Cities have a market, a degree of self-governance, and temples to the city’s patron deity and to the city god. They also have temples to other gods of importance to the people, and even to foreigners. Orlanthi cities traditionally have a strong political life that revolves around an assembly, a city ring, and local tribal groups.
A city’s patron deity is the protector of the city, and is often a powerful god of the local pantheon. For example, in most Sartarite cities, Orlanth Rex is the patron of the city, and his cult is often tied intimately with that of the city founder/city god. In Dara Happa, Yelm is the patron deity of Raibanth, but not the city god. Orlanth, Yelm, the Red Goddess, Ernalda, and Godunya and the Exarchs are among the most important patron deities in Genertela.
The city god is the god of the individual city, worshiped by local officials and citizens. It provides social harmony, guards against civil strife, and often has other associated gods. Sometimes the city god is little more than a local subcult of the patron (such as Sartar with Orlanth Rex), sometimes the city god serves also as the patron deity (such as Pavis). City Harmony is the special Rune spell most commonly associated with the city god. The city god’s magic can only be cast within the precincts of the city.
A few of the better known city gods are:
City/ City God/ Patron
- Pavis and New Pavis/Pavis/Pavis
- Glamour/Glamour/Red Goddess
- Boldhome/Sartar/Orlanth Rex
- Jonstown/Hauberk Jon/Orlanth Rex
So in New Pavis, the city god (Pavis) is of greater mythological significance than the city goddess Norinel is within Nochet.
At a certain level, the city god is just a greater and more developed version of the village god, a little spirit cult that provides little more than a little Common Magic and perhaps a protective. These little cults are ubiquitous but have few initiates but plenty of lay members.
Where does the line get drawn between a village’s Wyter and its ‘village god’? I consider them to be more or less the same.
How does this resolve with your adjacent post on how most Gloranthans are initiates of only one god? Depends on the city of course. So in Sartar, the city god is usually subsumed into the Orlanth cult – just as in Dara Happa it is subsumed into Yelm or Shargash. In Pavis, it is an independent cult but most citizens of the city are just lay members of Pavis.
Is there a difference between a city god and a city patron? There is the protector of the city, and the god of the specific place. Sometimes they are the same (Pavis) but often they are different (Boldhome, Glamour, etc.)
One important difference between a city/village god and the city’s patron deity is that the city god is a powerful wyter and can often manifest in the mundane world like other spirits. So for example, Lord Pavis lives in his temple in the Real City. You can go there, enter his crystalline temple, but he does not leave, although his magic enabled human survival in the Big Rubble.
Can ‘capture’ the vessel that holds the city god – their statue or the like and thus hold their people to ransom? Of course!