Nethys

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Nethys
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Details
Pantheon
Garundi
Alignment
Neutral
Cleric alignment(s)
NG, LN, N, CN, NE
Destruction, Knowledge, Magic, Protection, Rune
Favored weapon
Quarterstaff

Nethys is one of Pathfinder deities.

Description[edit | edit source]

Nethys, also known as "The All-Seeing Eye", is a Garundi god who holds knowledge and magic above all things. He gained enough power to witness all things, and this both fueled his divinity and shattered his mind. He is a god of magic, torn between destroying the world with one hand and saving it with the other.

Background[edit | edit source]

Ancient Osirian legends speak of the god-king Nethys, a man whose monomaniacal pursuit of magic opened the fabric of reality to his probing vision, revealing to him the secrets of creation in this world and in the Great Beyond. The sight catapulted him to godhood and tore apart his sanity, creating two minds in one body. Now his fractured mind seeks both to cleanse the world through its destruction and to guard and heal it, to bend and preserve it, to conquer and free it. Nethys is a god of two warring personalities, prone to sudden and unexpected mood swings. He teaches that the use of magic for its own sake is the highest calling of mortals, for it is only through magic that one can change reality itself, and he embraces all who take up magical study. He does not care about the type of magic involved or the ends to which people turn it, only that they honor it and exult in its gifts. He represents all magic, from the most benign healing spells to the vilest necromancy, and mortal spellcasters of all alignments ask for his blessing.

Nethys's only concern is magic — its use, creation, and innovation. He is aware of his mortal worshipers and rewards their devotion with divine power, but not for their use of magic alone. When some mortal tyrant outlaws the use of magic, Nethys expects his followers to intervene, though he issues no call to crusade. Likewise, those who perceive new avenues of magic and pursue them gain his favor, regardless of the nature or purpose of the magic. His total awareness means he sees every success and every failure, from the first cantrip learned by a fledgling hedge wizard to the rudiments of star-exploding magic developed on the farthest-flung planet.

Other gods may take parental roles toward their churches, but Nethys acts more like the volatile but dispassionate guardian of an estate, unconcerned about individual heirs as long as the vast legacy of the family continues. Queries made of the All-Seeing Eye via commune and similar spells always give accurate information, but his tone might range from amused to cold to disappointed to enraged, seemingly without rhyme or reason. Other deities have tried to stabilize or cure his shattered mind and violent mood swings, but he inevitably perceives any progress as a depletion of his energy and negates their efforts. His allies have learned to tolerate his ever-changing nature, keeping him at a respectful arm's length for the sake of his knowledge.

Nethys is a proponent of magic for all purposes, even frivolous or wasteful ones. Magic is an infinite resource that permeates all dimensions, and thus he insists there is no need to limit its use for fear of its eventual depletion. He sees magic-drained places like the Mana Wastes as aberrations, tumors in the world that can be excised, though dealing with them is not a high priority unless they begin to grow and threaten the healthy flow of magic elsewhere. Nethys isn't averse to technology unless it interferes with or supplants magic; indeed, he relishes the blending of technology and magic.

Nethys normally appears as a male human crackling with power, one side of him burned and broken, the other half calm and serene. This duality is usually emphasized in artwork, which often depicts the god releasing terrible magic from his broken side even as he casts spells from his good side to heal the wounds he just caused. Though he is generally depicted as Garundi, some regional temples deviate from this by showing him as a member of a prominent local race or as an Azlanti.

Outside of promoting the use of magic and embracing those who engage in it, Nethys is supremely indifferent to both mortals and other deities. Pleas for mercy or justice, incitements to violence, and invocations of fairness or the balance of power have no effect on him; he acts in the interest of increasing magical knowledge or according to his whim, but is otherwise unpredictable and unreliable. He is not known for showing favor or wrath to his followers or enemies in the form of divine intervention, a fact that many of his worshipers note with some pride. Layfolk, especially peasants, believe that invoking his name may help to ward off curses, hexes, the evil eye, and other superstitions, though his utter disregard for those who do not practice magic means these invocations fall on deaf ears. The devout believe that zones of unpredictable magic manifest where Nethys passes close to the Material Plane, though there is no confirmation of this from the god himself. Likewise, his church teaches that the manifestation of zones of "empty magic" (where magic simply doesn't function) are indications of his anger at someone or something in that area, though there is no evidence that this is true.

His holy symbol is his face, half black and half white, which might be highly detailed or abstracted to little more than a two-tone, shield-shaped mask without holes.