Apotheosis: Aedificatoris in Absentia is a play by post roleplay, set on the Speculative Evolution forum, created by dialforthedevil. He wanted to use the game for a theory of his, and as soon as he had gained the mods' approval, the floodgates opened. Various gods appeared, ranging from a shadowy war-god and a nubile goddess of nature to a benevolent fiery eldritch god and a god of money. It soon became immensely complicated, involving alliances, pantheons and other gods from other lands. Eventually the first game ended, leaving only the memories of it in the hearts of the players.
In July of 2016, dialforthedevil decided to pull a Continuity Reboot, this time setting up the game in its own forum. The floodgates were again opened, with many people immediately making new gods for it. The setting was eventually agreed upon to be Ice Age Siberia, with multiple human species to choose from. New gods included a giant vulture death-god and mammoth-headed stone god, to a cat-bear-dog sun god with antlers and a god of feasting wearing only bugs. Unfortunately, the game was abandoned after only a single round due to work preventing dialforthedevil from having time to further update the game.
Early in February of 2017, a third edition of the game was announced, hosted this time by Blue_Komrade and on the Speculative Evolution forum. This time, the game took place in the Cradle of Civilization at approximately 5000 B.C., with playable regions being divided at the start between the Levant, Mesopotamia, and Egypt. Another flood of god entries commenced, including a twisted bundle of five snakes, a strange eldritch deity of the sea, a horned, chicken-legged god of farming and agriculture, a benevolent goddess of water and rivers, and a nude, wolf-headed war goddess. Though the game progressed through seven rounds, it was put on indefinite hold as of May 30th, 2017.
The fourth rendition of the game was announced on June 15th, 2017. Moderated dually by Holben and Myxini, this game is set in Southern and Eastern Asia (with players starting either in China or the Indian subcontinent) during the early Iron Age. Another large contingent of deities were entered, with players this time including a red archer goddess seeking to save the universe, a giant trader gibbon, a bird-legged, milky god of agriculture, and a benevolent dust devil.
Apotheosis takes place within a 'Breach Zone' (consisting of western Europe and north Africa in the first, Paleolithic Siberia in the second, Egypt, Mesopotamia, or the Levant in the third, or India or China in the fourth). Gods start off appearing to a prophet, and must work their way through the world, gaining worshipers and fighting off other gods.
Apotheosis contains examples of:
- Armed with Canon: The Out of Character chats are rife with potshots thrown at just about everyone, and one thread is literally just insults to be thrown at each other.
- Badass Preacher:
- Many, but most notably Damjan, a warrior-monk and servant of Orubashi.
- Theophilos, Thoumm's preacher was stabbed in the throat and eyes in an assassination attempt. Because Thoumm is the god of luck, Theophilos survived, and now he is blind and more in touch with the "Noumenal", the magic from where the gods came from. The god that tried to assassinate him then had his followers abandon him because Theophilos was basically a dude Mother Theresa.
- Diarmuid, as he was resurrected and turned into a tree person after being accused of witchcraft.
- Break Them by Talking: Mote-Maiyeisha's response to members of the League declaring that she has to renounce her necromancy and follow their laws, under threat of extermination? Point out that Syniad and Terron aren't military enough to beat Ba'al, and if they fall, their riches and craftsmanship will give Ba'al the resources he needs to become unstoppable if Mote-Maiyeisha can't support them.
- Clap Your Hands If You Believe: It's how miracles work. If followers believe that a god can do it, then (if the belief is strong enough) the god will be able to do it. If not, the miracle either fails outright to occur, or can backfire, as seen particularly strongly with Kalliandra in Apotheosis III.
- Dawn of an Era: Apotheosis III takes place in the Near East just as the Cradle of Civilization is beginning to take root.
- Death of the Old Gods: A regular theme throughout the series, particularly given the logic the universe's gods follow:
- In the original game, historical divinities such as Venus, Mars, and Set all fall for a variety of reasons.
- While different from the norm due to the nature of gods at this point in history, this (coupled with End of an Age) is a major theme of the second game - the spirits of the Neanderthals and Denisovans are dwindling alongside their hosts as modern humans push them towards extinction.
- Eldritch Abomination: The third game's Gyvat, an entity represented by a mass of marine invertebrates and who communicates through concepts.
- End of an Age: The setting in which Apotheosis II takes place features Neanderthals and Denisovans in addition to anatomically modern humans. Homo sapiens sapiens, while less physically adapted to the region, has an immense capacity for rapid cultural adaptation and innovation. This gives them a heavy (and increasing) competitive edge against the Neanderthals and Denisovans, which are at the game's start heavily reduced and on the decline.
- Five-Man Band: The Five, unsurprisingly. Effectively a Four-Temperament Ensemble, as Merchan has been sleeping for a long time and was recently drowned by Tiamat.
- God Needs Prayer Badly: A key feature of the game. If a god loses all followers, they die.
- A God Is You: The basic premise of the game. The players all take control of their own deity.
- Human Sacrifice: How some gods choose to gain power. Sacrifices, whilst a good way to gain power, can be used against gods to turn worshipers away from 'barbaric' deities.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: The second game has players starting as Neanderthals, Denisovans, or regular Sapiens. The only non-nature conflicts have been with marauding invaders; particularly the Red-Ochre Tribe in the Altai.
- Mass "Oh, Crap!": Common, both for players and the people of the Aegean. A few of the more notable ones:
- The awakening of Nyarlathotep. For everyone.
- The reveal that Tiamat was coming.
- Oh, Crap!: Mostly before someone dies, such as Nyarlathotep arriving at Yam-Apep's wedding, the mentioning of gastrophetes at the wedding of Eirene and Dakephous, and the Kai's arrival in Chalkis. Oh crap is a general mindframe for most players, due to mass panic, paranoia and trolling from dialforthedevil.
- Physical Gods: Some deities have the ability to take physical form. Gods of sufficient power are also able to induce physical events in the form of miracles to happen in the real world.
- The Time of Myths: This setting exactly. Troy is around, and so is Odysseus, but Rome is too. According to legend, Aeneas escaped the sacking of Troy and went on to found Rome.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Some gods have been killed off in the very first turn. Most were due to a very bad choice of prophet. One of the worst happened to Ten', a god of thievery and murder from the second game. He tried to have a lone, starving child start a purge of the evil in his village. Said child goes for the de facto leader of the village, and Reality Ensues. Just remember: children are bad choices; outcasts are worse choices; both, and you're in for a quick, brutal deicide.