P4 Small Gods

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The Small Gods

In her monumental tome of prophecy, “The Book of Ages”, the prophetess known to the Shaan only as the Broken Lady laid out a list of twenty-one minor gods who would arise in the new Era following the death of Loki. Since then her disciples and various Shaan sages have attempted to discern, from the cryptic clues she left, the name and natures of these gods. The following is the list as it is understood by Captain E. Jacob Riley, who studied under the monks of the Omoeia Monastery, and has spent much time and effort in pursuit of these Great Revelations.

The 22 Small Gods of the Aetheria
The Manipulator Strongly believed to be Cameron d’Caeli Last seen operating a tea house in Satyeva (Chukos). Known in many circles for many things.
Our Lady of Life and Death, ‘Her Ladyship’ Confirmed to be Georgina Chandler, with Acolytes (The Deathsong Clerics) Whereabouts unknown
The Lady of Gears, ‘Gearmother’ Confirmed as a Full Manifestation with Acolytes Occupies Loft. Many surviving Exceptionals have joined her service.
The Emperor Confirmed Recurrent Full Manifestation The Emperor of All Things, Once and Future Ruler of All the Aetheria. Has the power to command fanatical allegiance. Sacrificing The Emperor is a powerful Binding device. Currently a child connected to the Mayor of Hart’s Falls
The Broken Lady Confirmed Manifestation, suspected deceased Contributed to the Shaan resurgence and knowledge of the Small Gods
The Strategos/The Chariot Confirmed to have manifested as Kyou Songen Awoken in 892 by Lughnassa and stopped by Sin Dao. Trapped at Satyeva by the manifestation of Saint Eva of Our Lady of Life and Dedath, then defeated by The King of Stars’ forces in 895. Reformed into Kyou Songen, and secreted away.
The Grey Knight Believed to be either a perpetual or recurrent Manifestation Suspected participant of the Virtuous Order
The Vanishing Lord Believed to be either a Partial or Full recurrent Manifestation as Sir Johannes von Sonnen Whereabouts unknown, chasing Lughnassa
The Book of Justice Believed to Manifest as a Recurrent Divine Miracle
The Hanged Man Observed as a Manifested Recurrent Divine Miracle His words are sorrow and madness.
Nidhog Old God of terrible portent. Believed Partial Manifestation. Incorporeal. Possibly linked to the Devourers. Source of concern.
The King of Stars Ephraim Jacob Riley A rallying cry for oppressed forces. Provenance of “Balance”? His fate is tied to Solar & Lughnassa. Hopelessly outclassed
Lughnassa, ‘the Dragon’ Believed to be a Full Manifestation, with Acolytes (The Midnight Brotherhood) Her brood seeks revenge on the persons who injured her. Possibly has a lair on the Continent. Mother of Ziroc and Chassa?
Solara, ‘the Phoenix’ Believed to be a Full Recurrent Manifestation, with Acolytes Current status unknown, but suspected recently active
The Angel of Death Believed to be a Recurrent Partial Manifestation
The Great Wheel Believed to be a Perpetual Divine Miracle Largest and most powerful organized religion in the known Aetheria
Manifestations and Divine Miracles

The nature of the Small Gods as divine entities is but poorly understood among the most learned scholars; even the Gods themselves do not seem to truly understand yet what they are, why they are, or how they are meant to interact with the world. However they seem to fall broadly into three categories:

  1. Divine Miracles are those Small Gods who appear without human shape and seemingly with any sentience or agenda. They represents forces in their purest state, like the Great Wheel which, according to those few who have seen it, appears as a large but otherwise unspectacular wood-and-gilt wheel which nonetheless contains limitless power to compel men to obey the dictates of their obligations to one other. The Book of Justice is itself a book which records by means of some divine mystery not only the name and the balance of the good and ill deeds of every sentient being in the Aetheria, but also a litany of every crime comitted along with the identities of those responsible. Neither offers any opinion as to how their power should be used, neither consciously draws acolytes or issues commands, but each is, unquestionably, a Small God.
  2. Of a very different stripe are the Full Manifestations; like Our Lady of Life and Death these beings have outward form and inward thoughts not so very different from we mortals. That they can be cruel, cunning capricious, benevolent, compassionate, lustful, greedy, bashful, and a thousand other emotions beside has no bearing on their divine role, and seems indeed to be affected by it only in the way that our own capacities and callings naturally shape our souls. These are the least bound to the Balance, and the most dangerous to the Aetheria. Luckily, few of them have discovered the fullness of their powers…
  3. Finally there are the Partial Manifestations; they are a sort of midpoint between the two extremes; though they have the outward form of Full Manifestations, and may even believe themselves to be perpetual inhabitants of the Aetheria, they seem to blink in and out of existence as dictated by their role in the Balance, appearing only when it is right that they do so. Their actions and agenda are thought to be more closely linked with their true nature than is so for the Full Manifestations.
Minor Divines and the Gifted

The sheer quantity of Divine Power that poured through Miss Chandler when she released Loki was too much even for the 22 Small Gods to absorb. Many ordinary individuals absorbed quantities of this energy, becoming extraordinarily long lived; these are called ‘the Gifted’. The Gift may make itself known at any time in a person’s life, some find that the flower of their youth lasts centuries, the less lucky enjoy extended old age or infancy that lasts beyond the lifespans of their parents. It remains unclear what role these Gifted have to play in the great cosmological Balance.

There are some, both Gifted and not, who possess sufficient power to be described as godlike. Some, like the most powerful Fey, are relics of the Old Gods era; others, like the Three Liche Lords, have ineffable origins; a few are arcanists with the rare combination of natural talent, perseverance, brilliance, and good luck necessary to rise to the very heights of sorcerous power; many are merely full to bursting with the Gift. The list below names a few Minor Divines that our heroes have encountered so far. Note that it does not list the merely Gifted, for there are far too many for that.

  • Arch-Wraith Senneth Vanir
  • The Three Liche Lords
  • → Aurelius Victor
  • → ???
  • → ???
  • Sin Dao
  • Duchess Aemelia deVerdane
  • The Cold Man
  • The Missing Angel of Kolyat-Vadra
  • The Child-God of the Three Rivers
Other Evidence

Riley’s Shaan training has given him an interest in searching out the Small Gods on his own. So far Riley has noted the following:

  • The Hanged Man appears a few years prior to sweeping disasters. Ephraim has had a vision of The Hanged Man, (Satyeva, 892), who appeared after a woman, swathed in red desert robes, with piercing blue eyes. Ephraim is not sure if the woman is another personage or just a manifestation of the voice of this Small God.
  • Nidhog lacks corporeal form, and may still possess Raphael Fortunato’s soul.
  • A red bird, possibly a phoenix, was addressed as Solara in a vision of ages past. Given the recent encounter with Lughnassa it is almost assured that this bird is in fact the full manifestation of Solara.
  • The same vision included Diggle in the role of a reincarnating child emperor. This character has been killed and sacrificed many times; at least once by Cameron d’Caeli. It has been revealed that the sacrifice of The Emperor is a powerful binding tool.
  • References to Devourers have been shown with increasing regularity on Riley’s adventures. They may be tied to Nidhog or The Angel of Death.
  • Talian Sheppard has shown promise as a Gifted individual — in one future vision he was seen killed and restored through a mysterious (possible self-induced) means. Combined with his uncanny aptitude for adaptation and learning, Riley suspects that Talian may represent some Divine Aspect.
The Song, a Memorial to Deeds done at the first defeat of the Strategos on Chukos

A cold and grey morning;
follows every night;
A cold grey knight;
guards the wall;
The last emp’rer dies for you;
Give over;
Give over;
The lady, the light,
A cold grey morning,
Lit by the light,
Of a bird of flames
A cold grey morning,
Beneath the moon,
The dragon stands forth,
The lord engage,
And stars remain to bear the pain,
Oh oh
Of cold grey mornings,
And broken walls.

Give over;
Give over;
Give your life for the lords,
Who watch the wall,
Give your life,
Give your life,
To the lords of the wall,

The strategos,
a’top a chariot,
Coming from the east,
From wrack,
From ruin,
A king of conquest
An appetite for death
Here, at last,
Drive him,
Throw him,
Ward him off,
Buy your time,
your hours, your years,
The war you fight will come once more;
And so;
And so;

Give over,
Give over;
Give your life for the lords,
Who watch the wall,
Give your life,
Give your life,
To the lords of the wall

Trapped by the lords,
Who watch the wall,
Trapped by the avarice;
That led him there,
We know his ways,
We know his ways,
We know his ways;
Vanishing lords,
We know her ways,
Lady of gears,
And we know,
We know,
The falling night;

P4 Small Gods

To Fly on Metal Wings EJacobRiley