In the Inrithi tradition, the Hundred Gods are thought to be aspects of the God (whom Inri Sejenus famously called “the Million Souled”), much the same way various personality traits could be said to inhabit a single individual. In the far more variegated Kiünnat tradition, the Hundred Gods are thought to be independent spiritual agencies, prone to indirectly intervene in the lives of their worshippers.
Both the Kiünnat and the Inrithi traditions recognize the differences between the Compensatory Gods, who promise direct reward for worship and devotion, the Punitive Gods, who secure sacrifices through the threat of suffering, and the more rare Bellicose Gods, who despise worship as sycophancy and favor those who strive against them. Both the Inrithi and Kiünnat traditions also see the Gods as indispensable to eternal life in the Outside.
“You’re young. You wouldn’t understand my motives. The young can never see life for what it is: a knife’s edge, as thin as the breaths that measure it. What gives it depth isn’t memory. I’ve memories enough for ten men, and yet my days are as thin and as shadowy as the greased linen the poor stretch over their windows. No, what gives life depth is the future. Without a future, without a horizon of promise or threat, our lives have no meaning. Only the future is real, Conphas, and unless I make amends to the gods, I’ve no future left.”
The Second Apocalypse is a series of epic fantasy novels written by Canadian author R. Scott Bakker. It consists of three sub-series: The Prince of Nothing, The Aspect-Emperor, and a further series (either a duology or a third trilogy) not yet named. This Wiki contains information about all three series, in addition to the short stories set in the world of The Second Apocalypse.