more enlightened devout followers actually understand that their understanding of the appearance of their god is not the true appearance, but rather a reflection of their own attempts to understand their god.
Most commoners are polytheistic and will worship many of the gods. They do not pick one particular deity. They will pray to the god whose dominion appears to be the most relevant at the particular time. For instant, a farmer may pray to Andura when he is worried about his crops. However, when he fears goblins raiding his farm, he would more likely turn to Diakris or Teryn.
Devout followers will usually choose one god to worship, but will acknowledge that the others are true, active gods. Additionally, he/she will pay homage to their superior god, including tithing at times.
Each god is associated with an astrological sign, with the exception of the 3 greater gods and the demigods.
The Greater Gods:
The greater gods are the most powerful of the gods, but also the most removed from their followers. Their interaction with mortals is almost non-existent, with the exception of those powers they grant to their clerics.
Belin, Andura, and Chellos rule the lower gods, each presiding over their similarly aligned gods, and provide them with much of their power.
Andura gets along well with Belin and Chellos, providing a perfect balance to the two other Greater Gods. Belin and Chellos have a long-standing truce that allows the two to co-exist, although they obviously have ideological differences. They tend to fight their battles through their aid to the subordinate gods.
The major gods are subordinate to the greater gods to whom they are similarly aligned. These major gods derive much of their power from these deities. For instance, Diakris, is subservient to Belin for much of his power.
The major gods are much more involved in the affairs of mortals, however they will stop short of actual direct interference. The odds of one of these gods sending supernatural aid is much more likely than with the Greater Gods.
There is constant conflict within the realms of the major gods, with the diametrically opposed aligned gods often battling indirectly. The result is that the followers of these gods also have serious conflict with the opposed followers.
The minor gods are subordinate to the major gods and greater god to whom they are similarly aligned. These minor gods derive much of their power from these deities. For instance, Taryn is subservient to Diakris, Pelbian, and Belin for much of his power.
The minor gods are very involved in the affairs of mortals, and in the past, have even directly interfered in the lives of mortals. Both Taryn and Malum will do whatever they can do to aid their followers, short of entering the mortal world. This is prohibited by the greater gods.
There is outright warfare between Taryn and Malum and this is evidenced by the actions of their followers. Either cleric will attack the other on site, regardless of consequences.
The third god is very confusing. When Alyssia was recolonized, records were found in ruins which discussed the role of the gods here in Alyssia. There was no mention whatsoever of a neutral minor god. However, one bright individual reasoned that the god must exist, and actually started to worship the missing god. What he found was that he was able to channel divine power when he did so. Soon others followed and a religion was born. These individuals worship the Missing God. This confusion was only enhanced when discoveries were made which indicated Coravon was the name of the Missing God. Now, some view the two as one in the same and others view them as two distinctly different deities.
The demigods are different from the other gods in several ways. First, they are not subordinate to the other gods in any way. For this reason, they are often viewed with disdain, even by worshippers of similarly aligned gods. Second, these gods have only recently revealed themselves. Consequently, there are few worshippers of these gods and no high temples.