Gods are immortal supernatural beings that combine many skills and natural forces. They have the unique ability to exist in multiple locations at the same time. Gods are not subject to the will of a natural or personified external force, the latter constituting the distinction between them and demons. They protect Dragaera from the Jenoine and are their enemies.
Lords of Judgment
The Lords of Judgment is the name for a collection of gods protecting Dragaera. They were responsible for bringing the Dragaeran Empire into existence via inspirational dreams sent to Kieron the Conqueror to move east and visions to Zerika to create the Orb.
The domain of the gods is called the Halls of Judgment. There, the lives of all Dragaerans are considered after death, so those of particular skill can be withheld, taught, or reincarnated in specific circumstances to develop them against the Jenoine. The latter part of this is conveniently (for these gods) left out in Dragaeran legends, but Sethra Lavode knows.
Ever since the occurrence of the Greater Sea of Chaos, the Lords of Judgment have worked to prevent the Jenoine reappearing on Dragaera. The Lords of Judgment are able to catch glimpses of the future, and try to interpret them to prepare their defenses. These beings take somewhat active roles in the lives of wielders of Great Weapons. Although the these artifacts were created by the Serioli to act against the Gods, the Gods instead have harnessed their power against the Jenoine.
Dragaerans think of the gods as individuals with great skill and power(Taltos, Ch. 4); Easterners worship them and behold them in awe. Verra claims that neither view is wholly correct. Gods seem to be associated with certain concepts; Verra often reflects the capriciousness of life.
Godhood is not an inborn trait; it can be taught to younger gods by older ones. Some of the Lords of Judgment acquired godhood as a result of the destruction of some of the Jenoine and the appearance of the Greater Sea of Chaos. Tri'nagore and Verra were servants of the Jenoine before this (Sethra Lavode, Ch. 80). Others were wizards who became greater in power and eventually acquired the magical means to exist on multiple planes. Sethra tells Vlad and Lady Teldra (Issola, Ch. 2) that she was offered godhood, but she appears to have declined as she is currently neither a god nor demon.
Many of the gods can be in much more than two places at once. The exact definition of such a being has been subject of much philosophical intrigue in the mortal world. The relationship between gods and their altars or shrines is of limited human (read: Dragaeran and Eastern) understanding but is apparently related to this ability to exist simultaneously in multiple places.