You really think they could dream us up? Oh, I know you can't lie, Six-Eyes. I just have a hard time believing it. Sure, I'll be happy to tell you the real story, and you can sit there and resonnate me all you want.
I started out human – completely human. I was chief of a nomadic tribe in the southern steppes of Asia, in the early Bronze Age. A high chief, with many tribes under me, and a good one, lucky, charismatic, and long-lived. When I finally died, I stayed on as a ghost. I was expected to. We worshipped our ancestors, and I was supposed to stick around and inspire my successor.
It was very interesting, to find myself hanging about my tomb and the chief's hall. There were a lot of sincere mourners at my funeral. That's when I first saw it, that bright energy flowing out of their chakras – well, not visible, but perceptible. And meant for me. So I took it. Essence, mana, numen, vis, chi, prana, orenda, elan vital, the Force, spell points. Whatever you call it, it was great.
And I used it. I dished out luck and I visited in dreams, once I learned how. I learned more spells – yeah, sorry, "Songs" – and delivered miracles. And in return, I got Essence, delivered in hymns and prayers and tales and sacrifices. I was on the road to godhood.
It was a lonely road. Not many ghosts hung around, I learned. But I hunted up the ones from my nation and soon had me a pantheon. "Soon." Well, in a few centuries. But it didn't seem long before we were too big for me to attend all my worship myself.
That's where the dream and myth and imagination come in. They're like your Rites, only running the Essence from the performer, not to. And, to get that Essence, you have to be what they're worshipping, you have to match the image. I learned the trick of that and soon had Essence and to spare. A vast stream of it. My underlings, the priest-ghosts and hero-ghosts that guarded my temples, could tap into it. Couldn't keep them out, the bastards. That's how pantheons split.
Ours did. For a while, all us founders had a sort of franchise, with underlings tapping into Essence streams and learning our Songs. Then our worshippers would migrate away or fight each other; the underlings quit and take sides, and you have folk worshipping Zeus or Thor or Jupiter or Indra instead of me. Dyeaous? Who's he?
Yeah, that's right, I'm Dyeaous. Write all the vowels. Original king-god of the Indo-Europeans. Haven't had a worshipper in millenia.
So that's it. The gods are human, ghosts built up by ancestor worship. The worship and myths power and shape the god, but the core is a human soul. Well, not always. Some of us are Primals. Some are ghosts of animals, gotten smart over time. Some are so old, they've forgotten what they were in the beginning. Some are really expatriate celestials. Some we made. Yeah, made. At the top of my form, I could sing the Ethereal Song of Life as well as your Archangel, Six-Eyes.
Uriel? No comment. I'm just glad I was under his radar. One advantage of being a forgotten god.
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