Throughout our history, we have recognised the existence of gods, from the Olympians of Ancient Greece, the Asgardians of Norse mythology and the countless pantheons of our forebears. Much of these tales of heroes, gods and legend are mere mythology, but all myth has a grain of truth. After the Cataclysm, this grain of truth became a boulder in the case of some figures of legend.
The gods now walk among us. From Thor and Odin in the newly established Scandinavian League, to the Anubite Society in Egypt. There have been sightings of men, glowing divinely as they undertake impossible feats of strength, and a woman engaging in both fierce study and brutal warfare, accompanied by an owl.
The gods are not solely a post-Cataclysmic phenomenon. They have been to Earth before, informing human legend and society.
The Ancient Greeks had plenty of encounters with otherworlders of extreme power. Through intentional and accidental rifts, beings from the plane of Olympia entered our world and interacted with us. While not gods in the sense of omnipotent beings, the Olympians were immortals with extremely powerful sparks, allowing them to channel their internal energy into feats approaching godliness.
The Olympians made forays into our world, but seldom stayed long. They were content to meddle in human affairs, and then retreat back to their plane. Some became intimate with humans, but these occasions were relatively rare (still becoming the stuff of legends).
During the Cataclysm, riftmancy became highly volatile and Olympians who previously had adept control over rifts and crossing into other worlds found themselves trapped on Earth. Most of the Olympians on Earth have gone into hiding, fearing the powers of beings from other worlds that could potentially challenge them. This fear isn’t unfounded, as Hermes was struck down within years of being trapped on Earth by a cabal of sorcerers. Since then, the Olympians have kept a low profile.
The Norse Gods
Unlike the Olympians, the gods of Norse myth that found themselves trapped on Earth have been much more outgoing. Odin used his powers and gravitas to unite the ancestral territories of the people who once followed him – Scandinavia. His son, Thor, has devoted himself to the new Earthly profession of monster hunting, and has formed the top monster hunting guild in the world – the Thunder Corps.
Other Norse gods and their families have also found themselves trapped on Earth and have become figures of influence in Odin’s Scandinavian League.
“The Thunder Corps were legends. A top-level global agency run by Thor, the Norse God of Thunder himself. They handled the top missions and operations that this magical world could throw at them. When the legendary Fafnir decided to make Berlin into his own personal hoard, the Thunder Corps were the ones to send him spiralling into the abyss.” – Kat Drummond, Part-Time Monster Hunter
There exist plenty more gods and figures of human legend now trapped on Earth due to the Cataclysm. Many seek to find a way home, while others make a new home on our planet. While viewed as gods, and very powerful, they are not unstoppable – and most of them know this all too well.
It is this vulnerability that has been so poignant after the Cataclysm. We have discovered the flaws of our living legends, and it has revealed our own flaws to us. But in a way, this has made the legends more human. Sincerer. Perhaps, we can learn more from the fallible beings, once of myth, than the perfect heroes we had constructed based on trickery thousands of years ago. With this new knowledge, perchance we can do better than our fallen gods – or become even worse.