At the Beginning there was Who?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion


As I ponder the overhaul of the Gods of my own setting I stop to wonder: Which gods of Golarion besides Asmodeus (Who himeself is an unreliable narrator) where there at the beginning of the world and were gods at the time of creation?

Silver Crusade

Pharasma, the universe's midwife.

Contributor

The Proteans would describe their own dualistic god(s) the Speakers of the Depths as being there from the start, or before the start. But their gods may or may not be "gods" in the same sense as Asmo et al, but literally the Maelstrom itself manifesting a personality (sorta assuming the Maelstrom being a living thing, with the proteans as its immune system).

Rovagug might be there (if he's a qlippoth gone god most certainly he'd be there, probably arguing with the proteans about who was first or if "first" as a concept even applies).

Multiple others, but we don't quite know about about them yet to truly say where in the grand scheme they first popped up (ie are they originals or just omg crazyold).


Desna is described as being one of the oldest Gods in the setting. They say that while the other gods crafted Galorian, she was busy crafting the stars. All of them. Think about that; she essentially crafted the whole universe. Or at least, that's what my cleric of Desna said to potential converts.


The spoiler tags are for your convenience.

The NPC wrote:
As I ponder the overhaul of the Gods of my own setting I stop to wonder: Which gods of Golarion besides Asmodeus (Who himeself is an unreliable narrator) where there at the beginning of the world and were gods at the time of creation?

Hokay, so I took a crack at this (and a vaguely definitive chronology of gods in general) in another thread, so I'll reprint a slightly edited version here. This version is more inline with what I believe after some consideration and takes into account my personal (i.e. home-made, totally non-official for my-posts-only) errata. I know this goes significantly beyond your base question (of who's there at the beginning) but I'm posting this so you get a feel for all the "Big 20" and when/why they're here.

Adding in some now-deceased deities {noted by brackets like so}, just for historical reference (this is not an exhaustive list, as there's far, far too many for me to possibly note them all), here's a list and explain the reasoning behind it. One thing it's important to note is the distinction between the deities' beginning of existence and their ascension. I note and link them at their supposed beginning of existence, while I note their ascension (if different) later.

1) In the beginning (Age Before Ages <Age of Creation>:
Asmodeus, {Curchanus}, Groteus, {Ihys}*, Pharasma, Rovagug
Reasons: Part and parcel of all of existence: Asmodeus forging the contract of creation, Ihys his brother (slain by Asmodeus)*, and Pharasma part and parcel of the birth (and death) of all things, including gods and existance, and will be the last thing Groteus does before unmaking everything. Rovagug is spoken of as if he was at the beginning of all creation as well (although this could just be exaggeration or some sort of temporal fugue effect from scholars looking so far back at the past that "time" kind of loses its meaning for them). It seems likely that it would be somewhere around here that some of the Eldest and the Great Old Ones would come into being. Curchanus is here because he predates...

2) Shortly** after the beginning (Age Before Ages <Age of Creation>:
Desna, Lamashtu, Sarenrae
Reasons:
Still part-and-parcel of the creation of the physical universe, Desna and Sarenrae are responsible for crafting stars and placing them in the sky. Sarenrae was just an advanced outsider, and that's a distinct possibility for Desna as well. If Lamashtu is truly as old as I have here (I am unsure, as she is a demon - basically the most recently created race in the universe), she wouldn't be a deity yet. I'd say she didn't ascend until after...

3) Creation of Golarion (Age Before Ages <Age of Creation>:
Abadar, Calistria, Torag
Reasons: Torag is known for being around at the beginning of the world (which, as we've seen, isn't necessarily the beginning of creation). Dwarves and elves are both ancient beyond belief, and it's difficult to tell who came first (although elves were clearly on the surface first. As Calistria is the patron of the elves (and possibly originally from another planet that may, in fact, predate Golarion) it's debatable who came first. Abadar, regardless, is ancient beyond belief. Although he's a deity of civilization he exists in Axis and would have before "civilization" necessarily came to the world. As the owner (and maker?) of the First Vault (containing "perfect" versions of just about everything, it would stand to reason that he's old beyond belief. Further, he's old enough to have played a critical role in the war against Rovagug. It is possible that he's part of the next set, however.

4) Golarion's Origin (Age Before Ages <Age of Creation>:
Erastil, Gozreh
Reason: These two are deeply tied to the natural world of Golarion - which only came into existence due to the machinations of other deities. Nonetheless, both substantially predate the Age of Darkness, and both are unfathomably old. Also, Erastil was an important factor in bringing Avistan out of complete barbarism. It would be somewhere around here that Rovagug was imprisoned, and Sarenrae would have ascended.

5) Rovagug's Reverberations (Age Before Ages <Age of Serpents>:
Urgathoa, Ydersius, Zyphus
This is the Age of Serpents, when the serpentfolk rose to the heights of their power and their god, Ydersius became strong. It's probable that this is when Lamashtu ascended. It's possible that this was when Urgathoa entered the world.

The question of Urgathoa is one to ponder, as she's clearly ancient, but her picture looks vaguely like an Egyption (Osirian) to me, while her physical description makes her sound Azlanti or Chelaxian, to me - one of which definitely could predate Aroden, but neither of which had to predate Aroden. In fact, Urgathoa could have been born in or just before the age of darkness as a mortal (not predating Aroden) and died (and thus ascended) before Aroden. It's obvious that Urgathoa could not have risen in the Age of Enthronement - Osirion was already practicing undeath and mummification rites by that point. Since Urgathoa was the first, she had to predate that significantly. Further, since Zura, the demon lord of vampires, was Azlanti, Urgathoa needs to be older than that - extending as far back as the Age of Serpents. It may very well be that Urgathoa fled to the material while Pharasma was too busy dealing with, say, Rovagug to notice one, lone mortal escaping the Bone Yard.

One other facet - I believe Lamashtu was a deity shortly after Rovagug's imprisonment, and might have also come into power during this time. Again, it would make sense - with deities of all kinds coming to early ends because of Rovagug, those who're fighting him have most of their attention focused on annihilating Rovagug (or at least stopping him) rather than the full ramifications of their duties. It'd be strange that Curchanus wasn't with the others, however he might just have gone wandering right after the whole Rovagug debacle and when most deities saw he was gone just presumed he was another one that bit the dust. Even when it was revealed that it was Lamashtu, not Rovagug, the other deities'd probably be exhausted from their battles with Rovagug and wary about taking on another deity so soon... especially one who'd ascended by killing one of them. They were probably testing the waters before a fight, but eventually just dropped it. That might have been part of Desna's disengagement from the other gods, too - none of them went after her mentor's murderer because they were all too tired, licking their wounds, hunting down that bothersome escaped mortal, or whatever else prevented it.

Similarly, Zyphus. It is unknown who came first - Zyphus or Urgathoa. Each, in their own way, have similar stories... the difference is that Zyphus never returned to the material.

6) Pre-Earthfall/Age of Darkness (Age Before Ages <Age of Legends>):
Aroden, Shelyn, Thron, Zon Kuthon (and Dou-Bral)
Reason: While Shelyn and Dou-Bral are both Azlanti deities (part of the first the Azlanti and later the Taldan pantheons, they clearly predate the Age of Darkness, as the legends of Zon-Kuthon rely upon that event, and Shelyn's depictions can be found in ancient Azlanti works (without the trident). It is unclear what, precisely, happened to their mother (whose portfolio Dou-Bral and Shelyn apparently shared after their mother's death). After Dou-Bral and Shelyn argued, the former went away, returned as Zon-Kuthon, captured/destroyed/corrupted Thron, and with his new herald (his former father Thron) was banished from Golarion "for as long as the sun hung in the sky" by Abadar (it was, in fact, a bargain made with Abadar that Abadar never thought would come to pass). This was fulfilled by the Age of Darkness, and Zon-Kuthon came back, blah, blah, blah, stuff. Aroden was obviously Azlanti - he was the last (known) living Azlanti by a few thousand years. Obviously immortal before achieving ascension, it is unclear when or how he gained his immortality - he could have been ancient when the Azlanti Empire first became an independent empire. Nonetheless, it's generally considered that he's not as old as any of the others listed above him, or even Shelyn or Dou-Bral (although he's possibly older than Zon-Kuthon).

7) Post-Earthfall (the Age of Darkness):
Gorum
Reason: generally, it's admitted both by Gorum and other deities that he came into being in the Age of Darkness when humans and orcs first warred against one another. His age is actually pretty straight-forward!

~The Age of Anguish happens here.~

8) Post-Age of Darkness (the Age of Destiny):
Irori, Nethys (these are unspecified as "when", but seem to be after Aroden, so they are here)
Reason: It is known that Nethys was an Osirian God-King at some point, which places him after the age of darkness. Aroden was already around, but it's unclear if Irori and Urgathoa were or not. It does seem, however, that Irori would have been around first, as, in the article on Nethys in Serpent Skull AP, it says that Nethys is very curious as to how, exactly, Irori came to ascend - if Nethys already had his divinity, such curiosity would be pointless, as he'd already know. Nonetheless, Irori seems not to predate Aroden's rise to ascension, as all of the deities who were raised to divinity except Aroden are considered "cheaters" by Irori, indicating that Aroden was probably a deity (and probably already the deity of humanity) when Irori came around.

EDIT: Irori could have risen during the age of anguish - so, that's a possibility too.

9) Starstone gods (Age of Enthronment):
These are the only deities we have hard facts about their ascension time and order.
Norgorber: The first to pass the Starstone, Norgorber did so in 1983 AR.
Cayden Cailean: The second to pass the test of the Starstone (he did so drunkenly), his ascension was in 2765.
Iomedae: the third, and (so far) last to pass the test of the Starstone, she did so in 3832.

~The Age of Lost Omens (the current age) happens here.~

*I apologize that I don't seem to find him anywhere, although I'm absolutely positive I've read about it. At any rate, here's what I know: apparently Asmodeus killed him with a spear that shattered, leaving one long, gleaming fragment that acts as some sort of artifact-weapon that can stun a god who's hit by it, IIRC.
**This is entirely ambiguous as to what, precisely, "shortly" after means. It could be a few decades, centuries, or a millennium. Perhaps longer. It just happens before anything else does.

Important note: Achaekek is a bizarre, contradictory thing. While I'm positive I've read that he was created in response to Tar Baphon killing Arazni, he's far, far too old for that to be true, having existed since ancient Azlant. So, I can't really place him.

EDIT: Woah, talk about being ninja'd! Good job, guys!


Four posts after the OP and nobody even thinks of including me? Tsk tsk.


Tacticslion wrote:
*I apologize that I don't seem to find him anywhere, although I'm absolutely positive I've read about it. At any rate, here's what I know: apparently Asmodeus killed him with a spear that shattered, leaving one long, gleaming fragment that acts as some sort of artifact-weapon that can stun a god who's hit by it, IIRC.

That would be from whichever Book of the Damned the devils are in. The first one?


Distant Scholar wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
*I apologize that I don't seem to find him anywhere, although I'm absolutely positive I've read about it. At any rate, here's what I know: apparently Asmodeus killed him with a spear that shattered, leaving one long, gleaming fragment that acts as some sort of artifact-weapon that can stun a god who's hit by it, IIRC.
That would be from whichever Book of the Damned the devils are in. The first one?

Yes.

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