Appendix PH-B: Fantasy-Historical Pantheons

The Celtic, Egyptian, Greek, and Norse pantheons are fantasy interpretations of historical religions from our world’s ancient times. They include deities that are most appropriate for use in a game, divorced from their historical context in the real world and united into pantheons that serve the needs of the game.

The Celtic Pantheon

It’s said that something wild lurks in the heart of every soul, a space that thrills to the sound of geese calling at night, to the whispering wind through the pines, to the unexpected red of mistletoe on an oak—and it is in this space that the Celtic gods dwell. They sprang from the brook and stream, their might heightened by the strength of the oak and the beauty of the woodlands and open moor. When the first forester dared put a name to the face seen in the bole of a tree or the voice babbling in a brook, these gods forced themselves into being.

The Celtic gods are as often served by druids as by clerics, for they are closely aligned with the forces of nature that druids revere.

The Greek Pantheon

The gods of Olympus make themselves known with the gentle lap of waves against the shores and the crash of the thunder among the cloud-enshrouded peaks. The thick boar-infested woods and the sere, olive-covered hillsides hold evidence of their passing. Every aspect of nature echoes with their presence, and they’ve made a place for themselves inside the human heart, too.

The Egyptian Pantheon

These gods are a young dynasty of an ancient divine family, heirs to the rulership of the cosmos and the maintenance of the divine principle of Ma’at—the fundamental order of truth, justice, law, and order that puts gods, mortal pharaohs, and ordinary men and women in their logical and rightful place in the universe.

The Egyptian pantheon is unusual in having three gods responsible for death, each with different alignments. Anubis is the lawful neutral god of the afterlife, who judges the souls of the dead. Set is a chaotic evil god of murder, perhaps best known for killing his brother Osiris. And Nephthys is a chaotic good goddess of mourning.

The Norse Pantheon

Where the land plummets from the snowy hills into the icy fjords below, where the longboats draw up on to the beach, where the glaciers flow forward and retreat with every fall and spring—this is the land of the Vikings, the home of the Norse pantheon. It’s a brutal clime, and one that calls for brutal living. The warriors of the land have had to adapt to the harsh conditions in order to survive, but they haven’t been too twisted by the needs of their environment. Given the necessity of raiding for food and wealth, it’s surprising the mortals turned out as well as they did. Their powers reflect the need these warriors had for strong leadership and decisive action. Thus, they see their deities in every bend of a river, hear them in the crash of the thunder and the booming of the glaciers, and smell them in the smoke of a burning longhouse.

The Norse pantheon includes two main families, the Aesir (deities of war and destiny) and the Vanir (gods of fertility and prosperity). Once enemies, these two families are now closely allied against their common enemies, the giants (including the gods Surtur and Thrym).

Celtic Deities

DeityAlignmentSuggested DomainsSymbol
The Daghdha, god of weather and cropsCGNature, TrickeryBubbling cauldron or shield
Arawn, god of life and deathNELife, DeathBlack star on gray background
Belenus, god of sun, light, and warmthNGLightSolar disk and standing stones
Brigantia, goddess of rivers and livestockNGLifeFootbridge
Diancecht, god of medicine and healingLGLifeCrossed oak and mistletoe branches
Dunatis, god of mountains and peaksNNatureRed sun-capped mountain peak
Goibhniu, god of smiths and healingNGKnowledge, LifeGiant mallet over sword
Lugh, god of arts, travel, and commerceCNKnowledge, LifePair of long hands
Manannan mac Lir, god of oceans and sea creaturesLNNature, TempestWave of white water on green
Math Mathonwy, god of magicNEKnowledgeStaff
Morrigan, goddess of battleCEWarTwo crossed spears
Nuada, god of war and warriorsNWarSilver hand on black background
Oghma, god of speech and writingNGKnowledgeUnfurled scroll
Silvanus, god of nature and forestsNNatureSummer oak tree

Greek Deities

DeityAlignmentSuggested DomainsSymbol
Zeus, god of the sky, ruler of the godsNTempestFist full of lightning bolts
Aphrodite, goddess of love and beautyCGLightSea shell
Apollo, god of light, music, and healingCGKnowledge, Life, LightLyre
Ares, god of war and strifeCEWarSpear
Artemis, goddess of hunting and childbirthNGLife, NatureBow and arrow on lunar disk
Athena, goddess of wisdom and civilizationLGKnowledge, WarOwl
Demeter, goddess of agricultureNGLifeMare’s head
Dionysus, god of mirth and wineCNLifeThyrsus (staff tipped with pine cone)
Hades, god of the underworldLEDeathBlack ram
Hecate, goddess of magic and the moonCEKnowledge, TrickerySetting moon
Hephaestus, god of smithing and craftNGKnowledgeHammer and anvil
Hera, goddess of marriage and intrigueCNTrickeryFan of peacock feathers
Hercules, god of strength and adventureCGTempest, WarLion’s head
Hermes, god of travel and commerceCGTrickeryCaduceus (winged staff and serpents)
Hestia, goddess of home and familyNGLifeHearth
Nike, goddess of victoryLNWarWinged woman
Pan, god of natureCNNatureSyrinx (pan pipes)
Poseidon, god of the sea and earthquakesCNTempestTrident
Tyche, goddess of good fortuneNTrickeryRed pentagram

Egyptian Deities

DeityAlignmentSuggested DomainsSymbol
Re-Horakhty, god of the sun, ruler of the godsLGLife, LightSolar disk encircled by serpent
Anubis, god of judgment and deathLNDeathBlack jackal
Apep, god of evil, fire, and serpentsNETrickeryFlaming snake
Bast, goddess of cats and vengeanceCGWarCat
Bes, god of luck and musicCNTrickeryImage of the misshapen deity
Hathor, goddess of love, music, and motherhoodNGLife, LightHorned cow’s head with lunar disk
Imhotep, god of crafts and medicineNGKnowledgeStep pyramid
Isis, goddess of fertility and magicNGKnowledge, LifeAnkh and star
Nephthys, goddess of death and griefCGDeathHorns around a lunar disk
Osiris, god of nature and the underworldLGLife, NatureCrook and flail
Ptah, god of crafts, knowledge, and secretsLNKnowledgeBull
Set, god of darkness and desert stormsCEDeath, Tempest, TrickeryCoiled cobra
Sobek, god of water and crocodilesLENature, TempestCrocodile head with horns and plumes
Thoth, god of knowledge and wisdomNKnowledgeIbis

Norse Deities

DeityAlignmentSuggested DomainsSymbol
Odin, god of knowledge and warNGKnowledge, WarWatching blue eye
Aegir, god of the sea and stormsNETempestRough ocean waves
Balder, god of beauty and poetryNGLife, LightGem-encrusted silver chalice
Forseti, god of justice and lawNLightHead of a bearded man
Frey, god of fertility and the sunNGLife, LightIce-blue greatsword
Freya, goddess of fertility and loveNGLifeFalcon
Frigga, goddess of birth and fertilityNLife, LightCat
Heimdall, god of watchfulness and loyaltyLGLight, WarCurling musical horn
Hel, goddess of the underworldNEDeathWoman’s face, rotting on one side
Hermod, god of luckCNTrickeryWinged scroll
Loki, god of thieves and trickeryCETrickeryFlame
Njord, god of sea and windNGNature, TempestGold coin
Odur, god of light and the sunCGLightSolar disk
Sif, goddess of warCGWarUpraised sword
Skadi, god of earth and mountainsNNatureMountain peak
Surtur, god of fire giants and warLEWarFlaming sword
Thor, god of storms and thunderCGTempest, WarHammer
Thrym, god of frost giants and coldCEWarWhite double-bladed axe
Tyr, god of courage and strategyLNKnowledge, WarSword
Uller, god of hunting and winterCNNatureLongbow