The Realm of the Divine
by Emily A. Duncan

Kalyazin is a land steeped in old religion. Twenty gods make up a pantheon, and the country is known to be superstitious and deeply religious. Magic is something that can only be divinely appointed by the gods and so when the neighboring country of Tranavia begins using blood magic, this sparks a conflict that has continued for nearly a century. I wanted the religion in Wicked Saints to feel old, well worn, and potentially sinister for those who didn’t look to it as a comfort. For Nadya, who grew up in a monastery and talks to the gods, it’s all she knows. For characters like Serefin, it’s something deemed backwards and old, useless. Old monasteries nestle in the Kalyazi forests and churches can be found anywhere one might look. There are wayside shrines throughout the country dedicated to different gods and goddesses, as are the churches themselves. Most people have one specific god they pray to over all the others, there are saints for more minor affairs.

Wicked Saints has passages about the gods from The Divine Codex, and pieces about some of the saints from Vasiliev’s Book of Saints, but I wanted to include a list of what each god and goddess represented. This isn’t all twenty, and a few of these we don’t meet in Wicked Saints, but I wanted to show you all the list that I work with when I’m writing the gods and how I decide what kind of magic can be drawn from which god. The rules with divine magic are in some ways strict and in other ways rather loose. If the spell can be interpreted under the realm of something protective, then it’s probably something that Veceslav provides. So a cleric of Veceslav would be deeply important on the battlefield, or, in a day to day situation, they might be just incredibly lucky around potential accidents. A cleric of Zlatek would make an excellent assassin… or a thief. And so on and so forth. Sometimes the magic can be interpreted loosely; Marzenya is the goddess of magic, full stop, so there’s a lot of room to play with the kind of spells she grants. But I find it’s more fun to use the gods that have specific realms of power because it puts limiters on the magic in the world and makes me work harder to come up with what I need.

Veceslav: War / Protection
Marzenya: Magic / Sacrifice / Winter / Death
Alena: The Sun
Zlatek: Silence
Zvonimira: Light
Horz: Heavens / Stars
Bozidarka: Vision / Foresight
Bozetjeh: Wind / Speed
Zbyhneuska: Health / Prosperity / Well Being
Krsnik: Fire
Omunitsa: Water / Rivers
Devonya: The Hunt
Vaclav: Forests / Truth
Nevenka: Weather
Myesta: The Moon
Peloyin: Storms

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