Religion in the Fantasy Genre
Updated: Apr 14, 2018
Anne McCaffery, author of the Dragonriders of Pern book series, never talks about religion in her books. I read somewhere that she said her planet didn’t need religion. She doesn't want to write about religion.
I always find that interesting, because I love writing about religion.
And before anyone asks, I’m 90% atheist and 10% theist. Most people would call
me agnostic or a 'weak atheist'. I believe that science offers the best answers to life and all humans naturally can do good; we just need to teach people to behave correctly.
Yes, yes, each culture does have different rules, but most people can agree that murder is wrong.
Yet to deny even the possibility of a divinity, or a pantheon of them, is a bit too scientific. All we can do is observe the world and decide for ourselves if there is evidence to believe in a god.
Religion in God’s Forsaken
With that aside, I love religion.
Religion is probably the first reason stories were created.
The Epic of Sundiata or The Epic of Gilgamesh come to mind.
There plenty of ideas to draw inspiration from.
In the world of Heronino (the world in which God’s Forsaken and many of my stories are based), religion plays an interesting part.
The divinities - my preferred term for gods and goddesses - left the world to morals. This is where my dating system comes from:
DE for 'divine era' and MA for 'moral authority'.
Of course, imperfect divinities can’t help but return to the world and play with it (I don’t understand why people like to make gods out to be either perfect and reasonable, or worse versions than humans).
You get hints of this in the first book and you’ll see much more in the second book of The Guilty Ones series.
One of main gods you will read about in my novel is Druad, a sea god and Patron of the Barrel Alliance.
The nation is base on seafaring. Druad is said to protect those who respect him.
Other important divinities are Druad's four children, his brother - the earth - and his sister - the farming goddess.
Each are considered important, though, in my world, it's up to each individual to decide which god to focus their devotion on.
It's similar to how the ancient Greeks worshipped their gods; while Zeus was the most powerful god, a lot of the Greeks picked who they'd worship most.
Divinities outside of Druad's control
One big difference between God's Forsaken and most other novels in the fantasy genre is that there are other pantheons controlling this world.
There’s the (Christian-based) Creationist with the Creator in charge, but
his Seven Patrons in control. The strongest, and most powerful, is Lady Luck.
There are also natural spirits that have lived on the land before Druad and his family.
To put it in the simplest terms, the divine already have powers of their own. They don’t need worshippers to exist, but their followers' faith increases that power. Less faith equals less power.
You’ll learn that when you meet Neprune (and, no, that isn’t a misspelling of 'Neptune').
If you'd like to learn more about the divinity of Heronino, get a copy of the book!