Religions of Madoria
The Gods of Madoria
A deity of Madoria is a supernormal being that has attained immortality, eternal youth, and the ability to act as a potential(*), or a nexus point for channeling magical energy between the Shadow and the Manifest Lands(*). A Madorian deity is not usually omniscient, and never omnipotent or omnipresent. Normal physical laws will apply unless the deity has specific powers to circumvent them.
A wizard is a being with similar powers of a deity, except that immortality — and often, but not always, eternal youth — has not yet been achieved. Wizards are still fantastically powerful beings that often meddle in the affairs of normal men.
Human cultures typically organize deities into pantheons that serve their needs as a people. Sometimes a deity will adopt a guise that is most acceptable to his or her followers, and thus may appear in several pantheons under different names. How a deity balances the needs of diverse cultures with his or her own can lead to interesting conflicts.
Deities do not require worshippers, but various acts of worship will make a deity more powerful. Such acts include not only prayer and devotion, but the construction and enrichment of shrines and temples as well. The deity in return will broker the energy acquired from worship into miracles (most often through the acts of divine representatives) to further the health and success of religious community. The history of Madoria can be read as a constant struggle between opposing religious groups fighting over and managing resources.
Madorian gods transcend physical form, and yet require a physical agent to enact physical effects. In contrast, a wizard does not transcend physical form, and is thus his or her own physical agent. The combination of power and vulnerability makes wizards highly sought-after but often short-lived. The least servants of a deity, on the other hand, are often not powerful enough to be noticed and yet quite expendable.
There are different kinds of physical agents, ranked according to the ability to channel magical energy. Each form requires preparation time proportional to its power. An avatar — a physical representation of the deity — is the most powerful form, imposing few constraints upon the deity. However, the avatar may take thousands of years to create, all the while drawing upon the energy from worship. On the other end of the scale a mortal representative such as a priest has few powers but may take only a few years to prepare.
|Example Physical Forms of Madorian Powers|
Physical agents are mortal and thus vulnerable to attack by enemies. The destruction of an avatar, for example, can set back the followers of a deity by hundreds of generations of growth. For this reason, a deity may choose to never create an avatar, but instead populate its forces with lesser agents, or else wait until sufficient lesser agents are in place before invoking an avatar.
The physical agent does not appear out of nowhere, but must be grown through natural means. Also, deities do not create other deities in this manner. Wizards are typically born accidentally.