The Gods of Syrros
Repeated in the religions of every race on Syrros is a common theme, a bitheistic dualism of Earth and Sky. Even the name of the world, Syrros, is a combination of two ancient names for these two deities: Syr the Sky Father and Ros the Earth Mother. Every civilization has different names and incarnations of these two deities, but they appear in some form in each and every tribe or race.
Among some races, one or the other deity is dominant. In ancient dwarven religion, the Earth Mother featured prominently while the Sky Father’s worship was taboo and represented the unknowable. In others, there is a moral dualism between the two deities, with one representing good and the other representing evil. But in most early Syrossian religions, the deities were equals in power and morality, sometimes rivals, sometimes lovers.
The histories before the Gloom, while vague and full of metaphor, seem to agree that in the ancient days, the Sky Father and the Earth Mother directly influenced the affairs of mortals. Many tales exist among the various races of the two deities taking mortal form or speaking to their worshippers through signs and portents. Since the coming of the Gloom and the birth of the Veil, however, both deities have been largely silent. Only the druids claim to hear the whispers of the Sky Father and the Earth Mother now and the civilized world remains skeptical of their faith.
In recent history, the primacy of the Sky Father and the Earth Mother has been replaced by their demigods. The demigods are heroic mortals who have been invested with divine power by possessing a fragment of the gods. While they are not as powerful as the now-silent deities, they are ageless and possess abilities beyond those shared by other mortals. They may also grant a small fraction of divine power to mortals they so choose, which has inevitably led to priesthoods forming around these demigods. But the demigods are not omniscient or omnipresent and still possess mortal emotions and mortal flaws. They are often great but tragic figures.
The demigods that exist today trace their divine origins to the coming of the Gloom or later. Some, like the dwarven demigods, took their divine power for themselves in the form of the Tears of Ages, gems each imbued with a shard of the Earth Mother’s godhood. Others, like a number of the god-kings and god-queens that rule the cities of humanity, were given the gift of divine breath by the Sky Father. One universal truth about the demigods, however, is that their power can be gifted or taken. Some of the demigods that exist today are not the original bearers of their divine gift; either they were given that power by the one that possessed it before them or they took it by force.