99 Gods Mythos
Books Referenced Here
The 99 Gods trilogy is: ’99 Gods: War’, ’99 Gods: Betrayer’, and ’99 Gods: Odysseia’. ‘Tales From The Anime Café (Part One)’ and ‘Tales From The Anime Café (Part Two)’ are collections of supplementary stories associated with the 99 Gods Trilogy. The novel ‘Storybook Crazy’ occurs in the same universe, and a few characters appearing in Storybook Crazy appear also in the 99 Gods trilogy and the supplementary stories.
In the near future, a group calling themselves the Angelic Host has given humanity the gift of 99 Gods. These entities have their own terminology and way of looking at reality.
Here are some articles that delve into the mythos behind the 99 Gods trilogy.
Basic Terminology of the 99 Gods
The ability of one of the 99 Gods to alter reality in an apparently miraculous fashion. The name arises from the need to consciously will any of their miraculous reality alterations into being. The Gods don’t need to know the details of what they are doing, though the more details are known, the greater the efficiency of the willpower uses and the more reality alteration they can do with it. None of the 99 Gods, nor any mortals, know or understand the limits of willpower.
Mission is a shared characteristic of each of the 99 Gods. Mission has three aspects – Rapture, Integrity and Congregation (defined below). Combined, they give the overall power level of one of the 99 Gods with respect to the willpower they can utilize. Mission is also reflective of what one of the 99 Gods is doing, their goals and their means. The Angelic Host also uses Mission to judge one of the 99 Gods as to how well their personal message, ideology, and ideas are taken up by the mortals. Note that Mission is more than just an addition of the Rapture, Integrity and Congregation – there is a Mission level organizational component to it as well. The ability to sense and understand Missions is built into each of the 99 Gods.
The adoration, awe and holy strength of one’s followers. It equates to the personal religion and faith of the followers.
The trust, honor and personal integrity of one of the 99 Gods. Integrity is a measure of the stature of one of the 99 Gods.
The strength of the spread of the ideas and ideals put forth by one of the 99 Gods. It equates to the organized religious aspects of the message of one of the 99 Gods.
The Imago is the physical presence of one of the 99 Gods – their ‘physical body’. The Imago and its limits vary greatly by God type (Territorial, Practical and Ideological). The Imago reflects the Gods image of themselves, how they view themselves and what they can do. Although the Imago can change, the healthy rate of change varies by God type – Territorial Gods being the most limited and Ideological Gods being the least limited. Literally, for one of the 99 Gods, changing their minds changes the Imago.
One of the 99 Gods who is tied to a physical territory. They have the responsibility to maintain their territory.
One of the 99 Gods who is tied to a set of skills, a set of knowledge and the abilities related to that set of knowledge. The have the responsibility to spread their practical knowledge.
One of the 99 Gods who is tied to a coherent philosophy, an ideology, or an aspect of academic knowledge. They have the responsibility to spread their ideology.
The Indigo Rubrics
The Indigo Rubrics, or general rules-of-thumb for dealing with unnatural abilities, things, and situations, are mentioned several times in 99 Gods: Betrayer and in several of the Tales From the Anime Cafe stories. They are:
Everything is impossible, save what you can do yourself.
Faith isn’t enough, belief isn’t enough, theory isn’t enough, truth isn’t enough, facts aren’t enough. Give me the data and let me make my own damned opinions.
When in doubt, run like hell the other way.
The smaller the enemy, the more dangerous. Make it bigger to defeat it.
A good answer creates more questions. If it simplifies, it’s wrong.
The term "Immune" refers to those who are natively resistant to the Willpower of the 99 Gods and magic of magicians (such as John Lorenzi and others). Unlike Supported, Immunes are born, not made (but they can be trained). Author's Note: the Immune classes are codified around the time that the novel “99 Gods: Betrayer” starts.
The six Immune Classes are:
A – partly immune to magic
B – partly immune to willpower
C – partly immune to willpower and magic
D – partly immune to magic and fully immune to willpower
E – partly immune to willpower and fully immune to magic
F – fully immune to both magic and willpower
Author's Note: This terminology first appears in “99 Gods: Betrayer” and got developed in the 99 Gods universe between the events chronicled in “99 Gods: War” and “99 Gods: Betrayer”.
Ignoring the later development of “Grade Zero Supported”, there are 4 recognized Supported Grades among the Gods – and one extra, Grade Five, that many of the Gods recognize. They are as follows:
A Grade One Supported is someone naturally in tune with willpower once awakened to their attunement by one of the 99 Gods. Grade One Supported are able to fully wield willpower given to them for that purpose by one of the 99 Gods. To be a Grade One Supported takes training as well as aptitude, the amount of training varying from Supported to Supported (and by how much training the God in question wants to do). Grade One Supported can (in theory) do anything with willpower that one of the 99 Gods can do, but at a lower power level. In power, the best Grade Ones are on par with a nearly top-end projection of one of the 99 Gods.
A Grade Two Supported is someone naturally in tune with willpower once awakened to it, but without the mental flexibility to wield it. Grade Twos have eight or more strong non-wieldable abilities. The best Grade Twos can have upwards of 20 non-wieldable abilities and can use them at the power level of a nearly top-end projection of one of the 99 Gods.
A Grade Three Supported is someone with minimal attunement to the willpower of the 99 Gods. They not only do not have the mental flexibility to wield it, their attunement must be occasionally refreshed by their supporting God or else it will fall out. Grade Threes have two to twelve static non-wieldable abilities of significantly less strength than Grade Ones and Twos; they are also more easily exhausted by willpower uses.
Grade Four Supported are one-trick ponies. They need no attunement to willpower; all they need is to not have any willpower immunities. The vast majority of humankind can be Grade Four Supported. Grade Fours must be continually supported by their patron Gods or their ability will fall off – thus, the only limitation to the number of Grade Four Supported is the strength of the God in question. Grade Fours have one non-wieldable ability, generally quite weak.
Grade Five Supported are honorary Supported. They get nothing out of the deal save the name and honor involved.
Note that the differences between various Grade One Supported depend on their personal aptitudes, their training with willpower use and their experiences using willpower. The effect of the personal psychology state of the Grade One Supported is very important.
Grade Two, Three and Four Supported are generally very different from each other. They can only utilize non-wieldable abilities. They too are limited by their aptitudes.
The term ‘non-wieldable’ means that the ability in question has no flexibility. It can be triggered, it will work as it is set up to work, and it will work at a power level fixed by the God who made the Supported. The number of times these non-wieldable abilities can be used in a particular time period is also limited. Non-wieldable abilities include: self-healing, improved verbal memory, improved visual memory, better memory for names, improved IQ, battle willpower uses (shields, attacks), improved ability to pray (and attract the notice of their patron), and the like. There are an infinite number of possible non-wieldable abilities, limited only by the skills and knowledge of the God who created them.
Information About the Book Covers
The cover to "99 Gods: War" is of the God Miami.
The cover to "99 Gods: Tales From the Anime Cafe Part One" is a loose depiction of artificial storm (and distorted penny) referenced in the short story "Pennies".
The cover to "99 Gods: Betrayer" is of the Watcher known of as Sorrow.
The cover to "99 Gods: Tales From the Anime Cafe Part Two" is a depiction of Jan Cox of the Indigo and Kara the Godslayer, her backer.
The cover to "99 Gods: Odysseia" is a depiction of the Gods Santa Fe and Progress in combat.
The cover to "Storybook Crazy" is of Karen Fingleman.