Out With the Old
Gods and Exarchs
A god is one of the prinicpal divinities ruling the cosmos. The following are the “true” gods of Ruz. The gods are capable of elevating proxies and go-betweens called “exarchs” as well. Some exarchs are shared by multiple deities, either as an emissary between the two or as a sign of some great joint venture. The exarchs of each god are listed in the god’s description.
Asmodeus, God of Tyranny
Avandra, Goddess of Change, Luck, Rivers, Travel, and Wind
Bahamut, God of Justice and Nobility, and Dragons
Bane, God of War and Conquest
Corellon Larethian, God of Magic, Spring, and the Arts
Erathis, Goddess of Civilization and Invention
Gruumsh, God of Destruction
Ioun, Goddess of Knowledge
Kord, God of Strength and Storms
Lolth, Demon-Goddess of Spiders, Drow, and Lies
Melora, Goddess of Wilderness and the Sea
Moradin Soul-Forger, God of Creation
Pelor, God of the Sun, Summer, and Agriculture
The Raven Queen, Goddess of Fate, Winter, and Death
Sehanine Moonbow, Goddess of Autumn, Twilight, Love, and the Moon
The Chained God
Tiamat, the Chromatic Dragon, Goddess of Wealth, Greed, Vengeance, and Dragons
Torog, the King Who Crawls, God of the Underdark, Jailors, and Torturers
Vecna, God of Secrets
Zehir, the Midnight Serpent, God of Snakes, Darkness, Murder, and Poison
Exarchs: An exarch is a lesser deity or demigod who exists wholly within a more powerful deity’s portfolio, sort of a cross between an avatar, and aspect, a Chosen, and an independent deity, but whom represents some specific aspect of that pantheon. Sometimes exarchs exist as “go-betweens,” emissaries or peace-keeper between two deities whose portfolios they occupy. Most exarchs were once mortal, but some are the children of divine unions or otherwise intentionally created.
Exarchs include Kurtulmak, father of the kobolds, who is not worshipped by his children, but exists to advocate for them in Tiamat’s courts, and Garl Glittergold, speaker for the gnomes among the Court of Stars. Following an exarch is typically a compromise between the ethoi of two deities, and so their tenets tend to be restricted by the values of both.
Because of this and the more limited scope of an exarch’s power, the path of an exarch’s faith tends to be narrower; to be a cleric of an exarch, you must match that deity’s alignment exactly. In most cases, an exarch is a way to add a more distinct cultural flavor to the worship of a particular deity; a priest of kurtulmak is still considered a priest of Tiamat, and a priest of Chronepsis is still considered a servant of the Raven Queen. The divine power a such character wields still descends from that god, even if it is passed through a filter first. And so, the exalted of a particular exarch find their way to the afterlife of the most appropriate god. Consequently, an exarch typically shares both Domains and alignment traits with its patron god.
When the values or churches of the gods that maintain an exarch, or the gods themselves, come into conflict, a number of things can happen. Most often, this is when the exarch’s position as diplomat becomes most vital; the exarch remains neutral in the conflict and seeks to establish a truce. Almost as likely, the exarch sides with the deity it most favors, either in general or in this particular conflict. Chronepsis might be beholden to both the Raven Queen and Tiamat, but at the end of the day his racial allegiance is not as vital to him as his position as judge of the dead.
The Seldarine Exarchs: The exarchs of the Seldarine are lesser deities, emissaries of Corellon to the other gods. Each Seldarine is effectively an elven or eladrin exarch of that god, who participates in the seldarine pantheon. Like some other exarchs, these deities serve as exarchs to two gods at once — one of the greater gods of the Seldarine, and the god whose dominion they represent. The Seldarine reside on Arvandor, but can often be found elsewhere, on missions for one or both gods, or acting as diplomats between the two.
The gods of the seldarine are Aerdie Faenya, Deep Sashelas, Erevan Ilesere, Fenmarel Mestarine, Hanali Celanil, Labelas Enoreth, Rillifane Rallathil, Shevarash of the Black Bow, and Solonor Thelandira. The Seldarine also include the patron deities of the gnomes: Garl Glittergold, Baervan Wildwanderer, Baravar Cloakshadow, and Gaerdal Ironhand. Urdlen, the Burrower Beneath, is technically one of the Seldarine, but is usually exiled from the Court due to his hostility toward, well, everything.
Note that because part of what exemplifies a deity is devotion to a portfolio, the allegiance of the Seldarine is always a little strained. Corellon Larethian is rarely able to to ask Deep Sashelas for a favor that Melora has already denied him, for example, because being a sea goddess is just as vital to Deep Sashelas’ values than her status as a patron of one of the fey races. But by the same token, Melora only rarely prompt Deep Sashelas to take actions that are against the interest of the Seldarine.
Other Godlike Beings
In addition to the “true” gods and exarchs, there are several beings so mighty as to rival the gods in power, but who do not qualify as gods nor as exarchs. These include the Primordials of bygone days and their corrupted brethren, the Demon Princes, the mightiest of the Primal Spirits and of the Archfeys, not to mention the enigmatic Dark Lords and the inconceivable Great Old Ones.