Six Human Gods
The Six Human Gods of Tyria are a pantheon of deities worshiped by the humans of Tyria. Although relatively absent in human affairs for the past 250 years, they are revered by nearly all humans, and are acknowledged by other races across Tyria, Cantha, and Elona. Despite their absence, they remain the center point of human religion and culture.
The current pantheon of gods are:
- Dwayna, goddess of healing, air, warmth, and life. Believed to be the first of the Six to arrive on Tyria.
- Balthazar, god of war, fire, and courage.
- Melandru, goddess of nature, earth, and growth.
- Lyssa, twin goddesses of beauty, water and illusion (individually, they are Lyss and Ilya).
- Grenth, god of darkness, death, and ice. Son of Dwayna and an unidentified mortal human sculptor (according to some theories this is Malchor the Sculptor), ascended to divinity upon the defeat of Dhuum.
- Kormir, goddess of order, spirit, and truth. Formerly the mortal Spearmarshal of the Order of the Sunspears of Elona, ascended to divinity upon the defeat of Abaddon in 1075 AE.
Former deities include Abaddon, Dhuum, and Abaddon's unnamed predecessor. Balthazar has a half-brother by the name of Menzies but whether he possesses similar divine powers, or is simply a powerful adversary is unknown.
The extent of power of the human gods is not known, but it is known they are not omniscient, and by their own very nature as a pantheon each is not omnipotent. Despite this, their power cannot be destroyed, though they themselves can be supplanted. There is considerable mystery surrounding the exact powers and nature of the gods, which is muddled further by the fact that they have been increasingly absent in human affairs since Nightfall. It is known that staring at the gods can blind mortals if looked at long enough and that they can grant powerful blessings or access to the Mists to those they deem worthy. Immediately before the Exodus of the Gods, Kormir's predecessor Abaddon fought against the other five gods, causing great damage to the world with their battle, turning the great Crystal Sea to Crystal Desert, perhaps giving a hint of the scope of their powers. Abaddon, even while imprisoned in the Realm of Torment, was able to extend his influence to Tyria to cause great strife. Several great phenomena of nature have also been named after the gods, such as the Grenth's Footprint and the volcano of Abaddon's Mouth, but whether their creation and characteristics are related to the gods or if they are simply naturally formed phenomena is not known. To this day, humans can call upon the power of their gods in a form of prayer, gaining aid in virtually any aspect of their life or even becoming an avatar of a god.
At an unknown time after the writing of the Tome of Rubicon but prior to 786 BE, the Six Gods arrived on the world and brought the humans with them, but from where is not known. Original human legends claimed that the Six Gods created the world, and the charr also have legends of Melandru creating the world, though this has in recent decades been realized to be false. Their age is also unknown, but it is known that the current pantheon as a whole is not the first, and that they have not been on Tyria as long as the Elder Dragons.
The Six Gods arrived on Tyria originally at the Artesian Waters, which is said to hold magic powerful enough to have drawn the gods from the Mists. Dwayna was the first god to walk on the world, and is said to have brought humanity (though where to is conflicting with claims being both south of Cantha as well as Arah) hoping to make the world a paradise. She was followed by Balthazar, Melandru, and the other gods.
Each of the races of Tyria have different attitudes to the gods. Despite their legend of Melandru, the charr view the gods as powerful beings to fight, not worship. The norn recognize the existence of the gods, but consider them an extension of their belief system of nature spirits; they refer to the Six as the "Spirits of Action" and do not call them by their name, but by what they govern - for instance, Balthazar is War and Kormir is Knowledge. The asura consider the gods to be relatively large parts (but parts nonetheless) of their Eternal Alchemy, and the sylvari, having appeared only in 1302 AE and therefore having never actually witnessed the work of the gods, remain unconvinced they exist at all.
One of the last jotun storytellers, Thrulnn the Lost, claims that when humanity first arrived on continental Tyria, they went unnoticed by the gods. His legends also say that the gods once favored the giant races, and the jotun among them. They gave them magic and blessed them with knowledge of mechanical and magical things. The gods, afraid that the jotun were going to use their magic against them, took magic from the jotun unexpectedly, causing great confusion which set the giant-kings against one another. They then handed it to their new favorite races, including the humans, in measured bites. However, given the truth behind the Bloodstone and the fact that most jotun history has been lost, it is unknown how much, if any, of Thruln's tales are truth.
Throughout the current and formerly human-controlled lands of Tyria, statues of the Six Gods can be found. There are typically two designs for each of the gods, though a third has been observed for Balthazar and Dwayna, and only one statue of Abaddon remains. At least one of the statue designs was made by Malchor the Sculptor, whose original statues were placed at the gods' respective temples - only the statue of Dwayna made by Malchor is known to have been seen, though altered from its original form by Zhaitan's corruption.
Of the two designs, one is seen only in Orr and in Divinity's Reach, the latter holding inscriptions from Malchor except for Grenth and Kormir - which hold inscriptions by Desmina and Jurah respectively. It would seem that humanity had returned to older statue designs within Divinity's Reach, given the Orrian origin of this design and how Kormir, who became a god after Orr's sinking, has statues of this design.
The other design of the statues, which were the only style seen 250 years ago, can be found throughout Tyria, mainly in abandoned locations. One exception to this is Dwayna's statue which is also seen in Malchor's workshop, stated to be imperfect designs. Why these supposedly imperfect were spread throughout Tyria is unknown.
Statues of the second design can be seen in:
- Dwayna's statue: Malchor's Anguish (underwater) within Malchor's Leap; Wreckage of Serenity (Branded) within Blazeridge Steppes; Temple of the Ages (underwater) within Queensdale; Ruins of Holy Demetra within Harathi Hinterlands.
- Melandru's statue: Lake Gendarr within Gendarran Fields; Temple of the Ages within Queensdale; Wreckage of Serenity (Branded) within Blazeridge Steppes.
- Lyssa's statue: None known.
- Balthazar's statue: Deadgod's Lair within Plains of Ashford.
- Grenth's statue: Temple of the Ages (underwater) within Queensdale.
- Kormir's statue: Temple of the Ages (underwater) within Queensdale.
- Concept art
- Humans often refer to the pantheon as the Six Gods or simply the Six. Other races most commonly refer to them as Human Gods (with varying capitalization). They are also known as:
- the Five Gods (during the time between the Exodus and Nightfall)
- the Old Gods
- the True Gods
- the Ancient Gods
- the Ancient Ones