Under Feet of Clay
In Calopius, multiple groups and tiers of deities are recognized. Though most individuals pledge themselves to the service of only one to three such gods or goddesses, sacrifices and offerings are often made to appease any with local temples. These deities are primarily worshiped through Sacrifices offered at their temples. The major categories of gods are as follows:
The Primordials, the ancient beings who once ruled the entire cosmos in the age before the gods. Most were killed in the Cosmomachy, but a few yet survive. These are Gaia, Ladon, and Proteus, and they are bound or kept in check by the other gods. Left to their own devices, the Primordials would tear the universe apart and spawn countless monsters to rule the ruined shreds. Though they are largely dead, the Titans still loom large in the minds of Calopenes.
The Trisdekatheon, or the High Thirteen. These gods reside in the highest heavens, the grandchildren of the vengeful Gaia. These are the current rulers of the universe, from their thrones over the highest mountains. They are Xiphios the King of the Gods, Grandfather Time, Aedai the Queen, Thalattos, Thesmaphora, Parthaenae, Pallas, Sylvia, Polumachos, Cytherea, Purosphuros, Zagrius, and Haestai.
The Hupotheon are called the Lesser Gods, or the Under-Gods. Lacking the authority of the Trisdekatheon, these gods still have their domains, but do not sit on the lofty thrones. They are Thantadeus, Eleusinia, Asklepios, Anxi, Hebe, Ganphoros, and Vikae.
The Muses are mysterious goddesses who inspire art, invention, and science among the mortal races. They are the daughters of a now dead god who brought knowledge to the mortals in archaic times. Their names are Calliope, Clio, Euterpe, Erato, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpischore, Thalia, and Urania.
The Sophotheon, or the Seven Sages, are the ascendant mortals who founded the seven great cities of Calopius. By their actions, the laws of mortals were removed from the purview of the gods and civilization was begun. They are called Cleobulus, Solon, Chilon, Bias, Thales, Pittacus, and Periander.
The Anthrotheon is the collection of mortals who earned divinity through their heroic deeds. For some this was a tremendous feat of strength or cunning, for others it was a fundamental knowledge learned through tragedy or great philosophical work. Still others have earned the favor of the Trisdekatheon and been elevated, while some have the sheer force of will and determination to refuse death. Heroes and villains in roughly equal measure, these heroes are named Aedikles, Basilus, Calydonia, Belleros, Taitalan, Spartarchos, Thebarchos, Nethana, Thenius, Araxnia, Nosius, Pius, Nestor, Mikroxenos, and Haemon.
Among the slaves of Calopius, many have a familiarity with the Barbarian Religion known as the Threefold Paths of Zorwa to its adherents.
Clergy of the gods take many forms, but the most common are the Cleric, the Oracle, and the Paladin. The training and duties of each are different dependent on the deity, but in general the Clerics attend to the daily duties of temple maintenance, officiating sacrifices, and ensuring the benevolence of the gods. Oracles, by contrast, since they are created and not trained, under go rigorous training to attune their minds to the various ways the gods speak, and spend long portions of their lives cloistered away. Paladins are the militant arm of the gods, trained to wield their bodies as weaponized vessels of divine power, usually through the swearing of oaths and rituals overseen by clerics.
The gods are all known primarily through the stories recorded about them by the historian Hesiodos, who wrote the text of the Theogony, or the Origin of the Gods. However, the story of the Sages and the Anthrotheon were recorded by the poets Homrus and Xenophotos respectively. For those gods who were never mortal, grand temples stand atop hills in the center of the cities to make sacrifices in appeasement. Heroes and Sages and remembered in smaller temples or niches of the larger Trisdekatheon shrines. Throughout the wilderness and along the roads, ancient shrines and statues of gods of all natures can be found, with tending them when in disrepair being a sure way to earn the gaze and temporary favor of that deity.
Many deities have realms thought to be found in the world, whether the Dark Forest of Chaos being the home of the elusive Proteus, or Thantodeus dwelling in an underworld reached by caverns of infinite depths scattered across the hills of the civilized world and beyond. Hated by most every god, particularly those old enough to have fought in the Cosmomachy, are the monsters of the world. Hybrid horrors such as the manticore, chimera, siren, and harpy, the spawn of Gaia threaten civilization at all times. But a few of these have turned to the side of the current rulers, such as the noble griffon, the unicorn, and the legendary Pegasus.
Despite the varieties of gods, Funerary Practices in Calopius are fairly standardized, with a few notable exceptions.