The priest from the mountains said: “Gods are born as mortals are born.  They spring from one another following a glorious union.  They are then a child, and then an adult.  Eons pass for them as to hours for mortals, and they perceive every moment.  They war and die and are not reborn.”

The oracle from the oceanside said: “All the gods that are were born at once, in the same moment.  They were born each from an egg which arose from the primordial chaos.  They were born with no aspects, but as they stilled the chaos and shaped it into the world, they fell into roles, and mastered each their own domain.  There will be no more gods born, but nor shall any ever fall.”

The wise hermit from the plains said: “Gods come into being at the behest of mortals’ thoughts, but they exist in another way before they are thought of.  Before becoming, they are formless and nameless, but still direct the ways of the world and the beyond.  When a man observes the world, he molds a formless god into a formed one.  Thereafter, that god may behave in any way that form allows, and certainly governs the workings of the world differently from prior.”

The warlock from the deep woods said: “Gods are born, but no two in the same way.  Some spring from others as do mortals, but others rise fully-formed from the earth, others come to being in a flash of flame.  They also think, and experience time and worldly life, but again no two in the same way.  To one, life is as it is for a mortal being.  For another, mortals are born and die a thousand in the blink of an eye and have no significance.  There are gods who can die, and some who cannot.  There are ones who care for the world they made, and ones who do not.  There are some who perceive the company of their peers, and many, many more who exist alone in despair.”

The caretaker of a shrine’s garden, who was widely thought to be wise, said: “There is a single room wherein every god lives, and before that room there is nothing.  Gods came to exist in it, and they cannot leave it.  They do not see beyond it, or even know of the world outside.  But as they argue and wail they create fire and thunder; as they seek knowledge they create the forces that govern our lives.”

The caretaker’s child, who went with her everywhere, said: “Gods are big.  Big people, and they are born big.”

The augur from the city said: “The gods were born from an egg: only one.  The world was formed prior, and it spat the egg from its depths from which they all would emerge.  As such, gods are lower than the world, and are subject to its caprices.  They are immortal but they are not invulnerable: they succumb to illness, to cold and to starvation, and they kill one another.  When they do, something fundamental in the world changes, and mortals may or may not notice.  One day there will be no gods left, and then there will be no world.”

The stranger who came to council and said nothing of his origin said: “There are many gods, but all gods live one life.  At the beginning of time, one comes to life, and lives all the way unto the end of time, then re-emerges at the beginning as another god, lives to the end again, and re-emerges as a third.  Theirs is a life of confusion and half-remembered truths, for they live amongst their other selves, and can see what all the others do, but can only remember the lives of ones they existed as before this life.  The world they create is therefore chaotic, but with hints of order, otherwise it would not be possible to be mortal in it.”

The king who was not holy but had demanded a place at this meeting said: “Gods all spring from the womb of a single immortal mother who has no name, to different fathers that can’t be known by men.  Gods are the highest of the high, for hierarchy means nothing to their progenitors, but they are of this world.  They cannot produce more gods, but they can birth slightly lower beings, who can birth slightly lower, and lower and lower until their progeny is men.  All these beings rule as do kings and their vassals, but their domains are not lands but notions, seasons, immaterial things.”

The seer from the rocky hills said: “Gods are born by budding from one another.  Each has but one role, one aspect.  The god of war emerged from the god of might, who emerged from the god of fear, who emerged from the god of need.  When they bud they are children first and then mature.  They live lives like those of mortals but on a grand scale, with war and love and death.  What they do echoes through their aspects as those exist in our world.”

The god who had called this esteemed council considered all of these and said: “You know, I wish I could remember.”  He pointed to the child.  “But I think I like yours best.”

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