Greater than the wars of armies and empires, beyond the ambitions of revolutionaries and tyrants, more devastating than the fury of magic or monsters, is the power of faith. Apart but not aloof from the races of Golarion stand a legion of deities: merciful guardians, impassive observers, vile destroyers, and inscrutable entities, all with designs they seek to make manifest upon the mortal world. Awesome beings of unfathomable power, these divinities sow their influence across the planes, whether in direct displays of miraculous might or through the acts of their countless servants. Every deity knows that the power of faith sets the course of a life, the shapes of a nations, and the destinies of whole worlds. The gods seek followers among mortals – champions to take up their banners, give voice to their doctrines, and thwart their foes. The gods seek worshipers, and they offer to those who please them the ability to work great miracles. All they ask in return is faith and allegiance.
Abadar, the god of cities, law, merchants, and wealth, also called "The God of Walls and Ditches" in the eastern Dragon Empires, is known to be a patient deity. Maintaining a strong neutral stance in his actions, he sets forth to expand civilization and order among the peoples of Golarion.
Favored Weapon: Light Crossbow
Asmodeus, also known as "King of Hell", "Master of Witches" and "Prince of Law", is the most powerful of the nine archdevils that inhabit Hell, and the only one of Hell's rulers to claim full divinity. It was he who is credited with the penning the contract of creation, within which his followers believe is hidden the means for their patron's eventual rise to supremacy.
Favored Weapon: Mace
Calistria, also known as "The Savored Sting" and "The Unquenchable Fire," is the goddess of lust and revenge who takes on many faces and guises. She is held in especially high regard by elves, who often identify with her mercurial moods and changeable nature. A fondness for wasps has earned this vengeful deity the title of "the Savored Sting"; such creatures live on after harming their enemies, a trait Calistria's followers hope to emulate when pursuing their goals.
Favored Weapon: Rapier
Cayden Cailean, the god of alcohol, bravery, and freedom, is one of the Ascended: those mortals who achieved godhood by passing the Test of the Starstone. Because legend tells that he passed the test while intoxicated, he is also known as "The Lucky Drunk," "The Drunken Hero," or "The Accidental God."
Favored Weapon: Rapier
Desna, also known as "The Great Dreamer," "Lady Luck," and "Mother Moon," the goddess of dreams, luck, stars, and travelers, is among the most ancient of deities. While her peers burdened themselves with the task of creating Golarion, she spent her time building the heavens. She knew that there would be plenty of time for her and her followers to explore the many wonders of the world later. She's changed little since those earlier days, and she and her followers delight in exploring the world.
Favored Weapon: Starknife
Erastil, also known as "Old Deadeye" and "The Stag God," is one of the oldest human gods still worshiped in the Inner Sea region, and is concerned with family, farming, hunting, and trade. During the Age of Creation, Erastil was among the gods who battled Rovagug when he sought to destroy Golarion. They were eventually able to contain him in the Dead Vault at the planet's core. His religion dates back to before the Age of Darkness, when small farming communities and hunter-gatherers prayed to him for bountiful harvests and successful hunts. Legends claim that it was Old Deadeye himself who crafted the first bow and gifted it to humans to overcome the challenges of the world. Even as the accomplishments of civilization mount, Erastil continues to embrace and represent the simpler pleasures life has to offer.
Favored Weapon: Longbow
Gorum, also known as "Our Lord in Iron," is a god of battle above all other pursuits; it is said that he would rust away into nothingness if there was ever a time with no more conflicts to be fought. His faithful believe he is present in every iron weapon of war that is forged.
Favored Weapon: Greatsword
Gozreh is a dualistic deity of nature, a god of the storm and sky and also a goddess of the wave and surf. Born of the ocean's fury and the wind's wrath, Gozreh is a fickle deity.
Favored Weapon: Trident
Groetus is the god of the End Times, a sentient and cruel moonlet that looks down upon the Boneyard and waits for the last living soul to die. When Pharasma judges the last soul after the last living body dies on the Material Plane, Groetus will descend to the Boneyard and move on to the Material Plane to "clean up" and pack the dust away for another reality. No one really knows what Groetus is going to do once the last soul is judged, but it is generally accepted that it will not be pleasant.
Favored Weapon: Heavy flail
The goddess Gyronna is also known as "The Angry Hag," and for good reason. She is not a popular deity, as many fear her and her clergy, which is entirely female. These are usually the victims of the unforgiving and closed-minded, the outcasts of society: disfigured prostitutes, wives caught in adultery, or pregnant teenagers disowned by their parents. Priestesses are renowned for their ability to foster hatred and turn friend against friend. Her priestesses are also known to swap young babies for hideous monstrous creatures birthed from their own womb.
Favored Weapon: Dagger
Iomedae, also known as "The Inheritor," "Light of the Sword," and "Lady of Valor," is the goddess of righteous valor, justice, and honor. Having served as Aroden's herald, she inherited many of the Last Azlanti's followers upon his death, and continues to espouse the ideas of honor and righteousness in the defense of good and the battle against evil.
Favored Weapon: Longsword
Irori, also known as "Master of Masters", "The Enlightened One" and "The Perfect Human," is the god of enlightenment, self-perfection, knowledge, healing, and inner strength. His followers claim that he was once a mortal who achieved absolute physical and mental perfection and thus attained divinity of his own volition. He is one of the core gods, if not the most powerful deity, of the Vudrani pantheon, but has an increasing following in the Inner Sea region as well.
Favored Weapon: Unarmed strike
Lamashtu, also known as "Mother of Monsters" is the mother and patroness of many misshapen and malformed creatures that crawl, slither or flap on, above or below the surface of Golarion.
Favored Weapon: Kukri
Nethys, also known as "The All-Seeing Eye", is a Garundi god who holds knowledge and magic above all things. He gained enough power to witness all things, and this both fueled his divinity and shattered his mind. He is a god of magic, torn between destroying the world with one hand and saving it with the other.
Favored Weapon: Quarterstaff
Norgorber is known as the once-mortal god of thievery and assassination, as well as a keeper of secrets. He is called the "Reaper of the Reputation" by some, but he has more insidious titles among worshipers who venerate his other three aspects: "Blackfingers", "Father Skinsaw", and the "Gray Master". He remains an enigma to most, and his true motives are unknown. Many of his own followers remain ignorant of his plans and designs. Norgorber is the only evil god amongst the Ascended.
Favored Weapon: Short sword
"The Lady of Graves", "Mother of Souls", "Gray Lady", Pharasma is the goddess of birth, death, and prophecy. She shepherds Golarion's recently departed souls to their final reward. Upon death, souls migrate via the River of Souls to Pharasma's Boneyard in the Outer Sphere, which sits atop an impossibly tall spire that pierces the Astral Plane. She is among the most ancient deities in the multiverse, but keeps her knowledge of the fate of all souls closely guarded.
Favored Weapon: Dagger
Imprisoned since the Age of Creation, the god Rovagug, also known as "The Rough Beast", "The Great Destroyer" and "The Worldbreaker", seeks only to destroy creation and the other gods. Believed to be imprisoned in a state of torpor somewhere deep within Golarion, his increasingly restless stirrings are taken by many to be the cause of volcanic activity and earthquakes. His worshipers are known for embodying the god's dominion over destruction, disaster, and wrath.
Favored Weapon: Greataxe
Known to her faithful as the "Dawnflower", "The Healing Light", and "The Everlight", Sarenrae is a goddess who teaches temperance and patience in all things. Compassion and peace are her greatest virtues, and if enemies of the faith can be redeemed, they should be. Worship of this goddess of healing, honesty, redemption, and the sun began far to the east of the Inner Sea, in the vast Padishah Empire of Kelesh, but her worshipers can now be found throughout the world.
Favored Weapon: Scimitar
Shelyn, also known as "The Eternal Rose", "The Eternal Maiden" and "The Incorruptible", is the goddess of art, beauty, love, and music, and the half-sister of Zon-Kuthon. Shelyn focuses just as much attention on internal beauty as external. As aspects of her role as goddess of beauty, Shelyn also promotes the creation of art and the composing and performance of music. Clerics of Shelyn frequently are artists themselves. As the goddess of love, Shelyn encourages the proliferation of that feeling in all its forms. She is not the goddess of sexuality, lust, or fertility, and makes a very clear distinction between love and sexuality, although she does not in any way discourage erotic love. The few paladins who worship her practice courtly love.
Favored Weapon: Glaive
Torag, also known as the "Father of Creation," is a stoic and serious dwarven god of the forge, protection, and strategy who values honor, planning, and well-made steel. He is an often distant deity, lending magical power to his clerics, but leaving his followers to make their own way through life, knowing that this will make them strong and determined.
Favored Weapon: Warhammer
Urgathoa, also known as "The Pallid Princess" and "Lady Despair," is the goddess of physical excess, disease, and the undead. She is mostly worshiped by dark necromancers, the undead, and those wishing to become undead. Sometimes those who live gluttonous lifestyles make supplication to her, as do those suffering from a serious illness. Her faithful believe she was the first creature to defy Pharasma and return, unnaturally, from the Boneyard and break free from the cycle of souls.
Favored Weapon: Scythe
The deity Zon-Kuthon, also known as "The Midnight Lord", "The Dark Prince" and "The Prince of Pain", god of darkness, envy, loss, and pain, possesses one of the most twisted and evil minds in the Great Beyond. His position as god of pain is well earned, and he has been the root of countless tortures, murders, and worse throughout time. He was once a benevolent demigod named Dou-Bral, but was corrupted when he traveled to the far, dark places between the planes and returned in his current form. His half-sister, Shelyn, still holds out hope that she can redeem him, though the lord of shadows shows no sign of remorse or compassion.
Favored Weapon: Flail
On Golarion, "atheism" usually denotes the belief that those beings commonly called "gods" are not worthy of the authority and reverence bestowed upon them by others. Atheists rarely doubt the existence of deities, and generally acknowledge that deities are very powerful beings, but deem them no more than that. Instead of gods, they tend to revere ideals such as goodness or freedom, philosophies such as the Prophecies of Kalistrade or diabolism, or nothing in particular. Some scholars argue that the term "atheist" is incorrectly applied to these people, preferring terms such as "dystheists" or "misotheists." Other call themselves "agnostics," insisting that no mortal can say what is divine and what isn't, as the workings of the divine are fundamentally unknowable by mortals. However, such distinctions are lost on a generally religious society, and most accept the more common term.
Atheism is looked down upon in many parts of Golarion, but is enforced on a state level in the nations of Rahadoum in Garund, Touvette in the River Kingdoms, and Bachuan in Tian Xia.
Despite their lack of faith, atheists' souls are still judged by Pharasma. Their posthumous fate varies: some are sent to planes best matching their individual alignments and philosophies, while others become bodiless spirits in the Astral Plane, are reincarnated, or find their fate in the Graveyard of Souls.