Seven Hells Setting

It’s common knowledge to the people of Gaia, that long ago, there was a greater race on their world. Ruins and relics of their era can be found all over the world, and folks even know what they looked like from the artworks they left behind. What’s not known, is why they aren’t here today. That’s something that’s puzzled scholars for ages. Written and oral history simply starts at a period when these people of old were no longer around. People refer to anything created by these people to be of the Old World, and the actual people are referred to as the First Men.

Gaia as it is today, is a world of magic on the verge of industrial revolution. Most sapient beings are capable of using magic, and the main conduit for doing so is drawing from the latent energies generated by Spirits. Spirits are everywhere, though they typically reside on another layer of reality known as the Spirit Realm.

Metaphysics and religious practices on Gaia are similar to those of animism, drawing a lot of similarities to Native American and East Asian mythology. Spirits are sapient - but extremely listful and whimsical - beings who embody a natural element. While they are capable of entering the physical realm, few spirits are powerful enough to maintain a corporeal form for an extended period of time. It is likewise possible for denizens of the physical world to venture into the Spiritual Realm through ritual or other means.

Oral and written history as it is generally begins with creationist myths - that the gods of old were extremely powerful spirits, and they created intelligent life as it is on Gaia in their image. While details from the genesis of life might different from culture to culture, and race to race, one part they all converge on is the tales of Ragnarok - an ancient battle where The Gods waged war against an ancient evil. They ultimately defeated this evil, but doing so cost them their lives.

The best evidence that there is some elements of truth to these tales, is that corporeal remains befitting of these Gods can be found, scattered across the world. Shamans and spiritual leaders consider these remains the last parting gifts from the Old Gods to their creations, and from them magical artifacts are forged.

After Ragnarok, and the death of the Old Gods, life went on. However, the death of the Old Gods left a huge void in the hierarchy of the Spirit Realm, and consequences of that void have been felt ever since. Several great spirits rose to power, declaring themselves New Gods, entering the corporeal realm. However, time showed that these New Gods were not capable of the same feats as those who came before them, and the children of the Old Gods have been successfully able to thwart these beings and their influence since the start of time. Very few of these ‘New Gods’ play a significant role in global politics.

Kho’Tah - The Paragon of Flame
Domains: Fire, Battle, The Hunt
Progenitor of: The Khin
Description: It is said that in life, Kho’Tah was a being of whose physical appearance was like looking into a living flame; each person who gazed upon the corporeal form of Kho’Tah saw a different figure (and sex for that matter), heard a different voice, described different mannerisms and body language. In artwork, Kho’Tah is usually depicted as a large cat of prey; some depictions make Kho’Tah more humanoid than animistic, as well.
Hlífrún - The Bastion's Keeper
Domains: Ice, Knowledge, Education
Progenitor of: The Curators
Description: Hlifrún’s corporeal form was one of a giant, arctic turtle. Tales of old like to describe him as a wise old mentor, old as Gaia itself, and ever thirsting for new knowledge and tales. Among the Old Gods, Hlifrún was the one most active in the affairs of mortals. He created The Curators, and with their assistance constructed a monolithic library to house all the world’s knowledge. This library would in time come to be known as The Bastion.
Oki and Wyrundir - The Sun and Moon
Domains: Shared - Nature, Song & Dance, Art, Oki- The Moon Wyrundir - The Sun
Progenitor of: The Leshen
Description: The tales of Oki and Wyrundir are arguably the most well known, and easily the most accurately retained from the times before written history. This is largely because their tales are whimsical and comical; they tell of a wispy, ethereal owl with a mischievous side (Oki), and a colossal, bark-skinned wolf with a very deadpan personality. (Wyrundir) traveling the world, shaping the land - forests, mountains, rivers, oceans - as their personal canvas. Despite their differences, these two were the best of friends - the only thing they would ever agree on though was their love of song, dance, and art. In modern times, their tales are revered in the same light as say, Shakespeare's works
Bjosondoff - “Uncle Coin” or Master of Caravans
Domains: Stone, Commerce, Craftsmanship
Progenitor of: The Trolls
Description: Much like Hlifrún, legends speak of Bjosondoff - a craggy, earthen bear who traveled on two legs, carrying a walking stick in one hand, and a never-ending stein of beer in the other - being very involved in the affairs of mortals. Rather than shape the land, Bjosondoff was an inventor. He taught how others to shape the natural world, how to farm it, and created the concept of trade and currency.
Nerrivik - The Eternal Storm
Domains: Wind + Thunder, The Ocean, Travel
Progenitor of: The Merfolk
Description: While Bjosondoff might have been a god of commerce, all sailors agree that Nerrivik, the great leviathan of the seas, was the better trader. Nerrivik believed the seas belonged to her, and her merfolk children. Those who wished to cross her waters without paying a tribute would be met with all her fury and might. These rituals and tributes are carried out even to this day, as sailors are a superstitious lot, and would rather not tempt fate.
Yxodsi - The Weaver of Fate
Domains: Death, Fertility, Karma
Progenitor of: The Wanderers
Description: To most, Yxodsi is a reminder of one’s own mortality. Described as a giant spider whose web contains the souls of every living being on the planet, Yxodsi was said to be a benevolent caretaker who, when mortals met their end, would judge one’s life and decide their fate. For those she deemed just, she would ensure their souls were reintroduced to the cycle of rebirth. For those she deemed unjust, she would banish to The Spirit Realm. For those she felt had met an unfair end, and their tasks were not yet done…well, she had other plans.
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