Adventures in Thargothras
The Gods, of which there are but eight, are allegedly older than the world itself, and credited with its creation. Each resides in their own demiplane, where their followers go after death.
The gods don't require prayer, but they find it useful. The act of praying gives a god more energy to work with when going about their duties, and prayers that carry requests are reviewed and compared with the gods' existing agendas to make sure they don't conflict. If enough people pray hard enough that something will or won't happen, and the god in question has the authority, it usually works out for the mortals, but no god is obligated to grant the wishes of their followers if they don't want to. Naturally, since prayers are useful, a god wants to keep them coming, so if they go against their worshippers, they always have a good reason relating to their portfolio.
Most priests, as a profession, join the clergy as pious scholars, wishing to learn more about their favorite deity and serve in their name. Some of them are granted magic, while others serve as ministers, counselors, administrators, and charitable sorts. They have a good idea on their gods' opinions on how to deal with things, and they're usually sincere. Naturally, any position of authority attracts people who would abuse power, but they never last too long because the gods can see into the hearts of mortals, and will curse those who misrepresent them.
Some priests (and other individuals of strong faith) have been invested by the gods with powers greater than others, to be used in their service. They are keystones for the devout, inviting beacons to the lost or faithless, and terrors to those who would go against the gods. So long as they put the will of their deities above all else, the power grows within them. Those who stray from their path may be disciplined, or let go entirely if the sin is great enough.
The names of the gods are as follows: