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 somber gods for the setting, Oskar, The Lord of Death. before i get started on Oskar 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.
Oskar, The Grand Arbiter
Before the War, Oskar was a cleric of a capricious god of violent retribution and wanton hedonism. He spent his days hunting monsters and getting into drunken fistfights across the surface of the world. Somehow, he managed to attract a like minded group of adventurers and they became a massive force of chaos that roamed like a storm across the surface of the world. Oskar and his friends were all called by Grandfather Oak and entered the War together.
During the War, Oskar and his companions were astonishingly destructive and ultimately very successful against the Me’Ah’Chin. Unfortunately, they were targeted by the Me’Ah’Chin, and many of his companions had their lives cut short by those mechanical horrors. By the time the War ended, Oskar was one of several orphans, the last surviving member of their party or companions.
After the War, the remaining heroes noticed a serious change in the previously jovial cleric. He had become a somber figure of critical judgment. His portfolio is the transition between death and life, and in the way this world works, life and death. His is the final hand that a soul is touched by as it makes its way to the afterlife, and the first hand that moves a new soul into the Crucible of Rebirth.
Relations with Others
Oskar is a god that is universally respected by his counterparts. His judgment is unfailing, and most of the other gods and goddesses will seek out his opinion in a variety of matters. On a more personal level, he is involved in two different triads that serve different ends. He, alongside Ahrimaius and Hassur represent the cycle of death and rebirth. Gemera, the Goddess of Life, and Courvail, the Goddess of Time both claim Oskar as a husband. In both of these triads, he serves as a balancing point to mediate the influences of the other members of the triad.
Relations with Servants
Oskar’s servants are a universal constant. They help living souls transition to the afterlife and dead souls transition back to the living world. His servants form a vast bureaucracy that keeps that task accomplished, and terrible things have occurred in the past when the bureaucracy is upset. He supposedly has another group of servants that debate a variety of topics with their lord. As many perspectives as possible are considered, and these servants are routinely mistaken for other things.
Relations with Mortals
Oskar is a respected deity by the world at large. His clerics are often called to serve as judges and arbiters for criminal cases, and they perform this task along with the funerary rites that most cultures practice. Most are aloof, and hold themselves apart from the communities they are members of. The world does not fear death, because death is a necessary part of the cycle of rebirth, and this shapes the mindset of the intelligent creatures of the world.