The Celtic, Egyptian, Greek, and Norse pantheons are fantasy interpretations of historical religions from our world’s ancient times. They include deities that are most appropriate for use in a game, divorced from their historical context in the real world and united into pantheons that serve the needs of the game.
The Celtic Pantheon¶
It’s said that something wild lurks in the heart of every soul, a space that thrills to the sound of geese calling at night, to the whispering wind through the pines, to the unexpected red of mistletoe on an oak—and it is in this space that the Celtic gods dwell. They sprang from the brook and stream, their might heightened by the strength of the oak and the beauty of the woodlands and open moor. When the first forester dared put a name to the face seen in the bole of a tree or the voice babbling in a brook, these gods forced themselves into being.
The Celtic gods are as often served by druids as by clerics, for they are closely aligned with the forces of nature that druids revere.
The Greek Pantheon¶
The gods of Olympus make themselves known with the gentle lap of waves against the shores and the crash of the thunder among the cloud-enshrouded peaks. The thick boar-infested woods and the sere, olive-covered hillsides hold evidence of their passing. Every aspect of nature echoes with their presence, and they’ve made a place for themselves inside the human heart, too.
The Egyptian Pantheon¶
These gods are a young dynasty of an ancient divine family, heirs to the rulership of the cosmos and the
maintenance of the divine principle of Ma’at—the fundamental order of truth, justice, law, and order that puts gods, mortal pharaohs, and ordinary men and women in their logical and rightful place in the universe.
The Egyptian pantheon is unusual in having three gods responsible for death, each with different alignments. Anubis is the lawful neutral god of the afterlife, who judges the souls of the dead. Set is a chaotic evil god of murder, perhaps best known for killing his brother Osiris. And Nephthys is a chaotic good goddess of mourning.
The Norse Pantheon¶
Where the land plummets from the snowy hills into the icy fjords below, where the longboats draw up on to the beach, where the glaciers flow forward and retreat with every fall and spring—this is the land of the Vikings, the home of the Norse pantheon. It’s a brutal clime, and one that calls for brutal living. The warriors of the land have had to adapt to the harsh conditions in order to survive, but they haven’t been too twisted by the needs of their environment. Given the necessity of raiding for food and wealth, it’s surprising the mortals turned out as well as they did. Their powers reflect the need these warriors had for strong leadership and decisive action. Thus, they see their deities in every bend of a river, hear them in the crash of the thunder and the booming of the glaciers, and smell them in the smoke of a burning longhouse.
The Norse pantheon includes two main families, the Aesir (deities of war and destiny) and the Vanir (gods of fertility and prosperity). Once enemies, these two families are now closely allied against their common enemies, the giants (including the gods Surtur and Thrym).
|The Daghdha, god of weather and crops||CG||Nature, Trickery||Bubbling cauldron or shield|
|Arawn, god of life and death||NE||Life, Death||Black star on gray background|
|Belenus, god of sun, light, and warmth||NG||Light||Solar disk and standing stones|
|Brigantia, goddess of rivers and livestock||NG||Life||Footbridge|
|Diancecht, god of medicine and healing||LG||Life||Crossed oak and mistletoe branches|
|Dunatis, god of mountains and peaks||N||Nature||Red sun-capped mountain peak|
|Goibhniu, god of smiths and healing||NG||Knowledge, Life||Giant mallet over sword|
|Lugh, god of arts, travel, and commerce||CN||Knowledge, Life||Pair of long hands|
|Manannan mac Lir, god of oceans and sea creatures||LN||Nature, Tempest||Wave of white water on green|
|Math Mathonwy, god of magic||NE||Knowledge||Staff|
|Morrigan, goddess of battle||CE||War||Two crossed spears|
|Nuada, god of war and warriors||N||War||Silver hand on black background|
|Oghma, god of speech and writing||NG||Knowledge||Unfurled scroll|
|Silvanus, god of nature and forests||N||Nature||Summer oak tree|
|Zeus, god of the sky, ruler of the gods||N||Tempest||Fist full of lightning bolts|
|Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty||CG||Light||Sea shell|
|Apollo, god of light, music, and healin||CG||Knowledge, Life, Light||Lyre|
|Ares, god of war and strife||CE||War||Spear|
|Artemis, goddess of hunting and childbi||NG||Life, Nature||Bow and arrow on lunar disk|
|Athena, goddess of wisdom and civilizat||LG||Knowledge, War||Owl|
|Demeter, goddess of agriculture||NG||Life||Mare’s head|
|Dionysus, god of mirth and wine||CN||Life||Thyrsus (staff tipped with pine cone)|
|Hades, god of the underworld||LE||Death||Black ram|
|Hecate, goddess of magic and the moon||CE||Knowledge, Trickery||Setting moon|
|Hephaestus, god of smithing and craft||NG||Knowledge||Hammer and anvil|
|Hera, goddess of marriage and intrigue||CN||Trickery||Fan of peacock feathers|
|Hercules, god of strength and adventure||CG||Tempest, War||Lion’s head|
|Hermes, god of travel and commerce||CG||Trickery||Caduceus (winged staff and serpents)|
|Hestia, goddess of home and family||NG||Life||Hearth|
|Nike, goddess of victory||LN||War||Winged woman|
|Pan, god of nature||CN||Nature||Syrinx (pan pipes)|
|Poseidon, god of the sea and earthquake||CN||Tempest||Trident|
|Tyche, goddess of good fortune||N||Trickery||Red pentagram|
|Odin, god of knowledge and war||NG||Knowledge, War||Watching blue eye|
|Aegir, god of the sea and storms||NE||Tempest||Rough ocean waves|
|Balder, god of beauty and poetry||NG||Life, Light||Gem-encrusted silver chalice|
|Forseti, god of justice and law||N||Light||Head of a bearded man|
|Frey, god of fertility and the sun||NG||Life, Light||Ice-blue greatsword|
|Freya, goddess of fertility and love||NG||Life||Falcon|
|Frigga, goddess of birth and fertility||N||Life, Light||Cat|
|Heimdall, god of watchfulness and loyalty||LG||Light, War||Curling musical horn|
|Hel, goddess of the underworld||NE||Death||Woman’s face, rotting on one side|
|Hermod, god of luck||CN||Trickery||Winged scroll|
|Loki, god of thieves and trickery||CE||Trickery||Flame|
|Njord, god of sea and wind||NG||Nature,||Tempest Gold coin|
|Odur, god of light and the sun||CG||Light||Solar disk|
|Sif, goddess of war||CG||War||Upraised sword|
|Skadi, god of earth and mountains||N||Nature||Mountain peak|
|Surtur, god of fire giants and war||LE||War||Flaming sword|
|Thor, god of storms and thunder||CG||Tempest, War||Hammer|
|Thrym, god of frost giants and cold||CE||War||White double-bladed axe|
|Tyr, god of courage and strategy||LN||Knowledge, War||Sword|
|Uller, god of hunting and winter||CN||Nature||Longbow|