The Old Gods: A Primer in Zheng-Kitar | World Anvil

The Old Gods: A Primer

The Six Deities who survived the destruction of the previous reality and helped create the current reality


Little is truly remembered about The Old Gods...and outside of Zheng-Kitar, last bastion of the beliefs taught by The Old Gods and last home of those who remember them and try to abide by their teaching, they are almost unknown entirely. From what is known the world over, however, is that The Old Gods were six beings who were among the first beings to come into existence at the dawn of creation...beings that endured into this iteration of reality since the previous one came to an end. Having endured the apocalyptic destruction of the last reality and having seemingly been chosen to be the survivors to endure into the next iteration to help build and create the next, the Old Gods were beings incomparably ancient, having existed in the previous reality as Gods all their own for time untold...   In the beginning, they worked alongside The Eldritch Gods, who have existed in some form or fashion in the darkest corners of reality since the dawn of all things, to create the new reality in which all life now exists...and from this union, reality was born anew as Atlas the Ineffable, first and only Overdeity, was spawned from this ritual and gave his great life to birth all the planescape. Over time, as Atlas's body began to slowly die and take on the shape of things as they are known now, the Yema sprang forth from Atlas's corpse in an unexpected divine birth as gods such as Bahamut, Moradin, and others appeared and began to stand alongside the Old Gods as their equals in power.   The two sides, however, did not get along for long. The New Gods, the Yema, were much more active and involved than the Old Gods tended to be, and though they created much they shackled their creations, denying them free will or the capacity for creativity...making nothing more than tools and pawns to use as they saw fit. The Old Gods, though they were slow and ancient, created as well...albeit much slower. They created beings of indescribable power, beings of no power, and all sorts of creations...ones not bound by shackles, free to think and create as they saw fit. And when the Old Gods looked at the creations of the New Gods and pitied them for their lack of free will, they freed those creations and gave them creativity, intelligence, and all manner of gifts...   ...and as thanks for these gifts, the New Gods waged a war to exterminate The Old Gods, who they saw as threats to their divine rule. In the great and bloody Rapture War, all but one of the Old Gods were slain at the hands of the Yema...the great Rakmou-Dahmu, chosen by the Old Gods when reality was created to be one of two "Anchors", whose existence was integral to the continued survival of reality. Unable to kill him for fear of destroying reality, the Yema imprisoned Rakmou-Dahmu in a prison far away, on the material plane on a newborn continent that would soon come to be known as Zheng-Kitar.  

The "Dahmu" suffix

The "Dahmu" suffix added onto the names of each of the Old Gods is an honorary suffix added to show respect, meaning "Great One". Contrary to popular opinion, this was not a suffix added on later by those who began to worship them; the "Dahmu" suffix was taken directly from historical record and was one the Old Gods went by from the earliest mention of their names...the origin is unknown, but a common theory holds that the "Dahmu" suffix indicates the Old Gods were allies in the prior iteration of Reality, with the suffixes indicating they were each a member of some group or organization with a common aligned goal. For this reason, the Old Gods are also quite commonly called "The Dahmu".   As a small point of order, it is often seen as arrogance of the highest order for one to add the "Dahmu" suffix onto their own names or those of others, as it suggests one thinks they are on par with the Old Gods themselves. Instead, the honorary Suffix "Dahmusa" is given to mortals on Zheng-Kitar who many believed to be so virtuous as to be Sons or Daughters of the Old Gods themselves, which is roughly what it translates to. Adding it onto the names of others shows great respect and deference to them, and is seen as the most respectable and honorable suffix to be added to the name of another.  

The Old Gods

The Old Gods are listed below, along with what information is known about them:  
  1. Aenarith-Dahmu, The Holy First.
  2. The first and chiefmost amongst the Old Gods, Aenarith-Dahmu was the most powerful among them, and believed to have been the leader; She is assumed to have been either the Creation Goddess or similarly powerful or important Goddess from the prior iteration of reality. She was described as wise, sagacious, and all-knowing, and was attributed with being so cool-headed that none could truly rile her up or get her angry. Her benevolence was infinite, her generosity bottomless, and such was her wisdom and charisma that she persuaded the Great Old Ones and The Outer Gods such as Azathoth, Shub-Niggurath, and such to ally with them to bring about the beginning of reality. She was often described as "The Universe Made Manifest", and was belived to have been the literal personification of reality, existing in all places at once. Until the very end, she advocated for balance and a better way, and was slain by the Yema first after being tricked into coming to peace talks in the Yema's home plane. Her death sparked The Rapture War and heralded the death of the Old Gods. Such was the cruelty of the Yema that, as they had yet to perfect their methods of slaying the ancient Old Gods who were so intrisically tied to reality itself, they did not "kill her" so much as they did scatter her consciousness to the four winds, destroying her sentience and quite literally destroying the mind of reality itself, such that she could never think or manifest herself again.              
  3. Dasgol-Dahmu, The Holy Second.
  4. The second among The Old Gods, Dasgol-Dahmu represented the core concepts of reality that his wife, Aenarith, did not - Time, Gravity, and other such universal constants. Like his wife Aenarith, he was believed to have been one of the married creator Gods from the previous iteration of reality, and stood alongside her as the wisest and most powerful among them. He was a father to all, and though his temper could flare mightily he tempered himself with the wisdom and patience of his wife...while he in turn provided an edge to her peaceful nature and represented the forceful charisma, powerful personality, and powerful emotions that dwelled within all living things. He was forceful and domineering, and was prone to impulsiveness, but had good intentions at heart - though he could often go overboard without his wife to hold him back. He was a great and wise leader, always willing to listen to others, and was the first being in reality to create a lesser, mortal species...thus, Dasgol is often credited as the father of all modern, mortal life. Enraged by the death of his wife at the hands of the traitorous Yema, he rallied his fellow Old Gods to action in the Rapture War but was ultimately slain by his counterpart in the Yema, Bahamut, helped by most of the other lesser his might was so vast that all Yema were needed to defeat him. Like his wife, as he was a former creator deity and personification of universal constants, Dasgol was slain by the Yema as cruelly as his wife was, his consciousness destroyed and his body reduced to atoms...such that he returned to his mindless, universal more would Time, Gravity, or other such concepts have a central consciousness to govern them. With his death, many of the Yema took up mantles to manage parts of his body left behind such as Time...though phrases such as "Father Time" have endured through eons, and signify the lingering memory in the minds of mortals of their father who once cherished them so deeply.                
  5. Ianerin-Dahmu, The Holy Third.
  6. The third of the Old gods, Ianerin-Dahmu was the most powerful Non-Creator among the Old Gods...unlike Aenarith and Dasgol, she was but a normal deity, believed to be a being on par with the Spirit Kings of the modern day or the "Major Deities" of the rest of Ea, just as the rest of the Old Gods after her were. She was believed to have been the chiefmost nature goddess from the previous Iteration of reality, and endured into this one to teach all the new lifeforms of the ways of nature, to protect the natural world, and oversee the birth of a new world in all of its raw, primordial glory. She was the mother of the Feywilds and all natural life in the Planescape, and as such her personality was believed to reflect these things - her mood and personality could vary wildly from day to day and season to season, and she was as unpredictable as she was beautiful. Raw, primordial, and wildly chaotic, Ianerin was a Goddess who planted the seed of natural life as her superior Dasgol planted the seed of Mortal, sentient life - and while she feuded often with the Yema God of Creation, the two were said to be oddly friendly with each other. She is still heralded as a mother and creator by the eldest and most ancient of Fey creatures, who yet remember a time so ancient when the Old Gods were fresh in the minds of mortals. She was slain just as the rest of her kin were in the Rapture War, her body entombed alongside those of her fellow Old Gods and hidden away as the Yema greedily devoured the power she once held and took it for themselves.                    
  7. Rakmou-Dahmu, The Holy Fourth.
  8. The fourth and only surviving one of the Old Gods, Rakmou-Dahmu was, like his siblings aside from Dasgol and his wife Aenarith, a Prime Deity who endured from the previous reality...holding sway over Ecosystems, Elements, and Balance, Rakmou-Dahmu is spoken of in ancient legends as the most level-headed of all his siblings, who was rivaled only by Aenarith herself in his wisdom and patience...he held the thankless job of holding sway over the cycles of the world and the elements, and the sacred but oft-forgotten task of upholding the balance of the planescape. For his wisdom, level-headed nature, and his relaxed attitude he was chosen by his kin to be "The Anchor", and bind his existence to reality itself. Though he was not killed in The Rapture War as the Yema discovered they could not kill him without destroying reality itself, he was nonetheless entombed and sealed away alongside his dead siblings on the material plane, trapped in stasis for eons until the Sapphire Elves would awaken him untold millenia later.                  
  9. Yorun-Dahmu, The Holy Fifth.
  10. The fifth of the Old gods, Yorun-Dahmu was a Prime Deity who endured over from the previous iteration of reality, where he was believed to have been some deity of Strength, Self-Improvement, Creativity or perhaps Training. He worked alongside Dasgol and the rest of his siblings to create the first sparks of life in the new reality, and it was none other than he who gave the first spirits and souls to life...who gave them sentience, free thought, and creativity, and made the first truly "Free" life in reality. He was a centered, quiet being who believed in the maxims of hard work, dedication, training, and effort...and instilled these tenets into all life he bestowed spirits and souls upon. The most commonly referred to Old God as being "Mighty and Martial", he is believed to have been as close to a war god as The Old Gods had, and upon his death in the Rapture War all life is said to have inherited a fraction of his undying will and rage...thus was all life blessed with anger as he died, and was entombed and seal away alongside his dead siblings. He more than any other Old God was greedily destroyed as the Yema absorbed his powers and took his domains for themselves.                  
  11. Voreut-Dahmu, The Holy Sixth.
  12. The sixth of the Old Gods and in some ways perhaps the most important, Voreut was a deity of evil and villainy who, like her siblings, endured into this reality from the previous one. Believed to have been a Goddess of Evil, Corruption, Darkness, and the like in the prior reality, Voreut was not disliked by her siblings, and is almost universally referred to quite well in ancient records...she was as loved as the rest of her siblings were, and treasured just as much as they...and it is this relationship that best signifies the difference between the Yema and the Old Gods. The Old Gods welcomed her and her evilness, for they were wise enough to know that without her they nor their creations could hold goodness in their hearts, and were loving enough to care for her despite her flaws...unlike the Yema, who despised their evil siblings and sought to destroy them. She was a twisted, evil woman who could easily be described as sadistic and even psycopathic, but nonetheless it was her who planted the seeds of doubt, evil, and corruption in the hearts of all living creatures...and in their infinite wisdom, the Old Gods allowed and even encouraged this, as without strife and darkness in their hearts, they knew their beloved creations would never know improvement or goodness. For one to exist, so too must the other. She was slain in the Rapture War by the Yema, and sealed away and entombed alongside her siblings.  


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