Deity

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The goddess Sarenrae battles the god Rovagug.
See also: Divine magic and Great Beyond

A deity, also called a god or goddess, is a being or force of incredible power capable of granting its power to mortal beings through divine magic. Each deity is strongly associated with specific domains, a plane (typically an Outer Sphere plane), and possibly an alignment.12

On Golarion

Golarion draws the interest and intervention of many deities, including some ascended from its ranks of mortal beings through supernatural forces such as the Test of the Starstone. These deities are often grouped by their followers' region or ancestry, though their power is rarely limited to such demographics.2 Others still have faded from relevance but still exist, and a handful have died—most prominently, the theorized death of Aroden corresponded with the calamities of the Age of Lost Omens.1

In one form or another, many of Golarion's faithful worship one or more of these gods:

Deities of the Inner Sea region

Other deities primarily worshiped in the Inner Sea region include:

Deities of other regions

Deities by ancestry

Many ancestries worship deities tied to their own kind.

Ascended deities

See also: Ascension, Ascended, Test of the Starstone, and Category:Ascended pantheon

Most deities have vague or unknown origins, but a few were once mortals whose histories and ascension were witnessed and recorded to some degree. These include:

Divine rank

The word "deities" is often used as an umbrella term that includes all divinities great and small; the term "gods" can either be used similarly, or be used to refer specifically to fully-fledged gods and goddesses who tower over the rest of the divine hierarchy and possess nearly unlimited power.

Demigods are powerful divine immortals, but do not reach the scope or power of a true god. Some, like archdevils and psychopomp ushers, serve their more powerful kin; others, such as velstrac demagogues, protean lords, and Iron Gods, are independent rulers.

Lastly, quasi-deities have the touch of divinity, but include both mortals and immortals.11 This category encompasses a vast range of divine standings, from Drokalion, an animal barely aware of his divinity, to Treerazer, a nascent demon lord on the cusp of attaining demigodhood.

Atheism

Razmir's followers are little more than a cult of personality.

Despite the frequent and public intercession of deities on Golarion, some mortals refuse to believe in or rebuke the authority of divine forces. Rahadoum in particular is well known for being a militantly atheistic state.

False gods

Not all who claim divinity actually wield it. For instance, followers of Razmir claim to draw divine power from their patron but instead wield deceptive arcane magic.12

Deities of other planes

Direct intervention

For all their power, deities are forbidden by informal arrangements, as well as ancient laws and edicts, from taking direct action in mortal affairs or each others' planar realms.1314 Direct intervention at a large scale would draw the wrath of a deity's opposing powers and risk their own destruction.14 However, there are recorded instances of deities violating these mores, particularly Aroden's direct defense of humanity against Ibdurengian15 and Tar-Baphon,16 and Desna's invasion of the Outer Rifts and destruction of the demon lord Aolar in retribution for the possession of a mortal priestess, which led to a direct conflict between multiple deities. Deities have also created offspring with mortals.14

Divine attributes

Nearly all gods have certain divine attributes that distinguish them from one another. These relate to either the divine being itself, or how they are worshiped by mortals.

Areas of concern

All gods have areas or concern or portfolios, subjects they and their followers focus on and hold in high regard.17

Favored weapons

Each deity has a favored weapon that is associated with him or her. Priests of a given deity tend to prefer wielding this weapon over others.18

Divine servants

Most deities employ a herald and divine servitors who act on direct behalf of their deity, as gods rarely manifest directly among mortals. When they do, a deific manifestation can be "killed", but doing so has little or no effect on the deity.19

Sacred animal

All deities have species of animals that are sacred to them and their followers.20 Many gods also have favored animals, to which a deity feels a special kinship or which seem in some way symbolic of the god or her attributes or dogma.21

Offspring

In especially rare cases, a god might procreate with a mortal. The resulting child is often fated for greatness and expresses supernatural powers.19

Forms of worship

Organized worship of a deity or divine entity is often referred to as religion.22 Followers of the hundreds of known deities express their devotion differently, but some commonalities emerge from cultural and religious differences.

Deities related to a religion, mythology, or tradition are often organized into pantheons. While many people worship a single deity who might belong to a broader pantheon, some people worship an entire pantheon as a collective entity.2324

Houses of worship

Worship often focuses at holy sites or temples, but organized services are not universally required. Shows of obedience and prayers can be simple or ritualized, and are a common means among a god's faithful of communicating with their deity. Deific power is equal among those who wield it, regardless of how many followers the god has or how powerful it is in relation to other gods, though the more practical capabilities of larger congregations can have a material effect on their followers' effectiveness.2

Divine classes

See also: Divine magic

The most capable among a deity's faithful often gain divine magic powers from their deity and take up a class to further specialize such gifts. In most cases this results in a cleric, inquisitor, or champion.25

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Sean K Reynolds, et al. Inner Sea Gods, 4. Paizo Inc.,
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Sean K Reynolds, et al. Inner Sea Gods, 6. Paizo Inc.,
  3. Sean K Reynolds. “Gods of Golarion” in Gods and Magic, 22. Paizo Inc.,
  4. Kate Baker, et al. Gruhastha” in Faiths of Golarion, 18. Paizo Inc.,
  5. Sean K Reynolds. “Gods of Golarion” in Gods and Magic, 26. Paizo Inc.,
  6. Neil Spicer. “Fires of Creation” in Fires of Creation, 8. Paizo Inc.,
  7. James Jacobs, et al. “Life in the Dragon Empires” in Dragon Empires Gazetteer, 61. Paizo Inc.,
  8. Colin McComb. “Minor Deities” in Faiths of Purity, 20. Paizo Inc., 2011
  9. Robert Brookes, et al. Hanspur” in Inner Sea Faiths, 63. Paizo Inc.,
  10. Robert Brookes, et al. Gyronna” in Inner Sea Faiths, 56. Paizo Inc.,
  11. Logan Bonner, et al. “2: Tools” in Gamemastery Guide, 127–128. Paizo Inc.,
  12. Jason Nelson, et al. “Variant Magic” in Inner Sea Magic, 10. Paizo Inc.,
  13. Amber E. Scott. “The Worldwound Incursion” in The Worldwound Incursion, 54. Paizo Inc.,
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Sean K Reynolds, et al. Inner Sea Gods, 8. Paizo Inc.,
  15. James Jacobs. “That Witch is Dead” in Lords of Chaos, Book of the Damned Volume 2, 31. Paizo Inc.,
  16. F. Wesley Schneider. “Continuing the Campaign” in Shadows of Gallowspire, 69. Paizo Inc., 2011
  17. Jason Bulmahn, et al. “Chapter 3: Classes” in Core Rulebook, 43. Paizo Inc., 2009
  18. Jason Bulmahn, et al. “Chapter 3: Classes” in Core Rulebook, 39. Paizo Inc., 2009
  19. 19.0 19.1 Sean K Reynolds, et al. Inner Sea Gods, 7. Paizo Inc.,
  20. Sean K Reynolds, et al. Inner Sea Gods, 317. Paizo Inc.,
  21. Amanda Hamon, et al. Animal Archive, inside back cover. Paizo Inc., 2013
  22. Religion on Wikipedia.
  23. Ron Lundeen & James Jacobs. Otari Gazetteer” in Abomination Vaults Player's Guide, 5. Paizo Inc.,
  24. Paizo Inc., et al. “Religion” in Travel Guide, 92. Paizo Inc.,
  25. Sean K Reynolds, et al. Inner Sea Gods, 10. Paizo Inc.,

External links

  • Deity (real-world concept) on Wikipedia
  • Religion (real-world practice) on Wikipedia