The 14 gods are each distinct individuals, each with their own focus. Some support the war between Light and Dark more than others.Light
Alain, Goddess of Chastity. Alain is known for her steadiness and knowledge, and while passionate she doesn't allow such to cause her to get too close to others. Alain often guards forbidden knowledge, that which none should know, and she knows better than to touch it. Alain is not directly involved in the war, but she has learned and given much knowledge that allows mortals to fight more effectively.
Ceres, Goddess of Kindness. Ceres is known for always having a kind word for anyone, and for the fact she will forgive almost anything. She is a healer, and her faith is known for giving second chances to those who are willing to accept her somewhat harsh disciplines to allow redemption. In spite of being the least combative of the gods, she is heavily involved in the war.
Durand, God of Diligence. Durand is a hard worker, throwing his all into everything he does. Although considered somewhat dim-witted for a god, Durand makes up for it through sheer effort. He has little patience for those who don't work hard, and he is at the forefront of the battles between Light and Dark.
Jarekon, God of Temperance. Jarekon is the voice of caution of the gods of light, always urging care and moderation in their actions. Many consider Jarekon to be plodding and far too conservative, but he simply chooses to wait and weigh his actions before stepping forward like a sculptor to carefully strike a single point that does everything that needs to be done without damaging those things he holds dear. Jarekon is often the defender of the gods in the war.
Markael, God of Charity. Markael is likely the god most concerned with mortals. He keeps an eye on them and cautions the others when mortals seem to be flagging or worried. His is the faith that most often helps refugees or the poor, and it is his faith that has been behind rebuilding many cities that have fallen in battles. While not directly involved in the battles, he chooses to help fortify and rebuild where he can.
Numina, Goddess of Patience. Numina is the goddess of agriculture and also the planner of the gods. From her came the ideas for cities, and from her come many of the long-term plans of the gods. She gets along particularly well with Jarekon, as does her faith. In the war she is the strategist, often looking at things with the true long view in mind.
Phentos, God of Humility. Phentos is the god of humility, and his is the faith at the forefront of the battles against darkness with Durand, for he feels responsible for the rift between the gods of Light and Dark. His faith help where they can, often traveling simply, and few have any positions of authority. In spite of this, they often end up where they need to at the oddest of times.Dark
Arissana, Goddess of Pride. Leader of the dark gods, Arissana feels the greatest pain from her transformation. Now dark and beautiful, she dominates with an iron fist, gaining the most pleasure from gaining the adoration and service of others. She is the planner and plotter of the war, but leaves the implementation to others.
Bhelkor, God of Sloth. Bhelkor is possibly the least active of the dark gods, likely because he can't move his body without magical aid. However, this very lack has led to him growing skilled with magic, and he is the patron of those who wish to get others to do their work everywhere. Bhelkor is, oddly, the closest that the dark gods have to a recruiter for the war.
Gheldine, Goddess of Greed. Gheldine, the gilded devil, is the patron of wealth and acquisition. She desires to have everything, and her faith reflects this. Her temples and shrines are works of art, as well as being well-guarded vaults of treasures. Thus, her warriors often guard the cities that they have acquired fiercely.
Jacqueline, Goddess of Lust. Jacqueline is the First Succubus, and is the seducer and taker of souls of the Abyss. She is darkness and desire embodied, and her fell charms have seduced many. Her faith is rarely in the open, nor does it need to be. Others fall into her arms almost without her trying. Her role in the war is as a spy and saboteur, a task at which she excels.
Lorvault, God of Gluttony. Lorvault, the gluttonous lord, hungers to consume. Thus his concerns include both the living, who desire to eat as well, and the undead, who lust for life. Even the other dark gods are careful around Lorvault, given his short temper and proclivities. Often having to fight for more territory to gain that which he desires, Lorvault is combative and aggressive, fighting frequently in the war with his necromancer servants.
Orethon, God of Envy. Orethon is sometimes the least respected of the dark gods, but only out of ignorance. The god is petty, jealous, and known for his love of poisons and assassinations. Few know much about his mind, for he is private and loves his secrets, to the point that he has killed more than one favored servant who might have learned too much. Unsurprisingly, his role is that of an assassin in the war.
Zephyr, Goddess of Wrath. Zephyr is the goddess of destruction and war. Other gods may dance around the issue, but Zephyr is exceedingly simple. She is short-tempered dangerous, and insanely powerful in direct combat. Fortunately for her allies, she is also easy to distract and manipulate. Oddly, her closest ally amongst the dark gods in Jacqueline, who finds the destructive goddess fascinating. For obvious reasons, Zephyr is the one who leads the battle lines in war.Unaligned
Death, Deity of Endings. Death is simply that. The god of endings and destruction. Little is known about Death except its inevitability. It's said that Death came to be a deity after millennia of war, mortals came to believe in it so greatly that a deific force came into being, and that is the god of Death. Death is the god of undead and the dieing. Death is the one prayed to to prevent one rising as undead, or to wish death on one's enemy. The other gods acknowledge that Death exists, but all of them seem to be afraid to speak of Death.Races
When it comes to angels and fiends, each has a specific role and general appearance. By and large, these are the ones that one would encounter out in the world. Unfortunately for everyone, fiends have interbred, creating hybrids, and some others have been created. None of the more specialized latter forms have been included. Each angel or fiend is categorized by its virtue or sin, though this is simply the creature's heritage. Any angel or fiend can choose to swear allegiance to a new faction, and as such there are all types of outsiders in the various factions. All angels and fiends are generally human in appearance, though they have unique and sometimes monstrous features. Most are usually oddly beautiful, however, even if in a monstrous way.Angels
Charity: Angels of Charity are most often recognized by a slightly more ragged appearance. They tend to plain clothing, but they are characterized by a willingness to give what they can to aid others and their happiness at helping others in whatever way they can. Their powers tend toward the healing of others and a greater gift for building and constructing.
Chastity: Angels of Chastity are almost uniformly beautiful, shining with an internal radiance and garbed in beautiful clothing. They also all wear chastity belts that protect their sacred chastity, though their vows extend to touching others as little as possible. Most of these angels are female, but by no means all of them. Many such angels seem aloof and unreasonably calm, possessed of a great sense of themselves. Their powers tend toward magic, particularly divination, and many possess knowledge of an enormous variety of subjects.
Diligence: Angels of Diligence are universally fit, though they vary from being heavily muscled to simply being perfectly balanced in form. Many such angels are male, and a disproportionate number have become warriors. Their powers, such as they are, are simply their inhuman toughness and physical prowess, whether that be as a mason, carpenter, or warrior of any ilk.
Humility: Angels of Humility are oft recognized by their relatively humble garb and oddly wing-less state, yet their eyes hold a knowledge of who they are, and yet how little they know. Oft traveling alone, these are the least numerous of the angels. Their powers are an inner knowledge of the natural order and they have an intuitive knowledge of the martial arts, a knowledge they use with abandon when it is needed.
Kindness: Angels of Kindness are beautiful, like those of Chastity, but it is a much friendlier, earthier beauty. Where they live, plants grow much more quickly and vibrantly than in other places. With a friendly smile, they will speak to anyone at all, seemingly with no preconceptions. This does not mean they are soft, though, for they are quick to punish those who do not learn from a first mistake, and their penances are often unusually harsh. These angels have great powers of healing, and some have powers to influence plants as well.
Patience: Angels of Patience are most oft recognized by their lack of words. Speaking only rarely, these angels are known as observers, though they are willing to help where needed. They take the long view, and thus are most welcome amongst elves, as humans find them disturbing. Sometimes they are battle commanders, but most often these angels help mortals plan ahead, sometimes without the mortals even knowing about their actions. These angels have a gift for foresight, but their precise abilities vary according to the individual nature of the angel.
Temperance: Angels of Temperance are often mistaken for those of Humility or Patience, but they are universally fit, without too much or too little fat or muscle on their bodies. They practice all things in moderation, making certain to never go too far, yet rarely not going far enough. Their powers tend to be intensely focused and precise, allowing them to strike with precision, whatever their individual interest.Champions
Avatars: Avatars are those fallen mortal spirits who have been gifted with a fragment of the deity's divine essence, turning them into a form of angel. The power of the Avatar is based on the power of the individual in life, making it an honor bestowed only on the truly powerful. However, only rarely does an Avatar achieve the power of a greater angel or fiend, for those beings are amazingly potent. The reason for a god choosing to make a spirit into an Avatar is simple, however. An Avatar retains their free will, and they may also travel anywhere in the planes without their power diminishing, making them more powerful than a greater angel in some cases. Additionally, the risk to a deity is greater. Should an Avatar be slain, the power invested in them returns slowly, taking a year to cross each terrace on its way back to the deity. And those with the proper knowledge or rituals can steal that essence instead, empowering themselves. Still worse, the power cannot be revoked except in person, with the Avatar's permission. More than one deity has had their Avatar turned to the other side, leaving them weakened and the other side strengthened.
Champions: When a mortal truly exemplifies a god's virtue or sin, whether the god is light or dark, the god appropriate may take notice of the mortal. If this mortal consistently continues to show those actions that the god approves of, they may make the mortal one of their Champions, bestowing powers on the mortal. These mortals are known as the God-Touched. Many of them only briefly gain the powers bestowed by their deity, but some few are granted greater and greater powers, until they have gained the full mantle of power that the deity can grant. A deity can only grant a single individual in all the terraces this full mantle at a single time, so deities are cautious granting such power, especially as, should the mortal be killed, the power invested in the mantle is slow to return to the deity. However, neither side can afford not to grant their mantle to a mortal, as it would weaken them to the other side. However, when a mortal falls, the deity can choose to offer the mortal the chance to become their Avatar, an offer that occurs only rarely.Fiends
Envy: A fiend of Envy is a thin, almost wasted-looking creature with huge eyes and long fingers. They are exceptionally agile, and often have bat-like wings. They long to acquire the things that others possess, and love magic, wishing to horde it to themselves. This causes them to greedily attack wizards, killing them so that they have sole access to magic. Such fiends can often naturally turn invisible, and most have a gift for magic.
Gluttony: Fiends of Gluttony are frequently large, though not horrifically so. Some of them are alternately emaciated to the point that they look dead, with glittering, greedy eyes. In search of things to consume, these fiends eternally hunger, and are able to consume almost any amount of sustenance. These fiends have the ability to suck souls, though doing so causes them to take on even more disturbing, clawed and horned visages. Once in this form they are incredibly difficult to kill, as they often heal faster than a foe can harm them. Alternately, these fiends can take on this form by feasting on nearly their body weight in food. Many of these fiends also are able to raise the dead as undead servants, and others learn necromancy to do so.
Greed: Fiends of Greed most often glitter with fine clothing and jewelry, distracting others from their slight differences from others. They oft have small inhuman features, such as small horns, claws, or even sometimes additional limbs. These additions often look as if they're inset with precious stones or metals, allowing them to sometimes pass them off as jewelry. Some of these fiends can take on a more war-like form, however, which always glitters with the signs of the same precious materials. These fiends wish to possess things, whether those things are precious materials, land, or even individuals. They possess powers of divination for such things, and are skilled at reshaping materials. Some of them even are able to reshape flesh, which has led to more than one mortal rescue falling back in terror from the misshapen figure of the very individual they meant to rescue.
Lust: Fiends of Lust are attractive without exception. Some sport horns, tails or wings, but such is immaterial to them, for they are all shapeshifters, able to take any form and cause chaos. Lust is their calling and joy, and the aftermath matters little to many of them, though they love to acquire doting servants, often broken in mind. They also delight in manipulating would-be heroes into destroying their enemies, and they are very good at such things. Their most common powers are the ability to hide their aura as well as to utilize mental domination and charms. Additional common powers are their skill with binding contracts and enchantment magic, as well as pheromones that allow them to manipulate another even without magic.
Pride: With a tall, imperial form, fiends of Pride are arrogant and inhuman. Their sin the one that led to the cursing, their form is more difficult to hide than some. All of these fiends have alien features on their faces and heads, and often on the rest of their bodies as well. They are commonly scaled, horned, and some have hooves, as mere examples. But they are powerful, possibly the most powerful of fiends. They wish to rule with an iron fist, crushing others under their perceived omnipotence. Their powers vary wildly, but most have an affinity for fire and earth magic, and are able to shatter the very land with their strength.
Sloth: Fiends of Sloth are often disrespected, for they are slow to get anything done. They are slug-like and repulsive, but far too many of them are skilled with magic and more powerful than their bodies might imply. Additionally, they're often immensely tough, if only due to the sheer weight of fat that they carry on their bodies.
Wrath: The most feared of the fiends are those of Wrath. Many look mundane in their humanoid form, some of them even looking beautiful. But one can identify a fiend of Wrath by examining them closely, for their bodies are tattooed with fiendish runes hidden within the intricate designs. These designs give a hint of the fiend's other form, though one would be wiser to retreat quickly. Fiends of Wrath are often short-tempered, and others simply wish to do nothing but destroy. Yet, oddly, some can be reasoned with or easily distracted. Some can be bought off of an attack with something as simple as a beautiful song. But when angered, a Fiend of Wrath shapechanges into a horrible monster, a living engine of destruction that terrifies all who stand before it. Some take the form of dragons, others horrible, spined monsters, and still others appear as enormous armored figures made entirely of blades. No two of them are alike, and in their awakened form they are the most dangerous of their kind. They have few powers, merely relying on their strength, regeneration, and physical resilience to take them through battle. Some do have additional powers based on their alternate form, but such is suited to the form.Mortals
Dwarves: Short and stocky, dwarves rarely reach more than four and a half feet in height, yet they weigh far more than one might expect. This is due to their bones being made largely of stone. Dwarven flesh is incredibly dense, further increasing their weight. It is with good reason that dwarves loathe water, for they are unable to swim. However, this very denseness of their body makes them incredibly strong and resilient for their size. Pound for pound, no mortal race can match the sheer endurance, strength, and toughness of dwarves. Unfortunately, dwarves are notoriously insular and loyal to their home clan. They make their homes among mountains and hills, often beneath the earth, and make friends only slowly. Living upward of four centuries, they most often make friends with families, not individuals. Dwarves are reputed to be the masters of working metal and stone, as such is literally in their blood. Some others may be able to equal their work on an individual basis, but no other race has their inborn flair for metal and stone work. When they encounter fiends, most dwarven clans are staunch enemies, though a few clans now follow the Gods of Darkness or even individual demons.
Elves: Tall and slender, elves could be the antithesis of dwarves. Their bones are light but strong, and they are both quick and nimble on their feet. They are known to reach up to six and a half feet in height, though the average is closer to six feet, and they tend toward beauty and wisdom, and are most obviously identified by their long, slender ears that reach up to four inches outward. Elves are at home in forests or on the sea, as each brings peace and the sense of unexplored horizons to this folk. Elves rarely build cities, mostly tending to build small towns from which they can roam. They take care of their surroundings, being forced to take a long view with a lifespan that extends beyond three-quarters of a millennium. They have a gift for magic and items of fine detail, but they love to experience new things, particularly food and music. As their greatest homeland is the current battleground between fiends and angels, the elves have put their gifts for magic, archery and swordplay to work to defend their homes. But some have gone over to the other side, seduced by new experiences, powers, and even simple pragmatism and belief that the Gods of Darkness are taking the longer view.
Humans: The most numerous of all the races save goblin-kind, humans are ubiquitous. They are good and evil, allies of law or chaos, and confusing to many. However, they are simply people. They range from five to six feet in height on average, and are physically and mentally more fit than humans of many other worlds. But humanity is what it is, and far too many humans distrust the other races, and still others have chosen to ally with the Dark.Adena
The eight terraces of Adena are each unique places of their own, almost their own worlds. Each is a over three thousand miles across (approximately the size of North America) and each contains two portals, one to the terrace above it, and the other to the terrace below it. And each of these terraces has a distinct edge to it, where one can, if one is determined, fall off the terrace. The edge of each terrace is steep and mountainous, forming a ledge of sorts to keep anyone from accidentally falling off into Chaos, where they will likely dissolve into nothing.
Cathedral, the 1st Terrace: The terrace closest to Heaven, Cathedral is an idyllic paradise. The land is gently rolling hills, open fields, craggy mountains, and tranquil forests. In this land live many humans, dwarves, and elves, in gleaming cities that make many other realms look shabby by comparison. Here the faith of the Gods of Light is strongest, and few fiends or cultists make themselves known, and those that do are quickly destroyed. However, there are shadows to Cathedral, in spite of what the faiths can do. They just aren't as open as the other terraces, by comparison, and most conflicts take place in political arenas, paralyzing the realms of Cathedral in bickering.
Osira, the 2nd Terrace: Unlike all the other terraces, Osira is the home of the only true sea that Adena has ever known. While other terraces have large lakes that they call seas, the sea of Osira spans most of the terrace. Mediterranean in climate and navigability, Osira is dotted with dozens of large islands and realms. Filled with ships that gather their main export, fish, and exploring the horizons of their sea, Osira is home to many humans and elves, but dwarves avoid it like the plague. The greatest dangers of Osira are some sea monsters from the depths and the weather, which can spawn impressive storms that would almost be alien to its climate.
Mountainheart, the 3rd Terrace: Home to the vast majority of dwarven clans, Mountainheart is a rugged, mountainous terrace. Vast stores of ores and gems pocket the mountains, as well as good building stones. This terrace would be almost impassable if it weren't for the great engineering projects of the dwarves, for they've carved immense highways through the mountains to haul their goods across the terrace. The dangers come from the dragons that dwell in the mountains, immense, hostile beasts that hunger for gold, as well as giants and goblins that live to raid and steal.
Dale, the 4th Terrace: Dale is a land of rolling hills and small forests, a land where farmers and horse lords hold sway. Giant eagles and rocs nest in the mountains surrounding the hills, preying on the antelope and other herd animals that roam the lands. Few other threats roam Dale, save for purely mortal ones, as the various lords vie with each other for territory. Most travelers are unmolested by these private conflicts, but sometimes the feuds grow dangerous and spill over. Additionally, there are the nomad tribes that claim allegiance to no one. And plenty of bandits roam the terrace, making life where they can.
Jewel, the 5th Terrace: A land of strange symmetry, Jewel is a land with a vast lake in the center of the terrace, on the edge of which sits the capital of the Empire of Jewel, Amethyst. This realm, more than any other short of Lylaen, knows of the dangers of the Abyss, for they have to guard the portal to Lylaen against the threat of the lower terrace falling to darkness. Jewel is home to many mage academies, knightly orders, and temples where they train heroes to defend their lands, and to venture forth into Lylaen to attempt to drive the Darkness back. This land, more than those above them, holds the burning spirit and drive that is necessary to slow the Darkness. But whether they can stop the Abyss is a question that has yet to be answered.
Lylaen, the 6th Terrace: Lylaen is sometimes considered the home terrace of the elves. Enormous forests cover the vast majority of the terrace, and frequent luminescent mists and dense fogs add to the mystery and quiet of the land. Unfortunately for both the elves and those who live in Lylaen, this terrace is where the current battle between Light and Dark is waged. Fiends lurk in the depths of the wood, corrupting and striking from the shadows. But the defenders have not lost, not yet. The elves are also at home in the woods, and they do their best to fight this war of attrition wisely. The towns and villages are small fortresses, some of them centered around the homes of angels that were trapped here ages ago, when fiends came to be. But there are two locations of major note. Cindersedge was once a peaceful trade city, but was renamed after decades of war ravaged it. The ruins surround the portal to Heaven's Scar, and the ownership of the ruins changes frequently. Neither side can afford to allow the other to keep it for long, and thus it is the location of many bloodbaths. The other is Citadel Windspire, a massive fortress that guards the portal to Jewel. Heavily warded and defended, Windspire is also home to Karyldian Skyspear, an Avatar of Alain and the greatest defender of the portal. Some whisper that she is further empowered by hidden altars across Lylaen and guarded by priestesses of her faith.
Heaven's Scar, the 7th Terrace: Heaven's Scar is a terrace of volcanoes, broken land and immense gorges. It wasn't always this way, having once been a land of rolling prairies and grasslands. This changed with Lorand, the first Avatar of Durand fought the Avatar's of Darkness with all his might nearly two thousand years ago. The devastation that the battle wrought set back the plans of the Dark by nearly a millennium, but at a tremendous cost. The gods, both Light and Dark, have since reduced the power of their Avatars, reluctant to destroy so very much. Few mortals live here, but those that do are hardy and strong, able to survive the predations of the fiends that also make their homes here.
The Blasted Wastes, the 8th Terrace: Once known as Kyrsan, the Blasted Wastes were always a land of dunes and deserts. But once there were many oasis's and pockets of life where one could gather rare spices and herbs to trade with others. Once it was a place of tradesmen and nomads. But that was before the coming of the fiends, and the desperate counterstroke of Alain's servants. The land of Kyrsan was cursed, and oasis dried up, life all but died. The land was cursed in such a way so as to make even the Abyss reluctant to consume it. Demons prowl the Blasted Wastes, and their slaves and servants do what it takes to survive the wasteland. A few free peoples still survive on the fringes of this land, but they are little better than the fiends, and many of them serve the dark gods willingly.Heaven
Heaven is perfection in material form, and at times it seems barely material itself. Here the weather is perfectly suited to what it needs to be, the land is idyllic and ranges from mountains to seas. The expanse of Heaven seems virtually limitless, and within it live the Gods of Light, many of the angels, and the souls of the faithful of Light. Yet it is here that the danger of the Abyss is most keenly sensed. The inhabitants can feel the encroaching corruption of the Abyss, and under the surface one can see them quietly preparing for a war that they fear is inevitable, and one that they fear that they might lose. Here the gods themselves walk the lands, doing what they can for their followers, and they can sense any hints of corruption and purge it quickly. However, this cannot stop the Dark, for that battle is taking place on Adena. The result of that conflict may well determine the fate of Heaven itself.Abyss
Where Heaven is a vision of perfection, the Abyss is a hideous, tormented place. Much like Heaven, the Abyss is nearly limitless, but the similarities end there. No earth is known to exist in the Abyss, nor are there normal trees or rivers. Instead one has living flesh underfoot, flesh that is resilient yet easily tunneled into, much like the ground of other planes. But within the earth are bones, sinew and all the other hallmarks of flesh, and on rare occasion one finds points where the very ground bleeds when struck. Rivers are of blood or bile, filling the air with noxious fumes. And instead of mountains one has bony ridges and spires. New fiends spring forth from tumors in the earth, born of fallen mortal souls or of copulation between the many forms of fiends. Palaces of flesh and bone mark the lairs of the powerful denizens of the Abyss, and the greatest of these fortresses mark the homes of the Gods of Darkness themselves. Occasional heroes choose to enter these fortresses, and only rarely have any of them managed to leave alive and uncorrupted.