Paragons are in simpler
terms known as mortal Godchosen. They are Nymborn individuals who, either at birth or later in life,
were chosen by their patron deities to represent them and given deistic
powers. There are various reasons for why, although the most common
reasons involve extending a god's influence over mortals, with the intention to grow
that god's worshiper count and temples; thus giving them more
In other cases, a Paragon might be chosen to perform a
task on the planet Nym which a Creator is unable to do due to the laws
that forbid him or her from setting foot in the Core Planes, or a
Paragon is chosen to lead armies and religious movements to fight the worship of
other Creators. Worldgods will choose their Paragons for similar reasons, but ultimately their chosen mortals arise as protectors of the Worldgods' domains.
Many Creator Paragons will eventually ascend to their patron deity's domain in Solitude, although not all might do so; depending on whether they served their patron deity well and completed their godgiven tasks, or if they themselves chose to instead enter the Cycle, which is a right most Creator Paragons are allowed to pick for their service on the planet Nym.
all Creators have had at least one Paragon to their name, and at least
several hundred can be found all over the world at almost any given
time. Most Temples are led by a Paragon who act as a high priest, known otherwise as an Orator.
Avatars are bodies that Creators use to more or less personally enter the mortal realm. Since most Creators are forbidden from directly setting foot in the Core Planes, Avatars are instead used as a compromise for them to interact with their worshipers more closely.
The creation of an Avatar can take many forms, such as a Creator appearing in the world as an animal of some sort. The deistic powers a Creator will have access to depend wholly on the body and soul of their Avatar, and so it is often they will choose certain mortals to inhabit. Inhabiting an Avatar causes some strain to the Creator, and maintaining their mortal form is often very taxing, so a Creator can't be in an Avatar for long.
Mortals whose bodies become Avatars are temporarily taken over by the Creator. The mortal's soul still remains, but he or she won't have any control over their actions. They might be conscious to what the inhabiting Creator is doing or thinking, and they might even be somewhat mentally connected. But the longer a Creator remains in a mortal's body, the more likely it is that the mortal's mind will shatter, which is another reason why most Creators don't stay for too long.
Avatars are weaker manifestations of the Creators, and so they won't possess the full deistic powers of a Creator. Avatars are often restricted by mortal limitations, such as sleep, nourishment, and similar. But even if an Avatar is considerably weak in comparison to a true Creator, they are still not to be underestimated.
In most cases a Creator will make use of an Avatar to provide more direct guidance to his or her worshipers, or to take personal charge over various events or developments that might concern them. Sometimes an Avatar is used to fight or lead in a Divine War, or the Avatar tries to personally expand the domain of the Creator, by converting new worshipers.
During the Age of Gods, several Creators took to use Avatars at the same time. The specific reasons are still unknown, but they would begin to appear throughout the world in greater numbers. The use of Avatars has since declined after the end of the Age of Gods, when Auros had sent an Aspect of himself, disguised as an Avatar, to the lands of Canthar in Ashanor. This Aspect was known as Yona, and her life was ended by a mortal who is only referred to as the Shrouded Man.
Outside of Orators and Godtouched Paragons, the Paragons of the Sifiran Pantheon in the northern continents are known as the Aesnir. They are the heroes of the Golden Sagas, who became Aesnir because of their heroic deeds and sacrifices in life. The three Godsisters (Sifir, Nydd and Signis) will often personally observe and judge them, and Nydd's Valka are sent to find and collect them, for the purposes of Aesnir ascension into the godly realm of Aesgarn.
There have been many Golden Sagas throughout the ages; their stories written of and kept by an ancient order of singing scribes called the Sagaskalds, who maintain a grand library in the city-state of Sund, known as the round Hall of Sagas. Theirs has been a long and ancient task, and they hold the written records of many sagas; the great and the small, and the failed and the won. In addition to stories of Aesnir legends and sagas, various sacred artifacts from those sagas, like weapons, armour, rings and shields, are safekept by the Sagaskalds; for when the Aesnir might return, and have need of their old equipment.
There are also many heroic sagas still not yet written of, and the Sagaskalds scour the lands in search of old or new tales that pertain to heroic individuals, whom one day could join the Aesnir in Aesgarn. It is considered the greatest honour to be seen as a worthy hero, and especially when it is a hero whose tales and achievements are recorded as part of the Golden Sagas. Many mortals in the northern continents will set out on heroic journeys to see their names added to the great legendary sagas, but most will never amount to much, or they simply just give up, or prove themselves too unworthy.
Some families are descendants of Aesnir, and many members of such families will strive to become Aesnir themselves; like a sort of tradition and self-claimed birthright. These mortal relatives of Aesnir often hold power, wealth and status equal to that of highborn, and most of them will gladly boast about their Aesnir ancestors; comparing themselves to them as equally strong and heroic. Some of the larger and more powerful of these families will claim that they are the only ones worthy of becoming future Aesnir, and so they will often mock or ignore those they see as lowborn heroes attempting to enter the tales of the Golden Sagas.
Unlike common Paragons, Aesnir are the only Godchosen who only become so after their deaths. A living hero could never become an Aesnir, and so it is only in death (preferably a heroic death in epic battle) that they can hope to ascend. When Sifiran heroes are about to die during their quests, Nydd's Valka come to collect them. If a fallen hero is deemed worthy to ascend to Aesgarn as an honoured warrior, they are given deistic power in the afterlife, and become the Aesnir of the Golden Sagas.
Nydd's Valka are said to carry three distinct arrows. Each arrow is meant to finish off those dying or about to die from battle, and each arrow has a specific purpose. A white, silver-tipped arrow (sometimes associated with love) is meant for the noble and honourable, a black, sickly arrow (often carrying sickness and pestilence) is for oathbreakers and the dishonourable, and a gold-glowing, warm arrow is for those who have proven themselves worthy of becoming one of the Aesnir.
When an Aesnir is ascended into Aesgarn, they will reside in the Gyldenhorn; Sifir's seat of power in Aesgarn, and the home of the many other Aesnir from the Golden Sagas. They will feast, fight and boast about their achievements; merry in the results of their deeds from life. Sometimes an Aesnir might return to the Mortal Realm, to perform specific tasks given to them by their Sifiran deities, or assist other would-be Aesnir on their heroic quests and journeys.
Aesnir who might somehow manage to dishonour the gods or their fellow Aesnir brothers and sisters (either from breaking their oaths in the afterlife, or failing their gods), are punished by being sent back to the Mortal Realm. There they are stripped of their deistic powers, visibly marked as dishonourable Aesnir, and cursed to be forgotten in the Golden Sagas. They are given an opportunity to redeem themselves, though they must find the means of doing so on their own.
To be truly worthy of ascending as an Aesnir, it is said that a hero's journey must be one of selflessness and great sacrifice. Their quest must have a greater meaning; like saving or helping those in great need, or slaying strong and dangerous monsters. Some say that becoming an Aesnir is all about creating an epic story; one that inspires others and awakens their desire to live up to those tales.
In the end it is Sifir and her sisters, Nydd and Signis, who judge a hero's journey, and they will look upon and witness a journeying mortal's accomplishments, skills, hardships and acts of heroism. Once a hero has been measured and weighed, the Godsisters will decide their worthiness upon their death. Even the way a hero dies is greatly judged by the three Godsisters, and one will find very few Aesnir who ever ascended from the comforts of their own bed or from old age.
The Alavar are the Godchosen heroes of the elven Sirdelion. They are the "verses" of the Sirdelion Songhweel who are prophesied to be born into the world of Nym, to then eventually lead their people, as it is their godgiven destiny. Considerably more powerful than regular Paragons, the Alavar only ever appear once for each elven Age, and prophesies and destinies dictate their every move.
Alavar means "Chosen Child", and they are seen as the Godchosen elven children of the Sirdelion gods. Prophecies told by Songkeepers will predict the birth of an Alavar, though their knowledge of what they are will often not be known of until they reach adolescence; when their parent god reaches out to them, and grants them deistic power. An Alavar is seen as a being more similar to a Living God rather than a Paragon, and it is usual that they will either lead their elven people as divine kings or queens, go on Paragonical journeys, or be destined to bring on great change in elven societies.
Some Alavar have been reborn several times throughout the past Ages, and there are many of the Alavar that still haven't been born yet. Their names are written in the Sirdelion, and their arrival in Nym is definite to happen; whether it is in the next Age, or during any of the much later Ages.
Reborn Alavar don't generally maintain the memories of their past
iterations, though it can depend. Some of the reborn Alavar have obtained the memories of their past selves when their god gives them their Paragon powers, but those memories are often very fractured and nonsensical. In most cases those memories awaken as a form of guidance for the reborn Alavar, to teach them the right and wrong decisions of their past selves.
An Alavar's name in the Sirdelion is often more like a title, and when the Chosen Child is revealed and elevated by their parent god, they will take their Alavar name and be known by it. Their destinies are often shrouded in prophetic riddles, and even the gods are vague when they reach out to their Alavar. They might have been born as chosen Paragons, but they must themselves discover their true place and purpose in the world.
In most cases an Alavar is inevitably meant to serve their parent god in a godgiven task; one shrouded in initial mystery as a means for a god to hide his or her motives from rival gods. As the Alavar's journey progresses and their powers grow, their destiny becomes more clear.
The elven people generally look upon the Alavar as their greatest leaders and saviours. It is especially in times when the elven people suffer, that the rise of an Alavar is most welcomed and needed. But sometimes there are doubters, especially from those who are the current highborn rulers, and civil wars might occur between the followers of the Alavar and the highborn factions; the latter of whom are reluctant to give up their authoritative power and influence.
Generally prophets and the Songkeepers of the Sirdelion Circles won't be able to predict which Alavar is next in line for the current or future Age. It is only when the gods themselves reach out to their elven Orators that the name of the next Age's Alavar is revealed, and even then their destiny isn't yet known.
There is also the matter of finding the Alavar, as they could appear in any of the many elven lands spread throughout the vast world. A god will generally tell an Orator that an Alavar has been born, but it is up to the elves themselves to find him or her, unless the Alavar finds their own way to where they are meant to be.
Certain members of the Sirdelion Circles, known as Al'Shan, "Chosen Hunters", search during every Age for the born Alavar. They hold the highest authority over almost everyone in their elven societies, and even in opposing elven societies of distant lands. Using all their training, authority and knowledge, their dedication to their duty will eventually have them find the Alavar they have been searching for; a task which might take anywhere between a few months to several years and decades.
Trained from early childhood, an Al'Shan is themselves considered to be destined to find the Alavar of their Age, and once they do, they will continue to help and serve them as bodyguards and advisors. The Al'Shan will assist and guide the Alavar on their journeys or godgiven tasks; forming a close bond that only death can break apart. To many Alavar the Al'Shan become mentors, friends or even lovers. The Alavar depend on their Al'Shan companions to protect them, or to help them understand the prophesies and riddles of their destiny.
Unlike common Paragons, a Godtouched is an individual who is born with deistic traits; whether they're certain deistic abilities pertinent to a specific god, or various godlike physical features, like horns, glowing eyes, skin deformities, claws, feathers, etc. These traits depend on the god they supposedly are related to.
Godtouched are not to be confused with Godspawn, such as Demigods; who are more purposefully created from direct, intimate love between two gods, or between a god and a mortal lover.
When a Godtouched is born, he or she can be either chosen by a god beforehand to carry their marks, or it's something that could occur randomly. It is theorized that a Godtouched is most commonly born because a god's deistic energies are escaping or being expended due to an overabundance of such energies, and some of those energies find their way to mortals in Nym, and become infused within the soul and body of an unborn baby.
Various cultures view Godtouched differently. In some societies they are worshiped or revered, and proclaimed as the chosen mortal children of gods. In others they might be shunned, distrusted, or generally unwelcome; owing much to their usually very unnatural appearances. Godtouched are more often than not compared to Planelike, who are similarly touched by different energies before they are born. But in the case of Planelike it's various planar energies from the Planeworlds, instead of deistic energies from gods.
Mortal parents of Godtouched might not want to keep them as their children, either because of societal pressures or usually monstrous appearances. Many Godtouched are thusly often abandoned and orphaned, or their parents might have been forced to exile them at a certain age. In some cases parents of Godtouched might be forced or persuaded to let their children go to a Temple (related to the deity the Godtouched most likely were affected by), where they will be taken care of by temple novices, and raised as servants to their god.
Some gods will recognize the Godtouched as their mortal children on Nym, while others might ignore them entirely. Sometimes a god's affection for their Godtouched is very apparent, or it is kept in shameful secrecy. In the circles of gods, and especially Creators, the birth of a Godtouched is almost seen as the creation of an illegitimate child, as it is something that generally shouldn't happen on accident. Even Godtouched who are chosen on purpose by their Creator god is kept in the dark, and questions for why their god chose them are rarely answered.
Unlike the typically chosen and elevated Paragons, Godtouched don't possess much power from their related deity; barring various minor abilities like being able to walk through fire, breathe underwater, freely change one's own skin to metal, or similar gifts along those lines. Godtouched will, however, be born with Divine Awakening, and they will be able to control various deistic energies much more easily than other, more common Awakened individuals.
But because of Godtouched being born as Awakened, they will be effectively sterile, and can't produce offspring. To many Godtouched their born predicament is considered more a curse than a gift, and they will often shun their supposed deistic parents. Many refuse to continue on a path of servitude to their deities, and cut of all ties and ignore all priestly tales of supposed destiny.
Sometimes animals of the wild might be born as Godtouched. This is often very common in the case of Wildgods, who tend to spread their energies to all the creatures and trees of their surroundings. Animalistic Godtouched develop similarly to how the mortal races might; possessing various physical features like horns, fire-skin, glowing eyes, and so on. They also inherit some portion of their god's deistic powers, just as how a Nymborn person might.