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My story is a mix utilizing the universe of the tabletop game BattleTech, the magic and cosmology of the tabletop game Dungeons & Dragons dragon pantheon of deities, and the world of Minecraft.

In said story, the mortal locals of Minecraftia, capital of the Proxima Alliance, have just fought a war against the goddess Tiamat, winning via vaporizing her lair with her in it with 700 megatons worth of thermonuclear warheads. So, a god has been permanently killed, and the other gods are now known to everyone. As Mount Celestia gave assistance to the Alliance during the war, the Alliance has extended a hand of greeting to them as equals and offered a seat for the gods on the Alliance Council. The gods, now fearful for their lives and knowing that the mortals now have the capability to carpet bomb their formerly unassailable home with more nukes, have accepted.

Mount Celestia is now another place mortals can visit, and several humans have taken to worshiping the dragon gods now that they know their future afterlife is 100% real. Though the gods don't necessarily like the new paradigm, there isn't much other choice now that mortals are savvy to attempts at deific meddling and have the capability to put a stop to it. As god of justice Lendys put it, "The puppets have cut the strings and made it too dangerous for us to attempt retying them."

To put it in a simple matter, an advanced society of now united humans and dragons now know of the existence of deities and though willing to be cordial and friendly, knows that any of these gods can be killed. What would happen to society in this situation?

EDIT: The Proxima Alliance has an article similar to NATO's Article 5, meaning that attacking one member brings the wrath of the others down on you. This is why those who are not religious would probably value gods, as a big and powerful ally to call down pestilence and plague on mutual enemies. This also means that the gods also have suitable reasons to not aggravate the Alliance, as in addition to the nuke problem, the Alliance is willing and capable to assist Mount Celestia in military manners should a Primordial attack, giving the gods an edge should the Primordials attempt to continue the Dawn War.

EDIT 2: The gods are mostly various sorts of Lawful Good, so any violent criminals or cult leaders are probably going to be dumped into the Nine Hells instead of finding a place on the mountain. Basically, the gods tolerate truly necessary evils among followers--I.E., putting down a kid's dog cause it has rabies? Ok, the kid is probably gonna call you evil, but you did what you had to do. Punting the same kid's dog off a bridge cause you thought it was 'funny'? Good luck explaining that one.

EDIT 3: You can find and visit your dead relatives easily enough, and if someone died due to disease, violence, or accident, they can usually be resurrected for a fee. Once someone dies the natural death of old age, this changes--yes, you an still visit them and they can still come visit you, but a natural death intrinsically and magically connects a soul to the afterlife. If a soul stays too long away from the mountain, they fade away and are gone for good. The gods choose your place in the afterlife based on your deeds and actions in life, and your rewards hinge on that. Being 'Lawful', they do not take kindly to attempts at bribery.

A few humans have immigrated to the mountain, so it wouldn't be all that troublesome for your servants to continue to work for you in the afterlife. It'd just mean you providing them quarters in your heavenly home or them commuting to work.

EDIT 4: The 'fee' would be the price of spell components to cast the resurrection spell on the open market. There would be charities that help lower income families with this. I'll also use o.m.'s idea, and have Relife Insurance available as well. In general, the gods would try to prevent suicides by sending assistance via their clerics or even miracles in dire situations. (yes, even the death god. He's busy enough as it is, and doesn't like death just for death's sake). A heroic death, sacrificing yourself for another, may even suitably impress one of the gods enough for them resurrect you themselves (as long as you do not have a DNR on file), depending on the valiance of the deed and the personality of the god in question.

I figure I should probably list the gods in question:

Io: also known as The Creator, The Nine-fold Dragon, World-shaper, and Asgorath, Io is the “Top God” among the Draconic Parthenon, with command of all dragons. He is completely neutral in all matters, acting as an impartial judge. Using D&D alignments, Io would be Neutral Neutral

Bahamut: also known as Paladine, Justice Maker, The Dragon King, and The Lord of The North Wind, Bahamut is the god of law, enlightened justice, and wisdom. Using D&D alignments, Bahamut would be Lawful Good

Lendys: also known as The Unforgiving One, Arbiter of Justice, and The Highest Judge, Lendys is the god of harsh justice and the balance between good and evil. He is Tamara’s consort. Using D&D alignments, Lendys would be Lawful Good

Tamara: also known as The Merciful One, Light of Draconia, and The Life-giver, Tamara is the goddess of life, light, mercy, and forgiveness. Using D&D alignments, Tamara would be Neutral Good

Maurgalan: also known as The Loving One, The Lover’s Muse, Queen of The Household, and The Insatiable, Maurgalan is the goddess all types of love, lust, fertility, family, and marriage. A cheeky goddess, this pink colored dragon seems to enjoy sending her envoys to tease would-be lovers a little too much. Using D&D alignments, Maurgalan would be Neutral Good

Chronepsis: also known as The Watcher, Chronepsis is the god of fate, justice, and judgement. He rarely speaks, and when he does, he always uses as few words as possible. Little is known about him, even among the other gods. Using D&D alignments, Chronepsis would be Neutral Neutral

Hlal: also known as The Prankster Goddess, Keeper of Stories, and Tale-Weaver, Hlal is the goddess of humor, inventiveness, and storytelling. She enjoys swapping and sharing stories and songs with those who appreciate them. Using D&D alignments, Hlal would be Chaotic Good

Falazure: also known as The Undying One, The First of Liches, Null, and the Cloak of Death, Falazure is the god of energy draining, decay, death, undeath, and exhaustion. At permanent odds with Tamara, who despises undead, Falazure considers his duty and domain a grim necessity, and can often be gruff but surprisingly personable in demeanor when not aggravated. He is the brother of Hlal, and occasionally walks the mortal realm in the form of a tall and dark yet handsome human or elf. using D&D alignments, Falazure would be Lawful Neutral

So, with differing personalities of the gods, there would be differing commandments. As for why some don't follow any of them, there are still normal human religions around, and their faithful still participate despite the proven existence of the dragon gods, because as o.m. put it 'A sufficiently non-omnipotent pantheon is indistinguishable from aliens.', and therefore not considered gods by the 32nd century adherents of some religions. All religions are considered equally valid by the laws of the Proxima Alliance, so discriminating by them is illegal. By law, not even the draconic gods can discriminate against other religions as Mount Celestia is now part of the Alliance.

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  • $\begingroup$ How much do those people care about deities? $\endgroup$ – Alexander Aug 15 at 8:59
  • $\begingroup$ Some people are religious just as in real life, but others probably see the gods as 'useful and powerful allies in a fight if we go to war against somebody else'. The Alliance has a clause similar to NATO's Article 5, so an 'attack on one is an attack on all'. This also means that the Alliance would move to assist Mount Celestia if they were attacked. $\endgroup$ – Jazzyamx Aug 15 at 9:02
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    $\begingroup$ Be careful of using intellectual property of others. Especially corporations that are known to be willing to sue. $\endgroup$ – NomadMaker Aug 15 at 9:23
  • $\begingroup$ @NomadMaker, I know. This story is more of a hobby and entertainment for me, posted as fanwork. I am making no money off this and do not intend to. $\endgroup$ – Jazzyamx Aug 15 at 9:31
  • $\begingroup$ Please be careful: not making money is not always a protection. $\endgroup$ – NomadMaker Aug 15 at 9:37
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A sufficiently non-omnipotent pantheon is indistinguishable from aliens.

When one describes God in the Christian sense, there are terms like omnipotence, omniscience, salvation through the grace of God or eternal damnation. When one talks about a Greek, Roman or typical-D&D pantheon, there is a daily soap full of larger-than-life characters who are very much limited in what they can do to each other or to hapless mortals. Sure, getting a Greek God mad at you is a sure way to turn the simple trip home into a ten-year odyssey, but that's not on the same level as the Christian God.

The Gods are not the problem. The afterlife is.

Knowing that there is an afterlife and how it looks is going to profoundly affect society.

  • Is it possible for a mortal to reach (even rescue) a specific dead in the underworld, as Orpheus did?
    The edit says that deceased relatives can be visited, and if the death was not due to old age they can even be resurrected for a fee. So accidental death need not be permanent for those rich enough. Yet at the same time the Gods are supposed to be "lawful good" and unbribable. How to draw the line between a fee and a bribe? Give a big donation to a cleric so he prays for you? Pay "relife insurance" so that someone else pays the cleric, if-and-when? What about existing policies? Can the insurance company pay for resurrection instead of the agreed coverage, if that is cheaper for them?
  • Are the dead truly dead or just "forcibly deported" elsewhere? Can they decide that their estate goes into directly improving their situation in afterlife, instead of being split between heirs? (Bribe a God to arrange a nice home in the afterworld, or give lots of money to the family of a butler so that he suicides and comes along.)
    So Gods have their own, "lawful good" ideas of what is a a proper life in the mortal world, and hand out rewards in the afterlife accordingly. If there is a coherent set of commandments, why would anyone not follow them?
    Or do different Gods have different commandments, and people can opt in the mortal world by which one they want to be judged afterwards? (Is there a Goddess of wild orgies? Probably not, if they are all "lawful good." A God of making lots of money through ruthless business practice?)
  • How do the Gods look at (a) suicide and (b) kamikaze in the pursuit of a greater goal? What do they say if someone with a middling-high karmic balance steps in front of a bus to save children who have not yet had the chance to earn a good afterlife for themselves?
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  • $\begingroup$ Added more info in the question for you. $\endgroup$ – Jazzyamx Aug 15 at 9:44
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    $\begingroup$ The 'fee' is question would not be to the gods, it is the price of the spell components bought on the open market. Guess I'll fix that. Your 'relife insurance' is a good idea. $\endgroup$ – Jazzyamx Aug 15 at 11:50
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To put it in a simple matter, an advanced society of now united humans and dragons now know of the existence of deities and though willing to be cordial and friendly, knows that any of these gods can be killed. What would happen to society in this situation?

Starting from the bottom and working up. Let's start with the dead, who are almost guaranteed to outnumber the living by a very wide margin.

The Dead

EDIT 3: You can find and visit your dead relatives easily enough, and if someone died due to disease, violence, or accident, they can usually be resurrected for a fee. Once someone dies the natural death of old age, this changes--yes, you an still visit them and they can still come visit you, but a natural death intrinsically and magically connects a soul to the afterlife. If a soul stays too long away from the mountain, they fade away and are gone for good. The gods choose your place in the afterlife based on your deeds and actions in life, and your rewards hinge on that. Being 'Lawful', they do not take kindly to attempts at bribery.

It's easy to overlook, but there's a filtering happening on the population here; and it's important. Humankind is judged by some individual deity (or group of deities) and by that deity's standards for who goes where.

This means the afterlife only contains "good" people. There may be hell. And it may be possible to visit people there; but they are plainly marked as people disfavored of the gods.

The relationship between people and "heaven" greatly depends on this standard.

Heaven-like Heavens

Are the people selected for heaven self-sacrificing, selfless, hard-working, humble and loving? In that case, heaven is probably something of an activist community. As they did in life, the inhabitants of heaven are still patiently working every angle to make Earth more heaven-like : forging good peace, mitigating natural and man-made calamities, working on for the gods to do the business of keeping the cosmos running.

As long as the gods are lawful and good, this kind of heaven would likely support the gods, I think, in any disputes with Earth.

Hell-like Heavens

Are the people selected for heaven mighty, wealthy, powerful, and strong? Then, heaven is probably in a constant state of war as these individuals vie for dominance with one another; and probably breaks into the occasional clash with the gods themselves.

Are the people selected for lawyer or ritual lack of offense, or sufficient satisfaction of rules? Probably less fighting goes on here then in a heaven of warlords and strongmen, but fighting probably still breaks out between groups; including the occasional attempt to topple the gods.

Both of these places are incredibly dangerous to visit. The likelihood of a visitor getting into a fight or caught up in the schemes of the dead is high. Coming to the dead for answers won't produce reliable results: the answers you get likely are misleading to serve the dead persons devices.

The Living

WIP

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  • $\begingroup$ I've added some more info about the gods themselves and made another edit. The 'activist community' style heaven sounds like what I have in my head. $\endgroup$ – Jazzyamx Aug 15 at 12:40
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Life becomes less valued when people know for certain there's an afterlife waiting for them, eg in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Discovery_(film) the named discovery leads to a very high suicide rate. Why struggle through mortal life when there's a better life guaranteed just one last act away?

Martyrs can also continue to direct the fight. Imagine Osama Bin Laden directing Al-Qaeda beyond the grave.

The death penalty will have no value. Killing inmates just moves them further away. The death penalty now doesn't really reduce crime, so make it redundant and crime probably wont increase.

War is less abhorrent - as people don't mind dying for their cause as much if death becomes a relocation.

Also check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caprica, where the bad guys running a cult build a heaven in VR that their followers are guaranteed to upload to on death. That helps cement their message and gain more followers, and make those followers more likely to commit suicide bombings and such.

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  • $\begingroup$ Added some more info. I do agree with life being less validated, but as the remaining gods are of the 'Lawful Good' type, it is doubtful that someone like Osama Bin Laden would be accepted by them. He'd likely be thrown into the Nine Hells instead. War brings up an idea, as people who die unnatural deaths can be resurrected. Such cries like "I'm going over the top--resurrect me after I die!" might become common. $\endgroup$ – Jazzyamx Aug 15 at 10:09
  • $\begingroup$ Actually, the death penalty is safer. If you kill them and they reappear on the mountain, they must have been innocent (how could anyone guilty of a death penalty crime appear there?) but they've just been moved. If they don't, they were evil anyway. $\endgroup$ – Mary Aug 15 at 16:36

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