There are 12 deities, 4 primary and 8 secondary. The 4 primaries each rule over a season, and have 2 secondary deities that serve under them. Each of the 12 deities rules over a month, with each of the primary deities ruling a 5 week month in the middle of each season, and each of the secondary deities ruling for 4 weeks either side. Thus Fera goddess of spring rules for five weeks in mid spring. Alfaris and Fabrin her two secondary gods rule for 4 weeks in early and late spring respectively. However as the primary of spring Fera can still influence all months of spring if she so desires, and Alfaris and Fabrin will defer to her during their months of rule if she wishes to impose her will.
There are 6 gods and 6 goddesses, and the gender of the ruling deity alternates each month. This means the 2 primary females (Fera and Reaper) have male secondaries, and the 2 male primaries (Lymos and Thanis) have female secondaries.
Each deity has a primary, secondary and negative influence. These are aligned with the times of the year that they rule over. They also have a number of minor influences based around their main spheres.
None of the deities has a specific alignment and all are capable of law and chaos, good and evil. Some are more naturally inclined to certain alignments, such as Kin Goddess of Community, Justice and Tyranny is to law, or Tornos God of Storms, Oceans and Rage is to chaos. However these are just tendencies and do not rule over the gods. In this way they are much more ‘alive’ and more capable of the petty vindication characteristic of the classic pantheonic deities. Also both the good and evil can worship the same Lord of Light and War (Lymos) and argue with each other as to what his true aspect is (the answer is of course both/neither).
The deities also do not conform to one specific race – they are not human, dwarven, elven, etc. Again they have different aspects that they present to different communities, and just as Lymos is a tall and proud human warrior to the ‘European’ humans, so he is a dwarven warrior, an elven swordsman, a fearless orc, and a samurai to the eastern humans. This doesn’t change the nature of what Lymos is, merely how he and is perceived.
Each of the gods also has a partner who rules with them, though always (well almost always) takes a secondary position during their partner’s reign, even in the case of primaries deferring to secondaries. The nature of the partnerships varies between the different deities, Fera & Tornos are passionate lovers, fighting and making up in stormy lustful cycles throughout the year. Kin and Serabin are twins – calm, rational and haughty. Borea and Lymos are husband and wife, ruling together in a compassionate balance of their yin-yang. No two partners are from the same season, so a secondary is never forced to defer to their partner during his or her month of rule because the partner is never primary of the same season. That doesn’t stop primaries from exerting their power and influence over their partner.
The relationships between the various deities are highly complex owing to the different allegiances they have to each tendencies other, including allegiances to their season, their partners, gods with similar spheres of influence, even the simple matter of gender. And they all oppose each other on similar bases, opposite seasons or gender, conflicting spheres of influence, etc. All this conspires to make the state of heavenly politics fluctuate wildly over time. However for the most part the nature of the gods means it takes years for the state of affairs to change significantly, though short term changes come and go.
The gods are all unaligned and each of them represents both good and bad qualities. They each also have numerous ‘aspects’ – different versions of the same god that place greater or lesser importance on different elements of their domains. Thus Thanis, Lord of Winter and God of Death, Reflection and Revenge represents both the calm and peaceful death collecting souls that have had their time (The Raven Queen), a warrior stalking the fields of battle selecting who is to die (The Fickle Hand), and the corruption of the undead (The Walker). Each aspect has their own priorities and desires and drives their worshippers to their ends – so the priests of a given god may well find adversaries in others that dedicate themselves to the same god. In this situation each ‘religion’ views their chosen aspect as representing the ‘true’ nature of their deity and all others to be heresies.
Most people do not select a god to worship – choosing instead to worship the pantheon as a whole. Thus they will thank Reaper for bringing in the harvest, praise Fera for new life in Spring, curse Tornos for the storms that batter the coasts, and plead for Thanis to grant their loved ones peace in death. Divine PCs may choose to worship a specific deity or the pantheon as a whole. There is no difference in terms of power granted to a PC worshipping the pantheon as a whole, a primary god or a secondary god – it is simply a matter of choice. However the ‘religions’ of the primary deities tend to have more political power in the world.
Almost all temples are dedicated to all 12 of the gods rather than an individual deity. They are circular in shape, with altars to the four primary gods at each cardinal direction – Thanis to the north, Fera to the east, Lymos to the south and Reaper to the West. At each of the ordinal directions (Northeast, Southeast, Southwest and Northwest) are the entrances to the temple. And at the intermediate points (North Northeast, East Northeast, etc.) are altars to the secondary gods. Thus each deity is also associated with a compass direction.
There are also shrines dedicated to individual deities – often in a place that is associated with one of the deity’s domains. Thus libraries often have a small shrine to Serabin, shrines to Lymos can be found where great battles were fought, graveyards will all have a shrine or possibly a chapel dedicated to Thanis. The prevalence of such shrines is very much dependent on the deity in question – Derth goddess of Peace, Charity and Deprivation has very few as most monks dedicated to her eschew all material possessions.