The pantheon for this world is an amalgamation of the traditional D&D pantheonal structure and sainthood. Once you embody the ideals and undergo the appropriate trials of a certain domain you become its avatar and get all the goodies and extra power from worship that accompanies the title. Dead gods are literally that or have been surpassed by another. The higher your cleric level the more in tune you are with your avatar. They say that the highest clerics are telepathically linked with their divine beings or that could just be something the say to keep people in line.
The current pantheon is as follows:
Nix the Halfling goddess of Trickery
Ugreus the dwarven goddess of Life
Eiore the orcish god of War
Lael the elven goddess of Light
Fael the elven god of Knowledge
Frank the human god of Tempest
Pemme the gnomish god of Nature
Eberk the dwarven god of Death
Now, it’s important to note two things. First off, Belpan has been isolated so this pantheon may not hold for the outside regions. Ancient scripts found within the ruins of the Red Desert speak of a divine race of beings called the “Eutheriai” and traders from the far side of Devil’s Pass speak of great lizards the size of buildings that can talk and even breathe fire! Secondly, just because a god is considered dead doesn’t mean that his followers have converted. Some will continue worship as a cult though the returns are diminished. Others simply haven’t been informed that their deity died or was replaced. Strangely enough, their paladins and clerics seem unaffected.
The Paletian edict strictly forbids the worship of evil deities, demons, and devils. Individuals and cults found to be venerating them are to be executed. This law, however, hasn’t been enforced since King Palet V took the throne. Many backwater regions that previously paid lip service to the king’s envoys to avoid persecution have shrugged off all pretenses in the last hundred years or so.