Gods of the Great Heavens
Also called the First Gods, the Empyrean Courts are divinities of great power. Creator gods who fought in the Dawn War, the Empyrean Courts discovered the secrets of mortal life and the power that the worship of such mercurial beings brings to those whose nature is that of the Astral Sea. These are gods of whole races and nations, and of the most noble and terrible of precepts.
Greater Empyrean Gods
- Aevo: Greater God of Skies and Kingship The Lord of the Skies and Master of the Horizon is a mighty kingly figure. The winds are his servants, and the moon and sun his children. Aevo is also the god of national identities, of tribal loyalties and concepts of sovereignty and nobility. He is considered the king of the Empyrean Gods.
- Edyma: Greater Goddess of Fire, Healing, the Home A rotund and matronly goddess, Edyma is one of the Two Mothers. For herself, Edyma is the Lady of the Hearth, the home-maker whose gifts to mankind include the laying of the hearth-fire, the cooking of food, midwifery and healing.
- Ulandira: Greater Goddess of the Land, Animals, Brewing The second of the Two Mothers, Ulandira is mother of the living world, particularly of animals and the land. Her gifts to mankind include the domestication of animals, the plow and agriculture, and brewing of drink. She is depicted as a tall, curvy shepherdess with a flask of sweet wine at her hip.
- Aeldryn: Greater God/dess of Magic One of the two hermaphroditic deities of the Empyrean Court, Aeldryn is the personification of arcane mastery, a god/dess of potent occult sorcery. S/he explicitly does not grant such magic; Aeldryn simply is the deity of those forces and the knowledge of how such power is wielded. The priesthood considers the use the pronoun of one's own gender to be most appropriate if the speaker is a wielder of arcane magic; otherwise, it is respectful to use the gender opposite of one's own, to reflect that the essence of the deity is the "eternal other."
- Ildinmara: Greater God/dess of the Sea The second of the hermaphroditic Empyrean deities, Ildinmara is powerful and elemental, said to be the closest to the primordials in nature. Ildinmara is the deity of the sea, and viewed as eternally shifting and wild, elemental rather than capricious. Ildinmara is also considered the creator of passion; as such, the proper pronoun to refer to the deity by is that pronoun which matches the gender the speaker prefers as sexual partners.
- Aldinmure: God of Crossroads, Travel, Mercantilism A liminal god of in-between places, Aldinmure is the unofficial patron god of the city Liminal. He is also a god of crossroads, of transitions, of travel and mercantilism. Aldinmure's seal is a cross-quartered coin of wood, lead, steel and silver, and he is depicted as a four-armed robed god with a variety of implements in his hands (the exact implements varying from depiction to depiction). Aldinmure is reckoned as the son of Edyma and Aeldryn.
- Kaedlah: Goddess of Mystery, Language and Thought The goddess of learning and thought, Kaedlah is a goddess of mysteries first and foremost, being the daughter of Ildinmara and Aeldryn. To those who are not initiated into her mystery cult, she is simply the goddess of language, both written and spoken, and of the glorification of thought and speech. To her initiates, however, she is the Keeper of Mysteries, blurring the lines between Known and Unknown - what one might expect of the daughter of the gods of magic and the ocean.
- Khoro: Goddess of the Sun and Civilization The Radiant Daughter is the goddess of the sun, the daughter of Aevo and Edyma. She is a goddess of justice and purity, of civic-mindedness and poetry. She is the patron goddess of all higher-minded ideas about nobility and civilization, invoked in courts of law, philosophical debates and poetic recitations alike. Many adventurers claim her as their patron goddess as well, for her healing power and upholding of the wonders of civilization.
- Xanayr: God of the Moon and Ecstasy The Midnight Son is the god of the moon, the son of Aevo and Ulandira. He is the god of ecstasy, joy and happiness, a god of transgression. He is a trickster god and loves to see the humiliation of the prideful and powerful. He is the favorite of wanderers and (along with his sister) many adventurers. His creed is the importance of Self over Community, and his rites are orgiastic in nature.
- Elbitara: Goddess of Love The Lady of Three Faces is a triune goddess. As the Lady of Pearl, she is the goddess of new or unrequited love, pure in its fancy. As the Lady of Garnet, she is the goddess of love's consummation and also of marriage. As the Lady of Onyx, she is the goddess of long-lasting love and devotion, lasting even after death.
The Great Heavens
The Great Heavens are planar dominions in the Astral Sea where the Empyrean Courts make their kingdoms for the reward of the afterlife.
- The Empyrean Court: A large realm in the form of a great heavenly city, the Empyrean Court is home to none of the gods proper. Rather, it serves as the outer threshold of all the Great Heavens. At its center is a shining citadel, the Court from which the city gains its name, forbidden to any and all planar travelers by the angelic hosts that guard is ceaselessly day and night. One of the districts of the city, Empyros, is Imbricate with Liminal. Though a god and his directly-empowered servants may pass directly from the Astral Sea into their personal dominion, all others - even other gods - must pass through the Empyrean Court in order to gain access to the dominion of other gods.
- The Vault of Heaven: Realm of Aevo.
- Brightvale & Darkenwold: Realms of Edyma and Ulandira.
- The Spellstorm: Realm of Aeldryn.
- The First Sea: Realm of Ildinmara.
- The Ancient Crossroads: Realm of Aldinmure.
- Loreholm: Realm of Kaedlah.
- The Harkenvale: Realm of Khoro and Xanayr.
- The Viridarium of Lovers: Realm of Elbitara.
The close-knit nature of the divinities is reflected in the fact that the churches of the pantheon work closely together, rather than engaging in rivalries (although the Talion priesthoods can fall to venality and in-fighting frequently). As such, there are a great many organizations made up of adherents of multiple deities who work together towards a single goal. Though these organizations don't often cross the Empyrean-Talion divide, individual exceptions sometimes exist.
- The Heavenly Covenant: A secretive order of holy assassins, the Heavenly Covenant is the secret weapon of the Empyrean Courts. They answer to no single faith, and any of the churches may invoke their assistance (though those who do so too obviously risk censure by their fellow churches). There are many avengers of all faiths in their numbers.
- Order of the Platinum Dragon: A knightly order made up of not just the faithful of the Empyrean gods, but also of a good many martial combatants and sword-mages, the Order hunts down and destroys old, powerful wicked dragons of the chromatic colors, due to their possession of some measure of Primordial power.