The deity of Tersus are both human and immortal. From greater to lesser, all gods live through the human experience and reincarnation cycle, but it wasn’t always so.
Long ago the Goddess of Life and the God of Death argued over who was the stronger essence. Life claimed she was the strongest because of all the beasts, plants, and insects that covered Tersus all thriving and growing side by side. Even the water, air, sun and earth helped them to dominate the planet. It was obvious that she was the dominate power since creation was self propagating. Death, however, pointed out that everything that lives needs to take something from a living thing. Animals ate other animals or plants. Plants feasted on the decay of the fallen and some even devoured bugs. Bugs ravaged both animal and plant in return. Then there was the humans. It seemed that for some nothing would stem their blood lust as they pillaged and murdered across the lands or killed each other one by one from the self defending to the truly depraved. This proved Death the victor since he could not be escaped.
The argument escalated quickly and before reason could catch up with them, the deity were at war. Not satisfied with their own strength or battlegrounds the fight spilled over into the realms of the other gods and goddesses, using these deity as weapons in their war and bathing Tersus in blood and savagery. The God of the Skies lost control of his realm as Death took over the power of storm and rained down fire and lightning felling many creatures. Life boosted the power of creation by stealing vitality from the Earth to sustain her vast armies, using far more of her water and nutrient than could be sustained. The God of Shadows lost his followers as his once comforting night that cradled his people was used to cloak Death’s many assassins, man, creature and plant alike. The Goddess of Love saw her children once joyful in their romances turned into mindless breeding beasts, taking what they wanted when they wanted and abandoning their children if it suited them. Earth, Sky, Shadow, Love and all the lesser deity derived from them were angered by the way they were being used but the first to fight back was Earth. It was on her body that the war was being waged and she could no longer stand to be buried under the weight of her dead children.
Older than the deity of Life and Death were the Fates, but to get to them the Goddess of Earth needed help. Shadow kept her hidden from those that would stop her. Sky guided her feet along the roads. Love gave her the courage to see her task through to the end. Finally Earth reached the Fates and told them of the War of Life and Death that had claimed so many lives in quantity and quality and the deity who were being used as pawns to further their cause. Though the Fates were powerful they could not utterly control the whims of Life and Death, but they could enforce consequences for their thoughtless actions, however the bargain came with a price which all the deity must pay.
The Fates promised the Earth Goddess that Life and Death would be cast into mortal bodies and be reborn again and again through human lives to earn back their god powers. Once regained, their deity form would have a finite amount of time in existence before being reborn in the body of humans to start the cycle over again, thus burdening them empathy for the lives they had such sway over and experiencing the struggle of those the played with as pawns. If they died in human form their essence would be transferred to another human fetus and the cycle would start again. This would hold true for every god and goddess no matter their power or place in the hierarchy. On behalf of all the deity the Goddess of Earth agreed to the terms. Though far from a perfect solution, the bargain brought a rhythm to Tersus that was tolerable to both deity and mortal alike and stemmed the chaos caused by the war. Life and Death, though immensely powerful, were locked into a dance rather than battle and their balancing act holds to this day.
But stalemates do not last forever.