The world of Eden has many magical beings upon its land, but the most numerous and majestic are the Spirits. Spirits are as to the Immortals and Gods of other worlds. Spirits come in many shapes, sizes, intellects and moral colors. Eden is a world permeated with spiritual energy. It is attracted and dispersed by all creatures that exist in Eden and through their existence they give birth to and help sustain the many spirits.
Most Spirits are humanoid in nature, while some might look like animate objects, or like beasts and monsters. There are spirits of all ideologies, both for good and for ill. Many spirits feed on other spirits or feed on people and animals, which can drive them into direct conflict with mortals. The lowliest of spirits live their days much like regular creatures, eating, sleeping, breathing, drinking. But the more faith a spirit has acquired – these can be prayers and wishes directly asked of it, shrines built in the spirit’s honor, etc – the stronger the spirit becomes, and the less need it has to eat or even breathe. Some spirits might flicker out of life entirely after a time, as short as a few days, while others live hundreds of years. Some might live until the end of time if they are left unmolested. It is said that there is a spirit for every concept that could be breathed out by any mortal. Often times, many dozens or hundreds for each concept. But of these spirits, there are some more powerful than others, and most powerful of all are the Spirit Powers.
The Spirit Powers are spirits who have achieved the greatest worship of the mortal races. They are functionally Gods. They are the oldest lived, and therefore their concepts are primordial, widespread and strongest. It is this, the fact that they embody such powerful and deeply held beliefs, that allows them to gain such incredible power from mortal worship. Of the Spirit Powers, Nine are greatest of all, and most commonly worshiped.
It is believed that when a person dies, its spirit essences are absorbed into the body of the Power that was worshiped by that person in life. Residing in a creature that resonates so strongly with your soul is unending joy and pleasure to the diseased. Thus, there is no negative afterlife – bad souls don’t go to be punished whereas good souls go to be rewarded. The afterlife is a neutral state of rest. However, there are things that can disrupt the path to the afterlife, such as cruel spirit curses and foul magic.
Despite their power, Spirits are not the solution to all of Eden’s problems. In fact, they create many more. Greater Spirits typically turn a blind eye to human affairs most of the time. They can do infinitely more good alive than dead, and so they would rather not risk becoming involved in situations where their karma could become tainted and their lives jeopardized. Normal spirits, like creatures, can be selfless or selfish as they want.
The Greater Spirits engage one another and keep each other check. Their interactions and ambitions are held back by certain unwritten rules, such as having to plan out schemes, utilize lesser beings, engage each other only through certain subtleties. The power balance between the Spirit Powers is thus courteously maintained. This keeps the world from devolving into an all-out spirit war in which all sides indiscriminately attack.
The Nine Spirit Powers are as follows:
Paikar encompasses wildlife and vegetation. Her reign is over the beasts and those who choose to live among nature. She appears as a beautiful, nude woman with a tall, sensual form, long red and green hair, and brown skin. Her arms become wings below the elbow, with bright red and green plumage. Her other forms include a simple, dark-skinned woman, and an enormous bird-god.
Koyki encompasses wrath, cruelty and strength. He meanders aimlessly around the North, fighting whatever comes his way. It is said that to avoid death, one must sacrifice a living, healthy being in his presence. Koyki’s forms include that of a huge Red Dragon, a grey-skinned, fiendish looking Minotaur, and a large dragon-faced Ogre with chitinous armor lining the surface of his body, tracing the bones.
Rashine encompasses freedom and water. Unlike other spirits, he wears few forms. He is most often seen as an enormous, luminous blue wolf with a long, sleek face, as though molded by the sapphire mask it wears. If stared at directly, his form seems to ripple, as though made of water. His other forms are all simple animals, mammals mostly, that he uses to hide and watch. He is worshiped most in Sargasso.
Inunkuru encompasses vanity, deceit and tyranny. She is a vagrant spirit, living in the underground chambers and ruins around Periterim. She will rarely enter civilization. Her usual form is that of a periwinkle-eyed, exquisitely gorgeous woman with pallid grey skin, blood-red lips and under-eyes, and lustrous blonde hair that falls and drags behind. In this form she wears a red and gold robe. Other forms include a darkly beautiful priestess, a seductive and sophisticated whore, or a red mantis.
Kaehma encompasses death and illness. Her usual form is of a fine-featured woman with grim-toned grey-greenish skin, sickeningly beautiful as though a corpse. Necrotized, scabrous tissue forms around her body at the joints, over the skin where the lower ribs are and down her spinal cord in a makeshift armor. Her shoulder-length hair is white and through it moss and fungi grow. A myriad of mushrooms extend from her scalp. She wears tattered clothing, mostly robes. Kaehma is not evil, but is a slothful spirit and symbol of death, disease and stagnation.
Arcline is the personification of kindness and community. She is a wanderer, traveling across all of Adel to administer healing and luck to all those who have kind hearts. Her most common form is of a young Iomadi male or female of varying stature and hair color, dressed in simple clothing, limping along with a walking stick. Other forms include a kind, plump old lady, an injured fox, and a hatchling bird. Arcline’s clerics are healers and charitable workers. She is often commonly referred to as the mother fox, for it is told that Iomadi descended from her.
Orvial is a random, erratic creature that does what it wishes. Orvial is so erratic it has no set gender, appearing most commonly as an androgynous, beautiful Athirua, with an effeminate body but male mannerisms and a deep voice. Orvial is the patron deity of the Athirua and enjoys tricks, songs, and chaos. It is also a very vain creature that will not appear in ugly or undignified forms, and will favor kept and handsome subjects over ugly or dirty ones.
Trudgar is believed to be a dwarf ascended to spirithood during the last cataclysm. His legend involves him leading the Dwarves to safety, sparing this race from the horrifying events that unfolded by raising mountains to shield them from the sky, when Humans, Elves and other races fell from grace. He has only one form, that of a giant in the image of a dwarf, clad full in shining plate armor.
Ravindra is believed to be the spirit of the sun, justice and fire. His forms include a Phoenix, a Dragon (any fire-attuned type) and a wolf-like creature of flames and hardened black magma. Ravindra tries his clerics by setting them ablaze with his breath weapon in dragon form. If they are truly committed to doing what is right and just, they survive the flames. They are otherwise burnt, the injuries greatly dependent on how much they deviate from the path of righteousness.