The City Inevitable
The Union of Pantheons
The Union of Pantheons is an association of deities and divine beings that have come to live in Gateheart. While most gods are used to being the ultimate authority of their own domains, many experience a bit of a sense of displacement upon entering Gateheart. After all, being the divine patron of an entire world is less important in a city where there are countless other divine patrons and their creations all equally vying for power. Furthermore, many gods dominions are suddenly crowded- for example, Gateheart has nearly fifty registered gods of fire.
In order to help acclimate newcomers and to maintain the authority of each god over his domains, the Union was formed. The Union delegates certain sectors of the city and its constituencies to different pantheons, carefully controlling the distribution of temples and churches so that each god has a chance to gather his former followers and gain new ones, and so that each god can also continue to influence the things he devoted himself to before coming to the city.
The Union is composed of thousands of deities, each of whom has a rank and classification determined by number of worshipers, creations, and by the type of divinity they hold. Lesser gods, demigods, and ascended heroes tend to be in the lower ranks and fair little better than common immortals, whereas vast and conceptual creator gods tend to dominate the upper echelons of the Union.
While each deity has rights within the Union, policy formation is determined by only the most powerful and adored deities. These deities determine not only their own policies, but also determine which deities will serve as Council seats.
The Union has several responsibilities within Gateheart. All religious activities must be administrated by them. It is illegal to begin a new religion or to practice ones religion without first gaining clearance from the Union and become registered. Furthermore, the flow of divine magic- which is inherently unstable and can interact with the Web in unusual manners- is strictly monitored. Clerics, paladins, and other mortal wielders of divine power, as well as angels and divine emissaries, must carefully follow Union regulations to retain their abilities. Those that violate code are subject to a variety of penalties.
The Union is a daunting structure in the city, controlling the various faiths of the people, wielding much literal, financial, and political power, and having an enormous legacy of service to their name. However, there are also many in Gateheart who oppose divine rule, stating it is an obsolete artifact of the past. Still more individuals, jaded by the constant exposure to such cosmic viewpoints that one tends to experience in Gateheart, find that the gods are somewhat irrelevant, merely an ancient aristocracy founded on old power monopolies and tradition, and find their practices alienating and obtuse at best.