The Tebodim Pantheon
The Tebodim Census is an ancient collection of tales and gods particularly popular among humans and gnomes. First written by the gnomes of the Kobayim Empire, the Tebodim priesthood sought to protect the tales and legends of the gods during the Orc Age, even as the orcs forced many of the gods into hiding. In time, these tales turned into a full religion, and the Kobayim gnomes began to openly worship those gods they had recorded to memory. After the destruction of the Kobayim Empire, the gnomes would bring their religion south to Niranshetra Bay and the Middle Kingdoms of northern Yeziphel, where it would flourish and prosper among the mingled races. It would also form the backbone of the new gnome nation of Rashykali and find a small foothold among Xibaros.
Being a pantheistic faith based on tales, legends, and images of gods not readily seen, the Tebodim faith is rather relaxed and open, allowing for multiple temples to exist within a single city. The legends are shared between the individual priesthoods, so a lay-person would know all of the tales regardless of the temple he attended – the main difference would be how each tale was presented, whose perspective it would be told from, and who the victor would be in most cases. Each priest is quick to espouse their own god as the one to prevail in all of these questions.
The Tebodim faith is most common among the nations of Niranshetra Bay, the Empire of Rashykali, the Middle Kingdoms, and scattered in small sects in Xibaros. Most gods of the Tebodim faith are known by psuedonyms or fragments of their true names – often as a result of mistakes by the Tebodim scribes, or mistranslations from the original Kobayim.
The gods below are a small selection. If you’re playing a cleric or oracle and want to custom tailor a god to your choosing (or generally aren’t happy with some of the domain selections), feel free to speak to me. I’m not opposed to adding one or two more gods to this pantheon.
Titles: King of the Gods, Firstborn of Honorable Reign
Alignment: Lawful Good (Followers may be LG, LN, or NG)
Holy Symbol: An open hand with an eye in the palm
Favored Weapon: Mace
Cleric Domains: Law, Good, Glory, Nobility
Aesh’Varim, commonly known as Aeshvar in the Tebodim Codex, is considered one of the most powerful gods on Ortheia, but also one of the most reclusive. Aeshvar is a god of royalty, light, and wisdom, who is both philosopher and king in one. Many tales involving him tell of how he sought new knowledge and lessons with which to guide other gods, and many tales include him as the patron of heroes and champions. However, it is also this wisdom and guidance that keeps Aeshvar in the background – he recognizes his interference could cause the instability of the reign of peace he seeks. The tales of Aeshvar are popular among nobles and royalty, for they are parables on how to rule justly and righteously.
Titles: God of the Grave and the Forge, Kingmaker
Alignment: Lawful Neutral (Followers may be LN, LG, or N)
Holy Symbol: A skull crossed with blacksmith hammers, cast in pewter
Favored Weapon: Warhammer
Cleric Domains: Law, Repose, Strength, Artifice
Adah’Vengor is a patron of any who fear the end of life. His tales are full of legends of how he battled spectres of death and saved souls of heroes from the cold afterlife, reforging them upon his anvil as a blacksmith would a sword, ensuring they would be reincarnated as another champion. Vengor is depicted as a strong man, tall and wild with white hair and a massive beard, and the Tebodim codices hold that he is the brother of Aeshvar. There is definitely a connection between the two gods in many of the tales, for while Aeshvar looks for champions and heroes, Vengor is the one who ultimately receives them in death and recreates them so that Aeshvar may use them once more in a neverending cycle. Vengor’s rites are performed over all funerals, and prayers are sent out to him in hopes that loved ones will reincarnate favorably.
Titles: Queen of Peace, She Who Hides Her Radiant Hair, Golden Owl
Alignment: Neutral Good (Followers may be NG, LG, CG, or N)
Holy Symbol: A crested owl, cast in gold
Favored Weapon: Quarterstaff
Cleric Domains: Good, Sun, Healing, Protection
Kezia is a goddess of peace and wisdom, featuring prominently in tales where other gods are brash and reckless. Imagery portrays her as a goddess with bronze skin, wearing a prominent headdress and shawl, the headdress marked with a star and an owl in her grasp. It is said her hair is so vibrant and golden that without the headwrap, she would blind all who would look upon her. The Goddess of Peace seeks just that, and her followers emulate her through seeking tranquility and quiet meditation. This is not to say that all Kezia worshipers are pacifists – indeed, a number of her priesthood are proud paladins, believing they are capable of waging battles to remove warmongers from the material realm. However, every conflict fought in the name of Kezia must always be for the end-goal of peace. Kezia faithful are quick to recite passages of wisdom from the Tebodim records, often in the forms of parables and proverbs.
The most curious part of the Tebodim Census regarding the Goddess of Peace is her martyrdom by the orcs. Although the orcs are widely lionized by modern civilization for their role in ending the Elder World, the priesthood of Kezia emphasize her capture and execution by the Shran’grez. Her death is still a matter of great religious debate – it is widely agreed that gods who are dead quickly lose influence on Ortheia, but clerics of Kezia can still attain the Inspired state, leading some to believe that she has re-manifested.
Titles: Great Elk of Seasons, Queen of Winter, Mother to the Stones
Alignment: True Neutral (Followers may be N, CN, LN, or NG)
Holy Symbol: Elk horns afixed to a snowflake, carved from quartz
Favored Weapon: Mace
Cleric Domains: Water, Animal, Plant, Weather
Ishilaoi is a seasonal goddess, most commonly of autumn and winter. She takes warmth from the land so that the earth may rest from giving life, allowing Ortheia to regain its strength. Although winters are seen as harsh times, prayers to Ishilaoi are often to help them keep their hearths warm and the winds not too harsh, and festivals are held in autumn and spring – harvest festivals to welcome her to the land, and spring festivals to bid her farewell. After spring arrives, her priesthood often rests or returns to the cities, many spending the summers in seclusion or holding smaller services and rites for certain parties.
Titles: Moon Goddess, Wrapped in Blades and Silver Light
Alignment: Neutral Good (Followers may be NG, LG, CG, or N)
Holy Symbol: Two wings made of curved daggers, seven to each wing as “feathers” – cast in steel
Favored Weapon: Longsword
Cleric Domains: Good, Artifice, War, Knowledge
Of all the gods of the Tebodim, Armory’s true name and nature are the least known, while her exploits and powers are perhaps the most well-known and notorious. Modern belief holds that she lays claim to power over the moon, that she was born from the shadow of Kezia, and that she taught the mortal races how to make steel from crude iron. The feathers of her wings are made from blades of every form and shape, and her face is hidden in darkness and occult symbols. Her priesthood is mysterious as it is inspiring, and warriors from all walks of life join her order in hopes of becoming one of the enigmatic Black Archons – robed and cloaked warriors wearing tall hats and carrying razor-sharp swords, sworn as guards and samurai in service to those favored by the goddess. Armory’s temples are secluded and mysterious, more akin to lodges than the temples found in grand cities. The rites of Armory are equally mysterious, with every prelate sworn to secrecy regarding the rituals. As such, her faith tends to be small, but her faithful do most of the work to inspire others.
Titles: The Warrior Queen, Grand Huntress, Hearth Warmer
Alignment: Chaotic Good (followers may be CG, NG, or CN)
Holy Symbol: A jaguar’s head with two spears, cast in silver
Favored Weapon: Spear
Cleric Domains: Chaos, Good, Animal, Strength
Ebon-skinned and ebon-haired, wrapped in the skins and fangs of hunting cats and trophies from her prey, javelin in hand, the goddess Vegai is a terrible sight to behold. Her faithful are zealous for the hunt, and her temples are adorned with trophies taken from the grandest beasts and monsters of the land. Her priesthood raise hounds and falcons for hunting, prized by many nobles.
Titles: Horned God, the Wealthy Harvest
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral (Followers may be CN, N, CG, or CE)
Holy Symbol: A bull’s head, cast in gold
Favored Weapon: Flail
Cleric Domains: Chaos, Travel, Luck
The God of Wealth is a creature of unmitigated riches for his most faithful. It is said that those who do well in his name are rewarded with plentiful harvest and abundance. His worship is most popular among merchants and bankers, but while some aspects of his worship may appeal to farmers, the avarice of the god and his priesthood is questionable. For Ur and his faithful, wealth begets wealth, and the acquisition of wealth is the highest priority for the priesthood – as they grow wealthier, so too does Ur, and when Ur grows wealth, his blessings increase.
Titles: The Mysterious Hydra, Hermaphroditic God of Ascension
Alignment: True Neutral (Followers may be N, NG, NE, LN, or CN)
Holy Symbol: A black sun with nine rays, cast in iron or carved from obsidian
Favored Weapon: Sickle
Cleric Domains: Magic, Knowledge, Void
Titles: Black Tongue, Robed God on Dark Throne
Alignment: Lawful Evil (Followers may be LE, LN, N, or NE)
Holy Symbol: Profile of a cloaked human seated on a throne, cast in pewter
Favored Weapon: Dagger
Cleric Domains: Law, Evil, Magic, Darkness
Skelos is a grim god of sorcery and oaths. He gained his appearance as a robed skeleton after the dragon-god Scoran burned away his flesh and muscle. Skelos did not die, but all of his body was lost save for his tongue, which was blackened by the dragon’s power. Skelos is a god of magic, and many sorcerers and wizards swear to his priesthood in order to gain access to his church’s vast libraries and collections of artifacts. Skelos is also a god of oaths, swearing to other gods, always by his blackened tongue, to keep secrets and pacts. As such, Skelos’s name is often invoked by magistrates preceding over trials, and by individuals wishing to keep secrets with one another.