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Gods and demons were the primary inhabitants of the World of Spirit. They were different in the ways they came into being, in their interactions with people, and in their goals.

Creation of the Father, Mother, Daughter, and Son[]

The Father and Mother were created by the split of the World-Soul so that it could perceive itself. "And with that sweet perception, for the first time, love became possible in the heart of the World-Soul. Love was the first of the fruits of that realm of the spirit gifted back to the realm of matter that was its fountain and foundation. But not the last, for song was next, then speech."

"And the Father and the Mother between them began to order the world, that existence might not instantly be consumed again by fire and chaos and roiling destruction. In their first love for each other they bore the Daughter and the Son, and divided the seasons of the world among them, each with its special and particular beauty, each to its own lordship and stewardship. And in the harmony and security of this new composition, the matter of the world grew in boldness and complexity. And from its strivings to create beauty, plants and animals and men arose, for love had come into the fiery heart of the world, and matter sought to return gifts of spirit to the realm of spirit, as lovers exchange tokens."

Creation of demons[]

"But the fire at the heart of the world also held forces of destruction that could not be denied. And from this chaos rose the demons, who broke out and invaded the world and preyed upon the fragile new souls growing there as a mountain wolf preys upon the lambs in the valleys."

Creation of the Bastard[]

At the end of the Season of the Great Sorcerers, the fifth god was produced by a union between the Mother and the great-souled demon. He, "of all the gods, was given agency over both spirit and matter, for He inherited as servants the demons that His father's great sacrifice had conquered and enslaved and so swept out of the world."

Interaction of gods and people[]

The gods could not move matter, nor could they force a person's will. They could, however, suggest through dreams and use persuasion to convince a person to open up to them. When a person opened himself or herself up to the gods, the gods could then work through that person's soul.

They had no ability to affect the non-living material world; They could not change the weather or prevent earthquakes. They had a limited ability to influence animals; They could also influence plant growth but only at the speeds that plant normally grew.

On the other hand, They were near-omniscient, able to hold a deep understanding of every soul of every person in the world simultaneously. While not able to literally see the future, They were to predict, with good accuracy, things happening months or years in the future.

Given Their limitations and powers, Their goals were often accomplished not by flashy miracles but by an accumulation of small coincidences. A horse might shy at the wrong moment, or a person would feel unwell one morning and misses an appointment; a sailor might notice a ship's hull getting dangerously worm-ridden, or a bartender could happen to think of an old tale he hadn't remembered in years when asked.

"The gods are parsimonious" was a common refrain among theologians; They were known to take whatever opportunities They could to accomplish Their goals.

Interaction of demons and people[]

Demons could directly affect matter when hosted in humans; when their prior host died, they would jump into other people. There was always a danger that, sooner or later, they might take over the person's body. They used souls as their mounts.

It was possible, though rare, for a demon and a human to merge into a single entity.

Goals of gods[]

The gods strove for love and beauty. They were attracted to great souls. Their aims were towards eternal things beyond human understanding.

They were more concerned about souls than the worldly things that concerned men. They gave no indication of caring which king ruled a country or which army won a battle, but rather about the souls of all those killed in the fighting. They did seem to have one consistent goal: to avoid unnecessary sundering of souls.

Goals of demons[]

Demons strove to remain on living mounts, preferring humans over animals because they consumed their mounts' knowledge. They created chaos and did their best to elude being captured and returned to the fire at the heart of the world, as it was instant death for the demon.

References[]

  • Paladin of Souls, particularly the Sermon of the Creation of the Five Gods, as told to Ista at the beginning of her pilgrimage.
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