There's four types of god you must know about. Four dynasties of gods who succeed each others.
Right. The first generation are only two guys: Mother Earth and Father Sky. Or Odin, if you like.
We give him the title of All-Father cuz he's the ancestor of all the other gods and by extension, of every living creature. Mother Earth was once a very cranky teenager before she was mom, you know. Lava exploding, storms, comets banging, no water, no life. It was a sad planet. But there's one thing that changes every teenager: she got pregnant. She had a son, the Father Sky, and with him she had the oceans and the clouds and life...
Sure she did.
Actually she did. That's our way to say that the Earth formed an atmosphere, that cooled the planet, allowed oxygen to be here and storms started making oceans.
The second generation is the Titans. Or giants, or demons, call'em what you want. They're in pretty much every mythology under different names. They were the children of the Sky and the Earth, the first gods.
Now, at all points of Earth's history, there must be a dominant species. Right now it's humans. But the Titans were, in the most part, and especially their leader, Saturn, obnoxious brutal idiots, so they created life on the planet with the dominant species being actually several kinds of animal of great strength and size.
Yesh. Dinosaurs. In their time they ruled the Earth without ever having invented the wheel, a writing system, a language form or even well-built societies. Titans got their money on the strength, the huge size and the instinct of destruction of their beasties to rule the world.
Which leads us to the third type of gods, which we now call the Aces. They are the great ones. They're the mighty powerful wise ones. Zeus and Poseidon and Hermes and Venus and all those dudes. They protect what they represent and they run it fairly and square. They are the descendants of the Titans, and they didn't like being in a planet inhabited by giant bloody reptiles. So Zeus challenged his father Saturn to get the Titans to fight the Aces. Some Titans actually fought on the Aces' side. It was a bloody very destructive war that got the Titans locked forever in the deepest circle of Hades and killed their creatures.
I thought an asteroid killed the dinosaurs.
Yeah. Who you think sent it here?
So the Aces decide to create more life here, this time making the dominant species dominant because of their brains and reason instead of their size. That's why they started creating little things, mammals and primitive birds, before the big fight. They made them small so some might survive the big party.
They got Hephaestus, an Ace, to figure out the anatomies of the creatures, they got Poseidon to rule the oceans instead of Oceanus, they got Hades ruling the Underworld and put Zeus as leader of the gods. They made animals, evolved some into faeries and monsters for their own company and bemusement and put their bets on a dumb monkey. They taught it to speak, put it in some clothes, made it form a civilization, have some wars, make some Art, and here we are.
What about the fourth generation?
That's the Vanir, or the Wanes. I told you we Pagans don't have angels. We have Vanir. It's a sort of smaller, less powerful gods. We live amongst mortals and faeries. We can do a lot of things, but we have to obey the Aces. Nobody prays to us or gives us sacrifices. Some of us were born as mortals, others as rocks, others as rivers and winds and comets, others are just here because they're supposed to. All of us, Aces and Wanes, have symbols, one true name and shape and an animal, we all have different attributes. Examples of Wanes include Venus, the two daemons who work for Hades, Thought and Memory too, Sabre, Ogait, and your friend here.