Stock Gods

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/shiallia_nobanion_savras_red_knight_sharess_8380.png
A complimentary sample Fantasy Pantheon®, courtesy of Trope Co.™.note 
The gods of this particular work may be greater, but who does what among them?

When inventing a Fantasy Pantheon, there are a number of god archetypes that seem unavoidable. Maybe because their role is convenient for the story, easily understandable due to familiarity with Real Life mythologies, or simply that there are only so many domains a god can have and still be taken seriously.

Note that when a work directly adapts a mythology, there is a high risk of Flanderisation. Not only Sadly Mythtaken is at work, but non-fictional gods tend to have multiple domains whose relations may be hard to grasp, though there is generally a good amount of Fridge Brilliance behind it.

The more common ones are:


Examples:

Subpages:

    open/close all folders 

    Fanfic 

    Literature 
  • Probably the granddaddy of them all (besides actual myth), Tolkien's Legendarium gives us Tolkien's Pantheon, linked to the Valar. Tolkien being Tolkien, however, he has some variation:
    • Top God: In this case, the absolute Top God is Eru Ilúvatar, a God of Gods who is probably supposed to be, well, God. The Christian God, to be exact.
    • Nature Gods: Most of the Valar fall under this category.
      • Manwë: Deputy Top God/"King of the Gods", but mostly King of Air and the Sky.
      • Varda: Manwë's wife, Queen of the Stars.
      • Ulmo: King of Water.
      • Aulë: King of Earth in the sense of rock and particularly mineral wealth; smith of the gods.
      • Yavanna: Queen of Earth in the sense of dirt, plants, and animals.
      • Oromë: King of forests and the hunt.
      • Vána: Queen of blossoming flowers, spring, and youth/growth.
      • Nessa: Not quite. A dancer, deer follow her around.
    • God of Good: A few of these:
      • Estë the healer.
      • Nienna, the Lady of Mercy. She supported releasing Morgoth after his first imprisonment, incapable of seeing his evil.
    • God of Knowledge: The closest is Lórien, the giver of visions. A few of the Maiar, minor gods/angels may qualify, particularly Olórin, better known as Gandalf—who is also a bit of a Trickster and a Cool God, as well.
    • God of Death
      • Mandos, keeper of fate and lord of the dead.
      • Vairë, his wife, the weaver, who records the history of the world in the halls of the dead.
    • War God: Tulkas, plain and simple.
    • God of Evil: Melkor/Morgoth.
  • The Sundering has the seven Shapers. Note that this is a Deconstruction of Tolkienist fantasy.
    • God: Uru-Alat, who created the Shapers by dying.
    • Top God / God of Knowledge: Haomane, Lord of Thought; Shaper of the sun and thought, creator of the Ellylon. His gift is intelligence.
    • Love Goddess: Arahila the Fair; Shaper of the moon and love, creator of humans. Her gift is love.
    • Love God: Satoris the Sower, the Sunderer, Banewreaker. His gift is lust / sexual desire / reproduction. Did not create a race directly, but is the indirect creator of all the subsequent generations of the races except those of the Ellylon. Also the antagonist of the other Shapers, and considered a God of Evil despite not being all that evil.
    • Nature Gods
      • Neheris-of-the-Leaping-Waters, Shaper of the mountains and rivers, creator of the Fjelltroll.
      • Meronin, Shaper of the seas and oceans, creator of a marine race.
      • Yrinna of the Fruits, Shaper of plants, creator of the Dwarves.
    • God of Death: Oronin, creator of the Were.
  • The Sun Sword and related works have a pantheon whose members fit many of these roles (with some overlap) and are about as active as their separation from the mortal plane allows:
    • God of Good: Most of the pantheon, particularly Cormalis, Reymalis, and the Mother (who between them are also generally considered Top Gods); Bredan, god of oaths and contracts, also fits here somewhat, though he's more of a God of Law.
    • God of Evil: Allasakar, Lord of the Hells
    • God of Knowledge: Teos is god of knowledge; Reymalis is god of the closely related wisdom
    • War God: Cormalis is god of justice, including just war; violence for its own sake appears to fall more strongly under Allasakar's dominion.
    • Love Goddess: The Mother, albeit more of a goddess of familial rather than romantic or sexual love.
    • God of Death: Mandaros, though as this is a setting where reincarnation is in play he merely receives, judges, and sends onward the souls of the dead rather than actually ruling them.
    • Nature God: Bredan wasn't one originally, but became one after his covenant with the Breodani people turned him into the Hunter God in addition to his usual role as god of oaths.
    • Trickster: The nameless god, possibly; we don't know much about him (her? it?) but he's certainly extremely mysterious and plays a very long game; recurring mentor and chessmaster Evayne the Seeress is his emissary and daughter.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Greyhawk (default 3rd edition campaign setting):
      • God of Balance: Boccob, Obad-Hai
      • God of Nature: Ehlonna, Obad-Hai
      • God of War: The brothers Heironeous (good) and Hextor (evil), as well as the god of slaughter Erythnul.
      • God of Knowledge: Boccob, Vecna
      • God of Death: Nerull, Wee Jas
      • Trickster: Garl Glittergold (also patron of the gnomes), Olidammara.
      • Many races have their own complete pantheons of gods as well.
    • Eberron:
      • God of good: Most of the Sovereign Host.
      • God of Evil: The Dark Six
      • God of Balance: Aureon
      • God of Nature: Balinor, The Devourer
      • War God: Dol Arrah (lawful good), Dol Dorn (chaotic good), The Mockery (neutral evil).
      • God of Knowledge: Aureon, The Shadow.
      • God of Death: The Keeper.
      • Trickster: The Traveler.
    • By Tyr's right buttock, the Forgotten Realms setting has such a huge pantheon we gave it its own page. Shown above are just five out of over a hundred.

  • Pathfinder:

  • Warhammer 40,000 has several pantheons:
    • Human:
      • God of Good: The God-Emperor of Mankind, stretching the definition of "good". He believes in uniting and protecting humanity, though his willingness to pay any price to do so would, in any other setting, make him into a God of Evil, with billions dead as a result of his direct actions, never mind those of his agents and worshipers. Did we mention 40k is GRIMDARK yet?
      • God of Knowledge: The Machine God, the supreme machine-spirit worshiped by the the Adeptus Mechanicus, with its worldly incarnation being called the Omnissiah. Depending on which sect you listen to, the the Omnissiah is an aspect of the Emperor, though suggesting otherwise is heretical to the majority of the Cult Mechanicus. In a possible twist of tragic irony, the Machine God is possibly the C'tan known as the Void Dragon.
    • Chaos Gods (All of them double as God of Evil):
      • War God: Khorne, who comprises psychopathic bloodlust. Sometimes also worshiped as the god of honor and martial prowess.
      • God of Knowledge, Great Gazoo and Trickster Archetype God: Tzeentch, the god of Change. His portfolio includes mutation, revolution, hope (more accurately ambition), plotting and scheming, and sorcery. He has a potentially unlimited number of plots, many of which are mutually conflicting plans in progress at any given time.
      • Cool God: Nurgle. Sort of. Called Papa Nurgle by his followers.
      • Love Goddess: Slaanesh, who comprises love and desire in all its forms. Although his/her aspect of psychotic, hypersexualized hedonism and excess is the main aspect before any others.
      • And the canonically dubious Malice, a sort of Mad God who was born from Chaos' self-destructive perpetual infighting. He stands as a renegade Chaos God whose main focus is destroying his fellows.
    • Eldar Gods:
    • C'Tan:
    • The orks just have a pair of War Gods, Gork and Mork. They represent brutal cunning and cunning brutality, and given half a chance the orks will go into full scale wars over which is which. (Most commonly, Mork is brutally cunning, while Gork is cunningly brutal.) Unlike the other deities of the setting it's fairly unlikely that they're real, though with 40k you never know.
  • Warhammer Fantasy has the following:
    • The Old World Gods (human)
      • Verena - Goddess of Balance and Goddess of Wisdom (esp. Justice)
      • Morr - God of Death (also Dreams)
      • Manaan - God of the Sea (a Poseidon / Neptune type god)
      • Taal - God of Nature (esp. hunting)
      • Rhya - Goddess of Nature (esp. vegetation)
      • Ranald - Trickster God
      • Ulric - War God (covers brute force, strength and courage. Also does Wolves and Winter)
      • Myrmidia - War Goddess (covers strategy, tactics and the art of war)
      • Shallya - Goddess of Healing and Mercy (God of Good)
      • Khaine - in the older background he was the human God of Evil
      • Solkan - God of Law (not neccesariy justice) and Vengeance

(In addition to these the men of the Empire worship their deified founder Sigmar (who combines aspects of War God and God of Good), while the Bretonnians worship the Lady of the Lake (who combines aspects of Nature Goddess and Goddess of Good)

  • The Elf Gods (these are the Sky-gods of the Cadai. They have evil counterparts in the Cthonic gods of the Cytharai):
    • Asuryan - Top God (creator, also God of Balance and to some extent God of Good, though all the Cadai are somewaht that)
    • Khaine - War God
    • Hoeth - God of Wisdom
    • Loec - Trickster God
    • Kurnous - Nature God (esp. Hunting)
    • Isha - Nature Goddess (mother)
    • Morai-Heg - Goddess of Fate (crone)
    • Lilaeth - Goddess of Magic and the Moon (maiden)
    • Vaul - Smith God
    • Mathlann - Sea God
    • Ladrielle - Goddess of travelers and lost things
    • Ereth Khial - Goddess of the Dead and Goddess of Evil (exiled Cadai goddess, leader of the Cytharai)

  • The Chaos Gods
    • Khorne - War God
    • Tzeentch - God of Wisdom and Trickster God (devoted to change, scheming and upsetting the status quo)
    • Nurgle - God of Plague and Pestilence (in many ways a dark Nature God, since he adores new life, especially bacteria...)
    • Slaanesh - God of Vice, Sensation, Lust and Excess (doesn't really qualify as any classic type).

  • The Orc Gods
    • Gork - War God (brutal, but cunning!)
    • Mork - Also a War God (cunning, but brutal!)

  • The Dwarf Ancestor Gods
    • Grungni - Smith God
    • Grimnir - War God
    • Valaya - Goddess of Hearth and Home (mother goddess)

The other races tend to have either one racial god (the Skaven Horned Rat, the Ogres' Great Maw) or a pantheon whose characteristics have not been terribly well defined (The Lizardmen's ideas on the Old Ones, the gods of ancient Nehekhara etc).

    Video Games 
  • Runescape
    • Top God: Jas, being the creator of the world. Zaros wants to be this.
    • God of Evil: Zamorak
    • God of Balance Between Good and Evil: Guthix, maybe Zaros
    • God of Good: Saradomin and Armadyl
    • Nature Gods: Seren. Guthix also qualifies.
    • War God: Bandos
    • God of Knowledge: Saradomin
    • God of Death: Harold Death Esquire
    • Great Gazoo: Brassica_Prime
  • From the Menaphite Pantheon
    • Top God: Tumeken
    • Nature God: Elidinis
    • God of Evil: Amascut
    • Cool God: Icthlarin and Apmeken
    • God of Death: Icthlarin helps the dead reach the afterlife.
    • God of Knowledge: Het and Scabaras

  • The Elder Scrolls series has a wide variety of divine beings, most prominently with the Nine Aedric "Divines" and the 17 Daedric Princes. Both groups were originally et'Ada, "original spirits" who formed from the spilled blood of Anu and Padomay. The Aedra are the et'Ada who helped Lorkhan to create Mundus, the mortal world, sacrificing large portions of their divine power to do so. The Daedric Princes made no sacrifices, leaving them at full power with their Complete Immortality in tact, but they suffer limitations on their ability to interact with Mundus as a result. Additionally, there are many other deities who don't neatly fit into either group. For more details on them all, see the Elder Scrolls: Divine Beings character page. To note here (going by their most common names and traits for the sake of brevity):
    • Top God:
      • Anu best fits the God of Gods version. He is the Anthropomorphic Personification of the primordial force of stasis/order/light. Along with his "twin brother, The Anti-God Padomay, who represents the force of change/chaos/darkness, their interplay led the creation itself. After fighting over creation, Anu pulled Padomay outside of time. From their spilled blood rose the et'Ada. Anu's spirit "lives" on as Anuiel, the "Soul of All Things", very lightly influencing the events of reality.
      • Akatosh fits as the Top God itself, being the chief deity of the Aedric Nine Divines pantheon. He is the draconic God of Time and is said to have been the first being to emerge out of the raw energy of the early universe.
      • In esoteric lore-speak, the "Godhead theory" posits there's also a greater God of Gods, namely the Sleeping Godhead who hallucinates everything in the Aurbis (which, given the rather bizarre cosmology of TES, could easily fall under Leaning on the Fourth Wall). Breaking through the thick metaphor, the Godhead is implied to be the player and/or the developers of the series.
    • God of Evil:
      • Sithis, the remnant of Padomay, currently an Eldritch Abomination embodying nonexistence and represented by a Great Void. However, Sithis doesn't act directly. Sithis is said to have "begat" Lorkhan to disrupt the "stasis" of Anuiel. All that can be known for sure is that Sithis represents chaos and change, in contrast to Anuiel's order and stasis, and whether Sithis is good or evil depends on one's point of view on Order Versus Chaos.
      • Some of the more malevolent Daedric Princes fit. While all are beings Above Good and Evil who operate on their own Blue and Orange Morality beyond mortal understanding, how their actions impact mortals typically gets them classified as either good or evil. The two who most commonly get this title are Molag Bal, Daedric Prince of Domination and Corruption, and Mehrunes Dagon, Daedric Prince of Destruction. While most Daedric Princes have some redeeming qualities, or at least moral grey areas, Molag Bal seemingly has none while Dagon has very few.
    • God of Balance Between Good and Evil: Azura, the Daedric Prince of Dawn and Dusk, is usually considered one of the "good" Daedric Princes and has some traits along these lines. Some lore texts paint her as maintaining a sort of metaphysical "balance", with her being more of a True Neutral whose actions just so happen to benefit mortals more often than not.
    • God of Good:
      • Throughout much of Tamriel, all of the Aedra are considered this. They are seen as an almost uniformly benevolent group who are worshiped by a Saintly Church. Some groups, like the Dunmer, see them instead as "false gods" and prefer their traditional worship of the "good Daedra" and their ancestors.
      • Some of the typically considered "good Daedra" may qualify here, such as Azura and Meridia. Good Is Not Nice is in full effect with both, while Azura can be a Manipulative Bastard and Meridia can be a Knight Templar about it.
    • Nature Gods:
      • Kynareth for the Aedra, being the Goddess of Air with a Friend to All Living Things slant.
      • Namira, the Daedric Prince of the Grotesque, covers some of the darker aspects of nature, such as decay.
      • Y'ffre is the forest god of Valenwood. He (sometimes She) was one of the strongest of the et'Ada and was the first to transform into the Ehlnofey, the "Earth Bones", which allowed for the laws of physics, nature, and life on Nirn. Y'ffre is the most important deity to the Bosmer (Wood Elves).
    • War God:
      • Talos, the Deity of Human Origin who joined the Aedra as the Ninth Divine, covers this as well as being the god of "good governance". In some circles, especially the Nords, he may have even surpassed Akatosh as the top god and even if he hasn't, Talos may be more popular.
      • Zenithar, the Aedric Divine God of Work and Commerce, is also described as a "warrior god", but "one who is reserved and restrained in times of peace".
      • Boethiah, the Daedric Prince of Plots, Consiparacy, and Betrayal, has aspects of this. Malacath, the Daedric Prince of the Spurned and Ostracized was formerly this as the Aldmeri deity Trinimac. However, Boethiah "ate" Trinimac, tortured Trinimac in his/her belly, and then excreted Trinimac's remains. Those remains became Malacath.
    • Love Goddess:
      • There are two among the Aedra - Mara, who represents platonic love, compassion, and family - and Dibella, who represents beauty and erotic love.
      • "Love" is a stretch, butMephala, a Daedric Price whose true sphere is unknown to mortals, has an association with sex. Primarily, the manipulative aspects of the act, including its use to spin "webs" and spread lies.
    • The Dreamweaver: Vaermina, the Daedric Prince of Nightmares and Terror. She does not represent any of the positive aspects of the trope.
    • The Cool God: Many could qualify but it largely depends on who you speak to in-universe. A major one, at least for the races of Men, is Lorkhan (aka Shor, Shezarr, etc.) Lorkhan is the et'Ada who convinced those who would become the Aedra to create Mundus, and as a punishment, they "killed" him, tore out his divine center ("heart"), and cast it down into the world he made them create where his spirit is forced to wander. Historically, his spirit has been known to take physical manifestations (known as "Shezarrines" after his Imperial name) which most often show up during times of great turmoil for the races of Men. He usually helps them out by killing many, many Elves. Be warned if you want to "hang out" with a Shezarrine though, they're often berserkers with Fantastic Racism toward non-humans and a Berserk Button for being associated with the divine that will lead to them killing you for suggesting it. He may have re-ascended to full godhood as part of a Merger of Souls and/or Becoming the Mask situation with Talos.
    • God of Knowledge:
      • Julianos for the Aedra, being the God of Wisdom and Knowledge with a particualar associate with schools.
      • Hermaeus Mora is the Daedric Prince of Knowledge, specializing in eldritch lore.
    • God Of Death:
    • Great Gazoo:
      • Sheogorath, the Daedric Prince of Madness is a major one. He's not just insane, he is insanity incarnate. He's also a patron of the arts, though this doesn't come up as often. He's also the same being as Jyggalag, the Daedric Prince of Order, cursed with insanity by the other Daedric Princes to keep him under control. The Shivering Isles expansion to Oblivion involves dealing with this situation.
      • Sanguine is the Daedric Prince Debauchery and Hedonism. His actions are mostly limited to playing with and/or annoying mortals. He's certainly one of the less serious deities of the series.
    • The Trickster: Back to Lorkhan again. Even the religions which paint him in a positive way still maintain his "trickster" elements.
  • Pillars of Eternity hits most of the high points.
    • God of Evil: Rymrgand, god of death, famine, plague, or simple bad luck, and Skaen, god of secret hatred, resentment, and violent rebellion.
    • God of Good: Eothas, god of light and redemption. To hear your Eothasian party member Eder tell it, he also qualifies as a Cool God, being one who seemed to understand mortals better than the others. Too bad he got blown up. One would think Woedica would fall here too as a goddess of law and rightful rulership, but in practice she hews too much towards the vengeance part of her portfolio.
    • Nature Gods: Galawain, god of the hunt, Hylea, goddess of birds and the sky, and Ondra, goddess of water and the moon.
    • War God: Magran, goddess of fire and war, whose priests frequently employ firearms and created the Godhammer Bomb that killed Waidwen and apparently Eothas in the backstory.
    • God of Knowledge: Abydon is a craftsman god, Wael handles dreams, secrets, mysteries, and revelations, while part of Woedica's portfolio includes memory.
    • God of Death: Both a good death god—Berath, god of cycles, doors, and death—and a bad death god—Rymrgand, god of death, famine, plague, and bad luck.
  • The Dark Parables have a smaller pantheon than some franchises, but as the series continues, more of them start coming out of the woodwork.
    • God of Evil: The Shadow God embodies this trope.
    • God of Good: The Sun, Moon, and Maiden Goddesses are depicted this way, with the Moon Goddess being particularly attached to the Player Character.
    • Nature Spirit: Flora is a sort of generalized nature goddess, while Thalassa is explicitly the Sea Goddess. Both are described as being of neutral disposition; Flora is a True Neutral figure who can occasionally be persuaded to lean toward Neutral Good, while Thalassa is very Lawful Neutral.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/StockGods