Bantism is the faith of several raiding cultures. It found its origin among the old Great Shorians, who have since disappeared. Their faith was taken up by Pirates, Vikings and Seafolk though. It is very popular in Sjardan, Normia and the Pirate Hub.
Wodel is a great one-eyed god wielding the legendary axe Greatstorm. He is the king of the gods and rules over a place called Pardiso. Pardiso is only accessible by the chosen peoples, and your best chance to be chosen is to be a great warrior.
Emma is the wife of Wodel. She is a giant being three times her husband’s size with long red hair and a freckled body. She is responsible for keeping the wheel of time moving. Whenever it stops, she has to find what caused it and repair it. These quests have lead to some of the most popular stories in Bantism.
The children of Wodel and Emma
While Wodel and Emma are very important gods in their own right, it is their children that are the most worshipped. They have four sons and two daughters.
Boros is the oldest of the children of Emma and Wodel. Boros rules the freezing northern winds and possesses a horn whose sound can freeze anything. While being the oldest, Boros has the least amount of worship and most of the time he is considered an afterthought to the other five children. He sometimes takes the form of a being made of pure ice. Boros is named after Wodel’s best friend Bore. He is married to Bo, but is not the father of her sons. Boros has the largest library in Pardiso called the Archives of the North winds.
Lorred, while considered one of the six children of Wodel and Emma, is not actually related to the family by blood. He was found by Emma during one of her quests to restart the wheel of time. Lorred was given the task to set the sun every day to start the night. He is married to Margo who raises the sun each morning.
Igor is the strongest of the six children of Wodel and Emma, and the true heir to Pardiso. He serves as a squire, first mate and shield bearer to his father Wodel. He wields a hammer called Ternak, which is actually his transformed wife, the goddess of thunder.
Samana and Milla
The red-haired twins Samana and Milla are the two daughters of Wodel and Emma. Samana is a honorable warrior and is responsible for judging the honor of mortals. Milla is a clever warrior and is considered a deceitful trickster goddess. While it was first the rule that only warriors of true honor could be chosen to join Pardiso, Milla challenged her sister to change this. They settled this in three fights. Samana fought honorably throughout, and beat her sister in the first fight. Milla however adapted and used deceit and trickery to win the other two fights. This gave Milla the right to judge people as clever enough to not need honor to enter Pardiso. While Samana remains unmarried, Milla tricked Karden into marrying her.
Steffrey is the youngest of the children of Wodel and Emma. He is a young and lustful man. He is said to be the god of demigods, as he has fathered more of them than the other gods combined. Many stories have been written about his exploits with mortalkinds, and many of Bantism’s most famous heroes can trace their lineage to Steffrey. He is described as a stunning blond.
The Three Kings
The three kings are three male gods that rule over the sky. They existed before Wodel and Emma married and created Bantism. Their names are Karden, Emmer and Bore.
Karden is the king of the stars and is responsible for keeping them alive. Karden had decided to never marry, but through trickery, Milla made him break this decision. She ended up tricking him into marrying her. Though resentful at first, he grew to appreciate his wife and fathered four daughters with her: Eefje, Asra, Mikka and Kumi.
Emmer and Alm
Emmer is the king of the clouds and relatively unimportant to the story except for guiding some of the heroes. He is married to a minor Lake goddess named Alm with whom he fathered several children, the only important of which are Ternak, Goddess of Thunder and the Storm god Evert.
Bore is the king of the Northern lights and most important of the three kings. He is Wodel’s best friend and married to Wodel’s sister Vanda. He has several children but only two are important to the stories. Esther and Olaf. Bore is the captain of the Aurora, the greatest ship ever build. He is often depicted as a brunette.
Vanda is the sister of Wodel and is responsible for summoning the rain. She is considered the most beautiful of the goddesses with hair of gold and eyes of lapis lazuli. She is known to dance in the rain and blessing anybody lucky enough to find her performance. She is married to her brother's best friend, Bore. She however isn't above cheating on her husband with many mortals. Many a sailor will come home 9 months after meeting the goddess to see a baby waiting for them.
Esther is the daughter of Vanda and Bore. Wodel had wanted his son Igor to marry Esther, but Igor loved another, the thunder goddess Ternak. Seeing this, Esther went to the goddess of justice Klarabel to ask if she could prevent the marriage. Klarabel decided to proclaim incest a sin. Wodel didn’t want to make his son a sinner and cancelled the marriage. Esther later married Klarabel’s son Friedrik as compensation. Esther is considered a great smith and forged many of the weapons wielded by the gods, including the legendary axe Greatstorm. She has a daughter named Soldat.
Olaf is the son of Vanda and Bore and the greatest warrior of Pardiso. As such he permanently stands watch at the gate, making sure nobody unworthy enters.
Ternak is a thunder goddess who often takes the shape of a hammer to be the weapon of her husband Igor. When not serving as her husband’s weapon, she is described to be a dark-skinned beauty with hair the color of seaweed like her mother Alm. Before marrying Igor, she already had a son named Armon.
Armon and Eefje
Armon and Eefje are the great rulers of the infinite sea. Armon is the son of the goddess Ternak with an unknown father. Eefje is the oldest daughter of Milla and Karden. Armon and Eefje have a daughter named Skidblad. Armon is a wise dark-skinned boy with green hair. Eefje is a clever redhead woman.
Evert is the storm god and married to Robin. He only sees his wife one month in the year because of her imprisonment in the Furnace. As a result of this Evert has fits of anger during which he makes the seas rise up and sinks ships without reason. Nobody can seem to predict when these anger fits occur, which makes them extra dangerous. While having a daughter named Drage, Evert wanted a son. So he adopted a boy named Hastor as his own.
The family of Klarabel
The family of Klarabel is a family of gods consisting of Klarabel, Kevlor, Marty and Balzabar. This family is centered around the concepts of law and punishment.
Klarabel and Kevlor
Klarabel and Kevlor are a married couple of unknown origin. Together they represent Justice. Klarabel reads and studies and decides what is sin. Kevlor finds ways for people to atone for their sins. Not even the other gods are able to escape Klarabel’s proclamations. Some of Klarabel's most important proclemations include the laws of hospitality, the pirate law and the ban on incest. The ban on incest goes as follows: If you share at least one grandparent with someone, you are not allowed to marry or reproduce with them.
Marty is the daughter of Klarabel and Kevlor. Robin played a cruel joke on her which resulted in her killing her brother Balzabar. Murder of this kind had been proclaimed a sin by her mother, and Marty became a victim of the unrelenting nature of Klarabel’s proclamations. Kevlor decided that the only way for her to atone was to forever walk barefoot. Marty has taken this to heart and walks barefoot, no matter how sharp the rocks underneath, how cold the snow, or how hot the sand. She has not worn anything to protect her soles since the start of her atonement. Marty has become a patron goddess of those who wish the attone, and many of her worshippers go barefoot in solidarity to their goddess.
Balzabar is the son of Klarabel and Kevlor. Thanks to a cruel joke from Robin, he was killed by his sister. He was later revived by Hilga, but cannot leave the underground. He is generally considered the god of virtue, charity, love and dogs. He fathered a child with Hilga called Ganlo. It is said that when Balzabar finally does leave the underground world, the world will end.
Margo is the sister of Emma. Lorred, Emma’s adopted son, fell in love with Margo. Incest is a sin, but incest can only be through blood. Lorred being adopted shared no blood with Margo. Using this loophole in Klarabel’s proclamation, Lorred successfully got his father Wodel to agree to the marriage. By all accounts Margo and Lorred are very happy together. They have three daughters, Hilga, Fisk and Robin. Margo is responsible for creating the wheel of time that allows everything in the universe to happen in an orderly fashion. Margo is a redhead like Emma, and just as big, making people believe that they are both part of an otherwise extinct race of giant gods.
Eon is the mysterious father of Emma and Margo. He is often mentioned but never seen. He is described as a giant of immeasurable size. One account claims that Eon is the very ground Tegai is build on.
Lind and Worm
Lind and Worm are a pair of mysterious gods that are the parents of the triplets Notham, Erak and Zendel. According to the only story they appear in, Worm created the ozone surrounding Tegai. Lind was determined to not be outdone by her her husband and created all the air. Soon after the triplets and their winds were born, they had a fourth son named Jakob. Jakob was unsuited to control the Northern wind that was born alongside him. Worm asked Boros to take over the role of God of the Northern Wind.
Jakob is a fairly unimportant god, he is the creator of the compass and controls magnetism. He is known for being among the fairest of men. He was given to Heatra in marriage.
The three ends
The three ends are the children of Lorred and Margo. They each represent a way for a person to die and a place they will go to after death.
Fisk is the oldest daughter and represents a good death, like dying a warrior or hero or taking your life to restore your honor. She is the leader of the winged ones. The winged ones, also sometimes called angels or valkyries, are a group of minor gods that bring the souls of chosen people to Pardiso. Fisk herself is a blonde girl who has a pair of great white wings. Fisk defeated Argus and Vallamara, before marrying their son Pjotr.
Robin is the middle daughter and represents a bad death, like dying during a crime you are committing or unnecessarily committing suicide. Souls that die this way are send to a place called the Furnace deep in Tegai’s core. She is a cruel goddess that likes to play terrible jokes on the other gods. One time she took it to far however and tricked Marty into killing Balzabar. As a punishment for this, her grandfather Wodel locked her up in her own Furnace. She is only allowed out of her furnace one month in the year to be with her daughter and husband.
Hilga is the youngest daughter and represents a normal death, like dying of old age or disease. She rules her lonely kingdom of the Underground, where the souls that are not evil enough for the Furnace, but not chosen for Pardiso end up. She has the power to bring the dead back to life and as such many heroes seek her out in the stories. One of her most famous stories is where Klarabel and Marty go down to her domain to beg her to bring Balzabar back to life. Hilga agreed on one condition. That Balzabar had to keep her company in the Underground. Klarabel agreed to these terms. As a result Balzabar cannot leave the Underground, and everyone who wants to see him will have to come down there. Which has resulted in Hilga getting a lot more visitors and parties in her domain. Hilga is also seen as the perfect mother, loving her daughter Ganlo and supporting her unconditionally.
Friedrik is the son of Klarabel, but is not considered part of her family as he is a bastard. Friedrik’s father is unknown and kept secret. Friedrik is the god of war and wields the scales of battle. Klarabel felt bad for Friedrik always being alone and decided to get him a wife. She coupled him with the great smith Esther who owed her a favor. The two hit it off and are now happily married. Friedrik and Esther have a daughter named Soldat.
Net is the great archer of the gods and the creator of rivers. She is the most eligible bachelorette among the gods and many stories involve heroes, minor gods or Steffrey attempting to win her hand, but nobody ever succeeds. In one of her most famous stories, Wodel attempts to get her to marry his son Boros through several schemes, but she manages to avoid this. In this tale she is described as a tan, blue-haired goddess with a crown made of golden snakes. Wodel’s insistence is sometimes pointed to as the reason that he only has one eye.
Kounoum and Asra
Kounoum is the younger brother of Net and creator of the Moon. Kounoum accompanied Net to Pardiso and while there, fell in love with Asra, the daughter of Karden and Milla. Asra is not an easy girl to impress however, as she herself is a beauty with a skin of bronze and long red hair. Kounoum collected the powers from his old home and used them to create the moon as a gift to Asra. Asra was intrigued by the mysterious man from the south who had brought her such a great gift. She fell for him and the two were married. While Kounoum represents the phases of the moon, Asra represents the moon itself. They have a son named Herrald.
Herrald is the son of Asra and Kounoum. He is the squire, first mate and shield-bearer of Olaf and helps him stand watch over the entrance to Pardiso. Herrald keeps guard when Olaf must sleep or is otherwise preoccupied. He has a stone that he can use to teleport Olaf to the gate whenever needed. While on Tegai, Herrald discovered wolves. He found them lacking and thus created bears, which are obviously much cooler.
Kumi and Plet
Kumi is the youngest of the daughters of Karden and Milla. Kumi represents the innocence of youth and is therefore unmarried. Kumi diligently makes the journey down to the gates of the Underground each day to feed Balzabar’s dog Plet. Plet is the giant red dog of Balzabar. When Balzabar died, he went down to the underground to find his master. Now that Balzabar is stuck in the underground, Plet lays guard at the gate. He forms a great obstacle for any hero attempting to get an audience with Hilga.
Argus and Vallamara
Argus and Vallamara are the builders of mountains. The two are husband and wife and create mountains all over the world. It is said that when they are building, earthquakes happen. Argus is described as having a skin the color of stone, while Vallamara has hair as white as snow. The two have three children Cassandra, Pjotr and Vesto. While not evil gods, they are seen as rivals to Wodel’s power. In one story they attacked Pardiso in a grudge, but were defeated by Fisk and her valkyries. The valkyries then took one of their children hostage.
Pjotr is the son of Argus and Vallamara. He is described as so beautiful he could have been a girl, with fair skin and long snow white hair. After Fisk defeated Argus and Vallamara, she took Pjotr as hostage to ensure his parents’ good behaviour. While in captivity of the valkyries, Pjotr made himself very liked with his helpfulness and quick wit. He managed to make the normally stoic Fisk laugh so hard that her ale came out of her nose. Fisk was so charmed by the young man that she took him as her husband. Pjotr is sometimes referred to as the father of wordplay. Pjotr and Fisk have a daughter named Valkon.
Mikka and Vesto
Mikka and Vesto are the great tricksters of the pantheon. Mikka is the creator of illusions, while Vesto is the creator of hallucinations. Mikka is the daughter of Karden and Milla. She thought herself a greater trickster than her mother and played good-natured tricks on the other gods. Then one day she attempted to trick Vesto, son of Argus and Vallamara, who saw through her trick and tricked her in turn. This started a rivalry between the two that ended in a passionate relationship which lead to a marriage.
The triplets are the childhood friends of Boros. While Boros rules over the Northern winds, the triplets rule the other three directions. They are the sons of Lind and Worm.
Erak is the ruler of the eastern winds and husband to Cassandra. He is a hard to read person, sometimes prone to sudden outbursts of violence. He means well, but angers easily. He is a protector of farmers.
Notham is the ruler of the southern winds. He is a kind and charitable soul. He is a charming man and said to be the only one to be able to warm Soldat’s heart.
Zendel is sometimes called the gentlest of the gods. He is a sweet young man and the ruler of the western winds. He is claimed by Valkon as hers and she fought off seventy other suitors to claim Zendel as her husband. Together they have a daughter named Ygdil.
Cassandra is the daughter of Argus and Vallamara. She is described as a prideful girl and the creator of rainbows. She is the only one that can calm down Erak when he gets a violent fit.
Soldat is the goddess of raiding, pillaging and looting. She is in many ways the most important goddess of the Pantheon as she decides the fortune of raids. She however doesn’t have a lot of stories of note. She fell in love with Notham and married him.
Valkon is the daughter of Fisk and Pjotr and said to be the most beautiful of the Valkyries. She has black wings and is responsible for retrieving the ones chosen by Milla. She is married to Zendel because she wants to protect him. She has a daughter named Ygdil. She loves books and is often found in Boros' library.
Ygdil is the daughter of Zendel and Valkon and is described as having wings of gold. She is a very smart and resourceful girl and is said to be the creator of the modern alphabet. She has been best friends with Hastor since forever and the two got married at the turn of the millenium.
Hastor is the adopted son of Evert and married to Ygdil. He is said to be the fastest of the gods and serves as their messenger.
Source is a mysterious figure. Her only known role is that she is the mother of Wodel and Vanda.
The nameless Southern King is the father of Net and Kounoum and only features in the story of Kounoum’s wedding and the Origin of Net. He is a mysterious mummified figure with the headgear of a Guphtan Pharaoh.
Ganlo is the daughter of Hilga and Balzabar. She is a ghastly pale girl with black hair that reaches her ankles. She is called the queen of monsters, but is not considered evil. She creates monsters to test heroes and keep the mortal population in check. Ganlo fell into a deep loneliness as nobody dared to love her. The great hero Lars saw this as a challenge and spend a decade of his mortal life trying to reach her. And one day he did and gave her her daughter Arok.
Drage is a fire-breathing goddess with scaly wings, a long tail and a reptilian skin. She was born from Evert and Robin and is considered the creator of dragons. She proclaimed that she would marry the first man to defeat her, which was Dirk.
Arok is a monstrous shapeshifting being that often takes the shape of a giant serpent that surrounds Tegai. It is said that one day Arok will free Robin from her punishment. Together they will bring such destruction that Balzabar will have to leave the underground and start the end times to stop them. But for now, she is Ganlo's precious little girl.
The Four Hero Brothers
The four hero brothers and their mother were some of the most popular story heroes in Bantism. They have since been uplifted to the status of gods.
Bo is the mother of the four hero brothers and a popular hero in her own right. She fought Boros to a stalemate while pregnant. Boros was so impressed with her that he blessed her womb so that her children might inherit her godly potential. After her husband and the father of her four sons died, Boros made her a goddess and married her. She is often associated with childbirth and pregnancy.
Lars is the oldest son of Bo and got it in his head that he would take a goddess as wife. His choice fell on the queen of monsters Ganlo for the challenge it would serve. Many stories about Lars take place in the decade it took for him to succeed. He battled many monsters and even traveled to Hilga’s domain to find Ganlo. Lars took the queen of monsters as wife and loved her. Afraid that his mortal life would be too short to keep Ganlo happy, Ganlo’s father Balzabar made Lars a god. Lars has become associated with the pursuit for love. Lars fathered a daughter with Ganlo named Arok.
Ivan in his life was considered the greatest raider to have ever lived. During his final raid he fell into the sea and nearly drowned. The goddess Skidblad saw him and took pity on him. She gave him the gills of a fish, allowing him to breath underwater. She watched him live in the sea for 20 years and fell in love with the strong mortal man. She begged Wodel to make Ivan a god so that she could marry him and Wodel agreed.
Jensen and Dirk
Jensen and Dirk are twins who were born 2 days apart. Jensen is the oldest of the two. The two each decided to look for the legendary fountain of youth. Dirk worked hard and followed every lead, while Jensen took it slow. On his journey Dirk defeated many foes and wrestled Drage to the ground. The two made passionate love, which resulted in the goddess Heatra, and got married. Drage asked her grandfather Lorred to make her husband a god and he agreed. Jensen, oblivious to all of this, continued his search to find the fountain and succeeded. Jensen proceeded to drink all the water in the fountain over the course of a hundred years. This effectively turned him into a god of youth.
Heatra is the daughter of Dirk and Drage. She can control all fires. Thanks to this ability, she has been assigned as the jailor of the Furnace. Her task is to make sure that the fires in the furnace keep burning and that no prisoners escape. She has her mother’s wings, but in all other things she looks like her father. As a reward for her good work, she was given Jakob as a husband.
Skidblad is the greatest shipbuilder among the gods and the daughter of Armon and Eefje. She build many of the most legendary ships in the story, including Wodel’s own ship. Ivan, the greatest raider of all time, once fell off his ship during a great storm and almost drowned. Skidblad took pity on him and gave him the gills of a fish. Skidblad grew to love the man she had saved and begged Wodel to let them marry and make him a god so he could stay beside her. Wodel agreed on the condition that she would build the greatest ship she had ever build so he could gift it to his sister Vanda and her husband Bore. Skidblad agreed and created the Aurora.