In the original Gold Box Guide to the World of Greyhawk, there’s an interesting phenomenon that gets relatively little notice; out of the original 55 gods and goddesses above demi-god rank on the list, fully 37 are listed as “Common in most areas”. That is, they span across the other pantheons (Suel, Flan, and Oeridian) and are found as deities in all four.
I treat the Baklunish deities as a special case, as they’re not really found outside the westernmost edges of the Flanaess, and thus their cultural influence elsewhere would be minimal. Indeed, only two Baklunish deities, Geshtai and Xan Yae (I’m not counting demigods in my list, for various reasons), have penetrated into the other cultures of the Flanaess.
What follows is a list of all those deities who are common to all pantheons, regardless of their culture of origin, and are thus found represented in most areas of the Flanaess.
|Beory||Oerth Mother, Nature, Rain||N||f|
|Boccob||Magic, Arcane Knowledge||N||m|
|Incabulos||Evil, Plagues, Nightmares||NE||m|
|Nerull||Death, Darkness, Underworld||NE||m|
|Pelor||Sun, Strength, Light, Healing||NG||m|
|Procan||Oceans, Seas, Salt||CN||m|
|Rao||Peace, Reason, Serenity||LG||m|
|Ulaa||Hills, Mountains, Gemstones||LG||f|
|Zilchus||Power, Prestige, Influence, Money, Business||LN||m|
|Cyndor||Time, Continuity, Infinity||LN||m|
|Atroa||Spring, East Wind||NG||f|
|Berei||Home, Family, Agriculture||NG||f|
|Bleredd||Metal, Mines, Smiths||CN||m|
|Celestian||Stars, Space, Wanderers||N(G)||m|
|Ehlonna||Forests, Flowers, Meadows||NG||f|
|Erythnul||Hate, Envy, Malice, Panic||CE(N)||m|
|Fharlanghn||Horizons, Distance, Travel||N(G)||m|
|Geshtai||Lakes, Rivers, Wells||N||f|
|Heironeous||Chivalry, Honor, Justice, Valor||LG||m|
|Hextor||War, Discord, Massacre||LE||m|
|Joramy||Fire, Volcanoes, Anger, Quarrels||N(G)||f|
|Lirr||Prose, Poetry, Art||CG||f|
|Lydia||Music, Knowledge, Daylight||NG||f|
|Obad-hai||Nature, Woodlands, Freedom, Hunting||N||m|
|Olidammara||Music, Revelry, Rougery, Wine||CN||m|
|Pholtus||Light, Resolution, Law||LG(N)||m|
|Ralshaz||Chance, Ill-Luck, Misfortune||CN(E)||m|
|Saint Cuthbert||Wisdom, Dedication, Zeal||LG||m|
|Sotillion||Summer, South Wind, Ease, Comfort||CG(N)||f|
|Telchur||Winter, North Wind, Cold||CN||m|
|Trithereon||Individuality, Liberty, Retribution||CG||m|
|Wenta||Autumn, West Wind, Harvest||CG||f|
|Xan Yae||Twilight, Shadows, Stealth, Mind Over Matter||N||f|
|Zodal||Mercy, Hope, Benevolence||NG||m|
This actually leaves precious few deities as unique to specific races and cultures. Indeed, the Flan pantheon has been entirely absorbed by the Oeridian and Suel peoples. Perhaps owing to their ill reputation among the other inhabitants of the Flanaess, only two Suloise deities (Bralm and Lydia) are common, and thus quite a few are unique. Here are the unique (i.e., non-common) deities that remain:
|Kurell||Jealousy, Revenge, Thievery||CN||m|
|Kord||Athletics, Sports, Brawling||CG||m|
|Wee Jas||Magic, Death||LN||f|
|Beltar||Malice, Pits, Deep Caves||CE(N)||f|
|Fortubo||Stone, Metals, Mountains||LG(N)||m|
|Norebo||Luck, Gambling, Risk||CN||m|
|Phaulkon||Air, Winds, Clouds||CG||m|
|Pyremius||Fire, Poison, Murder||NE||m|
|Syrul||Deceit, False Promises, Lies||NE(L)||f|
|Xerbo||Sea, Water Travel, Money, Business||N||m|
6 thoughts on “The Common Deities of the Flanaess”
Clearly no one wants in on the toxic Suel culture unless it has to do with industry or knowledge. Or alternatively, bugs and music.
While we’re pointing out Bizarre Gold Box Deity Artifacts, any explanation for why Cyndor is the only god who bridges Greater and Lesser status, and is then absent in the “reprint” of the list in Appendix of TOEE a couple years later?
Cyndor shares a lot of overlap with Lendor (same alignment, gender, area of influence) though the latter is of Suel origin while the former is common to all, so my assumption was that Cyndor and Lendor were the same and Gygax and Mentzer removed him from the newer list, but there are various other explanations… including that the TOEE omission was just a typo.
I never noticed that Cyndor was missing from the ToEE list. My guess is that it was a typo, because he does show up again later, as in the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer. It’s also worth pointing out that the category of “Intermediate Deities” appeared not too long after the Gold Box, so I always plant Cyndor firmly in that category.
I had a little discussion related to the list of deities in the “gold box” World of Greyhawk recently. I was considering exploring the matter further if there was any interest, but no one has shown any.
Thanks for pointing this out! I hadn’t noticed that. You, on the other hand, represent the “careful reader” spoken of in the introduction of that chapter: “(The careful reader will note that certain deities are both of a certain racial origin and common, at the same time.)”
On a complete tangent, it was fun (while re-reading the introduction) to find a paragraph dealing with godlings sometimes “becoming embroiled in human affairs.” I like the final sentence of that paragraph: “The enmity between Iuz and St. Cuthbert may yet result in direct confrontation.”
Are you damiliar with David Prata’s spectacular Deitybase?
Absolutely. It’s a great resource.
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