Hey Game Fans, we’re taking a look at some world building ideas and concepts for the home setting i run. If you’ve checked out my other world building articles, this is the setting that focuses on Lakeport and the larger world around it. Today i’m going to take a look at one of the more colorful gods for the setting, Bannock, the Lord of Civilization. before i get started on Bannock himself, let me give you a little background for the gods of this world.
Broadly speaking, the gods divide themselves into a variety of groupings and factions, but the grouping i am concerned about today is the old gods and the new gods. The Old gods predate one of the most important conflicts of the setting, the Fey War. These are the gods that originally found this world and shaped it to their designs and interests. They shaped the great forests and mountains, and populated the world with creatures in their own image. The first Gods to walk the world were the gods of Giantkind, the Fey themselves, and the three Elder Wyrms. A few other gods would appear after this first establishment, most notably Ahrimaius, the God of Creation. THese are the Gods of antiquity, and they made the world the way it was, for good or for ill.
The Fey War began as internal issue between a small fey enclave and their neighbors. It spiraled out of control to a level of violence and bloodshed that would haunt the old places of the world forever. At the darkest point of the war, when the Me’Ah’Chin hordes looked ready to take the fight to the Gods themselves, the eldest of the Fey Gods, Grandfather Oak, cast the most powerful magic anyone had ever seen. He summoned heroes and champions from across time and space to the Garden where Oak had planted his first seeds. He made them a simple offer. If they would turn back the tide of darkness and save the world, he would bestow upon the seeds of godhood, and make them the new gods of the world.
Heroes to the end, most of these people died during the war to liberate the world. Heroes from thousands of worlds and cultures fought, bled, and died in a distant land to save it from the most terrible monsters they had ever encountered. When the last battle had been fought, and the dead tallied, less than fifty of the thousands of heroes and champions were still standing. A few would succumb to lingering injuries sustained in the war, and their number would be diminished even further by a tragic incident.
The survivors returned to the Garden, and Grandfather Oak kept his word. Each hero or champion became the living embodiment of an idea or a race. One by one, the new Gods and Goddesses organized themselves, and set about the work of trying to heal the lingering damage the war had caused. Some places were never completely healed, and there are distant parts of the world that still think that ancient war rages….but that’s a story for another time.
Bannock, The Flame of Civilization
Before the War, Bannock was a paladin in service to an ancient deity of good, and crusaded across a half dozen worlds, bringing justice and civilization with him. Thought to be an Elf, he spent the majority of his life before the war on the move, opposing the forces of chaos wherever they emerged. His resolute presence on the battlefield aided good armies in several major wars and he spent the balance of his life before the Fey War as a king, who ruled over a prosperous kingdom on a prime material plane.
During the war, Bannock led several armies against the Me’Ah’Chin, and liberated several smaller enclaves and cities from their horror. He was always well received by the people he’d saved, and built a strong working relationship with several other heroes who would go on to become New Gods.
After the war ended, Bannock took the idea of Civilization as his own, and he watches over the growth and development of culture and civilization with great interest. There are great wild spaces of the world that have existed untouched since before the Fey War, and Bannock doesn’t concern himself with those. However, where sentient creatures exist, and slowly spread outward, Bannock’s priests guide and help extend civilization with settlers and explorers.
The other critical aspect to Bannock is a divine responsibility to the other Gods and Goddesses. He serves as the Regent for the Slumbering King, and as a steward for the God’s Throne in his slumber. He manages the affairs of the royal court and serves as the final voice of courtly matters while the King sleeps. He also has the authority to strip gods of their abilities and create new gods, if the need is great enough.
Relations with Others
Bannock is an even-tempered god who serves in his role as Steward with remarkable restraint. Given the tempers and personalities that he has to manage amongst the other members of the royal court, other members of the court have long wondered what it would take to stir his emotions to anger. None have ever gone the trouble of trying to actual anger the Steward. He has no major enemies among the court, and he serves as a councilor for all members of the royal court in matters of divine law. He has an unusually close relationship with Adelia, the Goddess of Nature, and Frand, the God of Magic, which would seem at odds with the conflicting nature of Civilization vs. Nature, but they don’t seem to be antagonists towards each other.
Relations with Servants
Bannock’s servants love the stability that he represents in his role as the God of Civilization. He’s a constant force in the minds of his direct servants, guiding and directing their efforts to help Civilization grow. Some are unhappy with the pace of the growth of Civilization, but they tend to use very small voices when expressing this idea in his presence. He’s a fair master, and rewards quality service with greater power and responsibility.
Relations with Mortals
Mortals feel the embrace of Bannock in their everyday lives. He ensures that literacy is a treasure shared by all, that cities stand as places to conduct trade and live in peace and safety, and that people have a culture to share. His clergy serves as counselors and advisors to mayors, thanes and rulers of settlements across the world. A few members of his clergy advocate for an active, armed presence to push the boundaries of civilization, but often find their energies channeled into training militias and soldiers to protect the settlements they would strike out from.
“We Endure” Bannock sees Civilization and Culture as the collective record of what people leave behind in the world. By strengthening both of those concepts, he seeks to ensure that the past helps to shape the future, and that people have a place to come home to. This is often used as a battle cry among his most militant priests, and as a blessing among his other clergy.