The Peacock's Sacrifice, or How the Human Pantheon was born Myth in Altaros | World Anvil
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The Peacock's Sacrifice, or How the Human Pantheon was born

"We all yearn for something we cannot get. Sometimes we need to sacrifice something we have in order to obtain something new. You need to choose wisely and decide, if losing is worth gaining."

  Those were the words of a powerful entity, The Outsider, when they gave their prophecy to the good-aligned gods and goddesses of Altaros who had come to them in search for help. Without a selfless sacrifice of a peacock, the prophecy would have stayed forever a mystery.


The War of Gods had been going on for millennia and was finally coming to an end. It looked bad for the Good side of the battle, so in desperate last push, they went to ask from help from outside their Universe. All they got from a mysterious power called 'The Outsider', was a short prophecy. None of the entities of Altaros seemed to know what it meant, though. They were sure they would lose, so they went on a frantic search for bits and pieces they could use in the battle against the evil.   And surprisingly, six different motes of power were found. Sehanine, the Elven goddess of stars, death, and dreams, found The Spark of Life and The Whisper of Death, gifted to her by a dying believer. Segojan Earthcaller, the Gnomish deity of nature, precious stones, light, and Underdark, found The Light of Darkness when he was digging deeper than ever before. Eilistraee, dark elven goddess of moon, dancing, and swordfight, decided to scout around in the Underdark and managed to steal an evil drow goddess Zinzerena's Laughter of Mischief with the use of her brother's shadows. Moradin, the Chief deity of dwarves, was given The Heart of Forest by a dying god of forest, Silvanus, who was his old friend. Selûne, The Human Goddess of Moon and Fenrua, were able to negotiate with a Peacock to give them The Tide of Storms.

The deities were arguing on what to do with the powers, when Fenrua decided to take a break from all of it, frustrated with the quarreling. On his walk he found the carcass of the Peacock and suddenly realized how to interpret the words of the great Outsider. He made a quill out of one of the feathers of the peacock and imbued his text with the power of the motes, writing alive a new Human pantheon to aid them in the fight against the evil. Born from The Quill of Knowledge were Myrinna, Moriath, Cyrillon, Denyr, Dineira and Trathyses. These new deities were able to help them to fight off the evil and the circle was renewed once again.

The Peacock was raised to the sky and now it flies among the stars as The Celestial Peacock.

Historical Basis

This myth follows the idea of Theomachy. If the myth is true, from a mortal point of view it spans many centuries, even millenia.


The story is an old favourite, which surprisingly spans many pantheons.

Variations & Mutation

The Gods and Goddesses have been switched by followers of other deities, to suit their preferences better. It is possible that evil-aligned creatures like goblins and kobolds might have their own version of the story.

In Art

The Celestial Peacock is a popular motif in art and even the hero of its own adventures among the stars.
Date of Setting
During a previous cycle of Theomachy, thousands of years ago
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Jul 6, 2021 12:19 by Avalon Arcana

oooh the birth of deities and a whole pantheon. Very interesting. I like all the history and lore woven in to the text itself. Great job :)

You should check out the The 5 Shudake, if you want of course.
Jul 6, 2021 13:23

Thank you! It all started with the writing tool prompt and decided to write about a quill, but of course it needed a proper backstory... and then it kind of escalated from there. :P

Jul 6, 2021 14:49 by Avalon Arcana

Ah yes, the classic story. :)

You should check out the The 5 Shudake, if you want of course.