The Pantheon of the Children of the Dragon

This group of deities is very human in nature, with their own feuds and follies. Every deity has a patron animal, and all their priests must take that animal as one of their selections when they acquire the Life sphere.

Each deity also usually has a more obscure cult dedicated to them, and a dark cult which gives them a different name but is recognized to be a darker aspect of the same god by most theologians.
Open Cults Obscure Cults Dark Cults
Name Aspect Realm Animal Aspect Realm Animal Name Aspect Realm Animal
Niera Maiden Beauty, love Songbird Huntress Nature Hawk Shasra Dominatrix Cruelty Viper
Kor Mother Fertility Grains, fruits Mother Nature Nature Oak Imlis Neglect Decay Termite
Shakli Crone Wisdom Cat Witch Secrets, magic Cat Dracha Lunatic Insanity Cat
Cassa Gambler Luck Owl Oracle Fate Dragon Arluk Harbinger Doom Raven
Ryohnn Hunter Hunting Dog Ranger Nature Wolf Chaggad Wild Hunt Hunting men Stoat
Danor Warrior Battle Horse Paladin Purity Unicorn Jarrl Berserker Rage Wolverine
Guldush Worker Labor Ox Thinker Philosophy, science Beaver Zimnir Bureaucrat Totalitarianism Wasp
Mogran Trickster Wit Fox Rogue Theft Raccoon Kaktol Traitor Betrayal, assassination Spider
Zhor Psychopomp Death Condor Pilgrim Transformation Butterfly Mlas Necromancer Undeath Gravemold

The obscure cults of female gods tend to be not mentioned around most menfolk in cultures following the Children of the Dragon. Men are brought up with the tale that women and men agreed to share risk by having women bear children and men hunt; women are brought up with the tale that men were tricked into doing the really dangerous work and there's no reason women can't do dangerous things, too— but most simply wouldn't want to.

Core Myths

Creation (recent version)

  1. Chaos
  2. A dragon dancing on the chaos (like a desert lizard trying not to get burned by the hot sand)
  3. Dance creates Sorceress and Worker, who can't survive alone in the chaos. The worker and the sorceress build some safe land for themselves, and they drift off on the first island, losing sight of the dragon.
  4. The Sorceress births the Mother and the Hunter. (Paternity is never explicitly specified and is the source of subcults and schisms.)
  5. The Mother births the Warrior and the Maiden. The Gambler— of obscure origin with conflicting stories— births the Trickster. (Paternity is again left in question and is the source of subcults and schisms.)
  6. The Trickster and the Maiden persuade everyone into working together creating a vast number of other lands, for variety.

Creation (older version)

  1. A dragon dancing on the chaos (like a desert lizard trying not to get burned by the hot sand)
  2. Dance creates Mother Nature, who builds the first island to survive and populates it with all manner of nonsentient wildlife
  3. Mother Nature brings forth Hunter for company
  4. Hunter makes the first kill and creates Death
  5. Hunter and Mother Nature create Maiden and Worker, who builds to impress Maiden. They make a home together; when the Maiden has children, Mother Nature becomes the Crone, the Maiden takes over as the Mother, and her children are the current Maiden and the Warrior.
  6. The Gambler— origin varies— gives birth to the Trickster.



The normal interpretation is that you go on to the afterlife rather than get reincarnated. If you do nothing of distinction in life, you wind up in a classical netherworld like Hades or Sheol, with special torments if you’ve managed to piss off a god without earning a bigger favor from another deity who will protect you. (Equivalents of Ixion, Sisyphus, Tantalus...) If you served the gods well, then you get to go work for them. It’s easy to serve Guldush and Kor well by just doing good work, so their cults are quite popular with the common folk, and there are no crop failures, earthquakes, locust swarms, or dry rot to mar your work in the afterlife. The heroic-feast-Elysian-Fields afterlife is the one that requires greater distinction.


The Pantheon of the Children of the Dragon stem from a hunter-gatherer society that acquired some new aspects when it went Neolithic and started settling down. (Most of the dark cults turned up when it became possible for people to live off the work of others while doing disproportionately little.) The “oldest” deities are Niera/Kor/Shakli and Ryohnn.

The traditional move from a matriarchal to patriarchal organization occurs when the men start herding, watching their animals, keeping track of time, figure out the connection between sex and children, and stop ascribing quite as much power to women. In this particular pantheon, most of the male gods arrived or changed roles somewhat at this juncture in history, but in a context that the male cults consider a relinquishing of power, and that the female ones consider a combination of lending and trickery (played on the males) to get them to do the dirty work.

The resultant society is then somewhat more liberated than the standard medieval or Greco-Roman world: women are more free to take on masculine roles. Thus, female adventurers may be unusual, but not horribly shocking to most folk.


Fill in with whose priests get what spheres, proper methods of honoring deities. (Sacrifices and libations are popular.) Summoning usually brings spirits with attributes of the patron animals.

Temples are usually Greek-style creations with lots of fluted columns, with nearby amphitheaters for passion plays and other rituals. The gods are regularly represented in statues and murals.

Niera— the Maiden

Realm: Beauty, love, art, artistic craftsmanship (nature red in tooth and claw) [domination and manipulation]

Worshippers: People in love, artists, poets, bards (rangers and druids) [egotists]

Holy places: Fountains (forest groves)

Encounters: Young lovers offering a dedication together, a priest working on an artwork in public and stopping to talk to interested passersby

Kor— the Mother

Realm: Fertility, nurturing (the life cycle of nature) [decay, imbalance, drought]

Worshippers: Farmers, family folk, healers (rangers and druids) [nihilists]

Holy places: Temple/hospital complexes (Riverbanks in forest)

Customs: Offering up the first scytheful reaped, bunch collected, etc. at harvest time, or the first-born herdbeast of spring grown to maturity. (The thighbone wrapped in fat goes to the gods, and everything else becomes a barbecue for the worshippers.)

Shakli— the Crone

Realm: Wisdom, knowledge (secrets and magic) [insanity, senility, delusion]

Worshippers: Wizards, scholars [the dangerously insane]

Holy places: Temple/library complexes

Cassa— the Gambler

Realm: Luck, fortune (fate and foreknowledge) [doom]

Worshippers: Gamblers, drifters (oracles, seers, visionaries) [doomsayers and fatalists]

Holy places: Crossroads

The Gambler is a female deity who serves as a strong precedent for female adventurers— competent, independent, and in some tales, deadly. Scholars contemplating the Triple Goddess (Niera/Kor/Shakli) debate whether Cassa is actually a fourth aspect corresponding to the dark of the moon.

Ryohnn— the Hunter

Realm: Hunting (exploration of nature) [hunting humans]

Worshippers: Hunters, trappers (rangers) [assassins]

Holy places: Deep forest groves

The older tales of Ryohnn have him dying and returning with the year, but since the rise of cities (and men who really don’t want to give anyone ideas about turning them into fertilizer) he just comes home for the winter.

Danor— the Warrior

Realm: Battle (purity and fighting for holy causes) [berserk rage]

Worshippers: Warriors, blacksmiths (paladins) [berserkers]

Holy places: Battlefields, stadiums, temples with attached training grounds

Guldush— the Worker

Realm: Success through steady labor, solid craftsmanship (philosophy, engineering, and science) [bureaucracy and totalitarianism]

Worshippers: Craftsmen, merchants, bureaucrats (philosophers)

Holy places: Temples built in the center of a network of crafthalls

Mogran— the Trickster

Realm: Wit, diplomacy (theft and deception) [betrayal and assassination]

Worshippers: Diplomats, bards, comedians (thieves, spies) [assassins, traitors, double agents]

Holy places: Crossroads

Zhor— God of Death

Realm: The passage into the next world (reincarnation) [unnatural life, undeath]

Worshippers: Doctors, the dying (philosophers) [necromancers]

Holy places: Dead-end roads, cemetaries

Zhor is androgynous, usually pictured as a prepubescent child or a wizened old person of no apparent gender, or a skeleton. The obscure cult believes that the afterlife actually involves reincarnation in another level of reality, rather than a static place of punishment or reward.

The open cult of Zhor is about getting to the afterlife in a timely and safe fashion. “Timely” means not dying before your time and not hanging on in some horrible way afterward. “Safe” means keeping your soul from getting sucked out of you and used for nefarious purposes. Priests of the open cult tend to be calm, staid, dignified, and ascetic. Priests of the obscure cult are more meditative and fascinated with the new and unusual as clues toward what may await a person beyond transcendence.



The Underworld is a vast series of damp limestone caverns, dimly lit by veins of grey-glowing rock, and ever expanding as the Black River and its tributaries expand more tunnels. Wasted shades roam here, listless, tired, and hungry, clustering thickly around the spectacular punishments created for noteworthy sinners (e.g. Tantalus, Ixion, Sisyphus). Save for the shades, the place is largely empty, though Zhor maintains a vast underground citadel with eerily beautiful rock formations and exotic fungus gardens for its psychopomp servants.

Most spirits wander aimlessly, sit and stare, or watch the punishments of greater sinners. A very few will try to do something constructive, even if it’s only getting together in circles to tell stories or otherwise relieve the tedium of the bloodless, pallid underworld. These ones are usually noted by passing psychopomps, and are often given opportunities to become menial servants in the abodes of the gods for a duration equal to their previous lifespan, then reincarnate for another chance.