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What are the Controller/Lesser gods?

From: Raymond E. Feist
Date: Sat, 21 Oct 1995

Gods get their power via their worship. It's a bit esoteric, and I don't know how much of this I'm going to explain in the next book (don't want to turn it into a clinic on Midemian Metaphysics), but it goes something like this. The beings that are "more powerful than gods, yet less," are Forces of Nature. They have no concisiousness; they can be influenced, but not controlled. Then come the controller gods. They are connected to the prime stuff of the world. They have no interest in people and what they are doing. The four remaining controller gods are Graf, Helbinor, Abrem-Sev, and Ev-dem. You can pray to them until the cows come home, get bored, and go out again, and you'll never get an answer. The "Lesser" Gods are the ones people pray to. They are also forces of nature, but they get identified and idealized, and they do interact with the population. They have mind and consciousness, and the more people pray to them, the more powerful they become. This is why "dead" gods may come back some day.

From: Steve Abrams
Date: Thu, 10 Oct 96

Regarding the Gods, some of this has been discussed before. They somewhat fall into three categories: Greater Gods - they don't really care if anyone worships them or not and since the unwashed masses don't really know about them (being collectively Ishap), other issues such as the health of the planet are more important. If all the people on the planet died, they would be uneffected. Lesser Gods - these Gods definitely care about worshipers. Their attributes are somewhat defined by the people that worship them, but since they have such large masses of people worshiping, individual variations don't make much difference - in effect, the Gods dictate the likely attributes of those that worship them as the reverse. Should enough of their worshipers go away they would lose power and potentially could be lost (but they'd probably leave Midkemia first and it's highly improbable they'd let this happen - don't forget, these are real, tangible Gods that DO interact with their worshipers -- no 'faith' required!). Frank Herbert's 'The Godmakers' was an influence when we were thinking about Lesser and Local Gods. Local Gods - these Gods are highly defined by their worshipers. If enough of them quit worshiping they'll go away (read Terry Pratchet's "Small Gods" for a reasonable view).

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