"Suppose, my friend," says the guru, scratching ponderously at his chin, "that you have five gamblers, between them playing a great complicated card game, of which only they know the rules, for very high stakes, and each believes the others to be cheating."

 

"And these would be the five kings?" you ask.

 

"No, no, no, my friend," laughs the guru. "These are our gods, and we are the coin with which they play their ineffable game."

 

There was the Great One, Anora, who by their will shaped the land that now takes their name (not in vanity, but with pride), though none remain who remember that time. As they  created this fair land, while it was still young, the ancient one saw to it that it should be populated with all manner of creatures, from the littlest creepers to the tall beasts that roamed the plains. Unable to let the land rest with anything short of perfection, Anora, with all their formidable power, poured their energy and spirit into every speck of dust, until, shivering themself to pieces with the effort, the Great One was no more, and all that remained was Anora, the land, and five splintered pieces of the whole.

These five are well-known to us - the gods, Acie, Nitima, Ostia, Ryphae, and the long-forgotten Aderyn. Shaking themselves into awareness, with only distant memories of how they had all once existed as one, each with newborn powers which distanced themselves from their siblings, settling down in some stretch of Anora and claiming it as their own.

By then, the people of Anora had grown enough to recognise these beings as true power and fell to worshiping the five, each ensconced within their own cradles. The gods fashioned their worshippers societies to satisfy their own selfish pleasures, paying little regard for humanity’s needs and comfort. They were a fierce bunch, and quick to quarrel amongst themselves if ever a reason arose. Consequently the people often suffered by the gods’ bickering.

Acie was the most curious of the five, and saw through her followers' eyes all the glories and changes of Anora. Ever desirous of seeing every nook and cranny of the land, Acie spurred her followers to roam all of Anora. Gripped with insatiable wanderlust, never able to settle, these travelers became skilled in wandering the wilderness, in reading the signs of the seasons and surviving in places precious few could.

Nitima was the most passionate of the five, and thrived on the trials and tribulations of humans. Finding despair, anger, and love to be most potent, Nitima urged their  followers to war, waging battles both within and without their cradle. In time, disciples of Nitima became known as fiercely driven warriors, and even fiercer lovers.

Ostia was the most hungry of the five, and gathered his followers every season to sacrifice some of the land’s bounty. Ostia found that when fed to excess, his energies would pour back into the earth around him and the people worshipped him for the fertility he gave to Anora. But in years of famine, Ostia the Hungerer was cruel indeed, as Ostia demanded sacrifice even when stockpiles were empty. By necessity to sate their gods’ great hunger, and their own need for food, Ostia's followers became accomplished farmers and merchants. Their lands became the breadbasket of Anora.

Ryphae was the most intelligent of the five, and desired to know all that she could. As she lacks a mind with which to learn, Ryphae employed all of her followers in the pursuit of knowledge, plucking what they learned from their heads like ripe fruit. In doing so, her followers became great but tragic scholars, doomed to lives plagued by obsessions and compulsions resulting from Rpyhae’s frantic quest for knowledge.

Lastly, Aderyn the Maker was the most inclined to creation, passing on his talent to his followers. Aderyn took vicarious pleasure in watching humans build, much as Anora once had, and was proud of the monuments and great works his worshippers built. So it was that the followers of Aderyn became known as master craftsmen, artists, and builders.