Demigods & Godhood
Below the rank of true deities are demigods. There are many important differences to delineate the two, the most important of which is that demigods can be slain. Unlike a deity, who can only be permanently be destroyed on their own home plane, demigods can be defeated and destroyed. Nonetheless, there is massive variance between demigods. Some, the half-children of the gods, are scarcely more than human. Others are a hair's breadth away from true gods.
Whether they were born with their power, stole it from another, or obtained it through a powerful artifact, all demigods function in basically the same way. They are ordinary creatures - humans, elves, ogres or anything else - that have been empowered beyond their usual limits through their divine spark. A lesser demigod may have only a single such power, such as a single stat raised above to a score above that which is normally possible. More powerful ones may have a whole range of abilities.
The nature of a demigod's divine powers can be literally anything. A dragon who became a demigod might find that, in addition to his other abilities, his breath weapon becomes akin to a Sphere of Annihilation. A human might become stronger, smarter, endowed with unusual abilities. The power to teleport at will, to paralyze by touch, to channel spell-like abilities with a mere thought - all are within the purview of a demigod.
Clearly, the line between a demigod and a powerful mortal is a blurry one. What is the difference between a demigod with a Strength of 21 and a human who used magic to attain the same ends? Only the divine spark - but mortals who reach such heights of power sometimes find that accruing followers amongst those who are drawn to their power overcomes even that difference, given time.
There are a number of abilities that are universal and are possessed equally by all deities and demigods, simply by virtue of possessing the divine spark. All of these may be activated spontaneously and at-will, but not continuously. They are as follows:
- Command: As the spell. Lasts 1 round for demigods, 2 rounds for lesser gods, and 3 rounds for intermediate or greater gods.
- Comprehend Languages: As the spell, except the deity or demigod can also speak or write the language in question.
- Detect Alignment: As the spell. For lesser deities and above, this performs without error unless blocked by divine power.
- Gate: As the spell. Only beings from the deity or demigod's own pantheon can be brought forth.
- Quest: As the spell, but with a range of 10 feet. Does not work on the priests of other gods; however, followers of your own pantheon (whether active worshipers or not) receive no saving throw.
- True Seeing: As the spell.
A demigod is not merely a larger-than-life mortal. They have access to a divine spark within them: something that makes them an immortal spiritual being. Depending on the nature of your divine spark, you may have what is called a portfolio. Not every demigod has a portfolio: it requires attunement to certain themes and concepts. The child of Ravi, for example, will have a portfolio related to sunlight and destruction of the undead. A demigod made by the destruction of a powerful artifact, however, may find that they have no portfolio at all.
There are some advantages to not having one. A demigod without one is not burdened with any attachments; your portfolio is part of your very nature, and cannot be easily discarded. A demigod of the domain of undeath may find that natural death or the restoration of life is anathema to his very nature. They will find it dififcult to progress towards godhood without embracing their nature, and changing your portfolio is almost as difficult as becoming a demigod in the first place. If they strain against their true nature for too long, they may even find their demigod powers diminishing entirely.
However, a portfolio comes with benefits. Demigods with a portfolio have a limited power of divination related to it that extends to within 5 miles. A demigod of magic would be able to sense any time a powerful spell was activated in that radius, for example. They would know what had happened and where it had happened. This divinatory power can extend further than 5 miles for events of great magnitude, and it also grants a degree of innate intuition related to your portfolio. The demigod of magic, for example, would likely be able to sense the general effects of any magic item or effect they come into contact with.
The portfolio also grants a path to godhood. Without one, it is as difficult for a demigod to ascend to full godhood as it would be for any mortal. It is not until a demigod aquires a portfolio that their divine spark takes on the qualities that will allow them to attain true godhood through the worship of mortals.
Even though a demigod is not a true deity, their divine spark gives them the power to manifest miraculous events. This effectively allows any demigod to cast a Wish spell whenever they please. However, there is an important caveat: it drains their divine spark. Even true gods are sparing with powerful miracles, and demigods do not have the endless font of their mortal servants' belief to sustain them.
Each time a miracle is performed by a demigod, they lose one of the divine powers that make them what they are. These are lost in order of power: the abilities with the greatest magnitude are lost first. These are lost permanently and irrevocably, and are very difficult to restore. A demigod with a portfolio can only cast miracles that are somehow related to that portfolio; a demigod of fire cannot create a wall of water to drown his enemies.
Whether they have lost their strength through the performing of miracles or whether they simply wish to come closer to godhood, most demigods will eventually wish to increase the power of their divine spark. There are a number of ways to do this:
- If they have a portfolio, through the worship of mortals.
- Through any means which could make a mortal into a demigod.
- By defeating and absorbing another divine being.
As noted above, a demigod with mortal worshipers can increase their own power and come closer to true godhood. However, you must have a portfolio to do so. To tap into the power of belief, it must be chanelled through some aspect of the collective unconsciousness. You cannot simply be worshiped as Maui; you must be Maui, protector of mankind or Maui, patron of the line of kings.
In order to receive any benefits, you must have at least 50 worshipers. If you are on the Outer Planes, these worshipers can be anywhere. However, if you are in the Inner Planes, only worshipers in the world you currently inhabit count. This is the bare minimum required for the power of their belief to sustain you. It is only a trickle of faith, but it is enough to get by. Bear in mind that the numbers given below are relative when it comes to the Inner Planes. A god may have millions of followers in total, making them a Greater Deity on the Outer Planes. On the world of Morus, however, they may be a minor god only worshiped in small cults - with barely the rank of a Lesser Deity.
|0||Less than 50||Demigod|
One of the immediate benefits granted to any demigod who accrues followers is the ability to bestow miracles without using up their own reserves of divine power. The more followers they have, the more frequently they will be able to perform miraculous deeds without risking themselves. For demigods of Rank 1, this manifests as a 1 in 20 chance each month of having a lost power restored to them. This roll is cumulative, so they will always have a power restored by the time 20 months have elapsed.
Demigods above Rank 1 gain the ability to work miracles without endangering their own reserves of power at all. This ability is limited, but can be used more as they grow in prominence. Refer to the table below to see how long a demigod must wait after working a miracle to be able to do so again without risking their own power.
The Personal Realm
Demigods of Rank 3 or above may claim a small realm (up to one mile radius) in the Outer Plane that most closely matches their ethos. If they are in service to a patron deity, they receive this realm automatically. Otherwise, they must personally travel to the Outer Planes and find a place to call their own. The size of this realm increases as they gain in power.
The benefits of claiming a divine realm are many. For one thing, it grants a measure of permanent immortality; if slain outside of their own realm, they will slowly regenerate within it - though if they lose enough followers while they are dead to be stripped of their divine status, they may find themselves reborn as a mortal. Furthermore, any petitioners who die in their service will go to their divine realm - though many demigods prefer to consign the souls of their followers to their patron deity.
|Rank||Realm Radius||Regeneration Time||Realm Control|
|3||1 mile||50 years||temperature, climate|
|4||5 miles||10 years||temperature, climate, environment|
|5||15 miles||1 year||temperature, climate, environment, geography|
|6||50 miles||6 months||temperature, climate, environment, geography, constructions|
Finally, a demigod with a divine realm always has a place of sanctuary to return to. At will, a demigod may transport themselves and up to 50 pounds per divine rank to their realm at any time, though they must return by their own means. This is a divine power, and cannot be blocked by faerzress or common sorcery - only magic of great might or the will of a stronger god may hold it at bay. They can also see into their realm at all times simply by willing it to be so; this effect is akin to Clairaudience and Clairvoyance.
Once a demigod reaches Rank 7, they become a deity proper, albeit a lesser one. They ascend beyond their mortal form and merge with their personal realm on the Outer Planes - if they have not established one, it is created anew. From this point forward, they will never truly leave their realm again. In ascending to godhood, the impurities of their former existence are burned away and they become an entity of pure belief, a living archetype, which can exist only in the Outer Planes.
The essence of a deity resides always in their personal realm; it is their true self, and it can never leave. In a very real sense, the deity is the realm; they are a part of the Outer Planes. Within this realm, they are nearly all-powerful - and since it is the only place they can be permanently slain, killing a god through sheer force of arms is difficult indeed. Most gods who "die" do so through the loss of followers, by capturing a powerful avatar to deprive them of their power, or some similar scheme. Just how omnipotent a god is within their own realm depends on their divine rank.
Of course, the near-omnipotent power of a god does not extend outside of their own realm, even to other parts of the same Outer Planes. To spread their influence in the multiverse and gain followers, they must be willing to use their power instead of hoarding it. Upon ascending to godhood, a deity becomes both substantially more powerful and substantially less free to use that power. Instead of moving directly through the planes, they must rely for the most part on their servants to work their will.
There are a variety of ways in which deities expend the power they have accrued in order to advance their cause. Each of them bears some risk, however - for just as deities gain power through the belief of their petitioners and living followers, they must use it up to work their will. Common paths taken include:
- By investing a portion of their power into a divine avatar - as meagre as a mouse or as powerful as a greater demigod - which can walk the planes as a living manifestation of the deity.
- Through divine servitors - such as aasimon, eladrin or yugoloths - which are either created or recruited.
- Through petitioners who have chosen to live a second life after their death instead of enjoying their afterlife - known as einherjar. If slain outside their home plane, however, they are permanently destroyed.
- Through faithful clerics and worshipers throughout the planes (whether planars or primes) who can channel the power of the deity, be affected directly by divine intervention at the deity's whim, or simply champion the deity's cause.
- Through artifacts, enchantments, curses and places of divine power to which the deity has established a connection to. For example, some gods may create artifacts of power and allow them to make their way into mortal hands. Others grant powerful items to their clerics, or channel power through their mortal servants to create holy sites.