The Pantheon Wars
After carefully guiding the genetic evolution of Earth’s sentient species, the enigmatic Celestials came into conflict with Earth’s god pantheons. 1000 years ago, the third host of the Celestials were met by a contingent of Earth’s mythological gods in an attempt to challenge the Celestials interference in Earth’s affairs. To the Celestials, who have influenced countless worlds, gods where considered a pest species, a random byproduct of emerging sentience. On Earth 616, a single Celestial demonstrated his ability to cut off the god pantheons from Earth and from that demonstration came an agreement from the gods to not interfere with the Celestials. On Earth 619, the Celestial Arishem’s blockade of the Pantheons was permanent, preventing all but Earth’s most powerful gods from interacting with mankind for 1000 years.
During the 20th century, the return of the Celestials lifted the blockade. Enraged, the gods attempted a direct assault on the fourth host. This attack failed in spectacular fashion and, were it not for the intervention by the elder goddess Gaea and the sky mothers from every pantheon, the Earth would have been destroyed. It was Gaea’s “gift” of 12 special humans that lead to the Celestials judging in favor of humanity. It would not be the last time mankind would be judged by the Celestials, but with the barriers removed, the gods have sworn to be prepared.
Not all the pantheons of Earth were powerful enough to penetrate Arishems barrier, giving some god more influence on Earth than others. The Greek, Celtic, Norse, Egyptian, Hindu, Chinese, Japanese and other pantheons were able travel directly to and from Earth, while “lesser pantheons” were limited to idols and avatars as a means to connect with mankind. As gods such as Thor or Ares, had free access to the realm of men, the grumblings among the godheads of inequity rose during the Celestial embargo, turned to outright protests after the forth host, and lead to war after the great “Event” that created more “godlike” beings on Earth than ever before!
It was the “Event” that spurred lesser pantheons to create more and more avatars and demigods on Earth, leading to “arms race” that threatened not only the heavens, but threatened to spill over to Earth as well. Battles between Norse and Slavic gods, Egyptians and Polynesians, Hindus and Greeks, erupted at the barriers between planes, with more and more mortals appearing on the battle lines. Dr. Strange lead a delegation as representative of the Vishanti, the Supreme Beings of mystic force in the Universe, to negotiate with the god-heads to guide the new avatars and demigods of Earth in the use of their abilities and to keep them from being pulled into war. All the god-heads in the conflict agreed to the Vishanti’s terms and allowed Dr. Strange’s Sanctum of Mystical Mastery access to the knowledge of all the god-realms to aid in this endeavor.