No greater source of confusion and debate exists than that of the pantheology of Evindale. There are twice as many religions as there are deities and not all deities are active which results in the notion that new religions must crop up to “awaken” the “sleeping” gods. In short, there is no one truth when it comes to Evindale theology except this: deities do exist, make themselves known every now and then, live and die but it is the Great Spheres that contain their power.
The Physics of Religion
Before anything else existed, including time or space, the Tirsar existed. It might be best to think of the Tirsar (literally “Old Masters” in the old tongue) as a collection of all that is possible within existence and are therefore infinite in scope. However they did not purposefully create anything. Remember, they’re nothing more than the concept of possibility given a fancy name. But they did do some neat stuff.
Their dreams and thoughts, collectively known as Tirsir’rg (“Dreams of the Masters”), started to take shape. Change was the first out of necessity. Stability came next to make sure Change continued to alter things. Where they intersected, Balance was created. Eventually an infinite amount of change and stability and a balance between was created which, in a way, codified how all other things were to work later.
Think of the Tirsir’rg as some kind of soap bubble with the concept of Chaos inside instead of air and no soapy residue. In the physical world these things could go from astronomical sizes that span multiple universes to something so small it only affects one subatomic particle at a time. Yes, the Tirsir’rg is the ToE of Evindale.
Creation came into being when Change and Balance intersected. And so it continues with an almost infinite variety of Spheres.
Things got really interesting when the newly created Creation touched on Chaos: Destruction was conceived. Instantly Balance intersected with Destruction and Creation to create the twins Life and Death, or the concept of something self-creating but in itself would only last so long. Balance intervened once more and intersected with both to create Cycle so Life would feed Death and vice-versa. Now here’s the interesting part.
Life existed as a concept but life did not yet exist as an entity. When it merged with Creation, the first of the gods was created: Drenathis, the deity of New Beginnings (and rapid ends).
As soon as Drenathis came into being, it died. Fail. Death had done its job well. Balance intersected with Death and Law to create some stability and longevity to the creation process which resulted in Time and blammo, problem fixed.
Drenathis v2.0 was soon created. Chaos stepped in with Life and now there was variety. Drenathis became rapidly self-aware and following the Law of Life, began to self-replicate. In fact, Drenathis became the Creator that so many within Evindale refer to instead of the Tirsar which many simply don’t know to have ever existed. Yet there are some rather scholarly cults dedicated to no god but instead the Tirsar.
While the gods, now known collectively as the Adrihar, were being created the Tirsir’rg were busy creating, destroying and more. But not even these new beings could understand how the Tirisir’rg worked and in their practice of over-simplifying certain concepts such as Change, new Spheres came into existence which were then associated with the Adrihar responsible for creating them. Of course, nothing is that simple and sometimes multiple Adrihar thought of the same concept. These new Spheres became the Domains that clerics and druids follow, i.e. Change became the Domains of Chaos, Artifice, and Madness while Stability was over-simplified into Law, Healing and Protection. Hence the reason why multiple gods have multiple Domains and each Domain may have multiple gods associated with them; the Tirsir’rg came first, then the gods.
Here’s the kicker: all of the above occurred in about one-billioneth of a second as we understand time. What was to follow, however, would take billions of years.
It was Sythlia, one of the few deities who was able to comprehend the Tirsir’rg as they were without breaking them down further who saw the need for Cycle to be expressed as it existed in their own life and death but nowhere else. As soon as Sythlia thought of it all of the original Tirsir’rg intersected and all of existence divided, the planes of existence were now created and the gods themselves found homes over which they would lord and expand their powers. In their own elements they cannot die, forever sustained by the energies of the Tirsir’rg that permeate that realm. This is their food, the very energies that make up the cosmos. If away from their Domain for too long, gods can and will die. Fortunately for them, the Material Plane contains most every Domain and it is here they meet each other. Unfortunately for them, they cannot siphon off of their Domain directly while here and must instead rely on those who can manipulate the Domains: mortal worshippers. The simple act of worshipping allows them to feed. Those who can convert others to their way of thinking are sometimes rewarded by the deities with those things they can control: mortal access to the Domains. In other words, the Adrihar can grant or deny access to their Domains to mortals but they themselves cannot use them when within the Material Plane. Only mortals can.
Sythlia, the deity who created the planes, is the only one who does not require worshippers in the Material Plane to survive. However she — yes, she — is forever bound to the Material Plane and cannot travel to others. Balance played a part in this, too, ironically. This is why despite her physical form (which she can change at will to anything she wishes), Travel is not one of her Domains.
She also has full access to all of her Domains and is able to use them. Without a need for worshippers in the Material Plane and a constant supply of spiritual food (the Material Plane itself), she is truly an example of a god in their own element: Master of all but no one there cares because of the lack of a need for a PR team.
Nonetheless, they can die. A deity locked in a plane without access to their own Domains will eventually starve. This is why the Material Plane is so profitable — they cannot die here. But they can disappear as mentioned before if they fail to recruit followers.
The Creation of Evindale
Sythlia has the power to create and destroy worlds. This is her realm, after all. But even a goddess, as powerful as she is, needs a place to relax and take a break. She has no problems with mortals whatsoever and enjoys walking amongst them — even giving birth to demigods such as Iviria — but sometimes the drama we mortals create can be a bit overwhelming, even for her.
Hence the realm of Evindale was created. It exists as islands West of the continent Erinnal and is reachable through the one-way journey known as Death. What lies beyond the shores of Evindale is anyone’s guess and no spell, no man nor god can access that realm without dying. Even the resurrected have no memory of Evindale. Because of the lack of empirical evidence, many doubt Evindale even exists. Which suits Sythlia just fine.
Nonetheless, it was because of demi-goddess Iviria who essentially brought culture to humans that we even know of the name “Evindale”. Over the many millennium since her disappearance (her cult would say her “returning home”), Evindale became known as the entirety of Sythlia’s creation, not just the islands to the west of the game setting.
How Mortals Screwed It All Up
Good and Evil as Domains didn’t exist before mortals. In fact, there was no such thing as alignment prior to mortals save for Chaos, Neutrality (Balance) and Law. Here’s a brief run-down of how these and some other domains came into existence.
- Mortals evolved.
- Mortals ate.
- Food went scarce.
- Mortals expanded to get more food.
- Other mortals expanded.
- Hungry mortals met hungry mortals.
- War started.
- Murder committed.
- Laws broken.
You get the rest. The actions and thoughts brought new gods into existence or perverted the ones already here. It’s hard to say what gods started off innocently enough before mortals mucked things up but there you go. Free thought both creates and destroys.