Though most if not all of the Gods known to the people of Zheng-Kitar are those loyal to the The Spirit Kings
and their Elemental Lords or to a lesser degree the Lesser Idols
who lurk on the edges of the world with small and hidden faiths, there exists another classification of deity on Zheng-Kitar that not all are aware of or truly understand - Wild Gods. A rare category of divinity that denotes gods who, while in possession of enough divinity to maintain followers on the level of the Elemental Saints and the desire to maintain an open faith rather than secretive cult or more personal faith of the Lesser Idols
, are neither of The Yema
nor of the Elemental Saints, nor even of the Lesser Idols
; a rank of Deity that, for one reason or another, has appeared to spread its influence across Zheng-Kitar and has proven itself wholly unaffiliated with both the faith of The Spirit Kings
and that of The Yema
These Wild Gods, while many are viewed with suspicion and distrust, are allowed to exist in some form or fashion across the continent for the simple virtue of their unaffiliated nature - though many may well be judged on the actions of their faithful and the tenets they espouse, the simple categorization of "Wild God" is not enough to warrant being hunted and expunged as with many other faiths across Zheng-Kitar. These Gods vary wildly in nature and origin even when compared to one another - gods from far-reaching Planes of Existence who have no care for either side of the cosmological conflict, powerful beings on the material plane who have no vested interest in the trappings of the greater divines, and more who for one reason or another spread their faith to achieve their own ends; yet are distinguished from the similar but fundamentally different Lesser Idols
for the sheer fact of the nature of their faith, which exists in the open and supports mainly clerics, priests, paladins, and divine casters rather than more personal and smaller relationships with warlocks and witches.
Mysterious and Suspicious
Though they themselves are accepted by Zheng-Kitar and its people on the whole, Wild Gods and their histories as well as their reasons for maintaining a faith are often shrouded in mystery - yet not always because they themselves wish it to be so; in many cases Wild Gods are incredibly ancient and unfathomably old beings that in many cases predate The Six Great Ancestors
and even the Advent of the Spirit Kings
, existing in the murky pre-histories of the cosmos and enduring into the present day in the face of the greatest enemy of all: entropy and the passing of time. As such, few Wild Gods are well-known or understood - for their histories are so often lost to time or hidden away for one reason or another which is rarely outright malice or willing secrecy, as simple seclusion, immense age, and such are all more common factors for them and their faiths.
Not all Wild Gods are so indelibly ancient, though many of them are - some are simply beings that have attained divinity within or around the shores of Zheng-Kitar and have continued to spread their faith in notable ways rather than the secretive and more personal faiths of Lesser Idols
. On the whole, Wild Gods tend to be on par with or more powerful than Lesser Idols
, though not always as powerful as the Elemental Saints - because the power of Lesser Idols
is so hard to judge as they place greater emphasis on singular, personal followers such as Witches and Warlocks and favor secrecy and manipulation over outright clerical worship, the power levels of these gods are hard to compare; some may be stronger than Lesser Idols
while others may be weaker but more widespread.