The inhabitants of Aenar have forever speculated the existence of the gods and the world beyond the physical. Whether it has been the Uvil in Haemus Mons or the Svet in Marharia, the afterlife has awed the minds of mortals. As expected, the many races have developed different belief systems about how the world was brought into existence.
In Aenar, we find major gods and goddesses, lesser deities, individual gods that are solely recognized, and also those that give no credit to a divine creator. It will be found that in this world, the belief systems in another part of the world may not be fully understood. The Anshedar are unlikely to know of Lesh, the Arkono are unlikely to know of Strega, and the Uvil may care about nothing but Runista.
The Pantheon of the Gods and Goddesses
Most of the inhabitants in Aenar respect a generalized polytheistic pantheon of gods and goddesses. The polytheists believe in two existences, the physical world and the spiritual world. Within the spiritual world, there are considered to be two places of resting, Thrice Ten Kingdom and the Netherworld. Believers of this faith state that every person is given a charge upon their creation, and the completion of that charge in their life designates where they will go after death. The struggle is that no person knows what their charge is for certain, and must follow their instinct and the signs of the gods to discover their path. If an individual completes their charge, they are rewarded with entry to Thrice Ten Kingdom. If not, the individual is sentenced to the frozen wasteland of the Netherworld to become a demon.
The High God of Wisdom and Fire, Svarog, is the Grandfather of the Gods, Lord of Lords, and Keeper of Kowin the Deathless. He is perceived as an old man engulfed in flames wielding a handful of fiery spears. The Lord of Lords rules over Thrice Ten Kingdom and is married to Lada. Dahz is his favored son, whom he gave reign of the Sun.
The Goddess of Love, Beauty, and Fertility, the Lady of Flowers, and the Mother. Lada is the wife of Svarog. She is perceived as a young, beautiful woman with ears of grain braided in her long golden hair. Lada is said to travel between the physical and spiritual world spreading love to the living and the dead equally. She may be found in the Beyond or within the City of the Gods, Iriy.
The Goddess of Envy, Goddess of Crafts and the Soil, Mokosh is known primarily as the Weaver. Mokosh is perceived as an old woman wearing simple household attire. She is the wife of Perom, and is said to manipulate the skeins of Fate. Rain is often referred to as Mokosh’s milk, especially when it joins the lighting and thunder of Perom. Mokosh is seen as a powerful woman, and encourages women to use the magical arts.
Called the Thunder-Bearer, Perom is the Creator of all mortal races. He is the Lord of Aenar, carrying the thunder-axe. Perom is perceived as a silver-haired man with a copper beard, wearing an eternal crown with nine distinct flames. It is believed that Perom lives in the city of Iriy, the City of the Gods, located in the Shade Fells.
The God of War and Glory, Master of the Oracle, Svathevit, is often referred to as Svathevit the Red. Svathevit is the God with Four Heads, with one facing in either direction. Svathevit travels with his favored weapon, the sword, in one hand and his drinking horn in the other.
The Svet worship Svathevit, but call him Rujan. The Svet recognize the pantheon but see Rujan as the most powerful of the gods.
The God of Death, God of Magic, and God of Dragons. Wolos is known as the Horned God. Wolos has many other names, including Protector of the Eternal Fallows [who nourishes the the Ash Tree] and Protector of the Frost. Sometimes he may be represented with legs of a fawn or goat and hooved feet. He carries a harp and a spear. Wolos fights Marheena during the Season of Frost, protecting the mortals until Strega is able to come and ultimately destroy the Frozen Witch.
The God of Wind and Water, Ancestor of the Nine Winds, and Defeater of Marheena. Strega is known as the Powerful, wielding his mighty trident. Strega is viewed as a man with a long white beard and large angelic wings, who carries a long horn used to speak to the Nine Winds.
The God of Harvest, God of Rebirth, the Trickster, and God of Fertility, Gero governs over the Season of Warmth. Gero is perceived as a young man, clad in green clothes, with the head of a stallion. He enjoys excessive songs of merriment and festivals. Gero is the son of Perom, but was taken on the day of his birthing by Wolos. He was subsequently raised by Wolos among the Eternal Fallows.
The Goddess of Nature & Magic, Marheena is the Frozen Witch, the Goddess of the Netherworld. She is also known as the Goddess of Sickness, Nightmares, and Hunger. Marheena is represented by a beautiful woman with red flowing hair in the Season of Warmth with flowing gowns of gold and purple. Upon the Season of Frost, Marheena transforms into an ugly, old hag and terrorizes the world with her frozen wrath.
She uses her death magic to turn the dead into horrific demons in the hereafter. The Netherworld is located beyond the Nine Lands, pass the Kalinov Bridge, which is guarded by the three-headed dragon, Zyem.
The Lightbringer and the Protector of Man, Dahz is known as the White-Clad. Dahz is perceived as a young man with fiery hair like his father, Svarog. Dahz is the husband of Myestera. Dahz carries the Sun across the sky with his chariot, pulled by an oversized goat stag. He carries his favored weapon, the hammer, Mulafell.
The God of Darkness, Hatred, and Sacrifice, Czern is known as the Grey-Clad. He is perceived as a dark wanderer, wearing a decaying stone crown. Most of the world is fearful of Czern, but areas shroud in darkness, like the Dyndaer, worship him with vigor. Czern is said to rule the night hours, opposite of his brother Dahz, with his reign increasing during the long, dark hours of the Season of Frost.
The Moon Goddess and the Mother of the Stars, Myestera is the wife of Dahz. She is represented as a lovely moon maiden with dark hair. She is said to bring harmony and healing to families. Believers may worship her to remove sickness or restore life to loved ones. Myestera is seen during the night hours to watch Dahz’s brother, Czern, to be assured that he does not cause unnecessary mischief.
Alternate Beliefs Apart From the Pantheon
Runista is the oldest of known belief systems and predates organized religion. Runista practices are frequently considered to be dark magic or some variant of evil, tied to the old-dark, or Likhyi, the gods before the current pantheon.
Runista was developed before time was recorded. The worshippers are likely to pay homage to the dead or deceased loved ones. Runista worshipers hold beliefs in animalistic and dualistic creation of the world. Runista understands the world to be a separation of light and dark, fire and water, good and evil, and other similar opposing forces. It is rumored that the followers of Runista supposedly know the how to tell the future with crafted runes embedded with ancient magical forces, speaking with the dead, or other forms of unnatural divination. Runista believers look for signs in the physical world to lead them during their lives whether this is through divination practices, the guiding stars, or dreams.
Lillith is recognized as the mother of the Lilitu people. It is claimed that she was created by Lada as a companion for men. The legend states that Lillith was quickly disgusted by men and therefore sought out Alu, a powerful spirit. The union of Lillith and Alu brought forth the race of Lilitu. Lillith is considered separate from the gods and goddesses in most areas of the world. Although the Lilitu may recognize the regular pantheon of deities, they primarily pay homage to their creator, Lillith.
Lesh is a pantheistic belief system out of Haemus Mons that has very little root in Marharia. Lesh is not a personal or anthropomorphic god, but simply an understanding that the universe and divinity are one in the same. The believers of Lesh see the world as occurring around them whether they are part of the world or not.