Gods are a real fact on Xarcadia. They walk the earth, commune with the people, and spread their gifts freely. A Xarcadian god is not like what one on Earth might imagine when they think of God; it is more accurate to describe them as “spirits of magic” built from a mutual idea between many people. When a community understands the presence of a specific mountain, revere that mountain as important, and base their lives around the natural resources of the mountain, a mountain-god is almost certain to appear. Most gods are based upon natural phenomena like geography and weather, but many are concepts like love, time, art, and death.
A god requires sustained belief to survive. When a god is “born”, it will immediately incorporate itself with nearby communities to absorb their natural thought-energies. In return, the god will perform acts of kindness using their powers; a weather god will prevent flooding, a mountain god will stop rockfalls, and so on. The more revered and respected a god is, the more powerful they become. Over time, particularly powerful gods may ascend from their initial meanings and become more abstract: the mountain god may become a god of all mountains, and eventually become a god of the concept of stone itself. Conversely, a mountain god that fails to inspire will wither into a god of that specific mountain pass, and eventually fade away into nothingness as it is forgotten.
No two gods appear the same. Most gods look like giant mortals, but some take more bizarre appearances to better inspire reverence. A popular trend is to look like a mortal with an object for a head; some gods will appear like the literal thing they represent, like a storm god going around as an enormous thundercloud. Some nature gods will appear as gigantic animals, mutated with power. The only consistency is that the gods are always much larger than a normal mortal, and will only shrink down during direct interaction.
A god can mate with a mortal to produce a demigod. These offspring are powerful sorcerers imbued with tremendous natural power. Demigods are highly respected and are sometimes treated with similar reverence as their progenitors. However, being the child of a god is a lonely existence. Gods are not known for being the best parent and may mate with hundreds of mortals in their lifetime. A demigod growing up with their mortal parent may be surprised to discover that they have dozens of half-siblings!
Gods cannot die, but they can be killed. It takes incredible amounts of magic power to even harm a god, so the killing of one almost always necessitates the cooperation of another god. Most gods are a boon to the people of Xarcadia, but some gods grow to overstep their boundaries and tyrannize the communities they are supposed to care for. When a god turns rogue, other gods will conspire together to eliminate them and protect the common Xarcadians – and the reputation of gods as a whole.
The most powerful and ancient gods are the gods that represent each individual zone. Every zone has one god that is believe to be the creator of the zone itself. These gods are believed to be as old as Xarcadia itself, but this thought raises questions that cannot be easily answered. As it is known that gods require faith to live, how could the existence of these primal gods be before there were Xarcadians to believe in them? Did they truly create the zones, or were they made by the faith of those who first came to inhabit them? Not even the great gods can answer these questions, but their power is undeniable. When moved into action, the powers of these gods can reshape the nature of the world of Xarcadia itself without effort.