Written by Jeremy Morgan, tabletop games editor, gamer, and software developer.
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Dark Pantheon - Initial Thoughts

31 May 2019

Several years ago, I started thinking about creating a pantheon of gods centered around a bleak/dark (but not hopeless) world. I didn’t get very far, but I’m picking it back up. This post will be the first in hopefully a series where I start fleshing this idea out.

The Pantheon

  • The Broken God / The Shattered God
  • The Chained God / The Captive God
  • The Drowned God / The Dead God
  • The Vocal God / The God Who Speaks
  • The Silent God
  • The Absent God / The Missing God
  • The Dreaming God

I did say it would be dark, didn’t I? I’ve got slashes here because I’m still thinking through the names.

There’s a couple of things I want to note here. I like the idea of the gods of this setting not having proper names. Maybe it’s because they transcend names; maybe it’s because mortals don’t know their names. Maybe their names have been erased.

The Groups that Venerate Certain Gods

What’s a pantheon without worshippers (or at least believers)? Each of the groups below venerates one of the gods, and their belief and praxis aligns with a particular aspect of that deity.

The Menders (The Broken God)

The Menders can be found all over; they do exactly what their name suggests: they seek to fix things. People. Situations. Everything. Because not everyone agrees on how best to fix things, the Menders can be individualistic (“You do what you can to make things better”) or collective (“We have a responsibility to fix the world together; the Broken God commands it.”). People from all walks of life may decide to join the Menders, from humble street sweepers to politicians holding high office.

The Harkers (The Silent God)

Harkers are a religious order that venerate the Silent God. They build icons and paint sigils, meditate and travel. They speak little, but when they do, they choose their words carefully. Many become counselors and confidants, for secrets told to them remain secrets. Anyone may join the Harkers, and many do, at least for a time.

The Chroniclers (The Absent God)

The Chroniclers have a singular goal: to maintain a record of everything that happens. They believe that one day, the Absent God will return, and they want to be able to recount as much as they can. Even with this goal, each Chronicler has their own idea of what is worthy of being recorded. While some Chroniclers have organized themselves into monastic communities, just as many become historians or librarians or accountants. Many are just people otherwise going about their lives, recording things in their journal.

The Chainbreakers (The Chained God)

The Chainbreakers believe their god to be a victim, imprisoned against their will. Many are professional thieves, but trapmakers and survivalists also count themselves among the Chainbreakers. The most notable (or notorious, depending on who you ask) are master escape artists. Many cities have outlawed membership in the Chainbreakers. Need a safe cracked or a way into or out of a secure location? Find a Chainbreaker.


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