The Gods: Do they walk among us?
In short; Yes.
Well, yes and no.
They did and now they mostly do not.
In this world, there is no question over whether the Gods exist. They absolutely, unquestionably do. There isn’t one individual entity responsible for ALL THINGS. That’s just silly.
Instead it is not only believed but known that there are countless entities responsible for much of the world. The weather, passage between life and death, the sun and sky and earth and all things that can be governed come under the guidance of Gods, deities and otherworldly entities. Some of them walk the lower planes whilst others deem only the higher planes to be worthy of their time.
Though there are those who would convince you otherwise, the Gods are largely interested in their realms alone and rare is a time when they interfere directly with the course of a single man or woman. Though it is true that Clerics and Paladins divine their magic from the Gods, it is not so much that the magic is bestowed upon them as the sheer strength of their faith warps the weave around them and allows them access to powers beyond the mortal coil.
There are Gods that align with the wild and Chaos and Gods that align with Order and Law but those that walk freely are predominantly either Neutral or Good. There once was a time where Evil gods held sway in the world as a part of the balance, but frequently they caused such turmoil both within the side of Law and Chaos that they were banished; trapped in extra-planar dimensions and forced into an eternal sleep, some in great battles between the gods, others trampled by mighty heroes; some further still were trapped by the simplicity of the earthly hearts of all goodly races abandoning them and robbing them of their power and ability to exert their will on the world.
Most often, damage to the world done in the name of ‘Evil Gods’ is perpetrated by the mad or those who dabble too closely with planar magics, so deep is the enforced slumber.
However, from time to time, when the stars align just so or an event that coincides in just the right way occurs, the evil gods in their deep sleep awake and strive for greatness.
Should such a day come and the gods were to succeed, should no hero rise to quell the raging storm, the damage wreaked upon the world by such an outpouring of evil would be nothing short of cataclysmic.