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Author Topic: Continental religions?  (Read 766 times)

Offline NinjaRaptor

Continental religions?
« on: October 18, 2015, 07:49:30 PM »
So I've had this idea gestating in my head about a world with several continent-wide religions. That is to say, each of its major continents has one major religion shared by all its various cultures. Or, more accurately, all the people on each continent share certain beliefs about their religions' supreme creator deity. There is still substantial cultural and national diversity within each continent, but what their belief systems share in common can be traced back to a continent-wide cultural substratum far back in the ancient past.

So without further ado, here are the continentally based religions I've got so far.

Faith of the Sun --- These people venerate the Sun as a motherly supreme goddess who gave birth to all existence. Since they all have very dark skin and tightly curled hair, they regard themselves as the Sun's most cherished race and thereby the leading stewards of her world. Divine monarchy is the preferred system of government among the Sun's followers, with the kings and queens expected to nurture and protect their subjects to the best of their ability in exchange for sumptuous royal burials.

Faith of the Moon --- These bronze-skinned people with hooked noses and dark wavy hair inhabit a predominantly desert continent with scorching daytime heat, so they regard the cooler gaze of the Moon at night as a merciful respite. In their view, the Moon is a fatherly and hospitable male deity who comforts his faithful, whereas the Sun is a wrathful demoness who punishes sin and disbelief. Oligarchic councils of priests, assisted by hereditary warrior "princes", are the traditional form of government among the Moon's disciples.

Faith of the Sea --- The followers of the Sea have moderately dark skin and curly black hair, and occupy an archipelago of dry subtropical islands on which they build their marble cities. Fishing and overseas commerce are critical to their economy, so the most important god in their religion is the Sea whom they portray as a capricious goddess. Though the Sea's temper (as manifested by storms, tsunamis, and sea monsters) is to be feared, her faithful believe regular veneration and sacrifices can please her or at least buy off her wrath. On the other hand, in order to avoid provoking the Sea as much as possible, her followers have declared hubris and disbelief to be capital crimes.

Faith of the Icefather --- They have white skin, blond or red hair depending on nationality, and strong stocky builds in adaptation to the frigid northern continent they live in. In their religion, the being they called the Icefather dwells in a grand hall deep within the polar glaciers. For the most part the Icefather is an appropriately cold and distant figure, providing no warmth or comfort to his followers even as they eke out their traditional hunter-gatherer existence. Yet if one shows strong resolve and honor in life, or dies with bravery in combat or childbirth, the Icefather will develop respect for their spirit and house it within his hall. In addition to the Icefather, the northerners believe in lesser spirits whom their witches can harness for magic and healing.

Faith of the Fire Maiden --- The people who venerate the Fire Maiden have light brown skin, epicanthic folds that give their eyes a narrow appearance, and straight black hair. Though their homeland has a predominantly temperate climate, with deciduous forests and grassy prairies, the winters can grow cold and snowy enough that Fire's heat would make a comfortable blessing. In addition, the larger empires and feudal kingdoms on this continent have found the Maiden's gift useful for developing their unique gunpowder technology, including weaponry. The Fire Maiden is believed to dwell within the volcanoes than run along the continent's subtropical southern coast, and she can have a capricious temper much like the Sea.

Faith of the Rainbow Cobra --- Though the Rainbow Cobra's followers have dark skin like those of the Sun, their hair has a wavy rather than tightly curled texture. Some live in cities with elaborate stone masonry along their continent's humid tropical coast, whereas others are nomads foraging in the semi-arid interior. But all trust their maternal Rainbow Cobra to water the land with annual rains. Though they consider her an essentially benevolent goddess much like the Sun, the Rainbow Cobra's faithful know that offending her will be punished with drought or hurricanes depending on season. In keeping with their serpentine image of the goddess, all these people respect cobras and other snakes to the point of building whole temples to house them.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2015, 08:29:15 PM by NinjaRaptor »
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Offline Yora

Re: Continental religions?
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2015, 08:58:41 PM »
Something that might be worth to consider is to give the different cultures believes that contradict each other and are not compatible. The most interesting stories about religion come from disagreements. People worshiping different gods within the same concept of the universe and divinity provides relatively little to work with in this area.

Offline ArhiX

Re: Continental religions?
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2015, 09:43:35 PM »
Rainbow Cobra sounds funny. Don't get me wrong here. Rainbows are all over happy and funny to me.   :P
It just sounds like "Rabbit of Death" where a giant rabbit is a judge in purgatory. Which is actually doable so I can't really doubt in anything.
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Can't really give any other feedback than that what you already have sounds interesting.
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Offline Mr.J

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Re: Continental religions?
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2015, 11:30:00 PM »
The ideas are good, the only thing I would say is they seem a little bit too neat if that makes any sense. Religion and faith is a very messy concept, I'm writing my own story about faith atm so I know its hard to do (for me at least).

In other words not everyone from that same area is going to believe in the same thing, would there be different factions within each religion disagreeing on how to do certain things or what they should be doing? Are there people who don't believe in faith at all in those places? Or who believe in one of the other faiths rather than the dominant one in their land.

Just a thought, people might disagree. :)