Deva is a term that means “eternal soul”. Unlike mortal beings that possess a spirit which leaves when they die, Deva are themselves souls and cease to exist upon death (although there is evidence of echos existing for fallen Deva, but such is the realm of the heart of Seraphuul and other special circumstances) The term ‘Deva’ therefore covers primordial beings directly decended from Seraphuul herself, eternal servants forged by gods from the spirits of their faithful, and other creatures native to the Outland. While Devas are known for their connection to the Outlands, many live in the mortal world or traverse the boundaries at will.
’Divine’ is an open-ended term in Seraphuul, as there are a variety of creatures who can visit the Outlands, gain power from worship, and grant spells to Clerics. (In essence, this is a Japanese setup of gods, where small divine beings can be found tied to specific locations such as mountains or rivers, and are as a rule neither omnipotent nor omniscient and some are even fairly weak.)
Among the beings who qualify, there are three varieties; mortal gods, great deva, and natural gods.
Mortal gods are elevated forms of native creatures from the inner sphere, and mostly include the Fey Lords and the human gods tied to the Divine Mountain.
Great deva are beings that most closely resemble gods from other worlds: they are bound to the Outworld and work through representatives on the inner sphere, although they are far from omnipotent or omniscient. Some are primordial spirits while others are Deva who grew into their positions over many eons.
Natural gods rest somewhere between these two extremes, and includes a series of immortal creatures for whom divinity is innate: they are often tied to a specific location and/or concept, and while many do have spirits that travel to the Outlands on death, they are not variants of mortal creatures. Some of these have organized religions, others are simply reverenced by any locals passing through their land, and others are content to live by themselves. A natural god could possess their own demiplanes, religions, and Deva courts, but these markers are not prerequisite for their position and many possess none of these.
The Divine mountain is the source of godhood across the human empire. While being human or being close to the mountain are not strict prerequisites, the human empire has raised itself around this mountain and created an order based around the frequency of these two distinctions. The human empire possesses an eclectic mixture of religious and political systems around these frequently changing gods: on one hand the gods rule politically, yet each city has its own lord (as the next god cannot be planned for or educated in his youth.) Likewise the gods are expected to serve the empire, and disloyalty can lose them their status as an ‘official’ god, but only the gods can determine what ‘disloyal’ even means and risks civil war to even discuss it. This mess of politics and divine power may seem bizarre to outsiders, but the human empire’s expansiveness proves it has served them well so far.
The Fey Lords
Among the inhabitants of Faerie, where nigh-immortality and inborn magical power are the norm, the gods are more a family of their most powerful members who rule as both kings and gods for their immortal subjects. The Fey Lords are revered even in the material plane for their power and influence over the aspects of life, and some claim that they are decended from the great elemental primordials during early dalliances with mortal creatures.
There are many creatures in the Outlands who can empower Clerics, with the following being the most commonly known:
There are no natural gods who currently possess the reach, power, and influence of the mortal gods or great deva, but many still apace be found reverenced by clans, villages, or other small groups.