About the Gods – Aspects

Though the Church of the Firstborn is one of the oldest and most widespread standing religions on the continent of Altherys, with its churches and cathedrals often acting as the centerpiece of many towns and cities throughout the known Realms, it wasn’t always a single faith.  Indeed, even today each of the seven deities of the Firstborn are often worshiped independently by individual cults and clergies, with only the main body of the church actively professing their united nature.  Indeed, if one was to delve deeper into the origins of the church, one will find that the common belief, even among the clergy, is that each of the Firstborn were once worshiped independently by the many peoples of Matyr, and that only in the recent years have they chosen to reveal their nature as a pantheon.  One often finds that even today the gods worshiped in far off communities by various barbarian tribes or distant holdfasts are not original deities at all, but rather aspects of one of the many existing deities of Altherys.  Acting as alternate personalities to the existing deity, their worship is often encouraged by the gods rather than included as heresies by the Faithful, though it is important to note that the Church only recognizes their own interpretation as the dominant aspect of that particular god or goddess.

Depending on the deity or demigod involved, one can often recognize which of the Firstborn (or other god/goddess) an aspect belongs to.  The most obvious comparisons can be seen in the form of a deity’s role; for example, it’s universally agreed that all deities of the Sun are aspects of the Firstborn God, Helos the Dawnbringer.  However this comparison is often muddied, as some aspects can be worshiped under many roles rather than a single identifying source, which makes it more difficult to pinpoint.  This can definitely be true in regards to the mysterious Green Mother of ancient Elven religion, whose roles and spheres of influence as a mother goddess that embraces freedom and beauty in all things puts her in similar spheres as the Goddesses Feyra, Andala, and Kyntaya, making her much more difficult to interpret.

When asked why one would choose to worship an aspect of a deity rather than their true, dominant personality, the resulting answers are often mixed.  Some choose to worship an aspect because it is a dominant part of their culture, such as the worship of Tallos by the inhabitants of the Pillars of Tyren in Remes; a guardian deity of storms and war whose obvious spheres place him in league with Falgrim the Lightwielder.  Others simply prefer the aspect due to a natural calling, as if the personality is more in league with their own choices and spirit rather than any of the alternatives.  Still others firmly believe that their aspect is the one true representation of their god and that all others are false, causing no small end of strife between the various cults of a single deity.

The fact that the gods not only allow the worship of their aspects but somehow encourage it continues to baffle scholars both of the sciences and of religious lore alike.  Few can truly understand the nature of these beings who are visibly separate from us yet somehow continue to influence the world around us in their own way.  But despite the obvious positive nature of the gods and their encouragement of religious tolerance, there is always an unexpected catch or downside, as there are other powers in the world that always seek to take advantage of the gullible.  Knowledge that the gods have many personalities and encourage the worship of their alternative guises simply adds to their arsenal, so one must always be watchful and wary.


Further Reading:

The Church of the Firstborn

The “New Gods”

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