Earth Deities of the Elemental Tetratheon

A-Z 2015 "E"The Elemental Tetratheon is one of the bigger pantheons included in the upcoming Polyhedral Pantheons book.

The pantheon is designed around the four elements, with each of the greater gods focused on a single element and having three aspects related to that element. There are also three other gods that are lesser aspects of each element.

Being ‘Day E’ of the A-Z Challenge, I thought I would describe the earth deities of the Elemental Tetratheon. Povratak is the goddess of earth. Stvari, Saranti, and Buntovnik are her aspects, and Glavni, Gajivak, and Valjida are lesser aspects of Povratak.

Goddess of Earth

Povratak

  • Domains Earth, Animal, Plant, Destruction
  • Alignment Lawful Neutral
  • Chosen Weapon Greatclub
  • Symbol Crumbling stone tower

This goddess of earth encourages the growth of all animals and plants, without any particular regard for civilization. In the end all will return to nature, civilization is only a temporary matter, and she can wait.

She is said to be found on the great Mount Suma, where all manner of beast and wood can be seen.

Her holy places are in the wild, all located on hilltops affording views of the forest around them and where the beasts can come and go as they please.

Daily prayers are offered at dawn, the bane of civilized men. Major rites are performed at the dark of the moon.

Mortal servants of Povratak are known as Patient Hands.

She most often manifests as one of her aspects: Stvari, Saranti, or Buntovnik.

Aspects of Povratak

Stvari

  • Domains Animal, Artifice, Community, Earth, Rune, Good
  • Alignment Neutral Good
  • Chosen Weapon Hammer
  • Symbol Ox head or hammer

Stvari is an aspect of Povratak and is the goddess of domestication. She is the maker of tools, the scribe, and the teacher. It is through her acts than mortals have learned to build and for civilization to flourish, for the time allotted to it.

Her shrines are found on farms and in smithies, places of industry where people work to improve matters for their neighbors.

Daily prayers are offered at noon, taken as a time of rest from toil, before returning to work.

Mortal servants of Stvari are known as Industrious Hands.

She has been known to manifest as a familiar but unknown shepherd, farmer, or crafter who offers just the right advice needed to advance the work being done. More subtle manifestations might include unexpectedly finding exactly the right animal or tool at hand.

Saranti

  • Domains Plant, Strength, Law, Earth, Rune, Repose
  • Alignment Lawful Neutral
  • Chosen Weapon Heavy mace
  • Symbol Well-grown tree or rune stone

Saranti is another aspect of Povratak, the goddess of remembrance. While civilization will wax and wane repeatedly through history, the lessons learned and peoples born need not be forgotten.

Her holy grounds are memorial groves that surround and protect places of lost civilization. At the heart of each such shrine can be found lore or artifacts of a former age that might be granted to those who are worthy.

Daily prayers are offered at dusk, the decline of the mortal day, in preparation for the return of a new day.

Mortal servants of Stvari are known as Remembering Hands.

Saranti has not been known to openly manifest, but discovering previously unknown groves and lost ruins is often taken as a sign of her favor.

Buntovnik

  • Domains Destruction, Strength, War, Community, Earth, Evil
  • Alignment Neutral Evil
  • Chosen Weapon Heavy flail
  • Symbol Crossed flail and whip

Buntovnik is a male aspect of Povratak, the dark aspect of destruction. Mortals are their own worst enemies, and he is not above manipulating that in order to bring about their destruction and the re-ascendance of nature faster.

His shrines are often found in military locations, fortresses, and anywhere you can find organized attempts to forcibly subjugate people.

Daily prayers are offered at dawn, pledges of commitment to the brotherhood of soldiers.

Mortal servants of Buntovnik are known as Conquering Hands.

He is believed to manifest as a commander (or even sergeant) who gives orders to those who need direction on the battlefield or who lack certainty in their purpose.

Associates of the Earth Deities

Glavni

  • Domains Strength, Plant, Destruction, Madness
  • Alignment Lawful Evil
  • Chosen Weapon Greataxe
  • Symbol Gallows tree

Glavni is Buntovnik’s left hand in the forest, bringing devastation to civilized lands while he stirs conflict among mortals.

Her holy grounds are tangled, overgrown places without purpose beyond hiding the ruins within. Where Saranti protects elements of lost civilizations, Glavni wishes only to have the forest tear them down.

Daily prayers are offered at dawn, as the forest awakens and the plants stir.

Mortal servants of Glavni are known as Razing Hands.

She is believed to manifest as a hoary, twisted treant who directs hordes of bramblings to swarm civilized places and tear them down.

Gajivak

  • Domains Community, Animal, Protection, Destruction
  • Alignment Neutral
  • Chosen Weapon Lance
  • Symbol Horse head (color differs by association), bullmastiff

Gajivak is the champion of civilization, temporary though it may be. He is an ally of Stvari, the patron of those would breed powerful animals to guard communities and serve in war.

His shrines are often found in breeding and training grounds for animals such as warhorses and dogs (war hounds, bullmastiffs, and even hunting dogs).

Daily prayers are offered at dusk, at the end of a long day’s work.

Mortal servants of Gajivak are known as Warding (or Warring) Hands.

He has been known to manifest as a fearsome warhorse at the need of a mighty warrior, or as a vicious dog who violently protects against invaders.

Valjida

  • Domains Rune, Knowledge, Animal, Plant
  • Alignment Lawful Good
  • Chosen Weapon Staff
  • Symbol Raven or runestaff

Valjida is an ally of Saranti and Stvari. Where Stvari would teach, and Saranti would remember, this is the god who would learn and discover.

His shrines are found in the wild, where those who have the wit and wisdom to see can learn from the natural world. There is almost invariably a sense of peace in such places, but the only explicit sign is usually a runestaff with a topic to be considered and perhaps learned of at the shrine.

Daily prayers are most often offered at dusk, in thanks for the lessons learned that day or for the lessons to be learned that night.

Mortal Servants of Valjida are often known as Seeking Hands or Knowing Hands.

He has been known to manifest as an aged man who asks guiding questions, and his influence can be found in the grain and knots of a staff or branch that form runes.

Closing Comments

I’ve known the domains of the gods of this pantheon for quite some time, almost four months in fact, and the members’ alignments. That, plus some arbitrarily-assigned chosen weapons, would be all I would need to bring them into play.

Having taken the next step and answered a few simple questions (listed below), I now know a lot more about them and how they fit together.

Tomorrow, I tackle the fire deities of the Elemental Tetratheon. I wonder how they’ll turn out.

Deity High-Level Template Questions

Who are they, what do they want?

What are their shrines and holy grounds like?

When are they prayed to and why or how?

How are their servants (priests and followers) called?

How do they manifest?

Polyhedral Pantheons Cover
Polyhedral Pantheons Cover

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2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Fire Deities of the Tetratheon | Keith Davies — In My Campaign - Keith's thoughts on RPG design and play.

  2. Pingback: Fire Deities of the Elemental Tetratheon | Keith Davies — In My Campaign - Keith's thoughts on RPG design and play.

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