The Pantheon Cycle: Shrouded Aspect
In the beginning, there was only the Oak. The land formed around its trunk, its roots holding the very earth in place. Where thick roots grew out of the ground, mountains formed. Where they thinned and sank, rivers and oceans pooled. Its branches reached toward the heavens, its leaves releasing the rich air that formed the clouds and sky.

In those days, the Tree was strong and its seed spread life across the land. Vegetation and creatures sprang forth; winged beasts rode the winds, water-dwellers danced in the waves, new beings walked the earth. And all worshiped the Great Tree of Life.

The creatures thrived, living in peace, wanting for nothing because the Tree provided all. And for a time all was in balance, all lived in harmony. But the day came when the race of Man outnumbered the rest, their needs became greater, and the nourishment provided by the Tree was not enough.

It was at this time, when the land was in its greatest moment of need, that the Gods came into being, born from the roots, acorns, and leaves of the Great Tree of Life. Their powers were varied, drawn from the many aspects of the land and the Tree itself. Each God used their unique power to help the Tree nurture and guide the race of Man and rebalance the land.

Eventually, the Gods grew bored. Their nurturing turned to interference, their guidance to petty games, the lives of mortals became nothing but playthings. The Gods mingled with the beings of earth, spawning new races, disrupting the balance once again. And then they began to fight amongst themselves.

A great struggle ensued between the Gods of Life and Death, each claiming dominion over the other. They each drew allied Gods to their side, gathered the tribes of man, and led masses of mortals into violent battle.

Carnage covered the land, pools of blood formed upon the great battlefields. The corrupted blood of Gods and Men mingled into lakes of boiling magma, putrid gases, and suffocating ash. Out of these vile concoctions grew the Formor. Twisted, evil, destructive giants whose hunger for death was only surpassed by the darkness of their hearts.

Most of the Gods began to pull back into seclusion, shame finally penetrating their decadent lusts. They bore responsibility for creating the Formor and it weighed heavily upon their breasts. But the Gods of Life and Death were so consumed with hatred for each other that they could not see what they had done. They waged their war, recruiting the Gods of Nature, Water, Fire, and Earth to fight at their side. They even began to manipulate the Formor, unleashing them as powerful machines of war.

The remaining Gods finally gathered in the presence of the Great Tree to put an end to this madness. They channeled through the Oak, using it as a conduit for enormous amounts of energy. With it, they dashed away the powers of the six misguided Gods, and chained the Formor deep in cold, dark sea.

The Six were banished to the land of Men, their names never to be uttered amongst the Gods again. Although they had been stripped of their power, their immortality remained intact. It was their curse to live forever with the knowledge of their sins and in contemplation of their wrongdoing.

Over time, the Gods withdrew completely from the land of mortals. The evils of the Six had taught them a hard lesson that they did not wish to repeat. It was the age of Man, having inherited a broken earth and rebuilt it in their own way.

But energy cannot be destroyed, only transferred. The stripped powers of the Six remained earthbound, permeating objects of the physical world, infusing them with ancient energies. Over time, mortals learned to harness the energies of Life, Death, Earth, Fire, Water, and Nature, to shape the world they know.