Not all the residents of the Astral Plane are native to that plane originally. Spirits of heroes and villains live there, those strong enough in spirit or with enough of a following on the Mortal Plane to find safe anchor in the turbulent astral sea. Many gravitate to the service of one of the The Heavenly Congregation while others serve along side the The Celestial Host; yet others find a home with the infernal Families. A few, those who have an independent source of anima--usually from mortal worship, carve out their own mini-demesnes from the chaos. Collectively, these souls are called the Celestial Chorus, individually they are the Ascended.

First, a word about the local planetary system

The planet is called Quartus and is the fourth planet out from the local star. The first one is a tiny scorched lump called Primus. Secundus and Tertius are a twin-world—the two are similar sizes and in close orbit around each other. Quartus is a bit further out from the sun than Earth is from Sol. Eua (the sun) is a little bit bigger than Sol—thus Quartus is near the outer edge of the habitable zone.

Quartus has two moons. Quella is the larger (and further out)—it is about half of the size of Luna and has a 32-day period. Teki is the smaller (and closer) of the two. It’s about 25% of the size of Luna and has a 16-day period. Note that those two periods are exact. The gods have a thing for precision. They orbit in the same plane. Teki has a higher albedo than Quella, making it appear larger than it is. From the surface of Quartus the two moons appear about the same size, about half the angular size of Luna. Quella has a reddish hue and is sometimes called the Blood Moon. Teki is white and is nicknamed the Bone Moon. Both are reasonably spherical.

Some beings that ascended to power in the aftermath of the Cataclysm were unable or unwilling to abide by the strictures of the Four. These were ejected from the Astral plane and took up residence in the (now-deserted) Abyss, shaping the chaotic darkness to their own liking. Each of these beings gains power from sources outside of the Great Mechanism. These sources are usually unpleasant and include blood sacrifice, betrayal, corruption, and torture. They offer their mortal followers power, but betray them at their own convenience. Membership in the Outcast Cults is forbidden in the Council Lands and carries an immediate death penalty.

The following is a list of the basic tenets of worship for each of the 16 gods of The Heavenly Congregation. These are all from the perspective of the people of the Council Lands--the details vary in other parts of the world as different aspects are venerated. There are "heretic" cults that take different spin on these. For example--a small cult of Peor-fala (which calls itself "The Sinner's Tear") believes that they are called to sacrifice their own souls to purge the "unclean." This causes problems as they tend to be indiscriminate about who they consider "unclean." These cults get purged when they start causing significant trouble.

Note: Domains in italics are the mechanical 5th edition Cleric domains associated most commonly with clerics of each deity. These do not constitute an exhaustive list.