Scions who are aware of their parentage recognize that the term pantheon, Greek for “all gods,” describes their divine and immortal forebears as a collective. Most Scions, however, know that their parents belong to one of several tribes or families of Gods, also described as pantheons, who together bring structure and order to the World and neighboring mythic realms. Most of the surviving Gods of the pantheons humanity have worshiped throughout history remain embroiled in an all-out war in the Overworld with the recently escaped Titans. The Gods of the pantheons presented in this chapter are those who have found the most time in recent years to slip away from the Overworld briefly to sire Scion children. This is not to say that Scions of other Gods are not active in the World, only that they are comparatively rare.
The Aesir are the deities of Norse mythology, and represent a third option after the Pesedjet and Dodekatheon. While the Pesedjet are traditionalists in favour of absolute social order, and the Dodekatheon believe in the triumph of the individual, the Aesir promote both community stability and personal rights. Thus family and nation are important, but so are the rights of the individual. The Aesir’s greatest flaw is that they are tied more closely to the web of Fate than other Pantheons – nearly every Norse deity is fated to die at Ragnarok, and they struggle to avoid that inevitable doom.
The Amatsukami are the deities of Shinto, the ancient (but still very much alive) religion of Japan. They have the agenda of ensuring the continuity of nature and the natural world. Complex ecological solutions are often the order of the day for Amatsukami Scions, and through maintaining the environment they keep the Titans at bay. The weakness of this Pantheon is a difficulty in acting with the speed and directness that the Titan Wars require. Though their solutions may be graceful, elegant and balanced, they also often take more time than the Titans will allow.
The Aztec Gods have no name for their own Pantheon but have been dubbed the “Atzlanti” by others. Their agenda lies on a greater scale than human society – for them continuity is the goal – the sun and moon must complete their daily cycles, the world must turn and the stars must move according to their proper schedule. Humanity is almost beneath their notice, save for the fact that the agendas of the Atzlanti require human blood, and human sacrifice. For the Atzlanti, the sacrifice of a few lives (be they mortal or Scion) is a small price to pay to keep existence going.
The Dodekatheon are the deities of ancient Greece, and have the agenda of promoting individual excellence in the world. Their flaw, perhaps, is the emphasis of the individual over a broader worldview. To the deities of the Dodekatheon, each of their Scions is the next Heracles or Asklepios, destined for divinity and great deeds. When their children fail to meet their high (and often unrealistic) expectations, the deities look towards the next generation. Second oldest of the divine tribes, the Dodekatheon comprises the Olympian Gods of Greco-Roman legend. Their origins are murky, since the ancient Greeks already knew their Gods when they migrated to the Mediterranean Sea around 4,000 years ago, but they were still changing and growing 2,500 years ago, and their forms only became set around 1,500 years ago. Where the Pesedjet emphasizes social and cultural stability over and against individual rights, the Dodekatheon has sought to impose patterns of individuality within the community on humanity. Arete — personal excellence in service to humanity — is the motivating urge of this tribe of Gods and its Scions. It is important for most people to know their place, but it is equally important for some to rise above their stations and create new patterns for human life.
In modern times, the Dodekatheon’s Scions seek to manifest and awaken great spirits in society—as artists, warriors, spiritual seekers, judges, leaders and poets. Extraordinary individuals can strengthen the fabric of reality so that Titans can gain no purchase on it or rip through illusion’s curtains. Sometimes, the Scions of the Olympians challenge mortals, and sometimes, they are the mortals challenged by the Gods. Both routes lead to greatness—an exaltation of human endeavor that blocks the Titans from destroying the World. The Greek Pantheon’s greatest weakness is hubris—belief that the individual is capable of winning out against Fate. Every God in the Dodekatheon believes that his most recent favored Scion is capable of surviving the titanspawn onslaught and changing the World. Investing time and training in Scion after Scion, the whole pantheon puts tremendous trust in its heroes, while acknowledging that all too many have only fallen into ruin and darkness. The next Scion, of course, will prove a worthy vessel for the trust and favor of the Gods.
The Loa are the Voodoo Gods of West Africa, and concentrate their energy on the protection of holy places. The wholeness of nature is less important than the wholeness of the here and now. Their greatest strength is their attention to small details, but that is also their greatest weakness, as they are more often than not unable to see the broader picture.
The Pesedjet are the deities of ancient Egypt, and have the agenda of increasing stability and order in the world. They claim to be the oldest of the Pantheons, and are strong believers in the importance of tradition and society. Other Pantheons often regard them as being excessively old-fashioned and conservative – indeed, it is their commitment to stability at any cost that is regarded as their greatest weakness.
The Pesedjet, originating in Egypt, is the oldest (though not necessarily wisest) of the pantheons. This family of Gods claims that its origins go back over 7,000 years to the banks of the Nile River in northeast Africa, and it has endured through cultural, mythic and physical changes in the World’s very structure. As a pantheon, the Pesedjet concerns itself with ma’at—justice expressed through social order. For the Pesedjet, everyone must know his or her place, and each post must be ﬁlled with the right person. In the times before time, the Titans destroyed appropriate relationships between people, and the Pesedjet created a social order in which people could live knowing their place in an established hierarchy.
Today, the Pesedjet’s Scions tend to concern themselves with disruptions in social stability caused by the Titans’ actions. Movements of refugees, discontent caused by spiritual poverty and unemployment, revolutionary movements—these come to the Pesedjet’s notice as disturbances in the mythic realms. Other divine tribes view the Pesedjet as hidebound and conservative, but they grant that the Egyptian Gods really know how to impose long-lasting order in a chaotic world. The Pesedjet’s greatest weakness is its commitment to stability at any cost. The Egyptian Gods and their Scions prefer minimally disruptive solutions to problems, trusting in old patterns to maintain the status quo. Other Gods ﬁnd this attitude frustrating. Old patterns allowed the Titans to break free in the ﬁrst place, so why perpetuate easily disrupted systems? Still, the Egyptian deities promote tradition and conservative attitudes as bulwarks against chaos, leaving close-knit but reactionary societies in their wake.
The five main pantheons are not the only tribes of gods in the world, they are just currently the most powerful and active in the world (and thus the most likely to have children with mortals). There are many other pantheons in the Scion world.
- The Annuna pantheon are the deities of ancient Mesopotamia. Most of them are now refugee gods, seeking safe haven, after being overwhelmed by the forces of the Titans.
The lost Atlantis Pantheon were the deities of ancient Atlantis, or at least what could be found about it. This kind of information is limited and foggy, if not contradictory. What is known for sure is that the pantheon was heavily linked to the sea, and to science and knowledge.
- The British, French, and Russian Pantheons are the folkloric gods of their respective pantheons, who were pushed into an alliance against the Greek, Norse, and Japanese pantheons during World War II. These Pantheons were severely hurt during the war, and haven’t been heard from since.
- The Celestial Bureaucracy are the deities of ancient China. The Chinese pantheon consists of literally hundreds of Gods, plus thousands of lesser immortals and countless minor spirits. Relatively few of the Gods possess sufficient Legend to breed potent Scions.
- The Devas are the deities of the ancient and current Indian subcontinent. This Pantheon is as powerful and active as any of the main six, but is currently preoccupied by preventing India from falling to an assault by the titan avatar Aten.
- The Tuatha Dé Danaan (“children of Danu”) are the Gods of ancient Ireland, a land with a long history of invasions from outside lands. The Tuatha are warriors, bards, druids and seers, and they esteem honor, courage, intellect, piety, generosity and inspiration. They instill these qualities in the people of Ireland – and specially in their Scions. The Tuatha have given birth to many powerful Scions who have fought the Titanspawn alongside the Scions of other pantheons.
- The Yankee Pantheon are the folkloric gods of the United States of America. This pantheon was once a Native American pantheon, with more naturalistic and spiritual forms. When the white man conquered north America, this Pantheon took on forms of American Folk Heroes in order to prevent fading into obscurity. This was the only allied Pantheon to survive the destruction of World War II mostly unscathed.