Orbital Gods

I only had two players for the first session (the other two couldn't make it for various reasons), and they ended up rolling a dwarf and a fighter.  I expect that eventually somebody will make a cleric, and I'll have to have some answers ready about religion in this world of wizards and super-science.

Easy enough, a heaping dose of Gene Wolfe and you get... computer AI's behaving as gods towards the human population.

High above the atmosphere, massive satellites containing the hardware necessary to run these AI's orbit the planet.  They number in the dozens, and communicate directly to their followers through "eyes" installed in their temples below.  These eyes are massive screens through which the god can directly observe its followers, and appear to them.

The gods, through means unknown to simple organic minds, are able to grant spells to their priests.  The priests must pray for renewal of their powers at certain times of the day.  These times are linked directly to when the AI's are in orbit directly overhead.

This framework allows for any random god a player desires to be inserted in the game.  When somebody finally picks a cleric, I'll ask them to describe their god, and voila, it's done.  No fuss, no muss.  It's all really an AI with a personality disorder, so pretty much anything will fit in.

There are two gods that I intend will not fit this framework.  The first is Science!  Taking a page from Alfred Bester, there will be a cult worshipping Science as a god itself.  That deserves a post in its own right, so I won't go farther into that right now.

The second is the Crawling Chaos, Nyarlathotep, soul and messenger of the Outer Gods.  The Church of the Starry Wisdom will be present, just because it's nice to have a source for some real nasty Lovecraftian badness when I'm in the mood, which is fairly often.

Wizards, of course, are profoundly uninterested in matters religious.  Their pursuit is of temporal power.  Servitude to a greater power isn't on their agenda, and most have banned churches and temples from their city-states.

The Inner Gods, orbiting the earth in their satellites, are deeply vested in their human followers, directing their actions through personal intervention, towards inscrutable ends.

The Outer Gods, truly immortal, in spheres removed infinitely in both time and space, care not for humanity or this speck of a planet, but an undying eye happened to glance upon the world and the world was made known to the Messenger.  Even wretched oblivion is denied to those who serve the Crawling Chaos - the madness and truth he brings is eternal.

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