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The Thirteen Aspects of Oxia Gensh
Intermediate Deity (collection of lesser deities)
Symbol: a wheel with thirteen spokes.
Home Plane: The Beastlands
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Cleric Alignments: N, CG, CN, CE
Domains: Chaos, Animal, Celerity, Varies.
Favored Weapon: Varies.
The Thirteen Aspects of Oxia Gensh are less deities than powerful spirits. They do not collect worshipers the way that gods do, nor do they have particular agendas that they pursue, nor dogma for their followers to embody. Instead, they watch over the people that believe in them and provide them with some small boons when they can. Each of the 13 has a constellation named for them, where they are said to reside in the heavens.
Some few people are able to draw power from them and cast spells in the way that clerics can; these favored souls are often found in places where religion is less of a political factor.
Each year, one of the thirteen ascends to the top of the wheel, and that one has particular influence over those born in that year through the rest of their lives. Each of the 13 is said to have a special connection to a natural feature in the world (to be filled in later.) that legend tells is where a mysterious entity, (perhaps one of the progenitor gods of this world; the exact name has been lost to the vagaries of time, though the stories refer to it as “the Jade Emperor” or some variation thereof,) approached each of the animals and asked them to participate in the contest. The story goes something like this:
13 animals were requested by the Jade Emperor to participate in a race to determine their order in the constellation. No matter how many versions of this story exist, and no matter how long the race is told to be, there is always a key part: the animals have to cross a large river, the river currently known as the Brine, but in the days of old, was known as the Gensh. (“Oxia” is an antiquated word for “contest.”)
Rat and Cat, both weak swimmers and both crafty, convinced Ox (or Bull) to carry them across the river. Though they were friends, Rat got greedy, and pushed Cat off of Ox into the water. Cat nearly drowned and never finished the race, and was not placed amongst the constellations. Cat will forever more hate Rat, and still fears water. Rat won the race by riding Ox, and then jumping off of his nose right before the finish line.
Rat symbolizes cunning, foresight, intelligence and a keen mind. This can also be seen as manipulative, vindictive, and ruthless. Some regional casters call “Fox’s Cunning” by the name “Rat’s Cunning”. Wizards and rogues tend to worship the Rat.
Rat’s additional domains are Treachery and Planning. His favored weapon is the kukri.
Ox came in second through endurance. No matter what obstacle was put in his way, he overcame it.
Ox symbolizes fortitude, constitution, perseverance and the slow accumulation of power. In the same regions mentioned above, “Bear’s Endurance” is renamed “Ox’s Endurance” or even “Bull’s Endurance”, which has lead to some confusion.
Ox’s additional domains are Strength and Force. His favored weapon is the maul.
Tiger came in third. While he dislikes the river, he managed to swim through quickly due to his strength.
Tiger is power. It can be raw physical strength, or overbearing force. Tigers have also been associated with lightning, and the destructive power it holds. Tiger is often worshipped by barbarians, fighters, and evocation specialists.
Tiger’s additional domains are Destruction and Strength. Her favored weapon is the bladed gauntlet (light exotic weapon like spiked gauntlet except that it crits on 18-20, and deals slashing damage).
Rabbit came in fourth due to her natural speed. She nearly crossed the river on some small rocks she found, but slipped and fell into the river. She probably would have not finished, but a log floated by, and she managed to cling to it until she reached the opposite bank.
Rabbit is associated with sensitivity, alertness, and luck. Those who are attentive and quick to act feel a connection to this animal. Rabbit is also associated with the Moon, thanks to an unrelated legend. Rogues, bards, fate spinners, and luck stealers sometimes worship the Rabbit (though many of the masculine followers deny doing so out of mild embarrassment).
Rabbit’s additional domains are Luck and Time. Her favored weapon is the nunchaku.
Dragon came in fifth. When asked how such a powerful being who could fly not come in first, the Dragon replied that there was a town on fire, so it had to put it out by making it rain. On the way, it saw that the Rabbit was drowning, and struck down a tree to save it. Only after saving the town did the Dragon finish the race.
Dragons are a representation of other-worldly might. In terms of personality, Dragons are tied to incredibly charismatic people. Also, being associated with ‘other-worldly’ power, many magic users, particularly those focusing in other planes, tend to worship Dragon. This detail has also attracted many necromantic and alienist followers.
Dragon’s additional domains are Dragon and Glory. Its favored weapon is the heavy pick.
Horse, being very fast, struggled a little at the river, and would have come in sixth. But at the last moment, Snake uncoiled itself from Horse’s hoof, frightening him. Thus Snake came in sixth, and Horse came in seventh.
Snake symbolizes wisdom and introspection. Quiet and methodical, Snake speaks and acts only when appropriate. Monks and some divine casters worship Snake. The Snake is often depicted in a bottle of water, and has become associated with that element.
Snake’s additional domains are Scalykind and Mind. His favored weapon is the dagger.
Horse both revels in being part of a larger whole, like in a herd, and running free and wild. Travelers and freewheeling adventurers identify themselves with the Horse, and the wind is said to be the spirit of the Horse running past you, aligning the Horse with the element of Air. The relationship between Horse and Rat is said to rival that of the Cat and Rat. Rat likes to control others, and the Horse feels that most keenly.
Horse’s additional domains are Travel and Community. His favored weapon is the heavy lance.
The next three to arrive are the Ram, the Monkey, and the Bird. The three realized that none of them could cross the river by themselves. But after finding an abandoned raft, clearing the weeds, and fording the river, they all finished the race.
Rams are charming, expressive, and a bit self-indulgent. They work well with others if they get to have their way as well. Bards and sorcerers tend to worship the Ram.
Ram’s additional domains are Charm and Dream. His favored weapon is the heavy mace.
Monkeys, while eternal fun loving tricksters, are also natural born diplomats. Wit and decorum come naturally to the Monkey, and one can talk himself out of almost any situation. For charismatic bards, rogues, and sorcerers, as well as delegates and politicians, the Monkey is a popular choice amongst the Aspects of Oxia Gensh.
Monkey’s additional domains are Trickery and Mind. His favored weapon is the quarterstaff.
It is important to note that it is the Bird who spotted the raft. A Bird is observant and precise, hard to fool, and straight forward. Rangers, cautious rogues, detectives, and inquisitors respond well to the mentality of the Bird. Many believe that the Bird is a Rooster, but some cultures hold to the belief that the Bird is a Phoenix, and, thus, is also a symbol for Fire. Natives of the Valorian Plains recognize the Bird as the small birdlike dinosaur druids and sages refer to as “Compsonagathus.”
Bird’s additional domains are Oracle and Inquisition. Her favored weapon is the rapier.
The Dog came up afterwards. Although he was supposed to be the best swimmer of all the animals, he came in late because he felt he needed a bath, and then he lost track of time playing.
The Dog embodies Loyalty with a capital L. Paladins and Monks often revere the Dog.
Dog’s additional domains are Family and Community. His favored weapon is the quarterstaff.
The Pig arrived last as the sun was setting. He had eaten too much before the race and fell asleep, waking up with just enough time to finish.
Pig’s additional domains are Gluttony and Sloth. His favored weapon is the unarmed strike.
Some peoples believe that, in order to achieve godhood, the Cat decided to protect people and be worshipped as a minor deity. This is a local tale told in the north, where, far off the coast, one can spot an island in the distance with an incredibly large tower on it, called Catcall Tower.
Cat’s additional domains are Pride and Glory. His favored weapon is the shortsword.
The Catfolk believe that upon acheiving godhood that the Cat split himself into four beings: Firecat, Watercat, Earthcat, and Aircat, overcoming his fear of water and mastering the four elements. In the stories the Catfolk tell about these different aspects of Cat,one thing always remains true: Cat always hates Rat.
Firecat appears as a tawny longhaired cat with gold eyes and a mane of flames. His tail is long and fluffy.
Watercat appears as a silver tabby with blue eyes and long whiskers. Her tail is sleek and her dense fur repels water.
Earthcat is polydactyl, with seven toes on each paw. He appears black but is dark brown in sunlight, with green eyes and no tail.
Aircat is all white, with white feathered wings and odd eyes—one blue and one amber. She is deaf in one ear.