Aether, The Balance
- Alignment: Neutral
- Symbol: A five-spoked wheel
- Home Plane: Ethereal
- Portfolio: Afterlife, birth, death, family, knowledge, planar travel
- Domains: Knowledge
- Titles: The Arbiter, the Giver, the Taker, the Shrouded God
- Favored Weapon: Dagger
Aether is said to be the first god, neither alive nor dead, neither dead nor undead, existing in a state of “purgatorial bliss” somewhere within the Ethereal plane. Aether is depicted as a genderless ghost, always veiled, carrying a swaddled, skeletal child in its arms. In spite of Aether’s genderless nature, priests still ascribe gender-specific pronouns to this deity; male when depicted as a taker of life, female when giving life.
The faithful of Aether see themselves as shepherds of life and death, acting as morticians, midwives, doctors and—sometimes—assassins. The most devout followers of Aether, known as the Dust Talkers, take a vow of silence with the living and only speak in the presence of the dead. Some Dust Talkers claim to have gained the supernatural gift to speak with the dead from this devotion.
Other zealots of the faith believe they are entitled to the creation and subjugation of the undead as “gatekeepers” between the realm of living and dead. The Gatekeeper sect are seen as dangerous fanatics, at best.
Aether appeared in one of the Campaign Backdrops by Raging Swan Press. That product contained several gods, but Aether is one that I decided to add to the Gods of Eska. Since I’m currently running from that product, I won’t give a name. I’m a big fan of their At a Glance series, which provide a bare bones version of a town, but often lead me to purchase the more in depth Campaign Backdrop. The free At a Glance is often enough for me to use as a town the players are passing through, but I’m using a modified version of one for my current home base of Roxaluna.