Kingdoms of Kalamar
The world of Tellene, like all other places, did not always exist. It is believed that The Creator, a being of enormous power and intellect, developed the universe for her own amusement. Finding the newly created cosmos wondrous yet unsatisfying, she brought forth from her fingertips life forms to inhabit the various planes of existence.
A total of fifty-four gods, each portraying a specific characteristic or related characteristics of the Creator, from life and truth to death and deceit, were brought into existence to govern the cosmos under the watchful eye of the Creator. In order to serve the needs of her children, she also fabricated various species of creatures: dragons, dwarves, elves, primitive races, insects and all creatures in-between. The gods gathered periodically to discuss the state of events on their different planes and the Creator assigned further responsibilities. This system worked effectively for many eons.
However, intelligent individuals, especially gods, are prone to feel indignant toward authority and the limitations that come with being inferior; and the chaotic gods began to resent the control the Creator had over them. It was with this in mind that several deities, led by the Confuser of Ways, formed a plan for the demise of the Supreme One.
The Creator, of course, learned of their scheme, but she was intrigued. She allowed their plan to continue, and created the illusion of her demise by allowing her essence to be trapped in a crystal shard. Fearing that the destruction of the shard would mean an end to all existence, the culprits secreted the shard in a well-guarded fortress on a distant plane. Shortly thereafter, the Corrupter and the Confuser of Ways conjured false evidence linking the Overlord to the death of the Creator. This situation infuriated the good deities, who immediately brought the flabbergasted Overlord to justice.
With the Creator apparently absent, opposing gods immediately tried to destroy one another; law fought chaos, good fought evil and the unaligned gods tried to hold the cosmos together. The ensuing mayhem shook the planes and resulted in the death of eleven deities. However, just as the Overlord was about to be the next god slain, the Lord of Silver Linings called upon the Riftmaster to magically whisk the Overlord away into captivity on Tellene. All other deities believed him to be dead, a belief proven untrue when a human scouting party unwittingly released him from imprisonment.
The conflict continued until a wondrous evolution took place. To the delight of the gods, various races, including humans, began to evolve on Tellene. The attention of the deities was quickly diverted to Tellene. They watched in wonder and amusement as the rapidly advancing races spread their influence across the planet.
Since the gods found that their power grew in proportion the number of worshippers they attracted, each god competed for the right to make worshippers of the existing races, and create new races of their own. Old disputes quickly rekindled and the gods were once again at odds with each other. This time, however, the gods decided to fight one another through their worshippers because they feared personal destruction as witnessed in prior battles. The Creator now sits silently, amused, watching the events on Tellene unfold.
Unlike the Creator, the remaining gods are not omnipotent. Within their spheres of influence they are dominant, but they can be bested in other areas. All gods have the ability to take any form they wish. This includes different races, sexes, sizes and shapes. Their can, of course, alter their form to fit any given situation; however, most gods, when associating with mortals, will choose a form similar to that of their audience. Gods can even impersonate one another, although this tends to inspire harsh retaliation from the deity imitated.
The clear and known appearance of a deity on Tellene is an uncommon occurrence; they prefer to manipulate events through their clerics and followers. Their ultimate goal is to gain new followers and continue to influence current ones. A god’s power is directly related to the number of followers gained and the prevalence of the god’s spheres of influence. Therefore, the gods always strive to spread their power by gaining followers and clerics.