1. Skelly Jack

    Skelly Jack Member

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    Creating a backstory for a goddess?

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Skelly Jack, Apr 21, 2017.

    My current setting in my story is a temple. A priestess is explaining to my main character the story of their patron goddess Lyshara, which is the goddess of bounty and good fortune. I need a little help in creating this story to show why this goddess is so important to these people.
     
  2. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

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    The clerics from the Temple could provide medical and educational services to the community. The priests could also be judges for disputes and advisers. Also, there could be times when people are brought before the goddess herself for judgement or to be given a divine revelation.
    Godspeed!
     
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  3. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    Forty-two pounds of edible fungus
    In the wilderness a-growin’
    Saved the settlers from starvation.
    Helped the founding of this nation.

    Homer Price, Robert McCloskey

    Ahem.

    My suggestion is some historical story of famine and perhaps beyond famine, somehow famine tied to giving way to a conquering power. And the goddess, as a human child or woman, finds the key to feeding the people and getting them past the crisis, so that they escaped both starvation and enslavement. And, in a way almost but not entirely unlike the way that people are declared to be saints, she was made a goddess.

    That's my thought.
     
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  4. Skelly Jack

    Skelly Jack Member

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    Thanks so much, you both are very helpful!
     
  5. Skelly Jack

    Skelly Jack Member

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    Just wanted to give you a glimpse at what you helped create!

    The stories say that there was a great famine. There was no water, so crops would not grow, and there was very little game. Children were dying of starvation and lack of water. People were sick, and war soon erupted over what little food was available. Soon, all life would end. It was then that a young woman vowed to bring back the water to her people. She promised that it would end the war. During her journey, the water returned, and the war did end, but she did not return for fifty years. It was then that she appeared before her people in a divine light and told her story. Those that knew her wept tears of joy. Her own father was proud to see his daughter, as she had become something beautiful. He became the first priest of her temple, and she returned to the realm of the gods to watch over her people.
     
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  6. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin The game sour like a pickle be.... Contributor

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    "Famine" is a Greek goddess. She has another name, Limos, but people refer to her by the name Famine in certain versions/translations. I'm assuming that's where we get the word "famine" from but I'm not positive. Demeter (goddess of the harvest) gets pissed at a king who cuts down one of her sacred groves and calls Famine to bring blight and devastation across the king's land. Thousands of people die. Good times!
     
  7. Shattered Shields

    Shattered Shields Gratsa!

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    Look up mythological stories from other cultures. Then you can either adapt an existing story or cobble one together.

    For example, one of the goddesses of Egypt, Isis, won her divinity by outwitting Ra. She lured him into a snare, then came to his aid, and conveniently found that she did not have the power (she was just a magician then) to free him until he told her his secret, most powerful name.

    Names must have power, because ta dah! Goddess!
     
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  8. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

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    I am currently creating a group of gods for my fantasy world. For inspiration, I'm reading Lord Dunsany's 'Gods of Pegana', and the 'King of Elfland's Daughter', along with Graves 'White Goddess'. I'm also using Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and such standbys as the Seven Deadly Sins to define the purpose and function of the gods, just for example. I'm even throwing Hegel's Dialectic into the pot.
    When it comes to Sanderson's Laws of Magic, the one I remember is: Err on the side of awesome! That and Spellchecker is your friend.
    Godspeed!
     
  9. rktho

    rktho Contributor Contributor

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    Research mythology. Mythology exists to provide a backstory for all of history and by extension the gods that populate it. Take Athena, goddess of wisdom. Zeus swallowed her mother because it was prophesied that his child would be greater than him. That gave him a headache, so he had Hephaestus split his head open and out came Athena in full battle armor as a mature adult. Luckily for Zeus, she didn't want to conquer him or anything, and she became his favorite daughter. That's her backstory. Research the backstories of various deities from different mythologies to get some ideas.
     
  10. rktho

    rktho Contributor Contributor

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    There's a lot of power surrounding names in Egyptian mythology. And effigy. Statues were believed to be imbued with power, so pharaohs were buried with figurines that were said to be able to guide them through the afterlife.
     
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