A race of beings of psychic energy.
Amazingly powerful as a race, they are organized through a system of peerage in a multitude of Deific Houses, with gods of any note holding Mantles. Through followers, the gods gain Psychic Energy, which is their own life essence, and which is also the fuel for their power and magic. Without worshippers or another source of psychic energy, a god must be dormant, not overspending themselves lest they die.
Different houses take a primary interest in different causes and magical domains, have their own mortal churches honoring them, and patronize, favor and antagonize the mortal races, nations and individuals of their choosing.
Houses with overlapping interests compete for worshippers, representing their own influence over those interests and representing the influx of psychic energy that feed the gods; a house which loses followers of its mantles will see its members starve and fade, so a well-run house will have its mantles run well, bringing in psychic energy, and its leadership will do what it can to see those mantles are held by the right people.
A god's association with a house is familial, social and political; there's nothing permanently binding a god to a house, and nothing but the politics of the house to prevent the house from adopting a wayward god.
While people believe they worship gods and houses, what they really worship are Mantles. For sure, there is a singular Mantle for each House, held by the House's chief, president, king--whatever the house chooses to call it. However, the houses individual magical domains will have their own mantles, and if a house has causes, these, too, will have mantles. As people worship the domains or causes as espoused by the house, psychic energy will flow from them through these mantles to the gods who hold them.
A god without a mantle lives without exercising their power, or lives on the charity of others. A clever god in this circumstance might invent a new Mantle for a cause, a town, a tavern or profession and travel the mortal world as their own chief cleric.
Nothing stops someone with the know-how from crafting a Mantle, but they need to either find an untapped niche, or be ready to compete with existing Mantles in the same philosophical field for worship. Such competition can come from either getting people to worship a given mantle explicitly, or for them to worship a subtly different philosophy than existing Mantles in the same place. For example, a Mantle of Law might be based in a philosophy of constitutional constraint, in a philosophy of aggregate consent, or in a philosophy of a King's writ; all of these are different flavors of the same general concepts.
Because mantles are so powerful, they can be dangerous to the wielder, in the sense that walking down a dark road with a net filled with treasure is dangerous, and in the sense that shouting outside the castle gates threatening a king is dangerous; the wielder of a mantle has great power that can be coveted by others, or can steal resources away from an existing Godhouse.
God or mortal, an insufficiently-protected individual with a Mantle has a lifespan likely to end on the point of a dagger. Usually, this protection comes in the form of an association with more powerful organizations.
Acts of God
A god which exerts their will spends some of their energy, their self, to do this. Common exertions include conferring spells to divine spellcasters, deliberate changes to weather patterns, conference of fortunate or unfortunate circumstances.
Politics and Economics
Psychic energy represents a god's ability to live, their ability to do the things they wish, and their ability to perform their duties and responsibilities within their house. It is the fundamental currency of the gods.
Most houses require the wielders of their mantles to confer favors to worshipers as befits the mantle, and to pass a portion of their income to their superior mantles and to the chief god of the house. Similarly, they are to pass a portion of their available energy to to lesser mantles as they see fit.
Competent gods work to ensure they continue to have worshippers, and to see to the health and continued operation of the inferior mantles they are responsible for. Incompetent gods, gods whose performance serves to weaken the house, its mantles and causes, ultimately have their mantles removed from them and transferred to someone else.
Of course, where there is money, there is drama, and it's entirely possible for a covetous god to undermine a rival in their house in hopes of acquiring their power.
Individual gods may thirst for power and battle (or simply be directed by a Mantle), taking on mortal form. Most of these gods will use their abilities to manipulate their way into becoming political leaders engaged in The Great Game.
Other gods may elect to drive the Formation of new land, to ensure mortal population growth and a continuous flow of Psychic Energy.
Still others might visit shrines to themselves, their mantles or their houses, strengthening the connection between them and their worshippers.
(image by midjourney)