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We've got the nature of the gods sorted out; feel free to start submitting ideas for individual deities.
Orcs are one of the few sapient species native to the Spine (working title). While there are many (number yet unspecified) communities which remain nomadic, there are a few cities, some of them quite large. The greatest amoung these is Racna, called simply ďOrcheimĒ (Land of Orcs) by the Orcish nomads.
Racna is the oldest city on the Spine, having been established over two centuries before the first major wave of explorers came. Because it is located near the eponymous mountain range and, thus, the centre of the continent, it did not have many non-Orc visitors until recently (roughly the last twenty years).
The city proper is arranged into six districts: The Scholarís District, which houses the libraries, schools, et cetera, the Council District, where the Council (duh) convenes, the Living District, where most houses are, the Crafts District, location of smithies and other artisanís equipment, as well as the largest marketplace, the Visitorís District, newly built, a place set aside for non-Orc foreigners (it is not to quarter them off, but, rather, to keep them comfortable; architecture within is built in a way other races are more used to, signs are in multiple languages, a variety of goods uncommon to the rest of the city are sold, et cetera), and the Tribal District, wherein each nomadic tribe has its own acropolis set aside.
Nearly all of the nomadic tribes pass through Racna on a regular basis, usually for about a month every year. Once every three years, an assembly is held between every Orc tribe and settlement in the centre of Racna. Issues of law are never actually decided at these assemblies, as each Orc tribe is its own autonomous state; the conventions are held merely to keep inter-tribe relations strong. Through these assemblies, matters more of cordial revelry than serious discussion, the sometimes difficult task of keeping a far-flung people united is eased.
The shape of Orcs' mouths means they have developed a slightly different linguistic system than other races. Their alphabet is as follows: ABC(Ch)DEGHIJLMNOPRST(Thorn)UW.
edited 2nd Dec '11 8:27:12 AM by Exelixi
Sorry, but before that, we need an actual concept. Do we actually have even individual deities? Let's just agree on a general guide line first, at least.
I don't think so, but we have determined (I believe) that there are two sorts of beings being called "gods" and worshiped by mortals, though they are very different: Anthropomorphic Personifications from the "Aether", and Physical Gods who are formerly-mortal beings who were empowered by Cosmic Keystones or such.
As for there being multiple entities for one concept, the way I see it, that would happen as the number of living beings influencing the Aether with their beliefs grew, and advanced as civilizations as well. For example, Love is a very basic concept, but now we have love between friends, paternal love, forbidden love, etc.
Btw, I wouldn't be surprised if some of the physical gods got certain status attributed because of the legends that surround them. For example, a very wise god might be mistaken for the Personification of Wisdom.
edited 1st Dec '11 11:02:08 AM by Sijo
I find the idea of mistaken gods especially pleasing. Even more so when the actual personification shows up.
I'd also like to take the love gods, if we do multiples.
edited 1st Dec '11 3:16:13 PM by Vyctorian
True Names, Celestial Families, Aspects
Their are differing concepts of loves that are still somewhat similiar or associated and Celestial Gods are all about concepts. These gods of similiar concepts tend to still be individual entities but congregate together into what could almost be a family. These families even have family names, in fact all gods have names. Many mortal cultures give names that mean something: Celestial Gods have names that mean their very concept spoken in the language of the Aether which mortals may end up translating a hundred different ways in different languages and cultures.
Gods of similiar concepts have parts of their name which are the same, from which they derive their family name. This family and its name may end up being regarded as a single entity, with only a few or none of the individuals standing out to be seperatley worshipped in a lesser capacity. Imagine Aphrodite was actually the family name of multiple Love Gods and her 'son' Eros was just the only one who stood out.
Of course, the arguments over this have started religious wars.
Some religions regard the families as a single deity but recognize the individual entities as different Aspects of one deity. Some have the spiritual accuity to seperate every individual, and these are highly spiritual cultures with many, many little gods while more practical cultures largely recognize the families as whole and not the family members.
edited 2nd Dec '11 12:05:18 AM by God_of_Awesome
eX, we have got an actual concept. Please browse the thread before participating in it.
I like it.
The absolute ruler of a nation was dying. Of course, he had an heir, a man he hand picked to continue his legacy by looking into his very mind but what of the man after that and after that? The rule fashioned into his crown, the symbol of his authority, a jewel that would absorb his ghost upon death. This way, the first ruler could check every heir-potentiate and judge them suitable. However, every ruler after him has also had their ghost absorbed into the jewel. One soul, one vote and the next heir to the throne is elected by an assembly of his predeccesors.
Interesting concept. I think we got our first artifact!
Regarding religion: could there be a "Church of Truth" that seeks to explain the difference between terrestrial and celestial gods? More like a philosophical movement, actually, thought to the average person there might not be much difference. In fact to them they might be "the guys who tell you which gods are safe to worship". Which ironically might include some evil gods, if they are easier to please than some good ones. "I sacrifice to (evil god). All he asks for is a goat now and then. But (good god)? I'd have to tithe him half my earnings, man!"
It might be time for another summation of our decisions.
edited 2nd Dec '11 5:55:23 AM by Sijo
I'll go back and sum it all up once we reach page ten.
I've edited in info about Racna and a little about Orc language.
We still need to determine what the exact relation between terrestrials and celestials is and how this influence their churches and their relation. Or if terrestrial gods operate on the same family principal as the celestial ones.
That said, I like all ideas so far they work great together.
How about we incorporate enlightenment into the system. Mortals can become terrestrial gods when they master a specific talent, when they receive enlightenment in the area and basically ascent above any other mortal, getting a direct connection to an aspect of the aether and are able to channel it.
I also like the idea of single Orc cities as centers for their culture.
The Orcish Monasteries:
A normadic life can be a very demanding one and thus, Orcs tend to be practical people, who care more about secular needs than spiritual ones. And while priest do travel with the caravans, they fulfill more practical spiritual needs of the Orcs than ponder the bigger religious questions or maintain a strong relationship with the Orcish gods.
No, the center of Orcish religions are the numerous monasteries, hidden in the mountains around the orcish territories. Founded by spiritual Orcs to have a steady center for mediation and worship, they quickly also became centers of education and knowledge preservation for the ever wandering tribes, as well as the middle point of Orcish martial arts.
Staying true to their original purpose, they trying to stay out of tribal politics, offering membership and sanctuary to everyone who comes to their door and having overall little influence on the day to day life of the Orcish nomads, outside of the occasional clan leader, seeking deeper religious advice.
edited 2nd Dec '11 4:25:58 PM by eX
I like both and ideas for the Orcs. It's nice to see how our setting subverts many of the conventions of the classic fantasy races.
Regarding Celestial and Terrestrial gods, I feel that the first, being embodiments of emotions and concepts of the world's living beings, would have characteristics as (unconsciously) dictated by them. Why is the God of Evil evil? For the Evulz of course! Meanwhile, the Terrestrial gods, being former mortals, would be more individual, with flaws and virtues like most humans'.
As for the relationship *between* them, it's the mortal peoples who consider them to be the same thing; they know each other to be different beings with different priorities. The Celestials probably see the Terrestrials as late-comer pretenders, while the latter probably see the former as alien and arrogant.
Overall, I see religion in this world as being a pragmatic thing; you worship the God of Harvest not so much because you're enamored with him but because you want a good harvest. This doesn't mean there can't be truly faithful devotees -especially for the Celestials- just that it's not the only approach to worship.
Trolls of the Southern Plains
In the golden savannas that rim the southern edge of the Fochanin (pronounced Fokaneen) forests and bleed down through the rest of the western edge of the continent, there are the trolls of the southern plains. Known as the hwang-geum in their native tongue, they are mainly called Plains Trolls by outsiders. This is incorrect though, since a plain troll is a troll who's used plains grass to create his shell and while yes, most trolls do end up taking the characteristics of the area that they live in (voluntarily, unlike elves) as they replace their slowly decaying shells, some particularly stubborn (or suicidal) trolls remain without healing for long periods of time.
The society of "Plains Trolls" is one part tribal and two parts (anyone know a word that means they live in cities?) A Plains Troll's loyalties are to their tribe first, their city second, and other Plain Trolls third. While there are some tribes of Trolls that live outside of the cities, those are mainly regarded as oddities within the social structure. Most of Plains Troll culture is based around political maneuvering, getting your tribe's interests to the top of the city hierarchy and forcing your opponents down to the bottom. Many Plains Trolls have bodies that are lighter than average, and made of less plant matter because as of this writing that is the current fashion trend. This has left the majority of the trend following populace looking like their builder trolls, slightly smaller trolls that use their freed up mental energy to tear the earth from the ground and build the Troll Hives.
Hives range from either very small mounds that erupt underground into large, bustling communities, enormous mountains threaded with tunnels that allow air in and trolls out. Sometimes you'll find a nomadic tribe that scuttles about, raising and felling their structures as they move. The majority of these are angry at the "civilized" trolls for daring to mark the earth as they do, it's a good thing the majority have never seen a real city.
edited 2nd Dec '11 9:24:43 PM by Slender
eX: I like it, save the "martial arts" bit. Martial tradition would likely remain strongest with the nomadic tribes that actually kill things every day to survive.
EDIT: Well, thinking about it, the interaction would go something like this:
edited 3rd Dec '11 3:02:45 AM by Exelixi
I can see kind of cross development, because the monks simply have a lot more time to spare to actually focus on developing their skills. Also, just because they write it down doesn't mean they can't develop them on their own.
But I like this idea overall.
edited 3rd Dec '11 4:34:48 AM by eX
Are we going to have nature spirits or things of that nature in our world? Since I'm leaning towards a druidic edge for the trolls.
The Relationship Between Celestial and Terrestrial Gods, And How Mortals View Them
Mortals can definitley see a difference between some gods, some gods are plainly there beings who are of immense power. Of course, gods that live and rule their citizenry tend to be associated with primitive tribal culture with a lesser Terrestrial God acting as chief or king, although their is the highly advanced Aezygptiak nation ruled by Immortal God-King Imhotazancoatltek and the Black Empire ruled by the deathless lich Emperor Hrod has had several unoffical and unsanctioned cults emerge in worship of him and it is believed he may achieve Terrestrial Godhood.
"I swear upon my phylactery, if those stupid sods turn me into a god, my first act as their divine lord will be to smite them all down." -Emperor Hrod
Celestial gods, on the other hand, while having many faithful tenants may also be treated as philosiphical fiction or matters of conjecture and faith. While the spiritualy enlightened (Read, magically adept) may find themselves reaching out to such being and drawing power from them, the source of their power is cast into doubt by the faithless. Of course, their are others schools of thought that study the Celestial Gods as plain and practical fact.
In fact, Terrestrial Gods may themselves worship Celestial Gods. God-King Imhotazancoatltek is the high priest of an entire pantheon of Celestial Gods, stating his own godhood and status as Aezygptiak rule is by their divine will. Celestial Gods, however, never worship a Terrestrial God although they hold some who embody their concept in high regard and frequently divy out their blessings to them. Some more pragmatic civilization gods revere the work done by Emperor Hrod in his Black Empire and may be partly responsible for the rise of Hrodish Cults that may unwillingly catapult the lich into godhood.
Could there maybe be a Celestial god of the embodiment of faith itself?
Also I think I may work on a race as well, what has been done for races?
Can't let you do that Starfox.
Humans (biological), trolls (biological, part of the culture), Orcs (biological and cultural)
Did you read what was said about race not equating to culture?
edited 3rd Dec '11 2:00:50 PM by Exelixi
Aezygptiak, culture. Specifically Egyptian-Aztincans that live either in an small subcontinent split into a dessert and a jungle or in a gigantic redwood forest.
Slender: Try the word "urban".
Also, nature spirits fit in well, IMO.
One thing I'd like to ask (everyone) is that not all deities/spirits be humanoid in form. That's the way it usually is in fiction but that's because Most Writers Are Human. But there's no practical reason for that here. For example, the Celestial embodying Hate might look utterly hideous and unnatural, while the Terrestrial God of the Sea might be a dolphin.
Vic: Interesting idea with the Faith God, but how would he/she/it work?
Also I think all the classic fantasy races are here, just with wildly different cultures.
Exl: Are the versions of Elves and Dwarves posted before official?
GoA: Love Hrod's quote!
I imagine a faith god/it would somehow feed off faith and prayer even if it wasn't directed at it. Or that they very act of having faith in something anything fuels it.
People might pray to it in the event that no god they know of covers the topic, in the hope that it might grant your wish. That's what prayer is in most cases it's wishing for an external being to help you or help on your behalf. It also might be able to double has the entity of hope.
Just an idea, sorry if I got a bit philosophical.
It's primary purpose might be the god of hope. I've already got a name for it: Tzeentch.
Just ignore the horrible mutations.
Celestial gods are devoted to making their concept more and more powerful right? So the Celestial god of hope should be, to subvert the way it normally works, the sort of guy who would dump on an entire city if it would help create more hope down the line. He would aid an invasion into a country just so the sons of farmers would have a feasible hope of joining the army to fight for their country.
He'd also give life to heroes and rebellions just when they are about to be crushed.
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