Bring out your: Pantheon

Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by halisme, Mar 14, 2019 at 12:44 AM.

  1. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Senior Member

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    My alien race worships a pantheon of gods.
    their planet desert planet has one giant sun and 2 moons (one moon is significantly larger than the other which is basically the size of a pea if you are standing on the planet and looking up at the sky).

    The Sun is the creator god, Rahbar. The big moon is his second wife, Keeva (goddess of love, fertility, and light/life), and the little moon was his first wife, Zenka (goddess of wisdom, beauty, and darkness/death).
    In the beginning, Rahbar was alone. he took his mind and split it into another being, Zenka. because she was part of his mind, she had wisdom. she was cunning and practical. He wanted her to love him and submit to him, after all, he created her FOR him. she had a mind of her own. To woo her, he created a beautiful oasis for her to live, hoping that she would love him for it.
    She didnt.
    So he made her all sorts of creatures to keep her company.
    She still didnt pay him any mind.
    Rahbar grew angry, but could not brink himself to destroy his beautiful creation. so he banished her. Whenever he was in the sky, she was not. and whenever she was in the sky, it was nothing but cold and darkness.
    Rahbar learned his lesson and took his heart and from it created Keeva, who was filled with nothing but love for him. together they had 5 sons (possibly more, but the main ones are the first 5 so far) that lived in the sky with them. The oasis he made was empty and boring. Keeva wanted nothing but to stay with him in the sky. So, he sent his first son, the god of curiosity and adventure, down to the planet with the warning to not go into the wild and not to be out when he was not out.
    Naturally, he grew curious and one afternoon, went into the wild where the birds sang and the streams bubbled. he loved it but stayed out too late and night fell. Rather than kill him outright, Zenka watched him survive in the night and fell in love with him. She showed him how to live efficently in the wild, showed him how to follow the animals according to the seasons. he became the god that the nomadic people worship as the first nomad.
    Rahbar was angry that she showed him the attention that she'd never show him. So he killed his son to spite her. in return Zenka dried up the oasis, killed the plant life and animal life that he'd made.

    hundreds of years later, Rahbar decides to send his second son down. for him, he creates a wife with the hopes that with his wife, he wont be so eager to stray. Together, they build a settlement and abide by Rahbar's rules. one by one, the other brothers go down to the settlement and Rahbar creates wives for them all.

    2nd son= god of prosperity
    3rd son = god hunt
    4th son = god of knowledge
    5th son = god of arts

    Together, with their wives, they form the first society.

    (like the Bible, we do not speak of the massive amounts of inbreeding....)
     
  2. Fallow

    Fallow Member

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    I have considered a religion where the deities are nested into each other like matryoshka. The largest is powerful because of all the gods it contains, but diffuse and unfocused. The inner most one is singularly focused and has immense special power over just one very important, but tiny, part of the faith.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019 at 4:42 AM
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  3. halisme

    halisme Contributor Contributor

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    As women tend to be more common in the priesthood, is there a religious justification for it, or do people see it as a way of power climbing?
    What do the dwarf's believe is a manifestation of Koma's blood?
     
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  4. halisme

    halisme Contributor Contributor

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    If I remember correctly, some Hindu gods are seen as aspects of other gods, with one sect believing they all go back to the same single figure. While not exactly the same, it may be useful to research to get some more ideas of how that influences things.
     
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  5. halisme

    halisme Contributor Contributor

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    Does the fact that large amounts of creation were the result of unrequited love cause the religion to value things based on if they were created that way?
    Does the focus on sons mean the society put more emphasis on men than women? Doubly so as it portrays men creating women for them, while the only one that naturally occured spurred Rahbar?
    As Zenka is associated with both the darkness aandwisdom, is she read as a crone-like figure?
     
  6. Harmonices

    Harmonices Member

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    Giants, like all children, understand who and what their mother is, because she creates, nurtures and communicates with them.
    It's bottom-up, experiential knowledge, rather than top-down, intellectual interpretation.
     
  7. halisme

    halisme Contributor Contributor

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    I assume that since the world "talks to them", they have something of a superiority concept, or at least always assumed it is right?
     
  8. Harmonices

    Harmonices Member

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    These giants are mostly humble and good natured, but they are also stubborn and focused. They see themselves as servants and wardens of the earth, assisting her, doing work for her. They can make mistakes however, as the earth communicates in energy flows and feeling impulses rather than intellectual concepts and direct commands.

    At one point in time, giants developed their own runes and methods of magic - geomancy - to work more powerfully with the earth currents. But that got them in trouble, because they overreached the limits of their wisdom and did harm instead of good by trespassing into the sea (a land reclamation project which led to a battle with the mer creatures, that ultimately resulted in the flood). They are also fixed in nature and focused on the long game. So once they decide to undertake an action, it can take them a long time and they will tend to persist until its completed.

    The harm they did to the earth as a consequence of their mistake, caused them much sorrow, and they abandoned their magical lore in favour of simpler, physical work such as building and digging, erecting simple stone monuments (earth temples with gardens) which help to channel and focus the earth's creative energies more gently, rather than stubbornly forcing things as they once did.
     
  9. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Senior Member

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    Yes to all (except Zenka being a crone. She's beautiful and youthful, but stoic. Keeva is seen as older and more homely, with a smiling face). Is primarily a patriarchal society. Women are seen as homemakers and breeders and nothing more. If a woman fails to make a home, she is branded and returned to her family (the ultimate shame). Her family then sends her to a community of women who are also branded, on the outskirts of town. Kinda like a leper colony. Strong willed women with minds of their own are said to have been possessed by Zenka.
    They are a deep feeling race and value emotions such as love and pain (emotional).
    My MC is one of these women. She is the youngest daughter and her fathers favorite. When she is returned to her family, her father wants to keep her even though it brings shame to their family, so he does not send her to the community. He also reveals that her mother is very strong willed but he loved her anyway and wanted to be with her regardless. It upsets him that her husband branded her and returned her. This creates the opportunity for her to go off on her own and explore things because now she is unattached. She's on the margins of society, so no one really cares what she does now since she's been branded as "other". The theme of unrequited love and hostility exists outside of the myths as well as it contributes to the conflict my MC faces.

    Even though Rahbar was first, the desert nomad recognize Zenka as the first because the nomads travel by moonlight and in the dark. Some of the nomad tribes have a woman as a leader, and the ones that have men value women as equal.
     
  10. halisme

    halisme Contributor Contributor

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    Considering the giants are aware that they can make mistakes, have any giants ever questioned the idea of obeying the currents?
     
  11. halisme

    halisme Contributor Contributor

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    Considering the branding tradition, and the trends of women within our own historical past, have any willingly chosen the brand to either openly reject the system, or just see it as more liberating?
    As they're a deep feeling race, do they put emotions over logic, or see one as an extension of the other.
     
  12. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Senior Member

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    None have rejected it because it's normalized. The ones that don't get branded see no reason to reject it as its not happening to them (in some cases, they don't even know it's happening, so what you don't know, you can't really reject). Girls are taught young " those women are possessed. Don't associate with them or you'll become possessed too" so there is not a curiosity as to why or how they are branded. No one other than the branded women go to the community, and they see it as a punishment, not liberation (as my MC sees it). Emotion and logic go hand in hand. Problem come when one is more dominant than the other. The main antagonist is seen as cold and unfeeling, but he's the opposite. His emotions cause him to do stupid and illogical things that cause his people to suffer. My MC can be seen as passionate but too logical which leads her to question society and strike out on her own
     
  13. halisme

    halisme Contributor Contributor

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    A lot of people have questioned or rejected systems in past. in the medieval period, it wasn't uncommon for a woman forced into an arranged marriage to run away and join a covenant (the perceived honourable option), or become a prostitute (which ironically allowed more agency). The fact that no one really questions the system might make it a bit too much of a Planet of Hats for some people.
     
  14. Bone2pick

    Bone2pick Senior Member

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    Thanks for taking interest. To answer your first question, families (referred to as clans) encourage their females into the clergy to increase their clan status and influence. As of now, I don't have any religious doctrine that favors females, but that could change. Because I haven't started writing yet, everything is subject to change.

    As to your second question, the Cryocult blame Koma's blood for nearly all of the monsters that stalk the Froreland. Cryon, their glorious patron deity, would never have sculpted such fiends - or so they believe. And the Cryocult also attribute Koma's blood curse to what I'm provisionally calling 'Blood Magic,' which is more less a corrupting necromancy, the practice of which is punishable by death. This Blood Magic (or whatever I eventually choose to call it) will likely serve as the primary source of conflict in whatever story I write.
     
  15. badgerjelly

    badgerjelly Contributor Contributor

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    Mmm ... I don’t really use “gods” I just use tradition and ritual to express the cultural heritage of the species - also some of them are, by our standards demi-gods anyway.

    Basically the two opposing “forces” are both chaotic yet they’re not the same flavour as each other. The underlying compass of the whole thing lies around philosophical ideas of consciousness ... I have these presented roughly as space, time, waste (destruction, pheonix-like), saurus (shield,defend, growth), darkwing, and the culmination bizarre. These are NOT gods though, just underlying principles which would be equivalent to what gods generally represent (the human psyche).

    Given that I started creating this world over two decades ago and started off right from the start with a thorough invetsigation into what “religion” is all about (and still continuing to this day!) the thought of reducing what I’ve learnt to some arbitrary pantheons seems completely opposed to what I want to tell.

    Weird response I know. The world is a living personal mythos for me. All the characters and creatures are meant to represent a thread of the cosmos condensed.
     
  16. Bone2pick

    Bone2pick Senior Member

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    https://www.writingforums.org/threads/do-you-find-many-writers-to-be-pretentious.161660/
     
  17. badgerjelly

    badgerjelly Contributor Contributor

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    Yeah, forgive me for thinking I’m important somehow ;)
     
  18. halisme

    halisme Contributor Contributor

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    I mean, real life religions break themselves down into pantheons, and some of those have had thousands of years behind them.
    However, if you're talking about purposes beyond cultural power through religion, maintenance of the idea of a community through shared cultural practices, then it's a useful idea to how those practices be a known factor in what you're writing, including the justification for them that people use in-universe, and a lot of time that devolves into appeasing something that is controlling said factor, often a humanised form which becomes a god. Your world may have guiding principles, but human psychologies have a tendency to attach other bits of significance on them in an attempt to make them seem more understandable or relatable.
     
  19. Bone2pick

    Bone2pick Senior Member

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    Halisme, please be careful not to reduce Badger's "philosophical ideas of consciousness" into an arbitrary pantheon. I made the same mistake myself, before I realized I lacked the two decades of thorough investigation into religion to fully appreciate the underlying compass of Badger's condensed cosmos.

    It's all clear to me now, though. ;)
     
  20. badgerjelly

    badgerjelly Contributor Contributor

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    I’m not saying otherwise. Just responded to the OP as best I could :)
     
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  21. badgerjelly

    badgerjelly Contributor Contributor

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    I can see how my use of the word “arbitrary” may have been taken. Such is life, flame away! ;)
     
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  22. Harmonices

    Harmonices Member

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    Absolutely not. No, giants couldn't conceive of forgetting their responsibilities to the great mother. They are made of her, literally made of earth not flesh, like golems. They can even nurture plants on themselves, if they are careful. So they're very much intrinsically connected to her, and her needs are broadly also their needs.

    Their mistake was more a case of not listening properly, being too blinkered and fixed, and overreaching themselves by becoming too wilful and independent.

    Retrospectively they blamed their mistake on leaning too heavily on abstract forms of learning (runes) and manipulating subtle energies (geomagic) which made them act less like good children, heeding and responding to her needs, and more like bullish teenagers, thinking they understood it all and forging ahead without paying attention. A classic kind of hubris if you will.

    At this point in time - when my story takes place - giants are more conservative than ever, and those giants (usually younglings) who display overly independent thinking or curiosity about the old lore and magics, are warned off and frowned upon. Ironically geomancy can be used to help the earth, but because they fear the consequences of misusing it (and also to appease the SeaKin), the lore and practices have been abandoned.

    The lore will be needed again however, so I have a young giant who pursues the knowledge alone, discovering remnants of the old ways engraved on an ancient monument and within some caves that had been submerged for hundreds of years.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019 at 2:22 PM
  23. Harmonices

    Harmonices Member

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    I must say, I like the questioning. It's making me think about the importance of internal consistency in my little universe. It's also made me realise the degree to which various kinds of archaic and arcane philosophy figures. So it's important that the religiophilosophical baseis for my world, don't come apart at the seams too readily.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019 at 2:17 PM
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  24. halisme

    halisme Contributor Contributor

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    Then I suppose the next question is, is the world actually sentient, or are they just reading random signals as words? And if the world is sentient, and the giants are utterly unquestioning, doesn't that the world has an army ready to remove anything it dislikes? Nevermind what could happen if someone could successfully imitate or manipulate said signals.
     
  25. Bone2pick

    Bone2pick Senior Member

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    I hope to see more threads like this one in the setting forum. Places to show off and discuss our worlds' geographies, economies, important factions, and other essential setting elements.
     
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