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Who They Are And Why They Don't
Accept Dinner Invitations Any More
By Chad Imbrogno
based on concepts by Chad Imbrogno and Matt Rossi
The first gods to take any form of power were evil spirits, the things that lurked in the dark that mankind didn't understand. Early humans believed that there were things in the dark that they could not see and had great power. Things that needed to be appeased. This created the need for many early luck charms, such as the mysterious Red Earth and cannibalism.
Eventually, around 7000 BC, humans began to learn the secret of the harvest and the Mother Goddess was born, the first concept to take intelligent form. She was goddess of fertility for both humans and harvest. The Mother Goddess is not to be confused with Gaea, who was a New One later to be discussed.
Around 5000 BC, humanity began settling down in different parts of the world and developing more identities for their concepts. Most notably were the Sumerians who set up one of the first civilizations known. Among their gods who took spiritual form were Marduk (the big leader), Enlil (the all-father), Tiamatt (The ancient menace of death), Innanna (the love goddess), and Nergal (the war god.)
For nearly two thousand years these spirit-gods had supreme authority over both the Sumerians and other cultures who worshipped similar concepts under different names.
Then, around 3000 BC, the "New Ones" who had for almost seven thousand years lived in harmony, destroyed their island in the Atlantic with a great war. One side was known as the Titans, and two ancient myths were born: the tale of Atlantis and the tale of the Greek Titans.
These New Ones entered the normal human's civilizations and integrated themselves in a variety of ways. Some simply hid their powers and lived as normal humans (mentioned later.) Some made themselves out to be mages and witches of great power.
The rest made themselves out as gods or demi-gods. One Gilgamesh of Uruk claimed to be 2/3 god, in relation to the already established Sumerian gods. This began what was known as Sumer's "Heroic Age" as New Ones claiming divine heritage made themselves known as heroes.
The spirit-gods didn't mind these New Ones moving in and claiming to be their kin since it added to the god's fame. What they did mind occured in Egypt, where the clash and transition of powers first began.
As usual, the spirit-gods had moved in on the Nile dwellers. But around 3000 BC, when king Menes conquered lower Egypt to begin the Dynastic Age, the New Ones showed up as well. Most notable of these were Isis and Osirus, two very powerful New Ones who were able to fend off the spirit-gods. So in Egypt, there were a mix of New One gods and spirit-gods who were constantly at each others throats.
One thing must be understood about how the New One gods operated. At first, they may have been rulers of nations like Osirus, but eventually they learned that if they ruled directly for too long the people would begin to see them as normal mortal rulers and revolt. Hense, most New Ones would drop out of the picture after a few decades. Most pantheons had a specific place in which the New One gods lived where normal humans couldn't reach, such as Greek Olympus or Norse Asgard. From there, they read the minds of their supplicents and did what they could to make their presence known, popping in for a visit now and again.
The great triumph for the New Ones came around 1400 BC, when the Greeks had more or less imposed their culture on the land. The Greeks' pantheon was made of entirely of New Ones. These New One gods refused to let any of the Spirit-gods exist for their follower and destroyed any who might infringe on their people. Typhon, who was also the spirit-god Tiamatt and Anubis before, was defeated by Zeus and imprisoned in another dimension. These News Ones also served as the role models for the Roman divinites.
But it all came to an end around 500 BC, when Apollo killed Gaea over the ownership of the Temple of Delphi. This, and the disturbing war in the north called Ragnarok, convinced the New Ones that if they didn't remove themselves from the affairs of humans, they would end up destroying themselves.
Thus the Concordat was agreed upon and the New One gods disappeared into their own pocket dimensions modeled after their Earthly dwellings (the Greek gods went to the dimension of Olympus, etc...)
The human worshippers, finding a large portion of their dieties were no longer responding, became disillusioned and worship of pantheon gods as a whole dropped off. This weakened the remaining spirit-gods to a point where they couldn't convince new worshippers to join their followers. In addition, Christianity eventually took off and was followed eight hundred years later by Islam (Baal: "Hey! Where'd they come from?") This caused many of the spirit-gods to eventually wither away and die from a lack of support. Notable casualties include Baal (Arab father god), Marduk, and Innanna (love was love now.)
In the modern world, there's only about one spirit-god left per concept, usually the Sumerian equivilant. Their power levels vary from severe butt-kicker (Nergal) to near non-existent (Kutulu ie Cthulu). These wee beasties are kept alive from the general practice of their idea (in war time, Nergal gets worshipped without the worshipper even knowing it) and from the few survival cults that hide in the shadows. H.P.Lovecraft will tell you all about these nuts.
As for the New Ones, almost all of them are in their own little worlds partying the unending party. Except for the handful who became mortals. These few are still wandering about today, posing as mortals while being immortals. Most don't even remember how to use their powers and just intend to live forever. And no, you don't have to cut their heads off in order to kill them.
A note on summonings: The rituals that call upon spirit-gods work because the spirit-gods are dependent on their worshippers for survival, so any one who knows the "secrets" must be obeys lest their beliveability drop. New Ones can be called by rituals, but they don't (and usually won't) have to answer.
Well, that's it.
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